SilverStone is back with another Raven. The fifth-generation chassis, dubbed the Raven RV05, follows in the footsteps of its predecessors by utilising a 90-degree rotated design that promises top-level performance for your high-end components.
We've seen the 90-degree formula work well for SilverStone in the past, but it hasn't always been smooth sailing for Raven Series enclosures. The RV01 and RV02 performed admirably and attracted attention as a result of their unusual orientation, but both cases were gigantic in size, with the second-gen model appearing awkwardly stretched in length. Then came the RV03, whose bulk and plastic facade didn't go down well with most users, and the RV04 didn't quite manage to capture the imagination, either.
Hoping to return to winning ways, SilverStone is trimming down and getting back to basics with the RV05.
First off, there's an attractive £83 price tag, making this the most affordable Raven Series tower launched to date. And for fans of the product line, SilverStone's aesthetic approach is a step in the right direction: the gold/silver highlights of recent efforts have fallen by the wayside, and going back to its roots, this latest Raven is finished entirely in black.
Goes without saying, however, that the exterior look won't be to everyone's liking. The RV05 is aimed squarely at gaming enthusiasts and is styled to appear aggressive and in your face. So much so that the back is raised higher off the ground than the front, given the whole frame a tilted, ready-to-launch sort of stance.
Truth be told, it isn't our cup of tea, and we'd lean more toward the upcoming Fortress FT05, which effectively takes the RV05's internal layout and packages it in a sleeker brushed-aluminium frame. Said chassis is due to arrive in the next couple of months, though do expect a price premium over the plastic-embossed RV05.
And there is a fair amount of plastic to contend with. The RV05 is lined with lightweight angled panels on the front, top and bottom, and though they all fit well, they aren't able to provide the premium feel that you get from an all-metal structure.
What makes the latest Raven easier to digest, however, is a significantly smaller profile. The chassis measures 242mm (W) x 529mm (H) x 498mm (D) in size and tips the scales at a reasonable 7.6kg. Putting those numbers into perspective, this fifth-generation case is 38mm less thick, 87mm less tall, and a massive 162mm less deep than the original RV01.
We're talking almost half the overall volume, and SilverStone has been able to achieve this slimming down in size through the expulsion of certain legacy features. 5.25in optical bays are gone completely while 3.5in drive bays have been trimmed down to just two.
These changes make the RV05 far more accessible - it'll fit anywhere a normal mid-tower chassis would - and there's still plenty of gamer-specific flair. The front panel has a V-shaped white backlight striking through the middle, and there's a side-panel window that'll show off your graphics card(s) and CPU cooler. Granted, we'd have preferred a much bigger window, but SilverStone's implementation does at least sit flush with the panel.
Speaking of which, getting inside the RV05 is quite simple thanks to a clever side-panel release system. You start by pulling off the vented top cover and this reveals small levers at the top of the each side panel - press these and the panels lift up and out. It's a good idea, for the most part, but do note that each panel is notched, rather than hinged, so getting them back on and sat flush requires a little extra effort in terms of alignment.