Silverstone has had some interesting innovations for its customers, for example the FT01 designed for optimal cooling using positive air pressure. Today we are looking at another new cooling concept from Silverstone. Just as positive air pressure is nothing revolutionary -- search through any tech forums and you're likely to see some discussions about the topic -- the new concept with this case is that Silverstone change the direction the motherboard faces. Instead of having the I/O ports on the back, they will now be at the top of the case. If that immediately makes you worry about wires cluttering things up, don't: Silverstone has a cover to help keep the look clean.

The case looks like it came directly from the Transformer factory, and that's likely something you will either love or hate. Silverstone told us that the general feedback from customers so far is very good, and since the case is already available they apparently have sales to back up that statement.

As far as changing the direction the motherboard faces, the goal is simple. Silverstone wants to use a chimney stack effect where cool air comes in at the bottom and naturally flows upwards -- hot air rises. By designing a case where all of the air enters at the bottom and flows out the top, cooling should be improved and perhaps noise levels will be reduced at the same time. There are still fans to help out, but the natural airflow will hopefully reduce fan speeds. We can't actually prove that the stack effect is better or worse than other cases, since this case is only designed to work with the effect being active.

Silverstone has invested a great deal of time explaining how different cooling effects work, which you can see on YouTube and their own internal website:

Stack Effect Cooling (YouTube video)
Positive Air Pressure (YouTube 1, YouTube 2)

Silverstone Raven Specifications
Motherboard Formfactor ATX, Micro ATX, Extended ATX
Drive Bays External 5x 5.25"
Internal 6x 3.5"
Cooling Front -
Rear -
Top 1x 120mm exhaust
Side -
Bottom 2x 180mm intake
Expansion Slots 7
Front I/O Port 2x USB, 1x Audio, 1x Micro , 1x IEEE1394
Power Supply Size Standard ATX
Weight 15kg
Dimensions 280 x 616 x 660 (WxHxD in mm)

Now let's see if this case can actually live up to Silverstone's promises and stand out from the crowd.

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  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - link

    Personally, I've bought my last pre-made case; the only exception is the Skeleton, I might buy one of those just to support Antec's thinking 'out of the box' (literally and figuratively), though it doesn't quite live up to an enthusiast's case. Better than any other design, though.

    Really, even the so-called high air flow cases as they come from the manufacturers are inadequate; the best I can say about them, and this goes for this case in particular, is that they do control noise a bit better as well as giving some slight air flow benefits. The thinking of air flow needs to change though, from power supplies, which have fans good enough to cool themselves and don't add much heat to the system except that they BLOCK air movement, to actually removing hot air from a system, rather than just stirring it up, for the entire industry. Imo.

    My last case purchase was a Silverstone; it was purchased when the industry was talking BTX, which never happened, and was touted for it's cooling capabilities. I think of it as a good case, it is mostly well-made, but as I think back it came with a very cheap air shroud that couldn't even be used in a stock system, and tabs broke off when I tried to use it. I'm not a fan of clip-in expansion slots either, especially with modern video cards weighing as much as they do. Give me screws any time.

    The best feature of the Raven imo is that the video cards will hang straight down and put less side-ways stress on the expansion slots - assuming they are securely held by the case, that is.

    Anyway, I want a system that is easy to mess with as well as supporting maximum cooling, whether that means good air flow or liquid cooling or both. Hard core overclockers don't even use cases - and while I'm not currently in that class, I do make changes and still had to leave the side cover off my Silverstone case with a fan blowing in to keep my non-overclocked video card happy (I've changed cards and this is no longer necessary, but it never should have been; partly a fault of ATI (and Nvidia in another rig) and partly Silverstone and the way almost all cases are made.)

    If noise is a big factor, or you need portability, or love the cool looks of some of the new case, or just the convenience of having a pre-made, I can't argue with any of those things. For me though, they are all inadequate, and I'd just as soon not support an industry, if I can help it, that continues to go down the wrong path. My newest build uses a heavily modified old Antec, but I can OC my i7 to 4.1GHz on air (Cooler Master V8) stress-tested for stability, something which almost all current cases would hamper if not make impossible.

