Silverstone Grandia GD02-MT Case

Internal Impressions & Building The Rig

Internal Impressions & Building The Rig
 
Looking at the interior of the GD02-MT, I knew from the outset that fitting all the components into it would be a tight squeeze. The case is around the same size as most AV components, so space is limited within. This limited space brings with it a few niggles when it comes to assembling the PC, and we shall discuss this more in detail later. First let's take a look at the interior of the case.
 
Upon removal of the lid, we can see that there is a large object spanning the case from front to rear. This is the DVD/CD drive caddy and it also acts as a strengthening support for the lid. Four screws hold this in place, and when removed the mass of cables for the front panel were exposed. There is quite an assortment within the case, with the usual fan, I/O, reset and power cables. In addition there are the power, USB and VGA cables for the LCD screen. Looking at the amount of cables is initially quite daunting.
 
GD02-MT Interior GD02-MT Interior 2
 
Cooling within the case is quite limited, with just two 80mm fans acting as exhausts, which are located in-line with the CPU on the rear panel. There are no other fan mounts within the case so the option to add more fans is non-existent, unless you are prepared to butcher the case. Although limited this shouldn't be a problem, considering the cases intended function. You can read our findings on how well the GD02-MT cools further on in this review.
 
GD02-MT Fans
 
The DVD/CD caddy holds a single slimline optical drive only, you cannot use a standard drive in this case. This is a bit of a bugbear, as Silverstone would have only had to raise the overall height of the case by around 15mm to be able to accomodate a full sized drive. For someone who is building their HTPC using parts already owned, having to buy a slimline drive would be an unexpected extra expense. I don't understand Silverstone's logic regarding the design and factoring out using a full sized optical drive. The caddy itself has the relevant mounting screw holes for a full sized drive, so maybe they did consider it?
 
To mount the optical drive, you need to remove the caddy and then remove the tray within the caddy. You attach the drive to the tray and fix the tray to the caddy. Unfortunately, we did not have a slimline optical drive to hand when reviewing the case, so we cannot show the drive fixed to the caddy.
 
 GD02-MT DVD/CD Drive Caddy GD02-MT Slimline DVD/CD tray
 
The hard drive cage can hold two 3.5" hard drives and Silverstone have provided anti-vibration rubber grommets on all mounting screw holes. The cage is located at the front of the case, in front of the PSU. This is where another problem cropped up, as the space between the PSU and the rear of the HD cage is very small. When attaching the molex connector to the HD, the molex plug only just managed to fit between the HD and the PSU.
 
GD02-MT Hard Drive Cage GD02-MT Hard Drive Cage with Hard Drive Fitted
 
The PSU tray has rubber standoffs to aid in reducing vibration noise, and the bottom is vented so you can use a PSU with a bottom fan either way up. The relevant mounting screw holes are there for either orientation. Due to the limited space available, only a standard sized ATX PSU, or smaller, can be used. As previously mentioned, when using a standard sized PSU, the space between the HD and PSU is incredibly limited.
 
GD02-MT PSU Tray GD02-MT PSU/HD Problem 
 
Now we have the task of putting our rig together. We have covered fitting the PSU and drives, let's now move on to the motherboard. Fitting the board was straight forward, and there were no unwelcome surprises. Once the board was fitted, I went about sorting out the mass of cables from the front panel. Considering that the case will only accommodate a micro-ATX motherboard, the lengths of the cables was more than enough.
 
There are the usual set of front panel cables to connect to the motherboard, and then there are the LCD screen cables. The screen draws power from the 24 pin motherboard PSU connector, and uses a splitter. One end slots into the motherboard's 24 pin connector and the other slots into the PSU 24 pin motherboard cable. Then there is a USB lead, and you can either use a standard USB socket or a motherboard USB header to connect it. The final cable to worry about from the LCD screen is the VGA cable which runs along the top edge of the case and is passed outside to be able to connect to the Graphics card.
 
