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  • yelped - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Great job on the review!

  • tzhu07 - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Do these industrial designers have any taste at all?

    That thing looks like crap. So tacky looking and lacking any kind of grace.

    If there was a Razzie award for industrial design, this thing would be nominated for sure.
  • B3an - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Exactly! Why is it SO ridiculously hard to find cases in this category that actually look good? And not like they've just got a load of ugly random plastic parts and glued them all together?

    I mean just look at the first pic on page 1, thats one seriously ugly case, but almost all cases like this look just as bad (or close anyway) and cheap/home-made looking.

    For a long time i've been looking for a case with good cooling, loads of space and features and theres such extremely little choice as 99% of them look like cheap tacky shit even when they cost hundreds.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    I feel like a lot of case manufacturers are trying to solve non-existent problems... While ignoring the real issues. CPU heat output hasn't increased all that much over the last ten years, the latest HSF tower designs have largely kept up with the demand and other components have become much more efficient (PSU, HDD, SSD, larger fans, etc.)... The one outlier is the GPU(s).

    Silverstone's internal design does address that to an extent, but I think they're over-complicating matters. The tried and tested ATX design of old still works wonders, especially if manufacturers stop insisting on throwing in so many useless drive bays that the majority of people just aren't using (5.25" particularly).

    People with multiple GPUs aren't usually running a server or a RAID 5 array inside the same rig... Cases don't need to be huge to cope with multiple video cards, just deep. Take any mid-range case that allows you flexible placement of 120mm fans across the front bays and line up those fans so that they each push air directly past the CPU and GPU independently and you don't even need discrete thermal zones, because the airflow creates it.

    As far as external design... It's a crying shame Silver stone has forgotten their CM ATSC roots, the understated design of those old AL cases would still sell like hotcakes today imo. Corsair understands that to an extent, tho I think they could go even cleaner.
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    I disagree with the many drive bays thing - I think it's very useful to fit as many internal 3.5" bays as you can - I have an Antec P182 and I'm running 9 drives - an SSD that I cable tied in, and 8 3.5" hard drives (no optical drive).

    However, we live in a world where CPU cooling issues can be fixed with something like a Noctua NH-D14, and will be almost silent under any condition, as long as you put a 120mm fan in line to exhaust the heat, that problem is solved, so I completely agree with the GPU cooling issue, since that's the thing that will cause the most heat and noise inside a case.
  • The0ne - Monday, July 25, 2011 - link

    Yep, I like having as man internal drive bays as I can for my main computer. But recently, with USB3.0 and such I've started to lighten up as more devices comes out to make use of it. This is because for the most part most of the HDD are storing data, backups, movies, music and TV shows. Still, it is very convenient to have all the drives in one case and at full speed.

    This case is not attractive.
  • EnzoFX - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Agreed. I too would like a compelling reason to upgrade. I think a layout re-design would be great, and easy for them to do, yet they waste all their time into ugly exteriors and features no one really cares about.

    How about something with positive air pressure? (Yeah this and other cases do, but most are negative). Get rid of all those 5.25 bays! Fine if you need one, keep one, but make the ones you do put on there have a secondary function, and not just it be wasted space. I also dislike when they add features that other people may add through 3rd party manufacturers, like card-readers, etc. but they are no more better integrated than theirs. If it's coming direct from the case manufacturer, how about integrating it so that it isn't wasted space, or a mess of wires to handle, etc.
  • SamVimes - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    at the moment most of the cases can be classified into the two main looks, the KITT (Knight Rider) look (with moving lights on the front) and the Transformers look.

    When I see the RV03 I'm afraid of pushing the wrong button, not booting my machine but making it convert into a robot, ...

    FT02 wft!
  • gramboh - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Chiming in to agree with you here. The FT02 is a nice, subtle, high quality looking enclosure. Excited for a new product from Silverstone, I took one look at the first picture of this thing and didn't even bother reading the review.

    There is a big segment within the enthusiast sector that wants high quality materials, sleek, understated looking cases like the Antec P180/182/183, FT02, Corsair 650D etc. Personally I prefer an option for a window-less side panel as well.

    I get there is still a bling contingent who like the hideous stuff that Thermaltake and others put out.
  • Zoeff - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    I don't understand the reason why this case exists when you can get the RV02-E if you pay 10 more euros. (This case is mostly identical to the FT-02 that the reviewer mentions)

    This is what I did and many of the flaws of this case don't exist. The mechanical HDD's are properly cooled by a 180mm fan, the PSU length is of no concern and the design is much more simplistic which would appeal to a wider audience. How a case looks like isn't usually what makes or breaks a decision for me but that's just too flashy for me.
  • V3ctorPT - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Sorry man... I have an FT02WRi and it's a beautiful case, it's not like this ugly case.

