Description

Note: Half of this description is me explaining how horrible Silverstone's marketing of the RVZ03 being "AIO compatible" is and how much of a hassle (or downright impossible with certain parts) it is if you're going to go this route. I'll put it at the bottom so those just wanting to do a regular build don't have to read it. Also, I'm aware of how the cable management or lack thereof is, I took these pics pretty quick after the final try at doing the AIO at it was the last thing on my mind. They're better now (as good as it can be in a case like this), and those slightly off-hinge SATA data/power cables connected to one of the hybrid drives is rectified.

Other than the obvious dislike, this case is awesome. It improves on the previous iteration (of which I built in a few times just fine) in how they handle the GPU riser, bracket and location inside of the chassis itself as well as how to mount the GPU. It's rock steady, and I take this thing anywhere I go in which I'm staying overnight (which is multiple times a week). The expanded extra slots for 2.5" bays is awesome, and while there are no 3.5" bays, it should really be a non issue with how many options there are these days and quite frankly there's no place for drives that big in such a tiny case meant for complete portability.

Due to the AIO atrocity, before I found out it was unworkable, I had tried to put a 7700k in this with an AIO initially, hence the Z270i. The pics and parts list makes it obvious what happened. Sad and...I'd say "frustrating", but that just doesn't quite cut it; it is what it is though. I tried my best to get it to work and while I could in fact get it to close, it was so absolutely crushed that any time I'd need to take the panel off would result in yet another smashing of the insides and of the AIO and eventually the tubing would burst inside of the rig. (It did eventually leak but thank the PC gods it was outside of the case when I saw it)

As a portable gaming machine though, this thing is still awesome and I'm fine with having the 7700. I'll put the 7700k to use in another build as well as an actual case in which an AIO can fit with this MOBO and get a simple one for this current one, but I don't think it'll be updated as it's a misnomer at this point. All in all, one of the most mind numbing builds I've ever done and I wouldn't have even attempted it were it not for that marketing stunt.

The RGB on the case is entirely too bright and if you're like me and are using this as a portable HTPC, it's pretty ridiculous. I'll leave it on now and again if it's not in my direct line of sight, but if it is, it's extremely grating and distracting. The included RGB controller is nice, but it's bare bones as far as customization goes.

I was surprised by how much a single fan above the CPU helps with thermals. Granted, I opted to put in a great Corsair fan as opposed to the very cheap original fans in the case. But so far, even under intense load in real world scenarios (see: AC: Origins maxed out) and synthetic testing, it didn't go above the mid-70's. That's fantastic in a case like this. Considering that in the RVZ02 of which I had a very similar set up (an i7 4770), thermals in the low to mid 80's was pretty common, I was very excited to see those numbers.

The 1070 Turbo does fantastic in this case, and it's recommended to have a blower-style fan GPU installed. I'm sure that an open-air style wouldn't kill the temps as there is room for two fans right below the GPU (note that "room" may still mean literal millimeters of clearance, so good luck with that) to facilitate cooling. But it will no doubt affect CPU temps a fair amount.

That's about it! I'm happy with the end result but the road to get here was an absolute trek through the bowels of hell. More on that below for anyone interested or if you're of the mind that marketing should be realistic...


Okay, now for a supremely long-winded explanation on why an AIO in this case is either very near impossible or totally unrealistic in terms of being able to take it apart easily if you need to (which a case should always be, especially a portable one).

Now for the AIO debacle. Which is much more than a debacle.

There is a single other build on this site using this case that "kind of" has an AIO in it. I question whether the poor fellow ever actually got it to work. By "work", I mean that doing something as simple as removing the side panel shouldn't take hours, and the tubing shouldn't be bent to crap. I don't think it's feasible, I think Silverstone outright threw the term on the box and I'll outline why they may have simply thrown in that term without testing it themselves in a bit. I built this rig seven different times with two different AIOs. (For follow up on the other AIO RVZ03 rig, just search for it; he hasn't responded for months and given that we have literally almost the exact same build (at one point anyway), I'm guessing he exploded in frustration).

So I read that the RVZ03 is AIO compatible. Awesome! I rushed to get the first semi-tiny AIO I can find and despite the horrific tubing, the Cooler Master Lite 120 looks good. Now, unless you've either got no GPU, or somehow have a board that is totally flat and without an I/O, there's no way to do this in any logical way (that is to say, without having to nearly break the side panel or tubing just to get the panel back on). First thought was to contact Silverstone for support. Nothing. Not even a response, so there's that. Next was to re-read the manual because maybe I'm stupid. Oh, it recommends a Silverstone AIO. Sure, stupid of me, also kind of one of those marketing schticks that makes everything seem stupid because this thing is even worse than the CMLite120. The tubing is about as malleable as a lead pipe and while the radiator is indeed pretty darn thin, it still doesn't fit in the case or mount anywhere close to what would be considered workable.

