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Product : Stacker STC-T01
Company : Cooler Master
Author : Mark 'Ratchet' Thorne
Editor : Robin 'roki' Kim
Date : June 18th, 2004

Conclusion

There is one additional thing that I would like to mention before wrapping this up. Cooler Master has recently announced a new liquid cooling product called the Aquagate ALC-U01. Essentially the Aquagate is a liquid cooling system designed to either mount inside your computer case in two of the 5" bays, or alternatively sit somewhere outside the case. Apparently the Stacker has been designed with this unit in mind because not only is there a ton of 5" drive bays to mount the Aquagate, it can also mount internally in the secondary PSU bay. If you are considering the Aquagate, then you may also want to look closely at the Stacker.

The Stacker isn't for everyone. It's large, heavy, and has some issues that make you wonder what Cooler Master was thinking when they designed it. You might think I'm exaggerating, but the faceplates are so unbelievably hard to remove that I feel I need to mention it here again. You also can't remove the removable motherboard tray unless you first take off both side panels, then loosen no less than 15 screws. The drive rails also need to have both side panels off if you need to get at their locking mechanisms. Finally, I was really disappointed in the packaging materials Cooler Master used. Maybe I was expecting a little more, but the results of the cross-continental trip speak for themselves.

As a server case it would be nice to stuff it with a bunch of hard drives or CD burners and show it off out in the lobby of a web design house to impress the customers. It is second to none for a user like myself who is looking for a big, stylish case that you aren't embarrassed to have sitting on your floor. I can't say enough how good the silver and black combined with the unobtrusive metal mesh looks. For a hardcore user with an exotic power-hungry cooling setup, the Stacker's ability to house two power supply units plus the sheer volume of space inside leaves little other choice.

The Stacker is relatively expensive, but thanks to its future-proof design and solid construction it may very well be the last case you would need to buy for a long time.

Verdict

Overall Score
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
The Good
  • Stylish
  • Innovative
  • Room for everything and anything
  • Future-proof (supports BTX standard)
  • Dual-PSU bays
  • Rock solid construction
  • Good cooling performance
  • Removable motherboard tray
  • Castors and feet included
  • Tool-free 5¼" drive bays
  • Quiet. Low speed fans and isolated 3½" drive cage.
  • Love the metal mesh
The Bad
  • Fairly expensive
  • Relatively heavy
  • Faceplates are extremely difficult to remove
  • Too many screws in the removable motherboard tray
  • Weak packaging
  • A floppy compatible bay converter would have been nice





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