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In Pictures: Five Eight-Slot Cases For CrossFire And SLI

There's Water Everywhere…

The Blackhawk includes five tubing grommets, three at the top and two near the bottom of the back panel, supporting two separate water coolers. The fifth hole can be used for USB 3.0 passthrough, since this model isn't compatible with integrated motherboard headers.

Rosewill claims it will soon ship a version with an internal front-panel USB 3.0 interface connector. So, we suggest that potential customers check with their vendor of choice to see which version is available.

…Except Inside

Though the top of the Blackhawk has the proper screw spacing for a dual 120 mm-fan radiator, limited motherboard clearance will usually prevent the stacking of fans under a radiator. While some radiator/motherboard combinations might work, we’re certain that most will not.

Dual 140 mm fans are also supported, and Rosewill fills one of these mounts with an LED-equipped blower.

Supporting The Load

Rosewill overcomes the biggest problem we’ve had with medium-duty cases by adding a strap to the power supply mount. That issue, of course, manifests itself during shipping, where heavy power supplies often bend cases that aren't built using thick steel.

We should also note that the bottom filter is externally mounted for easier access. You'd have to flip the case on its side to remove it, but that’s certainly more convenient than removing a power supply. An additional 140/120 mm intake fan mount is also present, though the length of most high-capacity PSUs will typically limit you to the smaller size.

SilverStone Raven RV03

Following SilverStone’s unconventional (and yet successful) bottom-to-top airflow design, the RV03 departs from predecessors by putting the motherboard access on the more traditional left side. The front panel supports up to seven 5.25” drives, though our sample arrived with all seven bay covers installed upside-down.

Also note the small vent near the front of the case. It’s a key component of SilverStone’s revised layout.

Hidden Jacks And Controls

The bad news for people who like loads of front-panel connectivity is that SilverStone limits its design to USB 3.0 ports and audio I/O under the decorative access door of its RV03. Yet with USB 3.0’s added convenience pushing eSATA to the rear panel of most systems, and FireWire becoming more obscure, this combination of connectors is probably enough to please most enthusiasts.

A pair of two-speed fan switches are hidden inside the top-panel grasping hole.

Hiding Rear Panel I/O

As with its other recent Raven and Fortress cases, SilverStone's RV03 cleans up the back panel by putting all of the system’s connectors up top. A snap-away top panel eases access, while a hole beneath that top panel allows cables to pass in a less-cluttered manner.

Note that the unusual vent found on the front of the left side is repeated on the right side, too.

Hiding More Than Just Cables

While most gamer-oriented cases offer some space behind the motherboard tray to hide cables, the Raven RV03 goes a step further by also hiding four 3.5” drive trays and a 2.5” dual-drive tray back there. The motherboard faces upward, letting convective flow assist the fans in removing heat.

Hidden Power, Too!

Up until now, all of SilverStone’s updraft-dependent cases have employed a raised bottom to increase airflow. But this is the first to also use that space for a connector. An extension cable connects an internal power supply bay to the outside world, and the extension cable’s jack is hidden inside the face panel pointing downward.

Two side-panel vents and a base vent facilitate airflow to the power supply, while two bottom-mounted 180 mm intake fans behind that bay ventilate the motherboard area.

Magnetic Filters

Intake filters for both the case fans and a power supply fan adhere to the bottom of the RV03 with magnets, and have tabs on the side to ease removal without tipping the case. Of course, photographing this did require putting it on its side.

Aso seen towards the right of this photo is the power jack for the internal power supply bay’s extension cable.

That's A Lot Of Screwing

The RV03 has no gripping holes for removing bay covers, causing most users to remove the face panel instead. Yet, the face panel is held in place by eight screws in addition to the expected snap connectors. Six 5.25” external to 3.5” internal adapter trays are found behind it, grouped together in sets of three by front and rear fan brackets. Sixteen more screws have to be removed to access those trays, and two more drive trays on the right side must be removed (via four screws) to access some of those sixteen screws.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • juntaozhu15
    No lian li lancool k-series?
    Reply
  • Yuka
    I'm using the HAF 932 AMD Edition and it's just marvelous. It's the HAF-X in essence, but with lil' more red, lol.

