SilverStone Grandia GD07 Review: Centering and Serving Your Mediaby Dustin Sklavos on April 29, 2012 1:00 AM EST
In and Around the SilverStone GD07
Where I think SilverStone made a major improvement for the better is in ease of assembly and disassembly with the GD07, and that much should be evident when you really examine the enclosure. The GD04 was and is an attractive piece of kit, but servicing it can be an absolute nightmare.
The GD07 maintains the same attractive steel and aluminum finish its predecessors have; the brushed aluminum front door is as minimalistic as it gets, with just a SilverStone logo, the keyhole, and a power button. Unlock it and you'll find that the hinges are both smooth and sturdy, but the inside surface is a matte black plastic. It matches the drive bay shields, but feels unusually cheap for a SilverStone case. Thankfully the interior face should spend most of its life hidden behind the door.
On the sides you'll see three vents; on the left is the vent for the power supply's fan while the right features two 120mm vents, one of which is occupied by a 120mm intake fan by default. SilverStone actually spent a lot of time figuring out exactly the right pattern for the fan grates to minimize air turbulence and keep things quiet; I had a chance to see several of the different designs they tested along with the results, and you'd be amazed at just how much work really went into something like this. Of course, behind both vents is a fan filter.
Move around to the back and you'll see a fairly logical layout that's essentially what you'd expect: the motherboard is oriented to the bottom of the enclosure and aligned to the left, while the power supply is mounted on its side on the right, with the bottom intake fan being served by a vent on the right side of the enclosure. SilverStone also includes an eighth expansion slot above the primary seven. Space is essentially maximized here, though; I don't think they really could've made this case any smaller and still allowed for a full ATX system.
Opening the enclosure, you'll find things are a lot simpler inside. There's a removable drive cage secured by six screws along with a pair of handles for lifting it out of the enclosure, and then beneath the cage are two bottom-mounted 120mm intake fans. This is much, much simpler than the GD04's layout was, but that's a side benefit of the increased size of the case: more space to work in.
I'm used to SilverStone enclosures being puzzles where once you understand the logic of how they were designed, everything locks into place. Indeed, even the GD07 comes with a piece of paper telling you it isn't like a typical enclosure and strongly urging you to read the manual. The funny thing is, this really is one of the simpler designs I've seen from SilverStone. Overall it's a nice and attractive design, but I do have some qualms with the build quality, which does feel a hair chintzier than some of the other SilverStone cases I've tested.