by Ryan Perry on August 22, 2011 in Mid-Tower
In developing a chassis, companies like Cooler Master have to decide whether the focus will be on cooling or noise, because it’s extremely difficult to have a chassis excel in both. The Silencio 550 proves this, because while it becomes the quietest chassis we’ve ever tested, it comes at the expense of higher temperatures.
The side panels may not demand much attention from the outside, but on the inside we can see both lined with foam to prevent noises from escaping.
When removing the front cover, the leads for the top I/O connections come with it. In order to completely remove the cover, the leads will need to be pulled all of the way out of the system. Without doing so, there is still enough slack to move it out of the way to show the open drive bays, hot swap bay and the mounting area for the front intake fans.
Starting at the lower front like always is the hard drive cage that is broken up into two sections. The bottom section can accept three 3.5″ drives and the top can take another four, all of which mount on tool-less rails. Installed in the top bay of the bottom section is a tray that can hold two 2.5″ drives front to back and is the only place where drives of this size can be secured.
If extra room is required for longer GPUs or if optimal airflow is desired, the top section of the drive cage can slide out once four screws are removed from the right side. Another nice feature is the cable management areas at the back left of the bottom section of the drive cage to help keep data cables hidden.
Above the drive cage is the hot swap SATA bay that has the necessary power and data connections on the green PCB at the back. Just above are the two 5.25″ drive bays that feature a tool-less mounting system in the form of front to back sliding locks.
On the bottom of the case is a simple setup for the power supply. There’s no room for an extra fan here but there are vents for the power supply to draw air in from outside and a raised area in each corner for the unit to rest on. These have been capped with rubber to help absorb any vibration that the fan may create.
There are cable management openings in the motherboard tray in front of the power supply, along the right edge towards the top and along the top edge. They may not be lined with rubber grommets, but this should be more than enough for those who this case is marketed to.
The final opening in the motherboard tray is a large cutout around the CPU area to help with installation and removal of coolers with back plates. A quick look at the inside of the rear panel shows the thumbscrews that secure each of the PCI slot covers and the 120mm exhaust fan.
A small white box secured to the inside of the case holds all of the necessary hardware to build a system. It’s mostly standard fare with the user guide, brass motherboard standoffs, a socket to help install said standoffs, screws to secure all of the necessary components, enough drive rails to fill all of the bays, some cable ties and a case speaker.
Since this case is designed to be silent there are also two adhesive rubber pads that can be placed between the case and the power supply and rubber washers to use in conjunction with cooling fans to absorb even more vibration.
It’s time to see if silence really is golden when we toss our test system in the Silencio 550 and compare it to the recently reviewed competition.