Assembling the SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E

Just like seeing a Corsair logo on a case box tells me it's going to be an easy night, the SilverStone logo on the front of the Temjin TJ04-E tells me I'd better fish out the instruction manual and familiarize myself with how everything's supposed to go together before I start the assembly proper. There's a method to SilverStone's madness and like a good puzzle box it's easy to see how everything comes together once you know how the pieces are supposed to fit...you just need to know it first.

Thankfully the TJ04-E isn't quite as involved as many of their other designs. SilverStone includes the front six motherboard standoffs built into the tray (though fishing the other three out of the bag of screws is more of a headache than it ought to be), and popping the board and I/O shield in was painless enough. The power supply is just as easy to install. It's when you get to the drives that things start to get a bit wonky.

First, you'll need to remove the large drive cage by unscrewing the top and bottom of it; from there it slides out on rails. 3.5" drives are mounted with screws instead of rails or trays, but honestly this doesn't strike me as being a particularly major issue. Rails/trays are a nice convenience in assembly that wind up not being super essential in practice (unless you're the type of user that changes their storage subsystem on a regular basis). What may throw you for a loop is the fact that hard drives are mounted upside-down in the TJ04-E instead of right-side up, and they're front-to-back facing instead of lateral, a sacrifice needed to make space for the side intake fan.

The 2.5" drive cage, on the other hand, feels like the least thought out part of the TJ04-E's design. Our 180mm power supply had to have its modular cables routed through the cage rather than around as SilverStone intended, and while SilverStone recommends removing this cage before installing the power supply (or installing drives in it for that matter), they use extra-small Phillips head screws in the bottom of the case to keep it in place. It's a small but unnecessary nuisance.

Installing expansion cards is a little more work than usual, too. Where most cases extrude the back of the enclosure, on the TJ04-E you need to remove a cover first, then remove the individual slot cover, then install the video card, then install the cover again. It adds an extra step that you may run into just enough for it to be annoying.

As mentioned before, cabling winds up being a bit more of an issue than you'll want it to be, but a large part of that is due to having used a 180mm power supply in our testbed instead of a 160mm one. By using a 180mm PSU, you can't route cables through the hole in the tray next to the PSU and the result is a messier cabling situation only compounded by the orientation of the hard drives and SSDs. Also worth noting is that all of the fans use 3-pin headers; there are no molex connectors in this case.

Assembling a system in the SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E was more involved than most ATX cases tend to be, but not quite as involved as most of SilverStone's other cases tend to be. This is an interesting variation on traditional case design that I suspect needs a bit more experimentation for the end user to really make the most of it.

In and Around the SilverStone Temjin TJ04-E Testing Methodology
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  • Rolphus - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    I've just put my new gaming machine together using a TJ-08E (chosen largely because of your review), and I absolutely agree that they are tricky cases to put together - and this is coming from someone with an Antec P180.

    I had to substantially re-cable my machine 3 times during the build as I worked out the best places for everything to go.

    That said, I'm really, really pleased with my machine - the thermals are excellent, the case is reasonably light, and it's wonderfully compact and quiet.

    I think it's a real pity that they're only using 120mm fans in this more conventional case. The 180mm fan in the TJ-08 is key to its success.
    Reply
  • burntham77 - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    That is great to hear. I am planning to move my parts into a TJ-08E soon. I have been looking for a small case that doesn't sound like a vacuum cleaner, and that one seems to fit the bill. If I may, what CPU and GPU do you use? Reply
  • Rolphus - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - link

    Sure! for completeness: my setup is:

    Intel Core i5-2500K (at 4GHz, stock voltages with vDroop correction: I've not tried pushing it harder)
    EVGA Z68 Micro SLI
    MSI GeForce GTX580 Twin Frozr II - actually not recommended: the TJ08's manual suggests only getting GPUs that blow air "out" of the case (as in the reference design) rather than those that blow air in both directions.
    Pioneer BDR-206DBK Blu-ray Writer - this is just short enough to fit in the case with...
    Silverstone Tech. Strider Plus 850W PSU
    Antec Kúhler H2O 920 CPU cooler
    1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
    64GB Crucial M4 (as a Smart Response Technology cache)

    The machine is very quiet even under heavy load (FurMark + Prime95 x 3), with the only real noise being the GPU fans.

