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Performance & Wrap Up
There are obviously many hardware configurations you can go with when building a Mini-ITX gaming PC, but we used what we feel is the perfect balance of CPU and GPU power, price and performance, as well as aesthetics.
The total build cost came to just over $1,200. This includes the Silverstone RVZ01 case ($85), Intel Core i5-4430 CPU ($190), Palit GeForce GTX 760 GPU ($250), Corsair 8GB DDR3 memory ($80), Silverstone NT06-Pro heatsink/fan ($60), Silverstone ST45SF-G power supply ($95), Asrock Z87E-ITX motherboard ($140), Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB ($210) and a Seagate 3TB hard drive ($120).
Needless to say, you'll also need to purchase a monitor, keyboard, mouse and an operating system. Still, for that money you get a pretty incredible gaming system. Without any tweaks or overclocking we scored 14356pts in the latest 3DMark and 4566pts in the Creative PCMark 8 test.
Our brand new small form factor system is very mobile and just as importantly, it's also very quiet and runs pretty cool on the inside. The Silverstone NT06-Pro goes a long way in keeping CPU load temperatures down as you can see below...
|CPU (Box Cooler)||27||71|
Silverstone's Raven lineup has always impressed and while the RVZ01 takes the series in a different direction it maintains the essence of what a Raven case is all about to us: aggressive looks, unique features, first class performance, award winning design and excellent value. The RVZ01 is certainly all of these things and more.
Considering its diminutive stature, some enthusiasts might overlook Silverstone's Mini-ITX masterpiece without realizing that its 14L body can house a solid aftermarket CPU cooler and a dual-slot GPU as long as the R9 290. We always come away from these small form factor reviews wishing many things were different, but not this time.
The only real limitation comes from the SFX PSU which is limited to a 450w output and that means cards such as the R9 290 with its 275w TDP could be risky depending on what other components are in the system.
That said, we probably wouldn't worry about it with the Silverstone ST45SF-G's efficiency and its three-year warranty. Furthermore, few if any rival cases can match the RVZ01's cooling performance, so your PSU and other parts are in good hands.
Silverstone's offering is the best example of a Mini-ITX gaming case we have ever seen and it seems like a no-brainer for anyone who wants a compact rig.
Pros: The Raven Z RVZ01's unique design that is only slightly bigger than an Xbox One yet it can accommodate the R9 290 and still manages to cost well under $100.
Cons: Confusing design but the manual helps. Also, depending on what you want to do, Silverstone's ST45SF-G (the most powerful PSU for this system) might be a little tight.