SilverStone TJ10 Full Tower

by Matthew Harris on January 15, 2008 in Cases & PSUs

Got a hankering for a new case? Been bit by the water cooling bug? Having a bit of trouble reconciling the two? You should have a look at SilverStone’s TJ10B. Despite the nay-sayers claiming it’s not ideal for water-cooling, you might just be surprised!

Interior, Installation

Moving around to the inside of the case we find that it’s nearly identical to the TJ09. The only real difference being the bracketry on the mid mounted fan. Looking to the rear we see a mesh panel under the PSU mounting location.

If you have a PSU with a single, large bottom mounted fan you can orient that fan down and draw cool air into the PSU rather than heated case air. Plus it’s a cleaner look than having the fan facing up.

The cables are the same. All in one connectors for the USB, FP audio, which has both HD audio and ac’97 connectors and the dual purpose Firewire connectors. Personally, it won’t hurt my feelings to see the separate wires for the Firewire go the way of the dodo. I personally haven’t seen a motherboard that uses anything but the dual row connectors for Firewire since 2004.

The power, reset and LED connectors run along the side of the external 3.5" cage which makes them easy to hide.

Let’s take a minute to ponder the ventilation of the TJ10. As I pointed out earlier the PCI slot covers are graced with goodly sized vents. The side of the mobo tray is punched to allow for good airflow there and there’s a low RPM (~1200RPM) 120mm fan on the rear of the mobo tray to act as exhaust. The fan is your typical three pin style and is easily compatible with any mobo fan header.

The mid fan housing has become home to a housing that allows longer than average PCI or PCI-e cards to have support on the end hanging past the edge of the motherboard. I can only say, it’d have to be one long ass card to need those supports since most cards that I’ve seen are only as long as a standard ATX mobo is wide if that long.

The front fan (Ok, mid fan) is a nearly identical 120mm fan with the same specs as the rear fan aside from the fact that it has a four pin power connector. It has an RPM monitor plug for hooking to a fan header on your motherboard. This begs the question, why not just put in another three pin fan? If it’s out of concern for the user not having enough fan headers (or one that’s too far away) then include a separate four pin to three pin adapter. This would make life easier for those of us that have enough fan headers or that want to use a fan controller to power our fans.

A look at the top of the case shows mounts for dual 120mm fans. Stock they’re not populated instead allowing you to "roll your own" by putting whichever 120mm X 25mm fans that suit your fancy into them. The fans are secured using a snap fit system.

In between the HDD cages we have another mount for a 120mm fan. It’s literally the same bracket that’s used in the roof so the same applies here, 120mm X 25mm. You can either set the fan to blow up or down although I, personally, am fond of the fan blowing downwards. I think that with the way the side vents are shaped that with the fan blowing up you’ll end up with a pocket of warm air at the top of upper drive cage since it has nowhere to go. Looking through the lower fan cage we can see that there’s a mesh panel, the warm air can exit through that mesh. That’s why I opt for blowing the air down.

Looking at the HDD cages (since I brought them up) we see that they’re slotted to allow for decent airflow (although still not as good as a wide-open fan) and feature strips of rubber to help absorb vibrations from the drives.

The wonderful thing about the TJ10 is that it’s nearly 100% modular. The whole case can be reduced to component parts with nothing more than a no. 2 Phillips bit screwdriver. The exceptions are the rails for the slide out mobo tray, that assembly is riveted together.

Once we have the top removed we get a better view of the inside where the rad is going to live. Yes, there’s plenty of room for a triple radiator. Since SilverStone has taken such an interest in water cooling I can only ask: Why not make the TJ10 a case designed for water cooling? Do away with the top mounted I/O ports, move them to the case front and make the case roof opening large enough to allow for a triple 120mm radiator. We have this new case front that’s over 1/2" deep which would allow for the I/O ports to be mounted across the front near the bottom or down either side edge. If they did that and made the entire roof top mesh you could easily fit a 4 X 120mm rad in the roof.

The bracket that holds the free ends of the monster PCI/PCI-e cards had to go! It’s pretty nice though, I was expecting some little flimsy garbage plastic affair but no, it’s cast metal. As you can see by all the screw holes, it is very secure when it’s mounted in place.

Sans the bracketry, the mid fan is identical to the one in the TJ09. I just wonder if SilverStone will adopt the bracket into the older case.

This is why I had to 86 the bracket on the mid fan, it’s where my reservoir is going to reside! In my last setup I had the res mounted inside the lower HDD drive bay which meant that I lost the capacity for 1/2 my HDD’s (not that I need it but some day I might) and with the new motherboards on the market offering a half dozen or more SATA ports I’d like to keep my options open.

Here’s a look at the backbone of my cooling system, the Swiftech MCR320-QP. As we can see the rad overhangs the opening a bit on both ends but with the offset of the core it won’t be much of an issue. There’s about 3/4" of space between the rad and the ears for the stock fan holders. Plenty of room for the brackets I’m going to fab up. For more detail on them please refer to the forum post I linked to earlier.

The mobo tray is capable of holding everything from a mATX to EATX. In a word, it’s freaking huge! Ok, that’s two words but let’s not argue semantics.

In a lot of cases that have removable mobo trays the weak spot invariably ends up being where the PCI slot covers mount. That area is aluminum and the holes for the screws tend to strip easily.

Wisely, Silverstone chose to make that portion of the mobo tray out of steel. Now, whether it’s plated steel or stainless remains to be seen but it’s still hardier than aluminum which means years of trouble free use.

