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Silverstone Raven 03 – featuring VORTEX fans @ Computex

KitGuru have been covering the tech goodies at Computex all week and today we thought we would focus on the upcoming Raven 3 chassis from quality maker Silverstone. Those of you who know me from the forums will already be aware that I have been singing the praises of the Raven 02 for over a year now.

It has nothing to do with any personal loyalty to Silverstone, the answer is simple. Someone eventually designed the chassis I had designed myself in my study about 5 years ago. It is based around the laws of physics – heat rises upwards and the Raven 02 had three 180mm fans at the bottom in parallel across the whole chassis width – blowing over all components, then expelling heat out the top of the chassis. There were no front mounted fans, and there were no ‘dead zones' in the chassis. It was so simple it amazed me it took designers so long to come up with it – force hot air upwards with the natural flow – doh! Even the boffins at nVidia agreed with me, in their last reviewers guide for the GTX465 they mentioned it gave them the best temperatures, with minimal noise. Not that I needed affirmation, but it was nice to see that other people appreciated my (erm, ok technically Silverstones) idea.

To make things even sweeter, the Raven 02 was all black and finely constructed with a nice side window panel to show off your tidy system build. Better still all the fans had removable dust filters and the routing support was well thought out.

Before we discuss the Raven 03, Silverstone were keen to extoll the virtues of their new Vortex fans. These fans have an overlapping design which gives superior air flow results.

These are a first for the industry and Silverstone were demonstrating how a little balloon would fail to rise under pressure of a normal fan, but when paired with a Vortex, would act violently with the airflow. Gimmicks aside, it certainly does give an indication of the potential inside a chassis.

Why all the talk about fans? well these make an appearance inside the Raven 03! Excited yet?

As the image above shows, the Raven 03 is a little more like the appearance of the first Raven, with an almost angular ‘shark fin' ridged top design.

The front of the chassis has a rather unusual ‘cross hatching' design ethic implemented with blue accented strips on each side, running vertically. I think Silverstone had negative feedback regarding the front appearance of the Raven 02 and have obviously gone with something more dramatic to catch the eye. I am not sure I am sold on the overall look, but I will reserve judgement until we get our hands on one.

Removing the top section we can see another expulsion fan acting in tandem with the fans on the underside of the chassis ….

…. which we can see here in all their glory. Using our hands it is clear the air pressure levels are very high inside a confined space and while there is a dual ATI configuration on display above, these fans would be ideal partners with the skin scalding Fermi range.

Another angle of the chassis, from the rear pointing forwards. Notice the all internal black paint work.
What's that you say?
“Clever, clever” ?
Oh, yes indeed!
By FRONT mounting the PSU – Silverstone has given enough room for FULL LENGTH graphics cards in a sensible height case.

A close up inside the front of the chassis.
PSU is SIDE mounted, which makes cabling easier – cos the hard drives are hiding at the back of the mainboard.
Silverstone is not just challenging the conventional wisdom of existing case design, nope.
They're writing the rules on a sheet of glass and hitting them with a sizeable mallet.

Airflow is again, a major concern with the Raven series of cases. We like.

Hard drives are rear-mounted (oh, er missus).
There are mounting positions for multiple drives, plenty of space BEHIND the mainboard tray for them and the cables.
PLUS, the direction of the PSU means all of this is dead simple to cable ‘out of site'.
Airflow in this case will be absolutely unimpeded. Nice.

The Raven 03 in all its ‘spiky' glory with previous generations of Raven.
Cue Pink and ‘Family Portrait'.

A direct ‘front' view of the case with blue accented strips, we feel these might divide opinion.

VERTEX power fan mounted on the front as well, forcing air inwards towards the motherboard heatsinks and CPU cooler. Is this really needed with a direct flow from bottom to top? Testing will be needed!

So there you have it – the upcoming Silverstone Raven 03 in all its glory. While there have clearly been some design changes implemented, the overall cooling looks to be in a class of its own, once again. With the new Vortex fans, we are sure this case will be a firm favourite with overclockers. As for the looks, we aren't sure if we love it or hate it, but spending time with one in our labs will be the deciding factor.

KitGuru says: Silverstone still lead the way with air cooling and we are positive the Raven 03 will improve on the already class leading Raven 02. We are excited.

Do you think this is a pig or a beauty? Let us hear your views in our forums over here.

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