|CM Storm Trooper Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 26 September 2011|
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Detailed Exterior Features
The sturdy, rubber-padded handle dominates the top of the Storm Trooper. Behind the handle is a meshed area covering the top of the case and providing exhaust airflow for the included 200mm top fan. The fan can be removed and replaced with a 2x120mm radiator. The front and top of the case are covered in a soft-touch, rubber-like material.
A giant illuminated power button with the Storm logo dominates the I/O panel at the top front of the case; below it are buttons for the built-in fan controller, which can control the lights of three fans and the speed of four fans. By pressing the "-" and "+" buttons, you can choose between six different fan speeds, with LEDs above the switches visually indicating the chosen speed. There are also power and hard drive activity LEDs, microphone and headphone jacks, a reset button and ESATA port, and four widely-spaced USB ports. The wide spacing of the USB ports will minimize the chance of "fat" USB devices interfering with adjacent ports. There is no FireWire (IEEE 1394) port, but this is falling out of use anyway and most users won't miss it. The two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports are connected to a cable terminating in a USB 3.0 header, which is only useful if you have a recent motherboard that has one of these headers. Surprisingly, Cooler Master does not provide a USB 3.0->USB 2.0 adapter cable, so if your motherboard doesn't have a USB 3.0 header, you won't be able to use these ports.
One odd thing is that Cooler Master doesn't supply a power light header for your motherboard's front panel connector; instead, the power LED gets its electricity from the same 4 pin Molex connector the fan controller does. While this works, it means you don't get a blinking power light when you put your computer to sleep.
The bottom of the case has two pull-out filters. The smaller filter on the right is for the power supply intake, which the larger filter on the left would presumably be for a radiator mouted there. As delivered, there's nothing above the larger filter except a parts drawer.
The parts drawer is behind the Storm badge below the lowest drive bay cover. It's secured by two screws, so to open it, you have to pop the badge off and get a screwdriver...not too convenient. But it's there if you need it, and discreetly hidden should you lug this monster case around to LAN parties.
The Storm Trooper includes a subtle "X Dock" docking slot for a 2.5" device just above the top 5.25" bay. While this is certainly handy, I'd prefer a dock that could handle the much more common 3.5" drives, as Cooler Master includes on some of their other cases like the Cooler Master 690 II Advanced.
The accessories pack is somewhat Spartan: eight 3.5" drive caddies, an EPS-12V extension cable, a pair of mounts for putting a 3.5" devices in a 5.25" bay, and a large bag of different types of screws, all mixed together. Cooler Master includes eight long fan screws you can use to attach 120mm fans to the side panel.
Now let's take a look at the inside of this case.