• Home
  • blog
  • SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E: MicroATX Evolved

SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E: MicroATX Evolved

blog image

The Temjin TJ08-E projects the look of a classic SilverStone microATX tower chassis. However, the exterior hides an upside down removable motherboard tray and a few other surprises that help make the most of this case’s compact frame.

SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E: MicroATX Evolved

August 2, 2011 by Lawrence Lee

Product
SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E
microATX Tower Case
Manufacturer
Street Price
US$100~110

While the microATX form factor has been around for more than 20 years, it hasn’t received much love from chassis manufacturers. The most innovative and feature-rich aftermarket cases use the ATX standard even though there is little need for multiple expansion cards — sound, ethernet, video, RAID, etc. are so commonly integrated on the motheroard these days. The ATX case form factor is larger than necessary for the majority of modern users, but the selection of high quality, well-designed microATX cases remains small.


The box.

The SilverStone Fortress FT03 was easily the most interesting microATX chassis we’ve seen, a lean, tall tower of aluminum featuring the rotated motherboard design made famous by the Raven series and the Fortress FT02. SilverStone’s follow up mATX case is a member of the Temjin family, a line consisting mainly of classic tower designs, but the TJ08-E packs a few surprises; the "E" stands for "evolution" after all.


The Temjin TJ08-E.

The Temjin TJ08-E is a steel case about 15 inches tall/deep with an aluminum face-plate, and a large air vent at the front along with audio and USB 3.0 ports. Aside from the oddly placed external 3.5" bay at the bottom, the outside the TJ08-E looks like a fairly typical microATX tower from SilverStone.


The rear of the case features ventilated expansion slot covers and a beveled honeycomb grill for an optional 120 mm fan.

No, you haven’t entered the twilight zone. Rather than a rotated motherboard orientation like that of the FT03, the TJ08-E’s motherboard tray is flipped completely upside down with the CPU socket situated just above the case floor and the power supply in the familiar upper rear corner position. The motherboard tray is removable as are the air filters, hard drive cage, and top cover. There’s also an enormous 18 cm fan. Not your typical microATX case.


Accessories.

The TJ08-E ships with a paper manual, screws, zip ties, a case sticker, an internal USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 adapter, and a large rubber pad with adhesive which is used to insulate the hard drive cage from potential contact with a long graphics card.

Specifications: SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E
(from the
product web page
)
Model No. SST-TJ08-E(black)
Material Aluminum front panel, steel body
Motherboard Micro ATX, Mini-DTX, Mini-ITX
Drive Bay External 5.25" x 2
3.5" x 1 (compatible with one 3.5” hard drive)
Internal 3.5" x 4 , 2.5” x1
Cooling System Front 1 x 180mm AP181 intake fan, 700/1200rpm,
18/34dBA (backwards compatible with 140mm fan)
Rear 1 x 120mm fan slot (option)
Expansion Slot 4
Front I/O Port USB 3.0 x 2 (backwards compatible with USB 2.0)
audio x 1
MIC x 1
Power Supply 1 x optional standard PS2 (ATX) up to 160mm
Expansion Card Compatible up to 13.25” long*
Limitation of CPU cooler 165mm
Limitation of PSU 160mm (recommended), 180mm (maximum)
Net Weight 5.3 kg
Dimension 210mm(W) x 374mm(H) x 385mm(D)
Remark *1. The maximum recommended combined depth for PSU and optical drive is 382mm plus 20mm room for connectors. We recommend the largest PSU to be no greater than 160mm deep (e.g. ST1000-P)
*2. Please install into expansion slots 3 and 4 for graphics card with extension bracket and length of 13.3”

EXTERIOR & LAYOUT

The TJ08-E weighs 5.3 kg or 11.7 lb and measures 21.0 x 37.4 x 38.5 cm or 8.3 x 14.7 x 15.2 inches (W x H x D) making the total case volume approximately 30.2 L. The side panels are approximately 0.6 mm thick at their thinnest points, so they have some flex. It’s on par with most $80~$100 cases.


