Introducing the SilverStone GD07

The last time we reviewed one of SilverStone's Grandia enclosures, it was the GD04, and it was a review that launched the first major revamp of how we test cases. Since then SilverStone has kept the Grandia series relatively staid, but at CES they were showing off the new GD07 and GD08, and today we have the GD07 in house.

SilverStone has turned the GD07 into an enclosure designed to cram as much computer into as small a space as possible within reason, and the horizontal orientation seems to make it ideal for use as a media center enclosure. However, inside it also has a tremendous amount of storage capacity that suggests it could also be used as a media server. The GD04 was a fine case once you tweaked it and added a fan controller; is the GD07 ideal on the first go?

It's pretty impressive at first glance, with four external 5.25" drive bays. You're going to find that's something indicative of the rest of the enclosure, as the GD07 is rife with storage options. But we also had the chance to meet with SilverStone at CES 2012 and get a proper tour of the GD07, and so as this review goes on I'll talk a little more about the decisions that went into designing this major update to the Grandia series. Suffice to say it's an excellent update that may be just what you're looking for if you want to build a combination media center/file server (similar to what I use at home), but there are definite drawbacks compared to the previous GD04 and GD05.

SilverStone Grandia GD07 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25”
Internal 2x 2.5" and 5x 3.5"
Cooling Front -
Rear 2x 80mm fan mount
Top -
Side 1x 120mm intake fan and 1x 120mm fan mount
Bottom 2x 120mm intake fans
Expansion Slots 7+1
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size Standard ATX
Clearances HSF 138 mm
PSU 220 mm
GPU 13.5" / 343mm
Weight 15.4 lbs.
7 kg
Dimensions 6.9" x 17.3" x 17.1"
175mm x 440mm x 435mm
Special Features Large removable drive cage
Locking hinged front panel
Extra horizontally mounted expansion slot
USB 3.0 via internal header
Price Online starting at $140

The GD07 is larger in pretty much every way than its predecessor, the GD04, which means it doesn't necessarily obsolete that model so much as exist alongside it. In exchange for the extra real estate, SilverStone bumps the number of drive bays up substantially as well as allowing for a full ATX motherboard instead of just Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX. We also get front panel USB 3.0 connectivity through an included internal header.

Just like the GD04 was a sibling model with the GD05, differing in front panel layout, so the GD07 and GD08 are similar. The GD07 has more exposed expansion and a locking front door that hinges downward, while the GD08 has just two exposed 5.25" bays and no door. I personally prefer the door; the power button is still exposed, you don't have to lock the door, it offers a cleaner finish, and it hides the optical drive activity LED. If you prefer the alternate configuration, however, the GD08 will retail for $145 and is currently available for pre-order at some retailers.

In and Around the SilverStone GD07
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  • randinspace - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    Dustin, I enjoyed the review, and in particular think you absolutely hit the nail on the head with your conclusion that the system has a lot of potential. I'm left wondering if it has a bit too much potential in place of realized excellence since I would personally have appreciated better cabling options, a fan controller that actually worked, and a straight out dedicated hot swap bay, but the headroom (and accompanying theoretical lack of expense from such inclusions) must only make it more attractive to boutiques like the very Puget Systems mentioned in passing for providing the i3 used in the review.

    I bring them up mostly since I recall reading a case evaluation they did last year, though unfortunately not the case, in which they mentioned that because of some of the design choices that were made in order to make it "toolless" they didn't trust it to survive shipping with a fully installed system in it. I personally find Puget to be a little too conservative in various ways, but considering that and their willingness to make their own modifications to cases I can at least imagine how a toolless version of the GD07 with grilles on the fans might be an unappealing prospect to an outfit like them. Then again it's not like they actually have a product line the GD07 seems to beg inclusion in (yet?).

    As to the "controversy" you alluded to at the start, I don't expressly have a problem with the fact that you used the mini-ITX testbed instead of the (micro) ATX one with a different cooler. However, with the present lack of apples to apples comparisons in the charts, I think the review would have been better served with additional anecdotal comparisons, or even testing out additional fan configurations like some people have been clamoring for. Pulling the fans and maybe even a drive or two out of your own GD05 and then taking the noise and thermal readings again (or even doing noise readings on your GD05 as it usually runs for the aforementioned anecdotal comparison) for instance would have been absolutely brilliant. Then again if you give in to a dog begging for food from the table even once...
  • Hulk - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    17" depth is simply too much for most entertainment centers once you figure in stiff HDMI cables. I'm using the GD04 which Anandtech rightly criticized for the loud fans. All you have to do is reconfigure the power leads to the fans so they are running off the 5V rail and voila, it's quiet. Takes about 1 minute and costs nothing. And the cooling of the three 120's is fine for a low power HTPC. In fact I'm running mine that way with a C2D at 3.0GHz no problem with the stock cpu cooler.
  • PhoenixEnigma - Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - link

    Agreed on the depth - my GD04 is about as deep as I'd want a media center case to be. 17" is ridiculous, IMO. It's at the point I'd be setting it on its side (tower case style) beside everything else, which sort of defeats the point.

