Silverstone Raven RV03 Review

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   Silverstone Raven RV03 Review  


Introduction

Recently Silverstone have been on a roll with the staff here at OC3D, there's not really been a chassis they have produced we haven't liked. Even the quirky FT03 went down well with all of us, we did however worry that the RV03 may have been a step too far towards the wacky. So it's with bated breath that we have the Raven RV03 in for a full strip down build up review to see if all the new design ideas work or wane. So in an effort not to give too much away before the video review and conclusion let's head straight into the specifications. 

Specifications

Model No.SST-RV03B (black)
SST-RV03B-W (black + window)
SST-RV03B-WA (black + window)
--
MaterialReinforced plastic outer shell, 0.8mm Steel body
ColorMatte black
MotherboardSSI EEB, SSI CEB, Extended ATX, ATX, Micro ATX,
Multimedia--
Drive BayExternal5.25" x 7
--
Internal3.5" x 10 (6 from 5.25” adapters), 2.5” x 2 for SSD
Cooling SystemFront4 x 120mm fan slot*
Rear1 x 120mm fan slot**
Side1 x 120mm fan slot
Top1 x 120mm exhaust fan, 900rpm, 18dBA
Bottom2 x 180mm AP181 fan 700/1200rpm, 18/34dBA (compatible with 3 x 120mm fan)
Internal--
Expansion Slot8
Front I/O PortUSB 3.0 x 2 (backwards compatible with USB 2.0)
audio x 1
MIC x 1
Power Supply1 x optional standard PS2 (ATX), depth limit 180mm
Expansion CardCompatible with expansion cards up to 13.58 inches
Limitation of CPU cooler163mm
Limitation of PSU180mm
Net Weight11.4kg
Dimension235mm (W) x 522mm (H) x 570mm (D)
Extra--

    

Video review

 

Conclusion

When I first heard that Silverstone were to release a Raven with the window on the correct side my initial reaction was 'finally, that's going to be awesome!'. Then the details emerged that they had put the PSU in the front and the hard drives behind the back panel I became slightly concerned that had taken the design that step too far and ended up with a novelty case like the Tt Level 10 that's utterly pointless.
So the question you are all thinking is did it sink or swim? Well after an epic journey across the channel covered in Vaseline the RV03 emerged as an incredibly good swimmer. Infact if it had taken part in Dunkirk it would have been one of the vessels that safely returned with a hoard of rescued soldiers. A slightly weird analogy but think about it.

So let's start at the front with the PSU. It does seem very strange but that's because we are all so used to having them at the back. If you look at it objectively the intake is dust filtered, the exhaust is free flowing straight outside, cable routing options are great and with a bit of imagination could even tame a non-modular PSU. The extra fan options on the optical bays are yet again another quirky addition. I did wonder at first where the air was meant to come from and was very impressed with the optical bay cover design which allows some airflow in and is still dust filtered. This is never going to be the most free flowing part of the case by any means but the option is there should you wish to use it. I however probably wouldn't bother, I didn't in the testing at all and never felt the need to add any extra noise to the case just for the minimal airflow it would deliver.

Airflow with the two 180mm fans in the bottom that are yet again dust filtered is as you would expect with the Raven / Fortress family, I said that the RV02 was one of if not the best air cooled chassis on the market - the RV03 is no different. Excitement was raised when I noticed the 120mm fan options in the base were perfect for a water cooling radiator but due to their placement these just not the room there to squeeze one in. Silverstone could have easily designed this in without an issue though so maybe this could be something they bring out in a later revision or with the next style case as there is definitely room in the bottom for a 360mm rad and the smaller your graphics card is the thicker the radiator you will be able to use. This could be the first of the RV's or FT's that actually could be a viable case to modify for water. Hey if I think it can be done and built in a way that would be tidy that has to say something....... Right?

I was initially worried about hard drive temperatures but I can happily report I have tested other cases even with direct fan cooling that have performed worse than this. The drives are slightly warmer than the RV02 but not to an extent that needs to raise any concern. The hard drives are actually easier to work with than a normal case in some respects as you only need to remove one of the side panels not both to work on them. Another bonus is any unused hard drive bays will be perfect ways to keep the cables tidy on the back of the case.

First of all a tip of the cap for yet again trying something different, with a brand that was lets face it working very well as it was. The FT03 was an innovative design and the RV03 although very different followed in its wacky footsteps. Wacky as those footsteps may have been they have won 2 awards, wacky got them the OC3D Innovation Award, for the performance, build quality and the shocking good price of just £114 that is easily a winner of the OC3D Gold Award.

     

Thanks to Silverstone for the RV03 on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

25-07-2011, 05:59:17

tinytomlogan
Can Silverstone continue their winning streak with the RV03, a design where the PSU is at the front of the case and the window is finally on the correct side? Read on to find out!



Continue Reading

25-07-2011, 06:21:56

SieB
I like this case and at 114 it's a bargain, I think the RV02 does look better though just a shame it's the wrong way around.

25-07-2011, 07:52:06

rangaa..
I like this one... Good Review

25-07-2011, 08:34:16

AxJaWz
Good review Tom!

25-07-2011, 09:01:13

Taurus
Nice review as always, I wish the case manufacturers would spend a few pounds more on the window and have it recessed or even on the inside to make it look better.

25-07-2011, 13:27:54

cerbrus2
Cant recomend this case enough. I was unsure about it initially. But I absolutly LOVE IT.

And yeah the top light glows red in the centre to act as the HDD led.

Also you get a large double side sticky pad with the case. So if you DO run a optical drive. you can stick the front panels to the drive tray. So the front of the case is not ruined by a optical drive.

