SilverStone SETA A1 Mid-Tower Case Review

SilverStone SETA A1

Today we take an in-depth look at SilverStone’s SETA A1 Mid-tower case. The SETA A1 is advertised as a premium quality case with impressive lighting and substantial airflow. It features a steel chassis, brushed aluminum front panel, and a tempered glass side panel. It certainly has the look and feel of a quality case without being overly gaudy. As usual, let’s start by reviewing the features and specifications for this case.

SilverStone SETA A1

Features and Specifications

The Silverstone SETA A1 is built on a steel chassis and features a brushed aluminum front panel with a tinted tempered glass side panel.  SilverStone offers the SETA A1 in three color variations, rose gold on white, silver on black, and titanium on black.

Located just behind the front panel at the top and bottom are a pair of addressable RGB strips. These are not the “in your face” lights that many manufactures are using. They do, however, provide a nice splash of color without being too distracting.

The SETA A1 has a pair of pre-installed 200mm intake fans located at the front of the chassis and a single 120mm exhaust fan mounted at the rear. This provides effective through-chassis airflow.

They have included water cooling capabilities as well. With the ability to mount up to a 360mm radiator at the front, a 240mm radiator at the top, and a 120mm or 140mm radiator at the rear there is an abundance of water cooling options available.

Silverstone implemented a unique solution to house a variety of hard drives. A pair of hard drive caddies each supporting a 3.5″ HDD and a 2.5″ SSD, along with a pair of SSD trays mounted to the back of the motherboard tray, the SETA A1 allows for up to six drives.

The front I/O panel is equipped with two USB 3.0 ports and a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port for connecting additional drives, phones, and other accessories.

Here’s a list of the specifications per the SilverStone website.

SilverStone SETA A1 Specifications
Product Name SilverStone SETA A1
Model Number SST-SEA1GW-G (Rose Gold on white, tempered glass)
SST-SEA1SB-G (Silver on black, tempered glass)
SST-SEA1TB-G (Titanium on black, tempered glass)
Available Color Rose Gold on white, Silver on black, or Titanium on black
Materials Aluminum front bezel, steel chassis, tempered glass
Dimensions (LxWxH) 225mm (W) x 470mm (H) x 432mm (D) / 8.86″ (W) x 18.5″ (H) x 17.01″ (D)
Motherboard Support ATX (up to 12” x 11”), Micro-ATX (9.6” x 9.6”) , & Mini-ITX (6.7” x 6.7”)
Expansion Slots 7 + 2 (Supports vertical graphics card installation)
Drive Bays
5.25″ N/A
3.5″ 2 Removable Caddies
2.5″ 2 Inside Removable Caddies + 2 Behind Motherboard Tray
I/O Port USB 3.0 x 2
USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type -C x 1
Audio In & Out (supports HD Audio)
Reset/RGB button
Power button
Pre-installed Fan(s)
Front 2 x 200mm
Rear 1 x 120
Fan Support
Top Up to 3 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm
Front Up to 3 x 120mm, 2 x 140mm, or 2x 200mm
Rear 120mm or 140mm
Liquid Cooling Support
Top 120mm, or 240mm (maximum radiator thickness 20mm per this review)
Front 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, or 360mm
Rear 120mm
Clearances
CPU Cooler 175mm / 6.9 inch
GPU 350mm / 13.8 inch
PSU 180mm w/ Removable Caddy / 7.1 inch
Power Supply Support Bottom mount, ATX PS2
Price Newegg N/A / Amazon $134.99

The SilverStone SETA A1 features are listed below.

SilverStone SETA A1 Features

Premium Quality

Assembled with premium materials, the SETA A1 is definitely a work of art to build and showcase in.

IMPRESSIVE LIGHTING

SETA A1 comes with integrated Addressable RGB lighting that highlights the air vents with a subtle effect.

Substantial airflow design

SETA A1 utilizes front-to-back directional airflow, equipped with two 200mm fans at the front for intake and one 120mm at the rear for exhaust to achieve effective & efficient heat dissipation results.

Cooling capabilities

Versatile cooling capabilities

Substantial compatibility

Multiple Motherboards, GPUs up to 350mm, CPU Cooler up to 175mm, & PSU up to 180mm

Flexible drive arrangement

Two removable HDD/SSD combo drive cages and two SSD trays

Superior Dust Prevention

Three full-coverage filters assist in preventing performance degradation caused by dust accumulation over time.