Page List

1. Introduction
2. Interior, Installation
3. Installation Cont.
4. Temps, Final Thoughts

  • Marc McDaniel

    I know this is a rather old post, but I just purchased a TJ10 for my new
    rig build and was hoping you could elaborate on a couple of things. I
    think it was ingenious the way you were able to install a 360mm rad in
    the top. That res looked good and what a good idea to remove that card support bracket in front of the center fan and place your res there. You said you made the brackets for the rad. Could you tell me exactly how you made them and what you used?
    Also, when you cut out the piece of metal that separates the fans in the top, what did you use? A dremel saw?
    It sure turned out nice and I would like to accomplish the same thing with mine. I’m going with an Asus X99-E-WS and a 5930k. I will also be sticking my two GFX Titans in there too, so I don’t think a 360 would be enough for all 3 of those. May just end up putting a 240 in the top and externally cooling the 2 titans. I will be overclocking the cpu and the cards. Do you think it would be a better to go with a 360 for the cpu, or do you think a 240 would be ok?
    Would really appreciate any advice.
    Thanks, Marc.

    • Matthew Harris I go into greater
      detail about how I made the mounts for the 240mm rad on my TJ09 in that
      thread. I used the same material (although you can use 1″x1″ aluminum
      angle) to put in the 320. Instead of centering the rad in the hole at
      the top I hung the rear back past so the rear tank (the one without the
      barbs) butted up to the case back and the front 120mm fan hung under the
      case roof by about 80mm. Yeah, I used my Dremel to cut out the bar in
      the center of the opening. If I remember correctly I was able to pull
      the mesh insert out of the top of the case.

      If you need any other tips feel free to holler back here, I’m glad to help. My advice on reservoirs, though, is this: never use one with aluminum ends. That one ended up eroding and sending teeny tint bits of aluminum oxide through my loop and it eventually killed my pump. I ended up discarding a res altogether and instead adopted a T-line that I brought through the case roof right between the tanks on the inlet end of the 320.

      Another bit of free advice is to mount your PSU fan up. I didn’t and that mesh is so restrictive that inside a month it’s plugged to the point that your PSU is literally baking. It killed my Ultra X3 1000W and damn near killed my X3 800W before I figured it out. I opted to just pull the bottom mesh off initially but it destroyed that mesh getting it off, it was like they glued it in place. Far easier and less hassle if you just mount it fan up.

      Cheers and good luck!

      • Marc McDaniel

        Thanks Matthew for all the good advice. You’re a veritable goldmine. And thanks for the tip on the psu. I just dropped mine in last night, fan down. Gonna flip that baby over right now! And will do on the 70 cfm fan. And yeah, I just measured the total length of the two fans in the top this afternoon and it was 11 3/16″. Equaling 280mm! And I was wondering about that. Too bad it isn’t a little taller, or maybe had a riser or something. I was checking our that 240 Nexxxos Monsta. 80mm thick. That would be sweet. But I still like your 360 up there. Just gotta make a decision. Thanks again, later.

        • Matthew Harris

          No worries man, glad to help. For what it’s worth, a good 30mm thick 280 rad would suit a CPU only loop just fine. In my eyes, an 80mm thick rad is akin to “ludicrous speed” on Spaceballs. It’s overkill and you’ve reached the point of diminishing returns with anything approaching a sensibly loud fan.

          • Marc McDaniel

            Hi Matthew, another quick question. What size tubing did you go with on this build? Is that 3/8″ or 1/2″ ID? I’ve heard that 3/8″ is easier to work with and want to be able to route it well inside the TJ10. Linus swears buy PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT 3/8″ x 5/8″ because he says you can bend it without it kinking. Any thoughts?

          • Matthew Harris

            Marc, I used 7/16″ i.d. 5/8″ o.d. on 1/2″ barbs. It seals great and will do some pretty tight bends without kinking. It’s stuff I got from Petra’s Tech Shop back when they were still around. You can get the same stuff from Frozen CPU for under a buck per foot. It’s a bit of a stretch to fit it on a D5 with stock barbs but with some determination and a great deal of colorful language it will work.

          • Matthew Harris

            The tubing I used is Masterkleer which is a McMaster Carr product. It’s right up there with Tygon at a fraction of the cost. I’ve used PrimoChill and I’m not a fan. It’s silicone tubing as opposed to vinyl and is a bit more porous which means you’ll lose more fluid to osmosis over the same time frame compared to the same wall thickness vinyl tubing. Plus it’s softer and doesn’t grip the barbs as tightly.

    • Matthew Harris

      As to cooling the Titans, I wouldn’t try running the CPU and both GPU’s on a single 360. If you want to cool the GFX cards effectively, pull the mid fan mount (Silverstone has a walkthrough on their site) and replace it with something in the 70CFM range. I suggest a fan that has focused airflow, I went with a Cougar 120HP in mine. Also, pull the mesh out of that fan holder, it’s just choking off the fan. As to 240mm versus 320, a 240 is okay if you’re just running a stock clocked CPU and want to keep it cool quietly, if you’re going to OC you’ll need faster fans (you’re limited to a 30mm thick rad if you want to be able to use the mobo tray with the rad in place) or a bigger rad. You can probably fab up mounts to put a 280mm rad up top and have it fit perfectly fine up top. That opening seems perfect for dual 140mm fans. Indeed, after I stopped water cooling my graphics cards I’d intended to do just that but I never did.