Gadget Finder

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Silverstone RV02 Review

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! The Raven has landed at my house again. This time it's the RV02. Big thanks to Silverstone Taiwan for sending it over so quickly. Here's a quick pic I took of it the minute it arrived.

This is fresh off the factory floor straight to me for an exclusive unveiling for you guys here in Malaysia. I will be unboxing it and doing a quick and simple review of it. It's a pretty big rush coz Silverstone HQ want's me to prepare it for the upcoming Kuala Lumpur PC Fair.

Here's the box. I've been told that the retail version will look the same.

The box removed. Silverstone has finally reduced the size of the packaging with more efficient use of space. Just look at how they've recessed the accessories box into the styrofoam. The case is wrapped in a nice cloth bag now. No more cheap plastic bags.

Window side view of the case.

Front 3/4 view.

Side view.

Front view.

Back view. There's a mesh filter on the back to keep the intake clean for the PSU.

The rear filter is easily removed for cleaning.

Bottom view. This is where the 3x 180mm fans sit.

Top view.

Top cover removed. The top cover pops off easily now. No more twist n turn locks like the RV01. Just lift it straight up and it pops off.

A closer look at the top. These 3 switches control the 3x 180mm fans. Low-700rpm and High-1000rpm. The 180mm fans are specified to flow 100cfm at 700rpm.

The I/O port area has been improved by making it much deeper. As you can see in this picture, I've put in a USB thumb drive to show that it can be used with no problems. The RV01 was really shallow and USB thumb drives couldn't be used. Big thumbs up to Silverstone for sorting out a major complaint on the RV01.

I'll slowly move downwards from the top now after looking at the top panel. Let's take a look at the middle section of the case. This is a really cool feature of the RV02. It's an SSD holder. As far as I know, it's the only case with an SSD holder. Here's the included SSD bracket.

I don't have an SSD with me so I'll use a 2.5" HDD to show how it fits on the case. Here's the 2.5" HDD installed into the SSD bracket.

Here's the SSD bracket installed into the case. How cool is that? I reckon this is such a superb feature.

There's something I really miss from the RV01 though, the hot swap HDD cages in the RV01 were superb. RV02 now uses a conventional HDD cage with rubber grommets for suspension. The cage is held to the lower front section with 4 thumb screws.

Let's take a look at the internals now. There's a really useful hole behind the HSF area now. This will be very useful for people who change HSFs often as we can now access the backplate without having to remove the motherboard. There's are a lot of wire management holes all over the motherboard tray too. This should come in handy.

A closer look at the 3x 180mm fans at the bottom of the case. They're covered with a grill on top to prevent the fans from chewing up the wires inside the case.

The fans have filters which slide out easily for cleaning. Just pull the tabs and they come straight out.

The fan grills can be removed. This will be good for people who can keep the wire management nice and clean as the air flow should be a lot better without those grills on. There's also another reason for removing the grills. Silverstone has designed the RV02 for a fully internal water cooling set up. Here's how it looks like with the grills removed.

This is the bracket for attaching a radiator to the 180mm fans. There are 2 brackets included. Install 1 at the front, 1 at the back and we will be able to install a 3x120mm radiator on top of the fans. I personally use a simple 120mm radiator so I will be using just 1 bracket at the back like this.

I'm using a 120mm fan here to show how my 120mm radiator will be mounted to the bracket.

While we're looking at the fans. I put a 120mm fan on top of the 180mm fan to show just how big those big momma fans are.

I nearly forgot to mention this feature as it's hidden up at the top. Look carefully and you'll see 8 slots. This will be good for those of you planning on running 4 dual slot graphics cards.

One last picture of the top where the power and reset buttons are located. The USB and audio ports are there too. They really should have covered it behind a door like the RV01. I think this exposed USB panel is very ugly compared the stealthy look of the RV01.

My thoughts on the case so far-

The things I like:-
1. The hole behind the CPU socket on the motherboard tray for easy HSF installation.

2. Wire management holes are nice and big now as compared to the puny little holes on the RV01

3. The rather nifty SSD bracket.

4. A much deeper I/O port area on the top of the case which allows the usage of DVI-VGA adapter plugs and also fat DVI wires.

5. Cooling performance should be a lot better than RV01.

6. Rubber grommet mounting for the HDDs.

7. 3x speed controllers for the intake fans.

8. Easy maintenance with filters on all intake fans.

The things I don't like:-
1. Top USB and audio ports.

2. No more Hot Swap HDD cages like the RV01.

3. No door on front panel. The look will be ruined when a DVD drive is installed. Modders will have to use the stock slot cover for making a stealth DVD drive. Or you can do away with the DVD drive completely by using an external USB DVD drive.

4. Internal mounting for water cooling system. I don't like the radiator blowing hot air up into the other components. I would much prefer an external mounting to isolate the heat from the other components.

Well, that's all I can think of for now. I will only find out about the thermal performance in a few days time when I install the hardware inside. I will be sure to update the results later on if time permits. I'm on an extremely tight schedule as the PC Fair starts next weekend. Either way, you guys can come over to the KL PC Fair next weekend to check out the RV02 and be the privileged few to see and touch it first besides those who attended Computex in Taiwan.

Page 2- Additional info from Silverstone regarding fan grills.

Page 3- RV02 temperature report

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Anonymous said...

nice review, quite detail. wonder how much will it cost for retail in malaysia.. what is the material for the casing by the way?

Ian Ho said...

I've been told it will be a little bit cheaper than RV01's current price. It should be available in mid August but you better be quick coz there r very limited units. material is 0.8mm steel

Yoroi360 aka Pay4lei said...

Sweet casing, do you reckon that it will be under RM 350???

Ian Ho said...

The current RV01 is retailing for rm699. Silverstone has said it will be a lil bit cheaper. About rm600+ I guess.

Jitz said...

Awesome Review, I have been waiting for a review on this case since i saw it on computex, can't wait to lay my hands on it. Thank you!

Ian Ho said...

well............wait no more! Come on over to the KL PC Fair this weekend. I'll be bringing along my Raven 1 and Raven 2 for show at the Silverstone booth. See you guys there.