Description

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” --Edgar Allen Poe

My last build was over 10 years ago! AMD X2 5000 Black, 4GB DDR2, 2x500GB drives in RAID 10, & Ati Radeon 3850. A few upgrades over the years have kept her ticking. AMD Phenom II Quad-Core, 8GB DDR2, 2x2TB drives in RAID 10, 120GB SSD Boot drive & Ati Radeon 5870. It was time for the next generation

I had been planning a new build for the last few months, then I won this RVZ02B-W @ IU Gaming's LAN War 32, so I adapted my build to the new case.

UPDATE Added additional pictures and re-ran the power cables. It wasn't night and day better as I hoped, but it's a little cleaner and they don't hide the LEDs as much.

Case

The Raven RVZ02 was both great to work with and a PITA at the same time. There are lots thoughtful features helpful to building in this case, but they aren't always successful. I will probably try to redo some of my cable routing before too long. The cables are hiding much of the motherboard's built-in RGB lighting.

Pros:

  • Cable passthroughs in convenient places
  • Generous motherboard cutout for back-side NVMe and cooler backplate access.
  • Very secure SSD, PSU, and GPU mounting.
  • Looks cool :)

Cons:

  • Flipped SSDs: I don't have a 2.5" SSD in my build (yet), and they aren't visible through the case window, but it drives me crazy they they have to be mounted upside down.
  • The "Windows" are nearly opaque without any back-lighting. The cutouts, while necessary for air intake, make it very hard to see through.
  • Enormous USB3.0 front panel cable. The cable could reach an I/O header mounted to the rear I/O panel! With a header on the near side of the motherboard, I had a lot of cable to hide.

Motherboard

I had originally planned on using the Asus STRIX Z270 but couldn't fit the $180 price in my build budget. I also wasn't going to be able to fit enough cooling in this case to overclock much, so I went back to the drawing board. I came across the Gigabyte GA-B250N Phoenix which offers lots of premium features without the overclocking or cost.

Pros:

  • Excellent header placement
  • USB3.1 10Gig
  • WiFi which came in more handy that I thought
  • Lots of fan headers (in a case with no fans ;)
  • Shiny wraparound RGB lighting + RGB header!

Cons:

  • No overclocking (but I knew that going in)
  • Front panel audio header is a weird place (not that I use front panel audio anymore)
  • RGB LEDs are on the bottom of the board (better for glow than for show)

CPU

Trolls: "Why did you buy a K processor when you didn't buy a Z series motherboard?"

  • It was literally $1 more than the non-K processor (at the time of purchase)
  • I'm buying a 3rd party cooler anyway so I don't need the craptacuar one it the non-K CPU comes with.
  • Slightly higher clock speeds than non-K 7600.

CPU Cooler

I went back and forth for days on which cooler to use. There are many fans of the Noctua NH-9Li, Cryorg C7, Scythe Big Shuriken, or the Silverstone AR06. Each adamant their choice is the best. I decided to shun them all and went with the Reeven Brontes. I found the Reeven Brontes in another cooler review and Tom's Hardware pitted it against the AR06 in a MiniITX roundup. Between the AR06 and the Reeven, the Reeben was the cooler and quieter contender. In fact, it basically matched the much larger Noctua NH-L12!

  • Installation is super simple and straightforward.
  • Orientation: If mounted with the heatpipes vertical, the fins will intrude on your first RAM slot.
  • Component interference: My motherboard has a vertically mounted WiFi module and metal support bracket directly behind the rear I/O panel which interfered with the cooler. I initially removed the WiFi module outright as I didn't think I'd be using it anyway. Upon closer inspection, I found if I removed the bracket, I could re-install the module and the cooler would actually provide some support for it.

Memory

Pros:

  • Can't go wrong with Corsiar memory, am I right?
  • These LED laden modules weren't much more than the Corsair Vengeance LPX I was considering.
  • Pleasant white glow isn't too bright (for me)
  • Runs as fast as the B250 chipset will let it (DDR4-2400)

Cons:

  • Didn't confirm LED & motherboard compatibility when I switched to the Gigabyte Phoenix. The LEDs work, but aren't configurable at this time. (My bad.)
  • LEDs aren't too bright

Hard Disk

Blazing fast! The original plan was to use the Samsung 960 EVO but when it came time to place the order, they were nowhere to be found. The Plextor M8Pe is a great second choice and $40-50 cheaper which helped since I was already over budget. (Dang taxes)

Graphics Card

Early plans were to use a GTX 1060 6GB. With cost savings from no overclocking or water cooling, I could spring for a GTX 1070.

  • Many forum posts have been written regarding blower vs open GPU coolers in this case. Reviewers often mention (but don't test) that a blower style cooler would work better since the only air flow will come from the GPUs own cooler. I finally found one YouTube video: Are Blower Fan Video Cards Actually Better in SFF Cases?
  • I've always really like the look of the Founders Edition cards despite their decreased performance compared to the EVGA SC Gaming Black Edition for the same price. But then, there is that juicy factory overclock (ok a whopping 80Mhz, SuperClocked my ***) and white LED on the EVGA SC Gaming Black Edition.
  • Before I clicked the "Checkout" button on the EVGA GTX 1070 Founders Edition I took one last look at Craigslist. WOW! A GTX 1080 Founders Edition showed up on Craigslist for only a few bucks more!

Power Supply

The Corsair CS600 is the best alternative to Silverstone's dominance in the SFX space. This unit may only be rated at 80+Gold, but JonnyGuru's tests show it could pass for Platinum :)

  • Pro: Cable lengths are perfect for this case

  • Con: Cables are pretty stiff which makes them a little difficult to cable manage.

