Silverstone are back again with the latest entry in their now legendary Raven series. We’ve always loved the Raven chassis here at eTeknix and while we’ve not reviewed the entire range, I have spent some time tinkering with each of them personally. Just check out our Reviews of the RV04 and the RVZ01 here to see what else they have to offer. Of course if you’re eager to check out their latest and greatest, then you’ll do better to stick around for the rest of this review first.
The Raven series is something of a flagship range for Silverstone, often pushing innovation and very unique designs for the gaming PC market. They’ve often been big, relatively expensive and uniquely styled compared to rival offerings, but the RV05 looks set to do thing a little differently. The 5.25″ drive bays are gone, allowing much more room for the motherboard and other components, while also allowing Silverstone to cut the overall size of the chassis down considerably, this is backed up by a much more affordable price tag when compared to the older Raven models, which often cost a little over £100 at release, where as the RV05 is a much more wallet friendly £80.00.
The lower price point may tell you that the RV05 has fewer features than its older brothers, but that really isn’t the case here. As you can see, the chassis may have dropped the 5.25″ drive bays, but has instead added a slim slot-loading optical bay. Cooling is handled by two powerful Air Penetrator 180mm fans, although you can remove these in favour of 120mm and 140mm fans if you wish. Tall CPU coolers and long graphics cards are also supported.
The packaging is really nicely design and while a box is just a box, the extra effort on design does indicate that this is a premium product.
The chassis is really well packaged, with a protective cloth cover over the chassis and plentiful protective padding on either side.
In the box you’ll find a high quality multi language manual, some screws and cable ties, and a magnetic dust filter.
The chassis is obviously very unique in terms of its stance, it’s covered in odd angles and shapes that really make it stand out despite its somewhat stealth like body panels. The left side panel features a wide and tinted window panel.
The right side features a plain black panel.
There are no optical drive bays or flip open covers here, just that angular front panel and Raven logo to keep you entertained. If you look at the right edge, you can just about make out the slim slot-load optical bay, but since it comes with such a narrow opening and a rubber protective grommet to patch the hole, its pretty hard to notice.
At the top of the front panel you’ll find a power and reset button on the left and right side, as well as a rubber lift-out cap in the centre.
The rubber cap hides a pair of USB 3.0 ports as well as HD audio connections.
Around the back you’ll find a large opening for your cables to pass through (more on that in a moment) and a large ventilation section for your PSU, this is also where you can mount the magnetic dust filter that came included in the box.
The top panel features a very cool looking ventilated cover that can be easily lifted out, it’s worth pointing out at this point that the chassis features a rotated motherboard mount, so the back of the motherboard is actually at the top of the chassis and it’s behind this cover that you’ll find all your USB ports, HDMI ports etc.
The panel is heavily ventilated to allow heat to escape the chassis given that it has a bottom to top airflow pattern.
Lift the cover off to gain access to the “back” of the chassis”
Here you’ll find a PSU mount, seven expansion slots, motherboard IO and a 120mm fan mount.
Tucked away under the top cover on the back of the front panel you’ll find a pair of two-way switches, each toggles one of the 180mm AP fans in the base of the chassis from low to high speeds.
The underside of the chassis features four large rubber grip feet and a massive slide out dust filter.
Behind the dust filter you’ll see the two huge 180mm AP fans, as well as an alternate fan mounting plate that supports either 2 x 140mm or 3 x 120mm fans.
The dust filter slides out from the front of the chassis and can be washed for quick and easy maintenance.
The side panels are unique in design as they lift vertically out of the chassis. There is a small button and catch under the top edge of the side panel that helps lock them into place.
The interior of the chassis has been treated to the same stealthy black finish as the exterior.
In the bottom let you’ll find a removable tool free hard drive dock for 3.5″ drives.
In the base the dual 180mm fans cover the whole bottom of the chassis and I have no doubt they’ll do a great job of pushing significant airflow through the chassis to all major components.
Around the back you’ll find plenty of cable routing space and a few cable tie loops to help keep everything in check.
towards the front is the slim optical drive bay mount, nicely out of the way to save space in the front of the chassis.
There are two 2.5″ drive mounts behind the motherboard, one at the bottom of the motherboard.
The other at the top. These are really handy for those who have opted to remove the front 3.5″ drive bay to make room for other components.
Total build time on the Silverstone RV05-BW was 50 minutes, a little longer than a build usually takes me and that’s mostly due to the unique nature of this chassis layout. It’s not the easiest chassis to work with overall, but for anyone with a bit of build experience it’s hardly complicated.
The unique layout of the motherboard looks a little strange at first, but given that heat travels upwards, the bottom to top cooling layout certainly makes sense.
Our hard drive locked easily into place on the tool free hard drive bays in the bottom left.
Cable routing is a little tricky, but with a little extra care it’s still possible to get a neat and tidy finish, just a shame not all of the interior cables are sleeved as the red and yellow cables of the fans really stand out. GPU clearance is really good and while it was a close call, our Sapphire R9 270X fit with relative ease.
There are no obstructions surrounding out CPU and our top mounted Corsair H80i will easily be fed plenty of airflow from the fans in the base of the chassis.
From the top you can see the main IO section of the chassis. All cables will obviously hook up here and can be passed through the opening at the back, all tucked neatly out of sight under the top panel.
The side panel gives a nice view of the interior components, although it proved troublesome for my camera as it can be a little reflective.
At around £80 from Overclockers.co.uk the Silverstone RV05-BW is obviously still an expensive product, but compared to the launch prices of previous Raven series chassis it’s actually pretty cheap, and it’s also very competitive against rival offerings, especially since it comes pre-fitted with 2 x 180mm fans, a fan controller and a very unique style.
I have yet to find a Silverstone Raven series chassis that I didn’t absolutely love. While one could argue that rotating the motherboard isn’t massively innovative, it does offer some advantages and unique style points. Airflow running from the bottom to the top of the chassis can have big benefits, not forgetting that the two large fans cover the entire base of the chassis, pushing a massive wall of air right through the chassis and all your components; especially the GPU, the back of which is right on top of the fans. Having the motherboard IO at the top of the chassis also makes your life a lot easier, as you can easily find those pesky USB ports without having to crawl under your desk with the torch on your smartphone.
There are a few minor issues with this chassis and I really am clutching at straws here. The internal fan cables are brightly coloured, otherwise breaking the stealthy design of the chassis; it stands out like putting an Angry Birds decal on a B-2 bomber. Finally the front panel USB ports top cover isn’t tethered to the chassis, I know for a fact my daughter would pull that off and I’d never see it again, or I would leave it on my desk and lose it.
Build quality is typical Silverstone, it’s robust, chunky, incredibly well finish and everything fits together with absolute precision. This has always been a strong point for Silverstone and its good to see their high standards haven’t slipped.
“Powerful built-in cooling, a unique overall design and incredible build quality put the RV05-BW ahead of many of its rivals, but manages to keep within reasonably affordable price range; easily one of the coolest gaming chassis on the market.”
- Great build quality
- Room for large graphics cards
- High-quality fans pre-installed
- Extensive dust filters pre-installed
- Slot-loading drive bay is a welcome solution to the removal of 5.25″ drive bays (removed to make chassis smaller)
- Competitive price tag
- Internal cables should be more discreet
- Rubber USB port cover isn’t tethered to chassis
Thank you Silverstone for providing us with this sample.