Cooler Master Storm Trooper Review

Product: Cooler Master Storm Trooper
Company: Cooler Master
Author: Nicholas Conroy
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: June 18th, 2012

A Closer Look

A good place to start is at the top, so let’s take a look at the I/O Panel:

The I/O ports and buttons are all very well organized and aesthetically pleasing. Nearly half the I/O panel is taken up by a large power button that seems to be taking its inspiration from Lamborghini’s Aventador. USB 3.0 and eSATA are good to see, though considering the Trooper’s position in the case market and it would be almost absurd if these ports were not included. The combination of two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports should be adequate for most people, though there are many other full towers out there with more ports to offer. The absence of an IEEE 1394 port is disappointing though not a deal breaker. Up top we find a six speed fan controller that also has the ability to turn off the LEDs in the included fans. While the power and reset buttons have a nice meaty feeling to them, the three buttons for the fan controller are less satisfying to use and are at best average quality. Overall everything up here feels very well designed and constructed.

While we have the top cover off, we should take a look at the carrying handles. Both the front and rear handles are made out of thick steel riveted to the top of the chassis. The edges of the steel have been folded over to prevent any potential sharp edges and the front handle is completely encased in a polymer. While this all very nice and sturdy, it does nix any plans you may have had to mount a radiator under the top cover unless you do not want the handles and are willing to pull out the Dremel.

We should look at the top cover itself before we move on. Besides the cover we also find a removable dust filter for any top mounted fans. The filter is very easy to pull off but has clips in place to prevent it coming loose when moving the chassis. The top cover itself is made from steel mesh and thick plastic with a rubber-like coating. While the shell of the cover certainly feels like it can take a lot of abuse, the set of plastic tabs that hold the cover to the top of the case certainly do not. This seems to be a design that Cooler Master reuses for any case that has a removable top. These tabs always feel like they are on the verge of breaking if too much force is applied making the process of removing the top cover somewhat sketchy.

Down on the bottom we find also removable dust filters for both the bottom mounted PSU and dual 120mm fan vents. While these filters seem very good at first glance, it quickly becomes apparent that, because of the way the filters click in place, it is difficult to actually remove these filters without tipping the chassis on its side. The Trooper’s manual also gives the somewhat confusing impression that the dust filter should be left off should you decide to actually install fans down here. Closer inspection reveals that despite what the manual says, there is enough clearance between the head of any fan screws and the bottom edge of the filter, so we can only mark this up to an oversight while writing the instructions.

Before we move on to the interior, there is one more trick on the outside that the Trooper has to show us.

Underneath the large CM Storm logo on the front we find a good sized parts box held in place with a pair of screws. Inside we find the standard set of additional parts and screws that normally come packed in a cardboard box tied to the inside of the case. The bag itself contains screws for 2.5” and 3.5” drives as well as a set of thumbscrews for 5.25” drives. Also included are motherboard standoffs, a side panel lock buckle, a two-piece 5.25” to 3.5” adapter for external drives, PSU screws, 8 pin power supply extension cable, motherboard buzzer, cable ties, and eight long screws for installation of any side panel fans. There really isn’t anything missing from the package that you’d need with the exception of perhaps a screwdriver though you should already have one of those, right?

Now let’s move on to the interior!