    It's not even close to this RV03
  • Zoeff - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    The FT02 was actually my first choice but that actually costs about 90 euros more than the RV03. So I went for the RV02-E which only costs 10 euros more than the RV03. Reply
  • HanSolo71 - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Dustin first off I have been loving your recent work keep up the great work.

    Secondly as a reviewer myself I have to agree about the type of noise these cases give off. I have found that it isn't so much of a winny noise that other cases have but rather a low wooshing noise that sounds much like the noise that the ventilation system in a building would give off. Also I would have to agree that while the RV02 was far from subtle the RV03 went in the wrong direction. Personal I love the Apple-esque design of the TF02 and was hoping more of its design would rub off on the new RV03 design.

    Still with all of its faults I love the RV02 as it is great to work with and keeps my 4.7Ghz i5 2500k nice and cool.
  • 7amood - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    I wanted a trusted review for the RV03 and I finally got it from a trusted site.

    I'm missing a review for the RV02-E.

    You might wanna review the SG08 when it comes out, it's a nice one.

  • beginner99 - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    ..the fractal define R3 case. It has tons of 3.5 bays (and only 2 5.25), more than enough possibilities for mounting fans and a simple, straight forward design. ( I have the R2)

    It is also small compared to monsters like the Ravens or FT. Only complaint i have is space behind mobo tray and the side panel mounting but maybe that was improved in the R3.
  • AssBall - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Great review, Dustin.

    The killer for me on this case is having the I/O come out of the top. It is a cool idea, but I put too much junk on the top of my cases; I need em to be flat for the extra shelf room. Their nontraditional approach to cooling makes me a little weary too. The thing looks pretty nice though.
  • Footman36 - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    I just got rid of this case. I gave it to my father in law. It now houses a very simple i920 at stock with stock cooler and 5670 with Artic Cooling HSF.

    I previously owned the RV-02 which was an Epic Fail, burnt out an X58 motherboard around the IO area as there was not enough air flow to cool the VRM's positioned there.

    Anyhow, decided to try the RV-03. (I also own the Thermaltake Level 10 GT and the CM HAF-X).

    Not a good idea, first of all the design is terrible, from the lousy magnetic dust filters that either vibrate or fall off if you blow on them, to the abysmal design of the hard drive cages!!!

    The icing on the cake is this type of design does not work with certain heat pipe coolers. For example my pair of GTX 560 Ti's would run full load at 68C in the HAF-X, but in the RV-03 they hit 94C before shutting down the computer (and this was after 10 minutes of BF2).... This is by far one of the loudest cases I have owned at full speed.....

    Avoid like a plague....

    While i like the idea of this design it is not as efficient as standard cases with the motherboard in the usual position....
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    I'm not sure your complaints are entirely fair.

    First, just looking at the airflow in the RV03 vs. the more traditional cases I have on hand, I don't really see how the inverted motherboard layout and airflow design starves the VRMs any more than a traditional layout would.

    Second, SilverStone even says as much that these enclosures aren't going to be at their best with heatpipe based GPU coolers that don't exhaust out the back of the case; SilverStone's design is really geared towards the blower-style coolers that higher end graphics cards tend to ship with stock, and from our testing it does handle those with aplomb.

    It's true the RV03 is pretty loud at full speed, but it also doesn't NEED to be run at full speed.

    The rotated board kind of changes the game a bit. In some situations it's not going to seem quite as efficient as a traditional orientation, but once we went into the overclocked configuration I think it proved itself.
  • Footman36 - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Reviewing a case is not the same as living with a case 24/7. I have many months of experience with the RV-02 and RV-03 Dustin. I agree with your review on many levels but feel that there are inherent issues with this case, notwithstanding the 90 degree turnaround of the motherboard.

    First of all the two front mounted drive cages are the worst designed drive cages I have ever had the misfortune of working with. They need to be completely disassembled before a drive can be placed within. This takes a considerable amount of time and if you want to add an extra HHD or SSD after the fact you have to disassemble again.

    The bottom dust filters do not stay in place and vibrate if they are even 1mm out of place, what a terrible idea compared to the dust filter design of the RV-02.

