Grandia series is a product line from Silverstone, aimed at the mainstream users who want to bring smaller-sized chassis to their living rooms, while packing up serious hardware inside. All of that is achievable without the need of a second person to move the actual case with the gaming hardware, due to its heavy weight and huge dimensions. Today’s unit for test and review is called Silverstone GD09 – small case with very clean design for those who require a gaming system on the go.
Silverstone GD09 was sent to me in a carton box, mostly covered in black with a picture of the case inside it, placed on the front and on the sides. The front side had some of the features this case offers as well as Silverstone’s snowlake logo in white, while the sides of the black box had technical specifications, sizes and useful information about the case in particular. In the upper right corner of the front side there was a big statement that the case is USB 3.0 ready (in case you didn’t know) definitely easy to spot on.
|The side of the box – GD09||Other side of the box – GD09|
After inspecting the exterior of the carton box I proceeded with unpacking and one thing I saw while unboxing was that on the inner side on one of the carton pieces there was a distinctive inscription saying “This is a unique product, plase read the included manual before proceeding with installation. Thank you.” In other words, be careful what you do with the case, if this is the first HTPC case you use, as these types of chassis are somewhat different than the ones we’re used to seeing and using often. In order not to damage anything, do read the manual.
Having GD09 out of the case, that was the view I got. Hard styrofoam with nylon cover, pretty much standard protective packaging that had done its job absolutely fine and when I removed it the case looked undamaged.
Silverstone GD09 Exterior
There it is – Silverstone GD09 HTPC case. As you can see from the photo the design that Silverstone went with is totally flat and clean, brushed aluminum like front plastic panel with small logo of the company that adds up to the visual presentation. The brushed aluminum effect of the plastic is also quite good in terms of execution and gives the case premium look and feel.
Let’s examine the other sides of GD09:
|GD09 right side||GD09 rear I/O|
|GD09 – left side||GD09 bottom view|
The case is entirely black from all sides, excluding the PCI-e brackets, which are on the silver metallic side and the two front rubber feet have a thin chrome like finish, contributing to the whole premium, sleek look of GD09. Before proceeding with the examination of the case let me share with you its dimensions and weight – 440mm (W) x 170mm (H) x 358mm (D), 26.9 liters and 4.2 kg. GD09 is definitely a small case and is very light, when there is no hardware installed inside, meaning that it is portable and easy to place in small areas with limited space.
That pretty much wraps things up for the exterior portion of GD09 and now is the time to inspect the interior.
Silverstone GD09 Interior
GD09’s interior is accessible from the top panel and the top panel only, which is placed on rails for easier open/close operation.
After top panel removal this is what I was able to see. Firstly, I took out the user manual, which was placed in a nylon bag, accompanied by the included accessories. Silverstone has included four non-reusable zip ties, rubber pads for vibration absorption, metal bracket (used for HDD) and a tiny nylon bag with necessary screws in order to build a system.
I decided to take a look at the manual and check if it would help me install some hardware inside GD09 and I have to say that the manual was excellent. Multiple languages are included and probably all of the operations that you would be performing with the case are explained thoroughly and backed up by pictures to bring even more light in building an HTPC system. Having read the helpful small white book I went on with disassembling GD09.
|GD09 bare chassis||GD09 interior|
Well, that was fast – the case has several removal components and quite frankly they are easy to remove, just a couple of screws and you are done. After removing the parts, acting as support I noticed that the case was extremely flexible, but it is rather normal as nothing holds it together but some rivets. Don’t be alarmed, that is absolutely fine as the case is extremely light and thinner steel is used for its production – it will not affect the performance as you’ll see later in the article.
Here are all the parts that I was able to remove from GD09:
- GD09 chassis
- PSU dust filter
- Fan dust filter
- Right dual dust filter
- HDD/ODD multi-purpose bracket
- 120mm fan
- Support bar
- Some screws (black and white)
- Top panel
- Front plastic panel with I/O cables (USB ports PCB is removable)
In typical fashion I shall describe the assembly process (may be a short one, though).
First thing to put back into place is the front panel, held by seven screws, located on the inner side of GD09.
Second and third were the dust filters, located on the left side. These dust filters are connected to the chassis via brackets and need to be pulled if you want to remove them. Push them back in with a little force until they clip into place.
Fourth thing to do was the installation of the right dust filter, which is installed with a sliding motion until it stops.
And last, for now, was the installation of the 120mm fan, on the right side of GD09. The fan has rotating speed of 900 RPM and noise level of 18 dBA at maximum revolutions. Speaking of fans, I believe it is the time to provide some information about what fans this chassis can house. GD09 is a capable case in terms of cooling fans that can be installed and even though it comes with only one preinstalled fan, there is no need to worry as the case can be equipped with several more, or four more to be exact.
- another 120mm fan next to the one included
- one 120mm fan behind the PSU, also compatible with 80mm fan
- two 80mm fans near the motherboard back I/O panel
Honestly, if these fans are all installed this case might end up on the performance cooling side of things as this could be potentially with two intake fans and three exhaust fans, meaning good conditions for the hardware inside. Overall I have to say that Silverstone has done a great job implementing those fan mounts as they could be of use at any given time, depending on what you want from GD09 – performance or silence.
