First off, I know that this design will be hit or miss for most potential buyers out there, due to the external design alone. I, for one, don't get the large gap on the sides from the front panel, nor did I like the bulky hinge, but overall, I like the design, and the aesthetics of it all are growing on me the more I look at it. The window is large, and for my setup, offered a great view of my components inside of it, and I loved the inverted ATX configuration - I finally get to see the video card cooler stickers. I'm just kidding about the stickers, but as far as it having its benefits, even considering the use of the AIO in play, the overall thermal results inside of this chassis with the case all back together are some of the best I have seen.
As for the noise that you are dealing with, I unplugged the motherboard and allowed the fans to run from just the chassis. In the low fan position of the switches, you are dealing with 41dB of noise, and once allowed to run full steam, it registers some 53dB. I can't complain much though since things were so cool inside, there is a bit of a trade-off that is dealt with to use the chassis as it is delivered.
Once past the more technical aspects of the chassis, there is the feature set to consider. It is lacking without the option for USB 2.0 connectivity, but that is honestly the only thing I can pick on. With the way the top is designed to allow for the PSU and optical drives, they left plenty of room to make it all happen easily. Under that you have the fully removable fan ducts and HDD racks. This allows for much larger motherboards to fit without memory clearance issues behind the HDD rack, and allowing the ducts to remove too, you have the option to use the fan adapters and run a 360mm radiator down the front of this chassis. On the floor you have the option to use the hot-swappable bays as they call them. In reality, they aren't hot-swappable in the traditional sense, but rather they don't require screws, you still have to manually disconnect the power and SATA cables.
Then there is the removable motherboard tray which definitely helps with the initial installation, but is rendered immobile once the chassis is wired. As much as many of you may dislike this design, I for one do like where SilverStone is going in today's market, and with releases like this, you can't ever say that they are releasing mundane designs. In fact, the Raven RV04 may just be slightly ahead of the curve, and I applaud SilverStone for trying new things and showing users a different perspective.
For those of us who can appreciate the heritage left in the design, along with all of the ingenuity delivered in the Raven 4, to me it only gets better when pondering the price. While it may not be a water cooling monster like the 900D, or even the newer designs from NZXT, it does offer enough room to add that if you would like, and without the need for a monstrously sized chassis to get it done. For those of you in the market for something different both inside and out from the standard offerings, there is no denying that at $159.99, SilverStone is delivering quite a bit of chassis for the dollar. If they hadn't already shown me the TJ-11 my work rig is housed in now, I would be using this chassis, no questions asked; it is just perfect for a build like mine.
Anyone with the desire to be different than everyone else, look no further than the Raven 4, as it will definitely be something I guarantee all of your friends won't have anything like.
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