Silverstone Raven Two

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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, ;)

System Components:

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 same.

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 HDD cage cannot be pulled out from inside the case once the motherboard is installed — which was done here before the HDD was installed in the cage.

Getting access to the HDD cage via the front is a bit of a pain.

Finally got the drive and cage in place. Do this
before you install the motherboard.

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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