I would like to thank Cooler Master
for providing the review sample.
- Elegant simplistic design
- Diamond precision cut aluminum front panel
- Sound-absorbing foam mat equipped interior
- Fan Controller to fine-tune airflow vs. noise ratio
- DualBoot switch to conveniently switch between two Operating Systems (ex. Windows and Mac OS)
- High Performance front panel interface with two USB 3.0 super speed ports and a memory card reader
- High-Speed smart phone and tablet charging (~1A)
- Sliding cover to seal the I/O panel and the top fan to reduce noise and keep dust out of the system and its ports.
- 7+1 expansion slots for 3-way SLI and CrossFireX
|Cooler Master Silencio 650D
||Aluminum Alloy, Synthetics, Steel
||13.0 kg / 28.6 lb
||3x External 5.25" |
7x Internal 3.5" + 1x hot-swap in front
2x Internal 2.5"
||207 x 479 x 525.6mm / 8.1 x 18.8 x 20.7 inch
||120mm fan x 2, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA / 140mm fan x 1 (optional)
||120mm fan x 1, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA
||120mm or 140mm fan x 1 (optional)
||120mm fan x 1 (optional)
||HDD: 120x25mm fan x 1 (optional)
||2x USB 2.0 |
2x USB 3.0
1x SDHC Card Reader
|| Yes - sliding
Cooler Master is one of the few companies out there, who still use full color packaging for many of their cases. The same holds true for the Silencio 650 and the box holds a large shot of the chassis in the front, with detail images on the rear. There are carrying holes on either side of the cardboard contraption, with further information and pictures on these smaller parts as well.
Two fairly compact Styrofoam spacers hold the case in place within the box, with a plastic back protecting it from scratches and fingerprints. Even with the somewhat thin spacers, we got our chassis in flawless condition, so you won't need to worry about yours.
You will receive a set of rails for hard drives, zip ties and two bags of screws with the Silencio 650D. A simple, but adequate manual is also part of the content package.
A Closer Look - Outside
There is a vast difference in price between the 550D and the 650D, as the latter clocks in at 109 Euro MSRP compared to 75 Euro for the smaller one. To justify this price tag, Cooler Master has changed things around considerably, offering a full aluminum front cover with an embedded CM logo and a different chassis frame along with additional features. It will be interesting to see, how the case will stack up against the Corsair 550D or other silent enclosures.
In the front, the 650 actually looks completely symmetrical, which is something the 550D is not. The front door is made of a single, thick Aluminum sheet with diamond cut edges. It may be set to flip open to either side, as the pins acting as door hinges may be moved from one side to the other. A thin layer of sound dampening material has been placed on the inner side of the door to maximize the effects of sound encapsulation.
Taking a quick peek at the rear, one can clearly see the bottom mounted PSU bay. To keep the noise incased, solid expansion slot covers have been employed here as well. Both sides of the case are completely solid as well, further adding to the sound dampening attributes.
Going back to the front of the chassis, while the door is made of aluminum, the rest of the front is made plastic. A simple air vent has been placed over the bottom two intake fans, which also comes with a built-in dust filter. Above that are three drive bays, with the bottom one acting as a simple, but surprisingly effective hot-swap bay. Due to the modular design, you may even remove this device and use the bay as a traditional 5.25" unit if need be.
Turning the Silencio 650 around, the bottom mounted PSU bay has two sets of holes to hold a PSU in place. This means, that you may mount it with the fan either facing up- or downward within the enclosure. Above that are the 7 + 1 expansion slots, with the latter placed vertically next to the standard ones. This one is intended to be used with mainboard I/O or a fan controller for example. The very top part is filled with a 120 mm exhaust fan and two holes for water cooling tubes in the very top.
Cooler Master has hidden an extensive I/O panel in the top of the chassis. Behind a sliding plastic cover, you will find two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, pair of audio connectivity and an SDHC card slot. On top of that, there is a simple, but effective fan controller and diamond cut power & reset buttons. In the rear of the top panel is another sliding cover, which gives way to an air vent right above the CPU cooler.
A large dust filter has been placed on the underside of the chassis, protecting the inside parts from dust and dirt over time. You may easily remove it for cleaning purposes.
A Closer Look - Inside
Before we dive into the interior of the chassis, let's take a quick look at the sound dampening materials on the side panels. These are of different type, with a thicker variant on the main panel, while Cooler Master has placed the same, thinner version found on the front door on the other side panel. There is a small area which is free right behind the hard drive trays, giving users a bit more space to play with cable routing in this region.
