Cooler Master Storm Stryker Case Review

The Cooler Master “Storm” product line has added a new member to the family recently, the full tower Stryker chassis. From all appearances this seems to be a design much like that of the previously released Storm Trooper, albeit with some new wrinkles added, most notably a left side window as well as the white and black color scheme.

The CM Storm Stryker is only available in this white and black colored scheme from what I can tell. White seems to be a color that has become very popular amongst the enthusiast crowd recently; and many component manufacturers are beginning to offer white as a color choice across most of their product lines.

So, let’s dive into this latest chassis offering from Cooler Master to find out if it’s a worthy addition to the Storm family.

Features and Specifications

The Company Line

Here is the CM Storm Stryker description as quoted from Cooler Master’s web site:

 

Features: Courtesy of Cooler Master

  • Stylish black and white design with mesh front panel provides constant cooling
  • Top ultra-strong carrying handle with rubber coating
  • The unique 90 degree rotatable 5.25″/3.5″ Combo Cages offer flexibility for installation
  • Rich I/O support with two USB 3.0 super speed ports (int.) and 9+1 expansion slots for great expandability
  • The fan speed can be adjusted by top control panel
  • The internal tool box and Storm Guard secure gamers’ peripherals
  • Supports the latest long graphics cards, including AMD Radeon HD 7970 and NVIDIA GTX 690

Specifications: Courtesy of Cooler Master

Model SGC-5000W-KWN1
Color Black and White
Material Appearance: Synthetic, Mesh front bezel; Case body: Steel
Dimension 250.0 x 605.6 x 578.5 mm / 9.8 x 23.8 x 22.8 inch
Weight 13.7 kg / 30.2 lb
M/B Type Micro-ATX, ATX, XL-ATX
5.25″ Drive Bay 9
3.5″ Drive Bay 8 (converted from 5.25″ bays by 5.25″/3.5″ Combo Cages)
2.5″ Drive Bay 13 (converted from 5.25″ bays by 5.25″/3.5″ Combo Cages)
I/O Panel USB 3.0 x 2 (internal), USB 2.0 x 2, Audio In and Out (supports HD Audio)
Expansion Slots 9+1
Cooling System Front: 120mm LED fan x 2, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA Top: 200mm fan x 1, 1000 RPM, 23 dBA (converted to 120/140mm fan x 2) Rear: 140mm fan x 1, 1200 RPM, 19 dBA (converted to 120mm fan x 1) Bottom: 120mm fan x 2 (optional)
Power Supply ATX PS2 / EPS 12V
Maximum Compatibility VGA card length: 322.0 mm / 12.7 inch
CPU cooler height: 186.0 mm / 7.3 inch
Warranty 2 years
UPC Code 884102017179

After looking at the features and specifications above, the first thing that struck me was the sheer amount of available internal configurations. By using adapters or even removing some internal pieces altogether, the storage arrangements are almost endless. The weight of the Storm Stryker (empty) is a little over 30 pounds, so it’s a good thing they have included an “ultra-strong” carrying handle. You’ll need it!

Packaging

The box is outfitted with a nice picture of the CM Storm Stryker on the front. Also found on the front of the box are a transparent image of a battle tank and reference to the USB 3.0 and SSD support. The back of the box has a front, back, and side view of some of the major features included in the CM Storm Stryker. The two box sides have additional branding and a list of specifications (same as listed above).

Box Front

Box Front

Box Rear

Box Rear

Box Right SIde

Box Right Side

Box Left Side

Box Left Side

Once the box is opened, we find the CM Storm Stryker packaged in the typical manner used by most manufacturers with two Styrofoam blocks and a plastic bag around the case. Cooler Master did a nice job of protecting the side window and all the front panel buttons with a peel off plastic film. In fact, the side window had the film applied to both the outside and inside, which was nice to see.

Box Top Opened

Box Top Opened

Styrofoam Blocks and Plastic Bag

Styrofoam Blocks and Plastic Bag

All and all, a typical but effective packaging job!