Packaging

The shipping container used to ship this case is a white box with color printing. The cardboard used is a heavy-duty stock that resists most minor impacts well. Aside from the beautifully printed isometric picture of the case, it is fairly standard, listing a few features and specifications, along with the specific model. Inside the box, the case is wrapped in a large plastic bag to prevent water damage and foam end caps to resist larger jostling during the shipping process.

Shipping Box ISO

Shipping Box ISO
Internal Packaging

Contents

Inside the SETA A1, affixed to the motherboard tray, is a small plastic bag containing the included accessories. There is a warranty pamphlet, a small baggie of miscellaneous screws, five miniature zip ties, and an anti-static bag containing the A-RGB controller. At the bottom of the A-RGB controller is the SATA power connector as well as the motherboard connector. It has four ports for connecting RGB lighting, two of which will be used for the front panel lights and at the top is another connector where the reset switch can be used to control the lighting functions. Finally, there is a button located at the center that will manually cycle through the multiple light sequences.

Accessories

A-RGB Controller

Exterior At A Glance

With the packaging and contents covered, let’s take a quick spin around the outside of the SETA A1 and see what she has to offer.

Front

Looking at the front of the case, we get a great view of the titanium-colored, brushed aluminum front panel. The top and bottom of this panel are angled and offer a nice aesthetic when compared to plain boxy cases. The aluminum panel is attached to a plastic backing that secures the front assembly to the steel chassis. There is ample space between the aluminum and plastic to allow for good airflow into the case. Looking at the bottom is a white SilverStone logo.

Front View

Left

Rotating the case to the left side we can see just how much space there is for the front intake, which measures a solid fifteen millimeters. Another highlight for this case is the full-view tinted, tempered glass. The side panel features a black bezel that surrounds the glass. For protection, the glass comes shipped with a protective film on both sides. There is also a small white sticker at the top rear that warns users to handle with care.

Left View

Right

The right side is mostly barren. The side panel is constructed of a painted steel sheet metal. The paint has a quality, satin sheen to it that resists fingerprints very well. Measuring the clearance under the case we find there is 20mm of space for the PSU to intake cool air.

Right View

Rear

The back of the case is about as typical as they come. The SETA A1 comes with a preinstalled 120mm fan. There are seven horizontal expansion slots plus two additional vertical slots for mounting a video card vertically.

Rear View

Top

Laying the SETA A1 on its right side gives us the best view of the top. From here we can see the large mesh panel, power button, reset button, and USB ports. Of course, the elephant in the room is that large white sticker. It lets the user know how to remove the front panel safely. More to come on that later on.

Top View

Bottom

Rotating 180 degrees we get to the bottom. This case features a full-length lower filter that is removable from the back of the case. The four feet are the round “puck” type that employs rubber pads to prevent slippage. They almost work too well.

 

Bottom View

Stripped Down

The SETA A1 is very pleasing to the eye and seems to be built with quality. Let’s open it up and see if the inside is built as well as the outside.

Front

Returning to the front of the case, we follow the directions on the sticker and gently pull the front panel from the bottom. This frees the panel from the steel frame. There are two wires that attach to the front A-RGB strips that you need to take care not to damage when executing this maneuver. With the front panel free, we get a good look at the front filter and intake area. The opening is in the shape of a double hexagon and strategically placed in front of the two front fans.

The filter is the fine fabric type that is very effective at reducing internal dust. The filter attaches to the front panel with two tabs and two clips. The fit is just OK as the frame and filter are not perfectly shaped and fitted, however, this should not make much difference and will still function as an effective filter.

With the front panel removed we get a great view of the two 200mm fans. Virtually the entire front of this chassis is filled with intake airflow. This should bode well for our thermal testing segment. Removing the front fans and we see the front radiator fastening slots. There are slots for both 120mm wide radiators and 140mm wide radiators.

Front View

Front Panel

Front Mesh

Front Mesh Close-up

Front Panel Removed

Front Fans Removed

Left

After re-assembling everything, we take a look at the left side. Here we see where the accessories bag is attached during shipping. Please note, the right-side panel was removed to accentuate the openings in the motherboard tray. A closer look will reveal the large CPU cooler access hole. This opening is wide enough that it could be used as a cable routing hole in a micro-ITX build. At the top and right sides of the motherboard tray are a total of seven cable routing holes. It should be noted though, that while this case does provide the mounting holes for an E-ATX motherboard, it is not officially supported. This is likely due to the lack of adequate routing holes for a board of that size. Still, adding these mounting holes is a nice bonus feature and a crafty user might be able to manage the task if the need were to arise.

