In KL05 series Kublai , which SilverStone Technology already describes as a “high-performance tower-type enclosure”, now includes four models. We will review the most recent for today – SilverStone Kublai KL07, which was announced in September last year.
The case has the index SST-KL07B, and the reader, already met with the system of designations accepted by this manufacturer, will immediately understand: the color is black, there are no windows in the left side wall. While this is the only option, although for other buildings Kublai the choice is offered at least in terms of the presence of a window – the color of the other representatives of the series is also only black.
KL05 has one more modification, marked with the letter “Q” – with a reduced noise level. In SilverStone Kublai KL07, the corresponding constructive solutions are also laid, but there is no such letter in the index, since the model itself is positioned as having “astounding indicators of silence” (quotation from the Russian-language section of the official site).
The exterior design, like that of other representatives of the series, is very modest: flat panels, right angles, transitions without fillets. Of the decorations there are only a few rows of strips on the front and top panels, even the company logo in this case is not silver, but black, and stands out only in texture – smooth symbols on a slightly rough background of the rest of the panel. However, this roughness is insignificant, it only makes the surfaces opaque, and it does not save you from fingerprints.
Packaging is standard for a lot of SilverStone cases: a plain cardboard with a monochrome design; on the side surfaces of the box there are slots for gripping hands.
The bundle is not even spartan, it’s just poor: just a little bit of hardware, there are not even disposable cable ties that have become common in the most budgetary cases, not to mention the “peep” for the motherboard. True, there is an adapter for a hexagon for a Phillips screwdriver, which will help install the motherboard racks. Instruction – folded four-fold A4 sheet with sparse explanations in different languages and indistinct illustrations, but the paper itself is dense and with texture.
Although in general the layout is quite common for cases of this type, there are solutions that are rare. First of all, this division of the internal volume of the body into two parts with the help of a L-shaped partition, and not even plastic, but metallic. The separation is complete: the partition extends from the front to the rear of the chassis.
In the lower part, as usual, the power supply will be located, at the top – the motherboard and expansion cards.
The drives are distributed between both parts: the bottom has a transversely installed rack designed for three HDD / SSDs of either of the two standard sizes, and at the top there are three more places for mounting 2.5-inch drives behind the base of the motherboard, closer to the front panel.
Another feature of the case continues the trend, which has already become almost the rule in modern cases: the rejection of slots for 5.25- and 3.5-inch devices with access to the front panel. We have commented on the advantages and disadvantages of this solution more than once, so let’s just say that in this case, the absence of such slots will not allow to increase the maximum number of installed disks – there will be no more than six of them, and only three can be 3.5-inch.
On the other hand, the absence of such slots, as well as the low disk rack located at the bottom, give room for the choice of video cards and other expansion cards: their maximum length is 383 mm, according to the manufacturer’s data of 388 mm, and in modern video adapters this parameter if And exceeds 30 cm, it is rarely more than 5-10 millimeters.
The control panel is divided into two parts. In the upper left corner of the front panel are located (from top to bottom) the Power button, blue LED indicators for turning on and disk activity, the Reset button. Just at this place is the very decoration of the front panel, which we mentioned – a vertical row of several narrow strips, which are also applied to the surface of the buttons, so you have to take a closer look to notice them.
To press a special effort is not required, but the Power button has some free stroke, preventing the operation from accidental touch, and for the Reset, the shape is also selected appropriately: you can not press the finger pad before the trigger.
Separately removed the ports, which are located parallel to the right edge of the top cover, closer to the front panel. It should be specially noted that among them there is the USB Type-C connector, which is still rarely found in the cases, it is the closest to the front part. Behind him are a pair of USB 3.0 connectors and two audio ports.
Buttons and indicators will be equally convenient to use when placing the computer on the desk and on the floor, but with connections the situation is worse: with desktop installation, the considerable height of the case will not allow the operator sitting next to it, even if it is above average growth, see the ports of the case. In addition, USB 3.0 connectors are located with a gap of only 7 mm, which prevents simultaneous connection of wide devices in them.
The case dimensions are 508 × 222 × 467 mm (H × W × D, including protruding elements). It is designed to install motherboards up to and including ATX.
The legs are low, about one and a half centimeters, equipped with cushioning stickers made of rather thick rubber.