    I had to work a little to get the Kuhler in place, and think carefully about the order I installed things, but everything fitted nicely with clean airflow.
    Reply
  • Risforrocket - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    Thank you, Mr. Sklavos, for a nice review. I have been looking at this case.

    I have two remarks. I would like to see case reviews done with the case configured in a way a reasonably enthusiastic owner would configure the case. In this case, configured with the optional fans installed including the bottom fan and the SSD cage removed. I think that is reasonable especially as this case is not a low end case but rather a lower cost enthusiast case. Give the case it's best chance, within reason.

    My second remark is that you uncovered the weakness in this case, the cooling airflow. I think Silverstone should fix that but I suppose that won't happen. I don't think the use of screws is a negative at all whereas hard mounting the disk drives might be, well, *is* because that takes us back to a time when no one cared about noise or vibration. Lol, I know, I was there.

    That you need to remove the SSD cage in an attempt to fix the cooling airflow leads me to ask myself how would I fix this problem? I think the HDD cage and cooling fans are cool. Remove the SSD cage altogether and provide 2.5" mount options elsewhere, make the bottom cooling fan the main intake fan, make the top fans exhaust rather than intake. That's three intake, three exhaust and a reasonable airflow pattern.

    I actually think case design should begin with an airflow design. Well, I'm tired. Thanks again for a nice review.
    Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    You're right about the case congifuration, but the case has to be setup in the same way that previous reviews were done or the comparison numbers won't be as meaningful. As soon as he makes some modification for a review the comments fill up with bias accusations, suggestions for improvement, and other differences of opinion. Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    I love Silverstone cases and this is why:

    "it seems like nobody ever told their engineers something couldn't or shouldn't be done"

    Most case designers are lazy and nothing has really moved design forward for years (moving PSU from top to bottom is not a big jump forward!). Silverstone and Lian Li are the exceptions. Of course some of the designs do not work as well as originally thought but they are at least trying.

    This is a design that does not work as the airflow is not good enough.

    But please Silverstone keep trying
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    I don't know if you've paid attention to the Antec lineup, but they come up with an occasional new idea as well.

    I draw your attention specifically to the Skeleton and the Lanboy. These cases may not be what you find esthetically pleasing, but they are far from lazy, old designs.

    ;)
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    I had forgotten about the Skeleton - definitely designed by someone who had never been told what should be done!

    Not convinced by the lanboy - assume you mean the Airboy (or whatever the mesh heavy case is called), other than the mesh, it looked a standard case design but have to admit I have not re-read the reviews for a while as it was not suitable for me.

    Antec do very nice small HTPC designs though - again highly original
    Reply
  • r3loaded - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    Silverstone are great because they innovate a lot in computer cases, an area that you'd otherwise think doesn't need or have much innovation. They certainly aren't afraid to try wacky things like the FT-03, just to see if it'll work. I own an FT-03 and while it's certainly not for everyone, you just have to admire the design and the quality of the finish.

    On the difficulty of assembling it, it's not difficult if you just follow the manual closely. This is certainly one area where it's best to drop the "real men don't need manuals" machismo and do exactly what it says. You'll get it right first time, and once it comes together, it comes together beautifully.
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    Having discovered how the power cable is supposed to be installed in an FT-03, and performing the procedure, I disagree.

    Had to take a knife to the plug, to force it through the aperture it was supposed to go through, and through which it didn't go when it was delivered. Only discovered that that routing was possible at all when I swapped fans.

    While I really like the case, and it fits my needs perfectly, there are some very rough edges that occasionally rear their ugly head.
    another example would be the installation of the 2.5" drive with the customary angled SATA cables. Almost impossible, as the cable routing hole in the mainboard is just a tiny bit too low for an angled plug stuck on the mainboard.
    Also, 12 screws to install a second 2.5" drive did seem somewhat excessive to me.

    And why oh why didn't they have the titanium gray version at launch :D
    Reply

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