SilverStone ML04 & ML05 Slim HTPC Cases Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on April 18, 2014 2:30 PM EST
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Silverstone Milo ML04 Overview
Silverstone's packages are usually simple and straightforward and the packaging of the Milo ML04 is no different. It is a plain brown box with the basic features of the case printed on it. The bundle however is thoughtful for a case of this price range. Aside from the necessary screws and hardware, Silverstone also provides a 120mm fan filter, cable management straps, and a cable gooseneck lock. There is also a plastic key for the faceplate. Unfortunately, only one key is provided and these things are easily misplaced; however, the shape and size of the key is identical to a 2.6mm triangular screwdriver bit, which is relatively easily found and may be used as a crude replacement it if it comes to that.
As the expected environment for such a case is some kind of home theater / entertainment console, Silverstone focused on what really matters: the faceplate. The faceplate of the Milo ML04 is a large, thick plastic door with an anodized aluminum cover, creating a minimalistic, clean aesthetic design. The company logo, perhaps a bit oversized for the relatively compact case, is printed on the top left corner of the faceplate and a rectangular metallic power button can be seen at the lower right corner of the door. The door is held closed by a magnet, which feels a bit weak but it's actually just as strong as it should be for the smooth opening and closing of the door.
Behind the faceplate, there is a visible 5.25" device tray, two USB 3.0 ports, headset audio jacks, and the power and reset buttons. It is interesting to note that even though the power button is accessible from the outside of the faceplate, it is possible to lock the exterior button and require the door to be opened in order to access it. Alongside the rudimentary lock, this is a very good feature for families with children. When the door is open, a significant aesthetic flaw becomes apparent: there is a large gap between the plastic faceplate and the metallic chassis, which is normally masked by the closed door. This isn't a major concern as we expect most users will keep the door closed, but it does detract from the overall design.
The chassis of the Milo ML04 is simple SECC Steel and just 0.8mm thick. Visually, the difference between the faceplate and the steel body is significant, but Silverstone obviously bet that it will be hidden by furniture or other equipment. Large areas are perforated, such as the entire right side panel, the area above the CPU, and nearly 40% of the left side panel. As there is virtually no space at the rear of the case for a vent, Silverstone is using perforated, reusable expansion slot covers.
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Meaker10 - Friday, April 18, 2014 - linkWow F-I90HD, that brings back memories, one of the first generation of performance based uATX options.
homer_pickett - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - linkI agree, it does bring back memories. But I don't get how it's going to stand a chance on todays market. /Homer from http://www.consumertop.com/best-desktop-guide/
britjh22 - Friday, April 18, 2014 - linkI think the MLO5 set up with the ASRock AM1H-ITX, Kabini Athlon 5350, a SSD and just use the DC in with a laptop power brick would be an awesome media front end for a basic FreeNas setup. That Keep the budge fairly low since you don't have to worry about SFX PSU's.
johnny_boy - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - linkThere are much better options if you don't need the graphics power of the 5350, which you wouldn't for freenas.
teldar - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - linkHave it. No case. Just a bare power switch, while thing mounted on lexan on back of tv. Motherboard gets hot with the dc in. But a good little computer. Using 120gb crucial m500.
DanNeely - Friday, April 18, 2014 - link(all switching PSUs are extremely efficient if the magnitude of the load is below 20% of their rated capacity).
this is backwards; very low (or high) loads result in inefficient performance, although with the newest efficiency standard specifying performance levels at 10/90% the efficient operation range is being forced wider (there's not much room left to improve in the middle any more).
E.Fyll - Friday, April 18, 2014 - linkThat actually was a typographic mistake on my part (efficient instead of inefficient). It has been corrected. Thank you.
Samus - Friday, April 18, 2014 - linkIve been using an ml05 for awhile with a Pico PSU (90w) and a Brazos E350. Ive been looking into upgrading the board (and CPU) for awhile but keep putting it off hoping for more sub-20-watt desktop CPU options, although the new AMD A1 at 25watt is on the hot list right now. It seems to be the natural successor to Brazos, which to this day is still surprisingly competent.
jlockheart - Friday, April 18, 2014 - linkI like the smaller size of the Milo ML04, constraints can sometimes make you more creative. For the full PCI slot above the motherboard I wound up using 4-port USB and ran the cables back to headers on my mobo. Also made good use of the VGA knockout with a spare half height AMD 5450.
Brainonska511 - Friday, April 18, 2014 - linkA few years ago, I built my htpc system with an ML03b case. Looks to be the same design as the ML04, minus that weird faceplate on the ML04. It's been pretty solid. As far as airflow, I threw 2 quiet 80 mm fans on the side mounts, to help pull some air through the case. As for the noise the system produces: between the Scythe Big Shuriken heatsink (120mm slim fan), 2 80mm fans, and a PSU fan, I can't really hear it in a silent room if I'm more than 3 feet away. If you're watching something on TV, then any noise is drowned out completely.