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  • Chaitanya - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    This case is a disappointment as water cooling support is missing from case of its price range. Reply
  • iceveiled - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    The case is designed solely for air cooling. As for my take on the case.the cooling is impressive for just having two fans, but man that front door.... Reply
  • JDG1980 - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    It has just two fans, but remember, these are giant 180mm fans with high static pressure. Reply
  • cjs150 - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    ditch the hard drive cage and it looks as though it could accomodate a 2x180 radiator at the front (that is the equivalent of 4.5x120 radiator so enough for most rigs!!) although you might lose a 5.25 bay as well.

    But with that front, why bother, the thing will break quickly
    Reply
  • JDG1980 - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    The FT04 doesn't look quite as nice in photos as the FT02, but that's forgivable if it has good fit and finish and performs well. It looks like the performance is definitely there (the RV04 has basically the same case body and same ventilation), but I hope that SilverStone hasn't let their fit and finish slip too much on the premium Fortress line.

    I'm not sure I would put as much emphasis on ease of assembly as you generally do in your reviews. Remember that even though you as a reviewer have to assemble these things every week, most users (even enthusiasts) will often be leaving the case closed for months on end. You probably won't spend even 1 hour of assembly time for every 100 hours of actual use. I'd prefer a case with excellent thermals, acoustics, and fit+finish, even if it was a nightmare to put together. Of course, all else being equal, easier assembly is preferable. I just wouldn't sacrifice too much to get it.

    SilverStone's literature mentions support brackets for the CPU and video card on the RV04. Did you get a chance to test these? I know I often feel nervous about giant-size CPU heatsinks, so some mechanical support would be much appreciated. Same for the extra-long video cards which tend to sag in their normal tower orientation.

    I think the reason you saw less-than-optimal temperatures with your ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti DCII TOP video card wasn't because it is an open-air design, but because of the heatsink's fin orientation. The fins closest to the front on that card are perpendicular to the slot, so they block the path of the airflow. Many newer DirectCU cards and most MSI Twin Frozr cards have fins parallel to the slot. I suspect these would work far better since the air from the front fans could flow through. This would probably also be a great case for using the Powercolor HD7850 SCS3 with the fanless heatsink, since the fins are in the right orientation on that as well.
    Reply
  • zaccun - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    I think the FT02 is going to remain a staple for a long while for me. It's got superlative looks, and still performs like a champ. Reply
  • Subyman - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    I really liked the previous Raven cases, but this one a disappointment for me. The front door is enough to entirely kill it for me. I steer clear of flimsy front doors. I find it hard to spend $150+ for something that has that poor of build quality, even if the design is great. Reply
  • maximumGPU - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    interesting results, but as pointed out in the article this looks like the appetizer before the real dish.
    looking forward to a review of the FT04, but also a comparison to the recently released Corsair Air.
    The Air employs a similar philosophy of unobstructed airflow, and corsair are even claiming it to be the best air cooled case you can buy. So don't make us wait too long:)
    Reply
  • Bojamijams - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    I don't see why this is praised as the best air cooling. The RV03 had the same two 180mm, but at the bottom and a 120mm at the top. And the orientation was such that the 180 was below the CPU cooler and the 120mm was above it. Perfect thermodynamic flow. Math wise, that is a much better setup then a 180mm a long way away, possible going through a HDDs shooting towards a CPU without anything on the other end.

    RV03 >>>>>> RV04
    Reply
  • lever_age - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Well, I'd rather have specialization than every single case out there trying to hit every bullet point possible and cover all the bases, if it means better performance or lower price. Nothing wrong with a good air cooling case without water cooling aspirations and vice versa.

    Though, I'm kind of wondering if Corsair's approach with the upcoming Carbide Air 540 (which was done in the past with boutiques, smaller vendors, arguably in some rotated sense with say BitFenix Prodigy and Cooler Master HAF XB and so on) will become more popular. Do people really like having that drive cage like that and also on the TJ08-E / PS07? Direct airflow to components is great, and with the move to solid-state primary storage (so less heavy access on mechanical disks) and cooler mechanical drives, it makes sense to chuck drives and other secondary components in a different section where they're not blocking airflow.
    Reply
  • genghisquan - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    The graph really should have RV02 and/or RV03 comparisons. I was already iffy about this case when I first saw pictures of it. Rather than keeping what was great about the RV02 and trying to improve the few errors that it had, it seemed like the RV04 wanted to do something completely new. Why change what was already good about the RV02? Reply
  • JeBarr - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    I too would have liked to see a comparison with the previous Raven chassis but the designs were so good they lasted far longer than most reviewer test beds.

