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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  • Grok42 - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I'm building a new mITX system this month to be my primary workstation/game rig. So far this case seems to be my case despite it not having very well ventilated drive bays. Anyone have alternate suggestions?

    Intel core i7-3770
    Nvidia GTX 660ti
    16GB RAM
    128GB 2.5" SSD
    No Optical
    No 3.5" hard drive
  • DarkStryke - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    Go with the Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE, and that system will be a monster.
  • Grok42 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the feedback, this is for sure the board I'm going with. It's amazing how much they can get on these tiny mITX boards these days.
  • Japanesus - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    For those willing to spend more (~$200) I'd recommend the SG08 . Although slightly taller and about 2 inches deeper, the extra room allows for a more efficient design I think.

    Some differences:

    - HD tray accommodates two 2.5" drives underneath and has silicone grommets to reduce vibration from the 3.5".

    - 600W bronze rated PSU

    -180mm Air Penetrator fan (which you can easily replace - I went for a Corsair H80 and replaced the noisy stock fans with one 38mm thick intake fan).

    -Nice looking brushed aluminum front panel.

    Easily got a mild 4.2GHz overclock on an i5-3750k with the H80's fan controller on low speed. Can always ramp things up if you don't mind a bit more noise.

    Anyways it was my first build and came together effortlessly. I gave it to my dad to replace his 10+ year old crappy Gateway... It's not cheap but neither are the components you would put in a case like this, so I think it's worth it.
  • daar - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Having looked at both, from my recollection the depth of the SG08 is about the same as a regular PC tower, and a 5" difference from the SG05 (if it is the one I'm thinking of).

    Perhaps not an issue for some, but that difference was for me as I was sticking it inside a drawer. Otherwise, I'd just stick with the Prodigy or a mini tower for flexibility. Even if it's for home entertainment, TV stands generally space for a DVD player, and you can get a horizontal tower to fit in those.
  • pdjblum - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    I must be in the minority, because no one else seems to mind that the material of the cases reviewed are not stated up front in the specification box. I am a snob when it comes to cases, and the first thing I want to know is if it is made from aluminum or not.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    It isn't, but in my experience aluminum isn't necessarily desirable or even appropriate for the design. The SG05 uses plastic for the front fascia and steel for the chassis, and while a brushed aluminum fascia might be more attractive, the SECC steel is exactly the right call for the chassis itself.

    Keep in mind that the aluminum someone like Lian Li or Cubitek uses is also going to be different than the aluminum SilverStone uses.
  • MadAd - Sunday, August 19, 2012 - link

    With all the recent buzz about SFF/ITX and the inevitability that PCs must shrink or die It would be great if we had a dedicated SFF forum here at Anandtech.

    Currently all SFF talk is drowned out by laptop and gaming posts, im sure there would be better discussion in its own home, currently the sheer volume of laptop posts deters anyone from even trying to discuss SFF, it feels pointless posting discussion if its just going to disappear.

    Fantastic review otherwise, really enjoying the series, im determined that my current ATX builds (x3) will be my last and anything i need going forwards can be done on either SFF graphics free, or a uATX for a main gaming box with several hdd.
  • Samus - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    @ the GTX560 in that thing. cool.
  • miahallen - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    nuff said 8)

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