The SilverStone Sugo 16 (SG16) Mini-ITX Case Review
Offers a blend of capacity and price that is hard to match in the ITX market; excellent fit and finish
GPU thermals are only mediocre; CPU cooler compatibility is better on paper than in practice
Since 2013, we’ve reviewed nearly four-dozen PC cases, including many of the most popular, best-selling mini-ITX cases ever released. Many of these have come from SilverStone, including its SG13 case, which has been a standard-bearer among ITX cases since its release in 2015. You can check out our review of the SG13 here. Without a doubt, the Taiwan-based manufacturer has done more over the years to develop the ITX standard than any other manufacturer. In addition to its broad lineup of cases, SilverStone nearly single-handedly created the SFX power supply standard, for example, which makes today’s ultra-compact case designs possible.
Ironically, SilverStone has often endowed its ITX cases with full ATX PSU compatibility, and this is true with the case we’re reviewing today, the Sugo 16, or SG16 for short. At just 13 liters, it’s very small, even compared to many of the more expensive boutique cases out there, but it’s among the only ITX cases on the market that you can shove an ATX PSU into. And yes, we tested this approach, albeit with a compact 140mm-long ATX unit from SilverStone itself, because using a standard 160mm- or 180mm-long PSU would be pure torture in this case.
Ultimately, though, we knew we’d like going with an SFX unit more, so we provide our build insights on both approaches, and why SFX is really our preferred approach. We also test two different high-performance coolers, the SilverStone PF120, a top-end 120mm liquid cooler, and the Noctua NH-D12L, which is among the most specialized coolers Noctua has ever created. As you’ll see, it’s practically tailor-made for the SG16 case!
So with that intro, let’s get into the review. Special thanks to SilverStone for for providing us a sample of the SG16 Mini-ITX Chassis, and to Noctua for providing its NH-D12L for testing.
TBG’s Video Review
As with all of our recent reviews, this one is primarily a video review on YouTube, which gives you insights into the build process and layout of the SG16 that you just can’t get from photographs!
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The SG16 is an innovative and unique case, which follows in a long line of similarly-unique cases from SilverStone. There is no case quite like it, and for the price, it is a very good choice for anyone who wants a compact, stylish, high-quality case that can run high-end, but not extreme, components.
While we wish the GPU thermals were a bit better, for most GPUs that will fit, the limited airflow won’t be a problem. And while we initially wished the case were about 15mm slimmer, it honestly would have made installation of the Noctua NH-D12L impossible. That wouldn’t show up in official specs – the case can fit coolers up to 172mm, so knocking off 15mm would still “work” for the 145mm-tall D12L. Unfortunately, when it comes to ITX cases, cables are often the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak, and cabling up a PSU, even an SFX unit, knocks out just about every tower cooler from consideration in this case. A slimmer case would place the PSU’s 24-pin motherboard cable directly in the D12L’s fin stack. Maybe other SFX units have a different layout than our SilverStone PSU, but that may make it worse, so no promises!
Overall, though, your options are certainly better than they were with the SG13, and the GPU thermals are better too, so even at a price that’s about 50% more, it’s a great alternative. But these two cases do not exist in a vacuum, and while there is no case at the $100 pricepoint that directly competes with the SG16, there are others with different features and drawbacks that you might consider instead depending on your needs.
The SilverStone Sugo 16 for around $95 shipped from Amazon, in either the white we tested, or in an all-black finish.