    This new Raven, though showing great performance numbers is just so dang ugly. Heck, I'd take the RV03 with champagne trim before getting anywhere near this new pile.
    Reply
  • losttsol - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Silverstone sure has put out some strange cases lately. Are they under new management or something? Maybe there's just so much you can do with a rectangle? I used to love their designs, but I wouldn't even put them in my top 5 anymore. Reply
  • landerf - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    What the hell is that? Fucking gross looking. They've fallen far from the FT02 days. All they needed to do was update that and they'd have a real winner instead of this plastic clown. Reply
  • smellykaka - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    It looks to me like you could make a massive improvement in the look of this case just by removing the front door entirely? Reply
  • smellykaka - Thursday, June 20, 2013 - link

    Bitterly disappointing, the terrible look and terrible drive layout, because a case with minimal 5 1/4 bays and multiple big fat front fans has been on my wishlist for a long time. Reply
  • JDG1980 - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Antec's P280 has a soundproofed front door. Reply
  • Shinobisan - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    I'm being a bit 'counter culture' and thought I would write out my experience.
    I was using a Corsair H80 closed loop cooler, and it died. Critical Failure. The pump went bad, and before I noticed the extra noise... my PC was shutting down due to CPU over-temp.
    I'm so glad my motherboard saved me there.!
    So... my conclusion can be a quote from good ol' Scotty, "The fancier they make them, the easier it is to plug them up".
    For me, the closed loop cooler is just too much of a risk. There are too many critical components that can fail and cause bad things to happen.
    I went with one of the latest fan coolers now, the Noctua NH-D14. Super cool, less risk of failure.

    Oh... also a bit of a note on the closed loop type coolers - specifically radiator installation.
    They recommend setting up the radiator to pull in fresh air from the back of the chassis. This is the best cooling method. But only for the first week.
    My PC chassis is great, with air filters on all intakes. This keeps everything running nice and cool because there isn't any internal dust buildup.
    BUT... the H80 doesn't have an air filter. When I went to remove it, there was dust blocking about half the radiator. So, the radiator was working at half efficiency.
    If I would have installed it the other way around, it would pull warmer air from inside the chassis and exhaust out the back. This would have been slightly less effective, but the performance would not have dipped over time. In the long run it would have been better to keep it clean.

    Not many reviews cover the dust issue. Short term it doesn't matter (like on these test beds)... but long term... dust will kill your cooling.
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    Ehhhh... I don't know. I mean, it just seems like to me you're going on and on about how well designed this case is and how it's cutting edge this and what not.

    It's like they took one of those ancient Lian Li cases I had a long time ago that inverted the motherboard upside down where, yes, you had to go in from the other side. Then they tossed the biggest, most awesome fans they could put in the front.

    Is that cutting edge design? Is that amazing? I think I was more impressed by earlier Raven designs and I fail to see the advantage of this one over those designs. At least they had the advantage of pushing air upwards and out of the case. You talk about air moving straight through the case being important, but I don't see how having hot air exhaust in the natural way up isn't the superior way of handling a scenario where a case doesn't have an exhaust fan.

    And I also don't see why having an exhaust fan is preferable to having one unless it's the loudest, most annoying exhaust fan in the history of the world. Even a really, really, REALLY slow one would be better than not having one.
    Reply
  • JDG1980 - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    The inverted motherboard tray is actually a pretty big deal. As the review notes, for optimal cooling, you want the intake fans blowing straight at the CPU and GPU heatsinks. But a standard ATX case doesn't do that; instead, one intake fan covers maybe the lower half of the motherboard (including the GPU, if you're lucky), and the other one blows at the back of the power supply, which is usually a waste. The CPU heatsink sits behind the 5.25" drive bays, getting little airflow except from its own fan and maybe a small assist from the exhaust unit. This design has little more than tradition to recommend it. Flipping the motherboard upside down may sound simple, but it makes a big difference because the whole motherboard now gets covered by the airflow from the intake fans. (You could, I suppose, leave the motherboard as-is and put the external drive bays and PSU on the bottom, but no one wants their drive bays down there.)