Spinning the case slightly to see the inside of the front we can see another view of how the front fans and radiators will mount. The PSU shroud has a large opening to accommodate thick radiators or in a push/pull configuration. At the top are the cables for the front I/O panel.

Looking to the rear of the left side, we see the rear 120mm exhaust fan. There are a total of seven horizontal expansion slots and two additional vertical slots. These are nice for showing off those fancy graphics cards if you are so inclined to. Keep in mind you will need a PCIe expansion card if you go this route as one is not included with this case (which is normal). The slot covers are aerated with hex holes allowing for additional venting.

At the bottom of the left side is the PSU shroud. Here there are an additional four cable routing holes and a large opening for mounting a radiator up front. The majority of the shroud is aerated with hexagonal holes to promote airflow throughout the entirety of the case. A keen eye will notice there are four small slots near the back of the shroud. These are for mounting SSD trays. This has the potential to increase the available storage capacity if SilverStone offered these trays online. Sadly, at this time they do not.

Looking a bit closer there are eight tapped holes spaced out perfectly for a pair of 120mm fans. The option to mount additional fans here should not be understated. Since there are no fan locations at the bottom of this case locating them here is a great alternative. This can provide cool air from the basement of the chassis through the bottom filter. This is a great option too if your GPU has a tendency to get too hot during extended gaming sessions. Well done SilverStone!

Left Side Open

Left Side Close

Left Side Front

Left Side Rear

Left Side Bottom

Expansion Slot Covers

Right

The right side panel is removed with a pair of thumbscrews, just like the left side. Once removed we are greeted with the back of the motherboard tray. We clearly see the cable routing for the front I/O as well as the two SSD trays that are also mounted with thumbscrews. In the basement of this case, under the PSU shroud are a pair of HDD caddies. They are interconnected one on top of the other with a pair of thumbscrews each. These are difficult to access with your fingers and it was easier to just use a screwdriver for these. There is a set of expanded tabs that these caddies slide onto and the caddies have two different locations they can be assigned to depending on how much room is needed for the power supply or front radiator. It should be noted there is a third set of extruded tabs that do not appear to be utilized in this fashion. Perhaps they are there for future uses with this chassis.

With the cables pulled out of the way we see, there are four raised areas with rubber bumpers for the power supply to quietly rest on. The adhesive on the rubber pads are not very effective and easily fall off. In fact, one pad is missing entirely. This is a minor issue as even missing one of the pads the PSU was silent during all testing.  Measuring the PSU clearance we get a minimum of 212mm of clearance with the caddies mounted towards the rear. When not using a front radiator it is suggested to position the caddies to the front-most position to afford the maximum clearance possible. The front I/O cables are comprised of a standard USB 3.0 cable, USB 3.1 Type-C cable, HD audio cable, power LED, Power switch, HDD LED, and finally the reset switch cable which can be assigned as an A-RGB button when connected to the RGB controller.

Right Side Open

Basement Front

Basement Rear – PSU Clearance

Front I/O Cables

Rear

Moving along to the rear of the case we will start at the top. Adjacent to the motherboard I/O opening is the exhaust fan location. There are slots for adjusting a 120mm fan up to 30mm while the 140mm fan mounting is fixed. Working our way down we get to the nine expansion slots that were discussed previously. Lastly, at the bottom is the PSU opening. The PSU can be mounted with its intake at the bottom, or it can be flipped so that the power supplies fan is located at its top.

Rear Top

Rear Bottom

Top

Placing the SETA A1 back on its right side we take a closer look at the top. With the mesh panel removed we gain access to the upper fan and radiator mounting slots. These slots are offset to accommodate the maximum clearance from the internal components and allow for about 40mm of front to rear adjustability. The top mesh is the larger plastic style and is held on by simple magnetic strips. This is typical for this type of panel and highly effective. While not great at filtering out dust as an intake filter, it is effective at reducing dust when the system is powered off. Inspection the front I/O area it becomes obvious that the power button becomes illuminated when the system on turned on. Next to the power button is the reset/lighting button, then the headphone/microphone jack. SilverStone opted for the single jack in this case so you may need to acquire an adapter if your microphone is separated from your headset.

