Silverstone Raven EATX Tower Case

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MikeC
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Silverstone Raven EATX Tower Case

Post by MikeC » Fri May 08, 2009 9:44 am


Redzo
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Post by Redzo » Fri May 08, 2009 10:28 am

Man that was one UGLY case. Did they hire a blind guy to design it ? Or was it some teenage japanese guy whose sold on "anime" crap ?
Last edited by Redzo on Fri May 08, 2009 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

axee
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Post by axee » Fri May 08, 2009 10:44 am

Ugly! Looks like plastic Bat-mobile :D


Even whole airflow design and hdd placing isn't optimal for me, too much unused space (maybe useful for hdd enclosures?)..

Blah!

Eyedolon
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Post by Eyedolon » Fri May 08, 2009 11:19 am

I thought you did a very good job with the review. Not exactly typical SPCR material, and I expected to see the usual silencer rig in there.

Was it this forum that had someone who went and sketched an idea for a similarly rotated case a few months back? The issue with the adapters is the only problem I can see with the setup. I wonder if it makes the noise more audible above the case then a traditional rear-oriented setup?

ALSO! It's been my experience, running SLI since it was introduced, that the secondary card never seems to get as hot as the primary. From what I understand you can think of SLI like a chain of engines on a train, where the additional cards are merely there to augment the primary.

bozar
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Post by bozar » Fri May 08, 2009 1:09 pm

Excellent review as always, can't wait for the next case-review.

Shaman
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Post by Shaman » Fri May 08, 2009 2:02 pm

It was strange to read this review on SPCR. But thanks. :)

Broadleaf
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Post by Broadleaf » Fri May 08, 2009 3:59 pm

Thankyou spcr for this first review of this VERY COOL looking case. I eagerly await your second review of this case as a quiet system.

Thomas
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Post by Thomas » Fri May 08, 2009 10:10 pm

Wow, nice to see something different from the clean exterior design route! And it's especially good to see something else than the Antec internal design, that works for quietness. I'm not that impressed with the open front style from Antec... The Raven under a desk have more potential - I think.

I believe a Raven system with 2,5" disks in Scythe Quiet Drives, good PSU, a AMD 4850 + passive Ninja + 780G, and the two 180 intake fans as only fans @ ~500 RPM will be very quiet. Maybe even just one intake fan will do...

I respect SPCR for doing something very different, from what we're used to. Thanks.

And even some probably would say I'm too old for that, I'll actually like the design - looks like something Darth Wader have invented 8) and it would suite my SideWinder keyboard + mouse very well. Except the blue light, but that's easily swapped with red LED's for instance.

KadazanPL
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Post by KadazanPL » Fri May 08, 2009 11:24 pm

Thank you for the review! :) Personally, I find this case ugly and oversized ;)

Are there any plans on reviewing the new CoolerMaster Sileo? I think the spcr regulars would find it more interesting.

thejamppa
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Post by thejamppa » Sat May 09, 2009 12:55 am

Despite I don't like the window and I hate that over used plastic here and there. I find the case rather intresting, due its something very different since the P18x-series which also taught that cases can evolve too, beoynd the standard thinking of how you place cases internal sections.

The 180mm fans... Very nice. And seems they're high quality aswell. I hate the bright blue led thing and I am so glad there isn't any blue-bling fans on the case.

Maybe we get Smaller Raven Jr. which not that much plastic used. Aestehtics side, I honestly think they should use less plastic on the top and make it so that adaptrs can be used.

Overall, that case is very interesting concept, which component placements and 180mm quiet fans are something that I focused on my attention positively. That is very good case to develope a better case in terms of sound quality and over that overly plastic design.

If they would make Taven case, with that component layout, with those two 180mm quiet fans and outside design like Antec Three Hundred, I am sold then.

Gorsnak
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Post by Gorsnak » Sat May 09, 2009 8:25 am

Dagnabbit, they stole my bottom-sucking intake & psu airflow isolation setup. Who do I sue for royalties? :lol:

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sat May 09, 2009 9:10 am

Gorsnak wrote:Dagnabbit, they stole my bottom-sucking intake & psu airflow isolation setup. Who do I sue for royalties? :lol:
Thanks for the reminder about your quiet wood case, Doug. I trust it's still working well? I prefer the aesthetic of your case, but I think Silverstone did it differently enough to sidestep your lawyers... ;)

I knew this review was going to raise a few eyebrows or even hackles from regular readers, but we really have to pay attention to the intended markets. With the Raven there's no question it's meant to be a power/game user's case, and the acoustic aspect is almost always takes a back seat. There was no point to doing detailed acoustic analysis with super quiet components. The silence fanatics can easily figure out what the residual noise floor of this case is: The two fans running together at 500~600 rpm won't produce more than 15~17 dBA in the case, and still provide a good amount of cooling airflow. With a quiet enough PSU and HDDs, <20 dBA is easily achievable.