The width of the case is slightly larger than that of miditower, and this value refers to the whole volume – there are no protruding parts on either side. But the lack of ventilation holes on the left and right will allow you to put the future computer in a narrow niche or close to the vertical surface.
The design mainly uses steel with a thickness of 0.7 mm, the base of the system board is slightly thicker – 0.75 mm, and the L-shaped partition is slightly thinner: 0.65 mm. Therefore, the rigidity and chassis, and side covers (especially in the absence of windows and other holes in them) turned out to be quite acceptable, and the body as a whole and even higher, in many respects due to the presence of plastic panels in front and from above. And this is not the biggest weight – only 7.8 kg net.
The drives in the triple rack are installed with a sled, which are not fundamentally different from those that we saw in other cases and SilverStone, and other manufacturers. Access to the rack opens to the right – on the other hand it is covered by the vertical part of the partition, and the rack itself can be rearranged.
True, the possible places for its installation are chosen somewhat strange. When delivered, it is located at a distance of about 6.5 cm from the front plane of the chassis – probably, this gap is left with an eye on a fairly thick radiator of the liquid cooling system.
Since the power supply is located in a row in a row along the depth of the case, there are 23 cm left for it (and the cables coming out of its back wall). It would seem logical to foresee a shift of the post forward, closer to the front panel, but it is done on the contrary: it can only be done Move the PS to 43 mm – this is how the existing fixing holes are located. But there is nothing to be placed between the rack and the front plane of the chassis, the sense of moving the rack is different, we’ll talk about it below.
Now about the measures to reduce noise.
Side covers, as well as plastic upper and front panels from the inside are covered with a material resembling spongy rubber. Its surface is not flat, it looks like all the known lattice for eggs, and the thickness at the maximum can reach a centimeter.
Of course, thick soundproofing is good, but it, for example, reduces the space for the CPU cooler: its maximum height is determined by the manufacturer at 163 mm from the surface of the processor to the noise-absorbing material.
Another anti-noise solution is the minimum number of external holes, but here we can not do without contradictions, this time with the needs of heat removal and ventilation systems, to the description of which we are going.
The standard equipment of the case includes three 140-millimeter fans without illumination, standard three-pin connectors are used for their connection.
The location is quite common: two front-mounted injectors and one rear exhaust. But here’s the way to install the front is quite original – they are fixed on a removable frame, which is fixed to the right by protrusions, and to the left by a pair of screws with rolling heads. That is, to remove both of these fans – for example, when installing the radiator SVO – it will be enough to unscrew just two screws.
And the space for such a radiator is not at all limited to twice the size of the fan, that is 280 mm: in the horizontal part of the partition near the front panel there is a cover, after removal of which the radiator can occupy almost the entire height of the internal volume of the chassis.
Front fans serve only the upper part of the case and do not affect the disc stand at all, but they can not be lowered together with the frame downwards even after removing the cover in the partition.
True, fans can be mounted directly on the front plane of the chassis, without any frame, not only 140-, but 120 mm (the frame, by the way, is also designed for them). And the seats allow you to install and three fans, and the bottom will just work on the disk rack, in the side surfaces of which there are corresponding holes.
But in addition to the two 140mm fans installed with the frame, you can put only a smaller model. If you want to put three fans of 140 mm, then this can only be done without a frame, with fastening to the front panel of the chassis. And, of course, have to remove the lid in the partition.
There are other possibilities for upgrading the ventilation system. So, on the upper plane of the chassis, you can install two 120/140-millimeter fans, and the regular rear is replaced by a 120-millimeter fan.
And, of course, you can use liquid cooling systems. Obviously, the removable cover in the partition is made primarily for installation of a radiator longer than 280-290 mm.
A few words about the external holes through which air flows will pass. Actually, there are very few of them – the aim is to create a computer with a low noise level. The front and top plastic panels on the side surfaces have rows of slots, which are fitted with plate guides from within, which the manufacturer intended to “minimize and redirect sound waves” (we again quote the official resource).
Probably, from the point of view of sound waves it is a good decision to evaluate its influence on the noise level, we still can not, because we measure the measurements for the hull as a whole, but from the point of view of air exchange and, accordingly, heat dissipation, this is clearly not the most optimal Option. Moreover, the total area of these slits is small, and there are practically no other holes, except perhaps the perforations in the plugs of the expansion slots.
Let’s move on to the filtration system.