The TJ08-E’s front bezel is composed of brush aluminum while the rest of the body is old fashioned steel. The power and reset buttons are not as solid as we’d like, supported mainly at the center. There is a small fan speed switch on the right side just below an opening for the intake fan’s removable air filter.

Magnets keep power supply the air filter in place, but is easily dislodged.

The bottom of cases are usually unremarkable but the TJ08-E has a couple of notable features. Near the front are screws for securing a 2.5" drive and on the left are adjustable mounting points for a stand that helps support large CPU heatsinks.

As the motherboard is flipped compared to a standard layout, opening up the left side panel reveals the underside of the removable motherboard tray. There are a few spots for looping twist-ties and zip-ties and large holes at the edges for thicker cables.


The hard drive cage sits directly in front of the bottom two thirds of the intake fan, secured to the external 3.5" drive bay on the case floor. The cage hangs over the motherboard tray slightly.

INTERIOR

The interior of the TJ08-E is cramped, but modular design makes it workable. The hard drive cage, motherboard tray, even the case top panel can be removed for assembly and maintenance.


The hard drive cage is the only area that gives us obvious concern. It is secured only on one side by two screws. It has a soft layer of rubber on the interior but hard drive vibration will be amplified because it lacks structural support both on the interior side and from above.

To remove the intake fan filter, it must be pushed from one side so it protrudes enough to be grasped on the other side. Just above it on the right side is a two-speed switch for the intake fan.

This is what SilverStone describes as the "CPU cooler holder." It’s a sliding plastic arm with a flat platform at the end that supports an aftermarket CPU heatsink to prevent it from sagging or bending down from its own weight. Once in position, a screw on the bottom of the case locks it in place.

The TJ08-E is a positive pressure case, like so many of Silverston’es recent offerings. It ships with just one 18 cm fan from their Air Penetrator series. The air flows through the hard drive cage and across the GPU and CPU. There is an optional 120 mm fan placement next to the CPU.

The power supply mounts to the top of the case upside down. If it has a 120 mm fan, it draws air from the top.


The power supply has to be inserted from the top of the case. The top panel can be removed via six screws. With the top cover off, it’s evident that the case is lightweight, particularly in the upper portion. Without a top-to-bottom drive cage or support beams, the structure is wobbly.

ASSEMBLY

Assembling a system in the Temjin TJ08-E is fairly easy, given its modular nature. The interior space is tight, so clearance is an issue for some components.


As we noted earlier, the interior of the TJ08-E is cramped so the removable motherboard tray is quite useful.


There’s plenty of space on this side so keeping your cables tidy isn’t essential. You can just stuff them behind the tray

There are just enough holes for twist-ties and zip-ties to pin the necessary cables down. The cables for the front connectors are long, giving you the opportunity to plug them in and route them through the appropriate holes before securing the motherboard tray.

The case has front USB 3.0 ports, but rather than make you route an external cable out the back, an internal connector is provided. If the motherboard lacks this header, the included USB 2.0 adapter can be used.


When fully assembled, the hard drive position forced us to move the fan of our Noctua NH-U12P heatsink to the other side. Wider coolers will be harder to fit unless the drive is mounted in the external 3.5" bay at the bottom. Height is less of an issue as there was an extra 7 mm above the Noctua, making total clearance ~168 mm. The hard drive also overhung three of the memory slots on our Asus P7H55D-M EVO, limiting DIMM height to approximately 56 mm (bare DIMMs are about 30 mm tall).


The plastic holder works as intended, propping up the heatsink securely.


The TJ08-E has a pair of small, very bright blue LEDs.

TESTING

System Configuration:

Measurement and Analysis Tools

System temperatures and noise levels were recorded with SpeedFan and GPU-Z
at idle and on load using Prime95 (large FFTs setting) and FurMark, an OpenGL
benchmarking and stability testing utility.

