Silverstone Primera PM01 Case Review
   
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SilverStone Primera PM01 Case Review

February 6th, 2017 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

The last product that I took a look at from SilverStone was the Strider 750W PSU back last year that went on to not only win a Gold award but also become our Test PSU of choice. Early indications of this next product, the SilverStone Primera PM01 Case suggests that this ATX Case may also be in with a chance of a top award.

The SilverStone Primera PM01 is an ATX Midi Tower Case made with a steel body and a plastic exterior. The Primera PM01 is equipped with three 140mm LED fans and a single 140mm exhaust fan. In addition to this the Primera PM01 is also equipped with some rather elaborate LED lighting, red on this black version. While blue illumination is to be found on the white version of the Case. There’s support for two 240/280/360mm radiators, removable filters and a ten channel fan hub. The Case can also supports up to four 3.5″ drives or five 2.5″ drives while there is no external drive bay. There are seven expansion slots, with support for Graphics Cards up to 420mm in length, CPU Coolers up to 180mm in height and Power Supplies up to 240mm long. The Case itself measures in at 220mm (W) x 571mm (H) x 560mm (D), 70.3 Liters.

 

‘Primera is the Spanish word for “first” or “first class.” Cases in this series are designed for those seeking to build PCs with rich feature set and trend-setting aesthetics. The Primera PM01 is an incredible computer case that fuses eye-catching styling and functionality in a package rarely seen in the PC world. It utilizes high quality, piano-like finish with oversized intake mesh panel inspired by sports car intake grill for unusually sleek exterior. Paired with an elaborate lighting system consists of LED fans and built-in adjustable LED strips, the PM01 can project the feel of a luxurious supercar on a highly customizable computer case.’

 

 

It was nice to see a change from the usual eco friendly brown cardboard boxes that most Cases now turn up in. The SilverStone Primera PM01 arrived at pcG in a large predominately white box with a large image of the Case taking centre stage. Although I would suggest that the images (front/back) despite looking good, are somewhat confusing as inside the box is a Black Case with Red LED illumination. And, the Case (as far as I know) is not available in white with red LED illumination. Go Figure… 😉

 

 

On opening the box we can see that the SilverStone Primera PM01 is both adequately packaged and presented. The Case itself is protected by two large hard polystyrene blocks and further protected by a plastic bag.

 

 

Within the box, well actually within the Case we find a Primera Series PM01 Manual and a small plastic bag containing containing a plethora of screws, stand-offs etc and a couple of fan extension cables.

At the time of review, the SilverStone Primera PM01 is retailing for approximately £99 at Overclockers UK and comes with a 1 year warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of SilverStone



Model No. SST-PM01BR-W (black with red LED + window)
SST-PM01CR-W (matte black with red LED + window)
SST-PM01TR-W (titanium with red LED + window)
SST-PM01WA-W (white with blue LED + window)
Material Plastic outer shell, steel body
Motherboard ATX (up to 12″ x 10.7″), Micro-ATX
Drive bay External None
Internal 2.5″ or 3.5″ x 4, 2.5″ x 5
Cooling system Front 3 x 120mm / 140mm fan slot (includes 3 x 140mm LED fan)
Rear 1 x 120mm / 140mm fan slot (includes 1 x 140mm fan)
Side
Top 3 x 120mm fan slot or 2 x 140mm fan slot
Bottom
Internal
Radiator support Front 120mm x 2 ; 240mm / 280mm / 360mm x 1
Rear 120mm / 140mm x 1
Top 120mm x 2 ; 240mm / 280mm / 360mm x 1**
Bottom N/A
Expansion slot 7
Front I/O port USB 2.0 x 2
USB 3.0 x 2
Audio x 1
MIC x 1
Power supply Standard PS2(ATX)
Expansion card Support graphics card up to 16.5″, width restriction – 6.88″
Limitation of CPU cooler 180mm
Limitation of PSU 240mm
Net weight 9kg
Dimension 220mm (W) x 571mm (H) x 560mm (D), 70.3 Liters
8.66″ (W) x 22.48″ (H) x 22.05″ (D), 70.3 Liters

 

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

 

It’s always nice when a Case surprises you and it’s always good to go into a review without any preconceptions. This was just the Case (no pun intended) when I un-boxed the SilverStone Primera PM01 for the first time. I was immediately stuck by the aggressive design that seemed to shout Gamer. Now that’s a real Gamer not Gamer as in coloured accents everywhere and garish looks. No, this Gamer’s Case is genuinely good looking and it just gets better when you power it on… 😉

 

 

Both side panels are made from steel and can be removed from the Case by unscrewing the two thumb screws at the rear. The panel then simply slides backwards (although it’s a little tight) and can then be removed. The left side panel features a large angular perspex window that exposes most of the motherboard area. The right side panel is solid and has no features to speak of.

