Silverstone RV02 hands-on Review

Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
44
Hey everyone - I just got my Raven 2 yesterday, have installed all my hardware, and thought I would post my impressions on this case - with pictures :)

So...here it goes:

The case:

First off - this case is pretty large (not so much in height of width, but definitely in depth). It measures almost 26" long! The case is pretty muted aesthetically compared to its older brother - I was put off by all the odd angles and sharp corners on the raven 1). Except for its length and the top cover, it could easily pass as any other gaming-grade case.

Here are some pics of the case:
FontSide.jpg

Front side of the case

SideBack.jpg

Back side of the case (w/ PSU exhaust)

top.jpg

Top, with IO cover on

top-no%20cover.jpg

Top, with IO cover off


Materials:

The case is constructed of steel and high grade plastic. The side panels and frame are steel, the front bezel is made of a thick plastic. The removable top piece however, feels a little flimsy (it is a lighter plastic).

inside.jpg


The case has an awesome flat black finish inside and out, the outside seems pretty forgiving on dust and fingerprints/smudges, whereas you need to exercise some caution on the inside of the case because it does scratch (I created a few while installing my parts - not huge scratches, but scuffs in the paint job).

Features:

This case features a 90deg mobo
inside-installed.jpg


(the IO panel is pointed towards the top of the case). Silverstone did this to allow free air movement from the bottom of the case to the top. Whether or not this will increase cooling - I have yet to test.

At the bottom of the case are three massive 180mm fans (which all have hi/low selector switches at the top of the case)

The RV02 also has a HDD cage, with the 3 HDDs installed on their sides with rubber grommets to help absorb vibrations.
HDDrack.jpg


This case also has a nifty SSD mounting bracket you can use to mount your SSD (2.5") to the backside of the motherboard plate. I wondered if a regular 2.5" laptop drive might be able to be installed there but there might be trouble with cooling.

There is also tooless 5.25" device installation (except the top slot, which was a bummer for me because I always install my drives from the top slot :( ).

Also, there is a large cutout for easy CPU cooler installation - however, it did not match up completely with my motherboard (Asus M2nSLi-Deluxe) - I installed my CPU cooler outside the case anyway, and don't plan on changing CPU's or cooler anytime soon.

Installation:

Overall, the installation of my hardware was not too difficult. For such a large case, there is definitely a premium for component space on the inside - after installing my CPU cooler, and 2 dual-slot GPUs, there wasn't much room to maneuver inside the case. Some forethought is needed in installation - make sure you have all your motherboard header pins connected, your HDDs/DVD drives, and the PSU in before you add your CPU cooler or GPU.

Many might worry about the installation of a PSU in the case (as it is vertically mounted). Silverstone adds two components that add to the secure mounting of the PSU. First, you screw the PSU to the case (like any other PSU), next, you add a PSU strap (velcro), that wraps around the PSU and anchors it to the case. You are also able to install a "PSU shelf" - a plastic piece that you screw to the case, and supports the PSU from the bottom corner (see picture below)
PSU.jpg

PSUshelf.jpg


The PSU seems installed pretty solid, but I definitely won't be lugging it around to any LAN parties.

There is no removable motherboard tray, so if you are a fan of them (I haven't had the opportunity to use one yet), you might be disappointed. Also, there is no motherboard standoff diagram, so you will have to check on your motherboard to correctly place the standoffs.

Cable management was great - there was plenty of holes to route all the cables. There was also plenty of room on the backside of the motherboard plate to allow thicker power cables (the side cover will still fit on :) )
backside.jpg

Backside of the motherboard plate after installation of all hardware.

All the fans on the case are connected to the motherboard via 3-pin connectors - so make sure your motherboard has enough fan headers! Silverstone does send along adapters so that you can plug some of the fans into your PSU's molex connectors.

One caveat on the motherboard orientation - because of the way the mobo is placed in the case, some pieces of hardware will be closer to their mobo connectors, while other will be much farther away (I had to buy a longer IDE cable for my DVD drive) - Be sure to check your mobo layout and cable lengths before purchasing this case.

If you decide to install a 5.25" drive to the top slot, there might be some clearance issues because of the IO backplate of the case. My DVD drive is 7" long and I barely had enough room to put all the connectors in.

