With only one sample under my belt from MSI, I have a general idea of what they are trying to do with their new mid-tower cases. From what we saw in the Stealth, they were delivering a highly angular exterior with a rubberized SRF coating on the top and front to make it have the feel of a Stealth bomber. On the inside there was a lot of use of light blue for accents as well as dominating the motherboard tray with it. What was cool about this chassis was the unique way of adapting a video card support system into otherwise unused space. What really helped out that chassis was the current sale at Newegg, which made it a very affordable solution on top of being pretty feature rich inside and out.
When that chassis arrived at my house, there was a compatriot shipped right along side of it. Both cases were shipped with plastic and paper wrapping the boxes, both to disguise them from a potential thief as they sat on my porch, but also to protect the packaging for my images. What I didn't realize until I removed this packaging is just how much alike the chassis we are about to be looking at and the Stealth we just looked at are to each other. That isn't to say it is the same idea in a different color, it's more like the exterior plastic has been changed, some graphics were added and some of the options changed.
The second chassis in the Interceptor series that we are going to be getting very close and personal with is the Ravager from MSI. This is also a mid-tower chassis and for those that like in your face and aggressive style, the Ravager is right up your alley. With bold bumps in the plastic and what looks like a possible bear attack has happened to this chassis, there is no way that anyone will mistake this chassis after seeing what I am about to bring to you. It would be great if there is a killer sale going on with the Ravager to sweeten the deal, but that will come soon enough.
For now just get comfortable and open your minds to the aggressive looking mid-tower from MSI, the Ravager.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Outside of the Ravager, you have a plastic front panel that has bold protrusions on both sides of the three mesh bay covers at the top, while the bottom is a mix of a mesh insert centered with another bold section that stands proud. At the top of the mesh and plastic center piece, there is a large power button surrounded with a trapezoidal shaped ring that will glow blue when powered up. The top of the chassis has the I/O panel at the front in a sunken area that reminds me of a catch all tray. Behind that you find a large mesh insert taking up the majority of the top panel. The left side panel has a mesh area that allows for optional fans to be installed and the right side panel is flat. All around the chassis, the front, the top and both side panels, there have been light blue graphics applied that are made to look like something tore into the chassis with either bear-like strength or some sort of steel claw.
Inside the chassis you get a pair of 120mm fans that come along with the Ravager, one in the front and one in the rear of the chassis. There are three 5.25" drives with tool-less clips on one side of the bays. Below that there are two racks that can hold three each of 3.5" or 2.5" storage drives. Speaking of which, the top three trays and the cage are completely removable in the Ravager. You then run into the motherboard tray which is painted light blue and can house a Micro-ATX and ATX motherboard along with a couple other ones smaller than ATX. In the roof you have the option to add two 120mm or 140mm fans while the floor offers room for one additional 120mm fan, so in all there are five places for optional cooling. In the back of the chassis you will find seven light blue slot covers over the expansions slots with matching colored thumbscrews.
It actually seems to be a bit easier to locate the Ravager than the Stealth was. That being said, out of the five locations I found it, the pricing was pretty much the same across the board. On the low end was Newegg and TEK with an $89.99 price point, but TEK includes the shipping. One thing that swings the vote to the Newegg listing is that you can also apply for the current mail in rebate to get the Ravager for $64.99 plus the $9.99 to ship it.
At $74, you usually get one fan and not much for options or features, but the Stealth proved that wrong. Let's see if the Ravager can hold up as well as its air borne brethren in combat.
The Ravager from the Interceptor series is packaged with a grey and green backdrop to the chassis image, the features, the MSI "badge" and what looks like something has clawed up the packaging and tore a hole where they placed the chassis name.
This is where MSI puts images of 12 features found in the Ravager. Everything from bays, dust filters, to the room inside and a look at all that light blue accenting the interior.
The back of the packaging is exactly the same as what was shown on the front side of this packaging. Something I forgot to mention last time was the tag line of these Interceptor series cases, "protecting your vital gear".
One last image of the Ravager above the specifications chart is what the last panel has to offer you for information. I almost forgot, it also mentions the inclusion of a chain and dog tag to be "part of the team" with MSI.
I have to say it again, not very often is the use of high density foam found in mid-tower packaging. Thanks go to MSI stepping up the "recommended" to this level allowing this sample to arrive in perfect shape. The plastic liner not only keeps scratches off the paint, in this instance it also is there to protect all the graphics MSI has applied.
MSI IN-623 Ravager Mid-Tower Chassis
Looking at the front of the Ravager you can now see what I meant about protrusions. Up near the mesh covers on the 5.25" bays there are some that are pretty small. As you get into the raised mesh panel and the center bar at the bottom, that bit sticks out quite a bit more than the rest of the bezel.
The front of the top panel continued the trio of claw marks as they lead you to the front I/O panel. It is recessed a bit and offers a HDD activity light, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a reset button. The power button was on the front above the MSI logo.
The rest of the top panel is taken up by the large mesh insert to allow the optional fans that can be placed under this an easy path to exhaust straight out the top.
Removing that plastic cover will give you the access needed to install a pair of 120mm or 140mm fans or any combination of them in the roof of the Ravager chassis.
The left side of the chassis draws your eyes to the three claw marks and down to the logo of the case name and series. Moving your eye left brings you to the honeycomb mesh that allows for 120mm or 140mm fans to be installed here to aid in cooling the chassis.
In the back the blue continues, but only as the fan blades and the expansion slot covers. As for the rest of it, there is the rear I/O area next to the exhaust fan and a pair of pass-through holes for water tubing next to the expansion slots, leaving room for the bottom mounted PSU.
The right side of the chassis is flat, but it does offer this trio of claw marks to keep the theme going completely around the Ravager.
