Introducing the SilverStone GD04

My media center PC was far from old and decrepit, but I wound up with an opportunity to both rebuild it into something faster and cut a profit this month and went for it. Choosing a case for the new build was a difficult decision; the old CoolerMaster Elite 360 case I used still ranks among my favorites for budget machines, but the lack of any kind of vibration-dampening optical drive mounting resulted in my blu-ray/HD-DVD drive progressively producing more and more noise. I decided to go for something sexier, something more suited to being an HTPC case, and after doing a fair bit of research I picked up the SilverStone GD04.

The GD04 is remarkably attractive if you're into that minimalist look (I am); there's a sister GD05 model that has a full 5.25" drive bay instead of just an opening for the optical drive tray, but rather than have unsightly electrical tape covering up the activity LED on the drive I opted to bury it in the case with the GD04. Otherwise the two models are functionally identical, so a lot of what's said in this review will likely apply to the GD05. This case has also been around for a couple years but doesn't seem to have been refreshed by SilverStone; if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

SilverStone GD04 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Drive Bays External 1x 5.25” (partially covered by bezel)
Internal 2x 3.5” or 2.5"
Cooling Front -
Rear -
Top -
Side 1x 120mm intake (left), 2x 120mm intake (right)
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 5 (4 main, 1 accessory)
Front I/O Port 2x USB 2.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size Standard ATX
Weight 12.21 lbs.
Dimensions 5.91” x 17.32” x 12.72”
In and Around the GD04
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  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    How can anyone choose to post noise levels, with no frame of reference? We have a bunch of pretty graphs and lot of nice numbers, but what are we supposed to compare them to? And what is the noise floor of the test area? And who on earth measures exclusively at one foot and exclusively on the side of the case? That would be like wanting to know how loud it is driving a car, and measuring sound a foot from the exhaust. You don't drive from behind the car and you don't watch movies from a foot away from the side of your computer.

    The writing itself isn't terrible, but a bit obviously amateurish, and the whole article is just a subjective analysis.
    Reply
  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    Oh, and I nearly forgot, you can put some VERY long power supplies in this case, you just have to swap out the side fan. The side of the case is drilled for both 120mm fans(as included) and 80mm fans for those with longer power supplies who would still like some ventilation on that side of the case. Reply
  • 8steve8 - Monday, December 27, 2010 - link

    agreed, noisy compared to what? Reply
  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    I'm forced to continue making observations about this article in re-reading it.

    In the first paragraph the author states that he chose not to go with another case because it didn't have any vibration dampening for the optical drive bay, so he chose this case, which has no vibration dampening for the optical drive bay. Wait, what?

    Also, Silverstone pretty plainly has stated in the past that the extra expansion slot above the power supply was designed for expansion cards to high end audio devices like the Emu-1212m or the Asus Xonar HDAV series with daughter cards, but that it would work with any other expansion items, like SATA or USB or what-not.

    What research was one before purchasing this case?

    Finally, I noticed that there is no sound measurement given with just the case fans powered up and not the CPU or GPU fans powered up, like that's not going to make a HUGE difference in the sound levels and types produced.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    he said he didn't want to have to put tape on the led on the cd drive, which is why he chose this case, read more carefully. Reply
  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    Maybe you should re-read the article, he said he chose this case over the GD-05 because he wanted to hide the LED on the ODD, but that his whole reason for looking for a new case was because his LG BD\HD-DVD drive was getting too noisy so he wanted a case with some sound dampening on the ODD bay, which this doesn't have. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    They always measure from the same distance, this is so that all reviews that have sound levels are measured in the same way.

    As for frame of reference, a deciBell is a deciBell. What frame of reference do you need?

    As for noise floor, any half decent tester allows you to calibrate out the ambient noise level.
    Reply
  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    1: Who is they, there are no other people or cases in this article

    2: I'm fine with measuring from a fixed distance, but measuring from 1 foot away, from the side is rediculous.

    3: dB are a standard frame of measurement, sure, but if you have a purpose built theater with a noise floor of 11dB and the case makes 36dB it is going to seem a lot louder than if you are just putting it in your family room with a noise floor of 25+dB.

    4: That would invalidate the experiment all together because if you wipe out the noise floor, then you have to say so, and state what the noise floor is so that people can actually use the number for something, and two, if it screens out tones, that you are telling it to consider ambient noise, then you might be missing a specific sound frequency the fans are making.
    Reply
  • MeanBruce - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    You know my floor is pretty noisy, of course that could be my neighbors downstairs. Reply
  • C'DaleRider - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    To answer your petulant, childish nitpciking, which is making you look like the 12 year old you seem to want to be noticed as,

    1. They are the testers at Anandtech. They have a standard set of testing requirements, such as noise checked at 1 ft. distance, to make the different testers' findings be comparable to other findings from other testers.

    2. Why? If anything, it presents a worst case scenario.....the noise perception will only get better as distance increases.

    3. Why worry about the floor/ambient noise? It'd only be worth noting if the ambient noise was too high to hear the noise the fans in the case generated....and then it'd be worth noting. Otherwise, once the generated noise overcomes ambient noise, the ambient noise becomes irrelevant. Noise, in this case, isn't additive.....such as adding ambient to case generated noise. Doesn't work like that.

    4. Just too stupid an argument to respond to.
    Reply

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