Silverstone Kublai KL07 – Test and Review

KL07 or more widely known as Kublai KL07, a product part of the SilverStone portfolio, is a high tech case, designed to meet the requirements of enthusiast users as well as those who are willing to spend a bit more on a chassis to get that special features access, along with other useful technicalities.

SilverStone Kublai KL07 has arrived at our doorsteps and I’m about to find out how it performs, its key features and technical specifications that distinct it from the rest of the products in the segment. Its main clientele – enthusiasts that really enjoy spending money on high end components, but at the same time this case doesn’t break the bank. Plethora of options will enable you to choose your style of cooling and internal layout without worrying about space.

Part of the Kublai family, KL07 possesses modern features and stylish design to suit many users. The overall theme is clean, flat and minimalistic design, no unnecessary bold actions on design. It looks appealing and humble, only giving a whiff of the potential computing power hidden inside.

Have a look at my previous test and review on another Kublai model, back in 2015: SilverStone Kublai KL05 – Test and Review

Let’s move on and check out what this modern case has to offer us.

As most cases these days we’ve got a simple, yet self-explanatory carton box that contains vital data for your purchase. A huge frontal shot of the case is present, as well as all needed technical details that you may find on the box sides. Alternatively, the back has a total in-detail breakdown of all internal goodies.

Standard packaging Features and specifications

 

No damage was visible on the box (Thank you, delivery company!) and after checking the internals there is no damage to the case whatsoever. Protection included is a couple of thick hard styrofoam pieces as well as nylon bag that covers the entire case. All plastic elements were nicely covered in nylon, too.

Carefully removing all the protective nylons gave me the chance to take a closer look at the exterior, so here are some photos for you – covering all sides of the chassis.

 

SilverStone Kublai KL07 EXTERIOR

All black matte design, with the small exception of a couple of stripes, strategically placed to complete the chassis’s design. This case is all about simplicity and external appeal. Mostly made of steel with plastic used for the panels. KL07 comes in only one option at the time of this review – SST-KL07B (black).

I sincerely hope for other options to appear soon, should the case meet the company’s sales goals. Imagine it in white or a black/blue combination.

Physical dimensions put it in the middle tower segment, with room to spare – 222 (W) x 510 (H) x 467 (D) mm or total 52.8 Liters of volume.

Frontal view Side view

 

Extremely clean, sleek design, accompanied by subtle piano black finished stripes. I love its simplicity and modern touch, a truly good looking case, in my opinion.

Rear view Bottom view

I’m sure that by now you’ve been able to spot several vent holes, present on the front and top panels, along with the drilled PCI-e covers. All done to aid air passing through and maintain a steady level of airflow. A case with noise dampening would require such vents to ensure that maximum airflow is delivered, due to the somewhat limited capacity of the installed fans. If you have liquid cooling things may vary due to different mechanics.

Being a silent case – we’re lacking an acrylic window here. It’s only so normal. Bottom side has nice rubber feet, supportive and high quality rubber, in my opinion. Top panel has all connections available for the smooth operation of most PCs nowadays – 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB type C and audio jacks.

Within the black stripe of the front panel there are the power and rest buttons, slightly hidden without compromising the look of the case – loving this approach.

Let’s move on towards checking out KL07’s interior bits.

 

SilverStone Kublai KL07 INTERIOR

Access to the interior is granted via undoing the thumbnail screws and sliding the panel out. Interior-wise there is lots of space as you can see at first glance. Dual chamber design with a PSU shroud or cover, depending on how you prefer it.

All black matte paint, high quality finish, I have to say. Black cables all around. Rubber grommets with high quality rubber and securely attached to the chassis. The list goes on.

Sound dampening Interior

 

Motherboards of ATX and Micro-ATX sized could be placed comfortably inside KL07’s interior, as well as standard ATX PSU. A small nylon bag responsible for the safekeeping of all included screws and stand offs was attached to the PSU mount. Small leaflet with instructions and the very basic of screws have been included, but there is a reason for that.

 

Storage-wise the case has been designed with tool-less design and additional quick zip ties have been smartly implemented to assist you with cable routing. Very thoughtful and quite a useful feature to have, especially in a case where space is limited due to sound dampening requirements.

Several limitations are shared on the official webpage:

  • GPU – Compatible up to 388mm in length, width restriction is 165mm
  • PSU – 140 ~ 200mm – depends on drive cage position
  • CPU cooler – 163mm – 172mm – 163mm is until the cooler’s top part reaches the wavy foam surface.

As seen from the photos the wavy foam sound absorbing material is present on both side panels. High quality padding, dense and securely attached. Another good touch is the fact that where the SSD mounts are there is no sound dampening material to avoid being crushed with cables – it only makes it ugly and ruins its looks.

I’ve checked most of the chassis at this point, so let’s move on to removing all the parts that can be removed.

Here is a quick list of the things I was able to remove from KL07. It was easy, only using the help of pulling force and a screwdriver.

