Silverstone’s RAVEN series have captured the interest of PC enthusiasts since its release last 2008. Fans love the unique design and aesthetics plus the undeniable quality of these cases. Today, Silverstone have added a new model to the RAVEN series, the RVZ01 which is a mini-ITX chassis. Aside from being a desktop chassis, it is also marketed by Silverstone as a HTPC chassis. Let’s check it out with its signature RAVEN looks with a very interesting layout.
Reinforced plastic outer shell, steel body
External Slim slot-loading optical x 1Internal 3.5â€ x 1, 2.5â€ x 3
Top 1 x 120mm fan, 1500rpm, 18dBABottom 1 x 120mm fan, 1500rpm, 18dBA1 x 120mm fan slot
Front I/O Port
USB 3.0 x 2audio x 1MIC x 1
Support graphics card up to 13â€, width restriction – 5.88â€
The RVZ01 comes in a full-color box. You can find the features and specifications of the chassis written outside. Silverstone also choose a horizontal stacking of the box which saves a lot of space for transportation. I think you can stack five of these without damaging anything.
Inside you’ll find the RVZ01 wrapped with a black fabric which does gives a luxurious touch with the packaging coming from a premium grade chassis. You will also find a product catalog, which is the larger booklet, and the user’s manual.
Aside from the two pre-installed 120mm slim fans on the RVZ01, there are three magnetic fan filters included with the packaging. Other essential accessories include a set of case feet for the vertical and horizontal orientation, a pack of screws and a PCIe extender.
Closer Look – ExteriorÂ (RVZ01)
The RVZ01 have two orientation options, let us first take a glance at the vertical orientation.
On a vertical orientation, the RVZ01 looks like a thin mid-tower chassis. There’s one 120mm fan ventilation cutout on the right face of the chassis then twoÂ 120mm fan cutout on the left with an additional ventilation hole for the power supply near the bottom.
The top and bottom of the RVZ01 are identical which features the signature RAVEN design.
Taking a look at the horizontal orientation, the RVZ01 is ideal for a HTPC build.
Here you can see the opening for the slim slot-loading optical disk drive on the left portion of the front panel. On the right side are the two USB 3.0 ports. The top panel can handle weight just in case you plan to place something on it. The RVZ01 is surprisingly sturdy!
The rear of the RVZ01 is covered with ventilation holes to maximize passive cooling efficiency.
Closer Look – Interior (RVZ01)
There’s only one removable panel in the RVZ01. Removing that will reveal this view pictured above. The RVZ01 has a very unique layout. We recommend you read the user’s manual carefully before proceeding with the installation. From this angle, the upper-right portion is the motherboard area; the lower-right portion is the power supply area. Then the entire left potion is the graphics card, ODD and 2.5-inch storage drive area.
The graphics card module can be removed to access the two 120mm fan locations where there’s one that is already pre-installed.
The power supply module is also removable for easier cable management.
System Assembly -Â RVZ01
In building your system with the RVZ01, we recommend installing the motherboard first with the power supply and graphics card module removed from the case. This will allow you to route the cables around the power supply module for better cable management.
Install the power supply into the power supply module. For this review, we will be using Silverstone’s ST45SF-G 450-watt SFX modular power supply.
On top of the power supply module is a slot for a single 3.5-inch hard drive which is played by a Western Digital Caviar Blue.
Install the entire power supply module back to the chassis. Apparently in this image above, we haven’t installed the motherboard yet to feature this portion of the chassis.
Installing the graphics card is quite tricky. First, you need to install the PCIe extender card to the graphics card.Â Then install the graphics card into the module’s PCIe riser card. Then install the graphics card holder to secure the graphics card into the module. It is important that the holder is installed. Lastly, attach the PCIe power cables into the graphics card before installing the entire module back to the chassis.
At the front of the graphics card module are two slots for 2.5-inch drives were we installed a OCZ Vector SSD drive.
Install the slim slot-loading optical drive into the graphics card module before putting it back to the chassis.
Going with the vertical orientation, installing the case feet is very easy. The case feet doesn’t need to be clued or screwed into the chassis.
Here’s a look at the entire assembly. We used Silverstone’s SST-PP05-E flat flexible short cable set which they also provided along with the chassis. Using the flat flexible cables surely made cable management easier and neater. At this view, it is quite obvious that every space in the RVZ01 chassis is used well to accommodate a particular hardware.
Conclusion – RVZ01
The signature RAVEN aesthetics is undeniably appealing and completes the entire ‘premium-grade’ look of the RVZ01 chassis. The layout of the chassis is quite remarkable, every space is utilized to achieve a compact yet workable case. You just need to acknowledge the hardware limitations of the chassis in building a system on it. Let us wrap up this review by discussing some of the key factors in purchasing a chassis below:
Build Quality – Silverstone has proven to us why there are a lot of enthusiasts out there are love the RAVEN series. The RVZ01 has an excellent build quality. The solid structure and smart layout gave it rigidity. The panels are made of strong and thick aluminum, even the fan ventilation holes are sturdy which tends to be the weakest point in the chassis. We can’t find a single flaw with regards to the quality of the RVZ01.
Functionality – The RVZ01 is a great mini-ITX desktop chassis which saves a lot of space on the vertical orientation. It is also a great HTPC chassis on the horizontal orientation. It also accommodates long graphics cards. However, the hardware limitations with the RVZ01 is real. There is extremely limited watercooling support then you can only use small form factor hardware. Even the optical drive is limited to a slim slot-loading type which isn’t very common.
Value – The value of the RVZ01 alone is quite reasonable considering the excellent build quality plus included accessories. However, the value of building an entire system with the RVZ01 drops down due to the hardware restrictions wherein hardware options tend to be more expensive contrary to the standard counterpart be it the SFX PSU, slim slot-loading ODD and mini-ITX motherboard.
BossMac’s Notes:Â The SilverStone Raven RVZ01 is one of those chassis that you, the builder will need to adjust to, knowing full well the limitations, capabilities and functionality of the chassis to accommodate your system. The RVZ01, to put it lightly, is a prom date that wants you to wear this tie instead this tie and you need to drive this car instead of that car to take her. Still, you still getÂ the prom queen and take her home.
To sum everything up, to build a desktop PC or HTPC with the RVZ01, you need to be prepared to go the extra mile in getting the compatible hardware which are also Silverstone brand products like the ST45SF-G SFX PSU we used, the SST-PP05-E flat flexible short cable set and SOD02 or SOB02 slot-loading optical drives. Hence, all of these adds up to a nice desktop PC or HTPC with two orientation options along with the popular signature RAVEN look and appeal.
We give the Silverstone RVZ01 our Editor’s Choice Award and B2G SilverÂ Award.