    Anyway, all of those look like very good cases, but the HAF comes with lil' wheels; It's very practical when you're tweaking in a timely manner and have to move around the case a lot (around the house, that is). It's really heavy once it's fully installed and all. Do the others have lil' wheels as an extra accessory? I'm really grateful to that feature as it's also easier to move it and clean (have it at floor level).

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • clownbaby
    why do case manufacturers insist on styling their cases like chunks of scrap metal off the battlestar galactica. Even Lian Li is trending away from sleek, stylish cases. We don't all want a piece sitting on our desk that tells office visitors we've just come from the comic book store.

    I do appreciate all of the advances in the internals of cases, but for god's sake make nicer looking cases. Not plastic/steel, ostentatious, led light blasting ugly. Do use aluminum, sleek simple lines, minimalist exterior designs and some adult taste.
    Reply
  • bystander
    Who needs that much space? How about anyone with an ATX motherboard featuring a PCIe x16 slot in the seventh-slot position and three or more dual-slot graphics cards?

    It's also useful for those with 2 cards where the first 2 slots only have 1 extra slot between them and you are using 2 slot cards. i.e. Gigabyte ga-x58a-ud3r motherboard.

    I wish more enclosures make it available.
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    Thank you. The format wins this time. It's just done right. :D
    Reply
  • ikyung
    clownbabywhy do case manufacturers insist on styling their cases like chunks of scrap metal off the battlestar galactica. Even Lian Li is trending away from sleek, stylish cases. We don't all want a piece sitting on our desk that tells office visitors we've just come from the comic book store.I do appreciate all of the advances in the internals of cases, but for god's sake make nicer looking cases. Not plastic/steel, ostentatious, led light blasting ugly. Do use aluminum, sleek simple lines, minimalist exterior designs and some adult taste.Nicely said.
    Reply
  • master9716
    LOOK TOMS. WE ALREADY KNOW U HAVE SOME BULLDOZER PROCESSORS TESTING IN YOUR LABS AS WE SPEAK SO STOP STALLING AND ATLEAST LET SOME INTERN LEAK SOME BENCHMARKS>
    Reply
  • renz496
    master9716LOOK TOMS. WE ALREADY KNOW U HAVE SOME BULLDOZER PROCESSORS TESTING IN YOUR LABS AS WE SPEAK SO STOP STALLING AND ATLEAST LET SOME INTERN LEAK SOME BENCHMARKS>
    :lol:

    if you want tom's to release the benchmark ask AMD to release the processor now
    Reply
  • Lewis57
    clownbabywhy do case manufacturers insist on styling their cases like chunks of scrap metal off the battlestar galactica. Even Lian Li is trending away from sleek, stylish cases. We don't all want a piece sitting on our desk that tells office visitors we've just come from the comic book store.I do appreciate all of the advances in the internals of cases, but for god's sake make nicer looking cases. Not plastic/steel, ostentatious, led light blasting ugly. Do use aluminum, sleek simple lines, minimalist exterior designs and some adult taste.
    My thoughts exactly. Although, due to the benefits these cases bring to the table and the fact that they aren't as costly as a Lian Li case, I may actually consider one to stick under my desk. Would love it if the ones with LED fans came with the ability to turn off the LED without turning off the fan.
    Reply
  • hardcore_gamer
    master9716LOOK TOMS. WE ALREADY KNOW U HAVE SOME BULLDOZER PROCESSORS TESTING IN YOUR LABS AS WE SPEAK SO STOP STALLING AND ATLEAST LET SOME INTERN LEAK SOME BENCHMARKS>I asked G man about Bulldozer...He said "prepare for unforeseen consequences"
    Reply