Silverstone TJ09 ATX Full Tower Chassis Page: 1
Introduction

Silverstone started off on the right foot in the case-making industry by making some very attractive cases. Now seemingly they want to step it up a level with some exciting and innovative products. The full-tower TJ09 puts them head-to-head with the likes of Lian Li, Cooler-master and perhaps Antec - some stiff competition indeed.

I'm incredibly fussy about which case, as are most people when deciding what goes on or below their desk, so when I was asked to review the TJ09 I wanted to know if it would fit my image of a case...


Packaging

There's not a whole lot to say about packaging for the TJ09, apart from it's very solid and will look good on a retail shelf. It's pretty professional looking and has some blurb about the case features on the rear with some information.

silverstone TJ09 silverstone tj09

I received the box from my colleague James and it was looking slightly worse for ware (after some battering by 2 couriers) and I was worried about the case inside.

silverstone tj09 inside packaging

I should not have worried. Silverstone have wrapped the case up very snugly and there was not a mark upon it apart from those that my fingers had made. Very well packaged indeed which is good to see.

Package

There really isn't much to the package with the TJ09. Most of everything is already fitted to the case and the extra bits and pieces you need make up the rest is supplied.

silverstone TJ09 silverstone tj09 extension wires

silverstone tj09 manual

A manual and screws make up what was in the extras box. Plenty of screws and standoffs in there so you won't need any more extras. The manual isn't too bad but not as thorough as some I've seen from Antec and Coolermaster.

The extension wires are supplied extra to the wires that are already inside the TJ09 for the front audio, USB and Firewire. These are an excellent inclusion from Silverstone, especially for those who like to take a slightly longer wiring route to hide them all.

The notable exception that was missing from the TJ09's package was a CD/DVD drive bay cover. My Lian Li PC71b had two of these included and they certainly smarten up the look of the case if you don't have a silver DVD or CD burner.

Now let's take a closer look at the case itself...



Silverstone TJ09 ATX Full Tower Chassis Page: 2
The Case - Silverstone TJ09

From the moment I opened up the Silverstone TJ09 I loved the looks. Minimalist externals coupled with brushed Aluminium make it a very "sexy" and desirable case to look at.

silverstone TJ09 full view

Fighting my desire to go OTT I took a good look around the case. The ducts in the case side are for the "graphics fan" which blows cold air onto the GPU area from outside of the case.

silverstone tj09 side

This is a pretty good idea in theory and the implementation doesn't take up too much internal room as you'll see in a bit.

silverstone tj09 front drive bays

Taking a look at the drive bays we see that Silverstone use the same brushed Aluminium as the case is made from continuing the professional theme consistent throughout the case.

silverstone tj09 power button

Clearly marked buttons and LED's show the case as what it is - very well and professionally laid out. The power and reset buttons are shiny which makes a good contrast to the brushed effect elsewhere, making them easy to locate.

silverstone tj09 front panel  silverstone tj09 io open

The top of the case has a top IO panel that flips up with a nice reassuring "clunk". This makes it easy for those who place their case on the floor (as I do) to access their external USB/Audio and Firewire ports. The screws are countersunk so well you can barely know they are there.

silverstone tj09 case feet

The case has the kind of feet you would find on a top-end media system once again showing how Silverstone have gone into details with this case.

silverstone logo

Silverstone have included a logo on the front bottom part of the case I'm not too sure if I like it or not, perhaps I would have preferred something slightly more subtle. Still it's still pretty nice looking.

silverstone TJ09 top grill

Also included in this case is a top grill that has fixings for 2 x 120mm fans. This would be ideal for those wanting a dual 120mm RAD fitted onto the case externally and there is enough room inside to possibly squeeze one in there internally with a bit of dremel modding persuasion.

silverstone tj09 rear

Looking at the back it's pretty standard stuff for a top-end PC nowadays...apart from a couple of pretty nice additions that Silverstone have taken the care to include. The above shot is taken upside-down showing the PSU slot at the bottom of the unit.

silverstone tj09 rear bays

The expansion bays are fairly standard apart from having an inside cover on them (which I'll show you later on). Notice the thumbscrews on all parts of the outside of the case apart from the PSU holder...easy to take apart and get that motherboard tray out. Notice also the holes covered with grommets here that you can use to route a watercooling system though to an external RAD. Very considerate thinking by Silverstone.

silverstone tj09 rear fan grill

The rear fan is a very quiet 120mm model that you can barely hear a whisper from when running at full power. Again, well finished with a nice silver fan grill.

Now let's take a look at the internals of the case.



Silverstone TJ09 ATX Full Tower Chassis Page: 3
A Closer look - Internals

The internals can really make or break a case. A lot of manufacturers make the case look great for the outside then just stick in standard ATX case interiors hoping the consumer will ignore that fact.

Silverstone have really seemed to give the case interior a good go on the TJ09. With some features you're not likely to see elsewhere, and some excellent features that are added in that are seen in other top-end cases, there's a lot to talk about

silverstone tj09 internals

As you can see the case is very airy with a lot of space to fit your hand in + the actual components. The fan unit that cools the graphics card area doesn't take up too much room in the case and is deifinately worth using as it draws cold air in.

The bottom of the case houses the Power Supply and there is a neat little plastic holer to keep it in place. Silverstone have put some rubber strips down below the pSU to dampen down vibrations in the case.

The disadvantage I see of the PSU being here is the fact that all the wires are visible when you install this. I wish case manufacturers would remedy this as a small cover would make the internals look much tidier.

