RAVEN RV03 Test and Review

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RAVEN RV03 was released for first time back in 2011, about 2 years ago and since then there has been no case model from the brand and was released in 3 almost the same versions with some minor differences:

  1. Raven SST-RV03B (black, champagne trimming)
  2. Raven SST-RV03B-W (black, champagne trimming + window)
  3. Raven SST-RV03B-WA (black, grey trimming + window)

For this test and review I have the chance to review and test SST-RV03B-W  offering black colour scheme with champagne trimming elements and window which I can say is a case meant to be used by people which require huge performance combined with many unique features and awesome appearance. By saying unique features I mean that this case is offering a lot of interesting things that make it unique. Features that I will describe in this article.

So, let’s get started…

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The case arrived with a pretty simple carton box with the name of the product on the front panel and a lot of technical details described on the side and the back panels of the box. The package is very simple but still tight and strong protecting the product inside. But after all this is a review for a case not a carton box so I was eager to open it and touch RAVEN RV03.

After I took the case out of the big carton “fortress” my jaw dropped to the ground. And this is how the case looks like seen from the front.

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As I said at the beginning of the article I’ve received the model Raven SST-RV03B-W  entirely painted in matte black with champagne trimming on the front and top panels and an acrylic window on the left panel. According to the official technical details the case is made of 0.8mm Steel body and reinforced plastic outer shell with dimensions of 235mm (W) x 522mm (H) x 570mm (D) and with overal weight of 11.4kg. Actually it is a very, very big case.

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And this is how the case looks seen from the front/right and the right/back sides. Did you notice that the back panel is kinda empty ?

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Actually this is the first unique feature which RAVEN RV03 offers. The case is designed and build to hold the hardware in a slightly different way compared to the standard cases released in the last years from all the brands. The motherboard installed inside RAVEN RV03 is rotated at 90 degrees angle and thus all of the 8 expansion slots, the 120mm fan are on the top panel of the case hidden under the plastic cover made with lots of openings so the hot air can get out of the case. Apart from that there is a case fan slot behind the motherboard cooling the hard disk drives and the back of the socket.

And this is how the case looks with top plastic panel removed:

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After the top plastic panel is removed the case  can be opened by removing the screws and just slide the side panels aside.

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To do a proper review for this product I decided to remove all parts from the case and describe them one by one while mounting them back together and after I removed almost everything from the case this is how it looked:

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And seen from the back:

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After aproximitely 30 minutes disassembling the parts from the case and sorting the screws I got the picture above. After I arranged all of the parts together for taking a picture I was really amused of how many parts are installed inside one case only:

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There are like 20 different parts made of plastic, metal and rubber with like 5-10 types of screws for attaching them to the case. I will try to describe them one by one but it could be a bit hard:

  1. Left and Right painted in black steel side panels. 
  2. The 2 parts of the top plastic panel
  3. The 2 HDD cages made of plastic, steel and rubber dumpers
  4. The 2 feet – front and back made of plastic and rubber
  5. Back HDD and SSD cages installed behind the motherboard made of steel and rubber
  6. The plastic handle installed under the plastic top panel on the back of the case
  7. 2 x 180mm AP181 fans installed on the bottom of the case
  8. 1 x 120mm fan including a metal grill for the top panel of the case
  9. 7 x plastic covers for the front panel
  10. The 8 x PCI slot metal plates
  11. Like a hundred screws and cables

That actually is really impressive and I hope I will be able to put them all back together. Let’s do some dirty work.

First thing to put back inside the case was the power cable. For the RAVEN RV03 the power supply is installed on the front bottom corner and the power is done via a not very long C13 – C14 cable making a connection between the power supply and the electricity network.

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And the cable is installed. Actually the power cable coming from the electricity network passes beneath the case and is plugged in from the bottom.