Stock Fan Noise


The 18 cm intake fan.

The Temjin TJ08-E ships with a single 18 cm 3-pin Air Penetrator fan with the model number "S1803212HN-3M" which is the same fan included with the Sugo SG07. It has a top speed of ~1200 RPM and a power rating of 0.45 amps (5.4W). Its acoustic character is reasonably good with a smooth profile at lower speeds. It also has a slight hum that becomes more pronounced at medium speed but is drowned out by air turbulence at higher speeds.

Baseline Noise Level
Fan Mode
Fan Voltage
Low
9V
10V
11V
12V
13~14 dBA
19 dBA
24 dBA
27 dBA
High
 
7V
9V
12V
27 dBA
32 dBA
37 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle left/front
of case.

Powered by a full 12V, the low speed setting is disappointing, measuring an unacceptable 27 dBA@1m (equivalent to 7V at the high speed setting). We recommend using the low setting combined with some kind of voltage control, either via your motherboard or a dedicated fan control device. 9V~10V is a good starting range depending on the other components in the system.


The case measures 19 dBA@1m with the stock fan running at 10V/low.

Hard Drive Vibration

Despite its padded hard drive cage, the TJ08-E suffers from HDD vibration. With our test system turned on, a rhythmic hum was clearly audible at one meter distance and closer. Gently pressing on the side panels completely eliminated this effect, so damping them should be considered. We suggest a block of styrofoam or other firm material placed next to the hard drive cage or adhered to the metal frame of the optical drive bays or power supply section. This would push against the panels, hopefully creating enough tension to eliminate the problem.

TEST RESULTS: Radeon HD 5450

Our first test configuration features a low power passively cooled graphics card, a Radeon HD 5450. Our test configuration only gives us temperature data on the CPU and hard drive(s), so the HD 5450 gives us an extra data point from a different location within the case.


Our test system with a Radeon HD 5450.

System Measurements (Radeon HD 5450)
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
System Fan Speeds
off
9V
12V
CPU Temp
24°C
78°C
60°C
56°C
HD Temp
29°C
34°C
25°C
23°C
GPU Temp
38°C
73°C
56°C
49°C
SPL@1m
17 dBA
18 dBA
19 dBA
28 dBA
System Power
48W
161W
154W
152W
CPU fan set to 9V.
Fan controller set to low.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

With only a single low speed CPU fan active, our test system heated up considerably under load, as the CPU temperature flirted with the 80°C mark. The 18 cm Air Penetrator running on low/9V was a massive improvement, chilling the hard drive by 9°C, the GPU core by 17°C, and the processor by 18°C. Best of all it was fairly quiet, measuring 19 dBA@1m. Pumping up the fan speed further resulted in additional gains, but it simply wasn’t worth the trade-off in noise.


Our HD 5450 test system on load measured 19 dBA@1m.

Radeon HD 5450 Configuration: Comparison (Load)
Case
Lian Li PC-V354*
SilverStone TJ08-E
SilverStone FT03*
System Fan Speeds
3 x 6V (two intake, one exhaust)
low/9V
3 x 5V
CPU Temp
56°C
60°C
56°C
HD Temp
28°C
25°C
36°C
GPU Temp
65°C
56°C
68°C
SPL@1m
18 dBA
19 dBA
20 dBA
*Due to compatibility issues, the FT03 was tested with a Seasonic X-650 power supply (vs. Cooler Master M700) and the PC-V354 with a Noctua NH-C12P heatsink (vs. NH-U12P).
CPU fan set to 9V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Put up against its microATX rivals, the Lian Li PC-V354 and SilverStone Fortress FT03, the TJ08-E puts on an impressive showing with our HD 5450 test configuration. The large intake fan gave it a big edge in system cooling, with a substantially lower GPU temperature. The PC-V354 generated a lower CPU temperature, but keep in mind the TJ08-E has an optional 120 mm exhaust fan mount that if used could even this battle out. The noise level required to produce this result was slightly higher, but well worth it.

