Building in the RV04, Continued
Many gaming builds aren’t necessarily storage heavy, so you may opt to just remove the drive cage and use the hot-swap bays for improved airflow.
Traditional hard drives just slide in, with a plastic hook that’ll snap into place when the drive is fully inserted. While I couldn’t find any mention of them in the manual, those webbed straps assist in removing the drives – just keep them on the floor when inserting the hard drive and you can just grab and pull if you need help extracting the drive later.
The bay closest to the front of the case allows for enough room to plug the cables in after the drive is installed. SilverStone labels these two bays as “hot-swap”, but really they should just be “tool-less,” as they don’t come with their own SATA backplane (the FT04 includes a backplane for one of these bays). Still, routing cables is easier from these bays – it would be tricky to route cables with the removable cage installed and filled with drives. SilverStone sells a few accessories that actually help with this (such as their CP06 SATA connector), so it remains an option if you need the space for additional storage.
With everything wired up, managing the inevitable mess of cables is pretty straightforward. The 8-pin AUX CPU cable is again the tricky one (a slightly shorter power supply would have allowed me to route it almost straight up and down, possibly utilizing the tie down points for an even cleaner appearance), but at least there’s enough slack that it isn’t tight or pulling on anything. The front panel connectors for USB and audio (and the switches/LEDs) are sufficient in length to do some routing as well, but you may want to attach them first and route the power cables over them to clean it up a bit more. Honestly, the only cables that gave me trouble were the 3-pin connectors for the AP fans up front (only because there weren’t two fan headers easily accessible on that side of the M5A99FX PRO R2, unless I wanted to use the CPU fan headers).
Those cables I ended up stretching underneath the Argon AR03 and using the CHASSIS fan connectors on the motherboard. In retrospect, I would probably just use some Molex adapters and tuck those cables behind the motherboard tray (attaching the fans directly to the PSU). You can control the speeds with the switches up front anyway, so they don’t need to be attached to a motherboard header.
The above photo helps illustrate another SilverStone quirk that actually deserves a mention. See those cut-out circles on the right (rear) edge of the case, above the PCI-E slot covers? You’ll need a longer bit (or just a normal screwdriver) to fasten your expansion cards down but this is one of the few places I was surprised to learn I prefer using a screwdriver to thumbscrews. Most cases simply don’t have enough room to get your fingers in to tighten down a thumbscrew, and this solution avoids all of that entirely.
When powered on, the Raven RV04 uses a muted white LED light(s) for the power indicator. It’s a nice subtle effect, punctuated by a red HDD activity LED in the center (shown on the right). If I were to be extremely picky, I’d opt for even more diffusion in that plastic strip (for a more even distribution of the LED light). It’d make the lights a little dimmer (and they aren’t glaring in the first place), but it would look even better. All the nitpicking aside, this illuminated chevron is somewhat of a tradition among the Raven line and it doesn’t look out of place here at all.
With the system assembled and all panels replaced, the “interesting” components are highlighted nicely in the window. Most gaming or work loads didn’t even require the fans to be switched to their high setting – only during extended gaming or GPU stress testing did the GPU fans get pretty noisy (when in a Crossfire configuration). Remember that all cooling by the case is done with just two fans – the level of cooling performance with this design is pretty extraordinary. Sure, a full tower packed with 10+ fans will probably be able to cool better (with more noise as well), but the efficiency of this direct-cooling design is hard to beat.