The most convenient filter in the service plan covers the holes at the power unit installation site: it is a plastic frame with a nylon net, which is removed from the outside by movement backwards. It is held by stamped protrusions in the bottom of the body, and fixed by a latch.
There is another filter, structurally made differently: a thin sheet of plastic with small holes, which is equipped with magnets around the perimeter. This is also a good solution, but just this filter is located on the installation site of optional top fans.
But after all, these fans are usually put out with suction so that they do not interfere with, but help natural convection, and the upper filter is needed only to prevent dust from entering when the computer is turned off. However, in this case, the lateral arrangement of the holes in the top cover alone will not allow the fine particles to fall inside the housing, and this filter will only be another obstacle to airflow.
But the front filter fans are deprived at all, which is even less logical: they are just installed as injectors. Of course, the filter can be rearranged from the top plane of the chassis to the front, but it will cover only two of the three fans.
And in any case, access to the filter is easy and fast can not be called: you need to remove the corresponding cover, top or front.
There is no standard fan speed controller in SilverStone Kublai KL07, as there is no possibility of installing the reboats in external access bays, so fans must be connected either to the motherboard or to the power supply unit via separately purchased adapters, or to modern fan controllers that do not require Its location, compartments with external access.
The side walls are fixed by a system of grooves and combs, and are fixed by pairs of screws with rolling heads. At the ends there are stamped protrusions for gripping, and the rigidity of the walls is large enough so that there are no distortions during installation.
The power supply is screwed to the rear wall. On the bottom there are protrusions that help to position it correctly during installation, but there are no shock absorbers, even in the form of thin stickers, which is rather strange for the body, for which “astounding silence” is stated.
Orient the BP better with the fan down; Of course, it is possible to install the fan upwards, but the gap between the top wall of the power supply unit and the horizontal part of the partition is only about two centimeters, and with considerable heat generation this can not ensure normal cooling.
The plugs in the port of the I / O ports of the motherboard that you need to break out are not there. The plugs in the expansion card slots are reusable, but the way to fix them is not very pleasant: they are pressed together by a single strap, which is fixed with two screws from the outside, and after removing the bar, all seven stubs simply drop out. True, there is the possibility of individual fixation with screws, which is especially important, for example, when installing large and heavy video cards.
Racks for the motherboard should be installed by the assembler, this task will be facilitated by the adapter we have mentioned on the hexagon for the Phillips screwdriver, which is included.
In the area of the processor, the backplane of the motherboard has a large cutout that will allow you to install or remove some types of coolers without removing the board itself.
The external connectors of the case are connected by shielded cables with monolithic connectors, for audio only the HD Audio connection is provided, and the USB ports are connected to the internal connectors of the motherboard.
In order to hide wires and cables behind the substrate, there are two large and strongly elongated holes provided with rubber plugs with cut-off petals. In the horizontal part of the partition, too, there is a similar hole, but smaller and without a cap.
The standard cables of the case are fixed with two reusable ties-velcro, for all the others it is necessary either to manage with the same screeds, or to find something in their stocks for fastening to the existing stamped ears.
Each of the plastic panels, front and top, is fastened with six cylindrical latches, three on each side. Their complete removal does not interfere with any wires: the buttons / indicators on the front and the external connectors at the top have their own bases fixed on the chassis.
The disk rack is not a one-piece structure, but a pair of side walls fixed independently of each other. Naturally, each is required to be fastened from two sides: from below a pair of screws to the bottom (access to their heads from the outside) and two more to the horizontal part of the partition. Moreover, in the standard position, the front wall of the counter tops on the detachable cover of the partition and is loose when removing this cover, which will just require you to move the disk rack.
Of course, to unscrew and then re-tighten the eight small screws – not too difficult task, but for the power supply will remain less than 19 centimeters. Most of the available BPs on the market usually do not exceed 14-16 cm, that is, this distance will be sufficient, but it will be very inconvenient to lay out the outgoing bundles of wires.
The slides in the rack are inserted to the right – as we have said, access from the other side is blocked by the vertical wall of the partition.Fixation carried latches are released by pressing the handle facing the outside sled designed also to extract convenience. Additional screw fastening is not provided, but in it and there is no need.
3.5-inch hard drives are attached to the side slide pins, equipped with small rubber pads for shock absorption, and the model size of 2.5 “screwed to the bottom, and there are two options – closer to the outer edge of the slide or farther from it.
