SilverStone Lucid Series LD01 Micro-ATX Case Review: Through Glass, Darkly
The first enclosure in the Lucid Series embraces tempered glass and chrome
The SilverStone LD01 is a compact tower case mostly comprised of tempered glass on its exterior. There are shades SilverStone’s Temjin TJ08-E here with an inverted motherboard layout and micro ATX form-factor, but the LD01 is a thoroughly modern design with all of that tempered glass, a front USB Type-C port, and no external drive bays.
One thing the LD01 does not have? RGB! For those suffering from RGB-everything fatigue this alone might be a welcome feature, and with a very dark tint to the glass it may not let very much component RGB lighting through the side panels, either.
SilverStone lists these features for the LD01:
- Three-sided tempered glass and stainless steel design
- Graphics card holder included prevents card bending
- Supports up to two 240 / 280mm radiators
- Includes front mounted USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port
- Easily accessible removable filters for dust reduction
- Super clean internal look with PSU and drive bay cover
- Flexible hard drive bracket can be repositioned to fit radiator or big power supply
- Model No: SST-LD01
- Material: Tempered glass & stainless steel panels, steel body
- Motherboard: Micro-ATX, Mini-DTX, Mini-ITX
- Expansion slots: 5
- Drive bays (internal): 3.5-inch x3 (compatible with 2.5-inch), 2.5-inch x2
- Cooling system
- Front: 2x 120/140 mm
- Rear: 1x 120 mm
- Top: 2x 120/140 mm
- Radiator support
- Front: 120/140/240/280 mm
- Rear: 120 mm
- Top: 120/140/240/280 mm
- Front I/O ports: USB 3.0 Type-A x2, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C x1, Audio x1, Mic x1
- Power supply support: ATX
- Component clearance:
- Expansion card (depends on the front radiator and fan thickness): up to 14.5″ (370 mm) in length, width restriction 6.85″ (174 mm)
- CPU cooler: 168 mm
- PSU: 160 ~ 220 mm
- Dimension (WxHxD): 218 x 390 x 431 mm, 36.6 Liters / 8.58 x 15.35 x 16.97 inches
- Net weight: 7.45 kg
“Micro ATX chassis with artful blend of engineering and aesthetics”
The LD01 is a starkly minimal case on the outside, mostly comprised of three tinted glass panels, framed with a chrome metal border providing the only accent to what is otherwise a monolithic design.
Even with all this tempered glass there are no RGB lighting effects to be found here. Tastes obviously vary, but I find this sort of design appealing with its simple sophistication.
This is an inverted motherboard design as you can see from the five expansion slots at the top of the rear panel in this micro-ATX design, with top case I/O far more conventional – a USB 3.1 Type-C port (Gen1), two standard USB 3.0 ports, and a pair of 3.5 mm audio jacks.
Case Interior and Build
With the side panels removed this is a pretty conventional inverted design, and should be familiar to those who have built inside cases like the TJ08-E mentioned in the intro. This is not a recycled design, however, as components follow the modern case doctrine: no external drive bays, PSU on the bottom left with a shroud covering this area from view.
While designed for micro-ATX motherboards (and a pair of full-sized GPUs will fit up top if you so desire), I put this build together using the mini-ITX GIGABYTE Z390 I AORUS PRO WiFi board I’ve relied on for small form-factor builds this year. I did test the fit of a standard 9.6 x 9.6 mATX board on hand, and there were no clearance issues.
There isn’t much to say about the build progress from the component side, and shifting things to the back of the case presents the storage options and PSU location. The power supply will be nestled close enough to the HDD cage’s default position that even mid-sized modular PSUs won’t easily fit, so I recommend either a compact model or a non-modular design like the one I ended up using.
As to storage, a pair of 2.5-inch drives can be mounted to a removable bracket behind the motherboard, and pair of 3.5-inch drives slide in on tool-free trays in the bottom-mounted HDD cage.
The finished build looks very clean from the front without very much work at all as things are very well hidden thanks to good cable routing openings for PSU cables, and the GPU support bracket is a welcome addition as does just that, and keeps the GPU from sagging.
The LD01 does not present any particular difficulty for the system build, and offers enough room behind the motherboard tray to manage cables – though the very dark tint to the glass does reduce the need to be careful about cable mess.
Thermals and Noise
The SilverStone LD01 is largely a glass box when the glass side panels are in place, with intake relegated to a strip of mesh surrounding the solid front panel, and exhaust via the top and rear fan/ventilation openings. The bottom of the case is solid other than the filtered opening for the PSU intake, which won’t add appreciably to the airflow in the case.
This particular build was a mid/high end gaming system featuring a 6-core Intel Core i5 9600K CPU and ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2070 GPU, and even with a modest $30 CPU cooler (the Scythe Katana 5 reviewed here) thermals didn’t cause any performance issues – though it is strongly recommended that some case fans are added as none ship with the system.
One thing to note is that GPU temps were virtually identical with/without case fans, as the graphics card was able to take in air from the upper vent in this inverted design.
Pricing and Conclusion
At its current price of $114.99 on Amazon SilverStone’s Lucid Series LD01 is expensive for a micro-ATX enclosure, but this premium price does get you a unique look. If you are drawn to its aesthetics, as I was when I first laid eyes on this at CES over a year ago, you may look past its value proposition (especially as some much needed case fans will require an additional purchase).
Taken on its own merit, and ignoring its external design (which is pretty much the entire point of the LD01), one might dismiss it out of hand as an expensive smaller case that doesn’t offer good thermal performance. Think of it as a lifestyle enclosure, built to be seen; a functional piece of modern art. But SilverStone themselves offer better options to function as a PC enclosure if you favor airflow over aesthetics.
Personally I think SilverStone’s LD01 is an interesting first effort at a high-end new concept from the venerable company, and I’m curious to see how the newer – and smaller – LD03 fares when we take a look at that in the near future (stay tuned!).
i feel as if when silverstone started they made premium price cases with aluminum
but for years now, they maintained the premium prices but not the use of aluminum
too bad and never silverstone for me
thanks for the review
I am very much over the glass case craze. Call me boring, but I don’t think I need a giant, heavy glass window to show off my parts. I am fine with some RGB and a smaller window, but the whole side being glass seems too much!
I think tempered glass was really new and interesting initially, but like anything it gets overused and I’m ready for high airflow to be popular with case makers again. Actually, SilverStone has a very similar case (Redline Series RL08) with a mesh front panel for greater airflow.
We’ll have to check one of these out at some point.