The 5 1/4" bays are standard bays with the usual top-end bay covers.

silverstone tj09 top fan holes

The top of the case houses 2 fans if needed and you could easily have enough room with some neat modding top put an external RAD on the top. I put one of my lovely brown (but very quiet) Noctua fans in the case and there's loads of room there. Installation is again screwless and held by plastic mounts.

graphics card fan

This fan is the one that Silverstone have put into the case for the graphics card. It draws air in from the outside of the case via the large ducts on the case side. This is pretty effective managing to cool the GPU to the same extent as the side blowholes (dual 120mm fans). It is also incredibly quiet, going with the rest of the case. Worth noting is that Silverstone only supply a 4 pin molex connector

silverstone tj09 bays silverstone tj09 HDD bay fan

The drive bays can all come out simply by pulling then out. It's a very practial system almost like that used in servers (though not hot-swap etc), implemented well and makes it very easy to install your drives into. Also worth a mention is the rubber-like strips on the drive bays (See above pics) that mean that silverstone have thoughtfully put inside the cages. These dampen down vibrations caused by the HDD's whilst in use.

silverstone tj09 reverse internal

Taking a quick look at the reverse of the internals you can see that there is room to hide a few cables in there, although not as much as I would like...but then I am fussy. Now for the cool bit that every top end case should have.

silverstone tj09 motherboard tray

As you would expect there is plenty of room to get everything you need that sits on a motherboard tray, installed out of the case. This makes installing a system approximately 200% easier. Nice to see Silverstone implementing this using all thumbscrews, effectively a "screwless" motherboard tray.

I'll continue some discussion of the interior on the next page - Installation and Testing




Silverstone TJ09 ATX Full Tower Chassis Page: 4
Installation - Test Rig

To get a feeling how current hardware would work in the silverstone TJ09, I installed some spare hardware into the case:

Intel Core2Duo E6700 @ 3.3Ghz with Scythe Infinity Cooling
Asus P5W Dh Deluxe
2 x 1gb Mushkin HP2 6400
XFX 8800GTS and MSI 8800GTX (separately for reference)
SoundBlaster X-Fi FPS Fatal1ty edition
Panasonic DVD-RW
Crystalfontz LCD Bay Screen
OCZ Gamextreme 850w
1 x Hitachi 7K150
2 x Hitachi 7K80 in RAID 0
2 x Noctua 120mm quiet fans running at 5v

Installation

First of all as mentioned before the motherboard tray makes installation of the main components a dream. This took me hardly any time at all and even the massive Scythe Infinity had enough room to be installed before putting the tray back in the case. Taking the tray out and getting it back in was merely a matter of undoing then doing up some thumbscrews...it was that easy.

silverstone tj09 mobo tray installed

The HDD's were easy to install out of the case also by simply pulling out the cage, sliding in a HDD and screwing up the 2 provided screws. Note here you have to use the flush screws as it's a tight fit.

silverstone tj09 HDD bays 2

As you can see there's plenty of room for at least 6 HDD's in there.

silverstone tj09 io panel

The DVD-RW was slightly harder to install as the wires from the IO panel are sticking out almost into the top drive bay. It still wasn't a complicated task though.

silverstone tj09 system installed

I could have taken more time to get those wires more tidy, but I thought that this wasn't too bad. With a bit more effort and some time well spent you could get this case pretty wire-free. The only thing (as I have mentioned) is that the PSU wires are very hard not to have on show.

silverstone tj09 8800gtx check

Just to check I installed my 8800GTX in the case to make sure there would be no issues and it's not surprise that the case coped well.

silverstone tj09 expansion holes

One thing you could find slightly awkward is that the expansion bays are covered over by the case internally. Silverstone provide screwdriver holes but as you can see they are not the easiest to get a screwdriver in without risking scratching the case.

silverstone tj09 psu holder

Finally above is the PSU holder. It doesn't make a whole load of difference to mounting, but would hold it in place pretty firmly were you to take the case to a LAN.

Installing the whole lot into the case (including my meager wire tidying) took me 1.25Hours. Pretty damn good for a top end chassis.

Testing

I thought I'd provide some figures on heat output on this system. Ambient is 24°C.

silverstone TJ09 temperature results

The temperatres are pretty nice from the case and actually the ambient temperature and the motherboard temperature is comparible to my Lian Li PC71, which has a lot of high CFM fans running at 100%.

Noise

Unfortunately at present I do not have any professional noise testing equiptment in my test labs. However, I can say that I can barely hear noise from the case when the PC is powered on. The very loudest two items in there are the fan on the 8800GTX or 8800GTS and the clicking on the hard disk drives.

Other than that the case is virtually silent and combine this with the temperature test results and you have a chassis that can comfortably house a very high-end chassis, with almost silent performance.



Silverstone TJ09 ATX Full Tower Chassis Page: 5
Conclusion

In a highly competitive world of PC chassis, the Silverstone TJ09 has proven itself to be a great performing and incredibly well made case. With very high attention to detail and build quality rivaling that of Lian Li, Silverstone have surpassed even their high level of craftmanship.

The look of the case is professional, sleek and understated and although some are bound not to like it, the majority cannot fail to love the sexy exterior. The interior doesn't fail to impress either and has some great features that leave you wanting it sitting next to your desk.

I was most impressed with the TJ09, though it does carry a price-tag that takes it up there with the very best. At £173.75 @ SpecialTech for the Silver and £169.95 @ SpecialTech for the Black version it doesn't run cheap.

Having said that the case is worth every penny with only a few minor niggles. I have to, therefore, give this case an "Editors Choice" award for excellence and a big OC3D "Recommended" award.

Pro's

+ Sleek and stylish design
+ Excellent, innovative interior
+ Great range of cooling solutions
+ Incredibly quiet
+ Ideal for even ultra-high end equipment

Con's

- Wire management could be better
- Slightly expensive

Editors Choice Award Recommended Award



Thanks to Silverstone for the Review Sample

Discuss in our Forums