Thursday, June 9, 2016

Silverstone Redline RL05 Budget Enthusiast Case

Coming a full 3 years after its RL04 predecessor, this new Redline RL05 model is surely a long time coming for something as volatile as the PC enthusiast market. Back then , Silverstone had introduced the Redline series as a new range aimed specifically at the enthusiast with a tight budget.

Consequently, the new RL05 model has been updated for the latest technological changes eg. SSD bays, USB3 Type-C port while older technologies eg. optical drives have been de-emphasised to streamline its functions.

What the Silverstone product page says... (click!)

"The Redline series RL05 was created with the goal of exceeding user experience and expectation for affordable PC chassis by offering punchy styling and features reserved often for more expensive models...For enthusiasts looking to build a PC with top-notch features and styling on a budget, the RL05 is an outstanding choice."


■ Includes front mounted USB 3.0 Type-C port
■ Includes two 140mm LED fans designed to generate positive pressure
■ Super clean internal look with PSU and drive bay cover
■ Quick access filters for easy cleaning
■ Motherboard back plate opening for quick CPU cooler assembly
■ All black painted interior for stylish look
■ Supports graphics cards up to 14.7"

Paraphrased, besides catering for the latest technologies the RL05 has also been updated for much longer video cards (14.7" long max, the latest GTX 1080 is ~11") and for humongous PSU models (220mm long max, standard ATX is 150mm).

And you can install your overpowered PSU even if it was colour mismatched or the ugliest thing around cos the RL05 has this neat separate PSU bay which totally hides it away. And by having its own hidden compartment, the PSU takes in its own filtered fresh air while minimising the perennial headache of PSU cable management to a much simpler affair.


Recyclable budget brown cardboard packaging printed with its highlights, note the repeated emphasis on affordability


A large clear window on the left side panel, Silverstone really wants you to show off the whole clean interior of the rig that they had implemented with all their cable management designs. The right panel is unwindowed ie. full metal panel.

2 x 120/140mm top fan intake, all the air intakes are equipped with removable meshes to reduce dust. Note the fine granular paint finishing with much reduced finger print magnet tendencies, nice!

First time ever seeing a USB3 Type-C port on a PC case

Subtle flat power & reset buttons with power & drive access LEDs in between

Front 2 x 140mm red LED intake fans are bundled, enjoy also the superb unfettered access to the mobo compartment, uncluttered by shifting the 3.5" storage bays out of the way (and out of sight)

The solitary 5.25" tray with its tool-less mechanism

Meshed 2 x 140mm top intake and 1 x 120mm exhaust fan mounts

Metal shelf fold to aid cable management, note the all black sleeved cables

Ventilated reusable i/o expansion plates with a sliding screw down mechanism

Down facing PSU mounting with meshed fan intake, note the fully covered PSU bay designed for neat cable management

Showing up close the finish of chassis riveting and side panel metal folding and the other end of the fully covered PSU/storage bay

Storage bays and oversized CPU cutout on mobo tray. note that distances are clearly kept as short as possible between mobo SATA ports and storage bays for better cable management

Another view of the SSD and 3.5" storage bays, note abundance of other cable management aids like multiple punched out hoops for cable ties

PSU mounts of rubber foam to miminise vibration and fan noise

And The Redline Trims?

Ah right, next on to the signature feature of this model...

Sharper readers may have spotted that the Redline plastic trims have currently been removed. They are set aside for some DIY colour adjustment as I find that the red colour reproduction is colorimetrically lacking on my sample set.

Yes, one can easily spray paint the trims to whatever colour one desires to suit the theme of their rig. And whenever they like, cos it's just a simple aesthetic snap on which does not affect the case functionality in any way. Dis-assembly is a few minute job undoing the catches after popping off the front panel by hand and then removing a few Philips (+) screws.

And just in case anyone loves bleeding blue with their i7 or i5 rig, simply paint the town as such then. The removed trims are shown lying on a side panel here.

So which colour do most users prefer? Perhaps an attempt at a side by side comparison for the Blue or Nvidia or Bumblebee camps may be helpful.

Update 23/06/2016

Looks like Silverstone has moved really fast to feedback about the remiss shade of red and quickly added a stealthy all black version to this model. Personally, I like the new more subtle approach.

Initial Impressions

The Silverstone RL05 is a clearly affordable, feature filled and definitely modernised enthusiast case. For the discerning users who prefer spending more on core components, skimping on the case cost but yet demanding one full of usable features, this is one cost effective model they should really aim for.

As expected for its budget pricing, extra cost niceties like case wheels, fan speed controllers,  HDD hotswap docks or tempered glass windows are absent. Well, not everyone wants or needs these with the attendant premium pricing.

Thumbs up...
  • affordable - RRP S$98 local, ~70USD@新蛋
  • caters for latest technologies eg. USB Type-C
  • caters for high end components eg. long video cards, large power supplies
  • caters for easy cable management eg. PSU/storage bay covers
  • superb unfettered interior access, great for streamlined air flow too
  • all fan intakes are fully meshed 
  • mostly tool free, bundled thumb screws

May be improved...
  • Redline trim colorimetry
  • top panel has limited 240mm AIO radiator support eg. Silverstone TD02-SLIM is officially supported