Exterior Tour

Beginning with the left side panel, the obvious big feature here is the large, clear plexiglass window. The mesh area to the right of the window is kind of unique in that it’s actually a double layer mesh. While the double layer mesh design will certainly help keep the dust entering the case to a minimum, it still won’t work as well as a filter would have. The fans you see behind the mesh are attached to the 3.5″ drive bays, but we’ll talk more about these later on.

Exterior Left Side

Exterior Left Side

Double Layer Mesh Area

Double Layer Mesh Area

The right side panel has the same double layer mesh area as the left side. This is nice to see because it provides an escape route for the air flow generated by the drive bay fans should you decide to leave the drive bays in their stock position (again, more on this later). There is a large bulged out area stamped into the right side panel to give additional room for cable management; nice touch there!

Right Side Panel

Right Side Panel

Another Double Layer Mesh Area

Another Double Layer Mesh Area

The back of the CM Stryker shows us that a bottom-mount PSU design has been incorporated. There is also an easily removable slide out filter at the very bottom, which will help to keep dust out of the PSU. Moving upward we see the nine ventilated expansion slots and the “Storm Guard” security bracket. The security bracket can be used for securing the mouse and keyboard cables or as an additional expansion slot. Hence, the 9+1 name for the expansion slot capacity. The upper area has the place for a motherboard’s I/O shield, three rubber grommet holes for a water cooling system’s tubes to pass through, and the mesh area to accommodate the 140 MM exhaust fan.

The Rear of the Stryker

The Rear of the Stryker

Bottom Mount PSU Opening

Bottom Mount PSU Opening

PSU Slide Out Filter

PSU Slide Out Filter

9+1 Expansion Slots W/Storm Guard

9+1 Expansion Slots W/Storm Guard

Upper Rear Area

Upper Rear Area

Storm Guard Up Close

Storm Guard Up Close

The bottom of the CM Storm Stryker features four feet with rubber inserts and two removable slide out filters. The use of the rubber inserts is always nice to see because of the anti vibration and surface protection qualities they provide. In order to remove the filters, you simply need to push down the tab and slide them out; super easy to keep clean!

Bottom Full View

Bottom Full View

PSU Slide Out Filter

PSU Slide Out Filter

Forward Slide Out Filter

Forward Slide Out Filter

We’ll finish up the exterior tour with a look at the busiest areas of the Storm Stryker: the front and top panels. The front panel has nine removable 5.25″ drive bay covers, six of which have the dual 3.5″ hard drive bays directly behind them. Unless you remove one or both of the 3.5″ drive bays located directly behind the bottom six covers, you will be limited to a maximum of three usable 5.25″ bays. Even so, that should be more than adequate for most system builds.

If you remove the very bottom cover that has the “CM Storm” logo, there is a nifty tool box behind it. You can access the tool box by removing two screws and then sliding it forward. This is a great place to store items such as USB thumb drives, SD cards, or even a snack or two to get you through those long nights of gaming!

Front Panel Full View

Front Panel Full View

Front Panel Bay Covers Removed

Front Panel Bay Covers Removed

Tool Box

Tool Box

The top panel features probably the most sturdy handle I have ever come across. The handle is rubber coated all the way around, and handles the weight of the chassis effortlessly. Under the handle is a large open space, which coupled with the other meshed areas of the top panel, will provide a great amount of unrestricted air flow. To round out the top panel, there is yet another slide out filter.

Top Panel Full View

Top Panel Full View

Top Panel Front View

Top Panel Front View

Top Panel Rear View

Top Panel Rear View

Top Panel Slide Out Filter

Top Panel Slide Out Filter

The I/O area features a very sleek looking X-Dock 2.5″ hot swap drive bay. Just make sure the SATA controller on your motherboard supports the hot swap feature before giving this a try. If you find that your motherboard does not support the hot swap feature, all is not lost. This just means you would have to turn the computer off before sliding a drive in.

