I’ve lost count of the number of PCs I’ve put together for friends and family, and although I’m not fond of the final stage of installing all the necessary software, I have to admit that I enjoy the initial hardware building process - that is of course, if the PC is well made in the first place. With shoddy cases, I’ve had an untold number of plastic fittings snap off and in terms of cuts and scratches from those unfinished sharp edges, let’s just say I have the scars to prove it.
However, not all cases are the same and my first impressions of SilverStone’s Temjin TJ02 mid-tower ATX case are good. For a start, I’m a big fan of machined aluminium, and slapped on the front of this baby is a slab of the stuff. This is finished off with a grooved wavy pattern that reflects light rather attractively and makes the flat surface of the fascia appear to undulate.
Unlike a number of other cases like CoolerMaster’s WaveMaster Aluminium PC Case, the aluminium doesn’t extend to the rest of the body. The cover for instance is constructed from a folded sheet of lacquered silvery-grey coloured mild steel and to be honest, it doesn’t really match the fascia. That said, the left side of the cover features a broad crescent-shaped window that’s been backed with a similarly-shaped sheet of clear Perspex. Obviously a design feature for case modders who want to show off their illuminated hardware, or perhaps those that simply get excited by large spoilers and under-glow for their cars.
With the vast array of peripherals that end up sitting around your desk such as card readers, PDAs, digital cameras and the obligatory pair of office headphones, SilvertStone hasn’t left you high and dry when these need to be hooked up. At the front, behind an aluminium flap complete with spring-loaded catch, are a decent set of connectors consisting of four USB ports, a single FireWire one, plus a couple of audio jacks that have you covered for microphone and headphones/speaker setups. The fascia also carries the ubiquitous power and reset switches, plus a couple of LEDs for indicating hard drive activity and power. Both switches operate with a positive spring-assisted action, whereas the bevelled inlays in which they lie compliment the overall design.
Around the back a total of seven blanking plates cover the expansion slots, but disappointingly for a case that, as we’ll see later, is offering tool-less features, these are held in place with traditional hexagonal screws. Better keep that screw driver handy before starting this new build. From the rear, it’s also clear that SilverStone has kept cooling in mind with a large fan outlet punched into the chassis. Although only a front 120mm fan is provided, another screwed into here is advisable if you want to keep the internal temperature down.
Cleverly, SilverStone has also made sure you’re not limited to just fitting an exhaust fan of the 120mm variety. In fact, there are another two positions that will accept either a 92mm or an 80mm fan. Personally I’d recommend a slower spinning and thus quieter 120mm one, but if your power supply comes with its own internal intake and exhaust fans you could probably make do with just the fan at the front. The only real criticism I have with the rear outlet is its holey design. The numerous perforations will no doubt clog up with dust and fluff over time, and it’s likely that the air rushing through them will generate audible tonal noise. A thin wire grille design would have been a better alternative to minimise both negatives.