Under the chassis you will find a dust filter for the PSU and the optional 120mm fan mounting position. Near the edges you get plastic pucks for feet with rubber pads on them to support the chassis.
Inside the MSI Ravager
At first glance this looks just like the Stealth, but on close inspection the video card support system is gone and I noticed the lack of the Super Charger port so there is less wiring too that is bundled to keep them from flailing about in the chassis.
There are only three 5.25" bays here, but all three have the light blue latches to hold a drive in place here. For the other side MSI does supply additional PSU screws that also fit the optical bay devices to secure them.
There are two racks for the storage drives. The top rack will hold three drives and is removable. The bottom rack will also hold three drives, but it is not removable and has a 120mm fan in front of it.
There is already 310mm of room to throw in a video card, with the ability to remove the top half of the rack you add room for longer cards or even a place for your pump and reservoir if you want to try to water cooling in the Ravager.
The motherboard tray is light blue and has a lot of options to it. There are five form factors that can be installed in here as long as they are ATX or smaller. As for the wiring, there are six places to bring wiring through and twenty-three places to attach wires to.
Inside we get another look at the rear exhaust fan and the light blue mesh covers, but here you can also see that the plastic covered, metal thumbscrews are also color matched.
As the Stealth had it, the Ravager also has three quarters of an inch to pack in the wiring behind the motherboard tray. The room to the left side of the tray is thinner to get to at maybe a half an inch as the left edge of the tray has a structural bend that limits room through the middle.
For the wiring to the Ravager, there is a two wire 4-pin Molex connection for the front fan and the pass-through Molex connections are to power the LED lighting around the power button on the front of the case.
Accessories and Documentation
Packed between the foam and the plastic liner, outside of the chassis you will find the MSI Customer Survival pack. You won't find peanut butter, gum and a map in the package, only hardware and literature.
This hardware is actually shipped in two bags, but it all fits nicely, so here we go. There are five tie straps for wiring, the chain and MSI dog tag, the Kensington lock loop, the riser socket, the risers, hex-head screws and the motherboard and SSD screws with the countersunk screw at the far right used for the lock loop.
The user manual is tri-lingual in the text. The images are top notch and are highlighted where to look, while the text below the images plainly explains what you are being asked to do. It couldn't be simpler really once you have looked this over.
The storage drive trays are expandable as the one on the right shows. This allows you to set the 3.5" drive in and squeeze the tray back to the right size. If you plan on using an SSD, each tray allows it with the four holes in the bottom of each tray.
The Build and Finished Product
Removing the front bezel to gain access to remove the bay cover and slide in the DVD drive showed me that the power lead and the Molex pass-through connections are for of course the power button and LED lit ring around it. You also now have access to remove the snap on dust cover from the intake fan.
The drive is in and only secured with the blue clip on the left side. Even so the drive is very secure and lines up well. The choice to use a textured plastic surface on the Ravager lends well to letting the optical devices to blend right in.
Inside the Ravager everything went in well and fit like a glove. Even with the drive bay out I was still able to do a clean looking build hiding most wiring from the front of the case leaving plenty of room for the PSU wiring to do its thing.
The rear I/O dust shield went in easily and the cards fit easily and line up well. The PSU gets four pads to set on in the floor of the Ravager that makes things tight, but I won in the end and got it secured in place.
Since this was my second go at wire management, I tried to look at it from a different angle and give you some more ideas on where to run your wiring to keep things hidden and tidy. In reality, I had less of an issue pushing the panel over this wiring than I did with the Stealth; live and learn, I guess.
Closing up shop and getting ready to boot the system up I took a look at what we have created. The installation doesn't change the aesthetics much at all, but with so much going on already, that is a good thing.
Adding power the Ravager brings the front of the chassis to life with the glow of the blue ring around the power button and this time the LED fan works. There is a mellow blue glow that comes through the front and also dumps out onto the desktop a bit in front of it.
For me personally, this isn't a chassis I want on my desktop. It is very cool looking, as if it was ravaged by a bear and not actually the one doing the ravaging. I know this chassis is tailored to the younger crowd and the battle scars of war could really dress up a build. The claw marks are a cool addition, from a few feet away that is, if you look closely in some of the images, there is a white line around where the transfer paper was when they laid the marks. Also there seemed to be a break in one of my claw marks that had been "patched" with an overlay of sticker and at two feet was easily seen. I know times are tough, but are stickers really that expensive that you can't rip them off and start again?
So in reality all I can really say bad about the case is that I nitpicked for the stripe issue and that I personally wouldn't use it. That in no way means that you shouldn't like what the Ravager brings to the table if at first glance you are struck and attracted to the aggressive styling and bold contrast of colors with the claw marks on it, by all means grab one. It isn't as feature rich as the Stealth, but they had to remove something to give it the bold style you have just seen. In this case a mobile device charger and a support system were taken out to give you more drive space with the option to remove what you don't and the sticker kit on the outside.
Would I pay $100 for this case if put in a bind, not really, but that is due to personal taste mostly, but I think you can find more well appointed cases in that price range, even those with aggressive looks, but likely not the claw marks. The case is a looker, that is for sure and for those that fell in love with it, well you aren't going to have to spend $100 to have this. With the current deal on Newegg, you can have this Ravager delivered to your door for just less than $75 right now. I really wish we had a bold styling category, because in all honesty I am still, as I type this, torn as to which category to award this chassis.
It is very worthy of an award, it just isn't the most economically friendly, doesn't have a full list of features, we can't overclock it, although it does perform pretty admirable, more cooling is needed for me to give it that award. I wish the Ravager had struck me on a more personal level because then I could easily dole out the Editor's Choice"... decisions, decisions. I think at the end of it all I will give it the Value Award, because you are going to be hard pressed to find something styled like this any cheaper.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de