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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  • cjs150 - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    That is one beautiful creation. Not convinced by the reservoir location or the carbon fibre but still beautiful.

    Just shows Water cooling and mini itx go together.
    Reply
  • geniekid - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    In my opinion (yours may vary), not being able to use a power supply of my choice is a deal breaker. Maybe one day the standard size of components like power supplies and graphics cards will go down to where I'm comfortable with Mini-ITX, but until then, micro ATX is the lowest I'm willing to go for a gaming rig. HTPC...okay, you got me there :) Reply
  • Zap - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    You can easily swap out the PSU. It is a standard "SFX" size that you can find replacements for at Newegg and other popular retailers.

    Besides the two Silverstone PSUs, FSP (who makes them for Silverstone) makes these PSUs in 300/400/450 wattages. Heck, Seasonic makes them in 300/350W. Silverstone has a new one that is 450W (maybe made by Enhance) but fully modular and 80Plus Gold!!! I used to own an Enermax 320W. SPI (Sparkle, part of FSP) has 300/350W versions. Some of these companies such as SPI/FSP also make lower wattage units down to 180W, but AFAIK those are older and less efficient designs.

    There are also a bunch of lesser quality units on the market from companies like SilenX, Ultra, Apex, Athena Power, etc. but I wouldn't normally use them.
    Reply
  • LostBeacon - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I've owned the USB 2.0 variant for 2 years and the 450W PSU is very quiet, same for the front 120 mm fan. I would deinitely recommend for a SFF PC build. I am using a Sandy Bridge corei3 with a 60 GB SSD, a 500 GB HDD, and a slim ODD. Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    20-30 sec per photo, with Photoshop Elements or similar would make a world of difference.

    I used version 2.0 and adjusted the Brightness/Contrast.

    See the difference:

    http://www.picpaste.com/Large__2_of_14__575px-dNTn...
    Reply
  • hasseb64 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    - Remove external bay
    - Add a 250W GOLD PSU
    - Add 1 or 2 [2,5"-3.5] internals

    And we have a winner!
    Reply
  • Sm0kes - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the great review! I actually just pulled the trigger on a SB08 in hopes that it does a better job with noise / temps (and aesthetics). It'll be interesting to see how it compares with a Z77 + 3750k + 660Ti.

    Also, I wanted to echo the comment about creating a SFF forum section that is separate from laptops. It would be nice to try and get some more discussion going around these types of builds without being buried.
    Reply
  • Nuschwander420 - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Can be had for about $20.

    Also a complete system based on this chassis can be had for $420- way beyond. This is the smallest possible system that can support a dual slot GPU! Look up the PICS for the SG05-bb on Xoxide.com or on google and you will find it next to a 12oz pop can. Small! I can't wait to build this pc with a Corsair H60 watercooler,GtX 660 ti,Core i7 3770k,Asrock z77 mini itx, and 16 gb of Corsair Vengence Ram.
    Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - link

    Think I just found my next case.... I'll tweak the drive caddy a bit to sling another 2.5drive under the other one.. Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Saturday, November 24, 2012 - link

    Heres' what I have:
    SG05BB case...
    I7-3770k CPU
    Asus P8z77i-Deluxe motherboard
    OCZ Vertex4 Sata3(6G) 256GB SSD (2.5")
    Seagate Hybrid HD (4GB SSD w/ 500GB 7200) (2.5")

    I really like this case.. I'll harp on two things that could use work..but other than that...fine case!

    wish harddive mounting were more flexible... lot of extra work and wasted space to use two 2.5 drives...like I have in my setup.... I will get out a dremel and rivit gone..and rework this someday... for now.. I put the SSD in the native 2.5" space... then I used the adapter that came with the SSD to mount the 2.5" HD in the 3.5" space... again cumbersome, time consuming and a waste of steel and space.

    The front 120mm fan is louder than I would expect at slow speeds.. I will yank this for a quieter model.

    Again.. I like this case... I'm at 4.225Ghz on all 4 cores of the I7, 1250Mhz on the built in HD4000 IGP and at DDR2400 (1200Mhz) on the 16GB of memory. Stock cooling... stock intel hsf and stock silverstone case fan...
    Reply

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