CM Storm Trooper Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on October 5, 2011
CM Storm is the gaming division from Cooler Master, and their latest full-tower case, the Trooper, is a true monster with nine expansion slots. Let’s see what you should expect from this new release.
The left-side panel has a mesh, where you can install two 120 mm fans. This mesh is also used as air intake for the fans that come attached to the hard drive cages, since these cages come installed perpendicular to the case. So, in the case’s default configuration, air enters from the left panel and exits out of the right panel. You can, however, rotate the hard drive cages, so the fans pull air from the front panel instead of the left panel, as we will show later. Both side panels come with air filters, and you can move them in order to increase or decrease the size of the holes on the mesh to choose between more airflow or better filtering.
The front panel of the CM Storm Trooper has nine external 5.25” bays, all using meshed covers with air filters. At its default configuration, the case has only three 5.25” bays available, as the other six are used by the two hard drive cages (three bays each). You can convert one of the 5.25” bays into an external 3.5” bay, using the brackets that come with the product. If you pay attention, you will see that the bottom-most 5.25” bay cover comes with a bezel to match external 3.5” devices.
At the bottom of the front panel, the CM Storm Trooper comes with a toolbox for you to store screws and other hardware parts.
At the top part of the front panel, the case comes with a 2.5” hot-swap docking bay for SSDs or hard drives. See Figure 7.
The case comes with two hard drive cages, and each one comes with a 120 mm fan installed (Xin Changfeng DF1202512SELN, 1,200 rpm and 17 dBA). These fans are connected to the fan controller that comes with the case and glow red when turned on, but you can turn off their LEDs through the fan controller.
These cages come installed perpendicular to the case, making the fans pull air from the left-side panel mesh and blow it through the right-side panel mesh. See Figure 8. You can, if you want, rotate these cages, so the fans will pull air from the front panel instead. See Figure 9.
The top panel of the CM Storm Trooper has a rubber coating. One of the highlights of this case is the presence of a carrying handle, which is fastened directly to the steel frame of the case, so it won’t break while you are carrying your computer. The handle itself is also made of steel, with a rubber cover around it.
The top panel comes with a 200 mm fan (Xin Changfeng DF2003012SEMN, 1,000 rpm, 23 dBA), which can be installed on the fan controller. It is important to understand that 200 mm is the distance between the screws; the fan blade actually measures 190 mm. This fan doesn’t glow when turned on.
You can replace the top fan with two 120 mm or 140 mm models or an internal radiator for liquid cooling solutions. The case comes with an air filter for this fan, which can be easily removed from the rear panel.
The case comes with two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, one eSATA port, and the traditional audio jacks. The USB 3.0 ports use an internal connector, so you don’t need to connect them to the motherboard rear panel; however, you have to make sure your motherboard has a USB 3.0 header available. It also has a six-speed fan controller and a button for turning on or off the LEDs of the fans attached to the hard drive cages. This fan controller has only one channel, meaning that all fans connected to it will spin at the same speed. This device beeps every time you increase or decrease the speed, and emits three beeps when you have reached the minimum or the maximum speed.
The bottom panel allows the installation of two 120 mm fans, and the case comes with an air filter for these fans. The mesh you see at the bottom in Figure 13 is for the power supply fan, and it also has an air filter.
The rear panel and the interior of the CM Storm Trooper are painted black.
The power supply is installed on the bottom part of the case.
The CM Storm Trooper comes with a 140 mm fan installed on its rear panel (Xin Changfeng D1402512SELN, 1,200 rpm, 19 dBA). This fan can also be installed on the fan controller.
Another highlight of this case is the presence of nine expansion slots, allowing you to install XL-ATX motherboards like the ones from Gigabyte and EVGA, and up to four dual-slot video cards if your motherboard also supports this configuration. Usually, cases have only seven expansion slots.
A tenth slot is available above the regular expansion slots. This slot comes with a cable holder for securing the peripheral cables. The function of this holder is as an anti-theft device. However, it is flawed, as the thumbscrew that holds it in place is located outside of the case. This slot can also be used for installing a blower to remove hot air from inside the case.
This case has two holes for hoses of liquid cooling solutions and a third hole if you need to route any cable to the outside of the case. These holes are protected with rubber covers.
The case comes with a loop for a padlock or warranty seal on its left-side case, if you want to prevent unauthorized people from opening your computer.
Let’s now take a look inside the CM Storm Trooper.
Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. The motherboard tray has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case, a few holes for you to route cables behind it (two of them protected with rubber covers), and several metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties.
In Figure 19, you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using black thumbscrews. The CM Storm Trooper supports video cards up to 12.7” (322 mm) long and CPU coolers up to 7.3” (186 mm) tall.
The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. Note that it can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it.
The case supports the installation of two 120 mm fans on its bottom panel. For you to install the first fan, however, you will need to remove the 2.5” drive cage. This should not be a problem for most users, as the internal 3.5” bays also support 2.5” devices. And if you decide to install the second fan, it is better if you remove the toolbox, for the best airflow.
The CM Storm Trooper has nine 5.25” external bays, one external 2.5” bay with hot-swap connectors, and four internal 2.5” bays. At its default configuration, two hard drive cages occupy six 5.25” bays (three each), leaving three 5.25” bays available. Each hard drive cage supports four 3.5”/2.5” devices. You can also convert one of the external 5.25” bays into an external 3.5” bay using the brackets that come with the product. The case comes with black thumbscrews for you to install 5.25” devices, while the installation of 3.5” hard drives doesn’t require the use of screws or tools. For installing 2.5” devices, however, you will need to use regular screws.
As already explained, you can rotate the hard drive cages, so the fans will be facing the front panel.
In Figure 24, you can see one of the hard drive cages outside the computer. Disk drives are installed using small drawers, shown in Figure 25.
In Figure 26, you can see the 2.5” cage.
The main specifications for the CM Storm Trooper include:
We usually don’t like to recommend cases above USD 150 simply because we think this is the maximum price users must pay for a case with all the features possible. The CM Storm Trooper, however, has so many outstanding features that we think that it brings a good value for the enthusiast looking for a full-tower case to build the ultimate high-end gaming system. For the average user, however, there are more affordable options on the market.