SilverStone Raven RVZ02 Slim Tower

Cases|Damping
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Comparison

Case Comparison: Prime95x2 + FurMark
(85°C Target GPU Temp at 22°C Ambient)
Case
Lian Li
PC-Q10
BitFenix Prodigy Black
Fractal Core 500
SilverStone FTZ01
SilverStone RVZ02B-W
Phanteks Evolv ITX
CPU Cooler
Kotetsu at 600 RPM
Mugen Max at 500 RPM
Kotetsu at 900 RPM
NH-L12 at 1000 RPM
Big Shuriken 2 at 1000 RPM
Kotetsu at 900 RPM
System Fan Speed
620 RPM
(1 x 40%)
500 RPM
(2 x 60%)
620 RPM
(1 x 60%)
1040 RPM
(2 x 60%)
N/A
620 RPM
(1 x 80%)
GPU
Asus HD 7870 DC2
Asus GTX 980 Strix
GPU Fan Speed
1290 RPM
880 RPM
1040 RPM
1260 RPM
1160 RPM
1670 RPM
CPU Temp
52°C
55°C
52°C
45°C
52°C
57°C
MB Temp
50°C
50°C
52°C
44°C
48°C
58°C
SSHD Temp
41°C
N/A
44°C
42°C
N/A
34°C
GPU Temp
85°C
85°C
81°C
85°C
85°C
85°C
17~18 dBA
20~21 dBA
24 dBA
24~25 dBA
24~25 dBA
29 dBA
System Power (AC)
266W
278W
288W
279W
280W
308W
Apx. Case Volume
19.2 L
26.4 L
18.6 L
14.1 L
12.2 L
34.1 L
Ambient temperature: 22°C.

Under optimal conditions, the RVZ02 matched the FTZ01/RVZ01 in terms of overall noise, albeit with higher CPU and motherboard temperatures and no mechanical hard drive. 24~25 [email protected] is worse than larger mini-ITX offerings but when you factor in size, it's a strong result.

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 ambient noise, then 5~10 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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Raven RVZ02 performs surprisingly well considering it is even smaller than its predecessor. The sleeker profile reduces the CPU heatsink height limit and takes case fans off the table altogether, but the end result is hardly disastrous. Compared to the RVZ01/FTZ01, our CPU heated up significantly while the GPU actually benefited from the design changes. The video card, fed directly from the larger/closer vent without a restrictive dust filter in the way, received improved cooling. More importantly, the video card fans could be slowed to achieve a similar overall noise output when the GPU side was facing us. The PSU fan on the opposite side of the case, along with the CPU fan, was the primary noise generator.

From a usability standpoint, the new model is a huge upgrade. Mounting the plastic GPU/drive bracket to the previous RVZ01/FTZ01 chassis was a nightmare. Each time I had to fit the bracket with a big video card attached, it felt like a piece would break off if the alignment wasn't just right. And once lowered into position, it was difficult to move any errant cables away from the fan blades. The RVZ02's fixed metal bracket and two panel design makes it more accessible and a snap to assemble by comparison. The vertical stands have also been improved, requiring more force to open and close. The only feature that has been lost is 3.5-inch drive support when using a long graphics card. A big hard drive would be more beneficial to most users so SilverStone should considering adding one in place of the optical drive bay in future revisions.

The aesthetics of the case have been revamped by removing the feather-like features along the sides which I found kind of creepy. The angular front panel is more than enough to convey the corvid motif without looking morbid. To me, the windowed version appears odd but I'm not used to see acrylic windows on this type of chassis, let alone ventilated ones. The vents on the standard black model blend in better color-wise but they protrude outward rather than being flush with the panel surface. Providing ample airflow in an attractive way seems to be a challenge for SilverStone.

Despite its issues, I recommended the Raven RVZ01 and the slimmed down RVZ02 retains almost everything I liked about the original while addressing its problems. What hasn't changed is the price, a perfectly reasonable US$70 for the plain version and US$80 for the windowed variant. If you're in the market for a compact high-end gaming case with console-like proportions and don't mind the lack of storage, the RVZ02 should be at the top of your list. The only thing it could really use is a premium counterpart, an aluminum-clad Fortress FTZ02 would certainly be welcome.

Our thanks to SilverStone for the Raven RVZ02B-W case sample.


The SilverStone Raven RVZ02 is recommended by SPCR

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Articles of Related Interest
Lian Li PC-Q10 Mini-ITX Case
Fractal Design Core 500 Mini-ITX Chassis
SilverStone FTZ01: Mini-ITX Fortress
Fractal Design Node 202 Compact Gaming Case
SilverStone RVZ01: A Mini Raven
Quiet Mini-ITX Gaming Build Guide #2: NCASE M1 Edition

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