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Which silverstone case?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I've pretty much set my mind on the silverstone cases for their good air cooling but cannot really discern which one is the best. My budget is less than 250€ but still wanna save as much money ass possible of course. All of the Raven cases look good to me so i would like to know which is the best one of those. The FT02 is also quite nice but i don't know if it is worth the extra money so could someone give me a rundown on the features compared to the raven models and are they really worth it? The case with the best air cooling and cable management will probably be my choice since i don't care too much about the other features like easy installation or hotswap bays etc. Thanks in advance.
Edited by Edisoni - 12/28/11 at 6:40pm
post #2 of 17
You have an easy problem. You want to save more money while buying a Silverstone case. You want best air cooling and cable management. Don't care about easy installation.

The answer is Raven 03.
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post #3 of 17
best raven case is the RV02-E. RV03 has some improvements(cable management) however also have issues.(airflow reduction and air path distortion.)

overall, you'll the the best thermal result from RV02 in the raven line. (cant go wrong with the amount of airflow 3x180mm fans provide)

I suppose the biggest question you should ask yourself is what mobo are you going with. if you are going with matx then pretty much any of the silverstone line would do(except some of the later sugo cases which are only good for ITX.

personally i went with the FT02 since a case is a LONG term investment for me (i have cases that are 15+ years old that i'm still using.) and if you amortize that cost over the overall lifetime of the product that cost isn't really that much. although the internals of a FT02 is identical to a RV02-E, the external of the FT02 looks far more elegant then the gimmicky RV02 design IMO. overall the FT02 is also has more structural integrity then the RV02(more metallic parts) and over the lifetime of the product(maybe 15+ years) you really want to get something you can live with and look at day in and day out:)

Unless the industry finally adopt BTX(extremely unlikely) or come out with some kind of "CTX" standard, then the ATX standard will still be in use for a long time to come. maybe there will be more adaptation towards EATX or HPTX form factor, but that's more of a specialty item for people who wants to put 4 video cards in their machine... it definitely won't be considered main stream product. i doubt the industry can predict an end to the ATX form factor and it's unlikely that the FT02 will become obsolete any time soon.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hmm... I like the look of the Raven cases maybe just a bit more, tho the aluminium uni-body design of the FT02 is nice and sturdy I don't find it worth almost 100 + euros compared to the raven.The looks of the RV01 really dig in to me but considering it has a higher price (at least here) and inferior cooling I'm gonna go either with the RV02-EW or RV03B-WA so which of these would u recommend? I know the RV02 is more popular but that ain't no reason for me to get it over the 03 so I would like to know some good points how is the other one superior.
Edited by Edisoni - 12/29/11 at 7:16am
post #5 of 17
Since you are only choosing from the RV02-EW and the RV03-WA, I would go with the RV03. The RV02-EW has a window on the left side of the case, and the video cards might interfere with any 5.25 bays installed. They both should have roughly the same temps because both of them have the same 90 degree characteristics with the exception that the RV03 has sacrificed a 180mm fan so that the psu is under the 5.25 bays. Although the RV03 isn't as long as its older brother, it supports up to E-ATX, which the RV02 doesn't.

I don't know what psyclum was talking about with the "airflow reduction and air path distortion" because I don't see how the airflow is distorted in any way in the RV03. Yes, the second 180mm fan is moved back a centimeter or two, but that's so it can cool the HDDs that are installed behind the motherboard. I would way that the RV02 would have more airflow distortion because one fan is jammed below the HDDs, and half of the third fan is blowing air on the psu. So you basically have 1.5 fans blowing over your motherboard. On the other hand, the RV03 has 2x180mm fans discretely for the motherboard along with the components installed on it. If psyclum is talking about the vents on the top of the RV03, that should have nothing to do with the airflow of the case. How the air flows outside the case doesn't matter. I actually prefer the vents because it channels the air behind the case.

I will say that the RV02 is a higher quality case, hence the higher price tag, but that shouldn't stop you from buying the RV03. Just keep in mind that the RV03 is about ~$40 less than the other ravens, and ~$80 less than the fortress, and it performs the same role as all of them (prices will probably vary since you use a different type of currency than I do, but the ratio is more or less the same).

If you are concerned about the temps on the HDDs behind the motherboard don't worry about it because a review I watched (link on it further down) said that he actually got better temps on the HDDs behind the motherboard than with a case with a 230mm cooling them. This may vary though because he may have been refering to a lower quality case, but that's still a great thing that you get good temps with only part of a 180mm fan cooling them.