I know this is long and drawn out but this is a pretty huge issue. I'm not new to PC building and I've built in some pretty tiny cases multiple times. I'm not saying I'm a master, I haven't screwed around with custom liquid cooling and I don't intend to for a while, but when it comes to everyday PC building and simplistic case modding to fit my specific needs, I'm at a point where I'm confident I can build in pretty much anything with ease (especially after surviving this horrific calamity). I tried four different combinations with the recommended AIO and unless you're not using a GPU, there is no way to mount this with any amount of room to breathe or in any situation that isn't suffocating the tubing so much that it's a wonder the liquid moves at all or the tubing doesn't burst. Oh and my tubing did burst with the CMLite120. I noticed it before it actually started leaking inside the case but it happened.

Anyway, enough of that. I would absolutely love to see a detailed AIO build in this rig because I want some serious specifics on how it's done without being a complete train wreck. Also no, I don't count the other build on this site considering the guy hasn't responded to anyone since the initial post and considering I had the same set up, I'd bet my left leg that it didn't work out for him. (Hint: If it's a celebratory occasion that you even got the side panel on at all, something is wrong)

Good luck to anyone attempting such a thing. There are no specifications on how to mount the AIO, there are no "don't use this board"; "this board would be best"; "this set up is best"; there's nothing. It literally just says "USE OUR AIO" in the manual for "specifics" on how to use an AIO in this case. That is it. Normally, yeah, it's a simple job. In a case like this, however, I don't think it's too much to ask for a very simple guide on how best to go about it.

Anyone that has any actual questions about this in terms of how I tried to mount the AIO, if you're insane enough to try it, I'll respond as best I can but my honest opinion is that it's best not to do it given that I've contacted Silverstone before about certain issues and got a lightning quick response. This time? Nothing. Coupled with the fact that there is abso-friggin-lutely zero help within the manual or online anywhere regarding AIO support in any fashion, I'm going to bet that this was a marketing ploy. I'd love to be proven wrong since I've still got some parts to make it work if it's possible.

Part Reviews

CPU

Really great for those gamers not wanting to delve into overclocking. It works perfectly fine as a gaming CPU and still holds up okay for some slight productivity (though the obvious choice is Ryzen for the more work-related aspects).

CPU Cooler

Super surprised from this lil fellow. It was cooling my 7700k "alright", but temperatures crept up into the high 70's and sometimes the low 80's (read: only with AC: Origins lolz), which wasn't acceptable to me considering how often I game for long periods of time on occasion. The 7700 is being cooled to perfection with maxed out temps never getting over lower-end 70's with unrealistic amounts of load.

Motherboard

SUPER INTENSE GAMING ROGNESS IN A MINIATURE FORMAT BUT SIZE DON'T MATTER FOR THIS GANGSTER, HE'S A BOSS.

Memory

Skillfully ripping the jaw off the g's in series V since 2015.

Video Card

It's not the best partner GPU by any means but if you want a cheaper (this term will not apply for a while) blower-style GPU, this version does just fine. For the most part, at least after reading about how bad it was by a fair amount of people, it's exceeded my expectations by a good margin. It can get a bit hot, to be sure, but fan curve adjustment isn't hard and doing that helps out bunches.

Case

Only reason it's not getting 5 stars is in the description. Otherwise, it's just about as perfect as an SFF chassis can be.

Comments

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool build, I'm planning on buying the white version of this case, and with a Ryzen setup, planning to go AIO cooler in the future when my task starts to demand higher clockspeeds

I'm curious, If you had used a short mini itx GPU say like the EVGA 1060 superclocked single fan (6.8" long) Do you think you can fit the radiator for the AIO next to the GPU?

Since Kyle from Bitwit managed to do the same thing with a Node 202 which has shorter height clearance to work with (with a bit of hardware modding), I'm thinking if it can be done with this case https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RBi7wObZM4

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Kyle's video was one of the tens I watched to see some tips actually. That might work, but the issue there is that the tubing is going to be extremely difficult to get right. The way it is set up, the tubing, no matter what kind of GPU you have, is going to be pushing up against the GPU hard no matter what (since the radiator can only mount on the right side, where the GPU will be directly on top of). If you can find a small enough radiator that also has decently long (but not too long) tubing that is also very flexible, it can work.

The other comment in here with the Corsair H75 (or Silverstone's own recommended slim AIO; one I obviously don't directly recommend, but it is sadly one of the slimmest AIO, just be as patient as a saint when you try to work with the tubing) is probably your best bet, but you will no doubt have to maim some of its effectiveness by putting on a slim fan and taking away the dual-fans (and those types of fans). If you mount it with the tubes facing down, it'll interfere with the GPU, and if you try to face them upwards, you run out of tubing length (at least with the two kinds of AIOs I tried).

