SilverStone Raven RV04 Overview

Table of Contents

The SilverStone Raven RV04 shares the same internal layout as the Fortress FT04, with a plastic exterior, a slightly downgraded feature-set, and a more appetizing price.

SilverStone Raven RV04 Overview

October 8, 2013 by Lawrence Lee

SilverStone Raven RV04
Extended ATX Tower Case
Street Price

Four years ago, SilverStone released the revolutionary Raven, a case that combined several interesting design elements to create a highly efficient performance tower. The design involved massive fans sucking up cool air from the bottom of the case (where the noise they emitted was better disguised) and blowing it through all the important components mounted to a rotated motherboard. Following natural thermal convection, the hot air then exhausted out the top. Built uncharacteristically with a plastic exterior, the next generation featured a more refined Raven RV02, and the aluminum-clad Fortress FT02. The interiors were identical — they were essentially the same chassis only decked out with different materials.

The latest incarnations, the Raven RV04 and Fortress FT04, are also closely related to one another. Both cases arrived at our doorstep together but given their similarities it didn’t make sense to test them both. The more premium FT04 took precedence and while offering excellent performance, it left a bad taste in our mouths. Incorporating the Temjin TJ08-E‘s modular style design was an ambitious move but it didn’t really add to its appeal aside from making it less deep. The well-crafted but over-engineered door created some fit and finish issues which never should have made it to the assembly line. The number of flaws was surprising for a SilverStone given their reputation for fastidiousness, but it was also inexcusable for a US$230 enthusiast case.

Today we’re going to take a brief visual tour of the Fortress FT04’s plastic brother, the Raven RV04. Like the FT02/RV02, the internal construction and layout are identical, so for all extents and purposes you’re looking at very similar performance. However, it’s still worth taking a separate look as the door doesn’t suffer from quite as many problems, the feature-set is slightly different, and it’s substantially more affordable at US$160. The RV04 is available in only two models, plain black (SST-RV04B) and black with a side window (SST-RV04B-W).

The Raven RV04.

The RV04 isn’t nearly as attractive as the FT04 but the plastic composition of the door and top cover aren’t really to blame. Previous incarnations of the Raven shell featured sharp angled contours vaguely resembling beaks which we didn’t mind either way. The RV04 has a feather/wing pattern running along the outside that is more realistic but at the same time, kind of creepy. Most likely the last time you’ve seen flattened feathers was on the side of the road. It also brings to mind tree bark which isn’t something most people like to see inside their homes.

Cases with front doors usually have two options for intake airflow, either vents lining the sides of the bezel (good), or a gap at the bottom (bad). The RV04 has neither, with SilverStone instead opting to just leave a massive hole on each side. This doesn’t block out as much of the noise produced inside and also adds to the case’s unusual appearance. In addition, what symmetry the case possesses is broken by the large hinge at the top.

The box.


The RV04 is protected in similar packaging as the FT04 and includes mostly the same accessories. The case ships with an assembly guide, a bag of screws and standoffs, a few zip-ties, brackets to mount up to a 3 x 12 cm radiator in the front, and a VGA holder, a plastic device with tabs to physically support up to three graphics cards.

Specifications: SilverStone Raven RV04
(from the
product web page
Model No. SST-RV04B (black)
SST-RV04B-W (black + window)
Material Reinforced plastic outer shell, steel body
Motherboard SSI-EEB, SSI-CEB, Extended ATX, ATX, Micro-ATX
M / B Support
Drive Bay External 5.25" x 2
Internal 3.5" x 7 (2 hot-swap) , 2.5” x 4
Cooling System Front 2 x AP182 180mm intake fan 600/900/1200rpm, 18/25/34 dBA
Rear 1 x 120mm fan slot (option)
Expansion Slot 8
Front I/O Port USB 3.0 x 2
audio x 1
MIC x 1
Power Supply 1 x Optional standard PS2(ATX) no length limitation
Expansion Card Compatible up to 13.3” long, width restriction-6.69"
Limitation of CPU cooler 165mm
Limitation of PSU 180 mm
Net Weight 10.9
Dimension 219mm (W) x 581mm (H) x 479mm (D), 57.6 liters


The FT04 is notable for its curved aluminum door which isn’t secured very well or aligned properly with the rest of the case. The RV04’s simpler plastic design is an improvement but it isn’t immune to fit issues either.

At the top of the case where it meets the top cover, there’s a larger gap on one side than the other.

The separation near the hinge may be due to how low it sits. The plastic portion above the hinge floats, unsupported.