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After I installed this cable I had to continue with mounting the HDD cages back to their places. Actually the case is meant to hold up to 7 x 5.25″ devices in the standard chassis or 6 x 3.5″ and 1 x 5.25″ devices. The 6 x 3.5″ devices are installed inside 2 x HDD cages made of steel plates with rubber dumpers and 2 plastic fan holders on each side of the plates.

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On the picture above you can see what the HDD cages look like when they are not assembled and on the picture below you can see what they look like when they are assembled. On each side of the plates a 120mm fan can be installed. That is actually a very nice additional cooling option.

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Now let’s put them back inside the RAVEN RV03…

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The HDD cages are installed inside the case and can be secured with the tooless plastic locks on the left side and with additional screws on both sides of the HDD chassis. The case arrived with secured HDD cages with both methods.

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After I installed the front HDD cages inside the case it was about time to install the other 5 cages behind the motherboard back to their places.

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Raven RV03 offers the option to install 4 additional hard disk drives with 4 metal including rubber dumpers brackets and up to 2 solid state drives installed in 1 metal bracket behind the motherboard. The HDDs are installed via long bolts through the rubber dumpers. The interesting part is that there is not actual connection between the metal bracket and the hdd and the drivers are kinda floating. Of course, the dumpers are very tight and there is no danger of damaging a hard drive.

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All 5 brackets are installed to the case with screws and if you noticed 2 of them are installed on preinstalled standoffs. And this is what they look like when they are mounted back in the case.

Since the case can handle up to 10 hard drives, 1 optical device and up to 2 solid state drives it will require some cooling and next thing to do is to install the cooling fans back in the case.

The standard cooling for this product is done by 2 x 180mm AP181 fans on the bottom fan as intake fans and 1 x 120mm fan on the top panel as exhaust fan. Now let’s put them back inside the case.
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Maybe you already noticed but there are two pairs of cables coming out of the  AP181 fans and one of them is for powering and automatic regulating by the motherboard while the second cable is with a small switch installed on the top panel under the plastic for manual control. Since there are 2 of these fans both of them can be controlled from the switches and can be done directly from outside the case. Unfortunately, the 120mm fan can be controlled only automatically by the motherboard.

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There is a safety grill for the 120mm fan. You can see on the picture above what the 120mm fan and the small switches look like when they are back inside the case.

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And here are the big blowers. It is very interesting to point out that one of the AP181 is moved a bit back beneath the motherboar just so it can cool the HDDs mounted behind the motherboard. Apart from that just above the fans the are 2 holes in the tray for proper cable management. Of course, there are holes between the HDD cages and the motherboard and a big cut behind the motherboard for easy cable management and CPU cooler installation.

After the cooling fans were back to their original places I had to install back some additional and functional parts as you can see from the picture below.

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First thing to do was to put back the plastic with rubber feet on the bottom of the case which is done via 8 screws and the dust filters for the 2 x AP181 intake fans. The dust filters are attached to the case via small magnets and can be removed very easily for future cleaning.

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And the black plastic handle attached to the top panel via 4 screws.

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After I was done with these parts it was about time to boost a little bit the appearance with adding the front and the top plastic parts and panels.

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The plastic part holding all of the Input/Output connectors which for this case are actually just 2 x USB 3.0 backwards compatible with USB 2.0, 1 x audio and 1 x MIC hidden under a flip cover. Apart from that all of the LEDs are installed on the same panel. And this is what the case looks like with the I/O panel back to its place and the front plastic HDD brackets installed.

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With this I believe I was done reassembling the case back together and ready for doing tests. It took me actually about 1 hour to put everything back together and then I noticed a small white box near me with a title RV03. I was like ‘Oh my god! More parts…’

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And yes, the small white box was holding:

  1. A black manual which is about the size of a book
  2. A USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 adapter so the front USB ports can work.
  3. A molex to  3 x 3pin fan connectors so the fans can be powered directly from the power supply
  4. Some cable ties
  5. And a lot more screws

I believe it is about time to do some testing. For that I installed my system inside the case and I was enjoying how it looks.

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All of the parts were installed and the fans connected to the motherboard and the case was closed for doing some testing.

