Assembling the AZZA Silentium

The nice thing about assembling standard sized cases is that I don't scratch myself up or have to work my dainty hands into weird corners; they typically come together easily and they're usually not too heavy to move. AZZA did put some thought into making assembly fairly easy, so users looking for a simpler build will probably find a lot to like in the Silentium.

Ignoring my griping about removing and replacing the side panels, I appreciate that the motherboard tray essentially comes ready for an ATX board to be installed. Snapping in the I/O shield is easy enough, and even for our testbed's Micro-ATX board, there wasn't too much effort involved.

Installing 2.5", 3.5", and optical drives is varying degrees of fraught. The trays themselves are fairly sturdy and designed to bottom-mount SSDs as is typical of modern designs. That said, I'm not convinced the side-mount pegs are particularly secure. The twist-clamps used to lock the 5.25" drives into place are also only used on one side as is typical (but not wise.) These don't feel very secure either, but thankfully the button in the front door lines up pretty perfectly with the eject button on our test optical drive. The power supply and video card went in easily enough, though, nothing really to report there.

Where things get hairy is in the cabling. Barring the waste of headers, there are no places to route the exhaust fan lead (which is molex and not 3-pin) or the AUX 12V line. Both of these cables wind up having to stretch across the motherboard to the routing hole behind the 5.25" drive bays, and it's an absolutely silly omission. Space behind the motherboard tray is also a bit minimal, though the extruded side panel does help pick up a lot of slack. For what it's worth, outside of the issues inherent to notched side panels, the Silentium was surprisingly easy to close up.

AZZA makes some good decisions with the interior of the Silentium, but it's really obvious there's room for improvement here. There needs to be a way to route the exhaust fan and AUX 12V lines behind the motherboard tray, and as I mentioned on the previous page, AZZA could probably safely do away with most of the external 5.25" drive bays. This is the kind of bold step only Fractal Design and SilverStone have really been taking lately, but it needs to catch on. I have three bays in the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 I'm using for my desktop, and I use two, only one of which I even need. Realistically, USB enclosures and peripherals have largely nullified the need for 5.25" bays.

In and Around the AZZA Silentium Testing Methodology
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  • The Von Matrices - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    Are all the pictures broken or has my browser gone crazy? Reply
  • csroc - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    broken for me too unfortunately Reply
  • karasaj - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    happened to me too, so I doubt it. Reply
  • colinstu - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    kinda pointless without the pictures! Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    Our server was hosed, should be up with pictures now. Reply
  • pcfxer - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    What? No platter drives? I'm still trying to find a high quality "silent" case that is sharp, has more than just silicone drive mounts and isn't the SOLO or SOLO II. Reply
  • jimmyzaas - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    Exactly, there should at least be one hard disk in there. I personally know many people have at least one hdd in their system. Just because they want it quiet, does not mean they want to sacrifice storage capacity. It's a shame no one else is doing suspension mounts like the Solo.

    Temps of SSDs are kinda silly. They don't even get that hot anyway. HDD temps would have been a better measure of storage cooling, which often gets neglected in these quiet cases.
    Reply
  • hmaarrfk - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    Seriously :|, how is only having a 1 USB 3.0 port at the front allowed for a case that cost $100. The review should have stopped there and declared the case as a "do not buy". Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    Why? Personally, I have yet to find a usefull application for even a single USB 3 port, as I don't transport data on physical media but rather just through network connections. And nothing else I connect to USB, like keyboard, mouse, printer, WLAN-Stick utilizes USB 3. Or needs to be connected to the front of the case.

    I also buitl 4 PCs for friends and colleagues the last year, and none of them had any USB-3 devices beyond external harddrives, and nobody ever mentioned he wants to connect two of those at the same time. So, I don't think a lot of people have any kind of interest in a second front USB-3 port.

    As an engineer I can understand the annoyance with an odd number of case-ports given the fact that Mainboard-Connecters are always provided for pairs of ports, but still I would guess that for at least 80% of potential customers this fact is completely irrelevant.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - link

    I transfer data from one external to another, via USB 3.0. 2 Ports is a bare minimum. Reply

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