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My experience with the Silverstone Aluminum Micro ATX HTPC Case ML04B (2024)

My thoughts on the SilverStone ML04B HTPC case: design quality, hardware fit, user experience, and living room integration.
Joseph Metcalfe

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


March 27, 2024


I recently set up a home theater using the SilverStone Aluminum Micro ATX HTPC Case ML04B. My goal was to create a compact, powerful system that would match the other technology in my living room. Below are my thoughts on it.


Property Value Property Value
Brand SilverStone Technology Motherboard Compatability Micro ATX
Case Type Slim-Desktop Color ML04B
Material Aluminum Power Supply Mounting Type Side Mounted (Desktop)
Cooling Method Air Model Name CS-ML04B
Fan Size 80 Millimeters Item Weight 11 Pounds


Click on photos to enlarge them:

Silverstone aluminum micro atx case ml04b in box Silverstone aluminum micro atx case ml04b on table Silverstone aluminum micro atx case ml04b unpacked Silverstone aluminum micro atx case ml04b brand Silverstone aluminum micro atx case ml04b front of box


Aesthetics and Build Quality

Silverstone aluminum micro atx case ml04b unpacked

When it comes to the SilverStone Aluminum Micro ATX HTPC Case ML04B, the aesthetics are a notable aspect. The case manages to strike a sleek and minimalistic design, which is highly appreciated for a home theater setup or a desk where simplicity complements existing gadgets. The textured surface and aluminum front panel give it a modern look, reflecting the design trend in consumer electronics that leans towards sophistication without being overly flashy.

  • Sleek, modern design with a brushed aluminum front panel

  • Textured exterior adds a subtle, refined look

  • Compact form factor is visually appealing and space-efficient

However, it’s not all about appearances with the ML04B. The build quality is solid for its price range, though admittedly, it’s made from materials that are not top of the line. The metallic construction feels sturdy and can withstand some handling during the build process, which is comforting given the compact nature of the case.

In comparison, here are a few thoughts on the design and build:


  • The low-profile dimension is a definite win for those limited by space.

  • The metal feels robust, a pleasant surprise at this entry-level price point.

  • The lockable front door feature adds a layer of security and enhances the overall aesthetic.


  • The interior can get cramped, making cable management a challenge.

  • The LED brightness when the door is open can be overwhelming - a minor inconvenience, but a design oversight nonetheless.

  • The lack of support at the motherboard’s front-right corner can cause slight anxiety during installation.

Despite its downsides, the ML04B’s design has a practical side. The lockable front door is a thoughtful addition, offering both peace of mind and a neat look. The integrated LED dimmer is helpful, though primarily effective when the door is closed. Once opened, there’s no denying that the bright blue LED can be somewhat intrusive to the visual aesthetic, especially in a darkened room.

The case’s finish is commendable. It doesn’t scream “cheap” despite not being made of the highest grade materials. The texturing on the exterior might not be for everyone, but I find it adds a layer of depth to the otherwise minimal design. It’s the small touches that elevate the ML04B beyond a simple box to encase your PC components.

In a market where aesthetics can often come at the cost of quality, especially in budget-friendly options, this case attempts to offer the best of both worlds. It makes a statement with its appearance but doesn’t force you to compromise on durability. While there might be some trade-offs in material luxury and internal space, these aspects are understandable concessions when looking for a compact, visually appealing HTPC case.

Functionality and Compatibility

Silverstone aluminum micro atx case ml04b in box

When evaluating the SilverStone Milo ML04B HTPC case for functionality and compatibility, its capabilities within its slim form factor impress immediately. The ability to support micro ATX motherboards and full-sized power supplies is a significant advantage, particularly for those of us who prefer not to compromise on power or expandability in exchange for a smaller footprint. The included multi-purpose drive cages are a clever innovation, efficiently eliminating the need for additional adapters by supporting both 3.5” and 2.5” drives, thus offering flexibility in storage options.


  • Versatile drive cage design accommodates multiple HDD/SSD sizes.
  • Supports standard PS2(ATX) power supplies, aiding in the power needs of your build.
  • Accommodates low-profile expansion cards, essential for keeping a low form factor.
  • The lockable front door adds a layer of security, which is a welcome addition.


  • Cable management can be challenging due to tight spaces.
  • Limited room for larger components often requires careful planning.
  • Possible interference with front panel connections when the case lid is on.

The fact that this case supports up to four 80mm fans is quite incredible; it suggests that cooling is a priority, even in such a confined space. However, in practice, the innate compactness can be a double-edged sword. While the case can indeed house multiple hard drives and SSDs, the real estate for cable management must not be underestimated. It requires strategic planning to avoid a cluttered interior, which could potentially impede airflow and maintenance.

In terms of expansion, the reliance on low-profile expansion cards could be a limiting factor for some builds. While this isn’t an issue for my HTPC needs, those looking to integrate more powerful graphics or other full-sized PCIe cards will have to look elsewhere.

