Great airflow; filtered fans; innovative motherboard placement; somewhat compact.
Hard drive cage seems lazy.
Like its older and larger sibling,
the Raven RV01
(reviewed April 2009 as part of
our full-tower roundup
), Silverstone’s Raven RV02 is an all-black steel and plastic chassis with a defining feature: The motherboard orientation is rotated 90 degrees from the standard layout. But the Raven RV02 is even less orthodox than the RV01, which seems positively pedestrian by comparison. Unlike its full-tower predecessor, the RV02 is deeper than it is tall—25 inches deep by 20 inches tall by 8.3 inches wide, so it sits low to the ground. The front of the case is chunky stealth-inspired plastic, but is much more restrained on the RV02 than on the RV01, with a garage door–style front bezel. The side panels and frame are steel, and the case is black inside and out.
Building a system in the RV02 is a vertiginous experience. At first glance, nothing seems to be in the right place—the right-side panel has an optional plastic window, while the left-side panel is the one behind the motherboard tray. Furthermore, not only do the PCI expansion slots and I/O shield mount to the top of the case, but so does the power supply, which sits to the right of the motherboard at the back of the case, and is held in place by four screws, a Velcro strap, and a plastic bracket. The case’s five 5.25-inch bays and 3-inch-bay hard drive cage sit at the front of the case. The hard drive cage isn’t as user-friendly as we’re used to seeing—to install a drive, you must first remove eight thumbscrews, take out the cage, and use four long screws to attach the drive to the rubber shock-absorbing mounts in the cage. Thankfully, four of the optical-drive slots use Silverstone’s familiar toolless retention mechanism.
The coolest drive-related feature in the Raven RV02, however, is the SSD mounting bracket. It’s just a plastic bracket you can install your SSD on, but it mounts between the optical bays and the left side panel, within a few inches of a hole in the motherboard tray that’s perfect for routing SATA cables.
The odd layout of the Raven RV02 has two clear advantages: First, cable routing is much easier. The power supply is right next to the top of the motherboard, so routing the motherboard power connectors is easy. The front-panel connectors enter the chassis right next to the bottom of the motherboard where they need to be plugged in, and the hard drive cage is right next to the motherboard’s SATA ports. The case isn’t particularly roomy, but with a little bit of effort, you can wire up a very nice-looking case.