    Finally airflow, while Silverstone may indicate in their manual that the RV03 may not be suitable for certain heat pipe coolers or GPU's I wonder how many purchasers will have access to this information BEFORE they buy the case? Hot air rises, as we all know and in an atx case the IO plate is not the top of the computer, there is usually space above for a power supply or top mounted fan, so hot air does not accumulate around this point. In the RV-02 and RV-03, the IO plate is the uppermost point in this case and as it is solid, the hot air remains around this area in a pocket, heating up the VRM's which again dump more heat in to this localized area. I guarantee you that after running for 3-6 hours you will find the IO plate extremely hot and this is ultimately what caused a VRM to burn out on my X58 motherboard according to the report from their support team.

    I am a enthusiast and this year alone I have purchased approximately 15 or so cases for my builds including Silverstone, Coolermaster, Antec, Lian-Li and NZXT....

    In any event, this case is performing well for my father in law who likes the top IO ports as he does not have to pull the PC out of position when he wants to connect a peripheral, also I used the solid i920 stock HSF and the 5670 has solid HSF, the hard drive was mounted on the backside of the case and the fans are running at low. I just believe that there are better cases available for less, the CM 690 springs to mind for one.....
    Looking forward to your next review.
  • MagicPants - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    One thing I'd really like to see in case reviews is just how much you can jam into the thing. Most of the stats relayed in the article are things I can pick up from reading documentation, or opinions on the looks and build quality.

    What I really want to know is how many video cards can I jam in into the thing, will the cooling still work well, and will there be enough room left over for a sound card.

    I'd like to see an sli/crossfire system with a soundcard, and a pci-xpress interface ssd. Single video card only installations in case reviews are next to useless. Please review how well each case will work in (and limit) the type of system it is meant for.

    Most case reviews (on this and every other mainstream site) are the equivalent of testing the newest video card with only WoW, or testing a race car by driving to the store.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    In terms of physical space, we do at least tell you how much stuff you can theoretically cram into the enclosure. Beyond that I think you're being unreasonable.

    Getting the hardware to do the kind of testing you're asking for isn't impossible, but it's not really practical either. Having done enough of these tests at this point, I already feel like our overclocked rig is pushing it in terms of just noise.

    Also, understand that while multi-GPU subsystems aren't as uncommon as they used to be, they're still far from being the norm, and a good single GPU system is often still going to be preferable to a dual or multi-GPU configuration. The soundcard and PCIe SSD you're suggesting aren't actually going to really change test results either, they may increase the case's ambient temperature by a degree or two at most.

    And then, let's say we move over to a dual-GPU configuration. Which cards? Do we use a board with ample spacing between the two PCIe x16 slots or sandwich the cards together to see if the case can handle that kind of load? Do we use cards with blower-style coolers or coolers that exhaust heat back into the case?

    Honestly I think you're selling the testing short. Off the top of my head, just from looking at documentation, I'd've thought the Raven would've murdered the competition, but instead its lead is nowhere near as comfortable as I expected and hoped.
  • Ananke - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    This is one ugly piece of cheap looking plastic. $19 including all fans shall be the maximum paid, before discounts. Reply
  • Totally - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    Isn't the Raven a scavenger and not a bird of prey? Reply
  • The0ne - Monday, July 25, 2011 - link

    They are both. I hate them so much. Reply
  • AEternal1 - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    I've always made my own case contraptions for my computers, because i run insane configurations, and ive yet to find a case that can keep up to my expectations. this is the first case ive bought that i still use.

    I run my I5 2500K @ 4.8 and my gtx 560 TI @ 1ghz. needless to say, heat is always very hard for me to dissipate in a case, especially since I prefer big air over big water.

    I've got nearly every fan option running in this case, I spent about 120$ for extra fans to fit, since most of my extra fans were smaller.

    I mounted all 4 of my mechanical hard drives in the back tray, and with this case's thermal design, they all run cooler than they ever did in my open air cases that ive built.

    my cpu runs at 40* to 55* with a noctua nh d-14. with the thermal layout i was able to implement with all the fan layouts i had available to me, i can actually put my hands in the case, and one hand will feel cool air, and the other will feel the warm air. thats pretty awesome. i have my cpu air being pushed onto the backs of my graphics card to help cool the backside of them, as opposed to venting the cpu straight up and out. with this cases bottom fans, and then the added fans, it takes all the heat from this area and diverts it perfectly. my graphics cards finally run cooler than in an open air solution, and my cpu stays just as cool as always.

    the end result is that this is the first case to actually out perform an open air solution.

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