    Kudos to Silverstone for doing some original thinking though; I had some extraordinary difficulties with them regarding a power supply (I did end up with a good power supply, just took too much time and effort to get imo) so am not likely to send any more of my business their way, but they do have some fresh ideas and do produce pretty cases.
  • Sladeofdark - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    cases like this make me want to get a job working for the companies that make some of this terrible cases.. what a waste of metal. It looks cool and would look even cooler if the tacky , cheaply implemented window were taken out. Some of the cosmetic standards that have been set need not be undermined by new projects. the mobo orientation is a disaster, i dont see a point to it at all. the stiffness and weight of the DVI cord to a monitor will cause "bowing" and sever the on board video at the connection point of the port to the mobo meaning it cant be repaired. ive seen this happen when people push their towers up against a wall while under their desk. in this case gravity will be the wall, where will all the wires go i have ( looks under his desk) about 10 cords connected to my mobo. what will that look like coming out of the top of the case except awful. this was a miss hit to say the least.
  • vistaisfine - Friday, February 20, 2009 - link

    the intakes on the bottom work well. people who complain about cleaning the filters need to either A) vacuum the floor more B) get it out of the garage / basement (concrete dust). C) remember to clean the filters regularly. this coming from a cosmos 1010 user.

  • JeBarr - Wednesday, February 11, 2009 - link

    Anybody try squeezing a 4th GPU in there yet? I'm too broke these days to find out, though the price on this chassis is much lower than I had anticipated originally. I don't need to here how bad of an idea that is, or how incapable the chassis is it at removing the heat in that scenario...I just want to know, will they fit?
  • bkusnerik - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - link

    Wow... something new like this motherboard orientation and no pictures of how it looks with the cables connected? Come on!
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, February 10, 2009 - link

    Is clearly the very poor and small top fan for exhaust. The problem I see here is positive pressure is great as long as it's SLIGHTLY more. This looks like it would be building up quite a bit of heat at the top, possibly even forcing hot air back down to exit out of the side holes which I'm guessing do practially nothing (look at the picture showing 3! separate shrouds between the inside and the outside of the case) due to the restrictions.

    Aesthetically I don't care. I'm utilitarian by nature when it comes to a case but it looks unique. I think the only way this would be practical would be to ensure that you DEFINITELY had a GPU that externally exhuasted the air out the top. Most of the coolers on cards today either outright exhaust into the case (this would be really bad for this particular one), or only partially exhaust out the back (or top in this case). I think if you had a good exhausting GPU cooler it could alleviate some of the issues with the large bias towards positive pressure.
  • jabber - Sunday, February 8, 2009 - link

    Yes I'd like to see some pics of it fully cabled too.

    I dont see how a nice chunky DVI cable with a ferrite core on it will manage, plus I have to use the VGA socket on the monitor at home (I game, the Gf does design so she gets the DVI)so also have to factor a DVI to VGA adapter too. Thats about 4 inches+ of stress right there.

    Cmon lets see some real in sction pics.
  • SLayVus - Sunday, February 8, 2009 - link

    Here are some pictures

    Camera: FujiFilm FinePix S1000fd - Component side">

    Camera: Sanyo VPC-T700 - Cable management">

    Camera: FujiFilm FinePix S1000fd - Desk">

    i7 920@ 3.8GHz 25*C(Core @ 38*C Idle) - ThermalRight Limited Edition Black TRUE - G.Skill PI Black DDR3-1600 3x2GB - MSI X58 Platinum Non-Sli - VisionTek HD 4870 X2 - 3x500GB WD Caviar Black 32MB 7.2k w/CP05 hotswap adapters - Antec 850w(Corsair 1000HX on the way)
  • kmmatney - Sunday, February 8, 2009 - link

    Your cable management pic is just like my Antec P180 case - I spent hours getting all the cables routed around the back of the motherboard. It was great for about 6 months, and then I needed to take my power supply out to test on another computer (helping out a friend). After that, it just wasn't worth all the time and effort - I just keep the cables routed around the front. Not as clean, but much easier to remove the power supply if necessary.
  • jrcaptain - Saturday, February 7, 2009 - link

    You'll also need to remove the top panel anytime you want to access the side panels, since the two lovers that open the sides

    the two lovers.....levers

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