With the fans at maximum speed, the Raven RV02 provided very effective cooling and remained fairly quiet. The CPU and GPU were just 5°C and 4°C hotter respectively than the best case we've tested, the far more expensive SilverStone FT02R-W
. The NZXT Phantom
was slightly ahead of the Raven RV02, but only by a single degree on the CPU and GPU. Meanwhile, the high-airflow Antec Twelve hundred and Antec Dark Fleet DF-85
were also ahead of the Raven RV02, but were considerably louder too. However, the Raven RV02 did manage a lower CPU temperature than the high-airflow Cooler Master HAF X
Click to enlarge
With the fans on low speed, the CPU delta T only rose by 1°C and the GPU remained at the same temperature; this is great news, as the Raven RV02 is extremely quiet with the fans set this way. In contrast, the same couldn't be said for the NZXT Phantom which saw it's CPU and GPU temperatures increase noticeably when we reduced its fan speed.
Despite our initial reservations, we're glad that SilverStone stuck to its guns and continued to develop its line of rotated-motherboard cases. They might not be ideal for water cooling, but then, few cases available at the moment are. At just over £100, the Raven RV02 isn't too expensive, it's loaded with features and more importantly, it cooled our test kit extremely well.
It's also a good case to work with, despite the different layout - it could very easily have been a bit tricky but it's clear that SilverStone has put a lot of effort into the design to iron out any issues and this is evident throughout the case. One niggle we did have though is that the fan controller is underneath the top panel. Not only is this tough to get to if the case is under your desk, but you also have to remove the top panel to adjust your fan speed. Still, since there was little improvement in temperatures with the fans at full speed, we doubt you'd need to adjust it much after tweaking the cooling and noise to your liking.
Click to enlarge
The cooling ability of the Raven RV02 looks set to improve even more in the future, as SilverStone has told us that it will soon be kitted out with the same awesome 180mm Air Penetrator fans that are bundled with the FT02R-W. Given that the latter was even better at cooling than the Raven RV02, but has a very similar internal layout, there's little doubt that the fans, which are designed to direct more air forwards than traditional fans, will further improve matters. Of course, if you're not taken with its looks, the standard FT02 will also include Air Penetrator fans in the future too. If you can't afford the FT02R-W, the Raven RV02 is a great, more reasonably priced alternative.
SilverStone Raven RV02