While the FT04 has angled intake vents running along the side, the RV04 just has a huge gap. Airflow might be a bit better this way but more noise escapes.

Instead of having the power and reset buttons on the left side, they’re located on the top bezel. They can be accessed with the door closed via a pair of partial cutouts.

The FT04’s door is held in place by underpowered magnets, while the RV04 uses plastic latches. It’s a more secure system but the door still opens with too little force.

The RV04’s fan controllers are a step down from its aluminum brother, going from from adjustable dials to three speed switches. It’s still an improvement over earlier iterations of the Raven/Fortress series which had two speed controls all the way at the back.

The RV04’s intake fans have a more reasonable top speed of 1200 RPM. Like the FT04, the front dust filter is easily removed for cleaning but rather than a simple mesh filter with a thin plastic frame, it’s attached to a significant portion of the bezel.


The SilverStone Raven RV04’s body is constructed primarily of steel while the outer shell is comprised of reinforced plastic. Despite the lack of aluminum, the RV04 is only 0.6 kg lighter than the FT04. Its physical dimensions are also very similar, 21.9 x 58.1 x 47.9 cm (W x H x D) with the main difference being a 3.5 cm increase in height. The top panel is responsible for this as it’s not level, being significantly taller at the back than the front. Discounting this, the total volume is the same as the FT04, about 57.6 L.

The filter at the top of the case uses a more traditional design that pulls out easily from the back.

The rear is identical to the FT04. Six thumbscrews at the back secure the side and top panels.

The bottom of the case is also the same but the door doesn’t extend downward as far.

While the FT04 scrapes against the ground, the RV04 clears it cleanly though it’s still quite close.

Again, the side panels stick out somewhat near the back of the case at the bottom.


Despite its modular nature, the RV04’s internal construction feels solid all the way around though with the insecure removable drive cage being the only exception. It the biggest flaw in the TJ08-E and unfortunately it was transplanted along with most of the design into the RV04/FT04.

The side panel design is essentially same. The only notable difference is the lack of noise dampening foam which is absent from the entire chassis.

The top panel is also removable but more secure, locking onto the chassis at more points than the FT04. The dust filter is also noticeably larger.

The RV04/FT04 share the same internal layout, with an upside down removable motherboard tray, top-mounted power supply, and removable hard drive near the front of the case.

Residing on the case floor are a couple of extra drive bays, one with a hotswappable backplane. There’s also a jack-like plastic contraption to help hold up large CPU heatsinks.

The drive cage, as we mentioned in the FT04 review, is lined with soft vibration absorbing material but it’s a futile addition as the cage is secured flimsily without any structural support to the right or above.

Strategically placed holes and holds on the motherboard tray facilitate cable routing and general tidiness.


When we reviewed the SilverStone Fortress FT04, we found it to be an excellent performance case hampered by structural and aesthetic problems. Combined with the high price of US$230, it was a tough sell, especially compared to its predecessor. The FT02 is still on the market, delivering even better performance at a similar price without any of the FT04’s nagging issues. The Raven RV04 is flawed as well though not quite to the same extent, and at US$160, is a much easier pill to swallow. That being said, the RV04 isn’t simply an FT04 wrapped up in a plastic shell — there are some key differences that unfortunately all diminish its appeal.

Using lower quality materials is not the only cost-saving measure evident in the RV04’s design. Corners have been cut in areas concerning noise management. Instead of adjustable dials for the fan controllers there are three speed switches, making it more difficult to fine-tune the amount of airflow delivered and noise generated. The FT04’s acoustic dampening sheets are completely absent, leaving the case potentially prone to standing waves. Instead of backward facing intake vents along the sides of the bezel, there’s a big unimpeded gap which allows noise to escape.

The FT04’s most prominent feature, its thick aluminum door, is the root of some of its problems. The RV04 is improvement in this regard, though that’s not really saying much. We shouldn’t have to compliment SilverStone for producing a door that doesn’t touch the ground and can’t be blown open by a gust of wind. While the door doesn’t cause as many issues, it’s not nearly as attractive as the FT04’s ambitious curved cover. The empty space just doesn’t look right and the new Raven’s pattern design is off-putting.

With its significantly lower price-tag, the Raven RV04 represents a better overall value than its aluminum brother, but we’d be more complimentary if it had been a straight-up plastic copy. The RV04 not only lacks aluminum construction, its feature-set is poorer and its appearance is unappealing. Our general opinion of the FT04 applies to the RV04 as well — its predecessor is a better option unless the newer model’s more traditional physical dimensions are a sticking point.

Our thanks to SilverStone for the Raven RV04 case sample.

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