Silverstone Raven RVZ01 Mini-ITX Chassis Review



/ 9 months ago

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Introduction


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Silverstone have long been the masters of small form factor PC cases, in fact in many ways their chassis are some of the best in the world no matter what form factor you look at. Their Raven series is one of the most robust, versatile and our right cool ranges of gaming chassis products ever created and while they’ve often been focused on large full-tower and ultra-tower designs, their latest incarnation looks set to shrink things down with a product that wants to take a seat in the premium real estate under your TV.

With the sudden increase in demand and popularity of small form factor gaming builds, especially with the current interesting in SteamBox builds, there are countless new chassis product hitting the market to fill the void. Sure there has always been a market for these smaller cases, starting off with HTPC builds, NAS boxes, media streaming systems, and in the last few years people wanting to use things such as Steams BigScreen Mode. SteamOS however looks set to unify a lot of these features, giving you a native OS that is tailored to gaming on the big screen, and Silverstone are going all in with the RVZ01, which they hope will be the ultimate choice for a self-built SteamBox, or just any compact gaming rig.

Packed full of features, the RVZ01 looks promising both on paper, and just from the few PR photos we’ve seen floating around the web, as well as the samples we saw kicking around at CES 2014. With support for large and powerful graphics cards in a chassis of this size, where half-size cards are often the maximum limit, as well as a big focus on air cooling thanks to slim fans, room for a few hard drives, slim optical drive and making good use of the SFX power supply form factor (much smaller than ATX power supplies). As far as specifications are concerned, this chassis sounds pretty epic, so let’s get right to the good stuff and see what else it has to offer.

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In the box I found a decent selection of fitting components, such as a two way fan splitter, handy given that many Mini-ITX motherboards only have a couple of fan connection points. There is a dust filter kit for a 120mm fan mount, and a set of brackets, rubber feet and pads to help you mount the chassis in both vertical and horizontal formats. Of course you will also find a nice selection of high quality screws to help you install all major components such as motherboard, PSU and hard drives. Finally there was also an extra Raven logo, this one is curved from left to right and is perfect for when the chassis is stood vertically, while the one that is pre-installed looks better horizontally.

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  • http://www.zodiacsoulmate.me/ Mingyao Liu

    The fan placement is quite funny, if i use close liquid cooling like Corsair H55 on the CPU, there may not be enough air flow on the motherboard right? I will give it a try when my RVZ01 arrives next week.

    • Mike

      Have you tried the combination yet? H55 + RVZ01

      • http://www.zodiacsoulmate.me/ Mingyao Liu

        Yes i tried last week, radiator won’t fit on top of the CPU, but if you got a short GPU, you can put the radiator below the GPU, in which case you have to use it stand up( technically on the side of GPU).
        If the GPU is long, there is nothing you can do with the radiator, there is just no space.
        The tube of H55 is super stiff, and that is the problem , although radiator is only 27mm, the tube(and the connector place is quite long) add quite a lot of height to it.
        I believe there is just enough space to put one radiator and one 25mm fan on top of it, you have to be lucky to have low profile memories, and the radiator will be touching the pump.
        I just ordered the Kraken G10, and I will try to squeeze a H55 on top of the CPU, I believe I can put the CPU radiator besides GPU, and GPU radiator besides CPU. In this way the tubing will no be taking up the radiator space…
        I think i will have to mod the kraken G10, the logo side is to high and will interfere with radoator/fan next to it…
        The case looks quite good, the temperature is not bad, the 2.5 hardrive on top of GPU could get super hot if using blower designed GPU.
        Well, I just hope I can close my top cover in a month…

        • Lewis H

          Hi there, I would just like to interject here. The H55 WILL fit above the cpu, depending on your motherboard. I used the:
          Gigabyte GA-H87N-WIFI Intel H87 Socket 1150 Motherboard

          and I can confirm that, using the stock fans, which are pressure optimized SLIM fans, the H55 AIO can be installed fully in the cpu area, additionally, the case is well ventilated, meaning that the air is flushed over the VRM and other important components of the motherboard and directly out of the case, surprisingly this is a super-optimal cooling solution. Indeed the tubing is a challenge but if you position the pump with the tubes exiting on the side closest to the graphics card, and move the tubes to either side of the AIO pump as this should help demonstrate -> o/ you should have no problem with packing the rest of the tubing around the pump, with the tubes entering the reservoir on the side closest to the gpu. Be sure to use low profile corsair vengeance ram. The system I have uses a 750ti for graphics, and that is cooled using the second case fan and the spare 25mm fan that comes with the h55. Both of these fans are directing air into the case similarly to the cpu fan, and this is because the rvz01 is pressure optimized. I currently have all of the fans running at 1200rpm and the case is almost silent, because of the low power draw, the 450watt psu barely powers up to full speed, and only does so under benchmark conditions. When playing Bioshock infinite on max settings 4xAA, the average fps in a 60 minute session was 76, and the cpu and gpu core temps were 58 and 67 degrees respectively.

