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Maximum PC Staff Jun 05, 2009

Silverstone Raven RV01

A new twist on mobo orientation

While most Silverstone cases tend toward polished metal and (if you’re lucky) a side window, the Raven’s hard plastic exterior takes its stylistic cues from a stealth bomber. Appropriately, everything on this 24.3x26x11-inch beaut is hidden behind panels: the front connectors (two USB, audio, FireWire) behind a flip-up, and the five 5.25-inch drives behind a garage door–like sliding panel.

We thought it was just a gimmick at first, but the Silverstone Raven RV01 delivers.

The most striking thing about the Raven, besides its appearance, is that its motherboard mount is rotated 90 degrees clockwise—the I/O ports and PCI expansion slots, normally situated on the back of a case, are on the top and covered by a shroud that allows cables to be routed neatly to the back. This improves airflow (allowing air drawn in by two 18cm fans to rise from the bottom of the case to the top) and takes the stress of weighty PCI-E cards (like, say, dual-GPU offerings from Nvidia and ATI) off of the motherboard.

The Raven has plenty of slots and tabs for cable management.

Unlike the ABS Canyon or Cooler Master 840, the Raven’s motherboard tray is not removable, but installation is still pretty easy. And we dig the screwless retention mechanism for the optical drives and the cable-routing clips on the back of the mobo tray. Hard drive trays are nice, though hot-swapping requires buying additional components. And as is becoming standard in high-end cases, the intake vents are covered with removable dust screens.

No more scrabbling around behind the case for cables! The Raven routes all I/O cables from the top of the case.

We like the Raven’s looks, and we actually hope the rotated motherboard thing will catch on. We just wish the outer shell felt a bit more solid. And eSATA on top would be nice, too.

The Raven stealths its front-panel connectors and 5.25-inch drive bays behind clever paneling.

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THE VERDICT

Silverstone Raven RV01

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