While attempting to remove the caution sticker for some quality photos it quickly became evident that this is a paper sticker with a high-quality adhesive. We contacted SilverStone for suggestions on removal and the advice was that it should come off without issue.  That wasn’t the case with this sample, however. With that said, the method I used was hot soapy water to remove the paper which left the glue. Then a conservative amount of Goo Gone®, a citrus-based solvent, was used to breakdown and remove the remaining glue. The results are good with only a slight sheen left behind. Hopefully, this experience was just a one-off.

Top Without Mesh

Top Mesh Close-up

Front I/O Panel

Paper Sticker

Residual Glue

After Citrus Cleaner

Bottom

Rotating around to the bottom of the chassis, we inspect the bottom filter in detail. It was a very pleasant surprise to see the filter is symmetrical from front to rear and it can be mounted so that it is removable from the front or the rear. This is an incredibly convenient feature as most users, myself included, spend a lot of time hiding the rear cables for their case and abhor having to pull it all out just to clean the filter. With the filter reversed and accessible from the front this is no longer a concern. Kudos and thank you SilverStone.

With the filter removed we see the bottom of the chassis has the hexagonal holes from front to rear. This allows for the maximum amount of filtered air to enter. There are no locations to mount bottom fans, but as mentioned earlier, it is possible to mount them on top of the PSU shroud. Finally, looking at the close-up photo of the bottom filter, it is the same fine fabric mesh that is employed in the front intake. There is a contoured section for easily grabbing the filter and removing it while it is installed under the case.

Bottom View

Bottom Filter Reversed

Bottom Filter Removed

Bottom Filter Close-up

Fans

There are three fans included with the SETA A1. A pair of 200 x 25mm front fans and a 120mm rear fan. The front fans have nine blades and are rated at 0.22 amps. These fans also feature rubber anti-vibration pads however it should be stated that these pads do little once the screws are tightened. Regardless, the fans are quiet and seem to push an adequate amount of air. The single 120mm fan that comes with this case has a seven-blade design and is rated at 0.45 amps. The rear fan lacks the rubber isolation pads but is also fairly silent. All three fans use a three-pin connector for providing power. The specifications for these fans are not listed on the SilverStone website.

200mm Fans

200mm Fan Rubber Insert

120mm Fan Front

120mm Fan Rear

Storage

The SETA A1 features a plethora of options for storage locations. The following images show the many options. Each hard drive caddy is capable of mounting a 3.5 inch hard drive as well as a 2.5-inch solid-state drive. In addition, it is possible to mount an SSD tray on top of the HDD caddy. However, in doing so you will not be able to use both HDD caddies as there just isn’t enough height in the case’s basement. The two 2.5 inch SSD trays can be located in one of three locations, at the back of the motherboard tray, on top of one of the HDD caddies, or on top of the PSU shroud. A total of six drives can be installed in the SETA A1.

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The Builds

We’ve analyzed each section of the SETA A1, now to complete a working build and look at its potential. Focusing on the case’s ability to house custom water cooling components as well as large air coolers we will discuss all available options.

Water Cooled Build

For a custom loop mock-up build, there was just enough room to mount a 60mm wide 360mm radiator upfront. The three 120mm fans are installed in front of the chassis while the radiator is installed in the PSU shroud opening. For a push/pull configuration, the maximum radiator thickness will be 45mm. When mounting a 120mm radiator at the top there is little restriction to thickness, however, a 140mm wide radiator may encounter issues with the CPU water block mounting hardware beyond 20mm thick. Looking at the second picture in this segment you can see a pair of fans mounted to the PSU shroud. This is a bonus location for mounting a 120mm wide radiator, assuming you are only utilizing the top PCIe slot of your motherboard.  There are no pre-designated locations for mounting a water pump in this case so the user will need to be creative when determining the pump and reservoir locations.

Water Cooled Mock-up 1

Water Cooled Mock-up 2
140mm Radiator Clearance

Air Cooled Build

Preparing for our thermal testing it is now time to remove all the water cooling components and install the Cooler Master Hyper 212X air cooler. This is one of the most popular aftermarket tower coolers on the market. It measures 158mm tall and easily fits in the cases 175mm available space.