Moving on deeper inside GD09 I noticed that the motherboard stand offs were preinstalled, which I am always happy to see. ATX motherboard slides right into place on the preinstalled stand offs, but GD09 can technically fit SSI-CEB and Micro-ATX boards as well. ATX power supply is also supported where 220mm length is the maximum and 180mm is recommended in order to utilize that 120mm fan slot near the PSU.
But big motherboards and power supplies means nothing if you don’t have storage room, and GD09 has a dedicated bracket for the storage drives, as well as optical drive, if you still use those. Let me show you the multi-purpose bracket as it is quite interesting and important part of the case. The HDD/ODD bracket is steel and black all around with many holes each serving a purpose. Silverstone has especially payed attention to how to install drives on the bracket in the user manual.
|Top HDD position||Bottom HDD position|
One of the options is underneath, where the vibration absorption material is present. Correct position is when HDD connections point at the PSU. Another options is on top, again with connections facing the PSU. A total of two 3.5″ drives can be mounted on the bracket itself. 2.5″ drives are able to be installed on the top position if there is no 3.5″ device there or an optical drive. One more 2.5″ drive can be mounted underneath the two top drives. There is one more 3.5″ drive slot inside the case, behind the included 120mm fan, this is where I would be installing my HDD.
|Multi-purpose bracket GD09 top||Multi-purpose bracket GD09 bottom|
When installing storage drives I recommend to check for more information in the user manual, as there is specific order in which drives are installed.
Okay, I think I am done with the interior and exterior inspection of Silverstone GD09 and I believe it is time to assemble the system inside and check the performance level that GD09 has to offer.
The test system is as follows:
- Motherboard: AsRock Fatal1ty Killer Z87
- CPU: Intel I5-4670K; Load tests will be performed at standard clock frequency 3.4 GHz (at 1.029V, set to Auto when not OC-ing)
- CPU Cooler: Box Intel CPU Cooler
- Video card: MSI AMD R9 270X HAWK 2G
- Hard drive: Western Digital 640 GB Black Series
- Power supply: Corsair RM750 W, Modular
- Memory: A-Data XPG 8 GB Dual channel
NB! You may notice the Box CPU cooler is present – that is due to the fact that GD09 can only fit CPU coolers with 138mm maximum height. GPU restriction is rather high for a case this size – 310mm in length and 133mm in width.
Building the test system inside GD09 was definitely a pure pleasure. Although the case is small I was able to reach and route everything with no issues whatsoever.
|PSU into place||HDD with bracket installed|
|Motherboard screwed in||Complete system|
Simply beautiful! Silverstone even left some cable tie openings, but I didn’t need to use them. Although in the bottom right corner the PSU cables are cluttered I find the build to be clean and tidy for a case with such dimensions.
Here are some things worth mentioning – in order to access the PCI brackets you need to remove the additional expansion card slot and then unscrew each bracket like in an ordinary case.
|Expansion slot||Access to PCI brackets|
Now that the system is built I need to install the support bar along with the HDD bracket, just for additional stability and then I can proceed to the testing procedure.
|Support bar||Complete system|
|Closing the top panel was easy||Ready for test|
With the bar and bracket installed the case feels robust and sturdy as it should be. Now I can close the top panel and go on.
Ambient room temperature is about 23-24 degrees Celsius. Here are the results from the performance test with Silverstone GD09:
|Silverstone GD09 @Idle||Silverstone GD09 @Load|
Final thoughts and conclusions:
1. Silverstone Grandia GD09 appearance – What a clean-looking, sleek and elegant case. I admire it everytime I look at it. From the brushed front panel to the chromed like, premium looking rubber feet this case offers outstanding visuals for the price point. Definitely would be a nice touch to your living room and people might ask you what it is as it surely doesn’t strike you as a computer case. I absolutely love the visuals of the case.
2. Silverstone Grandia GD09 performance – Performance-wise Gd09 doesn’t shine with only one fan preinstalled, rotating at 900-1000 RPM. That picture would change significantly when more fans are present and a GPU with reference cooler is installed. My GPU seemed to leave hot air inside the case once it was loaded, thus increasing the ambient temperature in the case. Surely, if you plan to use GD09 for movies or light gaming, that one 120mm fan is more than enough, as it even blows air directly to the HDD. If you plan, however, to build a gaming rig inside, please do check the option of installing more fans into the chassis as things can get ugly very fast.
3. Silverstone Grandia GD09 noise level – With only one fan there is almost nothing to write in this section. The case was silent enough and it was placed right next to me. Given the fact that you might install it somewhere 2-3 meters away from you I doubt that you might hear the fan. Let’s say you install more fans – due to the dust filters, included with Gd09 you might want to keep the RPM’s low if noise is an issue to you as some whistling can occur through the meshes.
I think Silverstone Grandia GD09 deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP): Silverstone Grandia GD09 – $75
Special thanks to SilverStone for providing us with a test sample.