Update: Since this review had been published a couple things have changed and SilverStone would like me to address these points. First of all, I guess I had accidentally typed that the RV03 only has seven expansion slots, while the chart reads eight. Eight is the total number of slots in the chassis; the chart was the right thing to follow there.
But the most important reason for this update is to tell you that as a result of this review, SilverStone has now added details about what the foam in the kit is for. Not to any of the instructions themselves, but rather in the Q&A section of their site, here.
Every aspect of this chassis I love. The modularity, the hidden way of adding room for drives, the pre-wired nature of the case from the factory, and of course I like the "twist" that SilverStone Ravens are known for. There is only one thing about this chassis that to me stands out like a sore thumb. I get that a splash of color may have been the desired effect, but to me this champagne gold color wouldn't be my first choice. Brushed aluminum, copper, even chrome would have looked better in my opinion. For me, if the exterior of the chassis is going to have a random splash of color, it needs to be able to carry a "theme". In the PC market I don't see a lot of "gold" aftermarket products to blend the outdoors with the indoors.
Since my only complaint about this chassis is purely aesthetic, I won't let it affect my judgment. SilverStone took big strides in the latest version of the Raven. Having all three at one point, I can appreciate how the design has evolved and the thought taken to deliver one of the best laid out chassis' I have ever used, and It also offered the most professional end result I can remember in some time, maybe since the 800D. While I am still left wondering the uses of the foam included with the hardware, I ran into no issues with anything during the build, and if you end up with an issue, the manual is right there to help you along.
Cooling has been addressed since the RV01 and RV02 as well. I remember a lot of articles reporting that the old 180mm fans that used to be in the floor weren't adequate. I liked the performance I got in the RV02, but in reality it wasn't "better" than the flow in a normal chassis layout over the long term. With the addition of the Air Penetrators, air is forced through the RV03 like in no other Raven. With this sort of air flow you have to assume there is going to be a bit of noise with it. With the fan controls switched to high, the noise levels could get annoying in an office type of setting. For gamers with a headset, you will likely not notice it until you need to go to sleep. Even so, there is the option to switch the fans to low when it is needed. While not offering the performance I got of some three to five degrees cooler across the GPU, CPU and chipset, you can still manage good temperatures with the fans on the low setting. If the chassis doesn't have the umph to cool some monstrous build, there are always options to add more fans, or possibly swap the pair of 180mm fans for water cooling.
The SST-RV03 has everything the average case builder wants and everything that the custom builder would want to see in their next purchase. I'm glad to say that the styling wasn't the only things brought over from the RV02. With a very similar release price of $159.99 at Newegg.com, the RV03 offers a ton of features in a larger than full tower chassis that everyone can afford. From those on a budget, to those who can afford a $300-400 chassis, why spend through your nose to get unique, well thought out, and full of options? Seems to me SilverStone did one hell of a job offering a huge bang for the buck with the Raven SST-RV03B-W!
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