X-Dock 2.5" Hot Swap Bay

X-Dock 2.5″ Hot Swap Bay

X-Dock With Drive Installed

X-Dock With Drive Installed

Above the X-Dock and at the front edge of the top panel is where the two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and headphone and MIC jacks are all located. The reset button, power LED, and HDD activity LED surround the fan controller and power button area. The button with the Cooler Master logo is the power switch, and below that is the fan LED on/off button. On each side of the LED on/off switch is another set of buttons, one marked with a “-” and the other with a “+”. These two buttons act as the fan speed control, which in turn activates the fan speed indicator LEDs just above them. I know it sounds a little confusing, but the below pictures should give you a good idea of how it works.

Top Panel Connections

Top Panel Connections

Top Panel Connections

Top Panel Connections

Interior Tour

We’ll look closer at each area of the interior as we progress, but here are a few pictures taken after the left side panel was removed. Both side panels are secured in place with two black thumb screws. At first glance it looks like we are in store for some good cable management opportunities!

Interior Angle View

Interior Angle View

Interior Angle View

Interior Angle View

Interior View

Interior View

Starting off at the bottom area, we find a unique SSD drive cage, which will facilitate installation of up to four 2.5″ SSDs. There are provisions to install up to two additional 120 MM fans in this location, but not without sacrifices. Installing two fans here would obviously require removing the SSD cage, but a single 120 MM fan can be installed forward of the cage and under the 3.5″ drive bay. If a fan was to be mounted in the forward section, and assuming the air flow would be upward, then the tool box should be removed or it will block any air headed to the 3.5″ HDD cage.

The bottom-rear portion of the Storm Stryker is where the power supply will rest once installed. In order to keep the PSU properly elevated, there are two raised areas stamped into the metal with rubber strips attached. The two rubber strips will minimize any vibration caused by the PSU. Your eyes are not playing tricks on you; the two rubber strips were poorly installed and nowhere near straight or centered. Luckily, they peeled off easily and I was able to reattach them in a more appropriate manner.

Interior Bottom Area

Interior Bottom Area

2.5" SSD Cage

2.5″ SSD Cage

2.5" SSD Cage Removed

2.5″ SSD Cage Removed

PSU Resting Area With Crooked Rubber Strips

PSU Resting Area With Crooked Rubber Strips

Moving over to the interior-rear of the case we get a good look at the 9+1 PCI expansion slot area. All of the ventilated covers are secured using black thumb screws, which makes installing cards a tool-less operation. The design of the Storm Guard security bracket is evident from this view, with the idea of looping a mouse or keyboard cable through the bracket. The overall design of the Storm Guard feature is a little puzzling to me because the security bracket is held in place by a thumb screw located outside of the case. All a potential thief would have to do is remove the thumb screw, push the security bracket inward, and remove the cables. I’ve seen similar designs on other cases, but the thumb screw that holds the bracket has always been inside the case making it inaccessible, unless the side panel is removed. About the only real advantage of the Storm Guard security bracket is to protect against accidentally pulling too hard on the mouse or keyboard cables and causing damage to the motherboard.

Above the expansion covers is an included white 140 MM exhaust fan. The fan is rated for 1200 RPM at 19 dBA and does not have LED lighting. This fan can be removed in favor of a 120 MM option, if desired.

Not So Secure Security Guard and 9+1 Expansion Covers

Security Guard and 9+1 Expansion Covers

140 MM Rear Exhaust Fan

140 MM Rear Exhaust Fan

The top is pretty much dominated by the massive 200 MM white fan. This fan is rated for 1000 RPM at 23 dBA, and does not have LED lighting. This fan can be removed, and in its place a dual 120 MM or 140 MM fan setup can be used. You’re probably wondering about the feasibility of installing a radiator here, right? Either a 240 MM or 280 MM radiator can be installed, and I measured 2-3/8 inches (roughly 60 MM) between the top deck and the edge of the motherboard. This isn’t a huge amount of room, but it should accommodate one of the many thinner radiator options along with 25 MM thick fans.

Inside Top Deck 200 MM Fan

Inside Top Deck 200 MM Fan

Heading over to the front drive bay area, the I/O-Fan Control panel is visible, even though its actually built into the top panel. As you can see it uses a 4-pin Molex connection to provide power. I’m not to excited about having to use a Molex power connector clear up there when more than likely a SATA powered ROM drive will be installed right below it. I think it would make much more sense to have a SATA power connector here.

