Cooler Master today officially launches Silencio 550 computer case. As the name suggests, the case is built for silence but not the kind that will empty your pockets.
Silencio 550 comes with two quiet fans. Side panels and the front panel are strapped with foam that helps decrease noise, so Silencio 550 will remain quiet even with a louder graphics card or CPU cooler.
The packaging is sturdy and holds plenty of information. Cooler Master included a multitude of screws, drive brackets, a PC speaker and the user’s manual.
When it comes to size alone, Silencio 550 is much like the CM Enforcer we’ve tested recently, here
. However, the Silencio 550 looks nothing like its sibling, as is evident from the pictures. The Enforcer is obviously made for gamers, while Silencio, with its mirror finish on the front, is more appropriate for users who like classic designs.
Silencio 550 weighs in at 9.2kg, which is 0.3kg more than the Enforcer. Silencio 550 measures (W) 210 x (H) 415.5 x (D) 505.2 mm.
Silencio 550 is completely painted black, both inside and outside. There are no windows or air outlets on the side panels or top panel. As you can see, there aren’t many openings that would allow sound to travel outside the case.
The front mirror-finish panel is actually a plastic door and the company is quick to add that the panel reflects the calm and quiet of Silencio 550. The door is opened to the left and the direction cannot be changed.
You can take the front panel’s protective plastic cover off, but since wiping fingerprints off of the mirror finish is not an easy task, it might be best if you left it until you’ve put all the components in.
The front panel will take two fans but it comes stocked with one 120mm (800RPM). Cooler Master left holes on the edges of the front panel in order for air to reach the fans.
There are about two centimeters between the front panel foam and the fan, which act as chamber for supplying air. This easily removable part comes with dust filters.
Silencio 550 is not all looks however. The front panel has a hot-swap interface for instant hard drive connections, which Cooler Master dubbed the external SATA X-dock. Above it are two 5.25" bays.
Reset, On/Off keys and connectors are located on top of the case. Thankfully, Cooler Master made sure that the case has USB 3.0.
Silencio 550 has seven expansion slots and two holes for water cooling.
Silencio 550 is a mid-tower case that will take micro ATX / ATX motherboards. Thanks to the flexible design that allows taking out a part of the HDD bracket, the case will take any graphics card. CPU cooler size, however, is limited to 154mm.
Silencio 550 aims to be quiet and comes with foam on the side panels.
Thick foam on the side panel limits CPU cooler height to 154mm. We however tested with Hyper Z600 CPU cooler, which is 160mm tall.
As you can from the picture below, a 160mm tall cooler will fit but will get in the way when closing the panel. While only a slight push will do the trick, you should know that the cooler will not be as efficient and may even burn the foam in some extreme scenarios.
Equipping Silencio 550 with a motherboard and the rest was a breeze as Cooler Master really made great use of the available room.
We tried using Rampage II Extreme, extended ATX (30.5cm x 26.9cm) and had no problems; the board did cover all cable holes.
The case has a CPU backplate hole that makes switching coolers easier. Let’s just say, anyone who’s ever had to remove the motherboard to install it will know how to appreciate it.
Silencio 550 comes with two 12cm 800RPM fans, front and back. The fans come with 3-pin connectors and with Molex adapters. Top panel is completely closed, again to make the case quieter. It seems like the company didn’t care so much about the airflow, focusing on isolating noise instead.
Silencio 550 will take three fans and since it already has two, there’s room for one more on the front panel.
PSU goes on the bottom of the case and it has vibration absorbing seals, again against noise.
There aren’t many cable holes for cable management. The space behind the motherboard is divided in two sections with only one way through for cables.
Routing cables in the back is possible but with the foam on the side panels, it’s pretty limited. You’ll find enough cable notches. The only thing we’d like to see is another cable hole on the back panel.
Hyper Z6000 is a passive CPU cooler that gets pretty handy in testing computer cases. After all, it serves as the best indicator of airflow in a case. It’s 160mm tall and it did end up touching the foam on the side panel, which in turn decreased performance. We measured 10°C higher temperatures than in the Enforcer case. Maximum allowed height for CPU cooler is 154mm.
We must say that two fans are not enough for Silencio 550 and we’d advise you to strap it with another fan on the front panel as soon as possible. Passively cooled CPUs or graphics cards aren’t quite advisable either. On the other hand, the case is pretty good in containing noise, so louder graphics card aren’t quite a big problem.
We usually go for passively cooled 9800GT cards in order to hear the case itself, but this time we went for GTX 480. After all, if anything can disrupt Cooler Master’s silence, it’s the GTX 480. It turned out that the foam on the front and side panels did a good job in keeping GTX 480 quieter.
Cooler Master Silencio 550 was extremely quiet throughout our testing and it was definitely true to its name. It comes with two silent fans and sound isolation foam inside the case.
Cooler Master once again delivered a quality product. This time however, the company focused on making a quiet and stylish case, rather than focusing on cooling performance.
We must say that two fans are not enough for Silencio 550 and we’d advise you to strap it with another fan on the front panel as soon as possible. On the other hand, the case is pretty good in containing noise, our testing revealed that Silencio 550 remains quiet regardless of loudness of a graphics card.
Silencio 550 goes for €79 after VAT, same as CM 690 II Advanced or Enforcer cases. The offer itself offers plenty of variety and is down to personal preference. If you’re looking to build a quiet and unobtrusive rig, then Silencio 550 will be a great start.