Description

(Sorry for the minimal amount of photos; I forgot to take them when I first built the computer, so I took some while replacing the fans.)

While I've made a few builds from scratch and done countless repair jobs, this is actually my first personal build. I was going to name this The Phoenix, paint the case a fiery red and get a custom emblem saying Phoenix instead of Raven, but I already want to upgrade most of my system, so I left it alone.

The Case: Man, this case is a love, hate relationship. When I first saw this case on a HardwareCanucks video I instantly fell in love. The looks of it are amazing. It is so sleek and small, it's just so nice. It can even house a custom loop. Also it can hold a full size graphics card which for a case this size is just insane. However this is also where the hate starts. It is such a tedious process to change anything with the graphics card since you have to take out the entire mounting bracket, which houses the graphics card, SSDs, and Slimline OD (I recommend just getting an external drive, the Slimline ones are loud and require a special adapter). This was a big problem for me especially because when I first started the build, I had a refurbished MSI R9 270X, which I found out doesn't fit without pulling the AC cable extender out the back which is just plain ugly. But besides it not fitting after the first attempt in a game the card died on me and so I returned it and ended up getting the Sapphire R9 290 since I had gotten a bit more cash. Luckily this one fits so much better, but even when simply replacing the fans I had to pull the bracket out. On top of that the cable management is virtually non-existent. Most of this is addressed in the RVZ02, but that wasn't even announced at the time of getting the case.

The Motherboard: Since I started with this case, my motherboard choices were pretty small. However I already was planning on getting this one due to it being what was used in the HardwareCanucks video. But once I saw that it had an AC NIC and fairly beastly onboard audio I was completely sold.

The Graphics Card: This was one of the larger pains with this build. I started off with a refurbished MSI R9 270X which as I said didn't fit, which was due to MSI having an extra support brace which sticks out quite far. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately since I benefited in the long run, the card failed after my first real use of it. It was about two weeks between buying the card and it failing due to school taking up all of my time to game. In that time I managed to accumulate enough cash so that I could get the Sapphire R9 290. The really unfortunate thing about this transition is that the 270X was a dual fan design and the 290 is a tri fan design. So when I was putting the supporting clamp on the card I didn't think about it needing to be off center, and I ended up clamping a fan resulting in it burning out the fan. Eventually I might throw a custom loop into the system to replace the damaged cooler. The card runs pretty hot anyway, so the water cooling would be really nice.

Everything Else: With most every other part I just based it off of price to performance. The fans are the only thing which took a bit of thought, and I just decided to go with what appeared to be the best while still looking nice, and man are they nice. They move a lot of air while staying very quiet, which is a bonus with the dead card fan, and the red glow simply looks amazing. They had a bit of a clink when I first put them in, but that has gone away after about a week.

All in all this was a really fun build despite the annoyances, and even though I would choose a case like an H440, Enthoo Luxe, or honestly any mid/full tower after this build, The Raven will remain one of my favorite cases.

Part Reviews

Storage

Man, stay AWAY from this SSD, it has numerous problems. To start, the SSD is slow. It has been slow from the very first day, but since I had never used an SSD before I didn't realize that the increased speed which I noticed was from better parts overall and not the SSD (Just replaced the SSD with my old WD Blue and the old HDD is faster). I could have lived with that since it is relatively cheap, but staring around 4 months in the SSD would cause my system to freeze around 6 times a day (computer on all day). While it would unfreeze after around 30 seconds, it was insanely annoying and made gaming impossible. After this happened I decided to look up reviews for the drive (last time I buy something based off of someone saying the company is good) and found out that this drive is prone to these issues on top of many more which after knowing what to look for I realized that my drive had those issues as well. Then to top it all off, when trying to migrate my data to the WD Blue drive, the OS and users get corrupted. Luckily I didn't loose any data, but it did add a day of work to fix it.

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Comments

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

What were you thinking putting a 290 in dat case 0-0

  • 60 months ago
  • 3 points

I was thinking that it was the best card I could buy at the time and not much beyond that. It actually doesn't get to hot with the fans right on top of it, but I am already specing out a custom loop to install. Worst comes to worst and I have an external radiator, but I think that I can make it work inside. But ya I didn't put a lot of thought into the heat generated by the card. You live you learn.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, I'm currently doing a very similar build but with a 4770 and I'm going for the 500w version of your psu, I was surprised to see you using the 450w one as most places recommend at least 600w for the sapphire tri-x 290. Is it running just fine or are you having any problems with the supply?

Thanks for the help!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't run into any issues so far. That being said, when I was making this system it was sort just impulse and so I made a few, not exactly bad choices, but less than ideal. I not only could have saved some money, but also ended up with a better system. So while I actually have not run into any problems yet, I would definitely not do this again. This was originally only going to have a 270X but situations changed and I already had the machine built except for the Graphics card. I would definitely shoot for at least a 500w but try and get the 600+w. While I've never run into it, I have heard tales of decent power supplies loosing a fair amount of output, so its nice to have a really good buffer.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Was power an issue? I checked the specification and it said 750w PSU is required because at certain times the Sapphire Radeon R9 290 will draw a **** ton of energy which could destroy your setup....

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't ran into any issues so far. The power supply was originally only going to be powering a 270X so I would have gotten a better buffer for this. But it isn't like I am playing Crisis 3 at 4k; just BFH at 1080p for the next little while and when I eventually break out of 1080p I will be getting a new setup first.

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. If you plan on moving your pc with this case, then you might want to be prepared to do some slight modifications to add support to the graphics card. For day to day use it is fine, but I would not ship any build in this case without added support. Also, I don't think that that card will fit this case. It is quite restrictive with how tall the card can be, especially directly above the i/o shield. For reference, the MSI R9 270 did not fit in the case due to the bracket blocking the power supply extension cable. If the cable is pulled slightly out of the case then the card fits. That being said the 780Ti Matrix dwarfs the R9 270 to a point where I highly doubt that it would fit at all. It is also worth noting that even my 290, which is not very tall, was a pain to put in due to the height restriction and getting the cables to not block the fans.

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I wouldn't have expected the card to be longer than the Tri-X, but the issue is height. If you check both card's product pages they give the dimensions. Tri-X http://www.sapphiretech.com/productdetial.asp?pid=5458920E-5359-4004-B041-DFA58823AB9E&lang=eng Matrix http://www.asus.com/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/ROG_MATRIXGTX780TIP3GD5/specifications/ The matrix is about 4 cm taller than the Tri-X, but it is easy to tell that the Matrix is taller by a fair margin from simply looking at the difference in height from the top of the I/O shield. This 290 comes very close to not fitting due to the height, I personally wouldn't chance it by getting a taller card.

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh if you already have the cards then ya give it a shot. Wish you luck.