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Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Silverstone
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)



Out back, the case is very plain, featuring only a 120mm fan placement and a small ventilation area that services the back of the mobo tray. This side panel features a beveled acrylic window and a PSU vent area identical to the other side.



Turning the case on its top reveals tall feet, with rubber inserts, to provide ample clearance for the extensive ventilation area incorporated into the bottom of the chassis. While most cases rely on the traditional front-to-rear airflow design, SilverStone places the intakes at the bottom of the case, blowing upwards and exhausting out the top and rear. This design keeps the air flowing across the motherboard and hardware in exactly the same manner as the more common ventilation scheme, but also takes advantage of natural convection to aid in getting rid of internal heat. As we'll see in a bit, there are several placements for optional fans to augment this design.


Normally, we'd take a look at the front of the chassis with the front panel removed, but a complete installation can be accomplished in the Raven 3 without going through the tedious task of dismounting the front panel. We'll go over this procedure during the installation phase of this review, but for now, let's move to the interior.



Interior space is a bit deceiving with the Raven 3. Due to the motherboard orientation, the case will support graphics cards of up to 13.58-inches in length, and E-ATX motherboards as well as a select few larger ones. CPU cooler height is limited to 163mm or 6.4-inches, and the front PSU mount will accept power supplies up to seven inches in length. Cable management openings are strategically placed, and most of the fan and I/O cables are pre-routed in the case for user convenience. Notice also that the PSU mounts at the front of the chassis under the big bays, an unusual solution that we'll explore in more detail presently.



Up front, the big-bay drive cage holds two separate cages, each of which will hold up to three 3.5-inch hard drives and can mount a 120mm fan on either end (or both ends,) for additional cooling. These cages come apart and can be configured to support a wide variety of cooling/storage options in this area. As we'll see later on, there are drive mounting options on the back of the motherboard tray as well, making the Raven 3 one of the most configurable chassis we've come across.


As I mentioned earlier, the power supply mounts across the chassis just below the front drive cage, and necessitates the right-angle plug and extension cable shown in the above photo. A red arrow indicates where the PSU wall cord gets plugged into the pre-installed extension cable socket and, presumably runs under the chassis and out the back. While mounting the PSU in its own discrete area makes a lot of sense, routing the power cable like this seems like a bit of a shortcut in an otherwise excellent design.


The blue arrow indicates the big bay tool-free mechanisms. They are a bit difficult to manipulate, and the user will have to remove an additional four screws per cage, as well as the front bay covers to get the cages installed or out of the way, depending upon how the user wishes to configure this area of the chassis.


Near the top, just behind the fan you can get a glimpse of one of the fan controller switches. The switches are pre-wired out of the box; a blessing since the switches aren't powered and the individual fantails need to be plugged into the motherboard or the PSU via the included adapter. All the wiring in the Raven 3 is nicely sleeved in a sturdy, black mesh material, with the exception of…



…the top exhaust fan, whose fantail is neither sleeved nor twisted, which I find a bit strange. Expansion cards get secured with conventional screws, and the addition of a rear 120mm exhaust fan will partially block the last expansion bay, unless the fan is mounted externally. Most of the motherboard standoffs are pre-installed and the large cutout in the tray will facilitate CPU cooler swaps.

 

 


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