  • 2 x side panels with sound dampening material
  • 1 x top panel with sound dampening material
  • 1 x front panel with sound dampening material
  • 3 x 140mm SilverStone fans
  • 3 x dust filters (top, bottom, front)
  • 1 x HDD mount cage
  • 3 x HDD plastic mounts
  • 3 x SSD plastic mounts
  • Shroud cover
  • Metal rail (holding the front fans)
  • I/O ports panel
  • power/reset button panel

To be honest, given the amount of things I removed from the chassis I expected it to be slightly flimsy, being only 7.7kg with all parts installed, however that was not the case. It actually stood its ground quite well and no signs of curving or thin steel sheets were present. Excellent built and a pleasant surprise.

Of course, the next process was to assemble everything back together with explanations, so here we go.

HDD cage Installed in 1st position (closer to front)

 

Firstly, the HDD cage installation took place. Held by several small screws to the chassis and availability to be moved near the PSU enables users to modify the overall free space in the front for cooling.

A small cover both completes the PSU shroud and hold the cage in place. Additional holes are present should you feel the need to move the cage to the middle of the chassis.

Fan frame Securely attached

 

Next up was the fan frame, holding the two included 140mm SilverStone fans, serving as intake. It gets securely attached with two thumbnail screws to the front part of the chassis. Several options for cooling are available in KL07 – both air cooling and water cooling fans will be pleased.

  • Front: 3 x 120 / 140mm fan slot (2 x 140mm intake fan included)
  • Rear: 1 x 120 / 140mm fan slot (1 x 140mm exhaust fan included)
  • Top: 2 x 120 / 140mm fan slot

All of this sums up to total of six supported fans, with three included straight out the box. Lastly I installed the rear fan.

There were no official statements on the website on water cooling options, except the maximum supported radiator of 360mm. I’m sure that KL07 could easily fit 120, 140, 240 and 280mm radiators should you feel the urge to go into water cooling.

SSD (left) and HDD (right) mounts Panels with buttons and I/O ports installation

 

Total of six drives are supported at the same time in KL07 (3 x 2.5″ and 3 x 3.5″ (compatible with 2.5″)). Tool-less design is present all around on both mounts for easy installation. Even though they’re made from plastic, all mounts have a nice, sturdy feel to them along with minor flexibility to allow installation of a drive. Sliding the rails is easy, while the SSD mounts on the side wall is a bit of a hassle to do, but the end user will not be likely to remove them anyway.

Next up the list for installation were all the included dust filters, which is a must-have nowadays. KL07 does a great job by having three such filters on key locations – front, top and bottom. The only gripe I have for the top and front is that you need to remove the panels before you can remove a filter to clean it.

All dust filters Nearly done

 

Nice quality of the dust filters with dense, yet permeable mesh. The front and top ones have magnets for quicker removal which is welcomed. Bottom filter slides into place and clicks for security. It’s also a short one, so even if there is space restrictions present you should be able to easily remove it.

Moving forward with case restoration, I installed both top and front panels. SilverStone have supplied the same wavy foam material on those panels as well, which both strengthens them and provides sound insulation. Both panels click into place with a bit of force.

You can barely see the power and reset buttons here as well as the power LED (blue) and HDD activity LED (blue). Nice touch indeed.

I’ve completed the chassis reassembly procedure and next goal is to proceed with the testing. Of course, before that I would have to move on with system installation, so here it goes.

 

SilverStone Kublai KL07 TESTS

For the testing I will use an Intel based system with Z97 chipset motherboard.

Intel Z97 Test system

  • CPU: Intel i5-4670K
  1. At standard frequency 3.400 MHz (Voltage set to Auto when not OC-ing)
  2. At low overclock frequency of 3.900 MHz  (at 1.20V)
  • Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VII HERO Z97
  • Video card: MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G
  • Memory: Kingston Hyper-X SAVAGE 8 GB, Dual channel, 1866 MHz
  • Solid State Drive: Intel 530 Series, 120 GB
  • Hard drive: Western Digital 1 TB RED Series, NAS
  • Case: SilverStone Kublai KL07
  • Power supply:  Corsair RM750 W
  • Cooler: Cryorig C1
  • Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound

The test was conducted in a closed system with:

  • 2 x 140mm SilverStone fans, rotating at maximum RPM at 12 volts, mounted at the front
  • 1 x 140mm SilverStone fan, rotating at maximum RPM at 12 volts, mounted at the rear
  • Room temperature of about 24~25 degrees Celsius.

And here I want to describe my testing method.

I will install my test rig inside the case and do CPU and VGA stress tests using AIDA64 for about 10 minutes with these settings:

  • CPU: Intel i5-4670K – At standard frequency of 3.400 MHz (Voltage set to Auto when not OC-ing)
  • CPU: Intel i5-4670K – At low overclock frequency of 3.900 MHz  (at 1.20V)
  • MSI AMD R9 280X GAMING 3G – running at stock voltage and auto speed control of the fans.