          • http://www.zodiacsoulmate.me/ Mingyao Liu

            Hi, just saw your reply, yea I did put a Air Penetrator 121 (AP121) and Corsair H55 on top of the cpu part, the tubing position is key.
            CPU temp is quite good, 3770k OC@4.9GHz always <60 degree, GPU however can reach above 75 degree, probably because my reference card cooler is not that good.
            still waiting for my kraken g10, god damn it takes so long for the preorder here in canada

          • Xpertakuz

            Hey all, i am going for a hydro ii 120 combo here…I hope that plastic GPU holder will be easy to cut out…

          • http://www.zodiacsoulmate.me/ Mingyao Liu

            that could be ok, the plastic part is simply plastic very easy to customize.

            would go for a Kraken G10, don’t know if there is enough room (height) if using hydro ii 120 combo. The part on top of CPU is VERY TIGHT if using a slim radiator like H55,

            If my friend’s looking to build a balanced mITX machine, I would recommend 250D instead of RVZ01…

          • Xpertakuz

            Alot of risks involved with this case… I would not recommend anyone either…

          • http://www.zodiacsoulmate.me/ Mingyao Liu

            FYI the stock case fan is not really pressure optimized, you may want to get a noctua or corsair SP series fan, I just LOVE AP121, that’s why i use it…

          • john

            Curious if you installed the radiator with the fan on the top or bottom? It looks like installing the H55 in a push configuration (with the fan on the bottom and the radiator attached to the case would actually work well forcing air to be pulled over the motherboard, and giving some additional room to angle the tubing toward the front of the case (near the PSU). I’d love to see some pictures of your build as I’m planning on building a mini-ITX Steam Machine in this case with the H55

          • http://www.zodiacsoulmate.me/ Mingyao Liu

            yes it’s push, tubing is towards the back panel for me.

    • Graeme Willy

      Because there is not a lot of cubic space to begin with, and you would be filling the majority of that open space with a water cooler, I think that it will be able to more than able keep things to a minimum temp, inside the case…because the massive 120mm fan will function as a very efficient exhaust port, as will the PSU (I’m not sure if the PSU draws from an opening at the bottom of the case or not).

      There’s not a lot of room for open flow, true, but the 120mm fan being down close to the board, should force some air from those crevices with pure draw power and pull heat directly off the chips/ mosfets on the board and push it out. It’s more of the graphics card that I worry about. I know that there are draw ports at the bottom for the fans, but I don’t know exactly where the heat can go…not all cards push the heat out the port. My Frozr designed 280x for instance, just blows it around the case. If I put my hand at the back of the card, near the HDMI connectors, I feel no heat coming out. Perhaps you would want to use a reference design style cooler for this type of case…otherwise, you may just make the hard drives hot that have to sit on top.

  • Xpertakuz

    My case is stuck on Customs due to bad labeling by Amazon… so i thought i should try this little 450w psu on another system of mine….

    System:
    PSU SS-450w gold v2
    AMD 4400+ toledo CPU 110w

    2 Sticks DDR
    HD 6450 passive cooling

    Power Draw 430w at total load.

    I can hear the fan ramp up the speed at idle…
    It sounds as loud as a 200mm fan at 50% speed.

    I think this PSU will be loud on a i7 cpu and a GTX gpu…
    Can confirm that this build should be avoided…
    This case and psu is good for mini itx HTPC build with i3s i5s..

    • Graeme Willy

      Wow not sure how you are pushing so many watts @ 430. I read of people using this PSU with Geforce Titans and a 4770k lol Another guy was running an i5 with a Geforce 680, soundly off of this PSU.

      • Xpertakuz

        You probably missed the “amd 4400+ x2 cpu” part, that cpu is a very old tech, one of the first multicore cpus and yhes it consumes as much as a 3930k. That is why the consumption so high.

        btw, i build the system with todays equipment and everything is fine with this build.

        • Graeme Willy

          Ah I see, those were probably 90nm CPU’s then, right? Good to know you didn’t have any issue with your setups either way. Mine is coming in tomorrow, I hope I won’t have any issue powering an A10 7850k and an MSI R9 280x 6GB lol Mine will only have an SSD and 2.5in HDD, no disc drive. I’ll plug in a USB drive if I need to install something…so, I’m hoping to gain power back by having a small internal device configuration.

          • Xpertakuz

            No worries, you will do fine.;)