SilverStone Raven RV03 Review

Written by Paul Goodhead

June 8, 2011 | 13:05

Tags: #air-cooling #air-flow #atx #best #black #coolest #fans #gold #matx #midi-case #motherboard #quietest #raven #rv02 #rv03 #style

Companies: #silverstone

SilverStone RV03 Interior

Moving the PSU to the front has forced SilverStone to relocate the hard disk bays that are usually housed here. The easiest solution would have been simply to move the hard disk caddy higher, replacing three of the seven 5.25in bays, but instead SilverStone has mounted four hard disk bays behind the motherboard tray.

This is quite a tidy arrangement, and as the PSU’s cables spill out behind the motherboard tray, it certainly makes it easy to wire up the drives neatly. To ensure that the hard disks don’t overheat in this space, SilverStone has also offset one of the two 180mm Air Penetrator fans located in the floor of the case so that a portion of its airflow is directed behind the motherboard tray. There’s also an empty 120mm fan mount on the right side panel, so that a fan could blow cool air onto the back of the CPU socket and the surrounding disks.

The RV03 provides several other areas where you can fit additional 120mm fans, unlike the RV02, which had no extra fan mounts. Most of these are located at the front of the case, with two mounts behind the front fascia in the traditional intake position, and two more on the inside of the 5.25in bays.

*SilverStone Raven RV03 Review SilverStone RV03 Interior
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These mounts provide the option to completely change the cooling profile to a more traditional front-to-back arrangement, rather than the floor-to-roof configuration for which the Raven cases (and SilverStone in general these days) are renowned. For this configuration to work, the front face of each 5.25in blanking plate is removable to allow air into the case. This demonstrates that a lot of thought has gone into the design of the front panel and the arrangement of the fans, but there’s no denying that the dust filters, exposed by the removal of the armour-scale fascias, are ugly.

The RV03 also offers many of the features that are now becoming standard on premium cases. Magnetic dust filters cover both the bottom intake grilles and the PSU intake grille, and all seven 5.25in drive bays have screwless fittings. The two 180mm fans in the floor are also neatly wired to a pair of fan controllers, which are conveniently located in the roof of the case.

*SilverStone Raven RV03 Review SilverStone RV03 Interior *SilverStone Raven RV03 Review SilverStone RV03 Interior
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Building a system in the RV03 proved tricky at first, as the special right-angled PSU cable that’s hard-wired into the case wouldn’t reach our PSU. This is a pre-production issue, and SilverStone has confirmed that the second production run – due to start in May – will use a longer cable.

SilverStone also explained that the issue was caused by the way in which certain PSU manufacturers, such as Seasonic (which makes PSUs for many other companies), mount the power socket. We tackled the problem by snipping a cable tie that held the pass-through power cable to the frame of the case. This is there to stop the cable's output-socket-end pulling on the soldered joints between the wire and the power input socket, so while removing it enabled us to connect our PSU, you don't want to remove it unnecessarily.

*SilverStone Raven RV03 Review SilverStone RV03 Interior *SilverStone Raven RV03 Review SilverStone RV03 Interior
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Equally, you could buy a short extender cable if you’re worried about breaking the captive one, as there’s plenty of room to stow the extra cable. Also bear in mind that the RV03 only accepts PSUs up to 180mm in length, so huge 1kW units might not fit.

Once the PSU was installed, the rest of the build was a breeze. The location of the PSU made it easy to hide its extra cables behind the motherboard tray, and there are convenient cable-routeing holes throughout the case.
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