Beat the HAF: Cooler Master Storm Trooper Full Tower Review

By on December 6, 2011, 1:41 AM

Our fondness for Cooler Master's full tower computer cases began roughly three years ago when we reviewed the HAF 932. At the time, it was easily the ultimate tower case and that opinion remains strong today. The HAF 932 Advanced and HAF X are among the finest full tower chassis money can buy at $150-$200.

Cooler Master is at it again, releasing yet another gaming-oriented chassis and the first full size model in the Storm lineup. Called the "Trooper," it's priced at $190 packing several new features: 90-degree rotatable 4-in-3 HDD modules, an easy-to-carry handle, a hidden toolbox to store private goods, a built-in fan controller, an external 2.5" storage drive X-dock and the ability to support up to 14 internal hard drives.

It's been a year since the HAF X's arrival, and Cooler Master may have already outdone itself...

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 24

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dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Great review Steve, and I'd agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion.

Except for the unfortunate naming, the chassis is great value for money. The integrated handle makes moving the system around pretty easy.

Would have liked to see the side panel vents filtered, but for the price and the fact that for most builders who would orientate the hdd cages with the fans at the front of the chassis, it's a small point- and easily rectified by modifying a couple of magnetic framed fan filters.

I've put together a couple of rigs with this chassis- including one watercooled (XSPC Rasa 750). Very neat and tidy -esp. with the dual bay mounted res/pump.

okrings said:

Good work, TechSpot!

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Now that, that is a nice case! I wonder if this is a worthy successor to my current case? Cooler Master Cosmos S?

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Holy shit, now that's a beast!

Guest said:

I have to doubt your processor temperature reading on the stress test. It seems incredibly unlikely that it would vary from the previous model by 20~ degrees celsius just by turning the fans up.

I almost think that the fan speed on high should be removed from the results graph. If you installed a fan controller in any of the other cases, and cranked the speed up to unbearable volumes they would almost all certainly perform identically. At a glance it looks like the review is very biased towards the new enclosure, even though this may not be the case (no pun intended).

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Great. I got the HAF X last year and thought I'd never have to buy another case again. Now I'm reconsidering it after seeing this bad boy.

Guest said:

That case looks GORGEOUS! If I was in the market for a new case, I'd be ready to put down $200 for that in a heartbeat.

Guest said:

What's wrong with you people and case design? Its ugly as hell, it reminds me of those rugged toughbooks... And what's with the handle? As if you're going to carry it around with you.

The NZXT Phantom case has a brilliant design and so many perks. Although the Phantom 410 would appear to be crap since they took a fantastic design for a big case and sized it down for a mid size case...bad idea.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

What's wrong with you people and case design? Its ugly as hell, it reminds me of those rugged toughbooks... And what's with the handle? As if you're going to carry it around with you.

The NZXT Phantom case has a brilliant design and so many perks. Although the Phantom 410 would appear to be crap since they took a fantastic design for a big case and sized it down for a mid size case...bad idea.

Leaving aside that you are talking about looks, that are completely subjective, The NZXT Phantom? Do you keep it right next to your poster of Megan Fox?:p

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Now that, that is a nice case! I wonder if this is a worthy successor to my current case? Cooler Master Cosmos S?

Different class of chassis. The Storm Trooper is more an upgrade for the factory-mod style of cases (HAF, Sniper). The upcoming Cosmos II would likely be your chassis' natural successor:

You would get most of the functionality from the ST at a lower price point, but the Cosmos and ATCS 840 are more about aesthetics.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Great. I got the HAF X last year and thought I'd never have to buy another case again. Now I'm reconsidering it after seeing this bad boy.

I've got the HAF X too, no plans to replace it any time soon. Still, great review and a very good performing case.

@dbz - Man that's a sweet looking rig.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

@dbz - Man that's a sweet looking rig.

Certainly is. MaximumPC's "Dream Machine" from earlier this year. The Cosmos II seems to "borrow" the Silverstone TJ-07's layout except that you don't have the ability to mount dual PSU's (or one on it's side).

The only drawback to the ST is that it isn't capable of using a triple radiator without some big compromises, and a dual rad -even a ~60mm deep one- is still limited in cooling area. Being able to mount two dual's internally (top and bottom) overcomes the cooling limitation to a degree (!) but tends to spoil the clean build look. Triple roof mounted radiator support would make the chassis damn near perfect.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Guest said:I have to doubt your processor temperature reading on the stress test. It seems incredibly unlikely that it would vary from the previous model by 20~ degrees celsius just by turning the fans up.

