MSI Stealth Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 21, 2012


Introduction

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The Stealth is one of the latest mid-tower cases from MSI, within its “Interceptor” series. It comes with a rubber coating on its front and top panels, giving it a top-notch look.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 1: MSI Stealth case

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 2: MSI Stealth case

The left panel of the Stealth has a mesh supporting the installation of two 120 mm or 140 mm fans. There is no air filter on this mesh.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 3: Left panel

The Front Panel

The front panel of the MSI Stealth uses a rubber-coat finishing, preventing fingerprints and giving the case a more professional look. It has four external 5.25” bays, using meshed covers with air filters. The case comes with a 120 mm fan on its front panel (MSI AD1225R12L), which glows blue when turned on. This fan uses a standard peripheral power plug, and the manufacturer doesn’t publish its specifications. You can replace this fan with models up to 180 mm, if you want. See Figure 5. The case doesn’t have an air filter for the front fan.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 4: Front panel

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 5: Front panel

The case comes with two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB “SuperCharge” port, and the traditional audio jacks on the top side of the front panel. See Figure 6. The USB 3.0 ports use an internal USB 3.0 connector, so you need a motherboard that has this kind of connector in order to use these ports. (All new motherboards have this connector.) The USB “SuperCharge” port only provides power and is able to deliver up to 2.5 A of current, which is five times greater than the usual limit, allowing you to charge USB devices faster. This is accomplished by using a standard peripheral power connector.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 6: Buttons and connectors

The Top, Bottom, and Rear Panels

The top panel of the MSI Stealth received the same rubberized coating as the front panel, and has an air intake for two 120 mm fans or one fan up to 180 mm.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 7: Top panel

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 8: Top panel

The bottom panel has air filters for the power supply fan and for an optional fan.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 9: Bottom panel

The rear panel and the interior of the MSI Stealth are painted black, but the motherboard tray and the slot covers are painted blue.

The case has seven expansion slots, using vented covers.

There is a 120 mm fan on the rear panel (MSI AD122R12L5), using a standard three-pin fan power connector and, again, the manufacturer didn’t disclose its technical specifications.

On the MSI Stealth, the power supply goes on the bottom part of the case.

There are two holes protected with rubber covers for hoses of liquid cooling solutions, each measuring 0.7” (18 mm) in diameter.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 10: Rear panel

Let’s now take a look inside the MSI Stealth.

Inside the MSI Stealth

Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. The motherboard tray is painted blue and has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the case, several holes for you to route cables behind it, and several metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 11: Overall look

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 12: A view behind the motherboard tray

Figure 13 gives you another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using blue thumbscrews. The MSI Stealth supports video cards up to 12.2” (310 mm) long and comes with a mechanism to hold long video cards and prevent them from getting out of the expansion slots during transportation. See Figure 14.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 13: Overall look

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 14: Video card support mechanisms

As already explained, 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. As already shown, there is an air filter for the power supply fan.

The MSI Stealth supports the installation of one 120 mm fan on the bottom panel. With this fan installed, you can install power supplies up to 180 mm deep. There is an air filter for this optional fan.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 15: Power supply compartment

The Disk Drive Bays

The MSI Stealth has four 5.25” external bays and four 3.5”/2.5” internal bays. Installation of 5.25” (except for the bottom-most bay) and 3.5” devices can be done without the use of tools or screws, but you must use regular screws to install 2.5” devices and a 5.25” device in the bottom-most bay.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 16: Disk drive bays

Each 3.5”/2.5” bay is actually a small drawer, as you can see in Figure 17. The pegs that hold 3.5” devices have rubber rings to reduce vibration and absorb noise.

MSI Stealth case
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Figure 17: One of the 3.5”/2.5” bays

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the MSI Stealth case include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

This new case from MSI is way better than the previous model we reviewed, the Nighthawk. However, there are some features missing for us to consider this case “perfect,” especially air filters for the front and side fans. It is a little bit expensive, as for the same price you can pick cases with more features and better overall quality, such as the Bitfenix Survivor, the Corsair Carbide Series 400R, the Fractal Design Arc Midi, the Antec Eleven Hundred, and the Cooler Master HAF 922, just to name a few. 

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/MSI-Stealth-Case-Review/1555


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