 

 

The front of the Primera PM01 is dominated by an angular grilled section that runs top to bottom, there’s not even a SilverStone logo. Hidden behind this panel you can just make out the three pre-installed 140mm fans.

Looking at the back of the Case we can see that there’s a grill at the top allowing air to circulate in/out of the top of the Case. Below this we have the main I/O cutout and the single 140mm exhaust fan, note that the Case will also accept a 120mm fan and there is some vertical positioning adjustment also. Below this we find seven expansion slots with another grill section to the right to further aide airflow. Below this we find the main PSU cutout including dust filter.

 

 

Looking at the top of the Case we can see a similar design to the front of the Case, but here we find a solid angular section of plastic and pretty cool it looks too.

On the left we have a integrated power button complete with red LED. Behind this button there is in fact a disk activity LED (not visible), also red. Over on the right there’s an identical button that allows some control over the Primera PM01’s illumination. This cycles through the following modes (off, full brightness, medium brightness and breathing); note all Case illumination is Red. In addition to this Front Panel controls consist of Audio (headphone & microphone), x2 USB 2.0 and x2 USB 3.0 ports.

Looking at the bottom of the SilverStone Primera PM01 we can see that it sits on four rubber feet. Now while the Case does sit close to the surface of the desk the PSU filter at the rear is actually recessed so is therefore higher. The PSU filter at the back simply pulls out at the rear.

 

 

Each side panel is removed by way of a couple of thumb screws. With the left side panel removed we can see a good sized, uncluttered interior space with a full length PSU shroud at the bottom. This full length PSU shroud is perfect for hiding all of those unsightly cables and also features a subtle SilverStone logo. We can also see a large CPU cutout, seven expansion slots a rear exhaust fan and three intake fans at the front. Also note the use of black cabling throughout. There are also plenty of well placed holes for cable management with the main ones equipped with grommets. Those holes over on the right can accommodate three 2.5″ drives via a simple screw mount system, although as it’s screws it is best that this used for SSDs (as they’re silent) as opposed to HDDs.

Looking at the back of the SilverStone Primera PM01 we can see that there’s the beginnings of a cable loom and three well paced Velcro ties. We can also see the single drive cage, the fan hub and the two dedicated SSD brackets. There are also plenty of well positioned cable tie points dotted around the Case. As well as a rather pesky Molex connector; come on SilverStone it is 2017 now… 😮

 

 

Not only has SilverStone equipped the Primera PM01 with three fans but they are also 140mm fans and all of the ones at the front are equipped with red LEDs. Each fan has a maximum rotational speed of 1,600RPM while the front of the Case (remove the front panel) is also equipped with a dust filter.

At the back, acting as an exhaust we find a fourth 140mm fan that’s all black and has no illumination. All fans are connected via a single Molex connector at the rear and the illumination of those front fans can also be controlled in the following manner (off, full brightness, medium brightness and breathing) via a button on the top of the Case.

 

 

Turning our attention to the back of the SilverStone Primera PM01 we can see the two dedicated 2.5″ brackets just below the CPU cutout. Centrally mounted we have what would be an impressive fan controller but alas it’s just a fan hub with control for up to ten fans. Now while this ten fan support is impressive it would be far better if there was some control here, PWM control ideally. Finally (image above right) we have the only easily accessible fan filter aboard the PM01, because the other one is hidden behind the front panel…

 

 

Finally we arrive at a rather odd feature. As I write this review I have no idea what it really does, maybe I should read! Well I can guess (well, I think), it’s something to do with controlling air flow into either the PSU area or the Motherboard area, perhaps. Having now looked again I still not sure, sorry… 🙂 I guess it does allow for a full length radiator to be fitted to the front of the Case, but why does it need to slide…

 

Hardware Installation

 

  • Test Rig Setup


Case SilverStone Primera PM01 Power Supply SilverStone ST60F-ES230 600W Strider
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6 CPU Intel Core i5 6600K
CPU Cooler SilverStone TD03-SLIM Tundra RAM G Skill Ripjaws 4 16GB
Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 980Ti Classified SSD (M.2) Samsung SM951 512GB
SSD Kingston SSDNow 200 v+ 60GB HDD Seagate 2TB SSHD

 

 

The first task was to put together the Motherboard assembly (MB, CPU & RAM, CPU Cooler) for this review. This consists of our test Motherboard an ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K6, an Intel Core i5-6600K CPU, a Noctua NH-U12S and x4 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws 4 RAM modules. This Motherboard assembly can be seen above. NOTE: The Noctua CPU Cooler shown was only used for thermal testing.

