Yesterday, I received my new case. Behold… The Silverstone Raven 2. When the Purolator guy handed me the box, I was shocked at the sheer size of this thing. It was so huge that at first, I was scared this thing would not fit under my desk. I’m not kidding! Box size is 12 ¾ X 22 ¾ X 30 inches!!! Since it was a bit late for me to start tinkering with it, I put aside for this morning. Woke up a 7:00 and after my usual breakfast, I started my “case replacement”. This means taking my old case down in the basement where my workshop is and gutting the thing bare. That alone took a good while but the best part was yet to come. Opening the Raven 2 is pretty straightforward, pop the top off and remove two retaining screw for each side panel. Look around to contemplate how neat looking it is and then get started. Joy oh joy! Please note that the following is for a mature audience. Just kidding! But on serious note, this is not your daddy’s case. You will need some advance skills to get this thing up and running unless you don’t give a squat about neatness. Be prepared to turn this thing around a lot when you assemble it. You might as well use a “Lazy Susan”. Setting up the PSU is weird because it’s facing up. I did not use the Velcro strap thingy but I did use the bottom retaining clip. The motherboard was easy to install also. The drives were a bit more complicated. My top two DVD’s once installed were only an inch away from the last slot making the connectors hard to get too. I had to unscrew them to be able to plug the wires. Another complication here is that the IDE cable that came with my board was not long enough to reach any of the top drives. Putting both DVD’s in the middle if the case would have looked pretty stupid. Looking around in my spare parts junk box, I was fortunate enough to find a longer IDE cable. Long enough that I could even hide it behind the case thus making it appear cleaner. I hit another roadblock when it was finally time to put my hard drive into that “drive cage”. I had to unscrew four screws to remove the drive cage only to find out that my motherboard is in the way. I had to slide it out from the front of the case. You have to install the hard drive sideways in the cage which was new and weird looking to me. When I put the cage back into its space, one of the screws fell and rolled underneath the fan. FFS! I lost like 15 minutes just trying to retrieve that damned screw. :shadedshu Almost there, I just have the wiring to do now. I don’t know about you, but my Silencer 750 PSU has a shitload of wires sticking out of it. I took me ages trying to hide and conceal all those freaking wires behind the back panel. Modular cables would have made this job a cinch. Tie wraps to the rescue. Honestly, I would have preferred regular tie wraps to what they give with the case. I was happy putting the back panel and gaze upon my finished interior. Wow! Now let’s plug this baby up already. I made some cable cleanup behind my desk to accommodate this new case as well as a new hole to insert all the wire. The way my desk is made, I do not have a single wire on the floor making cleaning very easy and less dusty as well. The good part is that everything fired up just fine. I do find it a bit noisier than my older case because of the exhaust directly on top. The three bottom 180’s all have fan controllers but the top one doesn’t. I may insert a Zalman fan controller for that top fan. Finally… The part everybody was waiting for. The temperature testing that all the other review sites fails to mention. That big question for this case: “Will my temps go down ?” The answer is YES! I made a controlled test under the same condition with my old Antec Titan 650 and this new Silverstone Raven 2 case. Settings: - Phenom II 940 @ 3.0Ghz CPU (Stock) - MSI HD4890 Overclock Edition @ 880 GPU / 999 MEM (at idle, 240 GPU / 999 MEM. Fan was set to 50% manually) - 3Dmark06 Firefly benchmark @ 1920X1200 (Ten times in a row) - BlackBox 1.1.6 was used to record temperatures. Here are the results: The result speaks for themselves. Of course, I don’t keep the fan settings this high all the time. I put it at 50% just for testing purposes. I was very surprised at the CPU load temps. 10 degrees difference vs. the old case. With the video card on the side, no heat coming from it can affect the CPU. That’s a big plus for keeping low temps. Now I’m going to give a short list of like and dislikes about the Silverstone Raven 2. What I liked: - Look of the case. All black plus a window! - 90 degree motherboard setup. - Right access panel is great in my book since the case is on my left. - Top USB/audio ports. - Roomy. - Impressive cooling. - Fan filters makes it easy to clean and keeps dust out of the case. What I disliked: - Hard drive cage. They could have made this thing better. - Top 5 ¼” bay doesn’t have screwless retention thingy. Why? - No fan control for top fan. - Blue LED in front too bright. - Top power/reset switch makes it easy to hit by mistake. What some may not like: - Only room for three hard drives in cage. - CPU cutout for back plate may not fit all motherboards. - No eSATA / Firewire ports. - Top USB/audio ports. (I like it) - Water Cooling enthusiasts.