Introducing the SilverStone Sugo SG09

You've seen it here: small cases are getting big. Mini-ITX boards are becoming both more common and less expensive, and there's been a bit of a renaissance for small case designs. This is a space SilverStone has served reasonably well for some time now with their Sugo line of enclosures, but a healthy amount of thunder was recently stolen by BitFenix's Prodigy case. It's true the Prodigy is an excellent design, but admittedly it's unusually large for a Mini-ITX enclosure and there are some things BitFenix could improve upon.

Meanwhile, SilverStone is content to let their Sugo line to continue serving the Mini-ITX market and serving it well, but today they have an option that's intended to appeal to users looking for a small form factor machine without compromising. The Sugo SG09 is aimed at cramming as much powerful hardware and a Micro-ATX motherboard (instead of Mini-ITX) into a space typically reserved for already cramped Mini-ITX hardware. Does it succeed? As it turns out, it does, and then some.

SilverStone includes in the reviewer's guide for the SG09 measurements of popular Mini-ITX cases by volume, and outside of a couple of Lian Li cases, the SG09 is actually smaller than the others. It's also noticeably smaller than the BitFenix Prodigy despite being able to hold a Micro-ATX motherboard instead. It's true they had to make quite a few sacrifices to get the SG09's size down to where it is, but you're going to see it's actually performance competitive with standard Micro-ATX and even full ATX cases.

SilverStone Sugo SG09 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External 1x slot-loading 12.7mm optical drive
Internal 4x 2.5", 2x 3.5"
Cooling Front -
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 1x 180mm intake fan
Side 1x 120mm intake fan, 2x 92/80mm fan mounts, 1x 80mm fan mount (opposite side)
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 4
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearances HSF 165mm
PSU 180mm (160mm strongly recommended)
GPU 13.3" / 337mm
Dimensions 8.7" x 11.6" x 13.9"
220mm x 295mm x 354mm
Weight 11.7 lbs / 5.3 kg
Special Features Removable fan filters in front of all fan grates
Price $99

The main sacrifices SilverStone made with the Sugo SG09 are understandable ones barring one unusual decision. I understand their preference for slot-loading slimline optical drives from an aesthetic perspective, but it increases build cost for the end user and reduces options substantially. You pretty much have to go to eBay to find a blu-ray reader or writer that will fit in this drive bay without paying through the nose, and SilverStone only sells a slimline DVD writer on their site.

Speaking of selling accessories to go with their cases, SilverStone has done a fairly good job of cornering this particular market. It's true you can probably install power supplies from other vendors, but it's also clear that SilverStone designed the SG09 to go with their Strider modular power supplies, as they also sell a collection of short modular cables to use with their own power supplies that are supposed to make assembly cleaner and easier. That may not be such a bad idea, and either way, I strongly recommend against using a non-modular power supply for building with this case.

In and Around the SilverStone Sugo SG09
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  • ViperV990 - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    You also don't usually see more than 2 DIMM slots on an ITX board, whereas 4 slots is the norm with MATX boards.
  • Grok42 - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I especially agree that expansion options on MBs are way over rated with two exceptions. I want the option to have a single discrete video card and as much memory as possible. I'll probably go mATX so I can have 32GB of memory. Unfortunately, I will drag along a bunch of useless cruft like pci-x slots, crazy amounts of USB headers and more SATA ports than I can ever possibly use. I can understand that there are plenty of people who want to build an overclocked dual GPU file server server with 6TB of storage with a Blue-ray drive. However, seems like the market should start also look to provide for those that want to build streamlined elegant single purpose machines as well. The only examples of this are HTPC side and it seems time for that level of focus to happen on the desktop.
  • lmcd - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    AMD has a terrible mini-ITX board selection going for both AM3+ and FM2, so if you're looking at AMD you can't really go ITX. There might be a board or two for either of the sockets I just mentioned but they definitely don't have a full lineup there.
  • EnzoFX - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Edit: 400W+, not 40W+.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Actually overclocking is potentially much better on an mATX board as there's more space for more power phases and so on. Extra DIMM slots, more expandability, enough power phases to overclock higher, etc. Look at what ASUS had to do on their mITX Z77 board to get decent overclocking hardware built into it.
  • EnzoFX - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Which was my point. A decent ITX board can handle a decent overclock, what with overclocking being dead simple these days. So the real benefit is above average overclocks, and the lure of expandability, which I contest at being at odds with the typical ITX build. I realize this may be a great mATX case in terms of size and performance, so sorry if this comes off as a rant of the ITX space =P.

    We demand more focus from smaller cases haha.
  • tim851 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    I agree. ITX-cases shouldn't cater to the Extreme OC audience or try to steal some workstation customers. ITX was made to be small.

    Even the ASrock board regularly achieves 4.5 ghz overclocks on 2500k/3570k cpus, if you look around the web. That will be fine for everyone outside competitive overclockers. As will 16 gigs of RAM.

    I have a Q18 with such an oc'ed 2500k cooled by an H80. There's also 16 gigs of RAM, a 512 gig SSD and a GTX 670. And I've been spending much time trying to figure out if I couldn't cram all this into a Q03.
  • CloudFire - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    I know Anand has a youtube channel but I've seen mostly phone reviews on there. Why not do video reviews of cases too? I love reading articles, don't get me wrong but often times I love watching a video review more.
  • Samus - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

  • exodios93 - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    What's with all the small, reasonable cases?

    Review something big and pointless like a little devil PC-V8 please.

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