Silverstone Raven 2 Evolution Case Review

By on January 3, 2013, 10:31 PM
Released in late 2008, the original Silverstone Raven RV01 quickly caught my attention because of its strange orientation that pointed the motherboard upward at a 90-degree angle, so the "rear" I/O panel was placed on top of the enclosure instead of behind. Indeed, the RV01 was quite unique but it didn't execute the design as well as it could have, among the most common complaints: PSU placement and massive size. Silverstone was thus forced to be more creative with their next-generation Raven.
The Raven 2 Evolution (RV02-E) has a more efficient design, it is 24% skinner and 18% shorter than the RV01. The smaller dimensions have also allowed Silverstone to shed 17% of the overall weight. The new changes make for a very interesting computer case that maintains the unorthodox orientation, let's dive in for a closer look... Read the complete review.




User Comments: 35

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Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The case looks pretty cool, finally something that can't be called generic this days (Digest that slowly). Although I'm a big fan of HAF cases I could see myself buying this one, amazing air flow, slick design, unique form, all in all looks amazing specially for that price range competitors.

Guest said:

Coming from an FT02 owner:

Still only 1 sata sata backplate? If so, that is ridiculous! At least corsair does not cheap out on a crap like that.

Also, can you mount ssd's (2.5" to the drive trays yet? hopefully they have figured this out.

Guest said:

Is there room to fit a DVI-VGA adapter + cable under the top panel, for those with older monitors or KVM's?

pcnthuziast said:

No need for an adapter, just get a cable with vga on 1 side and dvi on the other.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It looks like there are holes in the motherboard tray and by the power supply for routing cables behind the motherboard. Is there any reason did you did not do this in the installation, or is there not space between the motherboard trey and the the side panel for the cables?

Guest said:

I have this Case and its amazing, none of the worries people have expressed in their comments.

My brother liked it so much he had me get him one as well.. Seeing it in person its alot better than the pics. Also I agree with the editor, I've put tons of PC's together over 15 years. And this model does take you back a bit and with figuring things out, but its worth it...

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Wow, this case is amazing. If I ever get a budget that allows for such a high end case I'll be looking at something like this for sure.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Coming from an FT02 owner:

Still only 1 sata sata backplate? If so, that is ridiculous! At least corsair does not cheap out on a crap like that.

Also, can you mount ssd's (2.5" to the drive trays yet? hopefully they have figured this out.

From page 3: The Raven 2 Evolution also comes with a 2.5" drive adapter that can be mounted on the backside of the 5.25" drive bay, providing support for a single SSD.

So just one 2.5" SSD mount.

Is there room to fit a DVI-VGA adapter + cable under the top panel, for those with older monitors or KVM's?

Yes.

It looks like there are holes in the motherboard tray and by the power supply for routing cables behind the motherboard. Is there any reason did you did not do this in the installation, or is there not space between the motherboard trey and the the side panel for the cables?

From page 4: If our 6-pin and 8-pin PCI Express cables were longer we would have directed them behind the motherboard tray, but even so the finished product looked quite good.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

I just found my case...anyone want to buy a slightly used HAF 932?

This is great for CrossfireX and SLI, It would prevent the stress on the GPU PCB's with as much as they weigh these days.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I just found my case...anyone want to buy a slightly used HAF 932?

This is great for CrossfireX and SLI, It would prevent the stress on the GPU PCB's with as much as they weigh these days.

That fourth card of yours might be a tight fit up against the HDD cage. The lead photo (showing 4-way CFX) I believe is the first edition of the RV02 (three HDD + SSD rather than 5+1)

The TJ11 won't be in the same price bracket -guaranteed- but it also should offer just about every bell and whistle there is.

Personally I'm just waiting on the launch and a review or two to confirm radiator compatibility, how well the fan intake ducting pans out and if Silverstone step back from the rumoured $600 price tag as criticism and a degree of realism mounts.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

That fourth card of yours might be a tight fit up against the HDD cage. The lead photo (showing 4-way CFX) I believe is the first edition of the RV02 (three HDD + SSD rather than 5+1)

The TJ11 won't be in the same price bracket -guaranteed- but it also should offer just about every bell and whistle there is.

Personally I'm just waiting on the launch and a review or two to confirm radiator compatibility, how well the fan intake ducting pans out and if Silverstone step back from the rumoured $600 price tag as criticism and a degree of realism mounts.

It looked like it fit comfortably, but that could be a problem.I have to build a custom 4 step support bracket for every other case. (part of the reason I like the Asus EAH line, they have a metal frame around the PCB) Speaking of the Tj11, they have the black ice rad that I have been looking at. Have you used that one Chef?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I've installed Black Ice rads into systems (GT Xtreme not the SR-1 designed for ULV fans) I did once own a Danger Den 360 - which I think was a Black Ice rebadged. I'm a Feser man myself - pretty hard to go past the Xchanger or Thermochills offerings, although from my own experience, temp difference are pretty minimal- it's still going to come down to rad placement and fan selection/orientation for the most part.

The 140 x 4 seems a little overkill unless you're planning on CPU + quad CFX in a single loop. I don't think I've used anything over a 360 in my personal setups.