TEST RESULTS: Asus EAH6850 DirectCU

To simulate a more demanding, gaming type of system, our second test configuration uses an HD 6850 graphics card from Asus. The 6850 uses about 100W more than the 5450, creating a hotter, more stressful environment.


Our test system with an Asus EAH6850 DirectCU.

System Measurements (Asus EAH6850 DirectCU)
System State
Idle
CPU + GPU Load
System Fan
9V
10V
12V
GPU Fan*
1710 RPM
2380 RPM
2330 RPM
2060 RPM
CPU Temp
21°C
63°C
59°C
56°C
HD Temp
23°C
25°C
25°C
23°C
GPU Temp
39°C
90°C
89°C
90°C
GPU VRM Temp
44°C
86°C
87°C
87°C
SPL@1m
20~21 dBA
24~25 dBA
24~25 dBA
28~29 dBA
*set as low as possible to maintain a GPU temperature of ~90°C.
CPU fan set to 9V.
Fan controller set to low.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

When idle, the addition of the EAH6850 had only a small acoustic impact, increasing the noise level by 1~2 dB and imbuing the system with a slightly harsher sound. On load, after toying around with the fan speed we found that low/10V gave us the best balance of performance-to-noise. At 9V we had to run the GPU fan a bit faster so there was no noise advantage, but the resulting CPU temperature was 4°C higher. 12V allowed us to drop to slow the GPU fan by ~300 RPM, but exchanging an extra 4 dB for marginal CPU and hard drive cooling improvements was an unbalanced trade.

It should be noted that SilverStone recommends using a graphics card with a fan that blows air out the back, following the same airflow path as the case’s intake fan while our test card uses a downblowing heatsink with the exhaust coming off both sides. This type of cooler may perform better with the TJ08-E’s design.


Our EAH6850 test system on load measured 24~25 dBA@1m.

Asus EAH6850 DirectCU Configuration:
Comparison (Load)
Case
SilverStone TJ08-E
SilverStone FT03*
Lian Li PC-V354*
System Fan Speeds
low/10V
3 x 7V
3 x 9V (two exhaust, one intake)
GPU Fan Speed
2330 RPM
1790 RPM
1740 RPM
CPU Temp
59 °C
58°C
60°C
HD Temp
25°C
35°C
26°C
GPU Temp
89°C
89°C
89°C
GPU VRM Temp
87°C
88°C
76°C
SPL@1m
24~25 dBA
25 dBA
26 dBA
*Due to compatibility issues, the FT03 was tested with a Seasonic X-650 power supply (vs. Cooler Master M700) and the PC-V354 with a Noctua NH-C12P heatsink (vs. NH-U12P).
CPU fan set to 9V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

The TJ08-E ekes out a slim but clear victory over the FT03 and PC-V354. Its overall thermal performance was superior, and it noise level was a tad lower as well.

TEST RESULTS: Asus EAH6850 DirectCU (Upside down)

As the TJ08-E places the motherboard upside down compared to most case layouts, we thought it would be interesting to what would happen if we flipped the case upside down (propped up slightly to give the power supply fan some clearance).

System Measurements: Load
(Asus EAH6850 DirectCU)
Orientation
Stock
Upside down
GPU Fan
Speed*
2380 RPM
2260 RPM
CPU Temp
63°C
70°C
HD Temp
25°C
27°C
GPU Temp
90°C
90°C
GPU VRM Temp
86°C
89°C
SPL@1m
24~25 dBA
25 dBA
(24 dBA reversed)
*set as low as possible to maintain a GPU temperature of ~90°C.
CPU fan set to 9V, stock fan set to low/9V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Given that hot air rises, it was no surprise that the CPU, placed in a higher position, would do worse. With the stock fan set to low/9V, the CPU warmed up by an additional 7°C. The GPU, being in a lower, cooler location did better, allowing us to lower the fan speed by ~120 RPM.

