Review Index:

Silverstone Raven Z RVZ01 Mini-ITX Case - The Steam Machine Chassis

Manufacturer: Silverstone


Small form factor cases and the push to Mini ITX designs took a dramatic journey during 2013 as the popularity of the smaller PC once again became a popular trend.  Though a company like Shuttle, that hardly exists in the form it did in 2004, was the first PC hardware company to really drive home the idea of an SFF system design, many other players have released compelling products helping to strengthen it as one of the unique possibilities for enthusiast PCs.

Even better, though a Mini-ITX based platform could mean limited options for hardware and performance, with companies like ASUS, EVGA, BitFenix and others in the mix, building an incredibly fast and powerful gaming machine using small hardware is not only easy but can be done at a lower price than you might expect.

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One entry that found its way to our offices this December comes from Silverstone in the form of the Raven Z, RVZ01 case.  This case includes unique features and capabilities including the ability to support nearly any high end graphics card on the market (dual slot or single), space for larger heatsinks and even liquid coolers along with a home theater friendly look and style.  Oh, and it's the same almost the same design that Valve used for its beta Steam Machines as well.  (Update: Turns out the size of the Steam Machine is actually a fair bit smaller than the Silverstone RVZ01.)

Continue reading our review of the Silverstone Raven Z RVZ01 Mini ITX Case!!

Silverstone Raven Z RVZ01 External Design

The new Silverstone RVZ01 case is a horizontal (lay flat) design that measures just over 15-in wide and 13.75-in deep with a vertical height of 4.1-in putting it just over the capacity of the new Xbox One hardware.  It should still fit just fine in most users home theater cabinet designs if that is the target destination.

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Coloration on the RVZ01 is a flat black paint with the only color coming in the form of the two blue USB 3.0 ports along the top right of the face of the case.  

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At this point, I would have preferred Silverstone color these ports black, along with the rings on the audio input and output, to try and match color of the plastic shell.  As it looks now, the blue kind of stands out unnecessarily.

Other than the pair of USB 3.0 ports and the audio I/O, the RVZ01 includes power and reset buttons (bottom right) with the power and drive access lights resting between them.  

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The Raven logo on the left hand side has a replacement option in the box should you decided to stand this unit up vertically and just above it you'll find the opening for the slot loading optical bay.  I for one am glad to see the ugly 5.25-in optical drives off of these smaller case designs.

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On both the right and left sides of the case Silverstone has included plastic housing that wraps around the rectangular metal frame of the chassis.  They both provide ample area for air to come into the case for cooling while also giving the design a unique look and aggressive style.  As it turns out, some of those holes in the plastic housing can also be used with four included rubber feet to stand the RVZ01 vertically.

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The backside of the case looks much like a standard PC as it can be hard to disguise the fact that standard form factor components are included within.  On the left side you find the IO connectivity for the Mini-ITX motherboard (we used the new MSI Z87I Gaming motherboard) and on the right are the two expansion slots used for a graphics card.  The power connection on the far side actually connects to a small extension that routes to the power supply location internally, which we'll show you on the other page.

On the top of the case, the panel that is removed for installation has an opening for an include Silverstone 120mm 1500 RPM 18 dbA fan for air intake.  In our case the CPU cooler we used was too tall and forced us to remove that fan but there is an open area for an additional fan on the bottom of the chassis we moved it to.

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Speaking of those fan placements on the bottom of the case, here they are.  Out of the box you'll have one fan on the bottom and one on top, but due to the CPU cooler used in our setup both are shown here on the bottom.  On the left fan spot you'll see one of the three optional, but included, fan filters installed.  They are magnetic so you can remove them and clean them easily but they definitely take away from some of the visual appeal of the design.  On the bottom that's not a big deal but if you wanted to use one of them on top, it might be an issue for the more discerning among us.

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As I mentioned above, the Raven Z RVZ01 case can be stood up on it side.  In this image the original Raven logo is still attached but Silverstone does include a different one that properly aligns the logo to this standing position.

As many SFF builders know, looks can be deceiving and installation/setup of a Mini-ITX build can be more of a pain than you might at first expect.  Let's see how the Silverstone Raven Z handles that critique.

January 2, 2014 | 01:39 PM - Posted by AMDbumlover (not verified)

can it fit micro atx?

January 2, 2014 | 01:49 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout


January 5, 2014 | 10:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I guess you never read the review wow buddy.

January 2, 2014 | 04:04 PM - Posted by EbarrasedRV03owner (not verified)

Silverstone has great chassis internals but they kill them with this crappy looking plastic exterior...

January 2, 2014 | 04:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

then don't buy it.

January 2, 2014 | 06:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey , wait , what if want to play a non-Steam game...or a non-Linux Steam game for that matter ?
Total Fail.
Build your own Windows PC.

January 2, 2014 | 07:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sure you could load windows on the machine, the build principles are the same.

January 2, 2014 | 11:12 PM - Posted by biohazard918

What the hell are you going on about you want windows then install windows its just a mini-ITX build.

January 3, 2014 | 03:35 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I hate to tell you, but this is a computer CASE and not a pre-built system. Also, in SteamOS, you can go to "Exit" in the Steam big picture mode, and go to a regular Linux desktop. You can install whatever you want on it, including a second operating system to dual boot, when Valve adds support for it, so you obviously did not read the article enough for do any research on it.

January 3, 2014 | 05:21 PM - Posted by RuRetarded (not verified)

Next time you decide to go surfing on the world wide web don't forget your brain. It makes you sound like a fucking retard.

February 15, 2014 | 12:51 AM - Posted by DumbOP (not verified)

Hey , wait , you're a fucking retard!

