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Modding Perfecting the SilverStone RV02 - Take 2

Discussion in 'Modding' started by JohnHind, 27 Aug 2014.

  1. JohnHind

    JohnHind New Member

    14 Jun 2009
    Likes Received:
    About four years ago, I modified a SilverStone RV02 with a view to correcting a number of flaws (in my view) with the design. Four years on I have revisited this, re-using the case for a new build and generally making some minor improvements to the concept.

    I posted a performance report here:


    As a taster, here is the internal layout:


    And a top view with the lid off:


    And closed up:


    The Corsair H80i fits like it was designed for this case, but I reversed the recommended airflow so it is exhausing air upwards to conform to the vertical airflow concept.

    The main modification I made is seen on the left side of the case in the picture. The FT02 is supplied with conventional mounting for five front panel bays in the vertical face (the left side in the picture). Unfortunately filling these goes against the vertical airflow concept with modules such as a DVD drive seriously blocking the airflow through the vertically mounted hard drives at the bottom of the case. I re-engineered the case so it supports three bays in a carrier with various mounting options including the top-mounted configuration shown. There is a 5mm gap between bays which allows good airflow and also makes the carrier square allowing it to be rotated by 90°. I went to town on this idea as a proof of concept and the carrier can also be mounted in the conventional location and also facing either of the two side panels (which would have to be modified with a suitable square cutout). This gives four location options each with two orientation options for eight options in total including the one shown. Five of these eight options support vertical airflow. I have used two of the three bays in this build. The black module is a hot-swap SATA HD bay used for my rotating backup regime. The central module I built myself contains the front panel switches and indicators, the HD Audio jacks, two USB 3 ports and a laptop DVD drive in an unconventional “pop-up” orientation (the trade-off for vertical mounting bays is that you have to be selective about optical drives – a tray will not work here!). I have also fitted two USB 2 ports under the top cover (to the right of the bottom edge of the bay carrier) for radio dongles. The dongle for my Logitech keyboard/trackpad combo is already fitted and I intend adding a Bluetooth 4 dongle later. I was concerned if these would work under the metal top cover, but tests so far are encouraging. This assembly (made with Sugru - www.sugru.com) also accommodates a direct-to Bios power switch.

    When I first un-boxed my FT02 a few years ago, I immediately noticed a problem: it is virtually impossible for one person to lift it safely! Even empty, it is very heavy and there is only one good handhold at the top (the cable aperture on the right of the picture). The only safe lift requires four hands in the air intake slots at the base of the case. To rectify this I fitted the “ammo case” handle you can see to the right of the bay carrier. This makes for a reasonably safe two-handed lift, although you still have to be careful not to put your back out! The handle folds neatly under the top cover and is fully concealed when the case is closed.

    On the right side of the case, you can see the modified PSU carrier. This moves the PSU about 20mm lower so that its fan aligns properly with the intake on the side of the case, correcting an odd flaw in the SilverStone design.

    I now have four years experience living with this layout and I am absolutely convinced it is the way to build desktop PCs. Advantages are:

    1. Clean unidirectional convection assisted airflow for best possible air cooling performance.
    2. All access is on the top face of the box and falls easily to hand if the box is stood on the floor next to the desk. You can work on it sitting on an office chair rather than grovelling on the floor with a torch in your teeth!
    3. Actually takes less room than a conventional tower because you do not need to leave space behind and in front for cabling and for access to DVD trays etc.
    4. Most PC cases only look good from specific angles and before they are cabled in (ever noticed that Apple products are always photographed without cables connected?). The RV02, when closed up, looks good fully connected and from all angles.

    Now I just need to get SilverStone's attention when they are designing the next generation!

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