SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E: Devil in the Detailsby Dustin Sklavos on February 10, 2012 6:00 AM EST
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Introducing the SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E
The overwhelming majority of cases from SilverStone we've reviewed so far have been based on some very unorthodox designs, featuring layouts that feel ATX in name only. Yet when we visited with them at CES and they showed off the Temjin TJ04-E, we were surprised: at least superficially, the TJ04-E looked like a garden variety ATX case. It had SilverStone's usual clean lines and style, but everything seemed almost too normal. Thankfully we have the Temjin TJ04-E in house today, and while it may indeed look fairly by-the-book at first glance, SilverStone's mad scientists have tweaked quite a few things beneath the surface.
The Temjin TJ04-E is going to seem fairly standard initially, but as we delve deeper into this chassis design you'll see places where SilverStone's engineers have opted to experiment with modern fundamentals. Our review unit is also one of four models based on this chassis: ours is windowless at $149, while a windowed version will be available at $159. Similar to the Temjin TJ08-E and Precision PS07, SilverStone will also have a less flashy version available in the form of the KL04. The TJ04-E models include heatsinks for the hard drive cage as well as a pair of SATA power cables that expand a single SATA lead to four while the KL04 does not, and the KL04 loses the attractive brushed aluminum front panel. The result is a $109 enclosure, or $119 with a windowed side panel.
|SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E Specifications|
|Motherboard Form Factor||ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX|
|Drive Bays||External||4x 5.25"|
|Internal||9x 3.5", 6x 2.5"|
|Rear||1x 120mm exhaust fan|
|Top||1x 120mm intake fan (additional 1x 140mm fan mount)|
|Right||1x 120mm intake fan (additional 1x 120mm fan mount)|
|Bottom||1x 120mm fan mount|
|Front I/O Port||-|
|Top I/O Port||2x USB 3.0, headphone and mic jacks|
|Power Supply Size||ATX|
|Clearance||12.5" (Expansion Cards), 170mm (CPU HSF), 180mm (PSU, recommend 160mm for optimal cabling)|
|Weight||21.1 lbs (9.6 kg)|
|Dimensions||8.43" x 19.25" x 19.25" (214mm x 489mm x 489mm)|
One of the things SilverStone stressed during our meeting was the sheer mountain of storage space inside the Temjin TJ04-E, and they weren't kidding around. Their removable hard drive cage is capable of holding a staggering nine 3.5" drives, and their smaller removable SSD cage can hold six 2.5" drives. Stacking SSDs together isn't really a big deal, but hard drives might be. Nonetheless, SilverStone was quick to point out not only the inclusion of the removable hard drive heatsinks but also the study Google did in 2007 that revealed that temperatures both too high and too low can increase the failure rate of hard drives. Thus, they designed the TJ04-E to keep hard drives in the "sweet spot," between about 35C to 43C.
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Rolphus - Friday, February 10, 2012 - linkI've just put my new gaming machine together using a TJ-08E (chosen largely because of your review), and I absolutely agree that they are tricky cases to put together - and this is coming from someone with an Antec P180.
I had to substantially re-cable my machine 3 times during the build as I worked out the best places for everything to go.
That said, I'm really, really pleased with my machine - the thermals are excellent, the case is reasonably light, and it's wonderfully compact and quiet.
I think it's a real pity that they're only using 120mm fans in this more conventional case. The 180mm fan in the TJ-08 is key to its success.
burntham77 - Monday, February 13, 2012 - linkThat is great to hear. I am planning to move my parts into a TJ-08E soon. I have been looking for a small case that doesn't sound like a vacuum cleaner, and that one seems to fit the bill. If I may, what CPU and GPU do you use?
Rolphus - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - linkSure! for completeness: my setup is:
Intel Core i5-2500K (at 4GHz, stock voltages with vDroop correction: I've not tried pushing it harder)
EVGA Z68 Micro SLI
MSI GeForce GTX580 Twin Frozr II - actually not recommended: the TJ08's manual suggests only getting GPUs that blow air "out" of the case (as in the reference design) rather than those that blow air in both directions.
Pioneer BDR-206DBK Blu-ray Writer - this is just short enough to fit in the case with...
