SilverStone Raven RV05 Review
Published: 21st July 2014 | Source: SilverStone | Price: 82.99 |
It's fair to say Silverstone don't run with the pack when it comes to the internal layout of a PC. We guess we ought at least to be grateful that they don't make cars, for if they applied the same alternate lateral thinking they'd probably have the driving seat in the back and facing the opposite way. Thankfully though, when it comes to PC chassis manufacture, although no doubt alternative, their layouts and designs remain wholly practical if not arguably advantageous over more traditional set ups.
As if keeping in step with an invisible drill instructor, the RV05 sees SilverStone return to having the motherboard on the right side of the case facing left. (If you're wondering what we're on about, pop back and read the first page and all will become clear). Not wanting anything to be too normal though the motherboard is rotated by ninety degrees so that the rear I/O actually faces up to the roof of the case. This, Silverstone argue, combined with the pair of excellent 180mm Air penetrator fans in the base of the case blowing upwards creates a positive pressure interior that should see hot air rise out of, if not be forcibly ejected from the case interior.
We are perhaps getting a little ahead of ourselves though as we should probably talk a little about the features before we dive too deeply into the detail. The RV05 from Silverstone is a fairly compact mid tower case able to accept both ATX and M-ATX motherboards. In fact, should you wish you can fit an ATX board up to SSI-CEB dimensions. Tower CPU coolers up to 162mm can be fitted as well as GPUs up to 12.3" in length, provided they are no wider than 6.57" deep. There's room inside for two 3.5" drives as well as space behind the motherboard for an additional two 2.5" drives. You also get seven PCI slots, two 180mm AP fans and a pair of three speed fan controllers. Round the back of the motherboard things are pretty non-standard with the depth varying so much that it's hard to give an absolute figure, rest assured though there's plenty of room and cable tie points to play with, even if you don't get rubber grommeted management holes. It is though, more what you don't get than what you do get that causes the RV05 to stand out from the majority of other cases on the market. In leaving out the traditional 1, 2 or even 3 5.25" bays Silverstone have affected a much more efficient use of the internal space. If you're starting to panic and sweat over the absence of a means of playing your "film Collection" then fear not as you can still fit a slim line slot loading drive, the loading slot for which does little to disrupt the Purposeful angular lines of the exterior. The RV05 also has a few little innovative tricks up its sleeve to keep you interested, for example the top of the case is simply and easily removed to give access to the rear (top) I/O. Doing so also gives access to the two clips that must be released to enable the side panels, and indeed the remainder of the roof to be removed. The floor of the case also benefits from substantial ventilation with the 2x180mm AP fans already mentioned feeling the effects of the full length mesh air filter.
Whether you love or hate the crouched and angled aesthetic of the exterior will largely be down to personal preferences, what can't be argued though is that the Raven really starts to shine when we come to look at water cooling options. At 242mm (W) x 529mm (H) x 498mm (D), the Raven isn't exactly a huge case, yet if you're willing to sacrifice the HDD bay, there's room in the bottom to fit a thick 360mm rad. If you feel the need to keep the drive bay and still want decent water cooling then the 85mm of usable space should see you able to mount 60cm thick 240mm or 280mm rad in there. If you're feeling a bit clever you can even mount the fans under the floor, freeing up 25mm of space inside, making it wholly possible to fit a 60cm rad in push-pull or a Monsta 80cm 360mm or 280mm rad inside, with the fans on the outside pushing. It does of course go without saying that if the case can take such awesome radage (new word, we just made it up), then fitting a 240mm or 280mm AIO should be a piece of piddle. The only thing you are going to be wary of in fitting custom water is the need for a good slack handful of angled rotary fittings, as there are a good deal of overhangs and tight corners to be navigated. And, of course, being as there's no 5.25" bay you're not going to be able to use a bay res/pump combo.
And so finally to the price and competition. With previous iterations of the Raven series coming in at, around, or for the greater part above the £100 mark it's great to see the RV05 duck well beneath it, especially as it would be hard to argue they've saved money by just re-wrapping an old OEM chassis as is oft the case with other manufacturers. We feel the £82 asked for the RV05 is a snip for a case of this calibre that offers this degree of flexibility and native water cooling support. We think the only case out there that's able to better what Silverstone are offering at the price they are is the NZXT H440, and that got the coveted white Gold Award. The RV05 comes close, but will have to settle for a very well-deserved Gold. We can’t wait to see the FT05.
Thanks to Silverstone for sending in the RV05 - you can discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.