Keep in mind that the 2x USB 3.0 ports are male cables, so you have to use a loopback plug in order to use them (they might have changed them so that they are motherboard headers though), but since all of your IO ports are going to be on the top of the case its kind of pointless to use them, IMO (if the usb 3.0 cables aren't internal motherboard headers). Furthermore, the RV02 has 2x usb 2.0 ports opposed to the RV03's usb 3.0 ports, if you already didn't know that. If you don't want to loop the usb 3.0 cables outside the case, you can always buy one of these (usb 3.0 type a to 20-pin motherboard header converter). There's probably some cheaper ones out there, but if it were me, I would buy this because Lian-Li is known for making high quallity components.

Both of the cases have a little controller so you can either switch the bottom 180mm fans to high or low. The controller doesn't apply to the top 120mm fan I believe. I have read that adding more 120mm fans on the RV03 doesn't really improve the temps since the bottom fans cool the majority of the system. If you added on two 120mm fans where the 5.25 bays are, they would only aid in pushing more air in the cpu cooler, which will most likely interfere with the air flow of the cpu cooler (given that it's aftermarket). You'll probably get better temps if you upgrade the 180mm fans instead of adding on more.

Cable management on the RV03, from what I've been reading, is excellent. The pictures I've seen look very clean and seamless. If one was to sleeve the cables...drool tongue.gif If you don't use all of the four HDD bays on the back of the case, you can stash the cables in one of them (the video below mentions it too), so you will have a lot less clutter and more air flow behind the case.

With all that said, I suggest you buy the RV03 over the RV02. Look at this video if you REALLY want a rundown of the RV03.

Hope I helped you out biggrin.gif
Edited by airisom2 - 12/29/11 at 11:21am
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by airisom2 View Post


I don't know what psyclum was talking about with the "airflow reduction and air path distortion" because I don't see how the airflow is distorted in any way in the RV03. Yes, the second 180mm fan is moved back a centimeter or two, but that's so it can cool the HDDs that are installed behind the motherboard. I would way that the RV02 would have more airflow distortion because one fan is jammed below the HDDs, and half of the third fan is blowing air on the psu. So you basically have 1.5 fans blowing over your motherboard. On the other hand, the RV03 has 2x180mm fans discretely for the motherboard along with the components installed on it. If psyclum is talking about the vents on the top of the RV03, that should have nothing to do with the airflow of the case. How the air flows outside the case doesn't matter. I actually prefer the vents because it channels the air behind the case.

valid argument, I guess I need to explain myself alittle better:)
reduction in airflow is fairly simple, it went from 3x ap181 to 2x ap181 filtered intake fans. doesn't take a rocket scientist to explain this one:)

as for airflow distortion, I guess this requires some explaining.

in a positive pressure case, any "leakage" of pressure causes a redirection/distortion of airflow.

the more holes you drill/cut out of the case, the more distorted the airflow path becomes since air flows in the path of least resistance.(fluid dynamics 101) in the RV03, the 2 cutouts on the side panel where the powersupply is mounted causes an immediate pressure loss right at the beginning of airflow path. the ap181's just supplied fresh cooling air into the case and is already being bled out of the case from those 2 points. along the path there are alot more holes drilled into the RV03 that bleeds pressure from the case then RV02. considering that the internal static pressure is lower on a RV03 to begin with(2x ap181's as opposed to 3x ap181's) the overall efficiency of the entire cooling system is reduced by a significant amount. when you limit the exhaust points of a pressurized system, you accelerate the velocity of the exiting air. kinda like how you pinch the end of a garden hose to make it spray further. higher velocity airflow improves the cooling near the point of exit as more cooling air is forced to flow through that area compared to a "leaky" case. if you try to resolve the problem by adding additional 120mm fans, none of the additional 120mm fans in the RV03 follow the stack cooling airflow path. it will still help by increasing the internal static pressure, but it DOES distort the airflow path in the process.

it comes down to how quiet and efficient you'd like your case to be for the next 15 YEARS or so:) with the RV02, there is enough airflow to cool ANY system/component following the ATX specifications w/o any additional fans or modifications. with the RV03, it'll still do the job, but just not as cool as the RV02 especially if you are looking at SLi/xfire options. remember, the reference GPU cooling fan DOES push out some fairly serious CFM's when spinning at 100% speed, will the 2x ap181's keep up with future CFM needs of the GPU? or do you feel better to have the overkill of the CFM provided by 3x ap181's?
post #7 of 17
First of buying Silverstone I do not think you can go wrong, although you maybe can go a little more 'right'.

I have the FT02-W and I must say I do not think I could be happier with my purchase. The understated looks of the FT02 make it quite an elegant alternative to the Raven. I upgraded from a Cooler Master Stacker 830 and the fit & finish is strikingly superior. I shopped around for about 60 days and looked at pretty much all the other top case makers offerings, and to me it was almost night and day from what Silverstone's's FT02 offers. The attention to the smaller details within the case make it a worthy purchase and one I'm sure if you made you would be happy with for years to come. Hands down it is just made with superior materials and craftsmanship. It's like comparing a Lexus/Mercedes to a luxury American car like Cadillac. Overall the CTS looks in the same league as the other 2, and performance wise it is, but when you take a close look at the interior of the car, it's put together with inferior materials and has a 'plasticky' feel to it.

