SilverStone Kublai Series KL07 Case Review

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SilverStone KL07 Case

Introduction

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SilverStone reaches its 14th Birthday as a company this year, and over that time have built themselves a reputation for making some excellent cases for enthusiast builders. As part of their Kublai series, their new offering is the KL07…a silent tower chassis that promises elegant styling, alongside high-tech features.

In an age where the temptation for custom PC builders is to choose style over substance, and the aesthetic appeal of RGB and tempered glass reigns…can a case that promises silent operation from a plain unassuming design be successful?

SilverStone KL07 Front

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 510x222x467mm (HxWxD)
  • Colour: Black
  • Material(s): Plastic Front Panel, Steel Body
  • Motherboard Support: ATX (up to 12″ x11″) Micro-ATX
  • Front I/O: USB 3.0 x 2, Type-C* x 1, Audio x 1, MIC x 1
  • Expansion slots: 7
  • Drive Bays: 3.5″ x 3 (compatible with 2.5″) 2.5″ x 3
  • CPU Cooler Max Height: 170mm (163mm to edge of foam)
  • GPU Max Length: 388mm
  • PSU Max Length: 140 (200 with HDD rack removed)
  • Cooling
    • Air – Front: 3×120/140 Optional (2x140mm included)
    • Air – Roof: 2x120140mm Optional
    • Air – Rear: 1x120x140mm (1x140mm Included)
    • Water – Front: Up to 360mm/280mm

Closer Look – Exterior

The exterior of the SilverStone KL07 is extremely stealth-like in appearance, with very few design cues that draw the eye. The panels to the front & the roof are clad in plastic, with a matte black finish, with the side panels of steel construction. The only features that disturb the flat slabbed appearance, are the air intakes that run along the sides of the panels, and discrete stripes that have been channeled into the case that run up the front and along the roof.

SilverStone KL07 Top
The power & reset buttons are fitted flush within these stripes and are located to the front of the case, with the power & HDD LEDs sat between them. The front i/o ports that sit on the roof are also sat with the striped design element. Here we have a pair of USB 3.0 ports, microphone & audio ports, and something very welcome indeed…a USB Type-C port! With more & more devices coming equipped with the type-c connector, we expect this feature to appear on most new cases throughout 2017.

SilverStone KL07 IO
The case itself sits on four substantial feet, and underneath there is a removable dust filter under the PSU mount. From this exterior view however, no further dust filters are evident.

SilverStone KL07 Bottom

Closer Look – Interior

Removing the side panels is the usual straightforward affair, and in doing this we get to see our first glimpse of the “wavy” foam that SilverStone have clad the interior of the KL07 with. With no window and the addition of the foam insulation, the side panels are rock solid, with no flex whatsoever. The foam is extremely dense, with a premium quality feel to it. Upon removing both side panels, along with the front & roof panels, it’s apparent that this foam lines every single panel possible.

SilverStone KL07 Foam

Removing the front & roof panels isn’t the easiest of affairs, and takes a fair bit of force…I certainly wouldn’t want to be doing it on a regular basis. Removing them exposes the large dust filter to the front of the case, situated in front of the two pre-installed 140mm fans.

SilverStone KL07 Front
To the roof, we can now see a magnetic filter, which covers the mounting area for further fans and radiators. The immediate issue here is that in order to clean this filter, you have to remove the roof panel. Given the force required to remove it in the first place, this isn’t ideal.

SilverStone KL07 Filter
The main interior compartment extremely uncluttered and clean. A PSU shroud runs the length of the case, with one large cut-out for keeping cables tidily tucked out of the way. The aforementioned two 140mm pre-installed fans to the front, are joined by a further 140mm fan at the rear in exhaust orientation. Three fans pre-installed is a welcome addition.

SilverStone KL07 Interior
Spinning the case around to take a look at the rear of the motherboard tray, we see the cabling all held nicely in place with pre-installed Velcro straps, flanked by three tool-less SSD cages on hinged mounts. Taking a peek into the basement of the case, we find a triple stack of tool-less 3.5” HDD trays, which sit alongside the PSU mounting area.

SilverSTone KL07 Back
All in all, a very solidly constructed case using high-quality steel & plastics. There are no rough edges, and every component is black in colour, mirroring the sleek external look of the case.

Closer Look – The Build

So we have looked at it, we have stripped it bare…let’s build in it!

SilverStone KL07 Build2

CPU – Intel Core i7 6700k
Motherboard – Asus ROG Maximus VIII Hero Alpha
Cooler – Cooler Master TX3 EVO
GPU – MSI GTX1080 Gaming X
RAM – Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB DDR4 3000MHz
SSD – Crucial MX300 525GB
PSU – BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11 1000w

SilverStone KL07 Build 1

Building the test system on hand today into the case was fairly straight forward, but there are some annoying aspects to it. This is not a small case, given its mid tower status, yet there is very little space under the PSU shroud once we had installed the BeQuiet Dark Power Pro. Even given that we were only using the required cables in the modular unit, it was a struggle to tuck the excess cable length between the PSU and the HDD cage. Anyone without a modular PSU, with a lot more unused cables may well struggle.

A further annoyance was the expansion slot covers. Whilst each one can be secured with a thumb screw, the KL07 features a quick release system, whereby the small hinged cover grips the blanking plates in place. However, if the case is stood up, and you open the quick release door, all of the expansion slot covers fall out. Easily fixed…just secure all of them with a thumb screw, but that means that the quick release design is then utterly useless. A poorly implemented design element here in all honesty, but I can see what Silverstone was trying to do.

SilverStone KL07 Expansion

Conclusion

So there we have it…my time with the SilverStone KL07 has left me with a dilemma. For my personal taste, this case isn’t something I would have personally chosen. I like my systems to provide a certain amount of aesthetic pleasure, and will gladly forego functionality in favour of a peak at RGB goodness through a side window. Therefore, the bland & simple design isn’t something that personally appeals to me.

However, this isn’t just about me, and in my role of product reviewer, I need to be impartial and review the case from the mindset of the consumer at who it is aimed at.
During operation, what cannot be denied is that this case is the noise dampening king! With three pre-installed fans, dual GPU fans, and the CPU fan all running at full steam, the system was whisper quiet.

If you are in the market for a case that is really well built from quality materials, provides lots of options with regards air or water cooling, and want a system that is virtually silent, then look no further than the SilverStone KL07. The subtle simplistic design won’t be for everyone, but for just £80 this case is a good buy.

Huge thanks to SilverStone for sending in the Kublai KL07 for review.

 Awards image 6

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

Pros:

- Sensational noise dampening with silent operation
- USB Type-C front i/o
- Solid build with quality materials

Cons:

- Difficult to remove panels
- Bland styling
- Expansion slot quick lock/release needs more work

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