Introducing the SilverStone Sugo SG05

We've been looking at a few mini-ITX enclosures as of late, an interest sparked largely by the surprise success of the Bitfenix Prodigy and the general industry tend towards smaller, more powerful systems. As I've mentioned before, the fact is that this is the direction these things are heading in; unless you need something that can handle multiple video cards, you can get a fairly robust system in a smaller form factor. Ivy Bridge knocked power consumption down substantially, and the raw efficiency of NVIDIA's Kepler has allowed for a massive jump in graphics performance (reviews of the GeForce GTX 680M are impending).

Of course, while Bitfenix's Prodigy is a pretty excellent enclosure, it's also remarkably large for a Mini-ITX case. The Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced we reviewed recently brings things a bit more in line with the form factor, but its cooling performance left a lot to be desired. Meanwhile, in the background, SilverStone has been campaigning for us to take a look at one of its older cases, the Sugo SG05. They're of the opinion that the SG05 is capable of producing stellar performance while being smaller in volume than the competition. This case has been around for a little while, but was it ahead of its time?

As it turns out, SilverStone hasn't been sitting idle with the SG05. Though it was introduced more than three years ago, SilverStone has incrementally introduced updates; the most recent updates upgrade the front USB ports to 3.0 and add a 450-watt 80 Plus Bronze certified SFX form factor power supply. That's not a regular cheap power supply, either, but a quality SilverStone unit. In short, the SG05 provides very nearly everything you need to produce a modern Mini-ITX desktop.

SilverStone Sugo SG05 Advanced Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External 1x Slimline optical
Internal 1x 2.5", 1x 3.5"
Cooling Front 1x 120mm intake fan
Rear -
Top -
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 2
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size SFX (included)
Clearances HSF 82mm
PSU SFX form factor
GPU 10" / 255mm
Dimensions 8.7" x 6.9" x 10.9"
222mm x 176mm x 276mm
Weight 7.8 lbs. / 3.52kg
Special Features USB 3.0 connectivity via internal header
Included 450W 80 Plus Bronze SFX form factor PSU
Price $116

Keep in mind that our review unit is basically the top of the line for the SG05; there are ever so slightly less expensive models that still use USB 2.0 and/or have a lower power PSU included. Really, though, this is the one you want since SilverStone includes a USB 3.0-to-USB 2.0 adaptor for the internal header and you only save about ten bucks going with the lesser 300W power supply.

What's important to remember as well is that it's honestly very difficult to get much smaller than the SG05 while still integrating the PSU in the enclosure and allowing for any kind of optical drive support. I personally feel at this point that the slimline optical drive is barely worth the added expense (I've been using the blu-ray drive in my desktop to watch The Real Ghostbusters DVDs and that's about it), but thankfully it doesn't take a heck of a lot of space and you can always use the space to just install another 2.5" drive instead. The lack of 3.5" bays is probably going to be a bit of a buzzkill to some users, too, but that's part of the price of admission.

In and Around the SilverStone Sugo SG05
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  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    You do, but the power connector for slimline optical drives is weird to begin with and unique to them. The one I tested with (provided by SilverStone) actually included the adapter. Reply
  • Zap - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Slimline optical drives use a slimline power connector:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#Slimline_c...

    In the past Silverstone did NOT provide these, and it cost around $10+shipping to buy one from Newegg.

    Dustin, can you verify with your Silverstone contact that these new versions DO come with the required connector or adapter?

    It would be best if the connector was actually built into the PSU wiring harness, something which Antec was able to do with their ISK 300 and ISK 310 series cases. I don't see why Silverstone has been unable to do that, since they should be able to tell the PSU manufacturer (FSP) to include the required connector.
    Reply
  • Zap - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    UPDATE:

    I purchased the latest SG05-450-USB3 (exact one as in the review) and it did NOT come with the power connector/adapter for the slim optical drive.

    Silverstone, you have FAILED again. Antec was able to include one in their ISK 300/310 series which use slim optical drives. Why can't you guys?
    Reply
  • AgeOfPanic - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I have owned this particular case in the 300 watt variety. I found the included PSU way too loud for a case like this. To me the cool thing about mini ITX is having a nice small case with enough horse power for most tasks. I now own a Lian Li case that fits a full ATX PSU and is only slightly larger. It is completely inaudible though. No room for extra video card. My advice would be to choose a case that fits your needs, but definitely a full ATX power supply. Reply
  • randinspace - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    Which Lian Li case? Reply
  • londiste - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    try pc-q08b Reply
  • AgeOfPanic - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I own the Lian Li PC-Q07B. It's higher, but not as deep as the Silverstone. It also misses the front audio connectors and no USB 3.0, but these were not deal breakers for me. The case is really quiet though. Reply
  • spcarr - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I own this and its bigger brother, the SG07. They are both great cases and love them both.

    The problem I have is that, in the end, they are still 'too big' to just sit on top of the desk next to your monitor (like the mac mini). So they sit on the ground like other cases (where they look silly) or you buy yourself a small drawer for them to sit on top of. I did the latter, so I at least have a bunch of storage for the small things. But they still take up just as much floor space as a tower, imho.

    What do other people do? Where do you place your beautiful sugo cases?
    Reply
  • UpSpin - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I have a large desk which also goes around a corner. Because the desk is in front of a window and I don't want that the 24" monitor obscures the light from the window on the desk I placed the monitor in this corner, so I have more and brighter space for work and the monitor with keyboard don't waste that much space.
    Diagonal behind the monitor I placed the Sugo case. It fits perfectly there, looks great and the cabels don't have a long way, so they are almost invisible, too.
    Reply
  • Jackattak - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    So based on your earlier post (above) it must be audible if/when you're working alone? Just curious. Reply

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