SilverStone Raven RV01 Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on February 28, 2009
Raven from SilverStone (also known as RV01) is a full-tower case with a unique design, where the motherboard is rotated 90°, making the rear connectors to be available on the top part of the case. This was done to improve thermal dissipation, especially from the video card, as hot air tends to go up and high-end video cards usually blow hot air from the inside to the outside of the case – usually to the rear of the case, but with Raven hot air is blown to the top.
We were impressed by the size of the cardboard box this case comes in, definitely the biggest we’ve seen to date, measuring 30” x 16 ½” x 30 ½” (76 cm x 42 cm x 77 cm) (H x W x D).
On Figures 2 and 3 you have an overall look at Raven RV01. The case is made of steel with all parts painted black.
The front door is opened by pushing it down, and it has an interesting spring mechanism that needs just a light push down when it is opened to automatically close it, through a slow-motion robotic movement. This case has five 5.25” bays.
Since the motherboard is installed 90° rotated compared to traditional cases, there are no connectors on the rear side of the case. The only thing available on the rear panel is the place for installing the power supply, which goes on the bottom of the case.
Below the power supply compartment there is a washable dust filter that can be easily removed from the rear side of the case.
In Figure 8, you can see the top part of Raven RV01.
This case comes with two USB ports – which are too close to each other, preventing the installation of two “fat” USB devices at the same time – and one FireWire port. We think that a high-end case like this should have come with an eSATA port here.
In Figure 10, you can see the top panel with its cover removed. This cover is used only during transportation, since when you are using the computer you need to have access to the connectors present on the rear side of the motherboard, which are now available on the top part of the case. This case comes with a 120 mm fan on the top, a place for installing SilverStone's SST-CLEARCMOS product and the slot covers are meshed, which is great to improve the PC internal airflow. We think, however, that a high-end case like this should have come with black slot covers instead of silver. There is also a mesh above the place where the daughterboards are installed, which is also great to improve the airflow. Each side panel is removed by sliding a latch available here.
On Figures 11 and 12 you can see the top panel after we built a PC using this case.
Before showing you the inside of Raven, take a look at the side panels in Figure 13. They both have dust filters on their air intakes. Unfortunately these filters can’t be easily removed: you need to unscrew them. SilverStone could have added a better system here.
In Figure 14, you can see inside Raven. See how all parts are black, giving a nice look to this case.
As mentioned, this case has a 120 mm fan on the top, rotating at 950 rpm. Daughter boards are fastened to the case using regular screws, and we think for a better appearance SilverStone should have used black thumbscrews.
Raven features two 180 mm fans rotating at 700 rpm, one between the motherboard compartment and the power supply compartment (Figure 15) and another between the hard disk drive cage and the power supply compartment (Figure 16). All fans use a three-pin connector, allowing you to install them directly on the motherboard and thus monitor their speed. No fan speed control is available.
All fans blow air from the bottom part of the case to the top. Since there is more air being pushed inside the motherboard compartment than being pulled out of it, this case is said to be based on a positive air pressure design. In fact SilverStone posted a very interesting video on YouTube showing how the airflow works on Raven RV01. Another air intake is present on the bottom of the case, featuring a removable washable dust filter.
The reviewed case also features supports for daughterboards, in order to prevent them from getting out of the motherboard slots.
In Figure 19, you can see the case with a full-length ATX motherboard installed (EVGA nForce 790i with a Thermaltake TMG i1 CPU cooler). See how there is still space available behind the motherboard, meaning that it supports bigger Extended ATX model. There is plenty of room between the motherboard and the wall from the power supply compartment, allowing you to install very long (12” or 30 cm) video cards. In Figure 20, you can see Raven RV01 after we built a PC with it (the video card used was a GeForce GTX 285, see how there is still a lot of room between the video card and the power supply compartment wall).
The other side of the case is also interesting and you can see it on Figures 21 and 22. See how Raven comes with several holes and cable holders so you can route cables behind the motherboard, leaving the motherboard compartment with less cables and thus improving the PC internal ventilation.
This case has five external 5.25” bays and six internal 3.5” bays for hard disk drives, using the same mechanisms available on other SilverStone products, especially Fortress FT01. The screwless mechanisms for 5.25” devices use a big black button that works exceptionally well. The hard disk drives are installed using individual drawers. The hard disks enter very tight inside the drawers, so screws are optional. Each drawer has four rubber shock absorbers where the screws can be installed in order to reduce the noise produced by the hard disk drives due to their natural vibration. No external 3.5” bay or adapter is available.
Like several other cases from SilverStone, the first hard disk drive bay features a hot-swap connector, allowing you to install a hard disk drive without needing to attach cables to it. If you want the other bays to have this connector you will need to buy them from SilverStone (they are called CP05).
SilverStone Raven RV01 case main specs include:
SilverStone Raven RV01 is a full-tower case targeted to the enthusiast that wants a high-quality high-end full-tower case and liked the concept of the motherboard being 90° rotated. Here is a summary of what we found about this product.
In summary, if money is not an issue, we think this is a terrific product for the enthusiast. However, because of its price we cannot recommend it for the average user, which will be better off picking a more affordable product.