Installation Impressions

This is where everything started to go a little pear-shaped for the Raven RV05. Being completely honest, I have to admit that I didn't have much fun working with the case. Part of the disappointment could be due to the huge amount of excitement I had for this case but whatever it was, I walked away quite disappointed with the build process.

Still it wasn't all bad. I started by squeezing the motherboard in and while I would normally install the memory and CPU heatsink prior to inserting the motherboard, I don't recommend doing this with the RV05. There simply isn't enough room to work inside the RV05 with a large air-cooler already installed. With the Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E Extreme in place, we couldn't access the CPU 8-pin power connector from any angle and it even made getting to the 24-pin ATX power connector difficult.

This meant we had to remove the slim optical drive cage first and install the CPU cooler once everything had been connected up to the motherboard.

Next we decided to install the power supply in anticipation of the hard drives, graphics cards and so on. However, our first choice (the OCZ ZX Series 850w modular power supply) didn't even come close to fitting. This PSU measures 175mm long and with all the cables removed it still didn't fit with the 3.5" drive cage in place. Unfortunately, all the power supplies we had on hand were between 165mm and 175mm.

For the photos we stuck in the little Cooler Master GXII Pro 550w, which measures just 140mm long, though there is a 750w version of this PSU that features the same dimensions. Silverstone's $155 Strider Gold S 850w seems to be a must for this case, but gamers opting for high-end SLI or Crossfire setups are going to need more power than this 850w unit can deliver.

Sadly, the high-end power supplies that often reach 190mm or more in length will mean using the Raven 5 without 3.5" drives and that doesn't seem like it's a viable option for most gamers.

The limited PSU headroom is our biggest gripe with the Raven RV05 so far and we are having trouble coming to terms with Silverstone's reasoning here.

With the motherboard, memory, CPU cooler and power supply all fitted we threw in a pair of 3.5" hard drives and two 2.5" SSDs. The hard drives slotted into place easily enough, though as we quickly found that really was the easy part. Moving around to the back side of the case, connecting the SATA data and power cables wasn't that easy as the drives are recessed a few inches into the cage making it very difficult to plug cables in.

Next I slotted the two 2.5" drives into place once all the power cables were cleared out. The drive mounts are slightly raised so it would be possible to route thin cables behind the 2.5" drives. The only real problem we had with this design was screwing in the two screws to secure the drives. One side features small tabs that lock into the drives meaning just one side needs to be screwed into place.

The only problem being getting those screws in requires a highly magnetic screwdriver, a very steady hand and a lot of patience. Sadly, I only had one of those three requirements on the day of testing.

With the drives in place, getting all the cables fitted up in a neat fashion was considerably harder than we have become accustom to with modern cases. There is just far too much going on behind the motherboard tray to make the installation process quick and easy.

Installing the graphics cards was reasonably easy, though you do first have to remove the expansion slot cover on the top side of the case. Again, routing the PCIe 6-pin/8-pin power cables to the graphic cards is a real challenge.

The Silverstone Raven RV05 looks pretty cool on the outside but given how things went on the inside we are praying it performs unlike anything we have seen before.