Installation and Performance
Before diving into the installation in the RVZ01 I wanted to point out a couple other parts that Silverstone sent over with the case to help with the build. The RVZ01 has the capacity to hold a slot load slim disc drive so Silverstone sent over their SST-SOD02 8x DVD recorder. Silverstone carries two different drives and both are slot loaders, the second is a blue ray drive. With so many of their small form factor cases relying on slot loading slim drives I think they just want to make sure they continue to be available. Anyhow this drive comes with a small adapter cable that has a Molex and standard SATA connection on one end and the slim drive specific connection on the other to make hooking the drive up inside of the RVZ01 easy. They even include a set of screws, although the case comes with a set as well.
The second product they sent over was something I have been looking forward to checking out for a long time. Their new Ultra-thin SATA cables are designed specifically for small form factor builds. They have right-angled connections they take up an extremely small amount of space compared to a standard SATA connection. The cables are a little shorter and the cables are a fraction of the size of a SATA cable. To give extra flexibility they split the cable up into two cables, but even together they are at most ¼ the size of a standard SATA cable. When building in a small case like the RVZ01 space is always important, these are the perfect cables to do this. I’m going to have to pick up another set for my Lunchbox rigs after seeing these. I’ve included comparison pictures below to show just how small they are.
After collecting all of the parts needed to do the RVZ01 install and reading through the instructions because this build is a little different I jumped into things. The first thing I needed to do was remove the video card cage from the case and figure out exactly how the weird right angle PCI Express adapter works.
As it turns out, not only do you have to use the right angled adapter but you also have to use a one inch PCI Express extender to get everything to work. When installed, without the extension, there is a gap between the PCI connection on our GTX 780 and the adapter. Hooking up the adapter pictured below got us all hooked up. Once I had that figured out, I just had to screw in the video card itself and then sit it aside until later in the build.
Next I had to install our Mini-ITX motherboard, CPU, RAM, and rear I/O panel. With the limited height of the RVZ01 I only had a few options for CPU cooling, I could go with a stock heatsink, the Noctua L9i, or the Thermalright AXP-100. With our Noctua and Thermalright heatsinks already in use I had to go with the stock heatsink.
Normally I would save the power supply installation for last but with this case you have to do things a little differently. The power supply for the RVZ01 has to be an SFX PSU and frankly Silverstone has the only option available worth picking up. The ST45SF-G is modular and has 450 watts, more than enough for nearly any single card PC. I use this same PSU in all of my SFF builds, even when they don’t require an SFX power supply. Installing it wasn’t too much of a challenge. You remove the PSU cage, slide the PSU into the cage and screw it into place. Then you plug the cable in and reinstall that cage back into the case. With it installed, I could go ahead and wire up the motherboard, hook up our front panel connections, and fan header.
Next we can hook up our SSD and/or hard drive and move on to installing the GTX 780 in a case that looks like it shouldn’t fit it. With our video card already installed in its cage all that is really left is to hook up the power before dropping it down into the case, making sure that the right angle PCI Express adapter slides into the motherboard at the same time.
With it installed, we can see that there is still room left for a slightly longer card even. My only disappointment is that when installed we can’t see the GTX 780 at all in the case. It’s a great looking card that is nice to show off.
With everything installed, I finally had the chance to see how well the RVZ01 could handle all of the heat that my i7-4770K and GTX 780 could put out. Part of me was surprised that this small of a case was able to handle all of the heat. But another part of me knew this design would work perfectly because we have seen it before, in the Valve SteamBox Beta machines. Putting the video card at a 90 degree angle not only saves a lot of space, but it also puts the video card in its own air chamber. This means it pulls in fresh air and them blows it out the back almost completely separate from the rest of the case. The CPU side of things could use its own fan, but I didn’t have any issues. I would still recommend going with a better heatsink than the stock Intel heatsink for a more long-term solution though.
I think the best part about the RVZ01 is how portable it is. I was able to tuck it right in under our TV next to the Xbox and PS3, frankly no one would even think it was a PC at a glance. However, I can really see the potential as a LAN rig as well. Imagine how much space on your table you will have with this case sitting upright.