ProsClass-leading styling; excellent balance of thermals and noise levels; fits big fans and coolers
ConsLimited cable management space; only one 120mm fan included
We've actually used the same component loadout in every case review we've publilshed over the past year or so, meaning we have a number of datapoints to share. Take note that all of the other cases in the charts below cost over $150 and you'll quickly come to realize that the PS14-E can compete in a higher class that its price would suggest.
First up, we have idle noise levels, and they are impressive to say the least. Despite an open top panel that didn't mask the noise from our big 240mm liquid cooler at all, the PS14-E was very quiet. We attribute this silence to its innovative front panel, which has side vents that face downward, allowing for plenty of airflow while direting noise towards the floor rather than the user. Idle temperatures match the $270 be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 Rev. 2 (that's 4x more expensive, for anyone keeping score!), despite just one 120mm fan versus the Dark Base Pro's three 140mm fans. Wow! Yes, noise is a bit higher, but there's no sound-dampening material in the PS14-E, and it's still quieter than the $180 Cooler Master H500P Mesh, so that's a plus. Note that SilverStone's LD03 chassis, included in these benchmarks, is a compact mini-ITX model, so it came with some sacrifices, in this case noise levels attributable to its smaller 120mm liquid CPU cooler.
Next up is our CPU stress test, and the results are even better. Yes, you're reading the graph below right, the PS14-E ties for the lowest temperature with the mighty H500P Mesh case, while beating the Dark Base Pro 900 in terms of noise. How's that for killing two birds with one stone? Seriously, besting one of the highest-performance gaming cases on the market while also beating the be quiet! case at its own game is massively impressive. With that said, we do have one more graph to show you, and it's the hardest test of all to pass.
So, in the benchmark below, we played a live multi-player match of Battlefield 4, one of our favorite games ever, and one that happens to stress the CPU and GPU in equal measure. So here we see the scrappy little PS14-E meet its limits, as the single 120mm intake fan simply cannot feed the test system's dual liquid coolers enough fresh air. The PS14-E still does OK here, but both CPU and GPU temperatures exceed what we measured in either the high-airflow H500P mesh or the noise-optimized Dark Base Pro 900. Only the glass-enclosed LD03 ITX chassis performs worse here. As we mentioned on the first page, we really would have liked to see SilverStone include a second 120mm fan with the PS14-E instead of the somewhat silly vertical GPU mount, but luckily, adding an extra fan to the case after the fat won't cost much - we recommend the budget-friendly Arctic F12 PWM, which comes in at under $10 despite high-quality fluid-dynamic bearings.
With all that said, we were very impressed with the PS14-E's overall blend of compact size and excellent performance, and we intend to use it for our AMD test bench for the coming year. Of course, we'll be tossing a couple of 140mm intake fans into the front of the chassis to maximize cooling potential!
Simply put, the PS14-E is a triumph of modern case design. It employs simple construction techniques and limited frills to keep the price very low, and yet provides excellent cooling options and very impressive noise levels. What SilverStone has proven with the PS14-E is that a well-engineered case can triumph over much more costly, but perhaps less advanced designs, with regard to both thermal performance and noise levels. Sure, the PS14-E isn't perfect, but its blend of sophisticated styling, broad configuration options, excellent performance, and a very low price make it a true winner.
The SilverStone PS14-E ATX Case is available for $64.99 shipped free from Amazon as of our publication date. That price is a bit higher than it would otherwise be due to tariffs that are currently in force, and hopefully it will eventually fall to $55 or so, but then again, so will all its competition that have had to adjust for tariffs. One thing they can't change is that they're not as good!
The PS14-E is so impressive that we've selected it as our case of choice for August 2019 in our extremely popular $1,000 Gaming PC Buyer's Guide, and will likely keep it in the guide for many months to come.
As always, to see all of our recommended cases, simply browse TBG's PC Buyer's Guides, which highlight our top 24 favorite cases on the market!