Silverstone offers a huge range of computer cases that vary greatly in design and purpose. The company first caught our attention with beautiful HTPC cases such as the LC13B-E, which had the build quality and class of a Lian-Li with what we felt was a more interesting design.
However, Silverstone really landed on our radar with the Raven 2 Evolution (RV02-E) which at the time was probably the most interesting and unique gaming case we had ever seen. The 90-degree stacked design worked well providing excellent cooling while generating little noise and at $180 it wasn’t ridiculously expensive for a high-end gaming case.
We received the Raven 3 only a few months after reviewing its predecessor and Silverstone impressed us by costing 11% less while perhaps being a better case than the RV02-E in certain respects. Conversely, the Raven 4 was a step backwards for us as the over-complicated design made installation a chore and the heavy front panel caused reliability problems that eventually saw it removed from shelves.
The Raven 5 arrived mid-way through 2014 and we were taken by its appearance, affordable price and thermal performance. Unfortunately, the internal layout made installation challenging and it also suffered from a number of hardware limitations.
While the Raven series has undoubtedly become more affordable over the years, Silverstone has struggled to recapture the magic of the Raven 2 Evolution.
That being said, the company is once again trying its hand at creating the ultimate Raven case with the new Raven X (RVX01). Designed for the masses the RVX01 features an MSRP of just $80, but is it any good?
Silverstone promises that the RVX01 will deliver flagship level cooling performance, ample drive space and full size component compatibility. The Raven X looks as aggressive as ever and despite the affordable $80 price tag it will come with three 120mm AP fans out of the box.
The Raven RVX01 reminds us quite a bit of the Raven RV05 though there are a number of small and yet rather obvious changes. For one, the RV05 was a solid black chassis whereas the RVX01 features a few red highlights and to our knowledge there is only a red/black version.
Classed as a mid-tower, the RVX01 is surprisingly small measuring just 485mm tall though it is 500mm deep and 215mm wide. This gives the RVX01 a rather modest 52L capacity making it 18% smaller than the RV05, a case that we already thought was limited on space.
The RVX01 is 11% thinner than the RV05 and that alone has us a bit worried about the case's cable management options given that Silverstone claims the RVX01 can handle full height CPU air coolers. This leaves little space behind the motherboard tray. Depth-wise the RV05 and RVX01 are much the same though the RVX01 is 13% shorter.
From the front, the RVX01 is easily recognizable as a Raven series computer case and red highlights aside we think this is one of the better designs.
Aggressive lines are what the Raven series is all about and despite the chaos, the façade still manages to look quite sleek. That is probably due to the fact that there are no buttons, front panel connectivity or drive bays to speak of. The RV05 does have the Cylon look going on though, as the 'V' shape in the front panel lights up when the system is on, giving a cool effect.
The I/O panel has been moved to the top of the case and this will provide easier access to users who wish to place the RVX01 under their desk, for example. Included in the top panel I/O are two USB 3.0 ports, two audio jacks with the power and reset buttons merged into the design at either side of the I/O panel. This is very much the layout we found on the RV05.
With the system's guts rotated by 90-degrees, the motherboard and expansion connectivity protrude from the top of the case and are covered by a well-ventilated lid that is easily removable. The matte black lid looks aggressive with sharp, unusual lines and it also features a red grill which will no doubt appeal to some while others will simply hate it.
The rear of the RVX01, where you would typically find fans and motherboard connections, has nothing but a single 120mm fan grill. It's worth pointing out that the RVX01 is painted black inside and while this is to be expected to a certain degree it is still a nice feature for a sub-$100 case.
The left side is covered by a long, free-flowing door with a window to show off your hardware. In order to remove the case doors, the user must first slide the top panel off and then undo a pair of screws which means a screwdriver is required to get inside the RVX01.
The doors then lift upwards for removal. This isn't nearly as nice as the tool-free push button design of the RV05 but costs had to be cut somewhere.
Flipping the RVX01 upside down reveals a huge dust filter that can be slid out for cleaning purposes. Interestingly, there's no fan grill on the bottom of the case. Behind the filter are three 120mm Silverstone Air Penetrator fans that force plenty of cool air into the RVX01.
As mentioned earlier, the key of the RVX01's aesthetics is the red bottom skirt. This gives the RVX01 that Asus ROG red/black look that has also been borrowed by other manufacturers such as MSI with its 'Gaming' products. The red/black theme is fine but we hope to see a solid black version in the not too distant future as well.
Additionally, the case has four feet raising it 40mm off the ground. This gives the RVX01 an aggressive looking stance on the desk and allows enough air to be sucked under the case by the trio of 120mm intake fans.