Cooler Master Silencio 650 Pure Review


Cooler Master Silencio 650 Pure Review



In reviewing a case, or any other product for that matter it's important to remember which area of the market the product is aimed at.  It's clear from the sleek understated appearance of the 650 Pure that this is no pedal to the metal, high air flow, massive fanned gaming rig.  But that's not to say it's not capable of keeping a system cool enough for gaming, with its 162mm of CPU cooler clearance and room for GPUs up to 268mm and 434mm with the upper drive cage removed there's more than enough room to fit the sort of hardware necessary to keep a system cool under fire.  Like the originator of the species, the 650 Pure is perhaps targeted at the more "mature" gamer, someone who wants decent performance but also wants the case to blend more easily into its surroundings.

Throughout this review we have referred to the original Silencio 650 we reviewed back in August of 2012.  It's important to remember that the original is still very much available and on sale, and is in its own right a very good case.  Far from being a replacement for the original, the Pure represents an alternative in the 650 line up.  In essence it is a cut down version.  The feature count has been reduced, but then so has the price.  With that in mind let’s take a look back at what we said about the original 650,

".....Aesthetics wise then, we can pretty much agree that this is a mature sleek unit. Even the front I/O panel and rear vent have simple and elegant sliding covers to keep the contents from offending us. The lines of the side panel and front of the case are not be-spoiled by the intrusion of windows or fan mounts, and not a glimpse of hex mesh is to be seen. Quality is good as we've come to expect with Cooler Master products, with no rough edges or imperfections of any sort. The thick Aluminium front door closes with a reassuring magnetic click, and should you want to swap things about, it can even be hinged on the alternate side. Behind the front door lies a comprehensive fan filtering system nestled beneath three 5.25" bays one of which offers hot swap capabilities for 3.5" and 2.5" drives.  Inside the case, things aren't quite so rosy, with a less than ideal layout of the cable management holes, and a bit of a sparsity of cable tie points around back. That said, you will be able to lob in a decent cooler (up to 168mm in height), and should have no trouble housing a large GPU should you so desire. Ample storage is provided by 7 HDD bays, 2 of which benefit from hot swap functionality/hardware boot switching.  The upper rack, holding a maximum of 4 HDDs can be rotated 90 degrees, or removed completely, upping the max GPU length available from 10.5" to 17.1". Down in the rear corner we find the home of the PSU Ample rubber isolation pads mean that you will be able to slot in the largest of PSUs, but beware covering up the bottom cable management holes as they're your only way in and out for a great many of your cables. Seven expansion bays and an additional vertical bay for those devices not requiring motherboard connection should be plenty for most users and a brace of tubing routing holes enable external water cooling set ups to be used if you absolutely have to ruin the looks of the case.  The build itself was a simple enough affair, but we were left a little wanting for cable tie mounts and were more than a little perplexed by the layout of the routing holes, albeit with some of the best quality grommets we've seen.  The absence of a lower hole along the vertical edge of the motherboard, and the location of the only hole along the base of the motherboard being quite posterior relative to the PSU meant that that lower hole became very crowded indeed.  Not only would all the power cables leave through it, but all the front I/O cables would have to enter through it also.  In use the Silencio 650 is a delight, and it's here that it really comes into it's own.  The extensive use of high density foam sound proofing combined with a high build quality throughout and the use of very quiet fans (17dB-A at 1200rpm) means that what we have on our desk top is as close as we've heard to a silent PC.  It even manages to pretty much muffle the noise of the fan on our test GPU..."

Most of what we said above about the original 650 still holds true.  Certainly as the base chassis is the same the great Cooler Master quality and elegant mature looks remain.  So what's changed?  Well if by any chance you've read the whole of this review you'll know by now which features have been trimmed and which have escaped the knife.  If you haven't read the whole review then best we point out where Cooler Master have made their savings, so in deference to the above reference the following needs to be noted.

Firstly, the Pure has done away with the hot swap capability, where the original 650 has 3 x 5.25" bays with the lower facilitating hot swap for 3.5" and 2.5" drives the Pure simply has 3 x 5.25" bays.

Secondly, the Pure does not have the ability to hardware switch boot drives, instead the lower two 3.5" bays are just simple bays.

Thirdly, in place of the boot drive selection switch on the front I/O the Pure has a switch enabling the top fan to be turned off, further decreasing the sonic signature of the case. 

Whether these features are important to you is very much subjective.  However what is highly relevant is the cost saving you will make.  With the 650 Pure expected to retail for in the region of £80, should you decide you want the looks and build quality of the 650 series but can do without the bells and whistles you'll be looking to save in the region of £20-£30.  A significant saving in anyone's book.  But what else could you get with that £80?  Well the ubiquitous but slightly dated looking CM690 II can still be had for in the region of £80 as can the Fractal Design Define R4, The Nanoxia DS1 and DS2 and for that matter the slightly more aggressive looking but none the less sleek NZXT Phantom 410.  All of these cases offer much of what the Pure does with those towards the end of the list also offering native water-cooling support, a feature absent from both the original and the Pure models

The 650 and the Pure are without doubt the quietest mid tower cases we've come across.  We also think the Pure has a slight edge on looks and has an undeniably high level of build quality and finish, but there's really not a lot in it.  Unfortunately it still suffers from the faults of the original 650, the main one of which is the restrictive amount of space available behind the motherboard for cable management.  There’ll be no lobbing the PSU in, plugging the cables in and powering up.  If you want to get that case side on you're going to have to be truly OC3D about your cable management.

Which case you buy will depend on what is important to you, and what we said in our original review still holds true, if you buy the 650 you won't be disappointed.  It's elegant, quiet and now very good value, but then so are a lot of the competition.  Because of it's truly extraordinary sonic footprint however, the silence award is well deserved.  We hope that waiting in the wings at Cooler Master is a Silencio 750 with native water cooling support and decent cable management. 


 Thanks to Cooler Master for sending the 650 in for review, you can discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.

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