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Cooler Master Storm Trooper Computer Case
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Cooler Master
Source: Cooler Master
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Page: 6 of 7 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]
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March 01, 2012

Installation and Operation:

Installing the basic system components into the Storm Trooper went fairly well, but there are a few spots where the process seemed more difficult or time consuming than they had to be. For this build, a selection of typical components were installed, including an ATX motherboard with PCIe video card, oversized aftermarket CPU cooler, a standard ATX power supply, a 2.5" SSD, and a 5.25" DVDRW. The image below shows that in the end, the install looked extremely clean and cable management is a definite strong point of this case!

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All of the images show that the three rubber grommets allow cables to pass through to the back side, leaving the case looking just about empty. And even though the Noctua CPU cooler initially had a beige Noctua fan attached, I liked the look of the case's black fans with red LEDs and bought another to complete the look. And just to make use of the opening in the motherboard tray, I installed the CPU cooler once the motherboard was in the case, and the whole process went very well.

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The next image takes a look down low, and the area for discussion is the 2.5" drive cage. My initial thoughts were that this wasn't going to be a great design, and now that I have installed a drive there I still believe this. With the cage installed, you can't really access the drive screws towards the front of the case, and accessing the data/power connections on the drive is difficult since you can't even see them. To take the cage out, you have to lay the case on its side, and remove four screws from underneath. With the cage removed, I then installed the drive with four screws and attached the data/power cables (which is only possible if you have plenty of slack). I then slid the cage back in to place, forcing the extra cabling through the grommet, and once lined up with the holes in the case I screwed it back in to place. Not convenient or quick at all.

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Another area of annoyance with the installation was with trying to install a 3.5" card reader in the one 5.25" bay which includes a 3.5" drive adapter. I struggled for 20+ minutes trying to get the card reader mounted on the included drive rails and lined up with the front of the case, and there didn't seem to be a position that would work. It was either too deep in the case, or stuck out too far. In the end I gave up and put the card reader on the shelf and moved on. It shouldn't have been this hard!

My final beef with the installation comes from the fit of the side panels. They don't go on properly, and every time I close up either side of the case, I could use an extra set of hands to make sure pressure is applied on all edges. Otherwise, a tab or two on the door pops up out of the track on the case and it won't close, or if it does then there is a bulge where the tab is still out of the track and it is not as it is intended to be.

The final installation looks great inside, but it was more difficult than expected, and way more tools were used than on any other case I have used in recent years. If you didn't change components often it might not be a big deal, but if you are on a constant upgrade cycle you may grow weary of working in this case.

On the positive side of things, the integrated fan controller provides a simple, conveniently located place to dial the system's fans in to maintain a good balance of cooling performance and noise production. I found that the high speed settings were too noisy for my tastes, and that even all the way down on the slowest speed, the cooling was more than adequate while the noise was minimal.

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