A numerical study of the saturation process inside a rectangular open cavity is presented. Previous experiments and linear stability analysis of the problem completely described the flow in its onset, as well as in a saturated regime, characterized by three-dimensional centrifugal modes. The morphology of the modes found in the experiments matched the ones predicted by linear analysis, but with a shift in frequencies for the oscillating modes. A three-dimensional incompressible direct numerical simulation (DNS) is employed for a detailed investigation of the saturation process inside a cavity with dimensions similar to the one used in the experiments, to further explain the behaviour of these modes. In this work, periodic boundary conditions are first imposed to better understand the effect of the saturation process far from the walls. Then, the effects of spanwise solid wall boundary conditions are investigated with a DNS reproducing the full dynamics of the experiments. The main flow structures are identified using the dynamic mode decomposition technique and compared with previous experimental and linear stability analysis results. The main reason for the aforementioned shift in frequency is explained in this paper, as it is a function of the velocity of the main recirculating vortex.