If like me, you think that buying a pre-built PC is cheating, then youâ€™ll know how important it is to find a good case in which to base your project. Even with more choice than ever itâ€™s still hard to find a really good case and I still havenâ€™t found what I would consider to be the perfect case. SilverStone and Enermax have sent us two full tower cases, and even though the trend seems to be towards the small form factor box these days, some of us still crave an large, imposing box under our desk.
The main reason that the full towerâ€™s popularity has dropped is because of the space they take up. However, with the introduction of watercooling and the increased interest in case modding, full towers are once again gaining market share. After all, itâ€™s much easier to fit a watercooling rig inside a larger case.
But the SilverStone TJ06 (shown here installed with some of our components) and the Enermax CS-718-S are rather unusual cases and both are based on the same guts. Coincidence or two like minds is hard to say, but internally there is very little to separate them. But there is one thing that makes these cases different to just about every other product on the market - theyâ€™re up side down.
Let me explain, itâ€™s not actually up side down as you can see from the pictures, itâ€™s the motherboard that goes in up side down. This means that you take of the left side panel instead of the right to fit the motherboard, which initially can cause some confusion. Once youâ€™ve got the right side (the left one that is) off youâ€™ll notice that the internals are also quite different from a standard ATX case.
The second thing you notice is the big plastic duct that runs through the bottom of the case. This is to aid CPU cooling and both cases have a front and a rear mounted 120mm fan to put as much air as possible through this duct. SilverStone has used two white fans of its own brand and also offers an optional fan less heatpipe cooler for Socket-478 boards to go with the TJ06. Enermax on the other hand is using two clear fans with blue LED lights from Power Cooler.
There are of course some limitations to what motherboards you can use with the air duct, as if your CPU socket it not located at the top of the board, the duct wonâ€™t fit. Both cases also have a small cut out in the duct that can be fitted with one of two expansion pieces. This is for dual CPU systems but can also be used to cater for something like the Corsair Xpert memory modules, which take up more space than normal memory.
Just above the air duct in the front of the case is a single 80mm fan which is fitted to circulate the air in the rest of the case. Although I doubt it will be much use for cooling the hard drives as theyâ€™re located above the motherboard just under the PSU. The only way to efficiently cool the hard drives would be to use a PSU with a bottom mounted 120mm fan. However, this would still only cool the four rear most of the six hard drive bays.