Tom's Hardware's 2011 Gift Guide: Part 1, For System Builders

Chassis: SilverStone Raven RV03


Give kudos to SilverStone for not being afraid to think outside the box—or at least how to change up the box substantially. At first glance, the RV03 looks like just another gaming tower: lots of bays, a side window, plenty of vents, USB 3.0, and mic/stereo ports stealthed on top, and...then it gets harder. SilverStone has continued its pursuits of orienting the motherboard I/O panel to point at the case’s top, rather than the back. The back panel is now nothing more than a blank plate with a grill for an optional 120 mm CPU exhaust fan. The more we think about this design, the more we wonder why vendors didn’t start doing this years ago. Who among us hasn’t at least come close to pulling a muscle trying to wrestle our loaded towers around in order to reach a cable plug? Where’s a helper elf when you need one? SilverStone solves the problem. Just pop off the top panel, and there are all of your I/O ports and cables neatly routed out to the back. Of course, the real reason for the reorientation is thermally-motivated, but you already knew that.

The RV03 comes at you with seven external 5.25” bays, all of them with removable covers in case you want to see the mesh below and provide more airflow. Most of this case’s air movement comes from the pair of 180 mm intake fans mounted on the floor. The dust filters on the bottom of the chassis below these fans mount with magnets rather than plastic clips—a brilliant move for these most easily clogged filters. You could remove the two 180 mm fans and install an aftermarket 240 mm radiator, and this makes sense for one very big reason: turbulence. See, you’ve got the twin 180 mm fans on the floor and four optional 120 mm intake fan mounts at the front (two on each side of the drive cage). There’s an optional 120 mm exhaust mount on the rear, but only one 120 mm exhaust fan pre-installed on the top. Do the math and you’ll see that out of the box, and especially if you have a lot of large components blocking air flow, you’re setting up some questionable air pressure situations here with the potential for a lot of excess air noise, despite SilverStone’s use of low-noise fans. Just watch your CFM numbers and build accordingly.

On the other hand, SilverStone offers a generous gap behind the motherboard tray for cable routing and additional drive installation. The other standout feature here is that the power supply mounts at the front of the case below the drives. A special 90-degree power cord routes out of the PSU and back into the case while hot air exhausts from a grill in the left side panel. Novel twists like this are what make the RV03 intriguing and a great conversation piece among the technically inclined.

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    Top Comments
  • serhat359
    I feel sorry for those girls that they have to smile for the camera even though they have no idea what they are holding
  • wizloa
    i clicked for the lady
  • HansVonOhain
    Must... focus ... on ... computer parts...
  • Other Comments
  • gerohmygosh
    Where is the girl for the PNY RAM?!?!?!
  • wizloa
    i clicked for the lady
  • phamhlam
    What is your favorite picture?

    Mine was the one with the 4 SSD.
    My floppy disk totally turned to a hard disk drive.

    I can't wait for part 2 already.
  • serhat359
    I feel sorry for those girls that they have to smile for the camera even though they have no idea what they are holding
  • HansVonOhain
    Must... focus ... on ... computer parts...
  • phamhlam
    What is hotter? The computer parts or the girl?
  • richboyliang
    haha do these girls know what they're doing?
  • koolkat574
    richboylianghaha do these girls know what they're doing?

    Depends on if you use an aftermarket cooler or the stock one
  • manu 11
    For one second, my focus was deviated, back to pc!
  • lunyone
    It looks like the Blonde model was having more fun, or is it just me. If I wasn't married, I'd take either! Forget the PC hardware, there are more important things to look at!!! Lol!
  • bcontoursvt
    All these pages later and I still have no idea what the topic of the story was...
  • LuckyDucky7
    I don't get it.

    Why are some things suggested in this guide mostly the worst value you could get for that sum of cash?

    For starters:

    -MSI 990FX-GD80 wouldn't be my top pick. That would go to a Gigabyte 990FXA-UD(x) board. Why bother getting a board that's more expensive than the best processor for the platform (or one whose lower-end boards don't catch fire).

    -i7-3930K? Ivy's just around the corner and will run on 150 dollar boards that do more than X79 could think of.

    -Silverstone 1000W PSU? Seasonic's already got their X-1050, which has 80+ Platinum certification instead of gold for the same cost.

    Some things I guess I just don't understand, then. You list some parts that have really good value, such as that RAM and Powercolor graphics card along with the 955BE, and then go to the polar opposite. I don't see the reason for that.
  • manu 11
    I can ditch pc hardware if i can get a girl in those photos
  • kustiki321
    I'm sorry, was there supposed to be some sort of gift guide here? I know it's a tech site and I was expecting one but I can't seem to see what they're recommending.
  • mkrijt
    The redhead doesn't seem to have fun....
  • cold fire
    I'm having a hard time deciding whether I'd take all the hardware or all the girls. :$
  • tzhu07
    Those girls prove why Tom's Hardware will never be at the level of AnandTech...
  • gazum123
    Anonymous said:
    I'm sorry, was there supposed to be some sort of gift guide here? I know it's a tech site and I was expecting one but I can't seem to see what they're recommending.

    Get a life you freak
  • Goldengoose
    gazum123Get a life you freak

    Get a sense of humor you rude little man.
  • Anonymous
    and not a single anti-static precaution taken... All those naked components... what a waste