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CM Storm Trooper Computer Case E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases
Written by David Ramsey   
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
CM Storm Trooper Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Building a System
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

CM Storm Trooper Computer Case Review

Manufacturer: Cooler Master
Product Name: Storm Trooper
Model Number: SGC-5000-KKN1
Price As Tested: $149.99 (Newegg)

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article was provided by Cooler Master.

Most computer enthusiasts have only a single card in their systems: the video card. That being true, most of us could easily get by with a micro ATX motherboard in a small form factor case. But there are those who have multiple video cards, or water cooling setups with separate reservoirs and pumps; who have lots of hard drives and 5.25" bay devices, or need an XL-ATX motherboard to run a triple or quad video card system. They may represent a tiny section of the market, but they need a full tower case, and Cooler Master's shown before they're willing to address this need with cases like their HAF series. In this review, Benchmark Reviews looks at their latest full tower effort: the Cooler Master Storm Trooper.

Cooler Master came onto the enthusiast radar a decade ago with a line of elegant (and expensive) all aluminum cases. Since then, they've branched out and now have a complete line of cases ranging from micro ITX through small and mid-tower cases up to a line of full tower cases. Benchmark Reviews has had the opportunity to review a number of Cooler Master cases and we've been impressed with all of them.

The number of people, even enthusiasts, who actually need the extra space in a full tower chassis represent a tiny portion of the market...which makes Cooler Master's committment to it all the more impressive. All of Cooler Master's previous Storm line of cases have been mid tower designs; the Storm Trooper is the first full tower Storm case.


Storm Trooper Features

  • Damage resistant rubberized outer surfaces with a built-in digital fan controller
  • Supports high-end hardware such as XL-ATX motherboards, multiple GPUs in SLI or Crossfire
  • Room for future upgrades with support for up to 14 HDD or SSD
  • Dust filters on every intake that are removable to allow easy cleaning
  • Support for several 240mm radiators
  • 6 fan speed settings and fan LED control via fan controller
  • Front I/O panel with 2 internal USB 3.0 connectors
  • Easy transport with handles and a hidden tool box for carrying accessories
  • Easy cable management and routing
  • Two 90 degree removable and rotatable HDD cages each with an attached 120mm red LED fan

SGC-5000-KKN1 Specifications

Material Case body: Steel; Front bezel: Mesh and plastic
Expansion Slots 9 + 1
Dimensions 250 x 605.6 x 578.5mm / 9.8 x 23.8 x 22.8"
Net weight 13.7kg / 30.2 lbs
MB Type Micro ATX / ATX / XL-ATX
5.25" Drive Bay


3.5" Drive Bay 8 (converted from 5.25" bay by two 4-in-3 HDD cages)
2.5" Drive Bay 13 (8 converted from 5.25" bay by two 4-in-3 HDD cages)
Front I/O USB 3.0 x2, USB 2.0 x2, e-SATA x1, Audio in/out
Cooling System 120mm x2 front, 200mm top, 140mm rear, 120mm x2 side (optional), 120mm x2 bottom (optional)
Max. Graphics Card Length 322mm / 12.7"
Max. CPU Cooler Height 186mm / 7.3"

Let's take a look at this new Cooler Master case in the next section.



# next casecubebomb 2011-09-26 23:53
This is going to be my next case!.
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# DumbBill Egge 2011-09-27 05:04
Looks like a dumb place for usb jacks. Imagine having stuff plugged into them, its not pretty plus it may be too high for short cables.

I also noticed a lot of these reviews focus on the internals of the case but not much on the usability from a users perspective. Its like reviewing a house based on how well an electrician can run wires but not on how someone will live in the house.
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# RE: DumbAustin Downing 2011-09-27 06:57
But we do, running the wire is definitely part of the user experience.

What do you want to see more of in terms of usability?
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# RE: RE: DumbBill Egge 2011-09-27 07:49
Thanks for asking.

When I say user, I mean use of the computer not the building of it. The use of it for what it is, like plugging in cameras or external drives or web cams, printers, CD's or DVD's or Blu Rays. Etc. Thats the use of the computer. Running wires, installing hard drives, adding memory internally are the building of it but not the use.

