We all know of Silverstone as a truly prolific manufacturer of cases and are most likely familiar with their excellent Temjin, Fortress and Raven lines. What many don't know is that in the "Precision" series Silverstone also produce a line of value cases. Latest to wear the PS moniker, the PS-08, is a very small mid tower case. Standing just over 30cm tall and only a little wider than a 5.25" drive, it's still able to accept coolers up to 140mm and GPUs up to 355mm. On the surface at just £36 the PS 08 looks like it might be able to provide something stylish for those for whom every penny counts.
Power Supply Support
maximum Cooler Height
Maximum GPU Length
PCI Expansion Slots
External 5.25" Drive Bays
Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
Internal 2.5" Drive Bays
Front I/O Panel
2 x USB 3.0
Black or White
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Front 1x120mm fitted 1x80mm option
Rear Option for 1x80mm or 1x92mm
Side Oversized vent area, no fan mount available
Up Close: Exterior
Measuring just 168x355x400mm the PS 08 has to be one of the smallest Mid tower cases on the market. Able to house both Micro ATX and Mini ITX boards, but not the more common, and much larger ATX boards. With SFF becoming ever more popular, and the prices and functionality of the smaller boards improving hand over fist it's time we all sat up and took notice of these smaller cases.
Rather than produce a plain box Silverstone have added a substantial "chin" to the lower half of the front of the case and have also stamped in some depth to the side panels. Presumably though the latter also serves to engender some structural rigidity and reduce panel vibration.
Build Quality is more than acceptable for a case of this price. OK, so no half inch thick slabs of Aluminium billet but then we didn't really expect that did we. What we do get up front are 2x5.25" bays, each with an easily removable front cover and the lower of the two having a tabbed in steel plate which is also easily removed.
The front intake ventilation panel sticks out proud from the bay area by 10mm or so, giving the case a distinctive chin when viewed from the side. The Front I/O area sporting 2xUSB3 and a pair of audio connections can be found between the drive bays and the front intake, with the power and reset buttons slipping subtly down the side.
A light press and tug on the catch at the base of the chin releases the mesh panel and filter covering the solitary 120mm fan.
In a bit of a throwback to the olden days of PC case manufacture, the PS 08 has it's PSU located at the top of the case. There's no ventilation up here so be sure to mount it the right way up. Below this we see the rear ventilation area, and although no fans are fitted there are screw holes for either 80mm or 92mm fans, Heck there's even a Kensington lock facility.
We can't quite decide whether the four expansion bay covers are vented or just have cut outs to save steel and therefor cost. Either way it's a win for the consumer. They are however tabbed in meaning that once removed they cannot be re fitted. At first view there appears to be a 5th slot located to the right of these for PCI devices that do not require motherboard attachment. However this actually turns out to be the cover plate for removing the tabs and securing the expansion cards.
Like the roof, the base of the case is also devoid of any ventilation, but with 4 good sized rubber feet it does at least give a sound base to stand the case on. what more could you ask for.
Up Close: Interior
You're not seriously expecting the interior of a £35 case to be painted are you? Well neither were we. Just goes to show how dangerous preconceptions can be doesn't it. Painted the same colour as the exterior, whether it be the black or the white model the paint job is decent, but has clearly been done once the case has been assembled. We know this because we delve into all the nooks and crannies. We do this so you don't have to. Just think of it as a service we provide. With both side panels removed (they're secured with thumb bolts by the way, and yes we were expecting simple screws also) we see a truly gargantuan motherboard cut out. Actually it's about as large as on your average case, it's just that this case is really quite small so it looks much bigger. There are otherwise no luxuries in here though, no rubber grommets, and no pads for the PSU to sit on, let alone roof ventilation.
The two 5.25" bays are not of the tool-less variety, but who wants to be tool-less when you can have a good old fashioned screw we say. Further down there's room for up to 4x3.5" drives and a single 2.5" drive. No external 3.5" so we're afraid you're going to have to find a new home for your old floppy. (Ahem)
No, those aren't rubber pads for the PSU, they're the plugs from the case feet protruding into the bottom of the case. The PSU is up top remember. The interior of the case is actually quite pleasant, with no sharp edges and just enough room to work. Although there's no rear fan fitted at the point of delivery, there's holes for an 80 or 92mm unit.
For us the reverse side of the case is actually holds more interest and excitement than is actually understandable, or for that matter healthy. it's where the action happens, it's where we tidy our cables. It's where we get to be OCD. We're going to have fun here then because there's not a lot to work with. Still, with the large cut out are to the side of the drive bays we should have somewhere to stash all those unwanted cables.
