Silverstone have long been held in high regard in the field of PC case manufacturing. The Raven RVX01 chassis we have for review is the latest entry in the popular Raven series although it bears little resemblance to some of it’s stablemates. This unorthodox case promises a nice blend of features, looks and an innovative cooling first design. Lets see if it can meet our high expectations.
When considering the purchase of a PC chassis, cases from well known manufacturer Silverstone will often come up for consideration. They offer a whole range of models covering everything from the smallest mini ITX cases to huge full tower cases and everywhere in between. While the Raven series is perhaps best know for its highly acclaimed ITX models, including the tiny RVZ01, ATX cases remain the most popular form factor in the market. Here for review we have the RVX01, the primary design goal of which is to fit full sized components into a compact chassis using natural heat convection properties to exhaust heat out the top of the case, instead of the rear.
The RVX01 is quite compact by ATX case standards. Although there is a lot of external fairing that makes the case look bigger than its interior would suggest. Looking at the dimensions, a height and depth of 485mm x 500mm is about as small as it is reasonably possible to make a ATX case. At just 215mm wide, it’s about what you;d expect a ATX case width to be. The RVX01 relies on an unorthodox vertical layout. This means there are some compromises. For example, there are no external drive bays available.
Despite its relatively compact size, the RVX01 can still fit two 3.5″ HDD’s and two 2.5″ SSDs, full length graphics cards and twin watercooling radiators. It’s also available with different trims. We have a red themed model here. There are also blue and green versions as well as a plain black model.
The RXV01 arrives in a plainish cardboard box. We put a standard 375ml Pepsi can here for reference.
The case is sandwiched securely between two large foam pieces which protect the plastic wrapped case itself.
In terms of accessories, we have just the basics. There are brass standoffs and screws, a manual and a pair of 3.5″ to 2.5″ drive bay converters.
The case exterior is a plastic dominant design with a somewhat Transformer like angular styling.. Usually Silverstone are known to be a bit more subtle than this, though we’re sure the design will have many fans. The case side panels are held on by pairs of screws. Note that the top of the case must be removed to gain access to the side panels.
Overall the build quality is good with solid construction and few sharp edges. Watch out for the feet though. the extremities do have a sharpish edge to them.
Here is the front of the case. Judging by the positioning of the connectors and buttons, it would be safe to assume the case is quite at home under a desk. Note that there are no 5.25″ bays available. So if you plan to use an optical drive, make it a USB one or choose another case.
The clear plastic in the middle lights up with red LEDs when powered on.
The case connectors consist of two USB 3.0 ports along with microphone and headphone jacks. Either side of the connectors are the power and reset buttons.
Our review sample is the red themed model with a side window. The somewhat bulky top section you see here is fairing that hides the i/o part of the motherboard. Plugged in cables route out through the back (at the right of the pic)
And here is the rear. The aforementioned cable outlet section is seen here. Note that while aesthetically, hiding cables is a good idea, with this case, it is not possible to access the rear ports without removing the top fairing. While for most this will not be a major problem, anyone requiring frequent access to the rear i/o may find this annoying.
Here is the other side of the case. Removing this side panel gives access to the rear of the motherboard tray.
And here’s another view of the top section. The perforations allow easy exhaust of heat coming straight off off the video card and CPU cooler. Remember your high school science? Hot air rises and this is the primary design consideration of the RXV01.
This is the same view as the picture immediately above with the top shroud removed. This would normally be the rear of a common ATX case, but is in fact the top of the RVX01.
Here’s a peek inside the RXV01. The entire bottom is taken up by 3 120mm fans. On the right side are the twin drive bays.
Here’s a close up of the two drive bays. They will accept standard 3.5″ drives although you can put 2.5″ drives here to using the bundled 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapters. Also note the screw holes on the left of the pic. It’s possible to put another two 2.5″ drives discreetly hidden on the inside of this plate.
This is the inside front of the case. The USB and case cables can be seen here. There is a space here for a 120mm fan.
This picture gives a good overall sense of the design of the RXV01. Note the cables would pass out of the ‘hole’ at the top right of the case. Underneath this is the air intake for the PSU. We’d really like to see a dust cover here. Overall the case is very solid and stiff thanks to its steel construction. This means minimal vibrations that are known to affect aluminum cases. It helps keep the cost lower too.