Air Cooled Build

Cable Routing

The SETA A1 features a dozen cable tie points and a total of eleven cable routing holes. This allows the user a wide variety of choices on how to properly manage and prevent the “rats nest”. There is approximately 18mm of cable clearance between the motherboard tray and the right-side panel. This is not a lot of space and makes routing a little difficult, but not impossible. In this build, every available drive space was filled to maximize the amount of cable clutter and the case was capable of handling it. With this many cables and the marginal space between panels, it was necessary to use the right-side panel to squish the cables down before securing the side panel in place.

Cable Management

Cable Management

Lighting

With the air-cooled build complete it is now possible to cover the addressable RGB lighting of this case. Sadly the camera used for this review is incapable of reproducing the lighting with any quality. The included A-RGB controller cycles through the following colors, white, purple, rainbow, red, yellow, green, cyan, and blue. In addition to static solid colors, it will also show the following displays, fading, scrolling, shifting, and pulsing colors.

RGB Lighting

Solid Red Lighting
A-RGB Controller

Thermal Testing Procedure

We’ve seen all the functions and features the SETA A1 has to offer but now it’s time to test whether it is getting adequate airflow. With the case in its stock orientation and all the fans at full speed, an overclock will be applied to the CPU and GPU. The overclock will be as high as possible, maintaining stability and staying within the thermal limits of the components. To apply a load to the CPU and GPU, Aida64 Extreme and 3D Mark Firestrike will be run together for about a half-hour. This will provide the maximum internal case temperature.

Then, the side panel will be removed and the test will continue for another full run of Firestrike, measuring any temperature change. If the case is getting proper airflow then the case temperatures will remain within a few degrees of the original result. If there is a significant temperature drop with the side panel removed then the case is starving for fresh, cool air. A rise in temperature with the side panel off, though rare, generally indicates a hot spot due to a disruption in airflow caused by the lack of a side panel.

Note: Due to failed PCIe slots #1 and #4 it was necessary to run the thermal testing in the third slot at x8 instead of x16. This will not affect the results in any way as we are simply adding heat to the case and checking if the heat is being properly evacuated. What it does mean is it is time for some new testing components.

Thermal Testing Setup
SilverStone SETA A1 Testing System
Case SilverStone SETA A1
Motherboard ASRock 990FX Extreme 9
CPU AMD FX8350
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212X
Memory G.Skill Sniper 2x4GB 2133Mhz CL 9
GPU Sapphire HD7950 Vapor X
Storage OCZ Agility 3 120Gb SSD
Power Supply EVGA 850GQ 850 watts
Operating System Windows 10 64 bit
Stock fans 2x 200mm & 1x 120mm
Added fans None
Temperature Probe Amprobe TMD-52
Ambient Temp 19°C

 

SilverStone SETA A1 Thermal Results

The results of our thermal testing are as good as it gets. With a temperature drop of only one degree with the side panel removed, the SETA A1 is ranked as one of the top cases we’ve reviewed when compared to other cases tested in this same manner. Keeping in mind there is always a slight variance, this case will keep up with, or surpass any others in its class. Thermal efficiency should not be a concern if you are considering purchasing this case, in fact, it’s a strength.

Conclusion

SilverStone’s SETA A1 has a variety of great features. Hitting key points like a front USB 3.1 Type-C port, water cooling capabilities, A-RGB lighting, and customizable storage solutions there are many reasons to chose this case over others.

While it’s not a perfect case, all the concerns experienced during this review are very minor and possibly even nitpicky, primarily the sticker on the front panel and the marginal room for cable management. These should not dissuade the potential buyer however and its strengths severely outweigh the minor inconveniences.

At the time of this writing, the SETA A1 is listed on Amazon for 134.99 but does not appear on the Newegg website just yet. This price point is what you would expect to pay for a premium quality enthusiast case making for an easy decision to rate it Overclockers.com approved.

Click the image to find out what this means.

-John Nester (Blaylock)

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  1. Very nice! Always liked SS cases, them and Lian Li. Very clean and solid. Figured I'm due for a new case, this 500R lasted me my final years of college and several moves, so it's traveled a fair amount and is showing signs of it. Last time I was in a Microcenter I looked around and didn't see much that caught my eye. So far this SETA definitly ranks up there.