Silverstone Tech. Strider Plus 850W PSU
Antec Kúhler H2O 920 CPU cooler
1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
64GB Crucial M4 (as a Smart Response Technology cache)
The machine is very quiet even under heavy load (FurMark + Prime95 x 3), with the only real noise being the GPU fans.
I had to work a little to get the Kuhler in place, and think carefully about the order I installed things, but everything fitted nicely with clean airflow.
Risforrocket - Friday, February 10, 2012 - linkThank you, Mr. Sklavos, for a nice review. I have been looking at this case.
I have two remarks. I would like to see case reviews done with the case configured in a way a reasonably enthusiastic owner would configure the case. In this case, configured with the optional fans installed including the bottom fan and the SSD cage removed. I think that is reasonable especially as this case is not a low end case but rather a lower cost enthusiast case. Give the case it's best chance, within reason.
My second remark is that you uncovered the weakness in this case, the cooling airflow. I think Silverstone should fix that but I suppose that won't happen. I don't think the use of screws is a negative at all whereas hard mounting the disk drives might be, well, *is* because that takes us back to a time when no one cared about noise or vibration. Lol, I know, I was there.
That you need to remove the SSD cage in an attempt to fix the cooling airflow leads me to ask myself how would I fix this problem? I think the HDD cage and cooling fans are cool. Remove the SSD cage altogether and provide 2.5" mount options elsewhere, make the bottom cooling fan the main intake fan, make the top fans exhaust rather than intake. That's three intake, three exhaust and a reasonable airflow pattern.
I actually think case design should begin with an airflow design. Well, I'm tired. Thanks again for a nice review.
MilwaukeeMike - Friday, February 10, 2012 - linkYou're right about the case congifuration, but the case has to be setup in the same way that previous reviews were done or the comparison numbers won't be as meaningful. As soon as he makes some modification for a review the comments fill up with bias accusations, suggestions for improvement, and other differences of opinion.
cjs150 - Friday, February 10, 2012 - linkI love Silverstone cases and this is why:
"it seems like nobody ever told their engineers something couldn't or shouldn't be done"
Most case designers are lazy and nothing has really moved design forward for years (moving PSU from top to bottom is not a big jump forward!). Silverstone and Lian Li are the exceptions. Of course some of the designs do not work as well as originally thought but they are at least trying.
This is a design that does not work as the airflow is not good enough.
But please Silverstone keep trying
Sabresiberian - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - linkI don't know if you've paid attention to the Antec lineup, but they come up with an occasional new idea as well.
I draw your attention specifically to the Skeleton and the Lanboy. These cases may not be what you find esthetically pleasing, but they are far from lazy, old designs.
cjs150 - Monday, February 13, 2012 - linkI had forgotten about the Skeleton - definitely designed by someone who had never been told what should be done!
Not convinced by the lanboy - assume you mean the Airboy (or whatever the mesh heavy case is called), other than the mesh, it looked a standard case design but have to admit I have not re-read the reviews for a while as it was not suitable for me.
Antec do very nice small HTPC designs though - again highly original
r3loaded - Friday, February 10, 2012 - linkSilverstone are great because they innovate a lot in computer cases, an area that you'd otherwise think doesn't need or have much innovation. They certainly aren't afraid to try wacky things like the FT-03, just to see if it'll work. I own an FT-03 and while it's certainly not for everyone, you just have to admire the design and the quality of the finish.
On the difficulty of assembling it, it's not difficult if you just follow the manual closely. This is certainly one area where it's best to drop the "real men don't need manuals" machismo and do exactly what it says. You'll get it right first time, and once it comes together, it comes together beautifully.
Rick83 - Friday, February 10, 2012 - linkHaving discovered how the power cable is supposed to be installed in an FT-03, and performing the procedure, I disagree.
Had to take a knife to the plug, to force it through the aperture it was supposed to go through, and through which it didn't go when it was delivered. Only discovered that that routing was possible at all when I swapped fans.
While I really like the case, and it fits my needs perfectly, there are some very rough edges that occasionally rear their ugly head.
another example would be the installation of the 2.5" drive with the customary angled SATA cables. Almost impossible, as the cable routing hole in the mainboard is just a tiny bit too low for an angled plug stuck on the mainboard.
Also, 12 screws to install a second 2.5" drive did seem somewhat excessive to me.
And why oh why didn't they have the titanium gray version at launch :D