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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  • lmcd - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    It's hitting $100 pretty much everywhere... Reply
  • lmcd - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    This looks like the perfect case for me: it's nice and compact but I don't have to deal with ITX.* Nice cooling for maybe even CF, and I don't mind noise since I tend to game loudly. As for fans, I'll make sure my nicely-sized mATX board has enough fan headers; shouldn't be too hard. One optical drive is perfect and I don't mind spending a bit extra on it later (might not get it initially though) and will use a cheap external in the meantime (note: a cheap external is around $30 and so the "unbearable" slim drive can easily be mitigated this way).

    *ITX boards with wireless built in tend to be expensive and late to the market, and I need a wireless card, but want discrete graphics. As such, ITX is a no-go for me.
    Reply
  • extide - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Check out the ASRock Z77 M-ITX board. It's pretty sweet IMHO and I am dying to do a build with one :) Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I'm actually looking at this for my next build, which should be around the time of Haswell. And I'm interested in maybe even dual-GPU with this case (two 7850-equivalents). Reply
  • piroroadkill - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Oh dear.

    If you need a premium microATX case, surely there's only one choice, the Fractal Design Define Mini..
    Reply
  • Orvtrebor - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    I can't believe this is the final product....

    Hideous.

    Someone on another forum that starts with an [H] drew an awesome modified version of this case when the prototype was first shown. Pretty sure it's in the SFF forum.

    It is literally 10x better than this mess.
    Reply
  • dave1_nyc - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    I forget the model, but several years ago there was one of the Sugo cases that I thought was so nice I was just looking for some reason to build in it, either in the all aluminum version or the steel-with-an-aluminum-front version.

    But honestly, could this thing *be* any uglier.
    Reply
  • joos2000 - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    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.

    There are some rather obvious errors in your reasoning, at least to me.

    First of all, if you are even remotely interested in building a small system, then you are obviously looking at putting the smallest components in there. Having a full height disc player more than doubles, probably triples the volume requirement in the box for what is, in most cases, a completely redundant device in a modern system. So all of a sudden, you go against your requirement of portability and minimalism so you can save a buck on an optical drive? How does that make any sense at all?

    I wouldn't be all surprised if most of the builds based on this box will be without a DVD/BR all together. And yes, I am presuming that pretty much all of the builds based on this case will be LAN gaming systems since it is far, far to ugly to have next to your telly in the living room.

    And when did PC games come delivered in blu-rays anyway? Pretty much all PC games come on DVD's still, so paying through the nose for a blu-ray player for a LAN box just doesn't make sense. At all.

    That's my impression anyway and why I think Silverstone have made the right decision both in slimline form factor and skipping blu-ray's for their gaming systems.
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    My thoughts exactly as summarized in my original comment =P. Reply
  • tzhu07 - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Really tacky and plasticty looking. I'll definitely be sticking with Fractal Design cases. Reply

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