Moving down to the dual 3.5″ hard drive cages, it is important to note that these can be rotated 90 degrees allowing the fans to be at the very front of the case. Speaking of the fans, they are both 120 MM in size and are rated at 1200 RPM at 17 dBA. Both of these fans have blue LED lighting, which can be turned on or off using the fan controller. In order to rotate the 3.5″ drive bays, you will need to remove the bottom six bay covers and the four thumb screws that hold the cages to the mounting plates. Once that is done, simply slide them out. Then it’s just a matter of removing several thumb screws to relieve retention plates. After the plates are out, you install them in the opposite direction as before, replace the thumb screws, and slide the cages back into place.

Fan Controller - Front I/O Inside View

Fan Controller – Front I/O Inside View

Dual 3.5" HDD Cages - Stock Position

Dual 3.5″ HDD Cages – Stock Position

HDD Cage 120 MM LED Fans

HDD Cage 120 MM LED Fans

HDD Cages Removed

HDD Cages Removed

HDD Cages Rotated  - Inside View

HDD Cages Rotated – Inside View

HDD Cages Rotated - Front View

HDD Cages Rotated – Front View

There are six clips that you press on to remove the top panel, giving us a look at what is underneath. Now I completely understand why the handle is so sturdy; it’s riveted to the main frame using a hefty bracket on each side…. Awesome!

With the top panel removed, we get a good look at the fan controller circuit board, the LEDs, and all the other goodies that make up the top panel control module.

Top Panel Removed

Top Panel Removed

Beefy Handle Design

Beefy Handle Design

Top Panel Control Board

Top Panel Control Board

Along with a top panel control unit of this caliber comes the abundance of wiring that accompanies it. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about here that you haven’t seen many times over. You get the standard fare USB, audio, HDD/power LED, and power/reset leads. There is a Y cable that can be used to bring power to the top and rear fan, which originates from the fan controller. Finally, there is a 4-pin Molex connector that brings power to the control unit’s LEDs, and an additional fan LED control cable for use with an optional LED fan.

USB 2.0 & 3.0 Motherboard Header Cables

USB 2.0 & 3.0 Motherboard Header Cables

Top Panel Audio Connection Cables

Motherboard Header Audio Connection Cables

Power - Reset - HDD Activity Cables

Power – Reset – HDD Activity Cables

Top and Rear Fan "Y" Cable

Top and Rear Fan “Y” Cable

Top Panel LED Power and Optional Fan LED Power

Top Panel and Optional FAN LED Power Cables

To finish up the interior tour of the CM Storm Stryker, we’ll have a look at the motherboard tray area and the different cable management opportunities this case offers. When you take a full-view look at the motherboard tray area, the first thing that hits you is the massive cut out for accessing the back of a CPU cooler’s mounting hardware. I’d be hard pressed to think of a motherboard and cooler combination this won’t work with; the hole is huge!

There are three large cable management pass-through holes that are protected by a rubber insert. The horizontal one at the bottom and just in front of the PSU mounting area is larger than most and should provide ample room for all the cables coming out of your power supply. The two vertical holes are ample in size and well positioned to bring the different cables to their intended targets. There is a smaller hole just above the power supply that does not have a rubber grommet. I typically use this hole for fans that might get connected to the bottom area of the motherboard. This might also be a good spot to bring an auxiliary PCI-e power lead, if your motherboard supports that.

Stamped on the face of the motherboard tray is a guide explaining what holes are to be used with what form factor motherboard being installed. And lest we forget, “Designed by Cooler Master” is stamped here as well.

Motherboard Tray Area

Motherboard Tray Area

Bottom Cable Pass Through

Bottom Cable Pass Through

Right Side Pass Through Holes

Right Side Cable Pass Through Holes

Small Hole Above PSU

Small Hole Above PSU

Form Factor Guide

Form Factor Guide

One of the most frustrating things to try and work around while putting a system together is the lack of room between the backside of the motherboard tray and the right side panel. Cooler Master has allowed more than ample room here, which will allow for good cable management. I was almost able to get my entire hand in this area; and that’s larger than any power supply cable I can think of! I measured just under 3/4 inch of clearance between the back side of the motherboard tray and the shallowest part of the side panel. When you included the added room the bulged area of the side panel provides, you end up with about an inch or more of clearance.

