I would like to thank SilverStone
for supplying the review sample.
We have reviewed a large number of Silverstone products in the past and today are taking a look at the Precision PS06 in black without a window. As you can see in the images above, the company offers this case in four different variants. Even though the enclosure looks quite shiny in the images above, this is not the case.
|Silverstone Precision PS06
||Plastic & mesh front panel and 0.7mm steel body
||External: 5.25" x 5 & 3.5” / 2.5” Hot swap bay
Internal: 3.5" x 4
||CEB,ATX up to 10.6”, Micro ATX
||Front: 1 x 120mm intake fan
Rear: 1 x 120mm fan (optional)
Top: 180mm Air Penetrator 700/1200rpm, 18/34dBA
Bottom: 1 x 120mm fan (optional)
||210mm(W) x 525mm(H) x 520mm(D)
||Power / Reset, Penetrator Fan Speed High/Low
||USB3.0 x 2, Audio x 1, MIC x 1
The case comes packaged in a plain but quite sturdy cardboard package. On one side you will find an image of the case front, while the other holds a side graphic explaining all the features of the chassis. Both smaller sides go into detail about the features and specifications of the enclosure, with carrying holes on each.
Silverstone secures the PS06 chassis with thick styrofoam spacers along with a plastic bag. The latter is supposed to keep the case safe from finger prints and scratches during the packing process.
You will get the bare necessities with the case. A bag of screws along with a USB 3.0 to 2.0 adapter. This cable is needed, as the chassis lacks any USB 2.0 I/O in the front so that users of older motherboards are still able to retain this functionality. A manual is also part of the package. Even though the covers are in English, it seems like the date is of a different language as the issue date is "Februsry 2010" - funny.
A Closer Look - Outside
Silverstone has spent some time creating a very cool looking case with a lot of small details. The all black version (or better black/dark grey) looks pretty sweet, but having seen the black/blue variant, this one is quite the understated one of the bunch.
When designing the chassis, Silverstone has clearly taken its inspiration from the Raven series. The shield like front edge is also present in those cases. In the rear it becomes apparent that the entire chassis is black, including the interior and that there is no fan included in this area of the chassis.
Both side panels of the PS06 are completely solid as there are no air vents or fan holes anywhere. This should aid in keeping the operating noise of the components within the chassis.
A fairly compact mesh part in the front gives way to fresh air to the included front intake fan. Above that is a 3.5 inch bay which has been modified to a hot-swap SATA bay. This is actually a pretty nifty spot for something like that, as you can easily place the chassis under your desk and still have unrestricted access to the bay - unlike those cases with such a feature in the ceiling. Above that are the five 5.25" drive bays, plenty by today's standards.
In the rear, the PSU bay can be found on the bottom, which allows you to install a power supply with the fan facing up- or downward. The eight motherboard expansion slots above that also act as air vents. In the very top you may install a 120 mm fan. If you look closely you can see a Silverstone logo on the plastic top panel. This clip allows you to pull off the top cover as we will see in a second.
A fairly large compartment has been embedded into the top of the chassis. Grooves on either side allow for cables to run down the side of the chassis. As mentioned before, the PS06 only ships with a pair of USB 3.0 and the usual audio connectors in the top I/O panel. While this will suffice for most, it would have been nice to see a more complete range. The second half of the top panel is a large metal mesh air vent. Underneath it is a large 180 mm Air Penetrator fan which actually pushes air in. This setup creates positive air pressure within the chassis, keeping dust out - much like a clean room at a fabrication plant for CPUs for example. You may also select the fan speed with a simple high/low switch in the rear of the chassis. While this is great, the cables of the Air Penetrator fan are actually firmly attached to this clip and replacing the fan means losing this functionality.
You will find dust filters on the underside of the chassis and in the front panel. In addition, there is a non-removable filter protecting the large 180 mm intake fan on top.
A Closer Look - Inside
Gaining access to the interior is easily achieved by removing the pair of thumb screws holding each panel in place. Upon first sight there is plenty of space to hide and route cables - just as advertised. On top of that many aspects seem to be tool-less, which should make the assembly process much easier.
In the front there are four hard drive bays. While this may suffice for a vast number of people, some may find this to be too few a number as most cases of this size can hold between six and eight 3.5 inch drives. Above that are the external drive bays. If you look closely, Silverstone has taken the bottom 5.25 inch bay and made it a 3.5/2.5 SATA hot-swap with the use of a plastic tray and some clever design of the front panel. The traditional 5.25 inch bays above come equipped with plastic levers which automatically snap into place. It will be interesting to see how well these can hold a drive.
Turning our focus to the rear of the case, the PSU bay utilizes a cross beam much like the one found in many Thermaltake cases. I am not a fan of such devices as it just complicates the PSU installation process and I believe that other approaches are easier, cheaper and work just as well. Above that are the eight expansion slots, each removable cover held in place by a thumb screw. In the very top you have a plastic frame which allows you to easily install a 120 mm fan without having to use any tools.
The magic of the Air Penetrator fan lies in the unique twister shaped like grill. It creates a forceful and focused air twirl instead of just pushing air from one side to another. This should help in keeping things cool around the CPU - especially since it is pulling cold air and pushing it down into the case.
You may install an additional fan on the floor of the PS06. Looking at the dust filter here, it seems to span across both the PSU bay and this intake location so that you won't have to worry about dust entering the case through this area.