GD02-MT Motherboard Fitted GD02-MT PSU & Motherboard Fitted
 
The only tasks left now in the build are to fit the graphics card, replace the optical drive caddy and put the lid on. It should be mentioned that cable management options within the case are very limited. The only way to tidy the mass of cables is to bunch them up as tidily as possible. Other than the already mentioned problems, the build was easy enough and the result was OK. If we had more time, and the case didn't have to be returned to the supplier, I would have considered shortening over-long cables and braiding them for a much tidier finish. Another thing worthy of mention is the fact that the case, although Micro-ATX and very limited in internal space, will fit a full sized modern graphics card in. I test installed my GTX280 and it fitted with no problems.
 
GD02-MT PSU,Motherboard, Optical & Hard Drives Fitted GD02-MT Build Complete
 
So now we have a completed PC, let's now put it through it's paces on the next page.
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Most Recent Comments

16-11-2008, 11:09:58

TopSecret
Silverstone's new media centre friendly case gets put under the microscope today in our full review.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...161342648l.jpg

Read the full article here.

16-11-2008, 12:04:07

Luigi
Nice review there, Similar to what ive got atm, the thermaltake DH104...

I found the LCD to be a real dissapointment, took me ages for it to actually find my media, and then I had to use the desktop app to get at it as the LCD didnt find it :S

Anyway, nice one once again stuart!

16-11-2008, 17:06:57

TopSecret
Thanks mate.

16-11-2008, 20:11:58

Rastalovich
Great review. Dont see enough of these reviews about.

Fair comment with the construction points and limitations.

Personally I think the prices of these scare people. They look good, have some nice gimmicks, but when all the screws are taken out - it's a pc case. For the same price u can get one of those oversized LL server eatx thingies.

17-11-2008, 03:06:16

PV5150
Great review as always Stuart, and I'm inclined to agree with Rast's comments above. A thoroughly enjoyable read though

17-11-2008, 10:25:19

TopSecret
Thanks alot fellas, glad you liked the review. I was concerned over the price too, till I found out the price of small LCD's alone. I was shocked to hear how much they retail for (around 150ish). Considering this, I don't think that the price for the case was unfair. As Rast mentioned though, the LCD's are quite gimmicky and the novelty would soon wear off.

17-11-2008, 11:36:19

Luigi
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='stuartpb'
Thanks alot fellas, glad you liked the review. I was concerned over the price too, till I found out the price of small LCD's alone. I was shocked to hear how much they retail for (around 150ish). Considering this, I don't think that the price for the case was unfair. As Rast mentioned though, the LCD's are quite gimmicky and the novelty would soon wear off.
Thats exactly what I found, it was also rather frustrating getting it to diplay my music

It seems crazy they cost so much, I looked into it a while ago, you can get a reasonable desktop LCD for the same cost.

17-11-2008, 12:15:03

Rastalovich
A good gimmick would be for the lcd to display what something like vlc or mediaplayer displays, like the scope/equalizer/album info etc etc - or equally an itunes output, that'd be something apple would jump on (for their pc-itunes ofc )

(this is where u step in and say they do )

17-11-2008, 12:21:00

TopSecret
They do

It has a graphic equaliser function, with the track name etc. when playing music. I don't think it shows the album art though or works with iTunes.

17-11-2008, 12:36:10

Rastalovich
Yeah it's their "own thing" type of equalizer aint it. I reckon some1 should be bold and map exactly what the players display.

17-11-2008, 16:10:42

Kerotan
Good review, but I think you should change the load/idle temp graphs so they both scale in x from 0 to 70, as at first glance I thought you were getting lower load temps! I dunno whether I could be fussed with an LCD tbh, does add a bit of wow factor to the case though.

11-04-2010, 14:47:45

dwf1
"Take, for example, the very limited space between the PSU and the hard drive when installed. I cannot understand why Sliverstone did not pick up on this when the case was still in the design stage."

Don't you think a 750 watt ps is overkill? 400 should be more than enough for a htpc and you can find a smaller size ps that won't have the space issues. IMHO Thanks for the review the build is helpful b/c I am about to use a simular case if not the same.
Reply
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