25-07-2011, 14:38:16

steve30x
I like this case , but I am getting a Corsair H100. Will the Corsair H100 fit on the fan mounts on the front where the two 120mm fan mounts are inside the case on the HDD cages?

25-07-2011, 15:12:58

cerbrus2
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve30x View Post

I like this case , but I am getting a Corsair H100. Will the Corsair H100 fit on the fan mounts on the front where the two 120mm fan mounts are inside the case on the HDD cages?
yes it will. But I have my 120mm rad mounted to the top exuast fan. works great.

25-07-2011, 17:45:55

Captain Caveman
have to admit this case has grown on me in a very short time. I've watched some other reviews that go thru the build process and some things have been cleared up. My only strong dislikes are the lack of fire-wire port in front user IO panel, the power supply(no large 1000+ watt supplies), they could have used tool-less HDD docking instead of those raised brackets and the drive access bezels. If you have a bay device installed (especially double bay) you cant have a bezel on it. As wide as the case is they could have come up with something better still using the design or at the very least made it a full door cover (which i hate having to continuously open and close to access bay devices) 

25-07-2011, 22:20:34

badtaylorx
i like the case...i really do... and if it were not for the gold (i hate gold) stripes i was going to use this case on my last build...that being said i ended up with the RV02-E........ultimately i really wanted a.)the new style fans and b.)the 75 dollars saved in my wallet still...for it was the fortress i coveted .... really good review tho....silverstone is continually impressing me

25-07-2011, 23:12:39

dugdiamond
hmmm... PSU...

would it house an oversized PSU?

IE:

OCZ ZX Series 1000W;

Antec TruePower Quattro 1000;

Be quiet! Dark Power PRO BQT P8-PRO-1000W;

Corsair Professional Series HX1000/AX1200

etc...

26-07-2011, 12:17:36

cerbrus2
Quote:
Originally Posted by dugdiamond View Post

hmmm... PSU...

would it house an oversized PSU?

IE:

OCZ ZX Series 1000W;

Antec TruePower Quattro 1000;

Be quiet! Dark Power PRO BQT P8-PRO-1000W;

Corsair Professional Series HX1000/AX1200

etc...
Hi dug. just checked for you m8 as i know its annoying not being able to fined what your looking for.

I have 53mm space between my ATX2 PSU and the lip of the case side panel. And my PSu is 155 X 158mm And considering give yourself 25mm for the cable to connect to the PSU. that would give you a maximum PSU size 170mm X 187. Hope that helps.

Also reguarding the Gold Strips. These are actualy extramly easy to remove. No tool nessisary. And will take you 20 seconds to unclip them. You can then give them a sanding down and then Paint them. If you check out my thread over the weekend. I will be doing just this. http://forum.overclock3d.net/index.php?/topic/34927-project-it-used-to-be-a-bit-tight-o/page__view__findpost__p__433836

26-07-2011, 16:12:27

AMDFTW
they seem liie shit hot cases for the money

02-08-2011, 12:03:28

| raVen |
This case its really goodYou can do really nice cable managment there, cooling its just great But I had to move the 180 from bottom cuz you cannot buy any green 180(only blue)

Im also thinking to paint the gold strips to Green

15-09-2011, 01:05:14

CocaCola
I wonder if Silverstone will release a version without windows? Apologies to those who love windows.

15-09-2011, 14:13:10

cerbrus2
Quote:
Originally Posted by CocaCola View Post

I wonder if Silverstone will release a version without windows? Apologies to those who love windows.
I think their is a version without the window. I know they did it on the rv02.

15-09-2011, 16:20:01

CocaCola
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerbrus2 View Post

I think their is a version without the window. I know they did it on the rv02.
Yup, the RV02 does have the non windowed version, but so far I've had no luck finding it in our Canadian market. Seems like the windowed version is more popular around. I guess you could always talk to the sales and see if they could bring in the non windowed case, but that would append extra costs and leave you with only the manufacture's warranty if the case is damaged upon arrival.

Would definitely be nice to see retailers stock some of the non windowed versions too....for those who like the more plain look.

24-09-2011, 18:46:16

Ravious
Nice review and nice case

27-09-2011, 07:18:55

V1Viper
Nice review Tom

07-01-2012, 20:38:16

xbias8
1 - "X raVen X" if u've made them green can u post a pic plz?

2 - "CocaCola" They have 1! There r 3 versions of the SilverStone Raven RV03: RV03B, RV03B-W & RV03B-WA. The RV03B is a plain one (no window) with gold strips, RV03B-W is window + gold strips & RV03B-WA is window + grey strips.

3 - thx Tom for an awesome review for an epic case!

07-01-2012, 20:48:10

xbias8
4 - any idea if it would look great to make a blue theme? (blue instead of red as in cerbrus2's red rig?) http://forum.overclock3d.net/index.php?/topic/34927-project-it-used-to-be-a-bit-tight-o/page__st__40

08-01-2012, 08:37:51

cerbrus2
Quote:
Originally Posted by xbias8 View Post

4 - any idea if it would look great to make a blue theme? (blue instead of red as in cerbrus2's red rig?) http://forum.overclock3d.net/index.php?/topic/34927-project-it-used-to-be-a-bit-tight-o/page__st__40
If it was a dark ish blue i think it would look ok.

08-01-2012, 16:02:44

| raVen |
Quote:
Originally Posted by xbias8 View Post

1 - "X raVen X" if u've made them green can u post a pic plz?

2 - "CocaCola" They have 1! There r 3 versions of the SilverStone Raven RV03: RV03B, RV03B-W & RV03B-WA. The RV03B is a plain one (no window) with gold strips, RV03B-W is window + gold strips & RV03B-WA is window + grey strips.

3 - thx Tom for an awesome review for an epic case!
Just search for H2o green raven in rig gallery.
Reply
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