PC Cases are becoming more and more expensive these days. Whenever a budget PC Case with a host of features comes out, it creates a lot of buzz in the tech community. Similarly, since its release, the Silverstone Fara R1 is making headlines. Both for Its modernized design and affordability.
Touted as the successor for the long-praised Silverstone RL06, the Fara R1 had incredibly big shoes to fill. And suffice to say, Fara R1 has done a great job on that.
In addition, the Fara R1 is directly competing with Phanteks P300A on both price and aesthetics department. The two of them are in the same price category and features a similar design. Since the P300A did a terrific job at cooling on a budget, does Fara R1 perform on par with its competitor?
Alright, let’s take a look at the specification, features, and performance of Fara R1 and find out if it is indeed worthy of being one of the best cases in 2020.
- Type: Mid-Tower ATX
- Motherboard Support: Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX
- Dimension: 17.6 x 8.15 x 15.4 inches (446 x 207 x 390mm
- Space Above Motherboard: 1.1 inches (28mm)
- Max GPU Length: 12.68 inches (322mm)
- CPU Cooler Height: 6.5 inches (165mm)
- Max PSU Length: 160mm
- Weight: 11.0 pounds (5 kg)
- External Bays: N/A
- Internal Bays: 1 x 3.5 inch, 4 x 2.5 inch
- Expansions Slot: 7x
- Front I/O: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 3.5 mm Audio/Mic Combo
- Other: Tempered Glass Panel
- Front Fans: Up to 2 x 140mm, 3 x 120mm
- Rear Fans: 1 x 120mm (Up to 1 x 120mm)
- Top Fans: None (Up to 2 x 140mm)
- Bottom Fans: N/A
- Side Fans: N/A
- RGB: No
- Damping: No
- Warranty: 1 Year
Design and Build – Interior
Silverstone has tried their best to keep the case as cheap as possible with an exception of few compromises. There isn’t a big enough room for the Fara R1 to cram in an ATX motherboard. Regardless, it handles it pretty well. If you have a smaller form factor motherboard, then you’ll have a bigger room for your components.
The front compartment has space for mounting two 2.5-inch drives, just above the power supply shroud. In the rear side of the motherboard, you can add two more 2.5-inch drives. This makes a total room for four 2.5-inches drive. Fara R1 comes with three 2.5-inch trays.
Talking about the 3.5-inch drive, there is a space for one just above the removable drive cage. Builds with one or two 3.5-inch drive will have a hard time doing cable management. If possible, you can invest in a modular PSU which will drastically help you routing cables efficiently. The case can easily fit a big ATX power supply.
Silverstone also cheaped out on the PCIe express slots as well. Out of these 7 slots, only 2 of them are removable whereas the rest is a disposable variety.
Design and Build – Exterior
Let’s begin with the external design. Right out of the bat, we see this gorgeous white box with a mesh filter on the front. The front face is plastic whereas the mesh intake is made of perforated steel. Unlike other expensive variants, you won’t find any fancy shapes or designs on the facade. There is this one corner and behind sits the honeycomb grill to hold the mesh. That’s it!
The majority of the visible surfaces in the White variant are all a well-matched shade of white. Around the surface, the only two non-white things we found were the magnetic top filter and the rear fan. The rear fan that ships with the container isn’t there to match the overall looks and is just black plastic. Noticeably, Silverstone, like the others, has also moved from the traditional ketchup –and-mustard cabling to black only cables.
The case comes in two different colors, black and white. Other than the colors, you have the option to choose either steel/glass side panel or steel/steel. We strongly suggest you go with the steel/glass panel for better aesthetics.
The tempered-glass side panels are simple. The tempered glass panel has four holes drilled onto it. It’s evident from the holes that these are repurposed motherboard standoffs. The downside to this would be the grip as there is nothing to hold onto. And even if you did popped the side panel, re-instating it will leave fingerprints all around the edges. Moreover, the glass has no tint at all. This means that if your build isn’t pleasing to the eyes, you’ll be constantly reminded of it.
The steel panel isn’t all good either. When it comes to closing the panel, it requires three hands to properly jam it in. If not fit perfectly, the panel makes a lot of vibrating noise. It kinda reminds you of the old days where it took two-person to properly close the computer.
We really liked how the Front I/O was aligned vertically and not in the top. The I/O has two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, and a mic/headphone jack. There is no USB Type-C, although the manual did show one Type-C port.
One thing we didn’t like about the I/O is that it comes off along with the front panel. So if you’re removing the front panel, then make sure you don’t have anything attached to the I/O.
The case supports 3 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm fans in front of the case. In the rear, it has a mounting option for 1 x 120mm. On top you are given space to add 2 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm fans.
Fara R1 allows 120mm / 140mm / 240mm / 280mm radiator support in front, 120mm in the back, 120mm / 240mm in the top. As for the 360mm, Silverstone has made no claims if you can actually mount it or not. Maybe it’s because when you install an ATX motherboard, the distance between the radiator and the mobo is just shy of 10 cm.
Toms Hardware ran tests to find out how Fara R1 fares when it comes to total noise level and thermals. They tested the case in three different scenarios, CPU Full Load, CPU and GPU full load, and idle.
In the results, Fara R1 achieved excellent acoustic levels as compared to its competition. It even beat Be Quiet! Pure Base 500DX in terms of noise levels on the full road. On idle load, the case is surprisingly quite.
Thermal Testing: Stock Fan Configuration
For thermal testing, the Core i9-9900k CPU was overclocked to 4.46 GHz at 1.1v. The GPU fan ran at the consistent 75 percent.
As per the results, the Silverstone Fara R1 performs somehow equal to its competition Phanteks P300A. But of all the cases in the test, Fara R1 had the highest recorded temperature. It is apparent the stock fan works below average and the restrictive mesh setup added to the ambient temperature.
- Attractive Looks
- Descent Airflow
- Can Fit a Large PSU
- Removable Hard drive cage
- Poor Build Quality
- Sub Par Cable Management
- Lacks USB Type-C Port
The End Result: A Solid ATX Case for Not so Demanding Build
For the price, the Fara R1 is a great product. The looks are pleasing to the eye and there is not much to complain about the overall build quality.
It is more orientated towards beginner PC builders. If you are not going to add high-heat components then buying Fara R1 is a no brainer.
Still, there a few things Silverstone could’ve easily improvised without increasing the MSRP. Like they could’ve added all removable 7 PCIe slots.
The thermal results were not so remarkable because the double mesh layer completely blocks the case. Furthermore, the air filter poses a problem. You can’t remove it for cleaning purposes which will definitely lead to problems in the future.
In addition, Fara R1 doesn’t have enough room for a 3.5-drive. You can add only one but if your PSU is non-modular then cable management becomes a pain. So if you don’t want to run into any issues we recommend building a PC with 2.5-drives only.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a better budget case below $100 then we suggest you check out Phanteks P300A. In the case, you don’t want to spend a ton in a case then Fara R1 isn’t a bad choice either.
Then what about thermal issues? Well, you won’t be getting any, if you throw in a bunch of PC fans. Better yet, the 30$ you save after opting for R1 over P300A, you can definitely add in high-quality Noctua fans for better cooling performance.