CoolerMaster CM Storm Trooper Review – Deluxe Gaming Case

We were fortunate enough to get on of the CoolerMaster’s best looking cases for a review – the CM Storm Trooper, a high grade full tower gaming case with an ambitious design and a price to match ($189.99 retail). On paper, CM Storm Trooper has everything a serious gamer would ever dream to have – a really spacious interior capable of accommodating 8 to 13 drives depending of the chosen configuration, an advanced cooling system, enough space for ATX XL size motherboards and the heftiest graphic cards available plus a well designed cable management system so everything looks nice and clean. Can it provide all it promises? Let’s get into some details in Review Horizon’s CoolerMaster CM Storm Trooper Review.

CoolerMaster CM Storm Trooper Unboxing

As in my previous experiences with high grade computer cases, CM Storm Trooper (btw, I wonder if CoolerMaster had to pay anything for the name), arrived double packed and in very good shape. Inside the box you’ll find the case itself while all the accessories are well hidden in a separate drawer. Not what I expected, and since I usually don’t really read the instructions, I have to admit I needed a bit of time to find the accessories / screws box, cleverly located in the bottom drawer behind the CM STORM branded cover. But more about the accessories later.

I took everything out in my backyard to give it proper surroundings and natural light. Fortunately, here in SoCal is still sunny so the photos should reflect well how the case really looks. I’ll give you a hint: breathtaking. Let’s go into a bit more detail in the design section.

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CoolerMaster CM Storm Trooper Design

If you are a serious gamer you want a seriously looking case and this time, CoolerMaster’s designers performed admirably. CM Storm Trooper has a rubberized design that somehow reminds me of some high tech military weapon combined with a Lamborghini Reventon. The upper fan vents are cleverly masked by a strong rubberized handle that is continued by the front panel. On the front panel, you’ll find a large Power button in the center bordered by three red lights for improved aesthetics, the light on/off button under it flanked by Fan Speed Up/Down, Power/HDD LED lights on the left and Reset button on the right. You’ll also find audio input/output, an eSATA and four USB inputs, two of them being USB 3.0. You would really be hard pressed to ask for more. Below the front panel, you’ll also find an X-Dock slot that can accommodate one external SATA 2.5″ HDD notebook drive or a SSD drive.

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One familiar aspect I noticed to be common to a number of higher grade cases is the sheer number of drive bays available for your storage needs. In CM Storm Trooper’s case, it varies depending the chosen configuration from 9 X 5.25 inches bays, 6 of them converted by default to hold 8 3.5 inches hard-drives, 13 2.5 inches notebook drives (4 dedicated down at the base) or mixed. Suffice to say, with today’s 3+ TB drives available for cheap, you should never run out of storage space. Actually, it even has more storage bays than my home server case and I strongly considered to move my server in this new case! If not used for gaming, this is a highly capable server case!!!

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It is no big secret that CM Storm Trooper is a heavy case. It is very heavy when empty (32 pounds), even heavier when fully loaded. I really don’t mind the extra weight since this is usually a sign pointing to a better build quality than average. CoolerMaster obviously is aware of the case weight and thoughtfully included a strong handle on top to make it easy to move the case around. However, after I fully loaded my system, I wished for some casters or at least some casters placeholders. That would really help for those LAN parties…
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CoolerMaster CM Storm Trooper Specifications and Features

Model SGC-5000-KKN1
Available Color All Black
Material Steel body, Front Mesh / Plastic bezel
Dimension 250 x 605.6 x 578.5 mm (9.8 x 23.8 x 22.8 in)
Weight 14.4 KG / 31.7 lbs
M/B Type Micro-ATX, ATX, XL-ATX
5.25″ Drive Bay 9
3.5″ Drive Bay 8 (converted from 5.25” bay by two 4-in 3 HDD modules)
2.5″ Drive Bay 13 (converted from 5.25” bay by two 4-in 3 HDD modules)
Cooling System Front: 120 mm LED fan x2 (1200 RPM, 17dBA)Top: 200 mm fan x 1 (1000 RPM, 23 dBA)Rear: 140 mm fan x1 (1200 RPM, 19 dBA) (converted to 120 mm fan)Bottom: 120 mm fan x 2 (optional)Side: 120 mm fan x 2 (optional)
Expansion Slots 9+1
I/O Panel USB 3.0 x 2 (internal), USB 2.0 x 2, e-SATA x 1, Audio In and Out ( Supports HD audio)
Power Supply Standard ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional)
Maximum Compatibility CPU cooler height: 186 mm / 7.3 in
GPU card length: 322 mm / 12.7 in
Warranty 2 years
UPC Code 884102013928

Installation and Testing

Beside the aesthetics, the main question that everybody should have is how exactly the case performs with a rather beefy set-up inside? I decided to build a standard gaming setup using a  GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard together with an AMD Phenom II X6 1035T Thuban 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Six-Core Desktop Processor and a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO aftermarket cooling system. Everything was powered by a rather beastly  RAIDMAX RX-1200AE1200W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply for good measure. I forgot the graphic cards, two older by still powerful Radeon 4870X2 model, eating together about 500W of electricity just for the GPUs alone. As you can imagine, there is quite a bit of heat generated inside the case.
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Below: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard together with an AMD Phenom II X6 1035T Thuban 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Six-Core Desktop Processor and a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO aftermarket cooling system. Fortunately, CM Storm Trooper is wide enough to accommodate the rather tall CPU cooling module, with enough room to spare.