Good luck with your purchase!!! thumb.gif
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post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Man this is hard. Benchmarks for the idle and load temps on both of the cases with the same system would be the conclusive factor but i can't find any : / you really think the RV02 has better cooling capabilities than the RV03 even with some extra fans? I mean, all that sounds like you know what you're talking about but just would like to be sure.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

valid argument, I guess I need to explain myself alittle better:)
reduction in airflow is fairly simple, it went from 3x ap181 to 2x ap181 filtered intake fans. doesn't take a rocket scientist to explain this one:)
as for airflow distortion, I guess this requires some explaining.
in a positive pressure case, any "leakage" of pressure causes a redirection/distortion of airflow.
the more holes you drill/cut out of the case, the more distorted the airflow path becomes since air flows in the path of least resistance.(fluid dynamics 101) in the RV03, the 2 cutouts on the side panel where the powersupply is mounted causes an immediate pressure loss right at the beginning of airflow path. the ap181's just supplied fresh cooling air into the case and is already being bled out of the case from those 2 points. along the path there are alot more holes drilled into the RV03 that bleeds pressure from the case then RV02. considering that the internal static pressure is lower on a RV03 to begin with(2x ap181's as opposed to 3x ap181's) the overall efficiency of the entire cooling system is reduced by a significant amount. when you limit the exhaust points of a pressurized system, you accelerate the velocity of the exiting air. kinda like how you pinch the end of a garden hose to make it spray further. higher velocity airflow improves the cooling near the point of exit as more cooling air is forced to flow through that area compared to a "leaky" case. if you try to resolve the problem by adding additional 120mm fans, none of the additional 120mm fans in the RV03 follow the stack cooling airflow path. it will still help by increasing the internal static pressure, but it DOES distort the airflow path in the process.
it comes down to how quiet and efficient you'd like your case to be for the next 15 YEARS or so:) with the RV02, there is enough airflow to cool ANY system/component following the ATX specifications w/o any additional fans or modifications. with the RV03, it'll still do the job, but just not as cool as the RV02 especially if you are looking at SLi/xfire options. remember, the reference GPU cooling fan DOES push out some fairly serious CFM's when spinning at 100% speed, will the 2x ap181's keep up with future CFM needs of the GPU? or do you feel better to have the overkill of the CFM provided by 3x ap181's?

Now I understand, but all you have to do is put some tape over the exposed parts of the case biggrin.gif I don't think some vents here and there should vastly reduce the temps of the case. For instance, take a look at the Antec Lanboy Air. That case is basically made out of mesh, yet it still has good temps all around. Yes, the RV02 has better static pressure, but it is also a larger case. I would say the proportion of the static pressure from the RV02 would be roughly equal to the static pressure with the RV03 (big case/3 fans ~ mid case/2 fans). If one was to patch up the holes in the RV03, the cooling performance should be a little bit better, but not a lot. The air vents near the front of the case on the RV03 were put there so psus with little fans on the front of them will have some fresh air outside the case to breathe. The vents on the opposite side panel was designed so that the cables wouldn't be jammed against the panel. The RV03 sacrificed the third 180mm fan in order to make the case smaller, while the first 180mm fan in the RV02 is used only for cooling the hdds. I just don't take into consideration the static pressure because that only really matters if you're using a rad or aftermarket cpu air cooler. It shouldn't take a considerable amount of static pressure to suck in air from vented holes and dust filters at the bottom of the case opposed to a rad setup/air cooler's requirements.

Now, you are right with the airflow part, but I just view it from a different perspective. I tend to look at what parts the fans are designed to cool. I believe that the most important part of the case that needs to be cooled is the motherboard area. The RV03 cools the same components with one less fan. As I said before, you basically have roughly 270mm of fan blowing over the motherboard area because of the obstructions above them, while the RV03 has 340mm of fan (taking into account the 2cm difference on the second fan) blowing over the motherboard with unrestricted air flow. HDDs are designed to operate up to 60C, so I really don't care about the hdd temps. The temps for the hdds on the bottom of the case in the RV02 will most likely have better temps than the hdds behind the motherboard in the RV03, but if you were to add a 120mm fan behind the motherboard, then the temps will improve, especially since they are located in a different area of the case. So none of heat produced by the hdds interfere with the rest of the components.

