SilverStone Grandia GD03 HTPC Case Review

Written by: Maxwell Anderson
Date: November 28th, 2014
Rating: 7.8 out of 10

First Impressions

Some say first impressions are everything. First off, I noticed that the case came to me packaged in a very study cardboard shell, protected with a polymer foam that is slightly less rigid and much less messy than standard Styrofoam – a much appreciated measure. Within the box is another, much smaller, box. This smaller box contains an instruction manual, a few odd pieces (explained later), and a bunch of screws/spacers. The instruction manual is printed on a thick, textured, expensive-looking paper, and contains a plethora of information; there is definitely more than you’d ever want to know within its regal pages. Covering certain parts of the case (to keep them from moving during shipment) was a thick, blue tape. Many times, when a company tapes something, they use whatever tape they want, and simply slap it on there with little regard for the purchaser. In the case of SilverStone, they curled the tape at one end so that it would be easy to remove. The tape peeled away easily, but left a little bit of residue, which was removed with a good thumb-rubbing.

Other than the nit-picky stuff above, there’s not too much to say about initial impressions. The case has an attractive, sleek look to it. It is notably heavy, presumably due to its steel chassis, but it is solid and all of the pieces give the impression that they are well-made. The brushed aluminum bezel is striking, and not cheap-looking or flimsy. The case feet are large enough not to concentrate too much weight into a small area, and have a nice rubber anti-slip material on them. Also, the power button is on TOP of the machine (and dimly glows blue), which means you’ll have to be careful about putting stuff on top of it.

Inside of the box, along with the case, are the following: a manual, a large piece of foam tape, smaller pieces of foam tape, various screws and spacers, an EMI ring, long screws for attaching a fan to the right side, and a piece to add a security lock to the case.

Opening It Up

There are four standard Phillips case screws on that back (which are notably not thumb screws) that need to be removed before the top of the case will come off. The top is similar to the standard upright case doors in that they slide parallel and then come off perpendicular to the case. Once the top is removed, we are greeted with a beefy crossmember, which is obviously there to support a load placed on top of it, such as a stereo amplifier, satellite box, or flat-screen television. The crossmember is removed by the extraction of another four Phillips screws, three of which appear to be fairly superfluous – it seems as though the only one necessary is the one nearest to the bezel.

Inside of the case, there are three removable subsections (or brackets, as they call them): one for the 3.5″ hard drives, which is next to one for the 5.25″ drives, and one under the 5.25″ bay for a floppy disk or any other front-accessible 3.5″ component. Each is easily removed by taking out one screw and sliding the bracket back. After installing a power supply, motherboard, and all the other standard components into the case, removal of these bays was limited, but delightfully not impossible. Of course, the motherboard installed plays a large role in the removal of these bays, as an ATX power connector or some RAM in the way might cause some problems, which would easily be remedied by the removal of said components.

There are two included 80 mm exhaust fans that are located in the back of the case, and a spot on the side of the case for another 80 mm fan, which is not included.

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