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Below: The installed gaming rig containing the first GPU card. CM Storm Trooper can accommodate the largest ATX motherboards available and up to 4 video cards in a SLI configuration.

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CoolerMaster CM Storm Trooper Cable Management System

A good cable management system became mandatory in a high grade system to help maximize the airflow in today’s computers. A fully loaded gaming rig can dissipate upwards of 1KW power or even more and you want all that heat efficiently pumped outside of the case. I managed to take most of my cables out of the way by relocating them between the motherboard plate and the right side panel as you can see in the photo below.

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Drive Bays

As I mentioned, CM Storm Trooper comes with a large number of storage bays, the default configuration consisting in dual 3.5 inches storage bays, each holding up to four hard-drives. Mounting the hard-drives inside the cage is tool-less, pretty much like most of the case beside the motherboard standoffs.

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Beside the regular drive bays, CM Storm Trooper features a X-Dock slot in the top where you can plug any SATA 2.5 inches HDD including SSD drives.
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Noise and Cooling

Let’s make something clear here. Although not terribly noisy, the CM Storm Trooper wasn’t designed to be a silent case. Containing 4 powerful fans,  the case has enough venting outlets so it can be heard quite well, especially when you set the speed fan to high (the speed can be changed by the +/- buttons located below the Power button and the three red lights will adjust accordingly). You have 6 FAN speed levels to choose from, but even on the lowest, the case is not completely silent. While fairly loud on the max settings, the noise is rather pleasant and it sounds very industrial. (Don’t get me wrong, if I could completely eliminate the noise, I would certainly do so).

Cooling wise, CM Storm Trooper does a very good job keeping your expensive components cold and happy. The top mounted 200mm 1000RPM fan is powerful and the dual 120mm fans are also very useful in blowing directly on your hard-drives and keeps them well cooled. I haven’t notice any cooling issues even after hours of playing various GPU taxing games, and my overclocked to 3GHz 6 cores AMD Phenom II X6 1035T Thuban seems also quite happy in this environment.

I almost forgot to mention them, but for those interested in water cooling there are three outlets to facilitate pipe mounting, right were the CPU will be mounted. It is another example of the good design decisions CoolerMaster has taken with this case.

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CM Storm Trooper Accessories

I have to admit, I didn’t read the manual and I found all the accessories while removing various parts from the case for review purposes. The little accessories drawer is located behind the  CM Storm badge, at the bottom of the box. Inside you’ll find a number of good quality screws, motherboard standoffs and various other useful items including a pair of drive converters.

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Conclusion

Without a doubt, the CoolerMaster CM Storm Trooper is the best and most featured packed full tower computer case we ever tested. With an good attention to details and excellent build quality,  the CM Storp trooper is sure to satisfy even the most demanding gamer today. The large number of storage bays supported including four dedicated for SSD drives, powerful fans and support for even the largest ATX motherboards  and graphic boards, slick design and a strong, rubberized carrying handle, Cooler Master has a definitive winner in their product line, one that I wouldn’t be surprised to obtain a variety of design awards in this category. While not cheap at $189, CM Storm Trooper offers an excellent price performance ratio in this category.

Pros

  • absolutely gorgeous
  • good airflow thanks to its four powerful fans
  • good cable management
  • large and spacious, accommodating even XL ATX and long graphic cards
  • excellent build quality with a rubberized design
  • strong handle if you need to carry it around
  • large number of drive bays, including 4 SSDs and 8 3.5″ harddrive bays
  • USB 3.0 support
  • full fan control

Cons

  • rather heavy even when empty, but this is also an indicator of the build quality so no major complaints here

Gallery

We posted quite a large number of Cm Storm Trooper photos, so be sure to check out our photo gallery. You wont’t be disappointed.

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  • A pity that no-one, including Cooler Master, cares to specify the type of SATA connection that the X-Dock has – this, in my mind, is crucial to its usefulness or not. Is it SATA3 (6GB/s) compatible?

  • Marc Thomas

    Great review! Mine is arriving today.

  • Berry Leeuwenhaag

    please cleanup your cable mess it is still shit even with the cable management options

    Chao, The Roaring Lion

  • nyalalam nyalalam

    The case is so heavy that the handle is pretty much pointless. You have to cart this thing around.

  • Nekrozys

    It supports up to 43 kg (around 96lb) so good luck filling it so that you can’t lift it anymore.