Motherboard Tray Right Side Panel Clearance

Motherboard Tray Right Side Panel Clearance

Tale of the Tape

Tale of the Tape

A closer look at the back side of the motherboard tray reveals no less than 18 loops to use for attaching cable ties; I think that should suffice. There are two holes at the very top that are perfect for routing the 8-pin CPU AUX power lead through.

Cable Loops

Cable Loops

More Cable Loops

More Cable Loops

Upper Most Cable Hole

Upper Most Cable Hole – Right Side

Upper Most Cable Hole - Left Side

Upper Most Cable Hole – Left Side

Included Accessories

The eight included drive bay trays are packaged in a brown box, which is tied inside of the 5.25″ drive bay area. All the other accessories are shipped in the previously mentioned tool box and include the following items:

  • 8-pin CPU AUX power extension cable
  • Speaker
  • 10 cable ties
  • 5.25″ to 3.5″ adapter plates
  • Bag of screws and other misc hardware

Accessory Containers

Accessory Containers

HDD Trays

HDD Trays

Accessories Housed in the Tool Box

Accessories Housed in the Tool Box

Accessories unpacked

Accessories unpacked

Putting it all Together

Here is a list of all the components I plan to install in the CM Storm Stryker; we’ll see how good it looks when completed!

Drive Installation

The plastic HDD trays are flexible enough to allow for tool-less installation of a 3.5″ HDD. There are four pins in the tray that must be lined up with the holes on the HDD, then simply slide the sides of the tray up until they lock into the HDD mounting holes. As far as SSD installation goes, the trays have four holes in the base that are used to attach the SSD with screws. Once your drive is secured, choose the location that works best for you and slide it in to the HDD cage. Alternatively, you could use the 2.5″ drive cage for installing a SSD, but for this build I decided to use one of the 3.5″ bays.

Installing a 5.25″ optical drive only requires removing one of the bay covers, sliding the drive in place, and securing it with screws. There is no fancy tool-less locking mechanism; the old school method of screwing the drive in place works well enough! Once a 5.25″ device is secured in place, the face of the drive does not come out far enough to be flush with the drive bay covers. In my opinion this slightly detracts from the otherwise great looking front panel of the case.

3.5" HDD With Tray

3.5″ HDD With Tray

3.5" Drive Installed in Tray

3.5″ Drive Installed in Tray

Sliding HDD in Cage

Sliding HDD in Cage

HDD Fully Seated in Cage

HDD Fully Seated in Cage

2.5" SSD With Tray

2.5″ SSD With Tray

SSD Installed in Tray

SSD Installed in Tray

SSD Fully Seated in Cage

SSD Fully Seated in Cage

Sliding ODD in Place

Sliding ODD in Place

Old School ODD Mounting

Old School ODD Mounting

ODD Installed - Rear View

ODD Installed – Rear View

ODD Installed – Front View

With the memory pre-installed on the motherboard, it’s time to mount it in the case…. easy enough to accomplish.

Motherboard Installed

Motherboard Installed

Motherboard Installed - Alternate View

Motherboard Installed – Alternate View

You probably noticed by the above component list that a Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro is going to be installed. This required removal of the 140 MM exhaust fan in order to mount the radiator in this location. Once the cooler was installed, I went ahead and did some of the pre-wiring for the fan controller and various switches.

CPU Cooler and Pre-Wiring

CPU Cooler and Pre-Wiring

CPU Cooler and Pre-Wiring Alternate View

CPU Cooler and Pre-Wiring Alternate View

The dual slot video card was next to be installed, which only require removing two expansion slot covers and securing the card with the thumb screws. As long as we are on the subject of video cards, the Storm Stryker has enough clearance for any length video card, even the latest HD 7970 or GTX 690. If you look at the pictures below, the available room for a video card absolutely dwarfs the HD 7770 I installed.