KL07 is a case that provides easy installation with just a couple of minor remarks I’ve found along the way. There is no designated cable management for the front fans’ cables, so I routed them trough an SSD mount hole. SSD installation was somewhat limited due to either my SATA cable or the actual design of the mount – sorted this out eventually by moving the SSD into a different position. There was no labeling on which of the black cables is the one for USB 3.0 and USB type C. Otherwise there is plenty of space to work with and the final product is pleasing to the eye.

Cable management was easy and thoughtful, there is enough space for even thicker cables available.

Cable management Installed system

 

Here is a summary of the tests I conducted. Have in mind that this case with combination with this cooler is more oriented towards providing silent operation than actual competitive temperatures. Due to that fact I’ve performed limited overclocking.

Idle load and idle fans Idle load and max fans

 

And under load:

Max load @3.4 GHz and max fans Max load @3.9 GHz and max fans

 

SilverStone Kublai KL07 CONCLUSIONS

1. Silverstone Kublai KL07 performance – In this section I would explain not only general cooling performance but all factors that lead to a well built case. Build quality is really great, taking into account that we have lots of plastic panels. Paint matching is excellent, no severe differences from plastic to metal paint coverage. Even layers of paint both outside and inside. Sturdy design, strong chassis and lots of options in terms of cooling and storage cage flexibility.

Moving forward with actual temperatures – this is not a contest on which case cools components best, but rather how effective it is. KL07 provides good amount of airflow through the included fans and they are supported by the vent holes on the panels for intake and exhaust. Additionally, it kept the system running with acceptable temperature levels given the load it took from Aida64.

Couple of valid things to mention: Awkward SSD mount positioning as SATA cables aren’t the toughest ones and could be damaged if mishandled. A sacrifice has been made in order to keep the outside of the chassis as clean as possible – you need to remove top and front panels if dust filters need cleaning. Cable routing for the front fans isn’t the best.

All in all, solid performance and lots of features to take into account prior to purchasing – it’s really a well-thought-out case.

2. Silverstone Kublai KL07 appearance – Clean aesthetic design and flat panels. Piano black finish on the stripes that looks appealing, complementing the clean lines of the case and it looks great. I really liked the interior as well, both in terms of layout and paint – excellent work. Shrouding of the PSU really makes the case look eye pleasing once you remove the side panel. With additional 10 minutes of cable routing you can make this case look absolutely amazing. I used no zip ties for the build and it turned out great. Nearly 100% clean and cable free look.

3. Silverstone Kublai KL07 noise level – Quite impressed with its results. After having reviewed many cases, both silent and performance-oriented ones, I would say this goes in my personal top 5 silent cases. As a user I am willing to make a compromise for cooling to enjoy silence, but that’s just me. This case really kills noise. At maximum RPM of the fans and the slightly whining slim fan of the CPU cooler, it’s absolutely fine to sit next to the case, it’s not a bother at all. What an excellent job that wavy foam is doing, indeed. At idle speeds, there is barely a whiff coming from the system and that is if you try to listen for any noises. Tremendous work has been done here and I’m impressed with its execution. Simple, yet elegant and effective.

I believe Silverstone Kublai KL07 deserves the following reward:

Official price (MSRP) for Silverstone Kublai KL07: 85.50 euro w/o VAT

Warranty: 24 months

Special thanks to Silverstone for providing us with a test sample.

Silverstone Kublai KL07 – Test and Review
Elegant looking case with plethora of cooling options, made for enthusiasts and users with attention to silence. Solid and effective performance. Silent and well built.
9 Total Score

Elegant looking case with plethora of cooling options, made for enthusiasts and users with attention to silence. Solid and effective performance. Silent and well built.

Design
9
Build Quality
9
Performance
8.5
Noise Dampening
9.5
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Nikola Milanov is reviewer and newsman at DVTests and has more than 6 years of experience in telecommunications. I'm really enthusiastic about the website and its development by sharing a user's point of view and experience with the products we test. We are honest and objective in all of the articles, the products get tested and reviewed thoroughly with no exception! Feel free to ask any questions in the comment section or use the emails in About us page!
3 Comments
  1. Reply Matt 12.06.2017 at 22:53

    Very good review thank you. Shame there isn’t more reviews of this case.

  2. Reply Legato 11.05.2017 at 3:46

    Nice to see an in depth review on this case – it seems that not many people even know this case exists.
    How does this case stack up against the more premium “silent” oriented cases for noise suppression – such as the Fractal Define R5?

    • Reply Nikola Milanov 11.05.2017 at 8:36

      Thanks Legato, glad you like the detailed review.
      Noise or noise dampening really is quite a subjective thing on my end. I can’t really remember how quiet Define R5 was, but they are pretty close. Honestly, I think that with R5 there were more tests conducted with sound dampening before rolling it to the market, so there is a slight edge there for R5. I’m positive that one will have a hard time comparing both cases unless he sees decibel numbers 🙂

      Nick

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