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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 ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.
SilverStone has tried several different designs for the Raven/Fortress series but the second generation has been the performance pinnacle, so using it as the inspiration for the RV05 wise. The biggest issue with the RV02 was size the three 18 cm fan and numerous 5.25/3.5 inch drive bays made it a very deep, large case. The RV05 addresses the problem by shedding one fan and reducing drive support to a bare minimum. Shrinking the motherboard tray to exclude the larger EATX form factor also made it shorter.
The RV05 isn't small by any metric, but slimming down by 5~6 Liters makes it feel almost compact compared to the second and third Raven iterations (we won't compare the smaller fourth edition as it featured a very different front to back airflow scheme). With everything they've taken out, the RV05 is also much lighter at 7.6 kg (16.7 lb). If you consider the differences in weight and volume, the RV05 is about two thirds as dense as its predecessors. The more efficient physical design didn't compromise performance though, with the RV05 achieving very similar thermal/acoustic results to the FT02, our current big case champion.
When SilverStone launched the Raven line, it brought up a debate about construction materials, especially after they started to release aluminum-clad Fortress counterparts. Plastic is widely regarded as inferior, and while this may be true, it's not that big an issue for a desktop case that isn't subjected to physical stress. That being said, we've never had any significant complaints about the series' build quality, at least not until now. Part of it is illusion for sure, the lack of heft and the hollowness of the interior contribute to the feeling but there are tangible issues like our problems with the side panel fit and the apparent shipping damage to the top cover. We couldn't describe the exterior as cheap, but it's not as well designed/finished as earlier models.
SilverStone is set to release a corresponding Fortress, the FT05 and the extra cost may be warranted, not just for aesthetic reasons. Others may well forgive the RV05's shortcomings, considering its street price is just US$115~$120 the lowest ever for a debuting Raven (aside from the mini Raven RVZ01). The Raven has always been cheaper than the Fortress but this time, it pushes into a lower price bracket, making it a feasible option for a much larger demographic. The bottom line is that the RV05 is a high performance case with a mid-range price, making it an excellent value.
Our thanks to SilverStone for the Raven RV05 case sample.
SilverStone Raven RV05 is Recommended by SPCR
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SilverStone RVZ01: A Mini Raven
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SilverStone Fortress FT04 Tower
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this article in the SPCR Forums.
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