Silverstone Case Accessory Review Roundup

Silverstone Case Accessory Review Roundup

by Dave Montez

SilverStone has a longstanding history of providing quality case accessories for users who like build and upgrade their own desktops. They not always be flashy, but they’re definitely a necessity. Today we’ll take an in-depth look at a number of these accessories. Read on for our full review.

Today, we’ll be taking a close look at their CP line of SATA II cables, their ClearCMOS reset accessory, and finally, their Aero Slots PCI brackets. Has SilverStone met the expectations of hardened enthusiasts everywhere? Will SilverStone’s accessories make the grade? Let’s begin by taking a look at the CP line of SATA II cables.


  • Model numbers: CP03 and CP04
  • Color/material: clear plastic; shielded for EMI
  • Interface: SATA I/II (up to 3.0Gbps)
  • Length: 19.7 inches
  • Integrated locking mechanisms on connectors
  • Metallic EMI guard layer

SilverStone’s CP03 can be found at selected online retailers for $4.49, while the CP04 is just a little more at $6.59.

All computer cables are created equal, right? Not so, says SilverStone. With the introduction of their CP series of SATA cables, SilverStone is ready to prove that an investment in quality cabling is crucial for a positive computing experience. Utilizing commercial grade materials in the construction of their cables, SilverStone is confident that these cables rival those found anywhere else.

One of the main marketing points of the CP series is that these cables are designed to offer maximum data transferring performance. SilverStone makes the distinction that these SATA II cables are specially designed for SATA II hard drives (despite this, the cables are still backwards compatible with SATA I connections). This means that when these cables are paired with SATA II hard drives, the maximum data throughput that these cables can achieve is a theoretical speed of 3.0Gb/s. As we’ll see later in the review, this is not quite the case.

Unlike the cables you’ll find included gratis in your motherboard accessory box, the SilverStone CP cables feel like a cut above the rest. Using a positive lock feature, each connector offers an effective locking mechanism to ensure solid connectivity at all times. The connectors aren’t cheaply made, either; they’re fashioned out of steel and feel very sturdy.

As evidence of the cables excellent construction, I found them to be quite thick due to a durable plastic shroud covering the wiring inside. This makes the cables much more robust than the generic cables you’ll find elsewhere. Thicker cabling resists kinks and hard bends better than slim, cheaply made cables, and this is important when it comes to the fragile nature of SATA cables.

SilverStone has released two versions of their CP line of SATA cables. The first version, the CP04, offers a 90 degree angle on one end of the cable, while utilizing a 180 degree connector on the other. This allows enthusiasts to make those tight, cramped cable runs in small form factor cases, or where space limitations are encountered such as those found in HTPC applications.

The second version, the CP03, are your standard 180 degree cables, which can be used for builds that allow more space for cable runs between components. On both versions, SilverStone has seen fit to include a metallic mesh material in their cabling which helps defeat electromagnetic interference (EMI), an important consideration where data integrity is concerned. I found the metallic covering to be shiny and attractive, as it is easily seen through the clear plastic shroud. This will no doubt appeal to enthusiasts who garnish the interior of their enclosures with lighting effects as the cables give off a nice glow.

To test these cables, I benchmarked the SATA II capable CP03 and CP04 cables against SATA I data cables which were rated at 1.5Gb/s data speeds. I used the latest version of HD Tune (v2.55) and conducted the testing in a controlled environment, ensuring the ambient air temperature was kept at a consistent 22 degrees Celsius.

I used the following setup during testing:

  • Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Deluxe
  • Processor: Intel Q6600 @ 2.66GHz (B3 stepping)
  • Memory: 4GB SuperTalent PC2-6400 (2 x 2GB)
  • Primary hard drive: Western Digital 320GB (WD3200AAKS)
  • Secondary hard drive: Western Digital 1TB (WD1001FALS)
  • Primary optical drive: Lite-On iHAS424-08
  • Secondary optical drive: Lite-on iHDS118-04
  • Networking: D-Link DGE-530T NIC

I chose the Western Digital WD1001FALS hard drive as it featured a SATA II, 3.0Gb/s interface. To benchmark against the SATA II compliant CP series data cables, I chose the Belkin F2N1191-03. The WD1001FALS is a media storage drive only and was at 70% capacity during testing.

Belkin F2N1191-03

SilverStone CP04

SilverStone CP03

Taking a look at the benchmark results, we are treated to a rather odd sight: all benchmarks are nearly exactly the same. What’s the deal? Has Belkin haX0red my benchies? Not by a long shot. The explanation is simple: SATA II is merely the speed of the interface on the hard drive. In this case, SATA II is rated to have a maximum transmission speed of 3.0Gb/s. That’s quite a lot, but how come that doesn’t explain the rather poor showing of the CP cables? Aren’t these cables supposed to be wickedly fast?

In a nutshell, mechanical hard drives have a difficult time filling the bandwidth lane created by the SATA II interface standard. In fact, hard drives today cannot even fill the bandwidth lane provided by the SATA I specification… and that’s rated at half the possible bandwidth offered by SATA II! The fact of the matter is that mechanical hard drives haven’t caught up to the absurd transmission speeds offered by the specifications that created them.

With this in mind, outfitting your hard drives that offer a 3.0Gb/s interface with 3.0Gb/s data cables will not allow your hard drive to achieve a 3.0Gb/s transmission speed. It’s not the cables that are holding you back from taking advantage of higher bandwidths, it’s the hard drive itself. Until mechanical hard drives are able to fully saturate the bandwidth provided by the SATA II 3.0Gb/s specification, no cable in the world will ever achieve the full potential that SATA II offers. (Editor’s note: it’s worth pointing out, however, that solid state drives are getting perilously close to the SATA II maximum throughput. Seagate has already prepped a standard hard drive that supports a 6Gbps SATA standard; it’ll be interesting to revisit results like these when SSDs and the next-gen SATA interface are more commonplace).

So what’s the verdict on these cables? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. While these cables tout that they’re SATA II 3.0Gb/s capable, this feature is a moot point when paired with mechanical hard drives. Today’s hard drives simply cannot accommodate the bandwidth specification that SATA II offers. Additionally, these cables top out at just over 19″ in length, which will frustrate some system builders expecting to perform wire management duties or those with large enclosures.

However, that’s where my criticism stops. The cables are incredibly well constructed, as they are stout and made with quality materials. The fact that they include locking mechanisms is also a boon, and the EMI shielding is a definite plus. While the cables are a bit on the expensive side, (about $5 for the CP03 and $7 for the CP04), I consider these cables to be a wise investment when other cheaper, ill-constructed cables will ultimately fail.


  • Superb construction and quality craftsmanship
  • Steel locking tabs work well
  • Cables resist kinking and bending
  • Clear plastic shell with EMI wrapping


  • Short cable length will vex builders with larger cases
  • Cables are a bit on the pricey side





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