As to how effective its cooling is, in truth, I doubt it's much better than a conventionally oriented case with say 2 120mm fans at about the same noise level. Why? Because the exhaust area is no better than any number of conventional cases. Actual impedance of airflow may not be an issue until the 18cm fans are at nearly full tilt though. Even at full speed, they don't seem to move that much air -- not surprising considering the low 700rpm top speed. (But they do become noisy enough that I wouldn't ever run em that high.) To take full advantage of the convection-friendly design, you'd want to use heatsinks with big fins oriented for maximum exposure to the flow.

Consider that many users have found using the top fan in the P18x series as an intake to provide the best cooling. That's the counterpoint to convection, the gist being that you need a lot of heat and high temperatures to create a smokestack effect. There have been detailed discussions and hands-on experiments by forum members on this in the past. Someone will remember and find the link, I'm sure.
Last edited by MikeC on Sat May 09, 2009 9:39 am, edited 3 times in total.

Gorsnak
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Post by Gorsnak » Sat May 09, 2009 9:36 am

It's had the internal components replaced a couple times, but the case still works marvelously. Outside of optical drives spinning up it's virtually always below ambient. And what more can one really ask?

The down side is that since my computer never makes any noise, I don't read the spcr as much. :cry:

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sat May 09, 2009 10:11 am

Interesting, Doug. Glad you came back for this discussion, anyway. ;)

btw, here are some of the most salient chimney / smokestack / convection cooling threads I found:

Role of natural convection in silent PC cooling

Heat rises is a MYTH!

Computing Chimney? - link to the resulting chimney case system

WOOD Case - vertical airflow ( all black :D )

LodeHacker
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Post by LodeHacker » Sat May 09, 2009 11:16 am

Interesting case, but meh too big and clumsy to be usable for me. Prefer Antec's design this time for gaming rigs!

whispercat
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Post by whispercat » Sat May 09, 2009 12:34 pm

I think I'll pass on this case. But interesting article.

How much for the cat? And is he/she quiet? :D

LodeHacker
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Post by LodeHacker » Sat May 09, 2009 11:40 pm

whispercat wrote:I think I'll pass on this case. But interesting article.

How much for the cat? And is he/she quiet? :D
Not to be mean, but wrap him/her in AcoustiPack and everything should be fine, remember to leave some ventilation holes for exhaust though :lol:

CyberDog
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Post by CyberDog » Sat May 09, 2009 11:45 pm

Interesting review and case. Cat was cute :)

thejamppa
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Post by thejamppa » Sun May 10, 2009 12:00 pm

*blinks* there was a cat? How did I missed such thing...
Edit: *sighs* Indeed in very first picture. I need stronger glasses or stronger coffee...

Greg F.
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Post by Greg F. » Sun May 10, 2009 2:34 pm

The thing I like least is the price. I guess US$50 Antec Solos on sale have spoiled me. The thing I like best is the HANDLE on top. As I approach 6-0 (I can't say it, let alone type it) picking up a computer case from the floor is something I really don't like anymore. If you have ever pulled a groin muscle, well let's just say they seem to pull more easily the next time. In fact I am going to rig up some bungy straps next time I want to move one of these up off the floor. I am serious. The rest of you, just wait.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Tue May 12, 2009 9:18 am

A small addition was made to the review today, on page 7:
Baseline Noise

Finally, noise measurements were made of the case with the two 180mm fans spinning inside. The air cavity resonances inside a case amplify fan noise, as do any vibrations transferred from the fans into the case, so these measurements can be regarded as the baseline SPL levels for the Raven. Adding components can only increase the noise.
This is probably something we'll repeat in future case reviews.

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Tue May 12, 2009 9:25 am

whispercat wrote:How much for the cat? And is he/she quiet? :D
Priceless, and mostly quiet except when she wants your attention. Then, she emits an amazingly wide range of sounds. Curiously, when she was a kitten, her meow was barely a squeak, almost inaudible till >2 years of age. She also showed no sign of expanding to 14 lbs or shedding massive amounts of admittedly silky fur... hey, that's probably available for a price. A quarter for thousand strand lots? :lol:

Olle P
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Post by Olle P » Tue May 12, 2009 9:43 am

MikeC wrote:The air cavity resonances inside a case amplify fan noise, ... Adding components can only increase the noise.
Adding components change the resonance properties, which means they can just as well decrease that noise.

Just think about components such as damping mats...

Cheers
Olle

whispercat
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Post by whispercat » Tue May 12, 2009 12:05 pm

MikeC wrote:
whispercat wrote:How much for the cat? And is he/she quiet? :D
Priceless, and mostly quiet except when she wants your attention. Then, she emits an amazingly wide range of sounds. Curiously, when she was a kitten, her meow was barely a squeak, almost inaudible till >2 years of age. She also showed no sign of expanding to 14 lbs or shedding massive amounts of admittedly silky fur... hey, that's probably available for a price. A quarter for thousand strand lots? :lol:
LOL...but what is her noise level under full purr? Have you tested her in the SPCR anechoic chamber? I'd like to see a feature review complete with sound recordings and cat food consumption charts. :lol:

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Post by MikeC » Tue May 12, 2009 1:03 pm

whispercat wrote:LOL...but what is her noise level under full purr? Have you tested her in the SPCR anechoic chamber? I'd like to see a feature review complete with sound recordings and cat food consumption charts. :lol:
She has indeed, been heard in the chamber, if not measured. During heavy weather (thunderstorms, hail, etc) she slips away to cower in the tomb-like quiet of the chamber. Food consumption charts would be boringly and surprisingly flat: One cup or less daily of high quality dry + a single small can of wet spread over a week.

kittle
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Post by kittle » Tue May 12, 2009 1:30 pm

lol @ the kitty discussions.

