In and Around the Precision PS07

Whoa, deja vu. If you were paying attention to our review of the Temjin TJ08-E, SilverStone's Precision PS07 is going to seem very familiar once you pop it open. The differences between the two largely start and stop at the front fascia.

That's unfortunate, too, because while the PS07's face is certainly attractive enough on its own, it undeniably feels cheaper than its progenitor. Gone is the black brushed aluminum, replaced by matte black plastic with silver accents along the left side. What we do get, though, is a solid front finish, with ventilation along the sides instead of directly in front of the fans. There's also a door that hinges out, allowing you to access the filter for the two 120mm intake fans. All of the plastic is still of fine quality, and SilverStone kept the USB 3.0 connectivity, but it's hard not to miss the classy exterior of the TJ08-E.

The differences between the PS07 and TJ08-E pretty much end there. For a refresher, though, when you circle to the back you'll notice the power supply is where it used to be in older style enclosures: at the top instead of the bottom. This is coupled with an inverted motherboard design, placing the board against the left side of the case instead of the right. The net result is that the intake fans create a wind tunnel that fires straight through the enclosure, making the PS07 particularly ideal for tower-style coolers.

SilverStone uses thumbscrews to secure the side panels, and when you pop them off you'll see virtually nothing internally has changed. I'd venture to guess SilverStone is actually using the exact same chassis for the majority of the PS07. The top panel is still fastened by six screws, unfortunately, and you still need to remove it to assemble the system. The motherboard tray is removable, as is the drive cage, and drives are oriented front-to-back instead of laterally.

For better or worse, this is the same internal design as the TJ08-E, with the major change being the switch from a single 180mm Air Penetrator fan to two 120mm fans. That's also the change I'm least happy with, though I understand why it was made. The problem is that the Air Penetrator fan's unique grille design also ensured cabling would never get caught in the fan blades, something you'll have to watch out for with the more open 120mm fans.

Introducing the SilverStone Precision PS07 Assembling the SilverStone Precision PS07
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  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    1) Noise levels versus the TJ08-E without a GPU (and especially a top of the like one like the GTX580) may be more representative of the difference between these cases - namely the open fan front panel on the TJ08-E versus the P180-like door and side intakes on the PS07.

    The noise level of the former changes very little with the GPU, the latter changes quite a bit. This tells me the GPU has more influence on the sound level of the PS07 making it a good candidate for quieter computing for those not looking to use monster GPUs or who might use quieter or even passive GPUs.

    2) A reversal in the PSU type recommendation versus the TJ08-E. In the TJ08-E review you said "I also strongly suggest builders use modular power supplies wherever possible and here it might actually be a requirement. There's clearance behind the tray for routing cables, but unfortunately routing everything was just a little bit too fraught, and so our end testing build winds up feeling more cluttered than I'd like and I'm sure more than SilverStone would prefer." but in this review you say to avoid modular PSUs and that there is good space behind the motherboard tray for routing cables.

    So which is it? I can see how a modular PSU might actually be worse when it comes to clearance for the optical drive because of modular connectors adding length, but the complete opposite statements and recommendation has me confused. Can you comment please?
  • Brutalizer - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Micro-ATX bears to many compromises. I dont want to compromise. I need a ATX case. But the smallest possible ATX case, with just room for a few disks and a decent gaming graphics card. Todays disks are so large, 4TB that you dont need raid anymore. You also dont need the biggest gaming card to get decent performance.

    MicroATX does not have many expansion ports enough.

    What is the smallest ATX case?
  • aesnt - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    This one's a decent size full ATX tower, but won't fit longer graphics cards:
    COOLER MASTER Elite 360
    17.30" x 5.80" x 14.20" from Newegg
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    What do you mean by expansion ports? Do you mean PCIe slots? Or SATA/USB? I can find enough mATX boards with 6 or 7 SATA ports, 16 USB ports and SLI/CF capability. Unless you really need 7 PCI(e) slots, I don't see what advantage ATX has for you :-).

    As for small ATX cases, the smallest I see unfortunately come from mediocre brands:
    and a lot of them get their smallish volume from being quite thin, so you would run into issues with large CPU heatsinks.
  • Brutalizer - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    I am talking about at 4-5 PCIe slots or so. The mini/micro ITX cases I have seen, have room for 2-3 PCIe slots.

    I also suspect that when using such a small mobo and case, I must compromise. For instance, I can not any longer buy standard cpu coolers, nor power supplies. I must buy much smaller ones, costing more, and restricting the hardware I can use.

    If you know of a small micro/mini ITX with Xeon cpus, ECC RAM, and 4-5 PCIe slots, and a decent graphics card - then I am happy to read more about that model.
  • somedude1234 - Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - link

    Nearly every uATX board I've seen has 4 PCIe slots. MiniITX limits you to a single PCIe slot. Every uATX case I've seen also has room to support a motherboard with 4 PCIe slots. Now, if you're going to be installing a double-width GPU, then you're going to burn two of your slots.

    If you're looking for a great uATX board for a Xeon server, the SuperMicro X9SCM-F is a good choice. It's based around the C204 chipset for SB Xeons, so you get ECC support. You'll get two PCIe 2.0 x8 and two PCIe 2.0 x4 slots (four total). The "-F" version of the board also gives you an on-board BMC with full IPMI 2.0 support.

    For uATX cases, they pretty much all take a standard PSU and offer four PCIe slots, the Antec NSK3480 is a nice choice.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, January 6, 2012 - link

    There is mini ITX (mITX) and then there is micro ATX (mATX/yATX since there is no easy way to type the greek letter on a normal keyboard).

    mATX mainboards can have 4 PCI(e) slots. If you need 4, you can buy that. If you need 5, you can't.

    mATX has no compromises when it comes to PSUs or CPU heatsinks, at least none that are special to it and do not pertain to smaller ATX cases as well. The TJ08-E can fit 180mm PSUs if you can cut off some space from the ODDs (but 160mm, even high powered ones for 2-3 graphics cards do not cost more! :D) and it has enough room to cool any CPU (even overclocked) quite nicely and silently.

    Supermicro has a few mATX C204 Xeon Mainboards with 4 PCIe x8 slots. But mainboards do not come with graphics cards.
  • corrion - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    Take a look at the Antec Solo II, sounds like it's right up your alley.
  • BernardP - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    The lenght of the PS07 is .6 inch more than the TJ08-E
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - link

    I have the TJ08-E since Christmas and am thoroughly enjoying it!

    This redesign looks very interesting, it opens up the possibility of getting high end 120mm fans, because 180mm fans are not so wide spread and they seem to have varying degrees of engine noise and other annoying small defects that result in additional noises according to a forum I visit. Although one 180mm can move more air at lower noise in theory.
    It also changes support from 200mm radiator to 240mm radiator, again, opening up competition.
    The missing external 3.5" bay won't be an issue I wager. I have thought about sticking a card reader in there, but nothing that goes in there will be a big deal if it's missing I think. 2 external 5.25" bay already provide plenty of options, only people with the need to copy DVDs on the fly seem to be stuck. :-)

    $20 can give you an additional few GB of RAM or higher clocked RAM or give you a better custom cooled graphics card or a more silent CPU heatsink. If you are on a budget that money can be well spent I think. :-)

    On an unrelated note: I would really like to see these gamer (performance) mATX chassis be tested with a more demanding set of components like the regular ATX chassis are. I understand the reason for a standardized test bed and only having 2 instead of 3, but it really is a shame not to be able to compare this or the TJ08-E with bigger chassis. :-)

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