If you follow me on the above then I can continue, I personally use a computer more technical than most. I have some bare drives which I put in an external case and then plug into either an e-sata or usb port. For me, for this use, it would be nice just to slide the drive into some bay and bypass the external case. For a webcam, a USB plug in the back would be best as I want the wire to be hidden. For temporary connections like plugging in a camera to transfer pictures - a plug close to the bottom of the case would be best because I will likely place the camera on the desk next to the computer. It would be nice if the USB plugs were flush mounted as opposed to being in some kind of "cave" because then I don't have much trouble making the connection. Lining the USB plugs along a vertical edge of the case might be a good idea.

Its that kind of usability I am referring to.

There are other factors as well, should this case be on the floor or on the desk and if on the desk can we lay it down or stand it up? Then based on that, what is the best placement of power button and USB ports and maybe a headphone jack as my daughter sometimes likes ot listen to music and its a pain to have to plug a temp headphone into the back.
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# RE: RE: RE: DumbDavid Ramsey 2011-09-27 08:31
I think you can find a mid-tower case more suited to your needs that the full-tower Storm Trooper. But as I mention in the article, one of the advantages of a full tower case is all the room you have for customization. Want an internal SATA dock for a 3.5" drive? Simply install one:

Ditto for USB connectors in a position other than the top of the case, etc. Of course if you can find a mid-tower case with these characteristics, that might make more sense for you than buying a full tower case like this one.
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# RE: RE: RE: DumbOlin Coles 2011-09-27 08:37
Thank you for your input. We understand that it's a 50/50 split for above or below the desk. People like me don't want our computers to sit on the floor sucking up dust, or simply like to show off our system. Others want it out of the way, or conveniently hidden. Either way, we usually try to mention the benefits for each in our articles. There are about a dozen of us writing these reviews, so the perspective is different every time.
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# RE: DumbDavid Ramsey 2011-09-27 07:41
No, it's a great place for USB jacks...assuming the case is on the floor, which is a common place to put something as large as a full tower.
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# I have itchango 2012-02-29 19:43
and its great! and yes you wouldnt put this thing on top of a desk, its huge!.so the top for usb is perfect access on the floor.its very sturdy which I like instead of flimsy plastic.and its sexy in person.Oh and the fans are pretty quiet.another reason i bought it was for the easy filter cleaning.
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# Eager to Start my Mod..Enigma8750 2011-09-27 07:40
Thank you so much.. Benchmark Reviews for doing such a great intro on our New case. I think it is great and its going to be a classic.. and the Modding possibilies are great on this Chassis.. Thanks C.
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# NiceMar 2011-09-27 14:35
the back reminds me of HAF X

its like the HAF X CM-Stormed in a cool way!

it seems like the top can fit 2x140mm's too
can the left side panel mount 2x120mm's for exhaust?
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# RE: NiceDavid Ramsey 2011-09-27 14:46
Yes, you can mount 140mm fans at the top, and yes, the left side panel can accommodate 2x120mm fans (covered in t he review).
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# RE: RE: NiceMar 2011-09-28 15:15
woops i meant the other side the unused right side
if u wont change the hard drive cage orientation, can u put fans in there
for crossflow?
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# RE: RE: RE: NiceDavid Ramsey 2011-09-28 15:21
No, you can't (easily) mount fans in the other side panel. Crossflow would only work for the hard drives, and the fans built into the hard drive cages are more than adequate anyway.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: NiceMar 2011-10-05 15:18
since the drive cage can be oriented sideways
can u put 5.25" bays sideways too ?
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: NiceDavid Ramsey 2011-10-05 16:34
Good question, but no...
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# HAF PEOPLE PLEASEEnigma8750 2011-09-27 18:20
No.. This is not a Haf Mini. Haf Big or a Haf X. This is a CM Storm. It is engineered on the military standard that too much is a waste. There is enough room for a 12 and a Half Inch Video card or two or three. It is big enough for Several Radiators.. A Motherboard, a PSU, and a really nice tall Air cooler as well. So what if it not bigger than a HAF X or is not the biggest case on the block. Its nice. It is destined to be a classic unlike the HAF. There are room for improvement but that is what Modder's love. We will do fine with this case. We will make it better stronger faster.. We will Paint it and we will set new standards in design.. Get over it. The HAF has been replaced.
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# RE: HAF PEOPLE PLEASEAustin Downing 2011-09-27 18:22
What are you ranting about?
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# RE: RE: HAF PEOPLE PLEASESteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-09-28 08:32
I think is singing the praise of the CM Storm Trooper, whille at the same time slating the HAF series. Each to their own.
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# RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer Casehanz 2011-10-09 05:35
hope they will release a mid tower version of the storm trooper
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# RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseDoug Dallam 2011-10-09 22:15
Every time I hit the "Case Reviews" page I think, "Man, that case just looks really good." lol
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# RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseChris 2011-10-25 07:40
David or Olin - do we know what will happen to these cases once USB 3.0 becomes a more commonly accepted standard?