MikeC - any tips for keeping cat hair out of a PC other than vacuuming the case once a week? (I have a 17lb long haired main coon).
His noise level under "full purr" is around 40-45dba -- quite loud.

The case looks quite interesting from the outside. Overall a good review. I think also some of the seemingly wasted space would go away if you used an EATX motherboard. Although the crossbar may become more of a problem when installing your HSF (or 2x HSF for dual socket boards).

Like others I dont care for the cables comming out the top, id be afraid my monitor cables would develop permanent kinks in them. and it also removes a prime spot for setting things on -- books, stack of cd media, headset, my cat...

As for comments on the cost -- I find with cases, you almost always get what you pay for (yes there are exceptions on both ends).

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Post by MikeC » Tue May 12, 2009 7:22 pm

Olle P wrote:
MikeC wrote:The air cavity resonances inside a case amplify fan noise, ... Adding components can only increase the noise.
Adding components change the resonance properties, which means they can just as well decrease that noise.

Just think about components such as damping mats...

Cheers
Olle
OK, but in most cases, the noise increases because of more noise makers -- PSU with fan, CPU cooler with fan, HDDs...

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Post by netmask254 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:02 am

They soon anounce a Raven 2 with more conventional appearance (smaller size) meanwhile keep the similar internal design (3 bottom fans?), with a cheaper price (in China, it's ~180 US dollars).

http://www.silverstonetek.com/raven/pro ... 2&area=usa

JamieG
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Post by JamieG » Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:32 pm

netmask254 wrote:They soon anounce a Raven 2 with more conventional appearance (smaller size) meanwhile keep the similar internal design (3 bottom fans?), with a cheaper price (in China, it's ~180 US dollars).

http://www.silverstonetek.com/raven/pro ... 2&area=usa
Looks very interesting. With the 3 x bottom 180mm fans at 7V or so, it could be pretty quiet. There are default case switches included for 700rpm / 1000rpm speeds as well.

Plus, the Specifications section for that case make a tantalising mention of a suspension system for HDDs, (but nothing is mentioned in the manual) as well as having a mount for SSDs. Looks pretty easy to do a ghetto mount suspension with clothing elastic or stretch magic though once the normal HDD cage is remove, and having a 180mm fan directly below the HDD should help prevent higher HDD temps.

Size is pretty big though IMO: 212mm (W) x 503mm (H) x 643mm (D).

Hopefully SPCR gets to review this case as well! It looks like it would be quite well suited to quiet operation for a gaming system.

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Post by jimmyzaas » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:54 am

I got the original Raven because it was on sale with free shipping and I love the blackbird look. It is the biggest case I've ever owned in my life. It's almost as tall as my desk! The box is as big as that of my flat screen TV! To be fair, I expected it to be tall, but it is super long as well.

I wished the article covered a bit more on cable management which is not well thought out. The holes are clearly too small to be useful. Want to fit a power cable through the side holes? Too bad, not possible. Maybe SATA cables, USB Header cables, that's about it. What sucks is a normal sized ATX board will cover the 2 other holes near the back of the case. That is great. 4 holes, 2 blocked, 2 holes semi useless. Why not have big holes right below the motherboard? Raven 2 have some great ideas but unfortunately, 3 giant fans must be louder than 2, no firewire port, no cover for the front panel ports, and I don't like it's looks. Not to mention, not much room for hdds. FT02 looks good tho.

Another annoyance is the top 120mm fan in which one corner is held by something that looks like a thumbtack (I'm bad at vocab). It took me a while to figure out how to remove it and it's a pain in the ass if you fit a fan with thicker "holes" (Scythe SFlex) in it because the thumbtack doesn't have room to "expand". Well it won't work, get a Noctua fan or remove it all together.

Lastly, my massive Tower heatsink sits right beside the optical drive bay area. Which meant, I knocked the shit out of my heatsink several times during installation and cable routing, that can't possibly be good. The new Raven 2 handles this better by flipping the mobo to the other side of the case and hence the heatsink is facing the back rather than the optical drivers.

Rant aside, the case is as quiet as SPCR claims. My goal was to get a case big enough for new video cards, cool enough for 3 hard drives and as quiet as my existing SOLO case and this pup passed all three with flying colors... not be mention it looks bad ass with the blue/red led strip. However, the temperatures are actually only similar to my SOLO with GPU temp actually a bit higher. Just a bit (maybe 2 degrees).

Overall, aside from the messy cable management, I absolutely agree with SPCR and am very glad I read it prior to my purchase. It is a wonderful case despite its flaws.

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