Inside and Out
The exterior of the Raven is one of the most interesting cases we’ve seen yet. It looks like some kind of cross between Batman’s Tumbler and a stealth fighter, and that’s a compliment. While normally not one for showy cases, there’s something sexy about the Raven I cannot describe. From its matte black exterior to single blue LED power light, the Raven just screams serious business. Another neat feature is the front door, which is spring loaded. When you push the door down, it locks open; a small push releases the door and it closes without assistance, which is a neat add-on. The sides feature a decent sized window which gives you a view into the interior, while the grills beneath also function as intakes and fan filters.
The top of the case sports a hidden door that provides access to two USB 2.0 ports, Intel HD Audio Ports, and a single eSATA port. Just in front of the door are the power and reset buttons. The case itself is pretty big and heavy, due to its steel and plastic construction. This makes the Raven pretty unfriendly for toting around to LAN parties, as fully loaded it weighs in at about 40lbs.
Opening the case is tool-less, but does require the removal of the top fan grate. Two releases are turned to unlock the top portion of the case, which then slides backwards. This grants the user access to the side panel release buttons. Once depressed, the side panels are removed with relative ease. Once inside, you can see the six 3.5” hard drive cages that are easy to pull in and out. The first cage actually uses a built-in SATA and power connecter, making extra cables unnecessary. Silverstone sells additional all-in-one units that install easily into the case on their website. Our hard drives plugged right into this unit with ease and it really helped make installation a snap.
The crossbar needs to be removed in order to install the motherboard and features extendable arms that hold your add-in cards in place. The 5.25” drive bays use a tool-less design that works great for holding all drives firmly. One issue we ran into however was the wiring from the top panel, which unfortunately prevented us from installing a DVD drive in the topmost slot. The wiring exits the top panel exactly where a CD drive would sit and there really isn’t enough room to rest the wiring above an installed drive.
The motherboard tray is not removable; however there is plenty of room inside the Raven, so it really wasn’t an issue. The back panel features plenty of routing holes for cabling and Silverstone has designed the Raven to have just about every wire run behind the tray. Unfortunately, the holes are a bit on the small side, which makes routing large connectors, like the ATX power plug, somewhat difficult. There are even 4 bendable wire holders that work great to keep everything nice and neat, making re-installation of the side panel easy. The power supply sits at the bottom of the case, just above a removable fan filter that is accessible from the rear of the case. While we are thankful for the fan filter, requiring it to be removed from the rear actually puts it somewhat out of the way. With all the fans pulling air upwards, we can imagine the Raven will function about as well as a vacuum cleaner, so it would be nice if we could pull the fan filter from the front of the case instead.
Once everything is all installed, it can thankfully be kept nice and tidy thanks to Silverstone’s good cable management system. Since the fans are mounted above the empty space of the bottom chamber, you don’t have to worry about airflow disruption from excess power supply cables. The cable clamps worked pretty good to hold even the thickest of cabling. From the front, you can see the Raven allows for a pretty clean installation, which is nice not only for aesthetics, but also for airflow. So how does the Raven cool? Keep reading to find out!