Video Card Installed

Video Card Installed

Video Card Installed - Alternate View

Video Card Installed – Alternate View

For this particular build, I chose to use a PSU that was not modular in design. I did this because it’s a great way to test the cable management features and there will be lots of leftover cables that need tucked away and hidden from view. So, with the power supply in hand I went to work!

Before I show you the inside area, I thought you might get a kick out of the the backside of the case after I was done. To call it a bird’s nest wouldn’t do it justice, but it all tied down nicely and the side panel easily fit back on.

Wire, Wires, and More Wires!

Wire, Wires, and More Wires!

Right Side Panel Re-Installed

Right Side Panel Re-Installed

The rest is history as they say, enjoy the pictorial of the finished product!

Completed Build

Completed Build

Conclusion

Newegg Currently has the CM Storm Stryker available for $159.99, but it also has a hefty $24.99 shipping cost added to that price. However, even with the shipping added to the cost it still offers a heck of a lot for the price. In fact it’s the same price as the HAF 932 and it’s brother, the Storm Trooper.

There certainly is no shortage of HDD capacity in the Storm Stryker with it’s dual 3.5″ HDD cages and the dedicated 2.5″ SSD cage. Depending on what setup you choose, up to eight 3.5″ HDDs can be installed or a whopping 13 SSDs. The cable management is superbly done and made putting a great looking system together extremely easy. As most of you know, I am a stickler when it comes to cable management and the Storm Stryker did not disappoint in this area. There are plenty of options to route cables beyond what the three obvious rubber grommet holes provide. It seemed like every time I needed to route a wire, there was an easily accessible place to do it.

Installing HDDs was a painless operation and the ability to install either a 3.5″ or 2.5″ drive in the trays is an added bonus. I really liked the option to rotate the 3.5″ cages 90 degrees, which allows for a more traditional air flow of front to back. The included 2.5″ SSD rack gives you even more options as you assemble a system in the Storm Stryker. Options, options, options… We love options!

It’s great to see Cooler Master toss a bunch of slide out filters in the design of the Storm Stryker. After all, the case is white and the less dust, the better!

As I usually say, looks are subject to one’s particular tastes, but there is no denying this case has a certain sleek and classy look to it. I’ve personally never been big on white as a case color, but this one sports a lot of black accents which make the white… well… not so white. Toss in the large side window, and yea, this is a white case I like very much!

There are only a few minor issues I came across. The first being the Storm Guard security bracket; the thumb screw that retains the bracket really needs to be relocated to the inside of the case in order to work as intended. As it stands right now, the bracket doesn’t really provide much in the way security for any cables you route through it. Secondly, I would prefer if installed optical drives protruded out far enough to align with the drive bay covers. This, of course, is just my take on the way it looks; some of you might actually prefer the appearance of the slightly recessed optical drive. Lastly, I’d really like to see the the 4-pin Molex connector on the back of the fan control unit changed to a SATA power connection.

As you can tell, there isn’t a whole lot to complain about here. Another solid effort by Cooler Master.

Click the Approved stamp for an explanation of what it means

- Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)

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Discussion
  1. yeah true. my front VRMs are actually water cooled.

    and it is fine all the way to 1.47V Vcore. However above that, my VRM keep throttling the CPU, and it took me a while to realize it is the 'backside' of the VRMs that's over heating. in the end, I did a simple mod to add a 40mm fan in the right side panel, and the problem was immediately solved, but I can go full load up til 1.59Vcore and still have no throttling issues. :) but of course, I try to limit myself at 1.52V, as that is already playing with fire already for a 24/7 system. lol.
    I can spare me the VRM backside blower because my CPU fan is a "top blower" and at the same time pushed from the upper CPU fan, so 2 fan at once are blowing at my board and the RAM/VRM backside is at the edge of those fans. The trick is that i combine many spots at once, which is making my fans a multitask engine. Thats the only way how to make a pretty packed case able to be more effective.

    For very huge systems, another setup could be more effective and its less effective making area related combos (except pull/push teams) because its harder to cover the required area. Anyway, such a huge amount of fans still looks crazy... indeed.
    Ivy
    Sheesh, all those fan wars. My next case will be a Lian Li.