While the general layout of the interior is similar to that of the 550D, there are a few key differences as we will see in a second. A large opening for the CPU cooler backplate and three smaller ones for cable routing have been placed in the motherboard tray. You will also find a small PCB on the side panel with two SATA connectors and a Molex plug. This unit enables the ability to switch between two hard drives, allowing you to have two system drives within the 650D. A switch to select either drive can be found in the top I/O panel. The PCB acts as a backplate for the bottom two hard drive bays, so it cannot be combined with the hot-swap bay in the front - which would have been pretty useful. The main reason why Cooler Master has employed a thinner layer of sound dampening material on the secondary side panel is the limited space behind the motherboard tray. With barely 20 mm of room, every bit counts.
There are two hard drive cages within the Silencio 650D. One is intended for four drives, while the bottom one is intended for the two system drives. You may pull out the top one, giving you space for large graphics cards. The two bottom bays employ trays, while the top ones utilize a rail system.
Above the hard drive bays are the three 5.25" variants. As mentioned before, the bottom one is filled with a hot-swap tray with a high-quality PCB attached to it. You may pull this one out and use it in a different chassis or different slot of the case if you like. The top two bays also feature plastic locking switches, allowing you to ditch the screwdriver when installing optical drives in these.
Turning our focus to the rear, the bottom PSU bay is quite simple, with thin rubber lining on the floor. Above that are the eight expansion slots, each cover held in place by separate thumb screws. The rear fan is set up to push air out the back of the case and brings the total number of pre-installed cooling units up to three within the Silencio 650D.
You may install another 120 mm unit in the ceiling of the case, to the left of a small foam panel. There is another, similar possibility for a cooling fan on the floor as well.
All the cables are sleeved in black, adding to the all-black interior color of the chassis. Every connector is of the standard variety and Cooler Master ships the Silencio 650 with an internal 20-pin USB 3.0 cable.
Installing a full size ATX board within the Silencio 650 is achieved by utilizing the motherboard spacers and supplied screws. There is plenty of space for large coolers and long graphics cards - even without removing the hard drive cage.
As there are two different methods to install hard drives within the chassis, one for the top drives and a different way for system storage, we will take a look at both. Rails are used for the top four drives and are simply placed on either side of the drive, while trays are offered for the bottom two bays. These trays allow for 2.5 inch drives to be installed, while the rails naturally do not.
Once the drives are prepared, simply slide them into the bays until they snap into place. No tools are needed during this aspect of the installation.
To gain access to the front covers of the drive bays, you will have to pry off the entire front panel. Once the bay is free, simply slide in the optical drive and flip the locking switch to hold it in place. This system actually works quite well and also means that you will not need any tools for optical drive installation either
Adding a power supply on the other hand does require the use of screws and thus a screw driver. There is nothing out of the ordinary here - simply put it in place and pin it down with the four supplied screws.
With everything in place, the Silencio 650 makes a nice and clean impression. All the cables may easily be routed behind the motherboard tray. putting the cover unto this side is a bit of a chore, but with some tough love should not be an unsurmountable issue.
With everything back in place, the Cooler Master Silencio 650 makes a good impression. A blue LED lights up, facing toward the rear of the chassis, when turning the system on. As this is hidden below the sliding cover as well, you may keep the system on in a dark environment and won't have to worry about blue glow all over the room. Everything is where you would expect to see it in the rear, with all connectors easily accessible.
The optical drive is nicely hidden behind the door and the hot-swap bay works like a charm. Thanks to the recessed design, you may fill this bay and still close the front cover at the same time.
Value & Conclusion
- The Cooler Master Silencio 650 goes for 149 USD + Taxes or around 110 Euro. This puts it right in line with the Corsair 550D for example.
- Solid construction
- Hot-swap bay
- System drive switch
- Fan Controller
- SDHC Card Slot
- Sound dampening materials on all major sides
- Air vent on top comes with a sliding cover
- Three fans included
- Dust filters on all intake areas
- Solid Aluminum front door
- HDD switch limited to the two specific internal drive bays
- Silent approach means limited air flow - especially in the front of the chassis
- No 3.5 inch bay
- Limited space behind motherboard tray may make cable management a bit tough
- Sound dampening materials not as good as others out there
- No possibility for dual radiators in the ceiling of the case
||Cooler Master takes a different approach to the 100+ Euro silent chassis. While other manufacturers aim to offer flexibility between air flow and silence, the Silencio 650 offers an extensive feature set with a few unique aspects. The Aluminum front cover is something some may have come to expect from a silent case of this price class, but things like the SDHC card reader and fan controller are by no means standard. On top of that the unique system drive selector is something you will not find in any other silent cases, which makes the use of dual OS configuration possible without the need of partitioning a single drive. On top of that, the Silencio 650 manages to deliver a great assembly experience, plenty of space and good cable routing possibilities. At first sight, the Silencio 650 may not look like much, with other silent enclosures simply looking more menacing or "out there", but in terms of features, the case manages to impress and justify the price tag - even if it does not quite offer the flexibility between silence and air flow as other silent cases, while giving customers the possibility to grab the much cheaper 550D if those extras are unwanted. |