Here are a few final pictures with all my hardware installed.
Inside-installed.jpg

withCPU.jpg

withGPU.jpg

window.jpg


Performance:
Noise in this case is really really quiet. The 180mm fans on high move a decent amount of air (not wind tunnel strength), and are pretty quiet. When the 180mm fans are on low, they are almost silent, just a small "woosh" of air is audible. Some might worry that having the IO at the top of the case might increase the noise level, but if you have your computer under your desk (like me), alot of the sound is blocked.

I have not had much time to stress test the rig, and get temp results, but I will do that in the near future - I am excited to see how much the mobo orientation will affect cooling performance.

Pros:
  • 90deg mobo, no crawling under your desk to plug stuff in!
  • Solid construction
  • Plenty of space for cable management
  • Enough space for large components
  • Cool styling IMO
  • Very very quiet!

Cons:
  • Top cover feels light and cheap
  • Only room for 3 HDDs (+1 SSD)
  • Top 5.25" bay not tooless
  • CPU cutout doesn't fit all motherboards
  • Minor: No HDD activity light - there is one!, see update

Overall, I am very pleased with this case, and dig its aesthetics as well as motherboard orientation. Installation was near painless, with a few minor issues in clearance. But the rig is very very quiet (a big plus for me), and has potential to be my best gaming rig ever.
 
Last edited:

dandapice

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
122
Sweet review! One question: Did your case come with a filter for the PSU? The pics show just the grill with 4 slots that look like there for the filter. Just curious...
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
44
I had forgotten about that...I looked in the manual, and it has a PSU filter listed as a part (it attaches to the back of the case)- but I could not find it in my parts box, and it was not pre-installed on the case. So I guess I will have to contact Silverstone about that one.

~AB
 

dandapice

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
122
That sucks when you get the one that didn't get packed with everything. Happened to me once with a cosmos 1000. I didn't get the directional part of the 120mm fan. Contacted them and they sent me 2. Hopefully Silverstone will take care of it. Awesome case just the same though. Good job...
 

Androish

n00b
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
3
What motherboard do you use? I ask because I wold love to know how the Cooler Master V10 200+W cooler wold fit long side pointing up to the exhaust fan. it is 174.8 mm on the longest side from the middle of the cpu. So my question then will it fit longest side upward towards the top exhaust fan?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
44
I am using an Asus M2n32 Premium Vista Edition motherboard.

Measuring from the top exhaust fan and the middle of my cooling tower ( I am assuming it is directly over the middle of the processor, I measure 6.75" (171.45mm) - It might be a tight fit for the V10.

I would check out some other motherboard mfg's websites, they might be able to get the dimensions for you.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
44
Update - there IS a harddrive activity light! It is a red LED in the middle of the "V" decal in front with the two blue LEDs. I noticed it when I installed a toggle switch for those blue LEDs due to their brightness. The HDD LED is barely visible with the blue LEDs on.

Also, I just got an email back from Silverstone USA about my missing fan filter - they will send it out as soon as possible after getting a copy of my invoice and a shipping address - Very quick service! :)
 
Last edited:

dandapice

Weaksauce
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
122
Good deal on the fan filter. Good to know Silverstone replied quickly too. Ever think about either relocating the hdd activity led or maybe changing it to blue to match the others?
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
44
Where it is right now doesn't really clash with the blue LEDs because the blue ones totally dominate over the red HDD LED. I might end up relocating it somewhere else
 

Androish

n00b
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
3
I am using an Asus M2n32 Premium Vista Edition motherboard.

Measuring from the top exhaust fan and the middle of my cooling tower ( I am assuming it is directly over the middle of the processor, I measure 6.75" (171.45mm) - It might be a tight fit for the V10.

I would check out some other motherboard mfg's websites, they might be able to get the dimensions for you.
Thank you, I was afraid it would be a too tigth a fit. Guess I will go for the Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 or TRUE 120 whith noctua fans. Maybe even a Corsair H50 think it migth give a nice airflow with low turbulence(seeing it won't push the air inside of the case but push it straigth out).
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
44
All right - thermal testing is done!