Next up I attached the SilverStone Power Supply (complete with all of its non-modular cables) to the back of the Case by way of the usual four screws. The next task was to install the two drives (HDD & SSD) that I would be using for this review. I attached the HDD to one of the three drive sleds, this rather surprisingly (in 2017) still required the use of four screws. The SSD was then attached to one of the dedicated brackets at the rear of the Case. The bracket attaches by way of a single thumb screw and the drive by way of four small screws. All screws supplied.

 

 

The MB assembly was then inserted into the Case and secured with the ten screws (for this Motherboard) provided. Note that I had to install an additional four stand-offs (supplied) prior to this as they were not installed by default, which is a little odd. The next task was basic cabling (24-pin power, 8-pin power, USB 3.0 and 2.0, Audio, Front Panel and fans). As you can see it’s really rather easy to get a tidy looking build with the Primera PM01 thanks to a large internal space, plenty of rear cable management space with loom and well placed holes and grommets.

Next up I attached the SilverStone Tundra TDD03-SLIM AIO Liquid CPU Cooler. This was simply a case of fitting the back plate that’s secured by the stand-offs and securing the pump-head by way of the four spring loaded screws. The 120mm radiator and its associated slim fan was then attached to the rear of the Case. And good it looks too.. 🙂

 

 

Finally our test Graphics Card (GTX 980Ti) was installed and as you can see the SilverStone Primera PM01 swallows this with ease, with a quoted Graphics Card maximum length of 420mm, it’s no surprise.

There’s also plenty of space at the rear for cable management and thanks to the pre-installed loom with Velcro cable ties cable management was easier than ever. In fact these sort of looms are becoming more common now and it’s something that I’m personally a big fan of as it provides a good starting point for proper cable management.

 

Testing Methodology/Setup

 

At pcGameware we use Prime95 and ASRock’s F-Stream utility to evaluate CPU temperatures and voltage, and we use MSI Afterburner to evaluate the GPU temperatures. Of course Prime95 being a CPU stress test also helps to generate heat for us to check the case thermals. We also use UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for GPU temperature testing.

CPU performance testing is carried out using Prime95 (Small FFT) to stress the CPU. Each run is timed for 15 mins and the maximum temperature is recorded for all cores and then the average core heat is taken. Testing was carried out with an overclocked Intel Core i5-6600K at 4.4GHz courtesy of the ASRock UEFI.

GPU performance testing is carried out by running UNiGiNE Heaven 4.0 for 15 minutes and then by recording the maximum GPU temperature.

* All case fans (x4 in the case of the SilverStone Primera PM01) and the CPU Cooler (Noctua NH-U12S) are run at 100% throughout testing. To ascertain case noise levels, the GPU fans are set to their lowest setting and the CPU Cooler fan is unplugged, whilst the dBA is recorded from 1m away.

 

Hardware Performance

 

 

  • CPU RESULTSSilverStone Primera PM01 with Noctua NH-U12S and Intel Core i5-6600K @ 4.4GHz
  • Case Ambient Temperature Max CPU Temperature (core average) Delta Temperature
    Lian Li PC-X510 22.00 58.00 36.00
    Cooler Master HAF XB 21.00 58.00 37.00
    Corsair Carbide 600C 23.00 60.00 37.00
    SilverStone Primera PM01 22.00 59.00 37.00
    Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 22.00 60.00 38.00
    NZXT Manta 24.00 62.00 38.00
    NZXT S340 (Special Edition) 22.00 61.00 39.00
    Raijintek Asterion Plus 22.00 61.00 39.00
    be quiet! Silent Base 600 23.00 62.00 39.00
    NZXT S340 Elite 24.00 64.00 40.00
    Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Glass 22.00 62.00 40.00
    BitFenix Nova 22.00 65.00 43.00
    Raijintek Styx 21.00 67.00 46.00

     

    With four 140mm fans there was always a good chance that the SilverStone Primera PM01 was going to perform well. As you can see from the results grid above it does indeed perform well keeping our overclocked 6600K at a maximum temperature of 59.00 (37.00 Delta) degrees Celsius. In fact this is the second best CPU Cooling performance temperature we’ve seen…

     

