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The same components used in several other recent large case reviews were installed
in the Raven Two, with a powerful graphics card as well as a Crossfire configuration.
Only the Seasonic X650 80 Plus Gold PSU is new in the mix; the new efficiency
champ had to be tried in a real system, ;)
Before embarking on system assembly, the HDD drive cage was moved up a step
to help reduce potential turbulence effects with the fron 180mm fan so close
directly below it. It's hard to imaging anyone needing all eight drive bays,
so this seemed a reasonable move. Most quiet-oriented builders would do the
The HDD cage was moved up for better airflow from the fan below it.
The HDD cage proved to be a bit of nuisance later. It cannot be removed from
inside the case when the motherboard is installed. Once the motherboard is in
place, it blocks the HDD cage so that the only way to remove the cage is via
the front bezel. The front bezel can be removed by undoing six screws from the
inside of the case, with both side panels off, and then the cage can be pulled
out from the front. This is not well thought out, especially considering the
hard core DIY audience for which the Raven Two is intended. They will be wanting
access to HDDs often, and it is a tedious, time consuming task here. It might
be better to do away with the drive cage altogether and just tether up some
elastic cord in the 5.25" bay spaces to get really effective HDD vibration
damping; this is very easy to do with all the symetrically placed holes on the
sides of the 5.25" drive bays.
The PSU installation is also a bit unusual, though not troublesome. Four screws
are used as in any case, but there is no vertical rest because the length or
depth of ATX power supplies varies so much, unlike its "height". So
rather than just allowing the PSU to hang off the four screws atop, SilverStone
has provided a velcro strap to go around the middle of the PSU, sort of like
a belt, to help share some of the weight.
Supporting velco strap for the PSU.
PSU screwed and strapped to the chassis.
A thoughtful and helpful touch: Cutouts on the "handle" at the
back of the top panel fit the shaft of a screwdriver, which ease access
to the screws for mounting the power supply.
The initial minimalist build without any PCIe video cards was very neat
and tidy, even on the back side.
Even with two dual-slot PCIe video cards, it was reasonably tidy...
...not not on the back side. Note the CPU backplate fully accessible on
this side through the hole in the motherboard tray. This is very handy
if you need to remove or replace the backpate, .
Aside from the HDD cage annoyance, one other potentially serious problem was
identified during the installation of the video cards. Anyone who has installed
a PCI card or two in more than one case soon learns that there is some variation
in mechanical manufacturing tolerances, so that the card, motherboard, and slot
opening don't always line up perfectly. Some small degree of adjustment may
be necessary for a good fit, whether a tiny repositioning of the motherboard
that's sometimes available (depending on how the mounting screws and holes line
up) or minor bending of the metal plate on the card, or even the back panel
of the chassis itself.
In our sample of the RV02, when the case is standing in normal position, the
motherboard and the back panel are not quite perpendicular to each other as
they should be. The deviation from 90-degree alignment is enough that when the
video card is firmly and fully seated in the PCIe slot, the top of the card's
mounting plate falls short of its correct position by 2-3mm. Getting the mouting
screw in place can be done only by applying some force to the video card, and
it means that the back end pulls slightly out of the slot (while still making
contact). Interestingly, when the case is placed on its side with the motherboard
facing up, the video cards fit and line up nicely. This suggests some flexing
in the motherboard tray which could cause mechanical stresses on the card and
the motherboard. No problems were encountered with either motherboard or video
cards during the testing, so none of the components suffered any damage. Still,
this is slightly worrisome in a case that retails around $200.
Then, there's the minor annoyance of the big bright blue light that announces
when the PC is turned on. The simple solution for those who find this a problem
is not to connect the 4-pin power connector for this light. Another solution
might be to find a way to dim it.
The power on light is too bright and prominent for some people.
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