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February 05, 2016

Unboxing & Review: SilverStone Raven Series RVX01


SilverStone has been in the PC chassis market for decades and is renowned for producing some of the best high end PC chassis. Among their lineups available, the Raven series are one of the more popular ones among PC enthusiasts thanks to unique features such as the 90 degree motherboard tray layout that greatly reduces the risk of PCB sagging issue on GPU and the excellent thermal dissipation.


We have the new SilverStone Raven series RVX01 chassis in Tech Critter's lab this time, mega thanks to SilverStone and Inter-Asia Technology Sdn Bhd for sending over the review unit! The RVX01 is positioned at the new 'Raven X' subcategory which offers the same 90 degree motherboard tray feature at an entry-level price point. 

While the retail price at RM349 doesn't seems to fit our definition of "entry level" price point (no thanks to the weak currency), let's see if the RVX01 has all the features worth spending on.

Specifications

Unboxing

Unlike the usual fancy colorful packaging we've seen on the Raven series chassis before, the RVX01 ships in a brown cardboard box to keep the cost down.


Despite the use of cardboard box, it's good to know that SilverStone retains the quality of foam used to protect the RVX01, also gone is the cloth-like dust cover which is replaced with a clear plastic bag. Still, we think it deserves a thumbs up for the level of protection during shipping.


Accessories wise, you'll have a pack of screws of various sizes, a user's guide and 2 pieces of solid metal hard drive mounts, not too shabby for a budget-series chassis.

The Chassis

Out of the box, the RVX01 is pretty much what we've expected it to have - a distinctive signature angular design, the Raven emblem and V shaped lighting node that screams RAVEN by SilverStone! note that the 5.25" bay is missing, not that many of us will miss that though.


At the side of the front panel you'll find filtered vents that allows adequate air intake if you install a 120mm intake fan installed at the front.


Underneath the front panel, you'll find a fan mount for 80mm, 92mm and 120mm fans.


As USB 2.0 devices is getting phased out by time, most PC chassis nowadays has 2 x USB 3.0 ports at the front I/O so you can enjoy more of the benefit of high speed transfer rate of the USB 3.0.


The top panel is dominated by a large red mesh that caters for the aesthetics of the RVX01 as well as the air circulation for this area in particular.


To remove the top panel, you will need to unscrews both thumb screws at the back of the chassis.


The usual rear I/O will be located at the top as the motherboard tray is rotated 90 degree clockwise. 


The PCI expansion slot is secured by a metal piece that locks your PCI expansion cards (GPU, soundcard, etc) in place.


Note that the slot covers are the breakaway type that are not reusable after it is removed except the first one which is included with the RVX01. This implementation has been around for quite some time and the reason behind is because that most  people will be using the first slot anyways.


At the bottom of the RVX01, you'll find a large removable dust filter that reduces dust intake to your system.


3 unit of SilverStone Air Penetrator 120mm is pre-installed on the RVX01 for the best air flow possible (and the best value).


Large pieces of rubber pads at the base of the RVX01 keeps it in place on smooth surfaces - be it your desk or floor files.


A rectangular window to show your tasty looking components is available on the right side of the chassis.


Pop the side panel open and were greeted with a peculiar looking drive mount system at the bottom. It is spacious though, we'll give it that.


Here is the internal view of the 120mm Air Penetrators at the bottom intake. If you're planning for a water cooling setup, you'll have plenty of space here that can fit a 240mm/60mm radiator with ease - the only trade off is that you will have to remove these Air Penetrator 120mm fans.


Here is where the PSU will be mounted. 


The hard drive mount is a compulsory for hard drive installation, but make sure you get the right flat top screws from the screw pack.


Once the mount is installed, slide your hard drive through the rubber rail and you're good to go with your system. 





Things get a little tricky for the RVX01 when it comes to cable management. As there's not even an inch of space behind the motherboard tray, you will have to hide most of the cables in the space right next to the hard drive cage. A modular power supply or power supply with flat cables is required the reduce the cable clutter. 


And... Here's the end result for our RVX01 build. You'll need to be extra alerted when it comes to picking the right parts for a RVX01 build as there's limitations on both the width of the graphics card and height of 3rd party CPU cooler - tall CPU cooler will not fit for sure, so does graphics card with a ridiculous wide shroud for its cooler. 

Performance Test

Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
*Undisclosed CPU Cooler*
CPU
I7 4790K @4.6 GHz
Motherboard
ASUS ROG Maximus VI Gene
Memory
Corsair Vengeance Pro 8GB @2400 MHz
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120 GB
Power Supply
SilverStone Strider Plus ST60F
Chassis
SilverStone Raven Series RVX01
Display Monitor
Dell U2312HM

Moving on to the performance test, we ran a few stress test with the setup that we've prepared as above. Without any overclocking done to the test setup, our stress test involves the CPU stress test utility Prime95 with the option 'In-place large FFTs' while GPU stress test utility FurMark with its Furry Donut stress test for maximum heat output from both the CPU and GPU.

The test conducted consists 2 different scenario:

  • Without side panel
  • With side panel 
Our room temperature throughout the test is 31 ºC in average and the stress test is repeated for several times in order to get a stable and consistent temperature reading. The final result is presented in the graph as below:



Before proceeding any further, we would like to clarify that the stress test is done purposely to obtain the maximum heat output from both GPU and CPU for us to observe the air circulation of the chassis. It is very unlikely for both components to hit this temperature reading in most of real world usage (gaming, office work, music, video,etc).


Thanks to the 3 unit of Air Penetrator 120mm with directed airflow design that helps to focus airflow in a straight pattern stream, we're able to achieve a pretty decent temperature readings that is only around 1ºC ~ 2ºC difference compared to the temperature when the side panel is taken off. 

Final Thoughts
From our experience throughout these few weeks, we can see that the SilverStone RVX01 isn't quite the entry level PC chassis that it is marketed as. While majority of the entry level PC chassis we've seen nowadays has better hardware support compared to few years back then, non that we've seen so far is made ready for water cooling setup, especially one that can actually support a 240mm or 360mm radiator internally. 

Cooling performance and hardware compatibility is good in overall, but there's some exception of graphics card that has a huge and fancy shroud like the ASUS ROG Matrix Platinum lineup will definitely not fit, tall CPU cooler that exceeded the width limit will be scratching against the side panel or window panel. It's rather subjective though, but t'll be even better if the overall width can be increased just a little bit more. 

While he retail price of RM349 doesn't makes RVX01 an affordable entry level chassis to begin with, the features offered makes it a 'not your average entry level chassis' and is more than enough to compensate for the price itself.   

Pros

  • Large window panel for hardware showcase
  • Good airflow in the chassis thanks to the Air Penetrator 120mm fans
  • 90º rotated motherboard tray helps to reduce the risk of getting a bent PCB on your graphics card
  • Compact in size and good hardware compatibility for motherboard, graphics card 
  • Able to fit a 280mm/360mm radiator
  • Included dust filters are easy to install and remove for cleaning
Cons

  • Tricky cable management due to limited space, requires at least semi-modular PSU
  • A lot of screws
  • Limited support of two 3.5" hard drive
  • PSU not more then 160mm in length 
  • Installation of 280mm/360mm radiator requires the removal of the Air Penetrator 120mm fans

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