SilverStone ML04 & ML05 Slim HTPC Cases Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on April 18, 2014 2:30 PM EST
- Posted in
Silverstone ML04 and ML05 HTPC Enclosures: Introduction
Silverstone is well-known among technology enthusiasts, and while they offer a great selection of technology-related goods, cases and virtually everything enclosure-related are their specialty. The company offers a very impressive selection of such products, and for variety we decided to have a look at their low-profile HTPC products; even then, Silverstone had over a dozen from which to choose.
We requested they send us two of their most popular slim HTPC cases and Silverstone responded by sending us the Milo ML04 and the Milo ML05. The former is Silverstone's entry level HTPC offering, capable of holding up to Micro-ATX motherboards, while the latter is its smaller cousin, designed for Mini-ITX motherboards. As with most similar products, both of these cases are non-standard designs that have been developed specifically for use in living rooms, each with their unique features, strengths, weaknesses and limitations.
The following tables summarize the most important specifications of each case:
|Silverstone Milo ML04|
|Motherboard Form Factor||Micro-ATX|
|Drive Bays||External||1 × 5.25"|
|Internal||1 ×2.5" 2 × 3.5"|
|Side||4 × 80mm (none included)|
|I/O Port||2 × USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic|
|Power Supply Size||ATX|
350mm × 440mm × 105mm (D × W × H)
13.78 in × 17.32 in × 4.14 in (D × W × H)
|Weight||≈4kg (8.8 lbs.)|
|Price (without tax/shipping)||≈56.5 EUR / 74.99 USD|
|Silverstone Milo ML05|
|Motherboard Form Factor||Mini-ITX|
|Drive Bays||External||Slot Slot-Loading (not included)|
|Top||1 × 120mm (not included)|
|Side||2 × 80mm (none included)|
|I/O Port||2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic|
|Power Supply Size||SFX|
|Clearances||HSF||≈70mm / 37mm|
204mm × 350mm × 99mm (D × W × H)
8.03 in × 13.78 in × 3.9 in (D × W × H)
|Weight||2.1 kg (4.62 lbs.)|
|Price (without tax/shipping)||≈32 EUR / 39.99 USD|
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Voldenuit - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - linkMy bad, confused the two model numbers - the ML04 is the bigger one and does indeed have provision for a riser card (although if I understand correctly no riser card is bundled), and any card installed on said riser can only be single slot in width.
Also, for some inane reason, the riser is oriented the wrong way and blocks off the CPU cooler, which is almost as bad as not having a riser at all, IMO.
Daniel Egger - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - linkNowadays the main problem doesn't seem to be getting good low profile cards but cards which only need one slot as even the new Maxwell cards tend to require 2 full profile slots. So even if you have a case that supports a riser card you'll only have a single slot available...
I very much gave up on the very small cases and instead opted for a somewhat big Lian Li PC-C50B. There're only a very small number of cases in desktop format that support a dual slot full profile card *and* a 5 1/4" drive...
rogueninja - Sunday, April 20, 2014 - linkHot damn those are some ugly chassis. Never put meshes out of nowhere. It's either you make the entire panel a mesh, or nothing.
billobob - Monday, April 21, 2014 - linkWith the advent of the steam box and overall slow but steady advance of controller living room PC gaming, you can't really view HTPCs as exclusively media players anymore. In fact, given the nature of people building their own PCs in the first place, I'd argue its pretty damn common. With the rise of cheap streaming boxes and other appliances the number of people building media-only HTPCs is probably on the downswing.
It would be nice to see some real thermal and noise testing as you'd do for a conventional case. A passive low watt test for media only use, and active test with appropriate components (ie midgrade mini-ITX or mid-premium ATX GPUs depending on the case). Sound is even more important because as someone who games with a computer in my living room, ironically the best noise data out there is for huge gaming cases.
MichaelD - Monday, April 21, 2014 - linkI recently built a low-power HTPC in the ML04. This case was exactly what I was looking for. Very plain front panel, same size as most HT-type equipment, locking front door and the lockable power button was icing on the cake. This case is definitely a PITA to build in, but I knew that from reading the online reviews. I run the OS off an SSD. Media is either streamed from the net or from my NAS. Stock Intel HSF and two silent 80mm case fans and you cannot hear it from more than 3 feet away. IMO, this is the perfect HTPC case for people that actually want a case as opposed to a tiny NUC-type device that you mount with Velcro to the back of the TV.
plonk420 - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - linknice @ having a dimmable LED. i have the ML03 and i had to tape some thick paper over my HDD LED as it would flicker off the wall in front of the HTPC (which was right below as well as on my DLP projector's screen)
another ghetto rigging i did was i replaced the 40 or 60mm fan on my E-350's heatsink with a twist-tied 120mm Arctic Cooling F12 Pro (PWM) to blow down onto the heatsink. it's ridiculously quiet.
wheat_thins - Monday, April 28, 2014 - linkI have been out of the HTPC loop for awhile. What's the opinion on front end these days? Is XBMC still being updated? Are people doing windows media center? I just want a box that I can easily control with just a remote or mini keyboard + trackpad that can stream movies, pictures, mp3's from my local NAS. Native Netflix, Pandora, Youtube, Weather apps would be a bonus so I would not need a keyboard.
sirizak - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkXbmc is still going strong, I've recently built 2 HTPC's in the ML05, running Xbmcbuntu Linux. Not sure about Netflix but I believe there is an addon for Pandora, definitely has YouTube and weather support. PVR support has come a very long way as well now. Using an flirc adapter and a harmony remote. Very easy to use and versatile.
sirizak - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - linkRecently built a Htpc in the ML05 to replace a tivo which has shut down in Australia.
MSI H87I, Pentium G3220, harmony remote via flirc adapter, Sony playtv tuner, running Xbmcbuntu. Working very well, and much more versatile than the tivo.
The ML05 is not terribly pretty but it's small size means it doesn't attract attention which was the real goal.