SilverStone launches $140 mid-tower Raven RV03

By on April 11, 2011, 6:31 PM
SilverStone has expanded its Raven desktop chassis series with a new mid-tower version that sacrifices some real estate for a friendlier price. Unsurprisingly, the Raven RV03 takes design cues from its elder siblings including its matte black, 0.8mm steel body and vertical orientation. That said, the new arrival touts updated aesthetics which are immediately noticeable on the front fašade and side panels.

Considering the RV03's $140 price tag, you'd expect to lose a lot of functionality over the ~$170 full tower RV02, but that isn't necessarily true. In fact, the RV03 gains a few features not seen on previous iterations, including two USB 3.0 ports on the front panel and official support for Extended ATX motherboards. Nonetheless, its smaller frame inevitably makes things a bit trickier to work with internally.

The RV03 measures 9.25"(W) x 20.55"(H) x 22.44"(D), which is 0.91" wider, 0.75" taller and 2.87" shallower than the RV02. The Raven series has traditionally been shorter but deeper than your typical chassis as it rotates the system's guts by 90 degrees so the motherboard's I/O panel and the PSU are facing upward. It can be hard to picture, so take a look at our review of the RV02 if you're lost.

Losing nearly three inches horizontally means you'll block one of the RV03's eight expansion slots by using a 120mm "rear" exhaust fan. Likewise, two of the four 120mm front intake fans will be unusable if you occupy all of the hard drive bays while only two 180mm fans fit in the bottom of the case instead of three. In reality, those are minor limitations and probably worth the savings to most users.

User Comments: 10

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Lurker101 said:

For $140 for a mid tower, you'd expect it to be made of aluminium, not steel.

I'm still not completely sold on the 90░ rotation of the motherboard either. The cable management in my case is fantastically neat. I'm not bragging here, it's just how it is. The back of my case though, is an absolutely hideous mess of randomly coloured cables. It's fine though, because it's all behind the case and out of site. With a 90░ rotation of the motherboard though, it's going to be incredibly difficult to not have such a mess of wires sprouting out of the top in such a way that your computer can be mistaken for a cybernetic conifer.

It's a novel idea, but I wasn't sold on it for the full tower, and I'm still not convinced now.

Another mild complaint I have is, this mid tower version looks hideous. You'd think that whoever designed it was still on pretty heavy medication after some very complicated eye surgery.

s3thar said:

Interesting design in it's own little ways, at least it's good to have a mid-tower version. I'm still curious about having a 90░ rotated motherboard, benefits?

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I loved it, everything from top to bottom only wish this cases got here (Chile) with that price (I ask too much... I know =( ).

That 90║ rotation looks quite radical on the review, although I'm a bit unsure of how many cables it would have over the top.

What I find most attractive are the fan design on the bottom with a bit more height.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Any chance Matthew we could get a review of this case? I'm even inclined in ordering one!

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Lurker101: If you're scared of a mess of cables being visible, you get one of those plastic wire looms and turn all your individual cables into one tube. This is much easier to do in a 90 degree design since all the cables come out of one point, rather than octopusing from the back.

@s3thar: The primary "benefit" is that it takes advantage of natural air convection, where hot air rises. The idea is that rather than high heat components such as videocards horizontal and essentially becoming obstacles for general airflow and trying to push air through the GPU heatsink fan horizontally out, hot air naturally rises through the heatink fan and exits the case. With the fans on the bottom, they push air up to replace the naturally rising hot air. The same can be said for the CPU heatsink fan but to a lesser extent.

@kibaruk: there's a link in their article to the Raven RV02 review they did a little while ago. A LOT from that review can probably be applied here, except that the case is smaller.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Actually I like this idea.. pretty neat!

MilwaukeeMike said:

I'd like a review too... I'd like to know how quiet it is and how well it works with only two fans.

I also like this design. It always seemed weird to me that cool air is sucked in the bottom front of my case to exit out the top back. Right in the middle of that path is a huge video card blocking most of the flow with a fan on it that sucks air from the case and blows it out the back. and my CPU is sitting right behind it. I'd hope a rotated design would allow the fans to run slower (and quieter).

Guest said:

I just built a computer using the RV-02. Cable management was no problem. I just wish i'd've known this was coming out because the full tower raven is just a bit too big.

Guest said:

This is to some of the comments on here as to why use a 90 degree mother board, well first is graphic cards are getting really heavy and really big so this will help to take weight off the pci express slot and the weight off the graphics card and also reduce heat, since heat rises up! You will also make less of a mess keeping your cords tidy and uniform by compile them together coming from the top of the case, the only down side is losing a few inches of cable doing this.

Omnislip said:

Still ridiculously expensive compared to Antec 900/2 or Haf 922/912...

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