Like I mean, by the end of 2012 when most cases will have USB 3.0 as their main standard and cases will be coming with 4 USB 3.0 instead of the 2 3.0 and 2 2.1 ports right now; will Cooler Master supply us with something to upgrade?

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# RE: RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseOlin Coles 2011-10-25 07:55
That's not what generally happens, so it's not at all likely.
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# RE: RE: RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseChris 2011-10-25 08:21
It's a bit of a shame - so we will have 2 3.0 and 2 2.1 ports, versus all of the 2012 cases, which will probably have 4 3.0 ports.

A minor gripe admittedly, but still one worth considering.

It also begs the question - get this case; or wait until 2012 when the (inevitable) USB 3.0 revision one comes out?

Otherwise, it's a good case ... hmm.
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# RE: RE: RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseChris 2011-10-25 08:23
I'm thinking about the IO panel; it looks user removable. rooper/Trooper%2011.jpg

It's noteworthy that other companies (such as Corsair) do sell USB 3.0 upgrade kits for their cases.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseDavid Ramsey 2011-10-25 09:46
The I/O panel isn't a separate piece: you'd have to replace the entire top of the case.

It's been almost two years since the introduction of SuperSpeed USB 3.0, and we're only just starting to see motherboards with native USB 3.0 headers. There are very few USB 3.0 devices as yet. I think the two font connectors on the Storm Trooper will suffice for many years to come. After all, how many USB 3.0 devices do you think you'd ever have plugged into the front of the case at once? I've never had more than two USB 2.0 devices!
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseChris 2011-10-25 11:54
I guess you have a point.

Although the market for USB 3.0 devices is expected to explode by 2013. Oh well ... I'm looking for a case that will last 3-4 years. This so far has been the most attractive option to suit my needs that I have seen so far.

After reading your fine review and several others, I'm very strongly leaning towards getting this case.
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# RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseChris 2011-10-26 21:04
One final question - do you think that there will be a better case that will come out in 2012 to suit my needs?

Budget - up to $350

- Full tower case
- Lots of room to work inside (expected of any full tower)
- USB 3.0 support
- Good cable management
- Excellent thermal performance (and room for more fans)
- Something that I can move around with a lot; I though about aluminum for that reason

I'm aiming to have this case last me 4-5 years. I also have thought in a couple years of upgrading to water cooling.

Build quality of this case seems pretty solid. Of all the cases released so far, this is the one that seems to fit the bill the closest.
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# RE: RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseDavid Ramsey 2011-10-26 21:24
Of the cases I've personally reviewed over the past couple of years, this one probably comes closest to fitting your needs.
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# RE: RE: RE: CM Storm Trooper Computer CaseChris 2011-10-27 08:03
I've decided to get it. Should be fine for 4-5 years at least. I suppose it will be released in stores around November. Apparently, people tell me that cases usually have a delay from the official announcement to when you can actually buy it. Thanks.
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# mrlucas 2012-10-20 10:44
good day, everyone

can anyone tell me where is the power led wire is located on the cm storm trooper? unable to locate and/or find it. found the reset wire, power wire, and ide wire but not the power led wire. thanks
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# RE: mrDavid Ramsey 2012-10-20 10:50
This is covered in the review: "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."
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