The issue here isn't getting it to work in some crazy way. You can certainly find a scenario in which everything is fit just right and is crushed just the right amount that it's not too horribly devastating, but the second you have to change something or move something or open the case up...all bets are off.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, It sucks that AIO is not given much thought for this case at its given price point. As I see it, the only way to get AIO in this case is through serious modding

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

You have my +1 on your persistence alone. I'm also a fan of the build since I've got my main rig in this case's little brother, the 02 (as it seems you have built in as well). I found out about the 03 shortly after I had completed my build and the RGB bug had just started to sink its teeth into me. I nearly found myself in a sea of self-doubt and buyer's remorse between the RGB support and better cooling support. However, hearing your trials with this case have sobered me up to my whinings and helped put things into some perspective. I also realized the footprint may be a bit bigger than I would like. Which of the two do you ultimately prefer?

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

Yeah, it's not hugely different to the 02 in the larger scheme of things. Certainly not enough to up and rebuild the rig because of it, but if you want to stick to SFF and upgrade some things in the future, a few of the reasons why I prefer the 03 over the 02 are good reasons for an actual upgrade outside of the chassis in the future:

  • It's got an extra drive bay! That sounds like a small thing but when you're running with a small rig as is, that extra few TB or whatever it may be can be a huge help.

  • The GPU bracket is loads better placed and the bracket itself is reinforced (there's actually two, which helps a whole lot more than it may sound, ten fold). Insanely helpful with those larger GPUs and there were actually a couple times in which my GPU came just sliiiiightly detached from the riser in my 02. After hauling this thing around tens and tens of times in my car to and fro, not a single thing has gone wrong.

And the absolutely most massive plus...

  • Fan support. This cannot be overstated. It's huge. As you said, yes, the footprint is ever so slightly bigger and the case itself is slightly bulkier, but those "slightly"s are just that, not so much that it'd impact your placement of the rig unless the 02 was already quite literally centimeters away from fitting in or around wherever you have it. It's worth it by and large. Temps in my previous 02 rig (i7 4770 with the same GPU, the 1070 Turbo) were easily in the 80's and now just with that fan (and the GPU-side one, though that doesn't do too much for the CPU) they're in the low to mid 70's with long-term and 100% load. Truly blown away (lolz no pun intended, wow) by how one fan changes things that much.

So that's about it! Three changes that drastically changed the rig entirely for me. An extra amount of space, peace of mind in the safety of my GPU/riser and some seriously helped thermals. I'd say that while it's a slightly larger case, the pro's far outweigh that bulkier design. Again, not a "I need to upgrade this right now" type of thing, but one of those deals where once you do find a reason to do an upgrade, or see some not so great thermals, you really can't go back.

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the in-depth response. I'll take your words to heart and keep my eyes open for opportunities to make the jump. Come to think of it, I do have an extra fan lying around. Maybe I could do a kludge mod just to see how temps can improve...

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

https://pcpartpicker.com/b/BhvnTW

That dude kind of crammed it in there, but there a very few pictures.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Eh, I don't see a closed side panel. = P

But really, if you have to mod the heck out of the chassis to get it to work, it's kind of ridiculous. It's impressive if he got it to work though. Just disappointing to see it marketed like it's cake and clearly it's something that would take a whole lot of time and effort to get done right. If "right" at all. Thanks for the pics though!

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Why the Z270 motherboard when you have a locked processor? Features? Looks?

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

I originally had a 7700k in the mobo with an AIO that was marketed as being compatible with the case. In my experience, it wasn't. Not without some heavy modding at least, which I didn't want to do. Temps weren't to my liking at all with the couple miniature air coolers I tried in the case; so I stepped it down to the 7700 and kept the mobo.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay, that makes more sense now. Thanks for the clarification.

By the way nice build, mate!

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

With your GPU, are you able to place additional slim 12mm fans on the case?

I am building an RVZ03, and want to use a blower style GPU, but want to squeeze atleast 1 slim fan over the GPU intake if it would fit.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't tried, but it'd be a big maybe. Depends on the styling on the cooler and where it lines up with the fan placement. There's very little room but it's worth a try.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

10 months later, would you change out any of the components if you were doing this build today?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope! Other than perhaps the motherboard since it was originally thought of as an overclocking build, but even then, just having a higher quality motherboard in there helps me in particular since I have a couple other m-ITX builds that I can switch out with this board if I decide to rebuild.

Besides that little hiccup, this guy still runs through most games and is an awesome portable LAN/HTPC/gaming on the go rig.

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  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! And wow! Props. That's the only way I got mine to fit as well was downgrading the fan to a slim, which at that point felt like basically having an amped up air cooler on there temp-wise.

Great to hear that temps are good with an open-air GPU! I might have to play around with that in the future. The only 1080 I have is in my "home rig" and is a Zotac Mini so I might have some fun with playing with that in this one since I seem to use it more often these days.

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  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

I've heard this a couple different times and I'm not sure why because I noticed an immediate difference in loading up some of my games. Granted, I'm not entirely sure how the flash memory is stored and if it's only a certain capacity, in which case that'd make sense since I've only got a couple games on each drive as of now. But the moment I loaded Prey, a game with a whole heck of a lot of loading screens onto it, it was noticeably quicker. It wasn't jaw dropping or anything, but enough to notice it right off the bat.

Then again that's all I use it for, I don't do many big file transfers or rendering or anything like that.

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