    One tip - you can get around the HDMI cable (and most other cables, for that matter) issue with angled connectors, or possibly Redmere cables.
  • zlandar - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    I have a Grandia GD06. Not sure what the point is of making a case large enough to support ATX boards. As the reviewer pointed out, a major problem with this case style is the lack of height to support a tower-type cooler. There is a 18mm of additional height compared to the GD06 I have, but most tower coolers require 150mm+ which this case is short by 12mm. You can go with a low-profile cooler like a Gemini 2 but the performance will never match a cheap tower like a Hyper 212+.

    Depending on your HTPC usage you can use a stock cooler and be happy. I use my HTPC for commercial skipping (DVRMStoolbox and showanalyzer) and for transcoding to my iPad (Airvideo) which will take as much cpu as you have. My i3-550 runs fine with a slight overclock to 3.6GHz.

    Would also prefer these type of cases come with a fan controller.
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - link

    I had not problem with my Silverstone LC10B-E. It could fit a tower CPU heatsink just fine and was pretty quiet. You seem to think there are really only about 3 options, which is ludicrous. Tons of CPU heatsinks of various designs fit in those ATX desktop cases quite easily and can cool even overclocked quad cores. My i3 530 ran with the aforementioned tower cooler (cheap Arctic Cooling 64 or something) at 4.5GHz. When I used a Lian Li Cube (V351-B) I had a Noctua NH-C12P, which is just under 12cm with the standard fan (you could always use slims) ,I had my i7 860 running at 3.5GHz just fine. :-)
    So don't be so narrow minded. Lots of options to choose from in every height and cooling segment. :D
  • mcnabney - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    The purpose of this box is to hold an ATX-sized board which provides the extended number of slots and drive connectors to completely populate the case as a home/media server. It has made some mistakes along the way.

    1. It should have been built 'up' instead of 'out'. It is just too deep. I had to modify my entertainment center for a similar design four years ago. You would have thought that the engineers would have corrected that issue by now.
    2. By being too thin you noticed that it wouldn't hold many CPU coolers. This also eliminates the ability to silently cool a CPU - a colossal mistake. Living room PCs shouldn't be making noise.... at all. Small HTPC cases can do it, why not a larger one which should have more options.
    3. The drive cage design is stupid. If they are going to provide groups of 5.25" drives they should put them in groups of 3 and also include 3to5 adapters to allow their use in holding 3.5" drives.
    4. The best design for the cage would include a thin area across the top that is designed to hold the two 2.5" SSDs AND a slim DVD/BD drive. This would allow the rest of the space to be dedicated 3.5" drive space for storage.
    5. There may be ventilation issues for the hard disks. Have you tried filling the case completely with drives (and put them in an array so that activity spins them all) and checking the drive temps? The board looks adequately cooled, but the drive cage looks like a pit of dead air.
  • mmsmsy - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    I don't know how PC enclosures could stay pretty much the same for so long when they can be totally reinvented to be less noisy, have less wasted space, be much better ventilated and be much, much, much cheaper. This is getting frustrating since I can't buy literally anything neither to my PC nor a PC to the living room that wouldn't be a complete waste of money, because every single one of them is basically the same and begs to improve it's design. There's only so much to do about it as to build one myself... if I had any skills in bending and cutting metal. Ridiculous...
  • xpeacemaker - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the review -- I was excited to see a review of this Silverstone's latest product. I own a GD04 and love the look and quality of it. My biggest gripe for the case is that it's obviously cramped and a nightmare to do maintenance on.

    As time went on, my need for hard drive space has increased in priority, yet physical room inside the case is not available (GD04). In addition, I have a sound card that I would love to add to take over the primary responsibilities of sound output, but I can't because with a 5770 in there, there just isn't any room for it.

    I would love to see how this case stacks up compared to the GD04 in detail (since this is a newer model). I am most curious to know, what can I fit in here more comfortably that I couldn't do before? How much hardware can I actually stuff in here without modifying the case? How many hard drives were you able to actually install and wire up completely?

    I would have liked to see what you meant by the clearance issues you encountered with the 2.5" drive install.

    Sorry for the critical feedback. All that being said, I do appreciate your review.
  • Stabgotham - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    Yes, please answer all of these questions. These are the exact questions coming to my mind as well. I'm in the market for an HTPC case, but I really need it to store the physical hard drives (5 x 3.5" HDD's).

    I'd also really like to see some future reviews of some of the Lian-Li HTPC cases as comparison.
  • zlandar - Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - link

    I keep my hard drives in a separate Sans Digital enclosure. I use four 2TB drives in a RAID 5 connected to my HTPC through eSATA.

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