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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  • EnzoFX - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    Is it me or does that look like a TJ-08E that was needlessly made ugly externally.

    As for going with a slim ODD, I applaud whenever cases do this. This is a must in an ITX form factor IMO, since it's all about saving space. Not so much large ITX cases however, so to each his own. Though I will argue that there is some merit in saying a full size ODD is more practical for someone trying to save money or whatever, HOWEVER, is it not more logical that they may not even use one? Hence I'd rather let the small ODD be wasted space, as opposed to dedicated much more of it to a full sized one. Optical drives are on the decline are they not? Unless this is your only computer in the house, leave ripping to another computer and save money by ditching the ODD.
    Reply
  • MadAd - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    I agree, Ive just done a build in a TJ08 with a full size optical, three standard HDD, one SSD (and i didnt use the drive cage at all,threw it out), an 11.5" dual fan graphics card, sound card etc, i threw out the silverstone fan and used a TY150, and also a H60 with a silent typhoon doing double duty as a rad cooler and exhaust fan - sounds hot? its not - cant get cpu over 53 degrees no matter what i throw at it, and its virtually silent

    Looking over the review makes wonder what on earth they were thinking, its ugly, noisy, wider than the 08 and no little cut out tabs all over the back to aid cable routing - for me that was the star feature of the 08 and theres not one on the 09.

    i guess itll attract people that err on the side of caution and dont care if it sounds like an industrial vacuum in the corner of the room
    Reply
  • MadAd - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    oh and i didnt have to use a modular psu Reply
  • lmcd - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Yes, the aesthetics are worse on this case but it's also 4 inches smaller in a dimension (appears to be height, but I can't tell):

    15.16" x 8.27" x 14.72" (TJ08-E, courtesy that review)
    8.66" x 11.61" x 13.94" (this case with conversions via WolframAlpha)
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    I think the bigger shame about the ODD issue is that the slim slot drives are so expensive even today when you'd wish they were easier to buy and cheaper to buy by now. Reply
  • tim851 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Slot-in slimline drives cost under 40$ shipped on ebay. That's about 20$ more than a regular sized drive. Given that Mini-ITX (outside the world of Atom) is really not the best bang-for-the-buck, I'd consider 20$ more quite reasonable. Reply
  • 96redformula - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    I finished building a new computer with this case several days ago and it was definitely more time consuming than typical builds. Looks great, fantastic air flow, and super quiet.

    My only gripes are that the front could use a bit of tweaking to optimize the looks, and secondly you cannot use the 120mm fan on the side because the connection to the power supply will be in the way.

    Highly recommend to anybody wanting a case they can put on their desktop and run a powerful rig in the smallest space possible.
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    So since it's mATX, does that mean that the only benefit here is being able to run dual GPU's in a small space? Or perhaps overclocking cpu's to extremes what with being able to run a full sized CPU HS/F.

    My overall criticism is that it isn't someone really looking to go small, it's someone that wants all the power, and size being the 2nd priority. Because even making one sacrifice (take your pick, cpu hs/f size, PSU, or losing 2nd graphics card), will yield smaller cases, and more attractive ones at that. There are even some that will hold more drives than this does.
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    To me, the benefits are obvious. You get more expansion possibilities with mATX, the boards are generally cheaper than ITX, there are more mATX boards to chose from, and you can use standards parts. You end up with a small, powerful build that doesn't require lots of expensive or hard-to-find components. I would love to build a system with this case. Reply
  • EnzoFX - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    The only gain is expansion with mATX, and sure, more options. Prices are comparable these days. There are also no hard-to-find components. Not these days, everything has been well standardized, and there are many solid options. Sure not as many as full-ATX, but they are enough for even the budget oriented builds. I wish ITX cases would push the envelop in going small. I wish there were more use of flex-ATX PSU. Even those are readily available, and perfectly suitable for a mid-range gaming build. Let alone anything without a discrete graphics solution. It just feels like such a waste seeing oh so many ITX builds with a 40W+ PSU, be it microATX of ATX, that don't even have a mid-range card in it. Considering the high-end GTX 680's are the niche, what's the point of full ATX PSU in an ITX build.

    Granted I am not talking about full sized ITX cases such as these, I'm talking about the flip side for those really looking to save on space. There's a lot of ground that can be easily gained.
    Reply

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