|CM Storm Trooper Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 27 September 2011|
Page 7 of 7
SGC-5000-KKN1 Final Thoughts
I admit to being an old-school builder who's never been entirely comfortable with SFF systems...even though I recognize I could build my entire current Intel system, complete with two GTX 580s, with a micro ATX motherboard like the Rampage III Gene and a micro ATX case, there's just something about the size, presence, and ease of building in a full tower case that makes them seductive.
Of course, full tower cases are expensive, even if they're crafted of steel and plastic instead of aluminum, which is certainly something you'll want to consider when buying parts for your system. The real advantage of a full tower case lies in the amount of hardware you can stuff in it: this case can easily handle multiple radiators as well as more 2.5", 3.5", and 5.25" devices than any one person is likely to have! Still, the extra space is nice when working inside the case, and it also gives you some measure of "future proofing".
I complained in the review that the design of the hard drive cages meant that my preferred setup of sideways-mounted drives (for neater cabling) with a front-mounted fan (for better airflow into the case) isn't possible with the Storm Trooper's design. This is true, but the design does give the Trooper a significant advantage over cases like Cooler Master's own HAF series: much more versatility! You can remove and reposition the cages to arrange things exactly as you want: with a little modding, even mounting a front radiator is possible.
Building a system in this case was fast and easy, and I'm now looking at it and thinking how easy all the space would make setting up my first custom water cooling setup. That said, there are still a few nits I have to pick with this case. The lack of an adapter cable for the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports means that unless your motherboard has a USB 3.0 header, you can't use two of the USB ports on the I/O panel. Also, it's weird that the power LED is connected directly to the power supply inside of a motherboard header, making it impossible to tell when your computer's asleep.
As I mentioned in the introduction, Cooler Master's first cases were all-aluminum wonders, and as far as I can tell, they have only one aluminum case today, the ATCS 840. I still miss these cases sometimes, but none of them could ever have held a candle to the features and function of the Storm Trooper.
Cooler Master Storm Trooper Conclusion
Although we strive for objectivity here at Benchmark Reviews, please remember that each author perceives these points differently, and our conclusions and recommendations will necessarily differ from others. Also, prices can fluctuate and designs change after publication, so that the product we review might not have the same price and specifications of a product that's available later. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary of each of the areas that we rate.
The performance of the case was excellent. It's delivered with four fans, and you can mount several more. If you like water cooling, the standard case supports two 2x120mm radiators, no modding required. There's tons of room for all your hardware and cables.
The appearance of the case is purposeful, but not as dramatic as some of Cooler Master's other cases like the HAF X. While it's a handsome case, there's nothing in particular to make it stand out from all of the other solid black industrial-themed cases out there.
As expected from Cooler Master, the construction quality of the case is superb. All panels and parts fit precisely, and the rubberized coating on the top and front of the case is a nice touch.
Full tower cases are all about functionality, and the Storm Trooper delivers, with everything from more drive mounts that you could probably use to steel carry handles to multiple radiator mounting positions. Cooler Master's decision not to include a USB 3.0->USB 2.0 adapter cable will inconvenience many users, though.
Costing $149.99 (Newegg), the Storm Trooper is about the price of Cooler Master's various HAF series cases. While more expensive than most mid-tower cases, the price is actually pretty good for a full tower cases at this level, undercutting those like the Thermaltake Level 10 GT and the various Silverstone and Lian Li cases by over a hundred dollars. There are cheaper full tower cases available, of course, but the Storm Trooper provides an excellent combination of vaule and function.
+ Fully painted interior
- No USB 3.0->USB 2.0 adapter cable
Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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