Keyboard

All that you need, none that you don't. Yes, it will do the RGB wave but it tastefully defaults to a single static color.

Pros:

  • One touch Gaming Mode button disables the Windows key (and whatever else you want)
  • One touch lighting button enables/disables all lighting effects
  • Fully customizable per-key RGB backlighting
  • Logitech Gaming Software is easy to use and provides Application specific lighting presets

Cons: (Yes, I'm nitpicking. I don't have any actual gripes.)

  • Romer-G switches are a little quieter than I like ;)
  • Too light, I would like a metal backplate or insert for more stability

Comments

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

I love the name :)

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Fantastic name. Upvoted immediately

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

yes! finally a build using the GA-B250N mobo

  1. can u pls share what's the model number of the included intel wifi/bluetooth card on it?

  2. wifi antenna - is it like the 2 screw-on rods at the rear panel or something like this: http://i.imgur.com/Oz5MHJj.png

thanks.

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points
  1. At this point, it is impossible to get to without tearing my machine apart, however, Device Manager says, "Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC8265." It also does Bluetooth.
  2. It is the antenna in the picture. It attaches to the rear I/O panel via two wires. The antenna has a magnetic base.
  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

alrighty thanks for the reply. planning a mITX build like this but info about this mobo is a bit hard to come by at the moment so really appreciate your input :-) cheers man

  • 29 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for superb description writeup and for GTX 1080 snag.

  • 29 months ago
  • 2 points

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore— For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore— Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door— Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;— This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;— Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?” This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”— Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore— Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;— ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door— Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door— Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door— Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered— Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before— On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.” Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore— Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore— What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er, But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er, She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted— On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore— Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore— Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore— Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted—nevermore!

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Best comment ever.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Don't worry, that RAM isn't configurable anyways, if they're slowly pulsing the proper color (white I think you have) then they're working right.

Also, if your BIOS allows, you can overclock those sticks to the allowed 3000MHz speed.

I would know, I have those same sticks in mine :)

As for the build, I love it! Love that yellow cooler fan too!

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Silly me, I thought the only Corsair software was CUE!

Don't mind me, I clearly don't know what I'm talking about! haha

Now I go download Corsair Link and mebbe play around >:)

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

You should be able to customize whether or not they blink in Corsair's Link software. At least that is what I think, my friend has the red version of the ram and he can set it to static, flashing or breathing I think

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

I really like them! The Corsair Link software is SUPPOSED to allow you to select different modes but motherboard support is currently very limited. As for the overclock, I've turned them up as far as the BIOS allows which is 2400. Can't overclock the processor anyway so it's no big deal.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

SPAM THE LEDS

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Overall the build looks dope but I have never seen that cpu cooler. I'll have to do some research on it before I build in this case or the node 202. How much clearance is there between the cpu cooler and the side panel?

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

I finally decided on this cooler after days of researching low-profile coolers. It does a respectable job on my processor, but no low-profile cooler is going to leave much headroom for overclocking. Most reviews compare these low-profile coolers to full size or even water cooling units. Also, it can be hard to find a review that pits two low-profile coolers you are looking at head to head.

In my RVZ02(windowed) there is still about a 3 millimeter gap. There is less room between the PSU and the side-panel than this 60mm CPU cooler and the side-panel. The non-windowed version has magnetic dust filters which may use this "extra" space. I would say you have up to 62mm of space for a CPU cooler in this case with a 115x series motherboard. I'm considering adding a foam or rubber seal between the cooler and side panel to ensure it is directly pulling in fresh air from outside the case.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Were you able to keep the wifi-module on? I'm kind of confused about your wording in the motherboard section.

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes I was. The module comes with a metal support bracket to hold it upright in the slot. I removed the metal bracket from the WiFi module and was able to install the CPU heat sink.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point
  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

may I ask if the chipset-whatever-something lights up? thanks

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

The motherboard has RGB LED strips along three sides and a light pipe along the short audio path. They can be controlled via the BIOS or the Gigabyte Software Center in Windows. There are a few pre-programmed effects and the usual static, breathing, and flashing. You can also set them to change based on certain customizable system events. For example, you could have the LEDs turn red when CPU load is above 90% and be green the rest of the time. Additionally, it has a 5 pin header for more RGB/W LED strips. You can use 4 of the 5 pins for normal RGB strips or all 5 pins for RGBW strips. Alternatively, both the BIOS and software center have switches to turn them off. The motherboard is very well laid out and has (nearly) all the latest features (No Thunderbolt.)

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

that was one hell of a package there. i really liked the led features since i'm more of a form guy than a function one. tho, i still get quite an uneasy feeling about this, does this one also include leds? i'd feel really bad if this will stay the way it is even if the rig was on

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope, no other LEDs on the board. That piece is just a sticker shiny plastic.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

damn that hurts. if it has an led or atleast not colored the way it is, it would've sealed the deal outright. now i have to weigh everything from zero

anyway, thanks man, you were a great help (y)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

So I’m thinking about using this case to house an RTX 2080 and a 2700x, does this case keep everything nice and cool without any additional fans for airflow, (Besides cpu cooler fan and gpu fans built in I mean) and do you think these components would stay cool in this case?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

It's really going to depend on the coolers you use. I have the fan flipped on my CPU cooler so it's blowing UP instead of down. This provides a bit more exhaust than would naturally occur. As for the GPU, I have a blower style Founders Edition GPU so it takes care of the exhaust on it's own. This card always runs hot, but this case isn't any worse ;) The panel above the GPU is perforated so heat should be able to escape with the reference RTX fans.