SilverStone TJ08-E mATX Case Review

Add Your Comments

After checking out the SilverStone PS07 a few weeks ago, we now have another mATX case from SilverStone, the TJ08-E. The Temjin series of cases are considered “premium” and the Precision series are “high-value” according to SilverStone. So, as we look through this case, I’ll be making comparisons to the PS07 to see what makes the TJ08-E fit in the premium line-up.

Specifications & Features

(Courtesy of SilverStone)

SilverStone TJ08-E Specifications
Model # SST-TJ08-E
Material Aluminum front panel and steel body
Motherboard Micro ATX, DTX, Mini ITX
Drive Bay External: 2x 5.25″ and 1x 3.5″ (compatible with one 3.5” hard drive)
Internal: 4x 3.5″ and 1x 2.5″
Cooling System Front: 1x 180mm AP181 intake fan, 700/1200 RPM, 18/34 dBA (backwards compatible with 140mm fan)
Rear: 1x 120 mm fan slot (option)
Expansion Slot 4
Front Panel I/O 2x USB3.0 and Audio I/O
Power Supply Standard PS2 ATX, 160 mm recommended and 180 mm maximum length
Expansion Card 13.25″ in length
CPU Cooler Limitation 165 mm in height
Dimensions 210 x 374 x 385 mm (W x H x D)
Net Weight 11.7 lbs (5.3 kg)

Features

  • Includes one 180 mm Air Penetrator fan for positive pressure cooling
  • Removable motherboard tray and top panel
  • Quick access filters to prevent dust buildup
  • Convenient wire and cable routing pathways
  • Adjustable holder for large CPU coolers and extra-long card support rack
  • Motherboard back plate opening for quick CPU cooler assembly
  • Independent airflow channel for power supply
  • Impressive storage capacity up to five 3.5″ hard drives and one 2.5″ drive

Packaging & Accessories

The packaging was typical of the majority of case manufacturers. The case was wrapped in plastic, two molded pieces of Styrofoam fitted on the ends of the case, and then the case was placed in the box. The TJ08-E arrived in perfect condition, but the box had the usual minor dings from shipping. On to the box itself, it is loaded with information about the case and its features rather than having graphics plastered all over it which distract from the actual product. The front has a list of features with a front view of the case, the back has a more detailed description of the features coupled with an interior view of the case, and the side lists the tech specs. You’ll also notice the word “Evolution” showing what the “E” in TJ08-E stands for, and this is because this case is an evolved version of the original TJ08, which I’ll supply a picture of for comparison in the next section.

Front

Front

Back

Back

Side

Side

The accessories include a detailed user manual, four zip ties, case badge, rubber pad for GPU support, USB3.0 to USB2.0 adapter, and a bag of  screws for component installation. The USB3.0 to USB2.0 adapter is good to see for those without an internal USB3.0 motherboard header. It would have been nice to see a 5.25″ to 3.5″ bay adapter like was included with their PS07 case, but that’s not a big deal to me. I believe it was removed from this accessory pack because the TJ08-E has it’s own external 3.5″ bay, whereas the PS07 didn’t and needed a 5.25″ to 3.5″ adapter and face plate to allow use of an external 3.5″ device.

Accessories

Accessories

Exterior

The exterior of the TJ08-E is entirely metal, aluminum and steel, which is definitely a sign of a “premium” case. The finish of the front panel is a black, brushed aluminum, and the rest of the case is a smooth, but not glossy, matte black finish. The indented 5.25″ and 3.5″ external bays, along with the massive 180 mm intake grill, help give the case character. The TJ08-E is a great looking case in my opinion, and the same goes for the PS07. The third picture is a reference to the original TJ08 so you can see how SilverStone’s evolution took control to create the TJ08-E.

Front-Right Angle

Front-Right Angle

Front-Left Angle

Front-Left Angle

Original TJ08

Original TJ08 (Courtesy of SilverStone)

The front panel I/O is simple with only the necessities, two USB3.0 ports, audio I/O, power/reset buttons, and power/HDD LEDs. The 5.25″ bay covers are aluminum and have to be removed from inside of the case, whereas the PS07 bay covers could be removed easier , but they were plastic. On the right side of the front panel, there is a switch to control the speed of the 180 mm intake fan.

Front Panel I/O

Front Panel I/O

Fan Speed Switch

Fan Speed Switch

The front intake is also filtered, and the filter can be removed from either side of the case. Actually removing the filter isn’t the easiest thing to do, I had to push push from one side and dig in the other to grab it so I could take it out. The front filter on the PS07 was much easier to remove than this one since the front panel opened.

Fan Filter Slot

Fan Filter Slot

Fan Filter Removal

Fan Filter Removal

Now on to the back of the case, and it’s literally identical to the PS07. From the back you can tell the motherboard is inverted, which means the right side panel needs to be removed to access your components just as the PS07.