My components:
CPU: AMD Phenom X4 920 @ stock speeds (I plan on OCing later)
CPU cooler: Noctua NHU12P
Mobo: ASUS M2n32SLi
RAM: 4GB Patriot DDR2-800
GPU: SLi BFG GTX285 OC


For testing, I am using these programs at the same time:
Furmark 1.7, Stability Test + Xtreme Burning Mode - Temps measured after 10 min
PRIME95 25.8, In-place large FFTs, on 4 threads - Temps measured after 10min

Here are the temps:

Idle:
  • CPU 43
  • Mobo 33
  • GPU1 44
  • GPU2 39
  • Ambient 22

Load (with CPU fan on top)
ontop.jpg


  • CPU 59
  • Mobo 36
  • GPU1 85
  • GPU2 83

Load (with CPU fan on bottom)

  • CPU 57
  • Mobo 39
  • GPU1 85
  • GPU2 84

So it seems that having the CPU cooler fan on the bottom of the tower will improve temps by a few degrees.

While testing, the GPU fans pretty much dominated all the other case fans, but even they were tolerable IMO. Overall, they aren't too impressive temperatures for stock speeds, but I am looking more for a balance between silence and power, and this case seems to fit the bill.
 

dynkin

n00b
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
56
Frankly speaking, I don't like the design. All of a sudden, all you fans are positioned at awkward directions. Better cooling? Not sure. Heat is not dissipated like in a cooling tower, heat is carried away by moving air.
 

jbz7890

Gawd
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
811
Frankly speaking, I don't like the design. All of a sudden, all you fans are positioned at awkward directions. Better cooling? Not sure. Heat is not dissipated like in a cooling tower, heat is carried away by moving air.

I think this case has an excellent cooling design. The three 180mm fans are only about an inch from the motherboard, whereas in other cases the fans have to push air through the 5.25'' bays or hard drive cages, severely limiting the amount of cool air that reaches the motherboard.
 

dynkin

n00b
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
56
I think this case has an excellent cooling design. The three 180mm fans are only about an inch from the motherboard, whereas in other cases the fans have to push air through the 5.25'' bays or hard drive cages, severely limiting the amount of cool air that reaches the motherboard.

But it has one big problem. You have to replace all horizontal fans with some ball bearing fans, including the cpu fan, the bottom case fans and the exhaust fans. Those which are designed to be ball bearing fans now no longer need to be so, such as the PSU fan and the video card fan.
 

Sojuuk

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 18, 2003
Messages
3,011
But it has one big problem. You have to replace all horizontal fans with some ball bearing fans, including the cpu fan, the bottom case fans and the exhaust fans. Those which are designed to be ball bearing fans now no longer need to be so, such as the PSU fan and the video card fan.

as far as I know the only fans affected by horizontal placement are Sleeve bearing. Silverstone doesn't make any of those so the 4 fans that come with the case are fine. Any decent set of fans on any decent cooler should be something other than Sleeve. Silverstone even makes 180mm blue led fans, though I can't find them in any online stores yet, and blue led 120mm 2ball bearing fans for those of you who want some blue.

As an example the only sleeve bearing fan I have on my case is the 360mm fan on the door. If I was to switch to this case I wouldn't have any worries(apart from finding a way to prop up my TRUECu).
 

yenniedn

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
2,059
Silverstone is trying too hard at this point

Yeah, you DEFINITELY right . . . I would much rather prefer companies to rest of their laurels and regurgitate the same old designs year after year. Who the hell needs innovation anyways? The status quo ROCKS!!!
 

luddha

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
100
Great review! Sorry to say, but that case will never be able to compete with an aluminum case from Lian Li or Silverstone.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
44
But it has one big problem. You have to replace all horizontal fans with some ball bearing fans, including the cpu fan, the bottom case fans and the exhaust fans. Those which are designed to be ball bearing fans now no longer need to be so, such as the PSU fan and the video card fan.