Despite the reduction in fan speed, flipping the case around also increased the noise level by a small amount. This was due to the fact that the side with the motherboard tray, which was facing the mic in the standard orientation, was blocking some of the noise generated by the components. Flipped around, the more open side was facing the mic, thus the noise increase. When we measured from the right side, the SPL was slightly lower. So for lowest perceived noise, place the case to your left.

AUDIO RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR’s own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to
LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We’ve listened long and hard to ensure there is no
audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent
a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product
at various states. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don’t change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Despite its modest size, the SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E is a surprisingly strong performing microATX case. The key to its success is the massive 18 cm Air Penetrator intake fan that draws in cool air from the exterior and blows it over the hard drive cage and most of the motherboard. Even at low speed, this monster helped the TJ08-E to a small, but decisive victory over both the Fortress FT03 and Lian Li PC-V354. There’s also an optional 12 cm exhaust fan placement which would give it an additional edge. Its motherboard orientation is unusual but we don’t believe it contributes much to its overall success. SilverStone essentially made a tradeoff, opting for a cooler CPU near the case floor and a warmer GPU in the upper section of the case. Gamers with high-end video cards would actually benefit if they turned it back the "right" way.

The interior looks cramped but the modular design makes assembly almost carefree. The hard drive cage pops off via two screws, the motherboard tray with three. The top cover is secured with six screws, but only needs to be removed to service the power supply and optical drive bays. There’s ample room behind the motherboard tray and there are multiple holes for typing up and routing cables. Any other case with these dimensions would likely be a nightmare to work with, but the TJ08-E makes it almost effortless while also providing support for a long graphics card and a good-sized CPU cooler.

The case measures a modest 15.2" from front to back, but we wouldn’t mind a little extra room for bigger CPU heatsinks. We had to flip the fan position of our Noctua NH-U12P heatsink to avoid the hard drive which sat right above our board’s memory slots. RAM with tall heatspreaders are out of the question and there is also a combined size limitation for the optical drive and power supply. Thankfully the latter won’t be an issue unless you want to use a long, high wattage power supply. Those are typically reserved for multi-GPU configurations which shouldn’t be attempted in a microATX case, particularly one with an upside down motherboard tray.

Our main complaint is one we seldom have regarding SilverStone cases: the structural integrity of the interior is poor. The metal surrounding the power supply and optical drive bays is very thin and has nothing to brace it. The hard drive cage is also poorly supported, secured on only one side with two screws, making hard drive vibration a problem. Rather than reserving the space above the cage for a graphics card, a second removable drive cage would have helped tremendously and would make the TJ08-E a suitable enclosure for a file server, adding to its versatility. Our only other quibble is the fan speed switch which needs an additional setting as "low" is simply not low enough for our liking.

While it has a few issues, SilverStone Temjin TJ08-E is our favorite microATX case to date. Not only does it offer excellent thermal/acoustic performance, it’s quite functional as well. The design is incredibly well-thought out, maximizing both compatibility and convenience in the compact space. It doesn’t have the build quality of a classic SilverStone case, but its thinner steel construction helps keep the price US$40~$50 less compared to the FT03/PC-V354, making it a much better value.

Our thanks to SilverStone for the Temjin TJ08-E case sample.



Silverstone Temjin TJ08-E receives the SPCR Editor’s Choice Award

* * *

Articles of Related Interest
Cooler Master Silencio 550 Quiet ATX Tower
In Win Dragon Rider Enthusiast/Gaming Tower
LanCool PC-K59 Midtower Case
SilverStone Fortress FT03 mATX Tower: Redux
SilverStone Fortress FT03 microATX Tower
Lian Li PC-V354 MicroATX Mini Tower Case

* * *

Discuss
this article in the SPCR Forums.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

latest news