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Old 10th Sep 2009, 00:38   #1
NickW
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Raven RV-02 mini review with pics!

Hello everybody. I've been lurking here on the forums for a few weeks now and in the process I've picked up some good advice - so thanks! My intention now is to add some content of my own, specifically a short "hands-on" review of the new Silverstone RV-02 'Raven' case. I've got some pics too.

I bought this case around a week ago from Scan for ~120, along with a new Prolima Megahalem heatsink. Prior to this I was using a Cosmos 1000 case with a 'ghetto' watercooling loop (attached to a broken Ikea shelf on top of the case with a single shoelace and bluetac). It was delivered in a box with a big picture of the case itself and some suitably 'gamer' black and white pattern, reminiscent of the Rorschach ink blobs. The case was surrounded by the normal polystyrene packing and came with a cardboard box containing a manual, a large baggy of screws, a velcro PSU strap and some assorted plastic bits and bobs. No special bags or anything like you get with the Cosmos cases.

The case itself is pretty big, it's of a similar length and width to my old Cosmos case, but somewhat less tall. The main body of the case is a nice sturdy plastic and the panels and internals are mostly made of steel as far as I can tell. It's painted matt black on both the inside and out, with a blue LED strip on the top front that looks like it contains a tiny pair of blue eyes (I hope it doesn't contain any eyes because that would be scary). On the top of the case are the usual reset/power buttons, two USB ports, headphone/mic slots but nothing else like SATA connectors or firewire slots. The case has one 120mm fan out the top and three huge 140mm fans covering the entire bottom (there's a built in fan controller for the three big fans). The motherboard tray is fixed, but it has a section cut away behind the CPU for mounting heatsinks that need a backplate. There are three slots for HDDs near the bottom which are screwed in through little rubber things, I assume to dampen vibrations. It also comes with a fitting for an SSD drive that can be hidden round the side of the case between the chassis and side panel.

The main selling point of this case is the position of the motherboard. It's designed such that it should be installed 90 degrees to how it usually would be, so that the shield that's usually at the back in now at the top. The theory being that air should flow from bottom to top eliminating heat 'deadzones'. The top of the case comes with a kind of lid with a big wire mesh to allow air through and with enough space to plug in the various cables etc. I had no problem fitting any cables under this lid, though if you've got a DVI adaptor thing on your monitor cables then it could be a squeeze. All the cables run from the motherboard connectors along the case and out through a hole at the top back (see my pictures).

The system I put into it is as follows:
Asus Maximus ii Forumla Mobo with an Intel Q9550
4GB DDR1066 ram
Prolima Megahalem Heatsink with two fans in push/pull arrangement (similar size to a TRUE I'm told)
Nvidia 275GTX video board
Three HDDs (about 2.5 TB of storage)
Cheapo DVD-RW Drive

All of this stuff fit into the case with a little room to spare, but not a great deal. The cable routing is good, with space behind the motherboard tray to tidy (stuff) wires and several holes here and there. The PSU actually hangs down from the roof of the case and is supported by a Velcro strap and a little adjustable shelf in addition to the normal screws. Someone else on a different forum commented that they thought this was insecure, but I disagree - it feels solid and isn't moving around at all. There's also a small gap between the final bottom fan and the back of the case to contain any remaining wires that won't fit round the back. The only ball ache I had putting all this stuff into the case was with the HDD cage - I couldn't remove it without taking out the entire mobo, which was really annoying but otherwise installation was a breeze.

This case is really quiet. The three fans at the bottom are fantastic! They're inaudible at full pelt and are rated to move 100CFM each, giving nice airflow through the case when unobstructed. All three come with filters on little slide out trays too. The downside is that I couldn't find replacement fans of that size anywhere in the UK at all, but to be honest I wouldn't replace them anyway. Silverstone are going to be selling a different 'high CFM' version of these fans in the near future (they're on their website, but not for sale in the UK yet), so this may be an option for people who want a wind tunnel in the future. The 120mm fan in the top is not so great though. It moved a decent amount of air but had a horrible high pitch whine that I hated, thus I replaced it with a silent one I had spare right away. The noisiest things in my case now are the hard disks, which IMHO is utterly glorious. The cooling performance is impressive too. Obviously it's not up there with my watercooling setup, but it's an order of magnitude better than my Cosmos (quiter too as it happens). I've got a 35% overclock on my C1 stepping Q9550 right now and the CPU core temperatures all remain below 70 degrees when loaded with Linpack, which I'm impressed with, although this could well be down to the fancy heatsink. Putting my hand over the top of the case I get a good waft of hot air coming out which is reassuring. I did a pikey airflow test with a lit cigarette to looks for dead zones with no air flow and couldn't find any. Not a strictly scientific test, but it seems Silverstone's idea with rotating the motherboard seems to be working very well. So to summarise.

The Good

[x] 90 degree rotation helps with removing the hot air
[x] Unidirectional air flow - no constrictions around corners
[x] The three 140mm fans are the dogs danglies
[x] Far less heat & noise than my Cosmos 1000
[x] The construction is solid - no fiddly breakable bits anywhere to be found
[x] The paint job is great, particularly on the inside of the case
[x] Cutout behind the CPU area in the motherboard tray
[x] Enough space for my monster heatsink
[x] Good cable routing options
[x] Easily cleanable dust filters
[x] It's got a little window in the side! I now know my motherboard has LEDs on it!
[x] The price is attractive

The Bad

[x] The hard drive cage is a pain to remove when a large motherboard is installed
[x] Long adaptors & USB peripherals may not fit under the top lid thing
[x] Minimal sockets on the front panel
[x] It's quite heavy, though not as much as my old Cosmos

Now some pictures. I'm sorry if they're not brilliant or too big!







