ProsClass-leading styling; excellent balance of thermals and noise levels; fits big fans and coolers
ConsLimited cable management space; only one 120mm fan included
So first things first, this case has amazing cooler capacity! We were amazed that we had no trouble fitting our Corsair 240mm liquid cooler in the roof of the case. It fit much better than in many other more expensive cases, and this is despite the fact that SilverStone doesn't market the case as having this compatibility at all. We actually asked SilverStone why this was so, and the response was that because such an installation means you can't use the optical drive bay, they didn't want to advertise the feature. We think this is certainly a very fair trade-off, and it allows the case to serve as either a home office PC with a legacy optical device, or a very capable gaming PC chassis.
As shown here, the secret to the PS14-E's amazing flexibility are the three sets of mounting rails provided in the top of the chassis. These allow the use of 120mm or 140mm fans, and also allow for a generous offset of a 120mm or 240mm radiator, allowing you to clear the motherboard, which would otherwise be impossible. It also shows off just how wide the main compartment is, which translates to excellent clearance for big tower-style air coolers. So no matter how you want to configure your cooling, the PS14-E has you covered.
Now, there is one drawback to the way SilverStone has designed this case, and it comes down to the how much space was sacrificed behind the motherboard to get that big main compartment. In short, you better have a modern power supply with flat-type cables or you won't be able to route them at all. You can see in the photo below just how limited the offset is between the back of the motherboard and the side of the case is.
Another small sacrifice made to keep this case so compact while maxing out interior space was with regard to SSD mounts. Typically modern cases have such a large area behind the motherboard panel that they are able to include SSD trays that mount on the panel. That would be impossible in this case, so 2.5" SSDs either need to go in one of the two 3.5" drive sleds included in the case (as shown below), or they need to be surface-mounted in the main compartment, which we really don't like due to clearance problems for the required SATA power cables.
Overall, though, we really like the design choices made in the PS14-E case, and while it took a little more work than usual to get the case's side panel on due to the cable management issue, the assembly process was quite easy. This is a sure sign that SilverStone has surveyed responses to its own previous models, as well as its competitors offerings, to find just the right blend of features and layout.
One thing we should note about our installation is that we moved the pre-installed 120mm case fan from the back of the chassis to the front, as our video card's radiator needed to be mounted to the back of the case. But to keep our testing as honest as possible, we did not upgrade the fan in the process, even though the front panel can of course fit two 140mm fans for those who want a lot more airflow.
Turn to the next page to see how the PS14-E performed once we powered up our high-end system, both in terms of thermals and noise levels!