EDIT: If you were looking for rigidity/bracing and watercooling for the cards then a parallel watercool bridge is pretty much what you should be looking at.

EDIT2: Here's a better illustration of how it all fits together (this one is made by twinConnect).

captainawesome captainawesome said:

Techspot, why do you guys review SO many cases and no Sound Cards, Displays etc. A case is generally something a user upgrades rather infrequently. I've been on the lookup for the best sound card and displays for a while now but nothing comes up.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Techspot, why do you guys review SO many cases and no Sound Cards, Displays etc. A case is generally something a user upgrades rather infrequently. I've been on the lookup for the best sound card and displays for a while now but nothing comes up.

We have literally been inundated with requests for sound card reviews. No wait that's a lie, you are the first person to ask for such a review. That said we review audio codec's all the time when looking at new motherboards

Honestly I didn't even know they still made sound cards, I have not seen one in years.

As for displays there is no need. Buy the Dell U3011, you will never look back.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@captainawesome, we used to review a lot of soundcards back in the day, when it made sense doing so, today it's a very boring market.

As for displays, I'd love to review more of those but samples are somewhat hard to get, the market is very diversified and to make good comparison reviews we'd need someone in our staff that can get very technical about them.

Guest said:

I love you Steve! great review.

Now, will you lend me money to buy that dell thing?

captainawesome captainawesome said:

Hey Julio. Thanks for the reply. That makes sense now. @Steve - you can't be serious? Xonar Xense/ Create Audigy etc. Not to mention decent headphones, both for music/video and gaming (3d positional audio or true surround).

I myself use a Creative Audigy Platinum and Sennheiser HD402. The creative hardware is great but software is rather rubbish and buggy. The Sennheisers are amazing but they certainly not the cheapest brand. Specially considering is straight forward 2 channel headphones. That said, I LOVE my sound. So maybe just a headphone/speaker sets and modern sound card round up SOMETIME this year?

DokkRokken said:

captainawesome said:

Hey Julio. Thanks for the reply. That makes sense now. @Steve - you can't be serious? Xonar Xense/ Create Audigy etc. Not to mention decent headphones, both for music/video and gaming (3d positional audio or true surround).

I myself use a Creative Audigy Platinum and Sennheiser HD402. The creative hardware is great but software is rather rubbish and buggy. The Sennheisers are amazing but they certainly not the cheapest brand. Specially considering is straight forward 2 channel headphones. That said, I LOVE my sound. So maybe just a headphone/speaker sets and modern sound card round up SOMETIME this year?

I got your review right here: Xonar Essence ST/STX. Anything else is just a Realtek codec by comparison.

Guest said:

I just got one of these RV02-E a few days ago, got it for $178.00 + free ship (Amazon Prime). I put my existing build into it. (ASUS P6X58D-E, i7 930 @ 4.01ghz w/HT, GTX480, 6GB G-Skill Trident RAM @7-7-7-20).

Went from an extremely LOUD Antec 300 case with 7 blue LED fans and zero cable management, to this comparatively quiet beauty, and the RV02-E cools just as well--same temps. And the cable management is to-die-for. One note: I have a modular Corsair HX850 PSU, and the integrated PCI-E cables barely reach the GTX480 when routing behind the mobo--it's a real stretch, but got there.

So then to top it off, I switched from a Corsair A70 air cooler to a Thermalright Silver Arrow (just b/c I could) and that shaved off a couple of degrees @ idle and a good chunk @ load. So if you're wondering if something as big as the Silver Arrow (or the Noctua D14) will fit, yes it will. I put the TY-140's on the Silver Arrow into a pull/pull configuration, which isn't "technically" optimal, but a push fan would not have cleared my RAM. Still works great--probably b/c the AP-181 Penetrators are pushing so much air into the Silver Arrow in the first place. Thanks, Silverstone!

For those wondering, my CPU temps are now 36-39 @ idle and 62-65 @ load (Prime95).

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

@captainawesome, we used to review a lot of soundcards back in the day, when it made sense doing so, today it's a very boring market.

As for displays, I'd love to review more of those but samples are somewhat hard to get, the market is very diversified and to make good comparison reviews we'd need someone in our staff that can get very technical about them.

Oh I don't know Julio, I thought this article was pretty good...I think you're sand baggin.

I based my monitor purchase on it at the time (I didn't pay for a 5ms display and went for an 8ms.)

[link]

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@red, well you see, if we could put out one of those articles every month or so I'd be a happy camper, that's all I'm saying

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Hey Julio. Thanks for the reply. That makes sense now. @Steve - you can't be serious? Xonar Xense/ Create Audigy etc. Not to mention decent headphones, both for music/video and gaming (3d positional audio or true surround).

I myself use a Creative Audigy Platinum and Sennheiser HD402. The creative hardware is great but software is rather rubbish and buggy. The Sennheisers are amazing but they certainly not the cheapest brand. Specially considering is straight forward 2 channel headphones. That said, I LOVE my sound. So maybe just a headphone/speaker sets and modern sound card round up SOMETIME this year?