  • GPU RESULTSSilverStone Primera PM01 with EVGA GeForce GTX 980Ti Classified
  • Case Ambient Temperature Max GPU Temperature Delta Temperature
    Lian Li PC-X510 23.00 77.00 54.00
    Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 22.00 77.00 55.00
    SilverStone Primera PM01 22.00 78.00 56.00
    NZXT S340 (Special Edition) 22.00 79.00 57.00
    Corsair Carbide 600C 23.00 80.00 57.00
    Cooler Master HAF XB 22.00 79.00 57.00
    NZXT S340 Elite 24.00 82.00 58.00
    Raijintek Asterion Plus 21.00 79.00 58.00
    be quiet! Silent Base 600 22.00 81.00 59.00
    Phanteks Enthoo Pro M Glass 22.00 81.00 59.00
    Raijintek Styx 21.00 81.00 60.00
    BitFenix Nova 23.00 84.00 61.00
    NZXT Manta 23.00 84.00 61.00

     

    Having already seen the CPU cooling performance of the SilverStone Primera PM01 you’d be expecting great things when it comes to GPU cooling performance and the PM01 doesn’t disappoint. With a maximum GPU temperature of just 78.00 (56.00 Delta) degrees Celsius there’s no doubt that the Primera PM01 is one cool Case and is in fact one of the coolest that we’ve seen in some time. But…

     

  • Acoustic Performance
  • That right; ‘with great power comes great responsibility!’ HOLD ON: ‘With a large number of fans comes a great deal of noise’, that was what I was meant to say. 😉 With all four 140mm fans running at 100% the SilverStone Primera PM01 outputs around 42dBA of noise and to be fair this is right on the limit of TOO LOUD! But there’s a bigger issue hear (haha) and that’s the fact that due to the PM01’s fan setup there is no control, no PWM control. All intake fans are on 100% all of the time and that’s a shame. Yes, you could disconnect the fans from the fan hub and try and plug them all into your Motherboard, but you’ll likely need fan extension cables to do so (two of which are curiously supplied!?). But, the bottom line is: these fans should have been controlled via PWM, come on SilverStone…

     

    Final Thoughts

     

    I have to admit to really being rather impressed with the SilverStone Primera PM01. It’s got all of the good things a Gaming Case needs and none of the bad. First off the Case looks simply amazing with its red illumination and red LED fans, it also offers up great airflow to keep those toasty components cool and it’s easy to build a good looking tidy system into it. It’s even reasonably priced…

    It was nice to see a change from the usual eco friendly brown cardboard boxes that most Cases now turn up in. The SilverStone Primera PM01 arrived at pcG in a large predominately white box with a large image of the Case taking centre stage. Once out of the box I was immediately struck by just how good looking the Primera PM01 actually is, this is a good looking Gamer’s Case, which makes a change. It’s good in a more subtle way, in other words it’s not got lots of ugly bolt on coloured bit sticking out everywhere. In fact it is (while not powered on) quite stealthy in its design in fact.

    There’s plenty of room inside the Primera PM01 and there’s also plenty of cable management space too. This meant that installing our Test Rig was about as easy as it gets and there were no gotchas during the process either. Well apart from the single Molex connector to power up the fans and the illumination, that really should have been a SATA power connector. I really wish manufacturers would let the Molex connector just die! 😮

    With four 140mm fans in the Primera PM01 cooling performance was always likely to be good and it is, very good in fact. And what’s important is the fact that the Graphics Card cooling (the most important part for PC Gaming) was particularly good with a maximum GPU temperature of just 78.00 degrees Celsius. This makes the SilversStone Primera PM01 the third best GPU cooling Case we have seen here at pcG. CPU Cooling was also very good with the PM01 finishing in the top two.

    So it’s all perfect then James? Well to be honest yes, but: There’s one problem (and only one really) with the SilverStone Primera PM01 and that’s those fans, the three at the front that are all connected to that ten way fan hub. Why is that a problem? Because there’s no control that’s why. This means that all of the three front intake fans are running at 100% all of the time. Come on SilverStone give us some PWM control, please! 🙂

    As far as Gaming Cases go the SilverStone Primera PM01 is one of the best I’ve seen to date. It a damn good looking stealthy Case with excellent (tasteful) illumination. It’s well made, it’s easy to build into and offers up excellent airflow and therefore great cooling performance. To be honest it’s close to perfect in my mind, especially when bearing in mind that sub £100 price tag.

     

    Verdict

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    Overclockers UK




    SilverStone Primera PM01

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    Design/Quality pcGameware awards the Silverstone Primera PM01 a Gold
    Performance
    Value
    Overall

     

    Many thanks to SilverStone for providing this sample for review

     


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