Single page Print

Under the hood
To crack open the Raven RV03, one must first pop off the top shroud, which grants access to the expansion slots, I/O cluster, rubber-lined liquid-cooling holes, and the all-important pairs of thumbscrews holding each side panel in place.

Those blue USB 3.0 ports in the top panel connect to the motherboard using standard type-A plugs. Their destination is only a few inches away in the I/O cluster. Silverstone didn't deem it necessary to include plain USB 2.0 ports with regular headers, but the blue ports are backward-compatible and will happily accommodate USB 2.0 devices—as they should be.

We've already shown you the left side of the case with the panel removed. Here's another angle that reveals the underside and the two removable fan filters.

The filters stick to the bottom of the Raven using small magnets affixed to their plastic frames, so they're surprisingly easy to remove and put back into place. The process is almost too easy—more than once, while picking up the case, I inadvertently laid my fingers on one of the filters and was surprised to feel it move. The filters should help ensure that neither of those huge 180-mm fans nor the PSU fan suck too much dust into the case.

What does the right side of the Raven RV03 look like without its access panel in place?

At the bottom left, you can see the small nook for the power supply. The PSU is supposed to slide in head-first with the on-off switch facing the left panel and the cables poking out the other side. Because the PSU fits in sideways, there's only so much room for unusually long units. Silverstone specifies a 180-mm (7.1") length limit—anything beyond that, and you probably risk not being able to shut the right side panel.

This side of the Raven plays host to five extra drive bays: two mounted on each side of the CPU socket cut-out and one, the 2.5" bay, sitting under it. The manual actually instructs the user to mount his primary hard drive back here. Silverstone's justification, detailed in the FAQ portion of the manual, is interesting:

Q: Why put hard drives behind the motherboard tray?
A: There are two reasons
1. Maximum use of space — for novice users, RV03's spacious 5cm gap behind the motherboard tray allows for generous room to easily route extra cables. For more advanced builders good at routing cables, the extra room provides spaces [sic] to mount hard drives for more flexibility in storage.
2. Better cable management — placing hard drives behind the motherboard tray also helps to hide cables connected to the hard drives.

Fair enough. There's nothing wrong with giving users options. That said, a couple of potential problems come to mind. First, there isn't exactly a lot of airflow behind the motherboard tray, so heat from hard drives seems likely to stay trapped (and perhaps mix in with heat from the back of the motherboard). On top of that, four screws hold each tray in place, and users must remove the trays to install hard drives. Sounds like a lot of trouble.

Surely, the front-mounted bays are easier to operate, so long as as you're not afraid to spend a little extra time routing cables. Right?