    I do prefer the rotated motherboard design, but it is clearly more complex; because of the orientation of the motherboard and card ports, you need a "fake roof" to route the external wiring out the back, unless you want it to look really, really ugly.

    The photos indicate that the RV04 has a mount for a rear exhaust fan, even though the fan itself is not included. So it shouldn't be at all difficult to add one if you were so inclined. I wonder if this mount will be populated by default on the FT04.

    But I do think you're right about one thing: SilverStone gets a lot of cooling design wins because they have "the biggest, most awesome fans". Nothing else out there really equals the AP181 and AP182. Even cases with 200mm or bigger fans seem to fall behind compared to the SilverStones. And the fans aren't that loud, either. What I don't understand is why, given clear design wins like the FT02 and TJ08-E, other companies haven't specced out high-quality 180mm fans and given SilverStone a run for their money on this turf. I wonder if Nidec could be convinced to design a line of 180mm Gentle Typhoons?
    Reply
  • maximumGPU - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    to be honest the AP's have killer airflow, but i think they tend towards the "loud" side of the equation a bit too much for my taste. If there was a 180mm fan out there with similar airflow but quieter i'd change my AP's in a heartbeat. Reply
  • JDG1980 - Saturday, June 22, 2013 - link

    Did you try the AP182? It has an analog controller built in so that it can be adjusted to exactly the speed/noise level you want. And its controller has the same screw spacing as the switch on the AP181, so you can integrate it into a TJ08-E or FT02 and mount the potentiometer in the same place the speed switch on the old fan was. Reply
  • Impulses - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    I think you and the industry in general are over thinking this... Straight airflow was prefectly achievable with some of the oldest ATX cases out there, most of them just had oddly placed fan mounts... Straight airflow with a standard ATX case only became harder to work out when they started putting the PSU at the bottom which then brought the drive bays in line with the CPU/RAM (and with this case we've now come full circle, it'd work equally well if you flipped it all around and would probably leave more bay room on the bottom).

    I have an old/cheap Thermaltake case I've clung to because the front fan mount (s) were tied to the hard drive bay, which could be placed at any point in the 5.25" stack... Thus, I've got am optical driveand card reader in line with the PSU at the top, a fan mount just below that in line with the CPU fan, and some freedom to configure either front or side intake for the GPUs depending on whether I'm running blower style coolers or open ones...

    The only thing wrong with the original ATX spec was the position of the fan mounts and the industry's obsession with having a smorgasbord of 5.25" bays on nine out of ten cases. Even having the PSU near the CPU isn't a big deal anymore with current CPU/PSU designs, certainly no worse than having it next to several GPUs that can get 10-20 degrees hotter than any CPU (each!). It baffles me that everyone keeps flirting with so many oddball designs and ignoring the plainly obvious, the more you mangle a case's flow of air the worse it'll do.
    Reply
  • genghisquan - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    While he did praise the cases's airflow/cooling abilities, the author points out several flaws in this case's design. I didn't get the "on and on" vibe that you were talkin' about. However, I still have to agree with you that the earlier Raven designs were way better than this. Reply
  • 7amood - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    I love the case internal design but I hate all the plastic. I'll wait for the TJ04 maybe they will use an easily removable front door rather than using this stupid hinge door. Reply
  • Shiitaki - Friday, June 21, 2013 - link

    I currently have the Raven RV03 case and love the original design of rotating the motherboard. The included fans on the bottom should be 200mm, and quieter ones would be an improvement. The big reason for me was the ease of connecting things, not having to crawl under the desk, and reach behind the case. I keep it on the floor, as most people with large cases do. The RV04 is just a case, like any other. There's nothing novel or original about it. Antec used a similar cooling design of blowing air from front to back 15 years ago. Considering how much work it is to assemble a Silverstone case, without a justification, it's just going to be an annoyance to build for no reason. Reply

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