PS. If anybody wants to buy my old Cosmos case, my watercooling loop or any other of the huge mass of PC building stuff that'll be going on ebay, then please let me know.
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Old 10th Sep 2009, 11:28   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickW View Post
[x] The three 140mm fans are the dogs danglies
Hi, thanks for the review

think you'll find the 3 fans at the bottom are 180mm though
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Old 10th Sep 2009, 15:46   #3
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Thanks for the review and piccies. the depth of the case still concerns me a bit as I sort of promised my gf that the PC wouldnt get any bigger (I've managed to bring it into the back of the lounge). Re the fans underneath - what's the clearance like re the intakes? I notice you've got your PC on our desk or on a laminated floor - do you think there would be any issues putting it on a modest pile carpet, or does it really need a solid floor?
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Old 10th Sep 2009, 18:19   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodule View Post
do you think there would be any issues putting it on a modest pile carpet, or does it really need a solid floor?
More relevant: are there dust filters?

Does indeed look very deep
Is the HDD cage a cage inside a rack?
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Old 10th Sep 2009, 18:42   #5
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Also, is it me (or the camera) or do the CPU fans change colour between the first and last piccies? Last piccie looks like Noctuas. /columbo
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Old 10th Sep 2009, 23:26   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droitwichdosser View Post
think you'll find the 3 fans at the bottom are 180mm though
Maybe this is why I couldn't find replacements!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodule
Re the fans underneath - what's the clearance like re the intakes? I notice you've got your PC on our desk or on a laminated floor - do you think there would be any issues putting it on a modest pile carpet, or does it really need a solid floor?
As far as I can tell there's about 3cm/two fingers between the floor and the fans, so I can't see it having problems on thinner carpets. I wouldn't put it on a rug or anything though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pimonserry
More relevant: are there dust filters?
Does indeed look very deep
Is the HDD cage a cage inside a rack?
The three fans at the bottom come with dust filters. They're on slide out trays under the honeycomb mesh things you can see in the first and second pictures. They're actually pretty good. There are no dust filters on the top, but it really doesn't need any there.

The case is long. I think it's about 64cm end to end, plus a little bit of extra room for the cables coming out the back. Personally I've always gone for larger cases as I find it easier to screw everything together that way, but I can see it being too large for people who want to put it in an enclosure inside a desk or something.

The HDDs are screwed into a cage, that itself slides in under the 5 1/4 inch bays. As a rule I like HDD cages because it's less fiddly than screwing drives directly into the case, but I was annoyed by this one. If I wanted to swap any drives I'd have to take out the motherboard totally. Partially this is because of the size of my motherboard - the front panel & USB pins got in the way - if you've got a small motherboard I don't think this would be a problem though. But at the end of the day it's not a deal breaker, and I wouldn't let that alone stop me from reccommending this case, considering the other cool stuff it has going for it.

Coming back and looking at this case again today I'm still well impressed with it. There's a nice stream of hot air coming out the top - I can warm my hands now without going to the radiator!

Edit:

Yeah, I did swap the CPU fans - good spot! I originally put 1800RPM/80CFM fans on it, but they were by far the loudest thing in the case so I swapped them for some 50CFM 'silent' fans by Akasa that I had spare. I think they're branded as Apache fans
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Old 11th Sep 2009, 07:51   #7
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Thanks for this. Gives me confidence seeing as I ordered one of these to use in my new i5 build Do you know if you can mount a rad on the three 180mm fans and how practical would this be?
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Old 11th Sep 2009, 13:37   #8
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I read somewhere in Silverstone's blurb that you can mount a triple 120mm rad in place of the fans at the bottom, but I've not tried it myself. I imagine you could mount a double/single rad on the fans under where I've got the CPU heatsink in mine. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 11th Sep 2009, 13:59   #9
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[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.[PUNK] crompers is the Cheesecake. Relix smiles down upon them.
how have your temps reacted? any overclocking?
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Old 11th Sep 2009, 14:19   #10
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My 24/7 overclock is to 3.6GHz using a C1 stepping Q9550. Prime95's small FFT torture test gets a maximum core temp of 67 degrees with an ambient temperature of 28 degrees (hot room!). I had it overclocked to around 4Ghz with similar temps using Linpack, which was great but that was in another much cooler room. I'm not sure how this compares against other cases, aside from it being much better than my old Cosmos.
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Old 11th Sep 2009, 14:34   #11
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ok thanks, looks nice if a little plasticy
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Old 19th Sep 2009, 11:02   #12
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There is a very nice review at DriverHeaven.net (http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews....d=835&pageid=5).
They made the test with the Corsair Hydro H50; what is missing is the comparison with a standard air-cooler, since they had to revert the H50.
Otherwise it looks really promising.
CPU 3,9Ghz load is 51 degree C; H50 cooler (Lian Li PC60B 55degree; open 51degree)

Graphics load is 56 degree (open 58 and Lian Li 60 degree).

The premium edition of this case (Fortres02) has the driver cage opening rotated towards the panel ("door"), which resolves the issue with the HDD cage.

The only thing missing is a review from BitTech here, which is proceeding so slowly as a Latin America Soap opera (spectators are in danger of dying before seeing its end).
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