Silverstone Raven Two

Cases|Damping
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AUDIO RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with 7~10 seconds of ambient noise, then 8~10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is barely audible, back the volume control off a touch to make it just inaudible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

  • SilverStone Raven Two
    — Minimalist High Performance System at idle, 17 dBA@1m
    — Single 4870 High Performance System at idle, 20 dBA@1m
    — Dual 4870 High Performance System at full load, two 18cm fans on High, 29 dBA@1m

Comparative Case Recordings

FINAL THOUGHTS

The SilverStone Raven Two continues in the path forged by its predecessor, with some interesting changes, both positive and not so positive. For cooling of hot systems with minimal noise, the Raven Two is SPCR's new champ, by a small but clearly measurable margin. While there are many functional and stylistic differences, its closest competitor is the Antec Twelve Hundred, which it edges mostly by virtue of its nicer sounding fans. The advantage might have been a serendipitous accident, but there it is nonetheless: The Raven Two fans, as implemented in the case, are clearly smoother sounding than any of the standard TriCool fans used in the Antec cases.

The Raven Two is generally an improvement over the Raven One. It has three quiet 18cm fans, intsead of two; those fans have built-in high / low speed settings; it's not nearly as tall or garish looking as the Raven One; the 12cm fan in the new case is considerably quieter than the one in the old. Finally, the Raven Two does a better job of cooling with slightly lower noise. The height of the case is at more acceptable typical mid-tower levels, and dropping support for EATX motherboards will hardly lose any potential customer. Almost all the performance-oriented consumers are staying with single CPU ATX boards these days, and the Raven does support the very biggest of these boards.

The hard drive mounting system is one of the Raven One's best features, but it's probably one of the Raven Two's worst, if you value easy access to the HDDs (specifically removing or adding them). Yes, the HDD cage is accessible through the front bezel, but the procedure is more tedious than in most cases. It also does not offer the backplane SATA option of the Raven One.

There are a few other aspects of the case that could use improvement. The fit of PCI cards and the openings for them on the top panel was not great; hopefully, this is an isolated sample issue. Perhaps the motherboard tray could use a bit more rigidity. The power and reset button switches on the top corners are just a bit too easy to hit accidentally; during testing, it happened several times. The cables at the top of the case may cause headaches for some. Using a tall adapter (like for a video card) makes it hard for the top cover to fit.

Back to positives, cable management via the back side of the motherboard tray is quite good, with many points for wire ties to be used. The overall build quality is good. The steel side panels are reasonably thick, the plastic is sturdy, and the manual is surprisingly detailed and useful.

In summary, the Raven Two is a very good case for a high performance system, and it manages to provide excellent cooling with less noise than any other case of its class that we've reviewed. It's not without faults, but they can be forgiven in light of its performance. At the current $165~220 street price, it's certainly competitive with other high end gaming cases. We're happy to bestow our firm recommendation for the Raven Two's combination of innovative design, effective cooling and low noise.

SilverStone Raven Two
PROS

* Very good cooling design
* Smooth, quiet fans
* Useful 2-speed switch on 18cm fans
* Very low baseline noise
* Visually more subtle than Raven One
CONS

* Very deep
* Poor HDD cage access
* Unusual aesthetics?
* Big, bright power light

Our thanks to SilverStone Technology for the Raven case sample.



The SilverStone Raven Two is Recommended by SPCR

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X-650: Seasonic hits Gold

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