Back Side

Back Side

A couple things to notice is the mounting spot for SilverStone’s Clear CMOS switch and the expansion slot mounts are outside of the case with a cover over them. I’d also like to point out that the thumbscrews that hold the side panels in place have rubber washers on them so that they don’t scratch the finish on the side panels.

Spot for Clear CMOS Switch

Spot for Clear CMOS Switch

Expansion Slot Mounting Screw Cover

Expansion Slot Mounting Screw Cover

Side Panel Thumb Screw

Side Panel Thumb Screw

On the top of the case, there is a fan filter for the PSU. The filter is held in place by a recessed fan grill and magnets on the corners of the filter. Like the PS07, the filter is easily removable, and the only concern I have is if the filter will end up scratching the surface of the case after extended use.

Top PSU Fan Filter

Top PSU Fan Filter

Top PSU Fan Filter Removal

Top PSU Fan Filter Removal

On the bottom, we have four rubber feet, the mounting and adjustment for the CPU cooler support system, and mounting holes for a 2.5″ HDD/SSD. SilverStone made sure to make their CPU support system horizontally adjustable since the socket location on motherboards is not standard. The two screws used in the small holes are what’s holding the CPU cooler support system to the bottom of the case and the location can be adjusted in a range of 50 mm total (in five 10 mm increments).

Bottom

Bottom

CPU Cooler Suport Adjustment

CPU Cooler Suport Adjustment

2.5" Drive Mounting Holes

2.5" Drive Mounting Holes

Interior

It’s easy to tell from the overall interior shot that the components will be tightly-packed into the TJ08-E. Not that it’s a bad thing, mATX systems are meant to be able to pack a punch in a small package, and the allowance of extra long expansion cards, like high-end GPUs, definitely fits that mold.

Interior

Interior

The larger four-drive cage can be removed completely by unscrewing a couple screws that are attached to the lower single-drive cage. A close up of the four-drive HDD cage shows a spot to loop a zip tie for wire management and the plastic GPU support for large GPUs. The GPU support takes up most of the top of the cage. The GPU support can be used as is with GPUs that have backplates, but if the GPU doesn’t have a backplate, then the included rubber pad may be needed to give the support some extra height.

4-Drive Cage

4-Drive Cage

Interior Without 4-Drive Cage

Interior Without 4-Drive Cage

Next we have a single 3.5″ drive cage that can also be removed by four screws on the underside of the case. There is “FDD” printed on the cage showing the floppy drive mounting holes. Just under the front intake fan is the face place for the front 3.5″ bay which can be used for a floppy drive, card reader, additional USB, etc. or otherwise you can just use the bay for a 3.5″ hard drive and leave the cover in place. The front 3.5″ face plate is a feature that the SilverStone PS07 does not have, and the single-drive cage could only be used with hard drives.

Single Drive Cage

Single Drive Cage

Interior Without HDD Cages

Interior Without HDD Cages

Front 3.5" Face Plate

Front 3.5" Face Plate

The front intake fan is one of SilverStone’s 180 mm AP181 fans which can be set to either 700 RPM or 1200 RPM with the switch on the right side of the case.

Front Intake Fan

Front Intake Fan

Close Up of Fan Label

Close Up of Fan Label

Putting the hard drive cages back in shows how the fan and cages are aligned. The cages are offset from the center of the case to allow air to blow through the hard drives while also allowing air to bypass the HDDs and get to the motherboard, RAM, GPU, etc.

HDD Cage & Intake Fan Arrangement

HDD Cage & Intake Fan Arrangement

Here we have the PSU mounting location up top and the cable management hole to route cables behind the motherboard tray. Just like the PS07, there’s ~25 mm worth of space behind the motherboard tray for cable routing.

5.25" Bays

5.25" Bays

Top PSU Mount

Top PSU Mount Area

Here’s a close up of the CPU cooler support. I’ve never had problems with any large tower heatsinks bending a motherboard, but the support definitely has potential for those using the very large heatsinks.

CPU Cooler Support

CPU Cooler Support

Component Installation

The removable tray made the motherboard installation a breeze, it would have been a tight fit trying to install the board without a removable tray. The backplate cutout in the tray is large and located well, allowing easy access to CPU cooler backplates. You’ll notice that there aren’t any grommets on the cable management holes, but the cutouts in the tray are not sharp, the metal is folded over to give the holes smooth edges.