    2 intake fans chassis attached (140 mm Lian Li)

    1 outtake fan chassis attached (Noctua NF-P14 FLX)

    1 pull CPU fan chassis attached (be quiet! Silent Wings 2 140mm).

    1 CPU fan board mounted (Noctua NF-P14 FLX)

    1 PSU fan which is in the same time acting as a outtake for chassis (Sanyo ball bearing)

    1 GPU fan (Sapphire)

    = total of 7 fans... if that isnt enough?!



    FAN WARS!!!

    my chassis:

    SLIPSTREAM 1900 x 2 Pulling top rad

    Reeven 2000 x 2 Pushing top rad

    Ultra Kaze 3000K as pure intake

    AP-15 as HDD cage intake

    Cooljap 2400 x 2 Pushing bottom rad

    Enermax Duo x 2 Pulling Bottom Rad

    Enermax Duo pushing BACK rad

    Reeven 2000 pulling back rad

    Enermax 1500 x 2 as side panel Push

    Scythe 40m small fan, as backside VRM active cooling

    and with acoustics done correctly and a fan controller, as quiet as a bird. I sometimes need to walk over to check if the computer is on or not. (that's how quiet it is.) but of course, on full load when all fans are roaring, then it does sound like a small hairblower turned on. But I am alright with that.. only P95 and other benching activities has even caused it to go over 85% load. =)
    Sheesh, all those fan wars. My next case will be a Lian Li.

    2 intake fans chassis attached (140 mm Lian Li)

    1 outtake fan chassis attached (Noctua NF-P14 FLX)

    1 pull CPU fan chassis attached (be quiet! Silent Wings 2 140mm).

    1 CPU fan board mounted (Noctua NF-P14 FLX)

    1 PSU fan which is in the same time acting as a outtake for chassis (Sanyo ball bearing)

    1 GPU fan (Sapphire)

    = total of 7 fans... if that isnt enough?!

    Ultimately, quality of fan more important than raw size... its my ears not yours. ;) Main reason why i passed on the Silverstone case because its fan had more noise in a review (and replacing them all with new fans is pricy... a good fan cost 20-30$ in my country.)

    Not to be underestimated those notorious noisy GPU fans, but it helps a lot having a well ventilated case and a mid class (instead of a high end) GPU which got a oversized cooler hooked up, because GPU fan may not spin up that much under such conditions.

    wagex


    ptsh they just need to come up with a super port that everything can plug into usb could handle the bandwidth of most everything besides graphics cards lol


    txus.palacios
    Same here, I prefer USB/USB3 instead of eSATA.


    eSATA is outdated tbh, although still useful to power up a temporary "raw" backup drive. In the future a NAS will take over that function and it will be backed up to many machines in the network, at that point a eSATA becomes meaningless. The old USB 2.0 is only useful for Keyboard/Mouse and stuff like that, so it still may have uses but not for data transfer... thats gonna make me ZZZZZZ. Although the 1 Gbit LAN is already used at its limits even by many home NAS, and in future we should get a new LAN standart such as 10 Gbit LAN which is already used in server environment. But it does never hit the "trash market" because no one calling for, the mainstream user even got hard time knowing the meaning.

    USB 3.0 is the future and could solve all the problems. It can handle more speed than most MB attached chipsets are capable of. Having 2-6 onboard, and inserting such a adapter... = the ultimate ePEN. ;) If it works that is... its always bit difficult with non native stuff, although its speed may exceed native solutions. Up to 2 GB/s total bandwith by using SSD RAID over USB 3.0 RAID, thats the future of the enthusiasts who want to copy data quick. What it takes is a adapter who got 4x USB 3.0 chips, and a fast interface such as PCIexpress x4 and up.

    Thunderbolt ist interesting and even faster yes, but its currently only used on Apple and Apple is kinda a closed system. Its not good to serve a open system and USB 3.0 will totaly blast away Thunderbolt i feel, no matter how much Mac zealots there gonna be. Because USB 3.0 is even downward compatible, its a format suited much better for open systems and all the free systems from the world.
    eSATA is just external SATA, you can plug an SSD there an boot from it if you want to.

