In and Around the GD04

A jaunt around the GD04 reveals a case that at least appears to be well-suited to its task. Most of the case is constructed with steel, but the front bezel is an attractive brushed aluminum and again, the case comes in silver or black depending on your taste. Personally, I think black goes with everything.

The front bezel is nice and spare, featuring the two USB ports, microphone and headphone jacks, the power and reset buttons, a power LED, the optical drive bay, and a SilverStone logo. There's a lot of negative space here and it's appreciated; the GD04 is going to look like it belongs in your home theater setup. When you look at the sides, you'll see the three 120mm intake fans: one on the left, two on the right. This is a positive pressure case, designed to bring in air through the sides then push it out through ventilation in the top and the back. There's also a vent on the bottom of the case, beneath where the power supply's intake fan would typically be, that stays unobstructed as a result of the reasonably tall standoffs.

The rear of the case features four expansion slots, the power supply bay, and a fifth expansion slot above it presumably meant for extra USB ports or an eSATA bracket. There's also ventilation above the port cluster that could support additional cooling, if you wanted to add a couple 80mm fans.

Assembly of the GD04 is done by removing the top panel and it's here that you first realize this is not going to be a tool-less affair: the panel is fastened with three Philips head screws, and these are only the first of many you'll need to use when you start putting your HTPC together in this case.

Once you get the top off, there are three additional pieces that can be and in fact need to be removed: the optical drive tray, the hard disk drive mount, and the crossbar. Removing all of these parts requires a grand total of ten screws, and you'll want to keep those in a safe place. That said, the inside of the GD04 is actually remarkably spacious, but people with long power supplies should be forewarned: something as long as the spare Corsair HX750 I had won't fit, as trying to install it results in it butting squarely up against the intake fan on the left side.

What's also worth noting is the low clearance beneath the optical drive tray. While stock coolers for most AMD processors will work fine, the Zalman CNPS7000 cooler I'm using in my build is only a few millimeters from scraping the bottom of the tray. You're going to want to use either the stock or a low profile cooler like a Scythe Shuriken (or, if you don't mind the scant clearance, the Zalman CNPS7000) when assembling a machine in the GD04.

Introducing the SilverStone GD04 Assembling an HPTC in the GD04
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  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    How can anyone choose to post noise levels, with no frame of reference? We have a bunch of pretty graphs and lot of nice numbers, but what are we supposed to compare them to? And what is the noise floor of the test area? And who on earth measures exclusively at one foot and exclusively on the side of the case? That would be like wanting to know how loud it is driving a car, and measuring sound a foot from the exhaust. You don't drive from behind the car and you don't watch movies from a foot away from the side of your computer.

    The writing itself isn't terrible, but a bit obviously amateurish, and the whole article is just a subjective analysis.
  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    Oh, and I nearly forgot, you can put some VERY long power supplies in this case, you just have to swap out the side fan. The side of the case is drilled for both 120mm fans(as included) and 80mm fans for those with longer power supplies who would still like some ventilation on that side of the case.
  • 8steve8 - Monday, December 27, 2010 - link

    agreed, noisy compared to what?
  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    I'm forced to continue making observations about this article in re-reading it.

    In the first paragraph the author states that he chose not to go with another case because it didn't have any vibration dampening for the optical drive bay, so he chose this case, which has no vibration dampening for the optical drive bay. Wait, what?

    Also, Silverstone pretty plainly has stated in the past that the extra expansion slot above the power supply was designed for expansion cards to high end audio devices like the Emu-1212m or the Asus Xonar HDAV series with daughter cards, but that it would work with any other expansion items, like SATA or USB or what-not.

    What research was one before purchasing this case?

    Finally, I noticed that there is no sound measurement given with just the case fans powered up and not the CPU or GPU fans powered up, like that's not going to make a HUGE difference in the sound levels and types produced.
  • Hrel - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    he said he didn't want to have to put tape on the led on the cd drive, which is why he chose this case, read more carefully.
  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    Maybe you should re-read the article, he said he chose this case over the GD-05 because he wanted to hide the LED on the ODD, but that his whole reason for looking for a new case was because his LG BD\HD-DVD drive was getting too noisy so he wanted a case with some sound dampening on the ODD bay, which this doesn't have.
  • Stuka87 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    They always measure from the same distance, this is so that all reviews that have sound levels are measured in the same way.

    As for frame of reference, a deciBell is a deciBell. What frame of reference do you need?

    As for noise floor, any half decent tester allows you to calibrate out the ambient noise level.
  • RobertR13 - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    1: Who is they, there are no other people or cases in this article

    2: I'm fine with measuring from a fixed distance, but measuring from 1 foot away, from the side is rediculous.

    3: dB are a standard frame of measurement, sure, but if you have a purpose built theater with a noise floor of 11dB and the case makes 36dB it is going to seem a lot louder than if you are just putting it in your family room with a noise floor of 25+dB.

    4: That would invalidate the experiment all together because if you wipe out the noise floor, then you have to say so, and state what the noise floor is so that people can actually use the number for something, and two, if it screens out tones, that you are telling it to consider ambient noise, then you might be missing a specific sound frequency the fans are making.
  • MeanBruce - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    You know my floor is pretty noisy, of course that could be my neighbors downstairs.
  • C'DaleRider - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    To answer your petulant, childish nitpciking, which is making you look like the 12 year old you seem to want to be noticed as,

    1. They are the testers at Anandtech. They have a standard set of testing requirements, such as noise checked at 1 ft. distance, to make the different testers' findings be comparable to other findings from other testers.

    2. Why? If anything, it presents a worst case scenario.....the noise perception will only get better as distance increases.

    3. Why worry about the floor/ambient noise? It'd only be worth noting if the ambient noise was too high to hear the noise the fans in the case generated....and then it'd be worth noting. Otherwise, once the generated noise overcomes ambient noise, the ambient noise becomes irrelevant. Noise, in this case, isn't additive.....such as adding ambient to case generated noise. Doesn't work like that.

    4. Just too stupid an argument to respond to.

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