May 19, 2014 | 03:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not to mention that with SteamOS you can use In-Home Streaming to play ALL the Mac & Windows Games on your Mac or Windows PC. So if you have a powerful PC with lots of Windows only Steam titles, you can play them in the living room on SteamOS.

January 2, 2014 | 06:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I thought the Steam Machine was a room humidifier ?

January 2, 2014 | 11:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Lol you are quite funny...

January 2, 2014 | 11:14 PM - Posted by Havor (not verified)

You made a small mistake in thinking t the end of the video, saying that if you wane use H2O cooling you maybe need a 1 slot card.

But even 2 slot cards becomes a single slot card if you put on a waterblock, only the video connector bracket will be 2 slot, looking at the fan placement, that would not be a problem eider.

The biggest problem i see would be the pomp placement, and the video card waterblock connectors, if there is enough space between card and the bottom of the case for installment and/or airflow, routing 8mm/10mm ID/OD hose to the case will be no problem.

January 3, 2014 | 03:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

All that plastic and "Made In China" just kills it for me.

January 7, 2014 | 12:44 AM - Posted by Gravytrain (not verified)

Would it be possible to run a 290 in this considering the power supply? I want to get this and a Sapphire 290 Tri-X with one 7200rpm 1TB WD Black and one Samsung 830 128gb ssd and a 3570k. Bad idea?

January 11, 2014 | 06:02 AM - Posted by xGWIxPockets (not verified)

Also my thought. What kind of power supply are you gonna be able to fit in this thing. Granted I know it needs a SFF power supply but I haven't seen any that small over 450w. To run a Titan or a higher end Radeon GPU aren't you at least gonna need a 500w - 600w power supply to be stable? I know for a Radeon HD 7870 a minimum 500w power supply is recomended.

January 12, 2014 | 02:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

you dont NEED one. nvidia specs the psu based on models that cant provide what they are rated for. the 780, for instance, never uses more than about 300 watts. from anandtech, a geforce titan, with a core i7 3960x, only puled 421 watts for the entire system. a quad core i7 would pull less. since the silverstone supplies actually supply the power they are rated for, you could power a titan in this case no problem.

now, overclocking would be a no-no, but in a case this small, i dont think youd get very far anyway.

January 15, 2014 | 03:24 AM - Posted by xGWIxPockets (not verified)

oh ok cool thanks for clearing that up. Really looking forward to making a build in a Raven Rvz01! :)

January 20, 2014 | 10:50 AM - Posted by Ralph (not verified)

Love this case. I've had my Asrock M8 for a week, that thing is LOUD (fans). I will pick this case as soon as its on sale.
I am so hyped about these "steam" form cases.

January 20, 2014 | 05:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey this case would be perfect upgrade from a prodigy. Just wondering if that 450W power supply could handle i7 4770k at stock frequency and a EVGA 780ti SC? Just curious because on the EVGA website it recommends a 12V rail with a 42AMP at 600W min. but this Silverstone power supply is only 450W at 37AMPs on the 12V rail. Just curious because you had mentioned the possible upgrade from that MSI 760 to a 780ti.

January 27, 2014 | 10:55 PM - Posted by Tino (not verified)

Cool! I was waiting for a case similar to the official Steam Machine. I like more the ML07, but I think the internals are the same, right?.

One doubt, in the specs it says it supports a 3.5" HDD, but I can't figure out where.

February 21, 2014 | 08:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

3.5 HDD goes above the SFX PSU.

February 13, 2014 | 08:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why do you numpties insist on trying to mount a CPU cooler AFTER installing the motherboard?

Take the motherboard out. Install cooler and backplate. Install RAM. Pick motherboard up by grasping the cooler. Insert into case. Screw into place. Done with no problems at all.

February 13, 2014 | 08:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yep, motherboard tray cut-outs are for n00bs and idiots. (Also people who insist on doing things the wrong way)

February 19, 2014 | 09:17 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I want a case that says "Made in Russia" lol

April 5, 2014 | 01:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How's the noise?

May 2, 2014 | 02:43 AM - Posted by BP (not verified)

I noticed that the picture where the Silverstone CPU cooler is installed doesn't have the memory sticks installed. Can the memory sticks clear the CPU cooler?

October 2, 2014 | 10:42 AM - Posted by Sorian (not verified)

In the video, the memory stick do clear it but just barely. If you use a set with large heatsink fins, it would hit it.

September 6, 2014 | 12:33 AM - Posted by Paul Lee Chap (not verified)

Can you fit a Tri-slot graphics card like Nvidia GeForce Titan Z into graphics card holder? I heard OriginPC was using the RVZ01 chassis and allowing configurations with Titan Z.

October 2, 2014 | 10:46 AM - Posted by Sorian (not verified)

With the stock cooler, you might if you remove the bottom case fan/s.

October 21, 2014 | 06:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

it says steam os-free. does that mean this does not need an os and can run like a windows 64 bit? or only on steam games

January 5, 2015 | 04:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Steam OS is Linux based. All games that can run on Linux will be able to run directly from the hardware. Otherwise you will need to stream from your Windows PC.

January 13, 2015 | 06:10 AM - Posted by Adam (not verified)

The Zalman CNPS 2X is a very poor recommendation for this case. I took this advice and even after installing additional case fans and using artic cooling thermal paste the BIOS idle temp is 56c.

Instead I've had to order the Noctua NH-L9i, which after reading the owner experiences on the Raven forum appears to be the best performing air cooler. It remains to be seen if this is the case for my situation. In the mean time I've got to try to return the Zalman to Scan in the hope they'll agree it's not suitable.

Final note, Silverstone recommend using the fan filters to create negative pressure within the case, causing it to suck air from the vents which feature around almost every side of this case. I saw no mention of this in the review.

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