In our time here at TweakTown, we have seen SilverStone release the Raven Series from its birth, and have had the pleasure of seeing each and every design implementation and change along the way. We have seen the Raven Series grow from a chassis that was stylistically ahead of its time with the RV01, and it took the market by storm. Throughout the series, Silverstone has played with which side of the chassis the motherboard was on, and changed the styling all the way through the series. The RV04 only displayed vague hints at the original design and concept brought forth, but it was still eye catching and worthy of purchasing. We have also seen SilverStone change storage racks as new designs evolve in the market; they have moved away from the ninety degree orientation that made the original Raven such a hit.
Just when we thought that there weren't too many places that SilverStone could have improved on, even if selecting the best components of all of the designs, they come forth with a new Raven that does just that. This time, SilverStone has made a much less complicated interior, and brought back more of the original styling. However, things are completely different, even down to how the door mechanisms work. Typically, redesigns are based primarily on the previous design, and with the latest chassis to grace the Raven Series, we find that every bit of the design is different, and it's somewhat ingenious once we see how it all comes into play.
The reason we have you here today is to look at the SST-RV05B-W from the Raven series that we just received from Silverstone. This is a full-tower design that returns the ninety degree motherboard orientation, but there is another "angle" to this design as well. With all four feet planted firmly, this Raven also sports an aggressive forward lean to it to go along with the aggressive restyling of the exterior. This all makes for one of the best looking Raven designs we have seen. For the fans of the Raven Series, this is a chassis that conforms to all the latest in a feature set, while still offering that styling that you love. For those who have never seen a Raven chassis prior to this, this is a great time and place to start, because in our opinion, SilverStone has outdone themselves with this latest implementation.
The chart provided by SilverStone shows that there are two flavors of this design. There is the SST-RV05B, which is the Raven 05 in black paint. There is also the RV05B-W, or the windowed version in black, which is the version that we have here. Both designs are based on steel framing and structural components, while the trim at the top, down the front, and even on the sides and bottom, is all made from ABS plastic, in black of course, to match the painted steel. The front I/O is at the top, and under a rubber cover. There you will find two USB 3.0 ports, and HD audio jacks, all between the power and reset buttons. The PWR_LED is a wide, chevron shaped light across the front bezel of the case. Of course, in this design we have a large window in the left side of the chassis, which affords a full view of the interior as well.
Speaking of the interior, we have a motherboard tray oriented to the right at ninety degrees, and even with less space than many other Raven cases, it can still house Micro-ATX, ATX, and SSI-CEB motherboards. There are no optical drive bays in the traditional sense, but they have added a tray to the right side that allows for the use of a slot load optical drive. As for storage drives, there is a removable cage that houses a pair of 3.5" drives, and behind the motherboard tray, we also have two locations to support 2.5" drives. The bottom of the chassis is the intake, and there are a pair of 180mm Air Penetrator fans supplied on the floor. A huge bonus to the design here is that once these are removed, there is room for a pair of 140mm fans, or a trio of 120mm fans, and of course, that also means internal water cooling support. There is one other location where a 120mm fan can be added if desired, and that is at the top of the chassis.
There are some limitations to this design. SilverStone states that you need a CPU cooler that is 162mm or less to fit inside of the chassis. They also state that video cards can be no longer than 12.3" with the fans still in the chassis, and even less if you plan to water cool. One restriction they do not mention is behind the motherboard tray; there is limited room there for wiring. So, for a clean looking installation, you may want to ponder a PSU with individually sleeved cables, or even SilverStone's own Strider Gold S Series, which comes with flat, ribbon style cabling.
Availability seems quite high at the moment, as we were able to locate this chassis anywhere we looked. Although, it struck us as a bit odd that whether you opt for the windowed side panel or not, it seems both models demand the same price. The best deal we found was the $115.99 listings via Amazon.com, as most other locations only go up from there. Considering what the previous models are still fetching currently, this is also the most cost efficient Raven design we have ever tested. While we do typically like to hold our opinion on value until the end, we will go right on ahead and say that the SST-RV05B-W not only offers all of the best of the current market, but it also harks back to the original design, and proves its worth once the build is complete.