Motherboard Installed

Motherboard Installed on Tray

Back of Motherboard Tray

Back of Motherboard Tray

Motherboard Installed

Motherboard Installed

The 5.25″ optical disk drive and PSU were easy to install as well. The PSU slides into the top and sits on lips on the side of the case and screws into the back of the case. The cable management hole is located perfectly, just in front of the PSU. The 5.25″ ODD uses the standard installation by going in from the front and then being mounted with screws on both sides. The 5.25″ face plates on the TJ08-E are held in place by screws, unlike the face plates on the PS07 which were tool-less to install and remove.

Optical Disk Drive & Power Supply Installed

Optical Disk Drive & Power Supply Installed

Installing my 3.5″ HDD was simple, and I chose to use the four-drive cage this time. A 2.5″ drive can mount directly to the bottom of the case, which I did with the PS07 review, but I have since sold my spare 2.5″ drives. Using the four-drive cage shows that’s the drives will overlap two DIMM slots, at least on this particular board. So, I decided to measure from the top of the DIMM slot to the side of the hard drive to get an estimate of RAM height clearance, which turns out to be ~50 mm.

HDD Installed in Cage

HDD Installed in Cage

HDD Cage Installed

HDD Cage Installed

HDD Overlapping RAM

HDD Overlapping RAM

RAM Clearance to HDD

RAM Clearance to HDD

I had to remove the expansion slot mount cover on the back of the case to install the GPU. The GPU used is a GTX 580 Classified and it’s long enough to be able to use the hard drive cage as a support. This GPU has a backplate which covers the whole PCB, so all I had to do is install the card and it sat on the plastic rectangle on top of the HDD cage. If the card doesn’t have a full PCB backplate, then the rubber pad included in the accessories can be placed on top of the plastic rectangle to give it a little more height to support the GPU.

GPU Installed

GPU Installed

GPU Support

GPU Support

GPU Support Close Up

GPU Support Close Up

With hard drives installed in the four-drive cage, you are also limited to the size of fans you can use on the cooler while keeping front-to-back airflow. On the left side of the Venomous X (63 mm in width), only a 25 mm fans can be installed without preventing the power and data cables to be connected to the hard drives. However, there’s plenty of room on the right side of the cooler for just about any size fan you’d want. I used the Venomous X for fan clearance since it’s wider than the Hyper 212+ by 12 mm. For the CPU cooler support I used the Hyper 212+, and you can see how the support would hold the heatsink up if it tried to droop or bend the motherboard. However, neither the Venomous X nor Hyper 212+ are heavy heatsinks, so I don’t have to worry about it either way. If was using a massive heatsink like the TRUE Cu, then the support could really come in handy.

38 mm Fan on the Left Side of CPU Cooler

38 mm Fan on the Left Side of CPU Cooler

25 mm Fan on the Left Side of CPU Cooler

25 mm Fan on the Left Side of CPU Cooler

CPU Cooler Support

CPU Cooler Support

With all the components installed, we can see everything fits well and it’s not too cramped in the TJ08-E. Wires are hidden pretty well in the TJ08-E since many of the connections are behind the hard drive cage and GTX 580 Classified, and the only wire that really pop out at me are the HDD’s power/data cables and the GPU’s power cables. Overall, it’s a clean build and time wasn’t even allotted for cable management, this is just how it turns out. So, it should be easy even for the novice to have a clean looking build in the TJ08-E.

  • Intel i5 2500K
  • Cooler Master Hyper 212+
  • Gigabyte GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3
  • 4 x 2 GB G.Skill Eco DDR3-1600
  • EVGA GTX 580 Classified 3 GB
  • 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3
  • SeaSonic X750
Components Installed

Components Installed

Conclusion

SilverStone has another superb mATX case in the TJ08-E, and I do believe it earns its “premium” branding. The case is made entirely out of metal aluminum and steel, so it would take some trying to break something on it. Since it’s able to accommodate GPUs up to 13.25″ in length, the TJ08-E can house a very powerful PC in a surprisingly small space. Although the components are closely packed, there’s still plenty of airflow and the TJ08-E stays true to its predecessor’s motto: “A micro tower case with full size cooling power.”

The only potential issues with the TJ08-E that users should be aware of are clearance limitations that come up when using the four-drive HDD cage. Some thicker fans may not be able to be used on the left side of the heatsink, and some RAM with tall heatspreaders may interfere with the side of hard drives installed in that cage.

The TJ08-E is listed at $96 and the PS07 at $79 ($69 AMIR). The difference in the extra $17 for the TJ08-E comes in the form of an aluminum front panel, external 3.5″ bay, and SilverStone’s high-end Air Penetrator AP181 fan with adjustable speed as the intake. Outside of the front panels and intake fans, the TJ08 and PS07 are identical. So, one couldn’t go wrong with either case, and making the decision between the two should be based on personal preference of the differences.

Click the Approved picture for an explanation of what it means

– Matt T. Green (MattNo5ss)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discussion