Conclusion


The Silverstone Raven comes with many great features. Changing the orientation of the motherboard isn't entirely unheard of, but the case design as a whole is very innovative. For example, you can use shorter cable harnesses from your power supply, and you can easily guide cables through the case and avoid blocking airflow. Installing components is also extremely easy because of the large interior space.

Overall build quality is exceptional, which is what we have come to expect from Silverstone. Even though this is a steel chassis with lots of plastic, you still feel like you got a very high-end product. Cooling performance is also good in most areas, particularly CPU and hard drive cooling. Ambient case temperatures were higher than usual, but we are inclined to believe that has more to do with the location of our sensor rather than being a clear problem. GPU temperatures are also a little high, because of the panel that blocks airflow out the top.

There are two versions of the Raven chassis, one with the side panel window and one without. The model we tested to date includes the window and prices start at around $240, sans tax and shipping. Prices in Europe start at around €190 for the windowed version including tax, or you can save a few dollars/Euros by purchasing the version without a window. For those that like the angular styling of the chassis, this is a case you can fall in love with... but there will also be users that will hate the case aesthetics. Assuming you fall into the first group, we have no qualms with recommending the Silverstone Raven. The only likely roadblock is going to be pricing, but at least with you know you're getting a high quality chassis with an unusual design.

Performance Comparison
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  • Christoph Katzer - Saturday, February 7, 2009 - link

    Waiting for the i7-System, will have multiple setups in the future. Noctua is sending fans and coolers that I can run the cases with different fan setups, speeds and different cooler designs. Reply
  • glenster - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    Comparing the bit tech temp results, it cools a CPU better than a
    CM HAF 932, and GPU cooling ability falls between a 932 and a Silverstone Fortress--about like a CM ATSC 840, and better if you don't mind leaving the lid ajar. It's quiet and good at keeping dust out. If you want to get the bargain out of OCing a Core i7 920 (and would like it quiet for recording with Cakewalk), it sound like a good deal. I'd like to compare an Antec P1000, but I don't know if I'll wait till it comes out.
    Reply
  • darthwhit - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    Here is how it works.

    The case doesn't sit flat on the floor. There is plenty of room for air intake through the bottom of the case. There is a dust screen at the bottom to help prevent dust from getting into the case. There is also much less flat space for dust to settle on.

    The power supply intake and outake go directly to the outside of the case. Not helping or hindering airflow or heat at all.

    The cables still go out the back of the case, they just plug in at the top of the case under the hood and trail out the back of the case. There is plenty of room for most connectors under the hood. I would not expect there to be room for a USB WIFI dongle or something with similar height.
    Reply
  • surt - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    Note to case designers. I do not want noisy 120mm fans. I will not be buying anything with fans under 140mm. I don't care if it starts out quiet, as they accumulate dust they start to whine. 140mm+ fans tend not to suffer from that with their wider blades and slower turn rates. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Monday, February 9, 2009 - link

    rofl.

    A few years ago you would see posts identical to this, but with 80mm in place of 120 and 120 instead of 140. Few more years and people will be crying for 200mm fans only.
    Reply
  • tsponholz - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    I don't see how this would be fundamenatally different from other cases that intake on the bottom/low and vent out the top. The CoolerMaster Cosmos series for one -- same isolated air supply and vent for the PSU, same bottom fan intake, and two exhaust fans out the top (plus on emore at the top rear). The Cosmos appears to have more clearance for the floor, as well, to allow less dust collecting.

    I understand that it uses positive pressure colling (more intake than exhaust fans) but has that been shown to be conclusively better?

    I just don't see how turning the mobo will accomplish better cooling. Maybe I'm missing something. I'd much rather take the FT01 if I'm spending on a Silverstone.
    Reply
  • BarneyBadass - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    The design while esthetically pleasing to the eye, appears to have the opportunity for significant improvement.

    With all the grill work so close to the fans, I would expect the exhaust to be restricted.

    I don't think I would consider this case for any build.

    Also; while access to the HDD's from the front is nice; I would have expected some louvers that forced or otherwise channeled airflow between the drives.

    The aspect of "Positive air pressure" is at best interesting. Considering the Air is just looking for anywhere to escape; it's seems plausible that the positive pressure could actually reduce the air flow in the case and trap some level of heat inside the case. I would certainly find a way to add a second fan at the top of the case.

    But those are my thoughts... simply thoughts.. no experience with the case.
    Reply
  • Wineohe - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    I would really like to have seen a few pictures with actual cabling. What are we hiding. I just can't imagine putting a cover over a DVI cable that is resisting your every effort at getting it to make a right angle, not to mention the stress on the connector. Am I missing something.

    Speaking of cabling some innovations that I think are more important?
    1) How about a standard for wireless keyboard and mouse communications so that the Transceiver could be built into the case somehow?
    2)A standardized USB hub connector for remote mounting(powered by the computer of course). I would love to have to plug in only one cable when servicing or replacing a computer.
    3)Can some minor changes to the HDMI Protocal be made to effectively replace bulky DVI?

    I guess I got a little off track. The case looks great with it's stealth appearance but I suspect a more conventional layout would be more successful.
    Reply
  • waffle911 - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    In terms of cabling, there is actually quite a bit of space underneath the top panel. Plenty to allow a stiff DVI cable to bend without breaking a sweat. Well, that might be an exaggeration, but it has something like 2.5"+ of wriggle room.

    1. The answer to your prayers is Bluetooth. Logitech peripheral dongles are absolutely minuscule, and plug in to a USB port. Not quite integrated, but better than having something built into the case that adds unnecessary cost.
    2. I assume you mean a high-powered USB connector, since a USB hub by design requires external auxiliary power in order to meet the demands of multiple devices that one USB port could not power. If this is the case, then yes, the standard exists and is being wholly neglected by the industry. AeroCool has some front panel accessories with these ports.
    3. HDMI = consumer DVI. But the true replacement for DVI is going to be Display Port, and if Apple has their way, Mini Display Port. Have you seen this thing? It's tiny, and has all the functionality of dual-link DVI—and then some.
    Reply
  • Wineohe - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    I'm aware of Bluetooth of course, but frustrated by the proprietary nature of the protocal and the communication chips. What a screwed up mess. I want to put a gun to my head every time I want to make it work on my Laptop or Desktop. Toshiba, Broadcom, CSR, ISSC, IVT ...yada yada. 802.11 seems like genius by comparison.

    As for the high-powered USB? I'm intrigued. Having 6 cables hanging out of the back of my box is a pain.

    Mini Display Port? Hmm. Leave it to Apple. If DVI were invented in the 70's I can't imagine it being any more cumbersome.
    Reply

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