SilverStone Raven RVZ01: One Of The Best Mini-ITX Cases For Building A Linux/SteamOS PC
Written by Michael Larabel in Enclosures on 26 March 2014. Page 6 of 6. 7 Comments

While assembling a system in the unique Raven RVZ01 takes slightly longer than a conventional chassis due to its unique design, it was actually a fun build. When building this AMD Linux setup in the RVZ01 everything fit -- just perfectly -- and without any issues. When following the user manual the entire process was very smooth, I didn't have any complaints about the very compact space or cramping issues, and when assembling it first-hand you get an idea for just how much time SilverStone engineers invested in the incredible design of this mini-ITX system that has enough room for three disk drives, a full-size PCI Express graphics card, and three fans.

When the system was fully assembled and running, the RVZ01 was incredibly quiet with the included case fans and the quiet ST45SF-G 80mm fan. There was no other noise thanks to using a solid-state drive for storage and the ECS KBN-I + AMD E1-2100 Kabini setup being fully passively-cooled. The system has been running for several weeks now without any problems; besides being quiet, there's been no thermal issues at all to report.

The SilverStone Raven RVZ01 can make for a great Home Theater PC running XBMC, a great living room gaming PC running SteamOS or your favorite desktop distribution, or just about any other use-case where an excellently-designed small form factor PC is desired. In fact, this system is now running within the new OpenBenchmarking.org / Phoronix Test Suite test farm for our daily and per-commit testing of leading open-source projects (more details on that project still coming later); the small size of the RVZ01 is great for maximizing efficiency.

At the time of writing the lowest price I've seen on the Raven RVZ01 from a major Internet retailer is just $85 USD for the wonderful case at Amazon.com. At under $100 this case is of excellent value with being of SilverStone's legendary build quality, is superbly designed to offer maximum potential for the space, isn't too different from some of the Steam Box/Machine prototypes we have seen, and all-around is a near-perfect chassis that we would definitely recommend for mini-ITX builds.

If your budget is tighter, another great mini-ITX system we have used at Phoronix for small builds is the also great SilverStone SG05-LITE. The ST45SF-G is a great SFX power supply for these builds and the CP11 is also worthwhile if needing to work around any Serial ATA port conflicts.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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