Page 4 - Installation and Conclusion
Because this will be my first PC build, it is going to be built from scratch with parts sourced from the local computer store as well as the APH Networks hardware shelf (Trust me, it is a pretty awesome shelf). With a bit of help from Senior Technical Editor Preston Yuen and Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Kwan, I got straight to work in building my first custom PC. Here is the list of the parts I installed:
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K
CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-C14 (Dual fan)
Motherboard: Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 Series Black Mamba DDR3 16GB (2x8GB)
Chassis: SilverStone Kublai KL05B-W; BitFenix Spectre Pro LED
Storage: SanDisk Ultra II 240GB; Western Digital Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB
Power: SilverStone Strider Gold S ST85F-GS 850W
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64
The installation process was very straightforward with the Kublai KL05 with the help of my colleagues. First, I installed the Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 motherboard, followed by the rest of the components listed above. Keeping the cables managed was easy on the SilverStone Kublai KL05. There are eight openings around the motherboard for simple cable management. However, depending on the orientation of the parts that you are using, it will change which opening is better for the job. The installation for the SSD and HDD were both tool-free and extremely easy. The SSD, SanDisk's Ultra II 240GB, was installed into one of the two drive cages located behind the motherboard and the HDD, while the Western Digital Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB was fitted into one of the six 3.5” drives trays. After the tray clicks into place, make the proper connections, and you are ready to install the next component.
The rest of the installation process was as simple as the first few steps with no major surprises. As previously mentioned, I used a SilverStone power supply for this build; namely the Strider Gold S ST85F-GS 850W. Since this is a mid-sized ATX case, and the power supply I decided to use was a standard ATX form factor unit, I expected no surprises in installing it. In addition, because the power supply is one of the shortest ever made, it left tons of room for everything else. Including the PSU, most of the remaining parts that were installed required a screwdriver to put it all together, which is really not a bad thing.
Taking a closer look inside the case after installing the rest of the components, we can see there is still lots of space for other parts and future upgrades. Once again, SilverStone has provided many openings in the KL05 to make it easy for beginners like myself to build a clean looking PC. I was able to tuck the modular cables connected to the power supply behind the larges space behind the motherboard tray, then connect it with the parts that needed power with no bumps along the way. Also, using the openings, I was able to connect the rest of the components, and achieve a very clean look in the inside of my first custom PC. In addition, because of the depth in the motherboard cutout, I was able to install the Noctua NH-C14 with ease on my first try. For extra cooling, I added a blue BitFenix Spectre Pro LED fan at the back, and a red BitFenix Spectre Pro LED at the top.
After double-checking all the components were installed correctly and plugging in the power supply, my PC installed inside the Kublai KL05 was ready to come to life. I hit the square power button on the front panel, and my first PC meowed into life. I have taken the liberty of taking a snapshot of the side of the computer without the window panel to give you a better view of what was installed in the previous photo. As you can see, I took out one of the drive cages that contained three drive trays, because I only had one HDD at the time. Taking the drive cage away revealed the SilverStone stock fan in all of its glory. I assumed taking the drive cage directly located in front of the intake fan would result in better airflow throughout the entire case. Overall, I would say that the KL05 does a great job in allowing for larger components to be installed, but also allows the fit of the components to be snug so users would have easier access to each one individually if he or she needs to make any minor adjustments.
In terms of the noise it produces, the expression Technical Editor Aaron Lai used for the previously reviewed SilverStone fans, “we rate the perceived noise on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is silence, while 10 is the loudest jackhammer and goal horn mixed together”, I would put this specific intake fan at a 3.5/10, where its loud enough for you to hear it in a quiet room, but barely noticeable when typing on a Cherry MX Brown keyboard.
There are many things that I like about the Kublai KL05 case from SilverStone. In general, this is an appealing case for those who gravitate more towards a simpler design in their computer chassis. Without a doubt, it was everything I wanted in a case before I started building a PC. In addition, this mid-tower offers many user-friendly features that allows for easy installation and enjoyment in using it. From the large space in the top compartment of the case for radiator installation to the drive cages located near the bottom of the case, the KL05 incorporated many features we can agree are necessary. It has more than enough drive cages for average users, and a separate one can be bought from the SilverStone website if it is not enough. Secondly, the KL05 offers convenience throughout the design of the case. From its thumbscrews for easy access on the exterior to the various large openings around the motherboard for a clean cable job, SilverStone certainly impressed in this area. For a MSRP of $70 USD at press time, the SilverStone Kublai KL05 is so appealing, I simply do not know how I would say no. However, there are some issues that I see in the Kublai KL05. The first one is obvious. It only includes one fan. But for the price, it is forgivable, considering the KL05 has dust filters everywhere. In the version SilverStone offers without the window, the side panels are foam padded to dampening the noise coming from the inside of the computer. However, such sound dampening pads were not put in for the model with the window. I found this to be quite disappointing, due to the KL05 almost having it all, apart from the lack of the foam pads. But let us just say if I did not already own the case and had it on loan to me, I would still be running to the closest store in my area to see if I could purchase one. It has everything and more that I could ask for in a mid-sized ATX case for the price. It has the stylish sleek black exterior to match its interior, and features what is practical in everyday usage.
SilverStone provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.3/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
For a mid-sized ATX case, not only is the SilverStone Kublai KL05 sleek on the outside, but it is spacious and practical on the inside -- all at a price you can afford.
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1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion