Silverstone Kublai KL04 9

Silverstone Kublai KL04 Review

A Closer Look - Inside »

A Closer Look - Outside

Silverstone has not only proven in the past that they are willing to reinvent the interior of a chassis, but also the exterior. That said, the Kublai KL04 is wider than most mid-tower cases and has an asymmetrical design in the front. I for one am not a big fan of the looks, but luckily, this is purely subjective. With straight lines a few grooves and angles here and there, the Kublai KL04 has a "chocolate side" in my humble opinion when viewed at an angle from the right side.

The front of the chassis is made completely of plastic. Interestingly enough, the drive bay covers extend to the edge of the chassis on either side of the wide KL04. There is no need for any vents due to the unique internal construction as we will see later on. Turning the chassis around, the rear has loads of openings, which should allow for cool air to enter, but also gives way to dust and dirt. Silverstone does mention, that the standard cooling is set up in such a way, that there is positive pressure within the chassis. This is achieved, as two fans push air in and only one fan pushes air out of the chassis. If you look closely at the CE logo, you can see that the steel body has warped slightly in areas where stamps like that have been applied. Silverstone does not advertise the thickness of the material used, but it does not make the best impression from this angle. On top of that, the screws of the motherboard expansion slots have not been placed within the chassis - something you usually only see in very affordable cases, but not one that clocks in at well over 100 USD.

Unlike a traditional chassis, the Kublai KL04 has a solid side panel on the left and one with an air vent on the right. You may remove the plastic cover, which also acts as a dust filter by simply prying it off. Behind it, you will find space for two 120 mm fans, one of which is already filled with a black fan from Silverstone.

The bottom half is quite simple and only holds the power & reset buttons on the right edge, along with the HDD and power LEDs in the same area. Above that are the four 5.25 inch drive bays. Due to the fact that the covers extend to the edge of the chassis, you should be able to remove them easily if need be.

Turning the Kublai KL04 around, the bottom mounted PSU bay offers two sets of holes for screws, allowing you to install the power supply with the fan facing up or downward. There is plenty of space to the left of it, to give you some additional room for cable management as we will see on the next page. Above that are eight motherboard expansion slots, each protected by a separate cover with air vents. To the right of to these is another part which has been placed atop of the mounting areas of these slots. The KL04 also comes prepared with a break-out box for their SST-CLEARCMOS, allowing you to clear the CMOS externally. A 120 mm exhaust fan comes pre-installed and pushes hot air out the back of the chassis. Two openings for water cooling can also be found here, but Silverstone does not provide any rubber grommets.

The I/O has been embedded at an angle in the top of the chassis. You will get two USB 3.0 and the traditional pair of audio plugs. While this is sufficient for most users, some may want a bit more than that. Behind that is a large, plastic cover - much like the one on the right side of the side. It also has a dust filter built right in and may be removed for easy cleaning. In this area, you will be able to install either 2 x 120 mm or 1x 120 and one 140 mm fan. Silverstone has put another 120 mm right in here, bringing the total number of cooling units within the Kublai KL04 to three.

Two dust filters on the underside protect both the PSU bay and the bottom 120 mm fan opening from dust. These may also be removed for cleaning. Thanks to the tall feet, there should be enough clearance to gain access to fresh air for both of these areas.
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