Yes - the case fans are all of the sleeve bearing variety.
Bottom fans: Silverstone FN181
Exhaust: Globe Fan S1202512l-3m || SPCR review here:http://www.silentpcreview.com/article739-page5.html#acoustifan

After a little research into sleeve bearing fans and horizontal positioning, I would say that the issue is split, with the only possible effects of a slightly reduced fan life.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=49173
 

dynkin

n00b
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
56
Yes - the case fans are all of the sleeve bearing variety.
Bottom fans: Silverstone FN181
Exhaust: Globe Fan S1202512l-3m || SPCR review here:http://www.silentpcreview.com/article739-page5.html#acoustifan

After a little research into sleeve bearing fans and horizontal positioning, I would say that the issue is split, with the only possible effects of a slightly reduced fan life.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=49173

Thank you for the info.

The life span of a sleeve fan is highly YMMV. It could be as short as several months or as long as a couple of years. It also depends on the working temperature and rpm.

Any way, I don't like any fans larger than 120mm. Choices are few and it is also more expensive to replace them all at once.
 
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
53
I like the rotated motherboard, but I'm not particularly fond of the RV01 and RV02 styling. I hope Silverstone produce a nicely styled, aluminum Temjin case with the rotated motherboard design. Or perhaps I'll just design and build my own case :D.
 

jbz7890

Gawd
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
811
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
44
I had considered the FT02 as well, it sports the same 90degree motherboard layout as in the Raven series - but I needed a case now for my build, and the ETA on the FT02 is sometime late October
 

nascasho

Gawd
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
617
Hi guys, first post.

I just picked up this case recently too and I like it a lot. I got it to swap out from my Antec Twelve-Hundred because of dust and noise. Hated cleaing it every week because those dust filters would fill up so fast then let the older layer of dust BACK into the case... got annoying. And, I was just getting bored of the Antec...

Saw the Raven RV01 and fell in love with the builds I saw, but heard about the Raven RV02 and fell more in love with the way it looked, just very different. My kinda style. :D Also, cooling looked more efficient than the RV01 which caught my interest. Cooling had me worried too, but I knew it wouldn't be worse than by more than 10C at most.

Bit the bullet.

HPIM1021.jpg

HPIM1027.jpg

HPIM1028.jpg

HPIM1029.jpg

HPIM1030.jpg

HPIM1033.jpg

HPIM1036.jpg

HPIM1040.jpg


Overall I personally like it, but those 180mm fans that Silverstone claim that they push 100cfm is pure grade A BS. It barley manages to push a piece of paper... on high. I sometimes miss my Antec because of the cooling, but I like it because of two main factors (this is why I chose it too)

1. Large low-rpm fans are extremely quiet. On high, can't even hear them at all!

2. Less fans means less air circulation in my room (I hate summer). As less air is circulated the cooler my room stays. The Antec plus my room equaled OMG heat!

Cable management is a dream too btw, was perfectly designed for it and well thoughout.

Recommended hands down to those looking for a new case or for a new build. Not recommended for those of you want want a better cooling solution. In the future I'm going to swap out the 180mm fans and I'll see if the overall temps decrease by a large margin.
 

acheleus

n00b
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
20
nascasho,

That is a beautiful install, very clean, looks like you are using all black components as well which looks fantastic. Great job!

All,

I am a big fan of this design but not of the plastic Ravens so I will wait for the new Fortress FT02 in October for my next build. I love the looks of the FT02 and the 3 180MM fans at the bottom blowing right across your GPUs and CPU seems like an efficient design providing good cooling with out a huge amount of fan noise. The trick is to get fans that can push enough air and there are not a lot of options yet with 180 MM fans.

I will however switch out the 180 mm fans with the new Silverstone adjustable ball bearing models found here: http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/p_spec.php?pno=FM181&area=usa. These are rated at up to 150 CFM which I am sure is way overated; but, if they can push out close to 100 CFM each, that will make for very good air flow.

I will also switch out the 120mm fan at the top for something better as well.

I plan to mate all the fans including my CPU fans with a nice front mounted fan controller so I can adjust fans and noise down when doing general computing such as web browsing, spreadsheets, word processing, etc. and then crank them up for gaming.
 

Tony Ou

SilverStone Tech Representative
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
590
Overall I personally like it, but those 180mm fans that Silverstone claim that they push 100cfm is pure grade A BS. It barley manages to push a piece of paper... on high.

Congratulations on your new build, it looks beautiful!

