Final Thoughts - Silverstone Raven 3 (RV03)
It's a nice change of pace every time I get to work with a Silverstone premium case. Sometimes, their creative ideas pay off while other times they are a step in to creating a whole new idea. Using the space behind the motherboard for mounting hard drives is quite creative. It frees up some of the internal space for other possibilities like water cooling components. Unfortunately, there's no place to attach a radiator in that respect. Still, the Silverstone Raven 3 is surprisingly spacious and makes great use of its resources. There's ample cooling thanks to the 90 degree design that makes it that much easier to remove hot air.
The launch top (back) removable panel and clunky drive bay cages were the most serious of the issues we experienced. However, these annoyances should be sorted out in the supply channel by now. The quick manner in which engineers fine tuned and fixed the original bugs on the fly in the factory is worth commendation. This is an exemplary example of pro-active Silverstone customer support. If you happened to encounter a substandard lid or soft plastic HDD fan shrouds, let customer support know and they'll take care of you.
The Raven 3 (RV03) offers a ton of creative and innovative features that should please regular and enthusiast users alike. Aside from the protruding vented grill, it doesn't offend and keeps rather conservative design standards. The side window is probably just the right size in that respect. When you break down the list, the Silverstone Raven 3 is a very good value for the $149.99 US/CA price. If you want a computer case that offers high end component management and a unique interior layout, this is a great choice.
Raven 3 Pros
- 90 degree system mounting
- Ample cooling performance
- Creative hard drive mounting
- Can be an extremely quiet case with the right component cooling
- Good value for the features
- Innovative cable and component management
Raven 3 Cons
- Problematic tops may still be out there - Contact Support
- Hard drive cages a little difficult to re-assemble
- Protruding side panel grill needs refinements
Final Thoughts - Strider Gold 850Watt
As for the Silverstone Strider Gold 850 power supply, this thing is a rugged beast. It actually lives up to its specifications and slightly exceeds them especially if you need up to 100 watts more than its rating. Stable rails, extra wattage, very respectable ripple control and it even comes in 1000 and 1200 watt flavors in the same exact sized housing. That means it'll fit in a much larger range of computer cases without cluttering things up or weighing things down.
There's nothing that makes me question its dependability thus far. The cables, materials, socket ports and fan feel quite durable meaning it should handle repeated use over the 3 year warranty. It also doesn't kick up too much noise even when requiring a bulk of its capacity to be tapped. In fact, you'll most likely hear your video card fans over anything else in the Raven 3 or the Strider 850 Gold combo. Par for the course these days.
Considering it meets and exceeds its own standards while maintaining overall great performance, this $169.99 US/CA product is a very good bang for buck power supply and wins my Editor's Choice in the 850-950 watt segment!
- Truly 80Plus Gold efficiency
- Peaks at over 950 watts and still qualifies as 80Plus
- Runs Cool and Quiet
- Rugged finish
- None come to mind
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