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Saturday, 17 December 2011 07:58

Cooler Master CM Storm Trooper reviewed - Inside and Assembly

Written by Sanjin Rados

thumbrecommended08 75

Review: For Gamers

The Trooper is a full tower case that will take XL-ATX, ATX and mini-ATX motherboards. It packs plenty of space and brings a few innovative features as well. There are no toolless mechanisms on expansion slots or 5.25’’, but we prefer screws anyway and since all the screws are thumb screws, mounting equipment is a piece of cake.

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While most well designed cases boast a removable HDD cage, the Trooper went a step further. Namely, the case has two 4-in-3 HDD cages where each can hold four 3.5’’ or 2.5’’ drives. The cages can be removed or rotated. The picture above shows the HDD cage in two different positions.

Both HDD cages come with 12cm fans. Both cages face the left side panel by default. However, you can improve cooling by turning the HDD cage to face the front panel, in order to take in fresh air.

The HDD cage fans come with red LED lamps that can be turned off via the control panel.

 

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One HDD cage can be replaced with three 5.25’’ devices, meaning that the Trooper will take nine 5.25’’ drives.

We said that the HDD cage will take a total of eight 3.5’’ drives but the converter allows for an extra 3.5’’ spot in one of the 5.25’’ bays.

 

inside-3

The metal plates that keep the HDD cages in place come with rubber anti-vibration grommets. The drive brackets also suppress vibration via rubber grommets.

CM Storm constructed new drive brackets that are very flexible in the middle, making mounting a breeze. Once the drive is placed inside, the brackets are quite tough. The rubber grommets are fixed inside so they won’t be falling out during mounting.

Cooler Master made sure that each metal part is clearly marked for users to know how to turn the parts before mounting.

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Mounting CPU coolers on an already mounted motherboard in the Trooper is a piece of cake thanks to the large cutout we wanted to see for a while now. Namely, the motherboard tray is made of thick metal so the large cutout will not affect rigidity of the tray. 

The cable management holes are wide enough and large, whereas additional notches on the back of the motherboard tray are definitely a welcome feature. Although many cases had problems with rubber parts on cable holes falling out, Cooler Master used its old trick of securing them with metal latches.

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The cables from the front panel have two USB 3.0 connectors among them, although they’re only for connecting to Intel’s internal USB 3.0 header. There are no additional converters for connecting the ports to USB 3.0 connectors on motherboard I/O panels.

There is about 2cm of room beneath the right side panel, so you won’t lack room for cable management in the back.inside-8

 

The bottom panel has a small 2.5’’ drive cage that can hold four drives. This cage can be removed and replaced with two 12cm fans.

inside-9

The Trooper easily managed EVGA’s X58 4-way SLI (XL-ATX) motherboard, HD 6970 graphics and Thermalright’s HR-02 CPU cooler. The maximum allowed graphics card length (without taking the HDD cage out) cards is 322mm. As for CPU coolers, the Trooper will allow for coolers up to 186mm tall. The fans are quite loud when running at maximum rpm but can be made quieter. Naturally, we did not expect complete silence from a gaming case with plenty of inlets/outlets as it’s the cooling performance that matters. 

 

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Last modified on Saturday, 17 December 2011 09:32
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