Just as well there is a big cut out because with just 8mm at most, and 5mm at worst you'd be lucky to get more than a few fan cables back here. But seriously, this is unfair criticism of a case at this price point. If we're honest we think it's pretty damn good.
When compiling a list of the tools you require to undertake a build you don't really expect to have to add a pair of side cutters and a small metal file, yet it was these two items that were placed top of our list. Why? Well as with the Anidees case we reviewed a while back, some of he rivets protruded just a little too far. With the PS 08 the offending rivets were in the top rear corners and prevented the PSU from being slid into place. Attempting to do so resulted in a small scratch of the PSU before it refused to be pushed home any further.
Granted we could have drilled the rivets out and replaced them, doing a much neater job in the process, but we're not here to re build cases. A few minutes and a good going over with the tools above and we had taken the tops of the rivets allowing the PSU to make it all the way to the back of the case and be secured in place. Don't go thinking this was a huge and onerous task, it wasn't, but at the same time you shouldn't have to do it. We can only assume that this is a rare example of a slip in Silverstone's usually excellent build quality and QA standards.
It's not until you see the PSU and Motherboard mounted in the case that you start to get a feel for just how small the PS 08 actually is. We've used a Mini ITX board here, but the case is also able to accept the larger Micro ATX form factor which would pretty much fill the remaining space and as such would look better proportioned in the interior.
Another advantage of using a Micro ATX board is that the majority of the connections and headers would be down the right hand side of the PCB. With the board used here the 24pin power, USB3, SATA and front I/O connections are all butted right up against the PSU. This not only makes installation hard (and as we found out de-installation) but also has potential to interfere with the PSU's air flow.
Once the metal blank has been twisted and pulled out expansion cards are clamped and screwed in place. Four slots are perfectly sufficient for a case of this size.
The 4pin CPU power connection on this motherboard is placed between the CPU and the GPU, which is just as well really as we don't think we'd get anything else plugged in up tom. As there's little to no cable management to speak of we're run the cable along the floor of the case and fed it up through the little cut out in the GPU.
As a basis of comparison we usually show the NZXT Havik 120 inside a case, that way you guys get a feel for the proportions on offer. However, as it's 160mm tall, short of modding an Impreza style power bulge into the side there's no way it's going to fit in here. What will fit though is any stock CPU cooler fan combo, or any smaller tower cooler such as the Scythe Katana4 pictured below right.
Although there's no space to speak of behind the motherboard it's still possible to pull of a decent wiring job on the PS 08. OK so we're using a semi modular PSU and we've had to stuff quite a lot into the unused 5.25" bays, but remember a tidy wiring job isn't just about having the inside of your case look clean and tidy, it's also about maximising through case airflow which is particularly important in a case such as this which has only a single 120mm fan.
If you're in the market for a sub £40 case the odds are you're not going to be wondering whether you can get high end gear and water cooling into it. It's more probable you're having to watch the pennies (and who isn't these days) or maybe you're looking for something for the home office. At just £36 the Silverstone PS 08 won't make a big dent in your wallet and measuring just 160x355x400mm it won't make a bit dent in your available desk space either. However good use of internal space means you can fit up to 4x3x5" drives, a single 2.5" drive and even cram in a GPU up to 355mm in length. The rear extract fan position (no fan included) can accept 80mm or 92mm fans so that pretty much rules out AIO coolers, but all is not lost in the CPU cooling department as you can still wedge in a tower cooler up to 140mm in height. Throw in 2x5.25" bays the usual audio headers and even USB3 and the bang for your buck starts to sound quite loud.
When we first got the PS 08 out of the packaging our first thoughts were "Oh look, it's like a PC case, only much smaller" Along with it's diminutive size the next thing you notice is how light the case is. We're guessing the embossed creases in the side panels aren't just there for styling reasons, rather, to help improve the structural rigidity of the case. Still, at £36 we weren't really expecting thick steel or solid metal front fascias were we.
Quality on the whole good, but let down in a in few areas, not least of which are the poorly formed rivets which had to be chopped and filed off before we could get the PSU in place. Silverstone on the whole are renowned for their high standards of build quality so we can only assume this was a rare missed beat for them.
Ventilation isn't great, with a single 120mm fan up front running the show, but there are at least options to add an 80mm or 92mm fan in the rear. The vents in the side panel although appreciated do not support fan mounting.
With the above points accepted we think the PS 08 represents excellent value for money to house a low/mid end system or as a second PC for the home office, with the pure white colour scheme adding that hint of class and adding to the exclusivity over the otherwise black boxes usually seen at this price point.
Thanks to Silverstone for the SG08 on review today, you can discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.