Silverstone is well known amongst PC enthusiasts for their coolers, computer cases, and storage related products. Today’s review will cover their SUGO 14 SFF Computer Case, which I’ve recently setup an AMD Ryzen 7700X build in to explore SFF cooling.
I am new to small form factor systems, and so I tried a few cases before settling on one to use for testing. With the disclaimer that I’ve only tried a few of these SFF cases, thus far Silverstone’s SUGO 14 is the only one which I didn’t find a “dealbreaking” issue with.
Features of Silverstone’s SUGO 14
5.25″ Optical Drive Support
Most cases on the market these days, whether large or small, don’t have the ability to use Optical Drives. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to have the option. Even the best streaming media services have inferior quality to a UHD Blu Ray, and even if you pay to “purchase” a video from a streaming service you don’t really purchase it. You’re only licensing it, and that license can be revoked at a corporation’s whim as the recent controversy regarding Playstation’s loss of Discovery content shows.
But that’s not the only use for a 5.25″ bay – you can also use it for other accessories, like this Tccmebius SD Card Reader, USB expansion, and SATA expansion block available on Amazon. Other uses include hot swap drive bays, LCD front panels, or even a literal drawer.
Full Size PSU Support
Many SFF cases only support SFX sized PSUs, but the SUGO 14 was designed to use a normal sized PSU. Pictured installed here is a 1300W Silverstone HELA 1300R PSU.
You can optionally use a SFX sized PSU, but you’ll only be able to secure the bottom half of the PSU – but this doesn’t cause any problems.
GPU Anti-Sag Block
Built into the SUGO 14 is a anti-sag block for your GPU. It’s width can be adjusted, to support even the fattest RTX 4090s on the market today.
Support for 3x 2.5″ Disk Drives
In addition to any M.2 NVMe SSD slots your SFF motherboard may support, the Silverstone SUGO 14 offers support for 3x 2.5″ storage drives for SATA expansion. Two drives can be installed at the front of the unit, and one drive can be installed next to the power supply.
240mm Radiator Support
Some SFF cases don’t support liquid cooling due to their smaller profiles. Silverstone’s SUGO 14 can be used with liquid coolers up to 240mm in size with the use of the top bracket. Alternatively, you could use it to add two 120mm or 140mm fans.
120mm side fan bracket, 120mm rear fan
Silverstone also includes a side bracket that can be used to install an additional 120mm fan.
The SUGO 14 also includes a single 120mm rear fan, this can be upgraded to 140mm if you desire.
The IO Panel includes 3x USB-A, 1x Audio, and a reset button on the side of the unit. The power button is located at the front, and features a white illumination ring when powered on.
3 Expansion Slots with Sliding Door
The SUGO 14 supports 3 expansion slots to support thick GPUs, and has a sliding door secured by a screw.
The case has a modular design with 4 removable side panels, which makes installation and modification a simple task.
Four Feet, Choose your own orientation
Lastly, SUGO’s 14 has four feet which can be placed on the bottom or on the side, depending on how you prefer the case to be oriented. There’s also ventilation on the bottom and side panels.
SFF Cooling Overview
I mentioned in the beginning of this article that I’m using this case for testing SFF cooling, so this review wouldn’t be quite complete without some basic cooling benchmarks! For this I’ve setup AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X CPU with Gigabyte’s A620I AX motherboard. Despite being a basic A620 motherboard, this board has VRMs strong enough to run the CPU at it’s maximum power level. One thing I really like about this motherboard is that it doesn’t have tall heatsinks on it, increasing cooler compatibility.
For this limited overview of SFF Cooling, I’ve tested 6 coolers: Silverstone’s PF240 240mm AIO, EK’s CR240 Dark 240mm AIO, Enermax LiqMaxFlo 120mm AIO, BeQuiet’s Dark Rock Pro V, Silverstone’s Hydrogon D120, and Scythe’s Big Shuriken 3 Rev B. If you’d like to see more comprehensive cooling comparisons of AMD’s Ryzen 7700X check out my recent review of BeQuiet’s Dark Rock Pro 4 which includes benchmarks of AMD and Intel CPUs in normal sized computer cases.
To test these coolers, I run Cinebench R23’s multi-threaded test for the standard 10 minutes. With liquid coolers, I have the pumps set to 65%.
Noise Normalized Performance
The fans on most coolers generally run much louder than they really need to, and there’s very little performance gained by allowing fans to run at their full speed. This test compares the maximum watts cooled on a CPU when the noise levels of the fans are set to a measurement of 37.3 dBA. BeQuiet’s Dark Rock Pro V performed best in this scenario.
Maximum Watts Cooled
For most cooling tests I prefer to compare the actual temperature of the CPU, but modern CPUs like Ryzen 7700X will reach their maximum temperature in intensive workloads. So for these scenarios, I measure the watts cooled by the cooler instead.
The best result I have thus far is with EK’s CR240 Dark AIO 240mm AIO, cooling 129W on average during the course of testing. I suspect that if I ran the liquid pump at full speed, it might be capable of cooling the maximum power budget of this CPU which is around 137W. BeQuiet’s Dark Rock Pro V wasn’t far behind, cooling 125W during testing.
Maximum Noise Levels
Peak performance is interesting information, but it’s incomplete without noise levels. While EK’s AIO was the best performing, it was also the loudest at 49.8 dBA. BeQuiet’s Dark Rock Pro V was especially impressive here, as it was able to maintain it’s maximum performance levels while running 10.9 dBA quieter at only 38.9 dBA! (It didn’t gain any performance by running in the full speed mode, at least it doesn’t when paired with AMD’s Ryzen 7700X)
95W CPU Temperature
In addition to a maximum intensity workload, I’ve also tested the CPU with a 95W power limit. This is similar to the workload of the most CPU intensive games. Noise measurements in this scenario are the same as a full power scenario, because Gigabyte’s AX620I motherboard runs fans at full speed once the CPU reaches 70C – and I prefer to test things in their default configuration to represent an “out of the box” experience.
75W CPU Temperature and Noise Measurements
The lowest power limit I test on AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X is 75W. This will be a power consumption similar to what most games (and other light workloads) will use.
While I do show thermal results for this lower power limit, really even the weakest SFF coolers on the market should be able to handle a 75W workload with ease. Noise levels are much more important in this scenario.
The noise levels of BeQuiet’s Dark Rock Pro V and Enermax LiqMaxFlo 120mm AIO were especially impressive here. 36.4 dBA is about as low as my noise meter can reliably measure, and is a virtually silent noise level in my opinion.
Silverstone’s SUGO 14 is a great small form factor (SFF) PC case which offers a lot of options. With 5.25″ drive support, 240mm AIO support, full size PSU support, and even an included anti-sag bracket – the SUGO 14 packs just about every feature you could want in a compact case. I’m very happy with my experience using this product, and will be using this case in the future for SFF cooling reviews.