Introduction and First Impressions
A spacious ATX enclosure for $69
SilverStone has another contender for a budget ATX build with the Kublai KL05 enclosure, and today we’ll take a look at the windowed variant of this mid-tower design.
What would life be like without computer cases? Various components strewn about on desks, tables, and floors, creating headaches and tripping hazards everywhere. Fortunately, they exist, and I'm thankful for this every day. However there are now so many that scrolling down the list on any site in any price range is like shopping for RAM or power supplies these days: endless selection of similar things. But it's not enough to make sure the specs match your build as enclosures can vary a great deal even with the same component support. So, when looking for a good case for a build or upgrade you just end up reading a review like this. I hope I don't disappoint you, and we have a pretty interesting offering from SilverStone here to consider.
I've been enamored of late with lower-priced components. Sure, I've reviewed $300 cases but as cool as the high end can be it's not realistic for a lot of people (myself included). Finding great value has always been kind of fun, and to me a great value for a PC enclosure is something well under the $100 mark. I had the pleasure of reviewing NZXT's excellent S340 enclosure recently, and the SilverStone Kublai we're about to take a look at carries the same $69.99 MSRP. A larger case than the NZXT, the Kublai retains support for 5.25" optical drives and makes use of this added space up front for plenty of hard drives. The case looks and it sounds like a good value, but there's only one way to find out (and it involved actually reviewing it).
First we'll check out specs from SilverStone:
Materal: Mesh front panel, steel body
Form-Factor: ATX, Micro-ATX
Storage: External 5.25" x2; Internal 3.5" x6 or 2.5" x6, 2.5" x 2
Fan Support: Front 2x 120mm/140mm fan slot (1x 120mm intake fan included) Rear 120mm fan slot x1; Top 120mm / 140mm fan slot x2; Bottom 120mm fan slot x2
Expansion Slots: 8
Front I/O: USB 3.0 x2, Audio x1, MIC x1
PSU Support: Standard ATX, up to 225mm
GPU Support: Compatible up to 16", 11" with optional drive cage installed
CPU Cooler Support: Up to 165mm
Dimensions: 7.8 x 20.6 x 19.4 inches (200 x 525 x 494mm) 15.2 lbs (6.9Kg)
Our thanks for SilverStone for providing the Kublai KL05-W enclosure for review!
I'm finding myself on the fence about including photos of the box and packing for enclosures these days, as this aspect of a computer case is usually identical between various models. I will say that the Kublai KL05-W arrives in a standard brown enclosure box and has generous padding to protect it during transit.
Out of the box we have lightweight steel and plastic construction in a conventional mid-tower design, and the front of the case contains a large grill for the included (lighted) intake fan. This area also supports dual 120/140mm fans and up to 240/280mm radiators.
The front IO has the usual USB 3.0 and audio connectivity
This is the windowed version of the case (the KL05-W) and a version sans window with additional sound dampening is available as well (the KL05-Q).
The side window is protected by plastic on both sides during shipping
Around back we have the usual ATX layout with a 120mm fan mount.
The top of the case has a pair of fan mounts and supports 240/280mm radiators. This area is hidden by a removable plastic section revealing space for radiators and fans above the chassis.
SilverStone's promo image of this upper rad mount in action
The case bottom has a removable mesh panel to help control dust, and the case sits on four plastic feet. There is also another pair of 120/140mm fan mounts down here.
Next we'll look at a system build with the Kublai KL05-W!