Both cable sets are nothing out of the ordinary. The case connectors for power, reset and LEDs are of the colorful variety, while the USB 3.0 and audio cables are all black. These two cables seem to be rather short and it will be interesting to see if I can reach all the proper locations on a full ATX motherboard.
Before diving into the assembly process, there are two more numbers to check out. The PS06 offers two different depth of spaces behind the motherboard tray. The first is a mere 12 mm behind the majority of the metal sheet, while the other is a full 20 mm in the trench that runs down the left side of the tray. The latter should suffice in allowing to hide and route most the cables within the case.
Installing the motherboard is an easy task. Simply place the board on the bumpers of the backplate. You may have to place one or two of the traditional spacers, depending on which board you use. Secure it with the included black screws and that is it. There is plenty of space around the CPU cooler area and even though the chassis is not very wide, the fairly large Prolimatech Super Mega easily fits within the chassis. As you can see, I have to run the audio cable across the board as it would not reach the connector otherwise. On top of that the USB 3.0 lead is too short as well. The only reason I was able to hide it properly is because I used the 2.0 adapter which adds another 10 cm to the cable length. This is something that Silverstone needs to fix.
The four hard drives are installed using flexible plastic trays. You will have to use traditional screws when applying a 2.5" drive, but the usual 3.5" variant does not require any tools at all. Once on the tray, simply slide them into the bay until they snap into place.
To install an optical drive, you first have to free the drive bay. Doing so means you have to pull off the entire front and remove a drive cover. This also reveals the hot-swap bay, which is more like a tray. I would have expected it to be completely encased. On top of that there are no guides in place so you have to make sure the drive you use aligns properly before pushing down, or you may end up damaging the bay or the drive connectors. Once the optical drive is pushed in properly it will snap into place on its own. The plastic locks do hold the drive quite well so I do not see any reason for traditional screws.
The power supply is secured using traditional screws once you have aligned the crossbeam properly. This means that only this and the mainboard really require any tools, while all other aspects are handled by locking mechanisms or thumb screws.
Once everything is installed, the chassis makes a good, clean impression. Having all black cables would have been a nice touch, as the many different colors are obvious. To be fair, I ended up using red SATA cables as well, which adds to this aspect. As you can see, the cable routing and the possibilities to pin cables down on the underside of the mainboard are plentiful. This results in a very clean look - even in this area.
All side panels can be placed unto the system quite easily. The Precision PS06 makes a great impression and the Air Penetrator fan is nice and quiet on low speed, but really gets quite loud when hitting the switch for full power. On top of that the fan in our sample had a noticeable wobble to it, which resulted in a unusual sound emission. While this is most likely just our (lack of) luck, it should be mentioned.
The black optical drive looks good, and even though the front of the PS06 is not shaped flat, the drive does not look out of place. As I mentioned before, the hot-swap bay is simple, but works quite well if you make sure the drive is aligned properly before really pushing down. As there is no eject button you just have to pull on the storage unit to remove it from the bay. In the rear of the case, everything is where it should be - no surprises here.
Both the power and the hard drive activity LEDs are white, which is a wise choice for this chassis. I have also placed an external hard drive on top of the chassis to illustrate the benefits of such a compartment. The cable is too long and thick, but it is still better than nothing and you won't have to worry about the drive slipping off the top and falling down.
Value and Conclusion
- The Silverstone Precision PS06 sells for under 90 Euro or around 95 US Dollars. The choice of a window also adds 5 Euros or USD to the price.
- Cool looks
- Very good quality of metal and plastics used
- Hot-Swap bay in the front
- Air Penetrator 180 mm fan
- Tool-less trays for the hard drives
- Tool-less locks for 5.25 inch bays great
- 120 mm intake fan
- Many possibilities for cable routing
- Plenty of space inside the chassis for the latest gaming hardware
- Easy to keep things clean
- Eight expansion slots
- Internal USB 3.0 connector
- Dust filters easily removable
- Tray on top to hold small parts
- Only two fans - other cases in this price class offer three or more
- Short I/O cables
- Only four hard drive bays
- Fan controller hardwired to installed Air Penetrator fan
- No rubber lining for water cooling holes in the back
- No extras like zip ties or the likes included
Silverstone is well known for their line-up of cases for pretty much every budget. On top of that their very unique approaches like the Fortress series push the envelope on what is possible. In this regard the Precision PS06 is actually a very down to earth chassis. It costs less than that magical 100 USD mark, looks pretty darn cool and offers a few nice aspects. While I am glad the chassis has a lot of cool features, most of them come with some sort of achilles heel. The Air Penetrator is a great little touch - especially when running at low speed, it ends up being fairly loud on full throttle and also hardwired to the fan switch. The hot-swap bay with its very useful front location is fairly simple while still remaining functional and the internal USB 3.0 cable is great to see, but simply too short to hide properly. None of these are any deal breakers, thus looking at these features I am glad they are there in the first place, as they really make the case what it is. On top of that Silverstone has managed to include enough space for very good cable management, functional tool-less approaches for the drives and an extensive use of thumb screws. So as a case, the shortcomings mentioned are not as bad and you should still end up being quite happy with a spacey looking chassis. While the black one looks good already, I suggest going for the blue version - you will not be disappointed.