Unlike the Raven 2 that we had previously reviewed as well as the Fortress 2, the Raven 3 did make a big change to its layout. Previously the right side of the case was where you would find the side panel window and the business side of things. This time around the flipped it back around to a more traditional layout on the left side. That doesn’t mean they changed the 90 degree rotated motherboard tray though.
When standing back and looking at the Raven 3, it actually looks a lot smaller than past models. For example previously there used to be three bottom mounted fans, but now we have two. The height seems a little shorter as well.
As I mentioned the two 180mm fans on the bottom of the case provide most of the cooling for the Raven 3. They blow up and over the motherboard and video cards and then out the top of the case. The Raven 2 used to have pull out vents here, but this model went with a simpler magnet mounted filters on the bottom of the case.
Up top we have one exhaust fan above the rear (top?) I/O panel and a whopping eight PCI slots. All of those PCI slots mean the Raven 3 can support up to four video cards as long as your motherboard also supports them. There is a rear exhaust vent, but if you want to run quad SLI/Crossfire you won’t be able to fit a fan in that location. Its a small change but I should also point out that the Raven 2’s PCI slot covers were all silver, its nice to see that they went with black this time around.
The Raven 3’s 7 5.25 inch bays also double as the home for the hard drive cages. You can mount 6 hard drives in the movable hard drive cages or remove what you don’t need and you have room for a small water cooling setup.
Even before I took off the right side panel to look behind the motherboard tray I could see I was in for a lot of room. With two inches of room from the motherboard tray to the side panel the Raven 3 has more room than any other case we have worked with other than double width cases of course.
Around on the other side I was able to see why there is so much room behind the motherboard tray, they have included four 3.5 inch drive mounting locations and one 2.5 inch mount that holds two drives. That brings the overall capacity of the Raven up to 10 3.5 inch drives and 2 2.5 inch drives. For most people there really isn’t any reason to use the front mounted drive cages. Having the drives hidden on the back will make for even better wire management and a clean install. For cooling both of the bottom mounted fans have a small section that blows up the backside as well. Packed full of hard drives I would bet that it would get a little warm but not enough to worry too much about.