    USB 3.0 hasn't yet hit mainstream devices, becauase, honestly, I don't think there's a need for them to use such a high bandwidth bus. Maybe for phones and portable media players it's useful for shortening transference times, but, most times it just isn't worth the extra hassle a USB3.0 controller is for the device manufacturer, not to mention the different (read, weird for the masses) port the USB 3.0 uses. Plus, I don't remember if USB 3.0's Micro-B is backwards compatible with USB 2.0's, something that, if lacking, would render it useless at least for European usage, since all mobile devices that can be connected to a computer for data transfer must be able to be charged from the same USB connector and from any USB wall charger sold for a similar device since 2010, IIRC. Some kind of smart law to stop the lot of useless chargers that old cellphones leave behind them.

    Now, speaking of that superport, Thunderbolt could work for that. It has a huge amount of bandwidth, and it has some sort of PCIe lanes that would allow a GPU to work outside of the computer case. But I think Thunderbolt will share Firewire's fate. A couple of uses for professional for some years and then it will go to the "ports that looked nice but were not used" lot.
    lol i dont think i have ever used or attempted to use or even known the use of an esata port. has usb3 even hit mainstream devices yet? like phones or ipods, or is it still just the expensive thumb drives, and a few usb hard drives?

    ptsh they just need to come up with a super port that everything can plug into usb could handle the bandwidth of most everything besides graphics cards lol
    bluezero5


    3, stryker doesn't have the e-Sata on the top panel. (i guess cause no one uses it)


    Seriously! Does anyone use those things? :shrug:

    I'd rather see an extra USB port in every case with an eSATA front port, but what do I know?
    bluezero5
    yeah, the styker differ from the black storm trooper in 3 ways.

    1, window panel, which kicks a$$.

    2, white instead of black (duh)

    3, stryker doesn't have the e-Sata on the top panel. (i guess cause no one uses it)

    all else they are identical. :)


    all 3 of these features are the ones that killed the market for the storm trooper in the first place!
    yeah, the styker differ from the black storm trooper in 3 ways.

    1, window panel, which kicks a$$.

    2, white instead of black (duh)

    3, stryker doesn't have the e-Sata on the top panel. (i guess cause no one uses it)

    all else they are identical. :)
    bluezero5
    I have the black version the storm trooper.

    it can fit a 240 on top, a 240 on the bottom, and a 120 at the rear.

    some mod on the front can fit a 360, but that will sacrifice the drive bays, which I choose to keep.

    the top:

    a 240 will fit very easily, can have fans in push/pull as well. i have the top fans on top the chassis which is elegantly consealed by the top shelf. the bottom can fit a 240 rad easy, but if you want push/pull, you will need a thin/normal rad, a THICK rad will make push/pull impossible without mods.

    you can take a look at my flow chart in my profile album if you want to see what I did with the rads. :)


    yes i know ur rig by heart, no need to look again :D its the nicest storm trooper in my book, so the new white one is the EXACT same platform just with extra mesh and window huh?
    I have the black version the storm trooper.

    it can fit a 240 on top, a 240 on the bottom, and a 120 at the rear.

    some mod on the front can fit a 360, but that will sacrifice the drive bays, which I choose to keep.

    the top:

    a 240 will fit very easily, can have fans in push/pull as well. i have the top fans on top the chassis which is elegantly consealed by the top shelf. the bottom can fit a 240 rad easy, but if you want push/pull, you will need a thin/normal rad, a THICK rad will make push/pull impossible without mods.

    you can take a look at my flow chart in my profile album if you want to see what I did with the rads. :)
    Tinmann
    I think it's a nice case but I don't like the fact that you have to remove the side panel to access the HDD bays.


    you don't have to. that's just 1 config.

    you can rotate it to the front like normal, the HDD box is totally rotatable.
    Nice review, lucky you.

    I continue to be impressed with the more rapid pace of case improvements over the past few years. It will be fun and interesting to watch developments over the next several I'm sure. (My first PC build was in an old IBM expansion case I got for $5 and modified which no doubt contributes to my fascination with cases)