With all that said, I'd still recommend the RV03 over the RV02. Edisoni, don't make it too hard on yourself. Let me put it in this perspective: If you bought the RV03, patched up the vents, and put in some more fans so that it matches the price of the RV02, the RV03 would, hands down, be the better case. Now, I'm not saying that the RV03 wont be as good as the RV02 unless you upgrade it because they perform just about the same. Take a look at this review. The cases trade blows with each other depending on the areas. The RV03 has better CPU Delta T temps, while the RV02 barely passes with better GPU Delta T temps. If you were to patch up the side panel vents, patch up the rear 120mm area, and add on some 120mm fans (you can get 4 of them for around $10), then the temps will improve (by how much? I don't know).
Edited by airisom2 - 12/30/11 at 8:20am
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by airisom2 View Post

Now I understand, but all you have to do is put some tape over the exposed parts of the case biggrin.gif I don't think some vents here and there should vastly reduce the temps of the case. For instance, take a look at the Antec Lanboy Air. That case is basically made out of mesh, yet it still has good temps all around. Yes, the RV02 has better static pressure, but it is also a larger case. I would say the proportion of the static pressure from the RV02 would be roughly equal to the static pressure with the RV03 (big case/3 fans ~ mid case/2 fans). If one was to patch up the holes in the RV03, the cooling performance should be a little bit better, but not a lot. The air vents near the front of the case on the RV03 were put there so psus with little fans on the front of them will have some fresh air outside the case to breathe. The vents on the opposite side panel was designed so that the cables wouldn't be jammed against the panel. The RV03 sacrificed the third 180mm fan in order to make the case smaller, while the first 180mm fan in the RV02 is used only for cooling the hdds. I just don't take into consideration the static pressure because that only really matters if you're using a rad or aftermarket cpu air cooler. It shouldn't take a considerable amount of static pressure to suck in air from vented holes and dust filters at the bottom of the case opposed to a rad setup/air cooler's requirements.
Now, you are right with the airflow part, but I just view it from a different perspective. I tend to look at what parts the fans are designed to cool. I believe that the most important part of the case that needs to be cooled is the motherboard area. The RV03 cools the same components with one less fan. As I said before, you basically have roughly 270mm of fan blowing over the motherboard area because of the obstructions above them, while the RV03 has 340mm of fan (taking into account the 2cm difference on the second fan) blowing over the motherboard with unrestricted air flow. HDDs are designed to operate up to 60C, so I really don't care about the hdd temps. The temps for the hdds on the bottom of the case in the RV02 will most likely have better temps than the hdds behind the motherboard in the RV03, but if you were to add a 120mm fan behind the motherboard, then the temps will improve, especially since they are located in a different area of the case. So none of heat produced by the hdds interfere with the rest of the components.
With all that said, I'd still recommend the RV03 over the RV02. Edisoni, don't make it too hard on yourself. Let me put it in this perspective: If you bought the RV03, patched up the vents, and put in some more fans so that it matches the price of the RV02, the RV03 would, hands down, be the better case. Now, I'm not saying that the RV03 wont be as good as the RV02 unless you upgrade it because they perform just about the same. Take a look at this review. The cases trade blows with each other depending on the areas. The RV03 has better CPU Delta T temps, while the RV02 barely passes with better GPU Delta T temps. If you were to patch up the side panel vents, patch up the rear 120mm area, and add on some 120mm fans (you can get 4 of them for around $10), then the temps will improve (by how much? I don't know).

slightly more complications then simply patching up the holes. you can only patch up the left side panel since the right side panel is actually an exhaust port for your PSU. there are other concerns involved including aesthetics. generally, a patch job wont look as "clean" as the original case design. but more importantly, the additional 120mm fans will cost you additional decibel's to match the static pressure generated by the AP181. granted the RV02 is a louder case to begin with(due to the 3rd AP181), but to match the static pressure and CFM of that additional 180mm fan, you'd need at least 2x120mm fans at higher RPM's.

as for the internal volume of the case, the RV03 isn't as compact as you may have thought. yes it's shorter due to the removal of the 3rd AP181, however in its place, there is the PSU which isn't quiet as big but isn't small either. you also have to consider the additional width that RV03 has added to the overall volume of the case. in the end, the total internal volume of the case isn't that much smaller then the RV02, not enough to account for the lost of a AP181 anyway.

I think you are underestimating the importance of internal static pressure in a positive pressure case. the more pressure you can retain in the case, the higher the velocity of the exhaust airflow. the beauty of the positive pressure case is you have total control over WHERE the exhaust air goes. hince where your cooling is going to. higher velocity exhaust = additional cooling w/o additional fans which translates VERY well to reduction in overall decibel level.

the beauty of silverstone case is it's efficiency and performance. otherwise, an antec or coolermaster can do the job at 70% of the cost of a silverstone.
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