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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  • Th3Eagle - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    I wonder what whould hapen if 1 or maybe even 2 12cm intake fans would be placed at the bottom of the window. Extra cold air intake would force all the hot air out of the top creating a flow over the mb of cold air.

    Reply
  • andrihb - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    It occoured to me that most of the benefits here are achieved just by having the PSU at the bottom. Does anyone here have the Cooler Master Dominator case? The Bottom PSU configuration is great because you can keep most of your cable clutter at the bottom of the case, and need even shorter pci-e power cables than with this one. You need the case to be somewhat taller than average to have ample room for aftermarket video card coolers on SLI/XF setups though, else they will be uncomfortably close to the psu. Another neat thing is that you can decide which way the PSU faces, with the intake UP (inside the case) or down (drawing air from outside). Reply
  • aapocketz - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    I would have liked to see tests with various fan speeds configured. Are the case fans not throttled, they only run at one speed?

    I would be concerned about dust, hopefully the air filters work well. Would this case work on carpet? May be interesting to put on a floor vent when the AC is running.

    when it comes to air cooling you can do a lot of things but in the end it mostly comes down to volumetric replacement of air, without stalling out the airflow and creating dead zones. with this significant directional airflow, the actual order of components in the airflow path makes much less of a difference. I would have liked to see a stovepipe design without the motherboard rotation to compare.

    This theory is even more true for watercooling as well. I had a system that was cooling the CPU, then chipset, then hard drives, and back to the radiator/pump. Reversing the direction of flow so the CPU was cooled last made negligible difference.
    Reply
  • superkdogg - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    It seems pretty reasonable that the issue with the temp would be that the graphics card exhause is being limited as you alluded to. If it's harder to get the warm air out, more is going to accumulate inside and the test was running 3 cards.

    It would be interesting to see the results run with the top off or modded to have black screens where it's currently solid plastic. Or maybe not that interesting, since for $240 you want something that performs awesome right out of the box.
    Reply
  • CU - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    Just wish it was cheaper. The cpu heatsink did catch my attention though. I have that same one setting on my X2. Nice to know I can use it on my next cpu also. Reply
  • beepboy - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    "Even though this is a steal chassis with lots of plastic..."

    Steel :). Great looking case, but I'm still wary about water/accident that might just spill on top of the case...

    thanks,
    Beepboy
    Reply
  • haukionkannel - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    Guite interesting case. So this has the power in the bottom of the case like in Antec 180 series.
    When all the cables are in the top of case this can be good "under the table" solution, as lond as there is enough space above it.
    I still like my P180, but this definitely is one that I may consider depending on the sound level. It would be nice to see some test in more "normal" configuration, but to any heavy user this seems quite ideal. 3 way sli and 7 harddisk and so low temperatus and sound level? Maybe if there would be more space to route the cables behind the mother board would be a nice feature to the revised edition of this case... och and an alumine variant to the rich boys ;-) or one with same idea, but a little bit more conservative appearance...
    Reply
  • falchard - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    I don't think the idea is actually that good. You have air coming in from the bottom, and going out the top. Sometimes different isn't always a good thing.
    The bottom intake will be limited because of the ground, and side intake really would not generate alot of airflow due to the angle it comes in at.
    You have all the air flow through the PSU first which is one of the hottest parts on the machine, and now your just flowing warm air over the rest of your PC.
    If this design had a descent chance at working, the bottom fans would be angled at 45 degrees and the PSU placed at the top of the case.
    Reply
  • RagingDragon - Saturday, February 7, 2009 - link

    I think the motherboard orientation has potential, but that the fan layout leaves alot to be desired - I agree completely that the bottom intakes are sub-optimal (to put it kindly). I'd recommend the following layout changes:

    1. Get rid of bottom intakes
    2. Put a big intake fan in the standard bottom front case
    location (i.e. under the hard drive trays)
    3. Put two or more large intake fans on the side of the case,
    above the power supply (blowing cool air on the graphics
    cards and motherboard)
    4. Enlarge the top exhaust fan to 140mm (port clusters are
    about 140mm wide anyway)
    5. Add an 8th expansion slot cut out to support support dual
    slot graphics cards on motherboards with a PCIe-16 slot in
    position #7 (i.e. on the leftmost edge), and also triple slot
    graphics cards on more standard motherboards.

    And personally, I think the case is hideous. I prefere simple, conservative case styling. But if it sells decently, no doubt Silverstone will offer variants using the same layout with different styling.
    Reply
  • C'DaleRider - Friday, February 6, 2009 - link

    If you really look closely at the photos provided, the PSU's exhaust is to the outside, so the power supply is NOT just taking cool air into it and then circulating it back into the case, which is the way almost EVERY case is set up....the psu takes in air from either outside or from inside the case and exhausts its now heated air directly to the outside......DUH! Reply

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