Additionally, the lockable front door, which mimics the more substantial GD07 case, adds both a touch of security and aesthetics that mesh well in a home theater setup. But this design comes with its compromises: accessibility. Using the front USB ports means leaving the door ajar, which can disrupt the sleek look and expose the bright LED indicators which are meant to be concealed, and adjustable only when the door is closed.

I appreciate that the case accommodates standard ATX power supplies, a feature that many HTPC cases in the market tend to overlook. This aspect greatly influenced my decision for this case, as it allowed me to use a power supply I already had on hand, saving me both time and money.

In the end, the SilverStone Milo ML04B hits a sweet spot for those of us who need an HTPC with a minimal footprint without sacrificing too much on the altar of size. However, it’s not without its minor pitfalls. Potential buyers should be aware of these limitations and plan their build accordingly to fully harness the case’s potential.

Installation and Setup Process

Silverstone aluminum micro atx case ml04b on table

The SilverStone ML04B case presents an interesting challenge when it comes to the installation and setup process. Here are some key points and considerations based on my personal experience:

  • The slim form factor, while sleek and perfect for tight spaces, does mean that working inside the case can feel cramped compared to traditional tower cases. It requires careful planning and some dexterity.

  • Motherboard installation is fairly straightforward, thanks to the integrated standoffs. However, a potential user should take note of the lack of a standoff in the front-right corner — a slight design oversight that might worry some.

  • The power supply choice is critical; a modular or semi-modular PSU is highly recommended to mitigate the tight space for cable routing. It’s a relief when everything clicks into place without having to force components or cables.

  • Drives installation can be a balancing act. The drive cages are flexible, but space is a premium, especially if one plans to use an optical drive. Here again, opting for 2.5” drives can ease the process and improve airflow.

Despite these considerations, the end result is satisfying. It’s a process that involves some trial and error, but getting to know the case’s peculiarities helps. I would definitely suggest new users to:

  • Familiarize themselves with the case layout prior to the build.

  • Read through the case manual thoroughly before starting.

  • Allow plenty of time and don’t rush the installation.

The hard drive mounting system is innovative, but the proximity to other components like the motherboard connectors can be challenging. The front LEDs, while a nice touch, can be overly bright if the front panel remains open - something to consider if your case will be in line of sight while watching TV or movies.

I appreciated the in-built cable management options, despite the snug fits. Organization is key here, and the satisfaction of a clean build in such a compact case is well worth the effort. As a first-time builder in a small form factor case, the constraints could be intimidating, but they also taught me the importance of component choice and layout planning.

Moreover, it’s gratifying to see a small, elegant case like the ML04B holding a complete and capable HTPC system that fits seamlessly into a living room setup. Despite some fiddly moments during assembly, the end result was an HTPC that met my expectations both in terms of aesthetics and function. The process reinforced that with the right approach, you can make a lot fit into a little without too much compromise.

Performance in Everyday Use

Silverstone aluminum micro atx case ml04b brand

In my daily use of the SilverStone Aluminum Micro ATX HTPC Case ML04B, I’ve uncovered a blend of advantages that suit my needs, along with a few minor constraints worth noting. Accessibility is paramount for any HTPC case, and the ML04B generally delivers on this front.

Here’s a rundown of my experience:


  • Compact Size: The slim profile integrates well into my living space without dominating the area.

  • Sufficient Storage: With the ability to hold multiple drives, storage expansion isn’t a concern.

  • Cooling Options: There’s support for up to four 80mm fans, which has kept my machine running cool.

  • Aluminum Front Door: It’s not just about aesthetics; it adds a layer of security too.


  • Tight Internal Layout: Cable management requires some forethought, as space is at a premium.

  • Compatibility: The necessity for low-profile components can limit upgrade options.

  • Build Constraints: I’ve noted that some power supplies or longer expansion cards can pose a challenge to fit.

During setup, I appreciated the multi-purpose mounts for drives, which mitigated the need for additional adapters. As someone who likes to keep things tidy but isn’t overly obsessed with cable management, I found the internal space slightly problematic but manageable. Notably, attention to the selection of the power supply is crucial; a modular or small form factor PSU would be ideal to avoid a cramped situation.

For the security-conscious, the lockable front door is an excellent addition. It keeps both the system and the drives safe, which gives me peace of mind when I’m not around.

In terms of daily operation, the machine is quiet and maintains a steady temperature, which is a testament to the case’s design aiding in efficient airflow. However, fitting components inside was a bit of a puzzle, and it’s something to be aware of if you’re looking to swap out parts regularly.

My experience differs somewhat when it comes to drive installation. Despite the flexible mounting options, I opted for 2.5” drives to avoid overcrowding and maintain optimal airflow. Consequently, I benefitted from quieter and cooler running drives, ensuring my HTPC runs smoothly even during prolonged usage.

Overall, SilverStone’s ML04B offers a balanced mix of form and function. It demands a thoughtful approach to assembly, but the end result is a sleek, efficient HTPC case that doesn’t break the bank. While it may present a couple of challenges, I believe with the right components and a bit of patience, it’s an excellent choice for those wanting to keep their living room tech organized and discreet.