System build & Assembly Impressions.
Case: Silverstone Raven RVX01
CPU: Intel i7 6700K
Motherboard: MSI Z170A Xpower Gaming Titanium
Memory: G.Skill TridentX 2x8Gb DDR4-3200
Graphics: MSI GTX 980ti Lightning
Power Supply: FSP Hydro G 850W Gold
SSD: Samsung 850 Pro 256Gb
CPU Cooler: Corsair H75 All-In-One Watercooler
Building the system presented some not entirely unexpected challenges. Due to the layout of the case, some of the common system building methodology proved to be inappropriate. It also presents a rather cramped workspace.
The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that you should connect every component and cable possible immediately after installing the motherboard. Once the video card and PSU are in place, access to the motherboard headers and connectors becomes difficult. If you are using a large air cooler, then this becomes doubly important. Otherwise, you will discover the frustration of having to take it apart to do this.
Initially we were going to use a Noctua NH-D15 cooler. While admittedly one of the largest air coolers on the market, we were disappointed to find that it didn’t quite fit. We could have technically accepted it, but the heatpipes giving the slightest bow to the outer perspex window caused us to balk at that, so instead we went for a widely compatible Corsair H75 watercooler as seen in the pictures.
Installation of drives is as simple as can be. Having two 2.5″ drive hidden out of view is a nice idea, since they don’t need airflow. 3.5″ drives also receive plenty of airflow.
Finally, we noted that cable management could be an issue due to limited space behind the motherboard. As you can see below, rather than route the PSU cables behind the motherboard tray as is common in many of todays ATX cases, we just left them in the front and routed them behind the steel divider at the bottom. Here they are mostly out of the way, but the particularly fastidious builders may not be pleased with this.
Once the system is built, then these little niggles go away until your next upgrade. A nice looking waterblock and/or graphics card show up very nicely.
Moving onto cooling performance, unfortunately we have limited current cases to compare against and this is the first use of the Corsair H75 cooler inside a case (since our reference Noctua wouldn’t fit) . We’re sure this will change in the future. Having tested this combination of CPU (6700K) and GPU (980Ti) outside of a case, we were amazed to see the RVX01 perform only a couple of degrees warmer inside the case. Due to the impressive airflow capabilities and layout of the case, we’re confident is saying this should be one of the best designs on the market for cooling ability. If you’re running a setup like a X99/5960X and a R9 390X and find your temps are a bit hot, then the RVX01 should be on your shortlist of highly capable cases.
The Silverstone RVX01 is a novel design that is capable of keeping the hottest components cool within its unorthodox confines. We think the case is a little too Transformer like for our subjective taste, though we’re sure there are a huge number of folks that will love it, either with the red or other blue and green options available. The top mounted power and reset buttons and USB ports, along with the top heat exhaust make it a good candidate for a floor residing system.
There are some niggles that keep us from recommending it though. It is a difficult design to work with, in terms of the building of the system and cable management. Its possible to hide a lot of the cabling, but the truly fastidious may not want a spaghetti of cables in their case, even if they are out of sight. Of course building a system for most is a once off, so once this is out of the way, who cares really. Also pay special attention to the dimensions if you are using a very large cooler, It may not fit. One noteworthy omission is the lack of a PSU dust filter.
Some users may not like the lack of easy access to the rear ports, though this is easily resolved with the common use of USB hubs. The advantage of this is that hiding the cables means your desk will be clean.
The Silverstone Raven RVX01 is currently selling for $90 USD at Newegg, making it an affordable addition to the Raven range. Though this is a hotly contested price range with some stiff competition from most of the manufacturers.
We appreciate what Silverstone is trying to do here. They have succeeded in making an excellent case for cooling hot components thanks to a combination of cool and quiet airflow and natural convection. However the niggles we encountered during the build and its tricky compatibility conflicts prevent us from making an unequivocal recommendation. If you like the looks, and want a cool system above all else, the Silverstone RVX01 is certainly worth a look.
Excellent cooling performance
Solid build quality
Tricky to work with
Cable management could be better
No PSU dust filter
No external drive bays, for those who need them