CM Storm Scout Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on April 9, 2009
CM Storm is a brand from Cooler Master targeted to high-end gamers and today we are going to take a look at their latest mid-tower case, Scout, which features an impeccable paint job and a sturdy top handle to make it easier to carry your PC around.
This case does not have a front door, as you can see in Figure 3. This unit has five 5.25” external bays, all using meshed covers featuring dust filters. This is great to improve the case internal airflow. Scout has a 140 mm fan with red LEDs on its front. What is really cool about this case is that it provides an on/off switch for the LEDs from the front and rear fans. All fans use a standard peripheral power plug, i.e., they are connected directly to the power supply, so no speed monitoring is provided. Cooler Master doesn’t say anything about the fan rotational speed.
The front panel can be easily removed from the case: just pull it. No need to screw or to press any internal latch. Therefore the access to the dust filters is very easy.
One of the highlights of this case is the big handle available on its top part. This allows you to easily transport your computer, making it a good choice if you like to play in LAN parties. A 140 mm fan is located on the case’s top part (no information on its speed was provided).
On the top part of the case there is a panel containing the power and reset buttons plus four USB ports, one eSATA port, one on/off switch for the fan LEDs and the usual mic in and headphones out jacks. As you can see in Figure 6, the USB ports are vertically oriented and not horizontally oriented as usual. This simple modification allows enough space between the ports for you to install four “fat” USB devices at the same time. The eSATA port is also a must on a case targeted to high-end users.
The rear panel from Scout can be seen in Figure 7. What immediately caught our eye was the fact that the rear panel is black, not gray. As you can see on this case the power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case, not on the top as usual. Scout features a 120 mm fan on the rear part of the case with LEDs also controlled by the on/off switch available on the front panel (Figure 6). As it happens with the other fans, Cooler Master doesn’t say anything about its speed and it uses a regular peripheral power plug, so you can’t monitor its speed through your motherboard. There are seven expansion slots with a mesh on the area above them, which is good to improve the case internal airflow.
If you pay close attention to Figure 7 you will see that the bottom slot cover has an unusual design. This cover works as a cable holder for your keyboard and mouse, as illustrated in Figure 8.
Now let’s take a look inside Scout.
The left and right panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. The left side panel features the necessary holes for installing up to two 120 mm fans, but they are optional, not coming with the product. As you can see, the transparent side panel is darker than usual, a nice aesthetic touch in our opinion. Even though we can remove the right panel the motherboard tray is permanently attached to the chassis.
In Figure 10 you can have an overall look inside Scout. As you can see, the interior from this case is painted in black, giving it a top-notch looks. An interesting thing about this case is that all cables come already installed behind the motherboard tray, with their ends already routed to the bottom part of the case, saving you time while building your PC, as you won’t need to do this yourself.
In Figure 11, you can see the mechanism used for holding daughterboards, the rear 120 mm fan and the top 140 mm fan. As already explained, the LEDs from the rear fan are controlled by the on/off switch available on the top panel and all fans use regular peripheral power plugs, so you can’t monitor their speeds. Also no fan speed controller is available.
The mechanism for holding daughterboards looks very sturdy, even though it is manufactured in plastic. Each slot has its own mechanism, which is opened from inside the case but closed from outside the case.
The reviewed case also comes with a dust filter for the power supply fan, as shown in Figure 12.
This case has five external 5.25” bays and five internal 3.5” bays, as shown in Figure 13. They all use screwless mechanisms. For 5.25” devices the mechanisms are already installed on the case, while for the 3.5” internal devices you need to install two rulers, one on each side of the drive, to install them.
CM Storm Scout also comes with one 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter and one adapter to allow installing 2.5” or 1.8” drives into a 3.5” bay. This is the first time we’ve seen a single adapter supporting both reduced sizes. This allows you to convert any 5.25” bay into a 3.5” bay to install a floppy disk drive or a memory card reader (the adapter comes pre-installed on the lower bay and the case comes with the appropriate bay cover) and to convert any 3.5” bay into a 2.5” or 1.8” bay to install 2.5” or 1.8” hard disk drives or solid state drives (SSDs). You need to use regular screws to install drives to these adapters, though. The good news is that CM Scout comes with a set of black thumbscrews.
If you use the 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter and has no floppy disk drive or memory card reader, you can have up to six hard disk drives installed on SM Storm Scout. The 3.5”-to-2.5" or 1.8" adapter is certainly a very nice addition.
CM Storm Scout case main specs include:
CM Storm Scout is a mid-tower case targeted to the user that demands a high-quality product and, at the same time, doesn't want to pay a fortune for a high-end case. Here is a summary of what we found about this product.
In summary, we were very impressed by CM Storm Scout. It provides a top-notch quality at a very affordable price (USD 109 suggested price), being the kind of product we like to recommend. If you are a regular user or a high-end user, it doesn’t matter: you will love this case.