SilverStone is inviting DIY builders to get creative with its $114.99 Lucid Series LD01 PC case.
This small tower chassis, which supports MicroATX, Mini-DTX, and Mini-ITX motherboards, features three tempered-glass panels, putting every component on display (albeit, flipped; the motherboard is visible through the right side panel, not the usual left).
On top of that, the case ships without fans, leaving you to buy your own.
Will you buy cheaper basic-black fans, or splurge for LED-lit beauties? SilverStone hopes it's the latter, and it has plenty of its own LED fans for you to check out.
The Lucid LD01 is a little pricier than you might expect given the bring-your-own-fans approach, but the case largely earns its price.
It has both functional and aesthetic features that make for a solid, cool computer.
Honest, Objective Reviews
Daxdi.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services.
Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.
Components Under Glass
At the moment, the Lucid LD01 is the only case in the Lucid Series.
SilverStone bills this case family as "high transparency," and I can't argue with that.
Although all three glass panels (the front, and both of the big sides) have a smoky, semi-opaque tint when everything is powered down, an LED strip or two plus a few LED fans will turn this chassis into a glamorous fishbowl for your hardware.
As you'd expect from a case that tops out at supporting MicroATX motherboards, the Lucid LD01 is a space-saver, measuring just 15.4 by 8.6 by 16.8 inches (HWD).
It's heavier than the size might suggest, though; the case weighs about 16 pounds, which is more in the range of a midsize full-ATX tower.
Much of that extra weight comes from those heavy glass panels, which are banded in steel.
(More about that in a moment.) The interior of the case is also steel, making for a very sturdy body.
My test unit sits squarely on the desk and, even empty, doesn't wobble a bit when I shake the desk or gently push the case.
The panels have a smoky tint that hides your PC's internal components until you add lights.
Place a few interior lights inside the case, and you'll be able to see through all three windows.
Of course, that means that you'll need to pay extra attention to the cable-management portion of your build, especially on the back side of the motherboard tray.
This area, usually a prime hiding spot for your clutter, isn't a place to shove extra cables out of sight in this design.
For those of us who like a curtain to hide the clutter behind, that translucent far side panel is all pain.
SilverStone gives the Lucid LD01 some extra attitude by wrapping the upper and lower edges of each tempered-glass panel with steel.
It's an eye-catching design choice, but metal this thin can dent.
The Lucid LD01 I tested arrived with a small ding in one of the upper bands.
I doubt that I would return the case for a small defect like this, but fussier DIY computer builders might disagree, so it's worth noting: Examine your sample on arrival.
SilverStone puts some standard ports on the top of the Lucid LD01 but spices things up with a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port.
The other ports are two USB 3.0 Type-A ports and two audio/mic jacks.
A power button sits up here as well, complete with an LED border, which is a nice touch and the only pre-installed lighting on the chassis.
The top of the case also has a removable filter that attaches via magnets.
SilverStone does a nice job with fan filters on its cases, and it hits a home run here.
The vents at the bottom of the case have a filter that slides out with the push of a button, and the front panel has a tall filter.
You can remove that one easily, too, which is handy because intake fans tend to drag gunk onto that front filter.
The Lucid LD01's left side houses the motherboard, which is flipped from standard case layouts and means you'll see the bulk of the PC through the right side panel.
This also means your MicroATX motherboard will be upside-down compared to its position in other cases.
(The PCI Express slots will be at the top of the case's rear panel, not the bottom.) That can make cable routing a little weird, but it's not likely to cause you much trouble.
SilverStone added a support for your video card to keep it from flexing or cracking the slot it's installed in.
Apart from the atypical orientation, the Lucid LD01's interior has everything you'd expect to see from a SilverStone case, including plenty of elbow room and multiple grommeted pass-throughs for cable management.
A steel compartment blocks your view of the power supply from this side, but a pass-through cutout lets you easily bring cables right to where you need them.
You have several options when placing your cooling gear.
If you're going with liquid cooling, you can put a 120mm radiator at the back of the PC in the usual exhaust position.
The front and top of the case also support 120mm radiators, as well as 140mm, 240mm, or 280mm models.
SilverStone suggests that a 280mm radiator (and fan) be kept to less than 56mm thick, given the space constraints of the case.
Turn the case around, and you're looking at the back of the motherboard tray, along with the large power supply unit (PSU) compartment.
This compartment fits PSUs up to about 160mm long by default, which is all the space you'll need for a typical supply in a MicroATX case, I'll wager.
If you're packing the case with power-hungry hardware and need a large PSU, you can move the hard drive cage toward the front of the case.
The move will rule out installing a large radiator up front, but it will buy you an extra 60mm for the PSU.
Speaking of the drive cage, it has three sleds that can hold 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives.
You'll need a screwdriver to attach any 2.5-inch drives to the sleds, but the sleds are tool-less for the larger drives.
