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SilverStone Raven RVZ01 Review

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SilverStone Raven RVZ01 Review

Manufacturer: SilverStone
UK price (as reviewed): £69.98 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $89.99 {ex TAX)

SilverStone has already had a fair stab at mini-ITX cases and it's pretty much got the largest range of dinky chassis on the market from its various cubes to the successful FT03 Mini,, which sits in a genre all of its own.

However, its Raven and Fortress ATX tower cases are widely regarded as some of the best air cooled cases on the market. The FT04, for example, currently sits at the top of our ATX case cooling graph.

However, converting a successful cooling strategy in a full size ATX chassis like the FT04 or FT02 into something that works at the complete opposite end of the scale isn't an easy feat. For starters, the large Air Penetrator fans that have no doubt helped these cases power to cooling triumphs, often aren't going to be as useful in a tiny chassis.

Layout, too, can work in larger cases but not in others, even if you cut back on the amount of drive bays and graphics cards a case can hold. So when we saw that SilverStone was working on a mini-ITX version of its popular Raven case, we were intrigued to see what lurked beneath.

The Raven RVZ01 could pass for an ATX tower on the outside, albeit a slim one, but that's just it; seeing as it's just 382mm high, that width is quite something - it stretches to just 105mm, which isn't enough to mount a standard graphics card into a motherboard. Not only can the Raven RVZ01 house a standard height graphics card, albeit with a width limit of 150mm, but there's apparently space for 13in/330mm graphics cards too.

SilverStone Raven RVZ01 Review SilverStone Raven RVZ01 Review
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So clearly, this isn't an HTPC case but something SilverStone is potentially aiming directly at the likes of BitFenix's Prodigy - a gaming mini-ITX case. More on the interior over the page, but as you can see, the exterior is indeed very reminiscent of a Raven case, with the gull-wing centre section and all-black design. There's a couple of USB 3 ports on the front panel along with the usual minijacks, power and reset buttons.

SilverStone Raven RVZ01 Review SilverStone Raven RVZ01 Review
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We say this isn't an HTPC case, and for the most part that's true, but it is designed to stand upright or as a desktop-style case and SilverStone includes rubber feet for both scenarios. There's also an external slot for a slimline optical drive, which is a nice touch, and there are magnetic fan filters included too.

SilverStone Raven RVZ01 Review
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You're probably pretty confused with the fan grilles by now too - you're not going mad - they are on both sides and we'll look into this in more detail over the page. Price-wise, SilverStone appears to be heading for a fight with the Prodigy too - at just under £70, it's competing not just with the Prodigy but with quite a few other mini-ITX cases we've looked at recently such as Antec's ISK600, which costs a bit less and the Corsair Obsidian 250D.

SilverStone Raven RVZ01 Review SilverStone Raven RVZ01 Review
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Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm) 105 x 350 x 382 (W x D x H)
  • Materials Steel, plastic
  • Available colours Black
  • Weight 3.71kg
  • Front panel Power, reset, 2 x USB 3, stereo, microphone
  • Drive bays 1 x external slimline optical, 1 x internal 3.5in, 3 x internal 2.5in
  • Form factor(s) Mini-ITX
  • Cooling 1 x 120mm side (top) fan mount (fan included), 2 x side (bottom) 120mm fan mounts (one fan included)
  • CPU cooler clearance 83mm
  • Maximum graphics card length 330mm
  • Extras Rubber case feet for vertical or horizontal modes, magnetic removable dust filters