|Cooler Master Sniper CM Storm Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Mathew Williams - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 22 January 2009|
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Detailed Exterior Features
The three factors ascribed to the CM Storm series--strength, security, and control--can clearly be seen throughout the design of this case. On the previous page we looked at the case as a whole. Its overall appearance can certainly be said to embody these characteristics, and in this section we'll take a detailed look at how some of the individual features of the Sniper Gaming Case add to this design goal.
The top-mounted control center, as the name implies, fits in directly with the idea of control, grouping together the most frequently accessed features. On the left side is the reset switch and power button followed by the fan controller. Cooler Master took a unique approach here by incorporating the light switch directly into a variable-speed fan controller. I read up on this feature before the launch of the case and I have to say, it turned out very well. As an added bonus, the controller has extra connections available if you wish to add your own fans. Moving on, you'll find a full allotment of I/O ports, including 4 USB, eSATA, FireWire, headphone, and microphone ports.
The top of the Sniper Gaming Case is also home to a built in carrying handle. Gamers will certainly appreciate this while trekking to their next LAN party, but even around the home it has its uses. I was initially concerned with the strength of the handle, as the top panel of the case is made of plastic to keep the weight down. A closer look, however, revealed metal reinforcement along the handle path, which offered me a great deal of reassurance.
Another concern of mine was the amount of dust that could build up on the internal hardware as the result of so much mesh. This was an issue that came up with the initial prototypes of the Sniper and Cooler Master took the feedback they received to heart. The production version of the case has an integrated filter lining on all of the mesh panels. While I haven't had enough time with the case to truly determine the effectiveness of the lining, so far it has been working well.
At the bottom of the Sniper, Cooler Master includes retractable feet. These not only add stability to the case, but also elevate it to allow cooler air to enter from the bottom of the case. While not immediately apparent from the photo above, there is a large, vented open on the underside of the case for just this purpose.
Rounding out our detailed look exterior features of the Sniper Gaming Case is the security element of the CM Storm series. To the right of the expansion slots is a second opening containing what Cooler Master have labeled the StormGuardTM. It's basically a removable metal cover, drilled out to allow you to loop the wires of your peripherals through it. By looping them through and locking the side panel of the case, it makes it very difficult for someone to get away with your gear in one piece. While the system won't prevent theft entirely, it should discourage it to some degree.