Regarding your comment on our claimed airflow, please remember that the 180mm fan has about twice the surface area for air to flow through than a typical 120mm fan. This means that an 180mm fan pushing 100CFM will feel similar (with your hand in its airflow path) to a 120mm fan pushing around 50CFM.
 
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
53
Congratulations on your new build, it looks beautiful!

Regarding your comment on our claimed airflow, please remember that the 180mm fan has about twice the surface area for air to flow through than a typical 120mm fan. This means that an 180mm fan pushing 100CFM will feel similar (with your hand in its airflow path) to a 120mm fan pushing around 50CFM.

http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/p_spec.php?pno=FN181&area=usa

These are low static pressure fans, so they'll be sensitive to airflow impediments - like dust filters, hex mesh puchouts in case, and just having to pull air around the sides of the case (since there's only a couple cm of space between the fans and the floor/desk surface). And if the case design has significant positive pressure, that'll also reduce the amount of air the fans can move. So if the fans move 100CFM in an open test rig, they'll be moving alot less air when placed in a computer case.

The previous posters comment about barely moving a piece of paper, sounds like a 120mm fan pushing 15 to 20 CFM, multiply that by 2.25 to adjust for fan area and it seems these fans are moving somewhere between 30 and 50 CFM. With three of them and the open case design, 30 CFM is probably sufficient for an average system, while 50 CFM should provide pretty good cooling.

The adjustable speed ball bearing fan looks like a promising upgrade for anyone that values cooling performance more than silence - at full RPM it boasts higher CFM and static pressure than the sleeve bearing fans.

http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/p_spec.php?pno=FM181&area=usa
 

dctokyo

n00b
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
50
nascasho
Congratulations on your new build, very nice case

Looks like those video cables are blocking much of one fan, not a very good idea IMHO, maybe that's why the temps are bad for the video card.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
44
http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/p_spec.php?pno=FN181&area=usa

These are low static pressure fans, so they'll be sensitive to airflow impediments - like dust filters, hex mesh puchouts in case, and just having to pull air around the sides of the case (since there's only a couple cm of space between the fans and the floor/desk surface). And if the case design has significant positive pressure, that'll also reduce the amount of air the fans can move. So if the fans move 100CFM in an open test rig, they'll be moving alot less air when placed in a computer case.

The previous posters comment about barely moving a piece of paper, sounds like a 120mm fan pushing 15 to 20 CFM, multiply that by 2.25 to adjust for fan area and it seems these fans are moving somewhere between 30 and 50 CFM. With three of them and the open case design, 30 CFM is probably sufficient for an average system, while 50 CFM should provide pretty good cooling.

The adjustable speed ball bearing fan looks like a promising upgrade for anyone that values cooling performance more than silence - at full RPM it boasts higher CFM and static pressure than the sleeve bearing fans.

http://www.silverstonetek.com/products/p_spec.php?pno=FM181&area=usa

I just ran a set of thermal tests without the honeycomb grill or fan filters on the bottom intake fan.

Idle temps were the same: 43/44/39::CPU/GPU/GPU
Load temps were much the same too: 57/86/82::CPU/GPU/GPU

I then ran another set of tests with the filters/grills off, as well as the case elevated of the floor by 6" (to increase airflow).

Idle temps were the same as above
Load temps were quite similar: 56/85/83

I do agree that the FM181 would more than likely decrease system temps, and might be a suitable upgrade for many.
 

Kenjiwing

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
3,724
I purchased this case and I am currently looking for a good 180mm replacement.. without a built in fan controller or some other stupid fan speed adapter.
 
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
53
I just ran a set of thermal tests without the honeycomb grill or fan filters on the bottom intake fan.

Idle temps were the same: 43/44/39::CPU/GPU/GPU
Load temps were much the same too: 57/86/82::CPU/GPU/GPU

I then ran another set of tests with the filters/grills off, as well as the case elevated of the floor by 6" (to increase airflow).

Idle temps were the same as above
Load temps were quite similar: 56/85/83

I do agree that the FM181 would more than likely decrease system temps, and might be a suitable upgrade for many.

Now that's interesting. Not what I would've expected. And if upgrading to the FM181 fans isn't enough, one could cut blowholes in side panel and stick the stock fans there :D.
 
Top