The distance to the right wall allows you to use the SATA-cable with both direct and with L-shaped connectors.
Additional 2.5-inch space behind the base of the motherboard organized peculiar: it is a kind of container that is not recovered completely, and can be rotated at an angle of about 20 ° around its edges farther from the front panel so you can insert a storage device – without turning this will prevent the front chassis of the plane.
The front edge of the container mounted latches comprising the lugs projecting from the base. Most likely, these collector tabs have to bend in one direction or another: in this instance for two of the three containers and lock, and the release was hindered.
But in general, a method of fastening a 2.5-inch SSD / HDD we liked. It is only necessary to take into account that they need to connect cables with straight connectors, and when the disc is removed, these cables must be disabled to turn the container.
And the body itself is made quite accurately; in particular, some elements of which can damage the hands when assembling, we have not found.
Noise measurement is carried out in accordance with our method using a sound level meter Octave 110A-Eco in a soundproof room, with a typical noise level of 20 dBA. During the measurement, all the electrical appliances in the room are turned off.
To regulate the supply voltage used in a standalone fan-controlled converter.
Performance casing cooling system varies over a rather wide range depending on the voltage supply fans. Subjectively this parameter allows to evaluate the noise level that is in the range from 20.5 to 37 dB at the removed front and supply voltage from 5 to 12 V.
In the assembled housing of the cooling system noise level varies from 19 to 32 dB at the microphone arrangement in the near field. Typically, voltage regulation range 7-11 The noise varies from very low (22.5 dBA) to low (30 dB) level with respect to the typical values for premises in the daytime.
At greater distances from the user’s body and placing it, for example, on the floor under the table, the noise can be described as minimally noticeable when working fans at minimum speed, and when working at the maximum – as reduced to dwelling in the daytime.
Attenuation of the noise source inside the housing, when measured from the front, is on the average level for the solutions with solid walls.
The quality of fans subjectively no major complaints: the sounds neaerodinamicheskogo origin they are minimal and do not pay much attention to yourself, that is no knocking, whistling or other annoying sounds have been observed in this instance.
The main claim to the cooling system is the lack of adjustability of regular complete fan speed, because the controller is not installed in the housing, and find board with three connectors hull fan power may be difficult.
At the time of writing we could not find the proposals SilverStone Kublai KL07 housing in retail and foreign online stores trading range was very much wide: from $ 85 to $ 109 and even more.
It is very difficult to evaluate a product without knowing more or less precisely its price: a lot of what it is forgivable budget models, can not be considered valid in the models from the middle and upper price segment in particular.
But other cases of the Kublai series are positioned as inexpensive, we will assume that this applies to SilverStone Kublai KL07, and therefore we evaluate it from an appropriate point of view.
The main unusuality of SilverStone Kublai KL07 is the presence of an external USB Type-C port, which is still a rarity for expensive cases. How much is in demand now, it’s difficult to say, but because the case is not bought for one day, and sometimes can survive the change of several motherboards, especially from private owners. Therefore, we consider this an important plus.
Cases designed to create computers with a minimum noise level, we have met more than once, and always have to take into account that noise reduction measures are in conflict with the needs of the heat sink. Of course, for mid-range configurations, SilverStone Kublai KL07 full-time capabilities are quite enough, for more powerful computers it is possible to put both additional fans and SVO, and systems with extremely high heat release in a similar package are unlikely to be collected by anyone.
In all other cases the case is equipped quite standardly, except that the ZIP kit is frankly poor, but it is quite possible to reconcile with this. But the attitude to the absence of 5.25- and 3.5-inch slots with access to the front panel will be determined by the potential buyer, based on their own needs.
The same applies to the appearance: someone will strictly like the exterior of the hull, but someone may have the opposite opinion.
In the filtering system, the presence of an upper filter appears to be strange, in the absence of a front filter (recall: dust penetration from above is excluded by the design of the top cover itself). There is another controversial issue: the wires coming from the power supply unit will be too tight even in the regular configuration, and if you need to install the maximum length radiator in front, the necessary movement of the disk rack will further reduce the space for the power supply.
But the possibility of installing any modern video adapters and other expansion cards in SilverStone Kublai KL07 without reducing the number of seats for HDD / SSD can only be assessed positively.