I almost think that the fan speed on high should be removed from the results graph. If you installed a fan controller in any of the other cases, and cranked the speed up to unbearable volumes they would almost all certainly perform identically. At a glance it looks like the review is very biased towards the new enclosure, even though this may not be the case (no pun intended).

If you bothered to read the review you would know that the CPU was passively cooled so air-flow makes a significant difference here. Also who said anything about to unbearable volumes? So the review "looks" very biased because we umm liked the case?

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

If you bothered to read the review you would know that the CPU was passively cooled so air-flow makes a significant difference here. Also who said anything about to unbearable volumes? So the review "looks" very biased because we umm liked the case?

ROFL

I really cannot believe that by now you don't realize that as a reviewer, you are not allowed to like or have a preference for anything!

anyway, great look at this thing .

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

dividebyzero said:

Now that, that is a nice case! I wonder if this is a worthy successor to my current case? Cooler Master Cosmos S?

Different class of chassis. The Storm Trooper is more an upgrade for the factory-mod style of cases (HAF, Sniper). The upcoming Cosmos II would likely be your chassis' natural successor:

You would get most of the functionality from the ST at a lower price point, but the Cosmos and ATCS 840 are more about aesthetics.

I know, but its 20% bigger?! I mean, the Cosmos S is huge! It sits, next to my desk, not under it as it simply doesn't fit! Although is very handy for water cooling.

The Cosmos S II is looking pretty freaking sweet! Didn't realise Maximum PC used it as part of the dream machine!

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

While that Cosmos may be painted a "true Lamborghini color", with modern esoteric materials, I can't help but remember the American auto industry went through its, "canary yellow is the hippest color in the world phase" decades ago........

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Using the "hip" vernacular, I'd say...

Canary yellow = Chick's car

Citron Yella/Curious Yellow and Top Banana/Lemon Twist = Chick magnet

I would beg to differ though, Plum Crazy (FC7) I think is the king of high impact colours.

/biased. Owned one

//unrepentant mopar homer

Guest said:

can i install a push pull 4 fan corsair h100 on the top 2x120mm fan location ?

i'm very curious, cause the haf-x can take it nicely and still enough room for the motherboard clearance...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Yes. Easily.

The build I did with a thicker radiator (35mm XSPC as opposed to the 27mm of the H100) had the pull fans mounted on top the chassis (under the top panel), with the push fans mounted in the usual position inside the chassis. I used a 5mm thick spacer/vibration dampener with both sets of fans also to minimize the cooling "dead spot" behind the fan hubs.

Guest said:

Cases always have pros and cons. but one has eluded case developers since the dawn of the computer - air filters! you make lots of holes for cooling which allows LOTS of dirt, dust, dog hair, etc... make a case that has a washable air filter!!!! all the cooling in the world wont help if the fans are clogged and wont rotate!!

Guest said:

Yes when I first saw that handle I too wondered "who carries a desktop"? But speaking as someone who has carried 5-9 laptops around the country to do trade shows & demos. This may be a very good alternative. I'm considering kitting this out with 64GB & 9 drives, to run a few virtual machines. I'd have the whole data centre in 1 box. Perhaps less fault-tolerant, but easier to get power & way better disk performance.

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

Cases always have pros and cons. but one has eluded case developers since the dawn of the computer - air filters! you make lots of holes for cooling which allows LOTS of dirt, dust, dog hair, etc... make a case that has a washable air filter!!!! all the cooling in the world wont help if the fans are clogged and wont rotate!!

My Antec 900 Two has air filters. This case has air filters. The HAF X has air filters, the HAF 932 has air filters. Corsair Obsidian cases have air filters. I could go on and on. Perhaps you've only purchased low quality cases in your lifetime, but cases designed for lots of airflow have had air filters for years.

Guest said:

It's kind of silly to use a passively cooled Megahalem in the thermal test. Noone owning a case like this is gonna buy a Megahalem and not have active cooling on it.

Also it seem awfully fishy to get 17c drop at load on a passively cooled Megahalem with 2 front Case intake fans being the only means of fresh cool air which the top fan is blocked by 2 drives and a videocard. That in no way is going to have any sort of direct airflow to the cpu heatsink to make an incredibly 17c drop from idle to load.

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