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This is how the case looks when it is closed. Did you notice the small holes on both of the sides providing fresh air to the power supply ? Cute…

 

After mounting the hardware inside the case, I decided to measure temperatures in idle mode at standard and overclock frequency and at full load at standard and overclock frequency of the CPU, SSD and the video card.

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 620 at standard frequency of 2612 MHz and overclocked at 3640 MHz (at 1.5V) per core for the tests.

Motherboard: GigaByte 790X-UD3P

Video card: Sapphire 5830 Extreme 1GB DDR5 256bit

Memory: 2 x 2GB Apacer 800 MHz

Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G

Case: Raven RV03

Power supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro 600

Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

Thermal paste: Gelid GC-Supreme

Fan mounted: The standard 120mm fans from the Hyper 212 Evo package

The tests were conducted in a closed system with:

  1. 180mm fan on the bottom panel putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1150 rpm
  2. 180mm fan on the bottom panel putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1150 rpm
  3. 120mm fan on the top panel taking hot air out and spinning at about 960 rpm.
  4. Room temperature of about 19 degrees.

My working environment looked like this:

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After conducting the tests, here are the results I measured.

Test in idle mode of the CPU at 2611MHz, the video card at 800/1000 MHz and the SDD.

Raven RV-03 @2612 idle

Test with full load of the CPU at 2611MHz, the video card at 800/1000 MHZ and the SDD.

Raven RV-03 @2612 stress

 

Test in idle mode of the CPU at 3640 MHz, overclocked video card at 900/1000 MHz and the SSD.

Raven RV-03 @3640 idle

Test with load of the CPU at 3640 MHz, overclocked video card at 900/1000 MHz and the SSD.

Raven RV-03 @3640 stress

 

After few hours of reassembling the case and doing some tests I believe it is time to say a few words about the test and review I’ve done.

  1. RAVEN RV03 performance - Well there are many things I want to say about this model but I will point only the major ones. The RAVEN RV03 as part of the RV series offers a lot of unique features such as 90 degrees rotated motherboard and 2 x 180mm AP181 fans cooling all of the parts installed on the motherboard with the channeling technology which provide great performance and cooling capabilities. And let’s not forget that maximum count of the fans that can be installed is huge since there are 5 more 120mm fans slots. Next thing to notice is the option to install up to 10 x 3.5″ HDDs to the brackets with the rubber dumpers which are actually non-contact and the drives are kinda floating but still tight enough so the hard disks are not damaged and 2 x 2.5″ SSDs , which is great since this case can be used as a small storage.
  2. RAVEN RV03 noise level – The preinstalled AP181 fans inside the case are actually supplied with rubber dumpers and are very silent when automatically controlled or decreased via the switches but since I was testing 3 components at same time and the fans were working at maximum speed they were a bit noisy but still the fan of the video card working at 100% was noisier.
  3. RAVEN RV03 appearance – There is nothing more to say except – AWESOME. The case is really beautiful and the rotated motherboard makes me smile everytime I see the hardware through the acrylic window on the left panel.

For me the case is really amazing and I can say that it is an awesome combination of appearace, capabilities and performance. I believe very soon this model might become a main case for my next testing rig.

I think RAVEN RV03 deserves the following reward:

Best-Perf-Visual

Official price (MSRP): RAVEN RV03 – 113 euro

Warranty: 24 months

 

I thank Raven/SilverStone for the test sample.

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Dobrin Krastev is the owner, reviewer and newsman of www.DVTests.com with more than 15 years' experience in personal computers, server and storage systems, UPS, peripheral devices and software. Passionate about testing and reviewing, AMD overclocking using AM3 990FXA and AMD FM2 A85X test systems and building modding projects.
2 Comments
  1. Dk_vr

    After some time using this case, all I can say is outstanding product.

    Reply
  2. rumbeza

    This is one of my favorite pc cases, even now when I’m using a bench table. I’ll wait for pics of the new rig. Great review by the way.

    Reply

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