The Lucid LD01 also has spots for two 2.5-inch drives just above the oversize cutout in the motherboard tray that lets you access the behind-board mounting area for CPU coolers.
These two bays are on a removable tray.
Because I gave the Lucid LD01 a spanking for having a window on the behind-the-curtain side of the case, it's only fair to point out some features SilverStone included to make your cable-routing challenge easier.
For one thing, the case has straps in place to tidy the bulk of your vertical-running cables.
For another, SilverStone angles the motherboard tray in such a way that you have extra space for cables on this side, along with grommeted pass-throughs that face into that deeper space.
The design means you'll have to run no cables (or very few) through the small space between the side panel and the large side of the motherboard tray.
That's a good decision and makes keeping this side of the PC tidy a less daunting prospect for the aesthetically minded.
Test Build and Conclusion
SilverStone didn't go overboard with the accessories.
A small bag holds a warranty card and a smaller bag of screws and standoffs.
The bag also includes a tool for installing standoffs or removing stubborn ones, though, and that's definitely a worthy extra.
What's missing here is a manual.
The Lucid LD01 isn't a complicated case (and it doesn't have any unusual fans or extra components), but first-time DIYers might appreciate some pointers.
I'll never forget installing a motherboard without using the standoffs during my first build.
(I won't date myself and say when that was.)
As it happens, SilverStone did create an excellent manual for the Lucid LD01.
The manual has clear written instructions for removing the panels and installing components, and it goes so far as to explain the purpose of each type of included case screw.
The manual helps first-time builders with the front-panel connectors and even features photos of a full system build.
The only catch? It's online.
That's fine for experienced users, but new builders may not know to check SilverStone's website.
Including a card or slip directing builders to the URL for the manual would help.
It's worth noting that I had no trouble removing the side panels.
The same goes for putting them back onto the case.
Many glass-sided cases have a peg system for attaching the glass panels: You position the panel to the side of the case, so that hollow, threaded metal pegs protrude from holes in the glass.
Then, while the panel is resting on the pegs, you attach thumb screws through the pegs to lock the panels.
(That is, if you don't manage to drop a panel in the process, and...game over.)
SilverStone opts for a different approach here.
Thanks to those steel bands on the side panels, I can attach the panels the same way I would attach a full-metal side panel.
And because the glass doesn't bend, I can attach the panel even more easily than I would with a metal panel.
I found the same true for the front panel.
Just reach under the front panel, pull it forward, and it's off.
Putting the panel back on is just a matter of snapping it back into place.
Anyone who has damaged a front panel while trying to wrestle it off a poorly designed case with too-snug fasteners will love the Lucid LD01's approach.
Although the interior of the Lucid LD01 is smaller than that of a true midsize ATX tower, I didn't have trouble installing the motherboard, processor, and memory.
As you'd expect from any quality case, the Lucid LD01 has rounded edges throughout.
I like the panel for the 2.5-inch drives, which detaches from the main panel.
I attached my trusty Corsair H60 liquid cooler to the processor and then installed the radiator and fan in the inside of the top of the Lucid LD01.
I stacked two SilverStone FW142-RGB fans at the front of the Lucid LD01 (these run about $30 to $35 each), a similar 120mm model in the exhaust position at back, and then used a SilverStone LSB01 control box (about the same price) to light the three RGB fans.
Anyone who wants to show off his or her killer PC hardware should take a good look at SilverStone's Lucid LD01.
The tempered-glass panels surrounding the case give it the visual vibe of an aquarium for your components.
The slight defect (in my review unit) aside, the case is an aesthetic winner.
Just as important or maybe more so, the Lucid LD01 is a solid, well-designed case.
The steel chassis sits firmly on a desk and doesn't budge when jostled.
The glass side panels slide into place as smoothly as any other case panels I've worked with.
SilverStone equipped the motherboard tray and other interior superstructure with plenty of pass-throughs for cable management, and the case offers a reasonable amount of space for cables—particularly if you have an air cooler for your CPU or go with a 120mm radiator on a liquid cooler.
As I mentioned earlier, it would be handy to have the excellent manual printed up and in the box.
And, though I think the Lucid LD01 is a winner, I can see how some users will balk at the price on a case that lacks any onboard air cooling, built-in LED hardware, or controller boxes.
(Some models from companies such as Deepcool and Lian Li come outfitted with a whole array of fans and supporting hardware.) But, for some builders, fans are becoming as personal a choice as other PC hardware.
If you're one of them, the Lucid LD01—clearly—deserves a look.
SilverStone Lucid Series LD01
The Bottom Line
SilverStone's Lucid Series LD01 PC chassis is an elegant blank slate for serious DIY hounds looking to fashion a custom-lit rig.
The three smoky tempered-glass panels showcase your hardware once you add an LED fan or three.