Our preference for Cooler Master's full tower computer cases began about three years ago when we tested the HAF 932. Its stylish, aggressive design was underpinned by excellent workmanship. The affordable price was the icing on the cake for us. At the time it was easily the ultimate tower fall and that opinion is strong to this day. The HAF 932 Advanced and HAF X are among the best full tower chassis that can be bought for $ 150 to $ 200.
Cooler Master has also posted various cases under its Storm banner, a subsidiary tasked with "arming the gaming revolution". This task is of course accomplished with the development of new keyboards, mice, cases, mouse pads and audio devices for gamers. To date, the brand has released a strong line of mid-size ATX cases including the Sniper, Scout and Enforcer. We featured the Enforcer in our last recap and found it to be great value at just $ 85.
Cooler Master is back with another game-oriented chassis and the first full-size model in the Storm range. The price known as the "Trooper" is $ 190 – right next to the venerable HAF X – and offers several new features: 4-in-3 hard drive modules that can be rotated 90 degrees, an easy-to-carry handle and a hidden tool box for storing private Goods, a built-in fan controller, an external X-Dock with 2.5-inch storage drive, and the ability to support up to 14 internal hard drives.
It has been a year since the HAF X arrived and Cooler Master may have already outdone itself …
The Storm Trooper's design isn't as flashy as some competing gaming cases try (Thermaltake's deals come to mind), but it's also not as spartan as Lian Li's products. Cooler Master seems a knack for making more aggressive yet to have cleaner housing. The soldier is dressed strictly conservatively, but is not afraid to show a small leg, if you will.
The size of the Trooper is pretty typical for a full tower ATX case. It measures 9.8 "wide, 22.8" long and 23.8 "high (25 x 57.8 x 60.6 cm). It is made from SECC (steel, zinc-plated, cold-rolled, coil). Known for its low cost, high thermal conductivity, and ideal for computer cases. It also uses a lot of plastic, but it mixes well with metal, so don't be put off.
Up front, the trooper looks amazing. Be sure to look at the pictures for the different angles. The face bears nine 5.25-inch metal mesh drive bay plates and a 3.5-inch adapter. There are also two front 120mm fans that hide behind six of the nine 5.25-inch mesh panels.
Below the 5.25-inch bays is a hidden tool box that can be accessed by removing the CM Storm branded module. There are two quick release clips on either side that must be pushed in to remove the cover. Once removed, the hidden tool box is pulled out.
The external 2.5-inch HDD / SSD-X dock is located directly above the 5.25-inch drive bays. This is similar to Thermaltake's BlacX docking station used by the recently reviewed Chaser MK-1, although this particular design supports both 3.5 "and 2.5" drives. Nevertheless, we welcome the convenient access to 2.5-inch devices.
Above the X-Dock is the Trooper's front I / O control panel, which has two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, as well as a single eSATA port and two audio jacks. There are also two red LEDs that indicate hard drive activity and performance. The power button is the large button with the CM Storm logo at the top of the I / O control panel, while the reset button is much smaller and off to the right.
Three red light displays are integrated in the area of the power switch, which light up when the red LEDs on the case fans are active. Just below the middle light is a small button that activates and deactivates the lights. On either side of this button, the user will find two more buttons with plus and minus symbols that increase or decrease the internal fan speeds.
The top of the Trooper looks just as impressive as the rest of the case and is again very functional. There is a rubber handle behind the front panel, which should make it easier to transport the 13.7 kg case (mind you, before adding components). Together with the handle, the top-mounted 200mm fan provides great ventilation that also has its own removable dust filter.
The case door moves to the left and has another grille with support for a pair of optional 120mm fans. Although this door does not have a window, we are happy with the additional ventilation.
The opposite case door has the same indentation and a smaller grill.
Moving to the back of the Trooper will find an easy setup that attaches the power supply to the bottom of the case. There are nine expansion slots and a 140 mm exhaust fan above the power supply bracket.
At the very top we have some inlet and outlet holes for water cooling pipes. There is a tenth vertically mounted expansion slot that can be used for an expansion bracket with USB ports or other connection.
That pretty much covers the external functions of the CM Storm Trooper, so let's take a closer look …