Skip to main content

Five Eight-Slot Cases For SLI And CrossFire, Tested

Building With The SilverStone Raven RV03

The Raven RV03 carries forward the bottom-to-top airflow design from SilverStone’s previous Fortress and Raven Cases, but takes a step back in the other direction by reverting to the traditional access side. This gets cards out of the way of extra-long drives, which was a problem for the eight-slot RV02 that was then fixed by blocking the eighth slot entirely on the RV02E.

The RV03’s installation kit includes shoulder bolts for use with grometted holes on drive trays, along with motherboard standoffs, course and fine case screws, cable ties, and a three-fan power adapter.

We had to remove more than two dozen screws to get to the point where we could show the 5.25” external to 3.5” internal adapter trays. Fortunately, most installations don’t require that much effort.

Builders looking for a more stealth installation need only look behind the motherboard tray to find four more 3.5” trays, plus a dual-drive 2.5” tray. We put our storage drives as close to the optical drive as possible to minimize cable creep.

Optical drives are secured with a flip-up latch similar in concept to Rosewill’s, but much sturdier. Screws can be added by those who don’t trust latches.

The power supply slides in from the left and is screwed down from the right. An easily-removable dust filter underneath makes this design ideal for power supplies that have an intake fan on the bottom, though unfiltered side panel vents allow other power supplies to be used as well.

All of our components fit very easily thanks to a design that is well-executed in every way, except for its front bay adapters. Getting a little more slack on our power cable did require the removal of the face panel. Fortunately, it's attached with fewer screws than those wily drive bays.

The RV03’s appearance is sure to win over many buyers, especially when we make it clear that this is the most rigid case in our round-up.

  • bhtechmech
    I like the ThermalTake the best for access to HDD. Shape is nice too.
    Reply
  • compton
    The Raven is an appealing case except for it's (supposedly removable) gold trim. That stuff might fly for Mr. T or Too Short, but not for most of the masses. It is truly ugly on the outside, but I like what's going on inside. In fact, I like most any case that deviates from the standard layout conventions, but damn, the RV-03 is fugly. I'm sticking to the Lian Li PC-A05NB for a while longer. You can make most cases quieter, but you can't really make most cases less fugly on the outside.
    Reply
  • hammer256
    @compton: why not go for the RV-02E then? It's much more subdued. In my opinion though, the true stunner is the FT-02. Now that is a case with a proper sense of style. Too bad it's quite a bit more expensive though.
    Reply
  • hammer256
    Should have mentioned that those cases don't have the 8th slot though, so I guess they won't work if that's what you need.
    Reply
  • rylan
    Why did you test with a single graphics card? I thought the title of the review was Five Eight-Slot Cases FOR SLI AND CROSSFIRE, Tested.

    Just because a case performs well with a single graphics card doesn't mean it performs well in SLI or CrossFire. I know this from experience.
    Reply
  • mattmock
    It is important to note the >180mm PSU size requirements of the RV03. My Enermax 1050W wouldn't fit in the 03 so I ended up getting a rv02e
    Reply
  • hmp_goose
    The factory castors on my HAF 932 died rather quickly: I'd scrounge up a (metal) substitute set of wheels if I was thinking about another build.
    Reply
  • chovav
    yeah come on guys, you don't even look at the temperature of the most important card, the 2nd, 3rd or 4th in SLI! isn't that why you chose a 8-slot case?

    This article misses the whole point! your could have used a mini-ITX board/case for all that matters.

    Please do yourself a favor and revisit this article with 3/4 graphic cards this time!
    Reply
  • boltronics
    Yeah - one graphics card doesn't cut it when CrossFire and SLI are in the article name.

    I've got a HAF-X with 2x RadeonHD 6990 cards in CrossFire... and can confirm that you missed seeing all the flaws because you didn't review it properly.

    1. The bracket doesn't cover the 6990s - it physically cannot be made to fit.

    2. The fan sitting behind the graphics cards also does not fit with 6990s - they take up more room than the cards allow. Even if they did fit, it would never work with 4 graphics cards (if you were going that way) - it's only designed for 3!

    3. My HAF-X case didn't come with the USB3 header cable. When I contacted CoolerMaster about this and asked them to send me one, they basically said "Yeah we announced we would send them out to people who missed out, but we only meant it if you're in the USA and you're not so..."

    Further, the case cannot handle the heat. The top fan of the HAF-X above the CPU actually warped out of shape and started making a huge noise - the blades started hitting the metal insides of the case. I had to move the fan to the opposite side of the frame - hanging from the metal roof, instead of sitting on top of it.

    And the alignment of the PCI slots is off. I originally intended to go 4-way SLI with my HAF-X (before going down the CrossFire path), and realised it would not be possible (using my Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9 at least). The top two PCI slot ports on the case do not match up with the top two slots on my motherboard! The third & forth case slot would be for graphics card 1, 5 & 6 would be for card 2, 7 & 8 would be for graphics card 3... but if I wanted a forth card, there is only one slot left!

    Now, CoolerMaster did cut a hole internally so you could plug a card that overhangs unto the missing 10th slot... but one problem - since there is actually no 10th slot where the heck would all the hot-air go? Yep - straight back into the card. You would be mad to try it on air - otherwise the card would get GPU death.

    Needless to say, deeply deeply disappointed with the HAF-X due to wanting a 4-card setup, which the case clearly isn't designed for. Your article missed every one of these flaws!
    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    The thought was good if the tittle was changed.

    Testing of multiple graphics cards mean more heat and a possibly a larger PSU. I read this thinking I would see answers to the following three questions. Do any of these cases struggle with the added heat from multiple graphics cards? Do any of these cases have an issue supporting larger PSU's? How is the acoustic efficiency when more heat has to be dissipated(do they get louder)?
    Reply