SilverStone Raven RVZ02 Slim Tower

Cases|Damping
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TESTING

System Configuration:

  • Intel Core i5-4690K processor - 3.4 GHz (3.8 GHz with Turbo Boost), 22nm, 84W
  • Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev.B CPU cooler
  • ASUS Z97I-PLUS motherboard - Intel Z97 chipset, mini-ITX
  • ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 980 graphics card - 2048 CUDA cores, 1178 MHz clock (1279 MHz with GPU Boost), 7010 MHz memory
  • Kingston HyperX Genesis memory - 2x4GB, DDR3-1600, C10
  • Kingston SSDNow solid-state drive - 240GB, M.2
  • SilverStone SX500-LG power supply - 500W, SFX-L
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate operating system, 64-bit

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Prime95 processor stress software.
  • FurMark stability test to stress the integrated GPU.
  • Asus GPU Tweak to monitor GPU temperatures and adjust fan speeds.
  • SpeedFan to monitor system temperatures and adjust system fan speeds.
  • Extech 380803 AC power analyzer / data logger for measuring AC system power.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer: SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower

Testing Procedures

The system is placed in two states: idle, and load using Prime95 (2 out of 4 possible threads, large FFTs setting) and FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility. This puts more demand on the CPU and GPU than any real life application or game. Throughout testing, system temperatures, noise levels, and power consumption are recorded. During the load test, the system and GPU fans speeds are adjusted to various levels in an attempt to find an optimal balance between cooling and noise while maintaining a GPU temperature of 85°C (at an ambient temperature of 22°C).

Baseline Noise

For our baseline noise tests, the system is left idle, the CPU and GPU fans are set to their minimum speeds. The system fan(s) are connected to controllable fan header(s) and are set to a variety of speeds using SpeedFan. This gives us a good idea of what the stock fan(s) sound like at different speeds with minimal interference from other sources.

As the RVZ02 does not have any system fans or even an option for them, there are no baseline tests to perform.

TEST RESULTS

System Measurements: Prime95x2 + FurMark,
85°C Target GPU Temp (at 22°C Ambient)
Orientation
Vertical
Vertical (upside down)
Horizontal
GPU Fan Speed*
1160 RPM (42%)
1040 RPM (40%, min)
1740 RPM (53%)
CPU Temp
52°C
54°C
55°C
MB Temp
48°C
52°C
55°C
GPU Temp
85°C
80°C
85°C
System Power (AC)
280W
283W
286W
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(GPU fan side)
24~25 dBA
25 dBA
N/A
[email protected]
(CPU fan side)
25~26 dBA
27~28 dBA
32 dBA
* set as low as possible to maintain target GPU temperature on load.
CPU fan at 1000 RPM.
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

A CPU fan speed of just 1000 RPM is sufficient to keep the processor comfortably below 60°C and the noise this produces is low enough to be drowned out by the other components, so this speed is fixed throughout stress testing.

Standing in its proper orientation with the graphics card in the top portion of the case, a GPU fan speed of 1160 RPM is required to keep the GPU at our target temperature. The system measures 1 dB louder when the mic is positioned on the right side where the CPU/PSU fan are exposed so it would seem that the power supply fan is actually the noisiest component in our machine.

Flipping the chassis upside-down positions the video card in the cooler lower portion of the case, allowing its fans to run at minimum speed. This section is so cool that our 85°C target temperature can't be reached due to the minimum speed of the GPU fans. In this orientation, the CPU heats up by 2°C and the motherboard by twice that, with both components now residing in the hotter upper part of the enclosure. In this position, the machine actually measures louder on both sides, again likely due to the power supply. Despite my earlier reservations of the power supply blowing downward in the recommended orientation, it appears that the unit actually heats up more in the top half of the case and its fan has to work harder.

Like its predecessor, the RVZ02 suffers greatly when situated horizontally. The limited clearance provided by the case feet restricts airflow to the video card so a much higher GPU fan speed is necessary, resulting in a 4~5 dB spike in SPL. The extra heat makes its way over the CPU side of the case as well, making everything a tad warmer. This orientation is fine for typical operations of a HTPC but add gaming to the mix and it's going to run much hotter and louder than when standing upright.

As there are no case fans, how the SilverStone RVZ02 sounds is entirely dependent on what you put into it. In our case, it's eerily quiet at idle as there is no mechanical hard drive and the GPU fans are off when the video card isn't being taxed. The minimum PWM speed of our CPU fan is just 800 RPM, so the machines measures a mere 13~14 [email protected] The only sore-point is our sample SX500-LG PSU, whose fan produces a clicking noise at very low speeds that's noticeable at close proximity.

On load, the noise generated is more well-rounded with additional contributions of the CPU and GPU fans. The Scythe fan has a pleasant smooth profile but it's drowned out by the PSU fan which still suffers from the occasional tick when running at higher speeds but is otherwise benign sounding. The GPU fans are tolerable as well but what little coil whine being emitted by our video card is more audible than usual due to the open vent right next to it.



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