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Review: Cooler Master Silencio 652S

by Parm Mann on 22 May 2015, 15:15

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Silencio 652S gets a lot of things right in terms of the exterior, but there are a couple of potential pitfalls. The first is that there's no windowed option, so anyone looking to show off their hardware will automatically veer toward alternatives. The second is that the front door isn't reversible - held shut by a simple magnet, it'll only open to the left and doesn't extend much past 90 degrees. Not the end of the world, but worth knowing about if you absolutely must have a particular orientation.

Things get interesting when you step inside. We've seen a quite a few new chassis target niche audiences by focussing on specific features. As a result, some of the 'lesser' features such as 5.25in optical bays have started to fall by the wayside, but Cooler Master isn't quite ready to let go and the Silencio 652S attempts to cover just about every possible configuration.

Considering the regular mid-tower dimensions, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that in addition to supporting an ATX or Micro-ATX motherboard, there's room for up to 13 storage drives in total. And that's not just wishful marketing in the way the case is described as "supremely silent." The 13 are comprised of three 5.25in optical bays at the top of the storage stack, a 2.5in mount behind the motherboard tray, another 2.5in mount at the bottom alongside the PSU bay and yet another 2.5in mount hidden on the underside of the 5.25in cage.

There are drive mounts everywhere, and yet there's more in the form of the two removable drive cages. The bottom cage supports three drives, while the upper supports four, but what's clever is that the latter is adjustable in width. The chassis ships with the top cage configured for slim 2.5in drives, but undo a couple of screws and the cage can easily be widened for 3.5in disks. To make the storage system work, the Silencio 652S's individual drive trays are also width-adjustable to suit your choice of form factor, and though the total number of bays may seem excessive, the actual mechanism is pretty neat.

However, while the drive bays themselves work well, their quantity can leave the chassis feeling cramped during the build process. There's no major trouble installing high-end components - a maximum GPU length of 423mm and a CPU cooler clearance of 168mm is ample for a modern-day build - but the inner cavern doesn't feel as spacious as some of the Silencio 652S's immediate rivals, particularly those that have eschewed support for optical drives.

The space constraint is most keenly felt when it comes to cable management. There are just the four rubber-grommeted routing holes, and three are slimmer in size than we're accustomed to. Still, getting cables routed around back isn't a problem; the real issue is the limited amount of space behind the motherboard tray. Getting the notched side panel to reattach on our test build proven tricky - we couldn't get it on without laying the chassis on its side - and, given the number of storage bays, there really should be more room to store excess cables.

For the liquid coolers out there, it's also worth noting that a 240mm top radiator may sit close to the uppermost 5.25in bay, so to make cabling a little easier an optical drive might work better in a lower slot. A few minor niggles, but the Silencio 652S is tidy when up and running and ships with three pre-installed Silencio FP120 fans - two as 120mm front intakes and one as a 120mm rear exhaust. Let's see how the out-the-box configuration fares when cooling an overclocked Core i7-3570K processor and dual GeForce GTX 970 graphics cards.