Unveiled at CES this year, the latest member to Silverstone's Raven family quickly gained recognition for being the ultimate Steam Machine enclosure. Called the Raven Z RVZ01, this gaming chassis is among the best compact designs we've seen for cramming a fully-fledged enthusiast PC into an impressively small space.
Recently we compared 10 of the best CPU air coolers and while we didn't think twice about stamping the NH-U14S with our Outstanding Award, we've since wondered how it would fare against a basic water cooling setup. On paper, closed loop systems simplify the process of diving into water cooling, being about as safe and easy to work with as air cooling while delivering much of the performance you'd expect from an elaborate custom loop at a fraction of the cost.
Silverstone cases are often praised by enthusiasts and HTPC builders alike, and with good reason. We last checked the Fortress FT03 which deserved TechSpot's Outstanding award and now two years later, the much anticipated Fortress FT04 has made it to market.
Upon first glance this latest version looks a lot like the FT01 that was released back in 2008. The FT04 shares similar dimensions to the FT01, with a slight increase in size that we assume simply means it can fit drives and longer graphics cards more comfortably.
An often overlooked but always important side of PC building, we must admit our knowledge on the latest aftermarket CPU cooler offerings was a little dated, so it felt like the perfect time for a roundup.
We test 10 of the best CPU coolers in the market including top units from Noctua, Thermalright, Xigmatek, Silverstone and Thermaltake.
For years now we've had the ability to take a compact Micro ATX motherboard along with a high-end GPU and squeeze them into a custom case not much bigger than a shoe box.
We are putting today's top small form factor hardware together in hopes of building an enthusiast-worthy gaming system that you can easily transport, use as a a small workstation or fit comfortably along your living room equipment for HTPC purposes.
As a follow-up to last week's CES special feature and coverage, here are more of the products we observed and played with, along with photos taken during our journey to the event. As you've surely noticed, mobile tech consumed the event with seemingly every major company unveiling smartphones, tablets or ultrabooks. Nonetheless, we managed to lay hands on plenty of awesome PC hardware from the likes of Samsung, Silverstone, MSI, Razer, Roccat, Toshiba, Gigabyte and more...
Although much of the enthusiast community's attention has been focused on the Raven cases, Silverstone offers a vast array of enclosures that rank favorably among system builders.
The new Fortress FT03 that we're reviewing today is unlike anything we've seen from the series before. This latest iteration is not a mid-tower ATX case, but rather utilizes its own unique design to take the form of a compact microATX case.
The Raven 3 (RV03) looks to improve on some of the RV02's weaknesses in addition to delivering a smaller footprint at a slightly lower price. The Raven 3 is said to have an MSRP of only $160, which is hard to believe considering the competition's pricing.
At just $160, we believe the Raven 3 could quite easily stand in a league of its own despite having some serious competition such as the Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced, Thermaltake Element V Black Edition, Antec DF-85 Black and Antec Twelve Hundred. Let's press on to find out how the RV03 "stacks up."