In all seriousness it really comes down to what Julio said, it's a boring market. There is very little competition and in my opinion it's a niche market these days.

As for displays I personally believe that the specifications tell most of the story. I have also never found display reviews to be all that scientific with the majority of them just regurgitating the specifications anyway.

I actually think an article like this that educates the buyer as to what the various specifications mean is a more useful tool... (as Red pointed out)

[link]

I love you Steve! great review.

Now, will you lend me money to buy that dell thing?

Once I finish saving up for mine sure

Andrek Andrek said:

Now that's a case!

Guest said:

So its sucking up the cold air and dirt from the bottom of the case... awesome!!

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

So its sucking up the cold air and dirt from the bottom of the case... awesome!!

That's probably why it has removeable and cleanable dust filters...for those of you who's moms aren't to fastidious with vacuuming your rooms.

Guest said:

This is the case I've been searching for! Good thing I can't afford it now, because hopefully in a couple months or so, they will fit USB 3.0 into the front I/O panel. What's the price of this, and when will it be on sale?

Guest said:

This is a review of the RV02-E, and i see on Silverstone's website that they have the RV02 and the RV02-E. Newegg only lists the RV02-BW, which I assume is the RV02 model. So what's the difference between the RV02 and RV02-E? Silverstone's website says "For enthusiasts not looking to use more than two or three graphics cards, the RV02-E should be a great alternative to the fantastic original RV02. "

So the -E is slightly smaller? Anyone know?

Awesome case, and great review, i'm only nitpicking because I want to buy one!

Guest said:

Ahh.. i found the answer on their website. The RV02 only has room for a 12 inch video card and has 8 expansion slots with no hot-swappable HD bays. The RV02 has room for a 12.2 inch card, 7 slots and 1 hot-swappable HD bay.

Otherwise it appears to be the same case. Just a little re-arranging on the inside.

Guest said:

Unless I read it incorrectly...the RV02 has room for only three hard drives....where the RV02-E has room for five. I'm new to the game about to do my first build and thinking of a RAID configuration with 4 hard drives. This made the RV02 an "no go". I'm a bit confused as to why this isn't a major point of the review. Isn't this significant? When reading reviews of the RV02 there is usually a mention of the fact that it only accepts three hard drives max. Am I wrong?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Unless I read it incorrectly...the RV02 has room for only three hard drives....where the RV02-E has room for five. I'm new to the game about to do my first build and thinking of a RAID configuration with 4 hard drives. This made the RV02 an "no go". I'm a bit confused as to why this isn't a major point of the review. Isn't this significant? When reading reviews of the RV02 there is usually a mention of the fact that it only accepts three hard drives max. Am I wrong?

There are two reasons I can think of right off the top of my head. One would be we have never actually seen the RV02 so knew only what we could work out on the Silverstone website. The other would be and I really cannot stress this enough, we were actually reviewing the RV02-E.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

There are two reasons I can think of right off the top of my head. One would be we have never actually seen the RV02 so knew only what we could work out on the Silverstone website. The other would be and I really cannot stress this enough, we were actually reviewing the RV02-E.

I was disappointed in this review as well because you didn't mention that the Coolermaster HAF-X only has room for 5 HDD's .....

Guest said:

"Hey Julio. Thanks for the reply. That makes sense now. @Steve - you can't be serious? Xonar Xense/ Create Audigy etc. Not to mention decent headphones, both for music/video and gaming (3d positional audio or true surround).

I myself use a Creative Audigy Platinum and Sennheiser HD402. The creative hardware is great but software is rather rubbish and buggy. The Sennheisers are amazing but they certainly not the cheapest brand. Specially considering is straight forward 2 channel headphones. That said, I LOVE my sound. So maybe just a headphone/speaker sets and modern sound card round up SOMETIME this year? "

If you want qualtiy sound from a PC with headphones, forget about consumer grade internal cards and get one of these:

http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/amplifiers/headroom-
otal-bithead.php

Guest said:

Orgasm....

CHISEL954 said:

I have the 1st version be it huge it is a great case, build quality and mechanics. This is improved and i could highly recommend this case or the newer 3rd vers.

Guest said:

The case is made of pretty thin steel and light, hard plastics. Hot-swap hard drive mounting has barely any damping at all, so most of the vibrations, seeks etc. transfer to the case at full power.

That meant I had to do a few modifications. I bought 4mm thick self-adhesive Nikesound bitumen mats (they add mass), 40x50cm each. Two of those to the side doors and part of the third to front and back and around the hd case added some mass and reduced vibrations.

I also added some sound dampening foam to front and back of the case. I had to turn the PSU around to take air from inside the case because of unbearable coil whine escaping from back.

7200rpm Samsung got elastic suspension.

With these mods the case is reasonably quiet when the 18cm fans are @ 600rpm. I removed the 12cm fan from top.

Top plastic cable cover still rattles, so I need to dampen it too. Meanwhile I put a cast iron mini anvil on top of the case to stop that rattling.

I really hope Silverstone comes up with better hard drive damping systems in future... Antec did that right back in 2005 already, SS should really get on with the times. If they can't figure out it by themselves just copy the transparent silicone grommets from Antec and be done with it..

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