|CM Storm Scout 2 Gaming PC Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2012|
Page 8 of 8
CM Storm Scout 2 Conclusion
Performance for most any computer case usually comes down to thermal management. For a gaming case, it's critical. Some video cards may be running cooler these days, but as transistors get smaller, the temptation to cram more of them into the same space on the GPU always leads to more heat. I didn't test the performance of the Scout 2, because there was no standard fan configuration that I could test, other than the obviously flawed stock arrangement of one rear mounted exhaust. That "flaw" is also meaningless in the face of eight usefully placed fan mounting locations throughout the chassis. Ultimately, the cooling performance of the CM Storm Scout 2 is as good as you want to make it. Noise is always a factor when cooling is discussed, and here the burden falls again on the user. Although the trend has been to use larger fans for high airflow with low noise, the same principle can be used with multiple 120mm fans. Two 900 RPM fans can supply nearly as much air as a 3000 RPM model, with less perceived noise. The cost will usually be higher with two fans versus one with an equivalent air flow.
Appearance is a real strength of the CM Storm Scout 2. The basic design is iconic and the redesign is just as good, or better than the original. Take a look at my Final Thoughts if you really want to know how I feel. This is a gaming case that declares its lineage with its strong functional shape, instead of a bunch of tacky bolt-ons. It's got bulges in all the right places, instead of all over the place. The quality of the materials is high, and color matching is excellent among the various components. There's an opportunity to use lighted fans to good visual effect, with two fans in front, two on top, and two on the side. Any combination of these three pairs should provide a nice warm glow through the steel mesh, and light up the interior some as well. You'll be able to take advantage of that interior light, through the slightly smoked side window, which is going to mostly showcase the CPU and memory sections of the motherboard. The video cards aren't going to be as visible, with the fan grilles placed in front of them.
Construction of the CM Storm Scout 2was top notch. The materials were all of excellent quality, especially the plastics. The upper section, with its steel reinforced handle was exceptionally sturdy, and the rest of the case was riveted together in all the right places to provide a rigid chassis. The finish quality was also excellent, with no visible defects in the powder coated surfaces anywhere. The tool-less features on the Scout were bullet proof, unlike the fiddly and defective expansion slot cover retainers on the original Scout. There were no sharp edges anywhere to cut yourself on, and everything was assembled nice and square. Once everything was pulled apart, it all went back together without a hitch, and no tweaking was required. Altogether, construction is another strong point for the CM Storm Scout 2.
The CM Storm Scout 2 isn't loaded with features, but it has a lot of things that are necessary for a case in this market space. It's got space for nine (9) 120mm case fans, distributed in all the right places, to give you the utmost flexibility in designing an airflow scheme that makes sense for your build, now and in the future. The lighting control switch is handy, for special effects. Almost any size CPU cooler and any graphics card can be accommodated, including SLI or CrossFireX multi-GPU setups, with the removable drive cage configured properly. Two USB 3.0 ports are available on the front panel, and the new standardized USB 3.0 connector is employed on the interior cable. The sliding door for the front panel connectors cleans up the appearance of the front a bit, and looks good open or closed. Cable management is world class, including the extra bit of space you get from the "power bulges" in both side panels. The carrying handle is such an integral part of the overall design that it feels strange to call it a feature, but it is, and a useful one, at that. On the down side, I wish the bottom-mounted intake fan had a filter installed as standard. You have to buy one separate, if you want to use that fan option and have the intake air filtered. Plus, you have to tip the case over to R&R the middle filter, unlike the one for the PSU at the rear of the case.
The CM Storm Scout 2 case is one of those unique products that have an extra "It" factor that's hard to put a price on. For $99.99 (Newegg / Amazon) Cooler Master offers you a case that stands out among the crowd. It's also 100% functional at what it's supposed to do, is built quite well, can be configured to cool the highest performing components you can load into it, and looks good to boot. In other words, it's not just a pretty face. I know a lot of LAN Party cases have been downsized in recent times, because the technology is there to allow it, but there's nothing wrong with carrying in a beefier version. That's what biceps are for, and last time I checked, they haven't gone out of style. Besides, dual 680's and a kilowatt PSU are likely to overload that pretty little aluminum microATX case you were looking at, and you won't have room for your gaming-class NIC and killer sound card, either.
+ Form Follows Function, as always!
- No filter supplied for bottom fan location
Final Score: 9.20 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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