From the Antec Aria to the Aspire X-QPack, medium formfactor enclosures have always had one fatal flaw: You can pack ‘em with a ton of hardware, but not a standard ATX 12V PSU.
Silverstone’s Sugo SG-01 addresses that problem by letting you use just about any standard PSU you want. Want to run a fanless PSU? You can. What about a 550-watt jobbie? Not a problem. In fact, Silverstone shipped our review unit with a modular 600-watt PSU. The SG-01, however, is usually sold sans power supply.
True to Silverstone’s heritage, the SG-01 features a beautiful brushed-aluminum exterior that reminds us of Falcon Northwest’s FragBox 2. That’s not surprising seeing as Silverstone manufactures the FragBox 2 enclosure for Falcon. The SG-01 features some improvements, such as the ability to mount two optical drives, but unlike the FragBox, the SG-01 is handle-less, and a case window and lighting effects are also AWOL. And the SG-01 is definitely not as striking as the FragBox 2; in fact, the former seems a bit bland by Silverstone standards.
We like the extra 6cm fan mount that Silverstone added—it sits just above the add-in cards. This fan could be used to either blow cool exterior air directly onto hot videocards or exhaust the heat — if Silverstone provided a fan, that is. Why the company skimped on a 50-cent fan we don’t know.
Of course, it’s a royal pain in the PS/2 port to access add-in cards. Before you can remove or add a part, you have to remove the 6cm fan assembly. This is a minor quibble, however, as the SG-01 is easier to work in than any other medium formfactor box we’ve tested. And unlike SFF cases with an integrated mobo, which lock you into a particular CPU platform, the SG-01 lets you build anything you want, provided you can find the MicroATX motherboard that fits it.
That makes the SG-01 the most flexible medium formfactor we’ve ever tested.
— Gordon Mah Ung
Month Reviewed: January 2006