CM Storm Trooper Full Tower
Back in 2009 Cooler Master released the CM Storm line of cases with gamers on the go in mind. The cases had a rugged look that had form and function as well as security features for peripherals with the StormGuard system. Today we are looking at the next addition to the Storm series, the Cooler Master Storm Trooper. Sorry Star Wars fan, this case is not what you think it is.
The Storm Trooper is a full tower chassis with gamers and enthusiasts in mind. For the gamer on the go the Storm Trooper has a carry handle on the top of the case. Unlike some handles I have seen in the past the Storm Trooper handle is part of the chassis frame, and it can support up to 95lbs or 43kg. Take out the 30lbs for the case itself you are left with 65lbs for your system.
The exterior of the Storm Trooper is not what most are thinking of when they hear the name. It’s all black and has rugged looks like all the Storm series cases. What is different from Storm cases thus far is the plastic portions of the case have a rubberized coating on them. To me, this is similar to the coating that is on BitFenix cases. The coating looks nice, and does protect the plastic somewhat.
To keep things cool the Storm Trooper comes with two front intake 120mm red LED fans, a top mounted 200mm fan and a rear 140mm fan. It still has room for two side 120mm fans and two bottom 120mm fans. Out of the box the front, top, and rear can be controlled by the integrated fan controller. The front 120mm LED fans can have the LEDs turned on or off via light controls on the front panel as well.
The Storm Trooper also has reconfigurable drive cages. The drive cage area is split into two groups of 4 and can be turned independently of one another to either be oriented side to side, front to back, or removed all together to make room for more 5.25” bay devices. The drive cages all have drive trays that are tool-less for 3.5” drives, but can have 2.5” drives mounted to them. There is also a secondary remote cage for just 2.5” drives on the bottom of the case that has room for 4 drives. If that wasn’t enough there is an external drive dock at the top of the case for 2.5” drives.
For the enthusiast, there is the ability to have two internally mounted 240mm radiators in the Storm Trooper with NO loss in main 3.5” drive bays. If you’re rocking air cooling you’re covered there, as well. The Storm Trooper can support CPU coolers up to 7.3” or 186mm and video cards up to 12.7” or 322mm. Now, I have yet to see a cooler that is 7” tall; it makes me wonder what Cooler Master has cooking.
Features of the Cooler Master Storm Trooper
- The first full tower chassis with two 90 degree rotatable 4-in-3 HDD modules
- The first with an easy-to-carry handle, and hidden tool box for storing private goods
- Removable dust filters on bottom and top intakes
- A built in fan controller for cool and quiet operation
- Supports up to 13hard-drives for future upgrades
- Convenient external 2.5” HDD/SSD X-dock
- Supports high-end hardware, XL-ATX Mainboards and Quad SLI/CF with dual slot VGAs
Specifications of the Cooler Master Storm Trooper
- 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)
- CPU cooler height: 186 mm / 7.3 in
- GPU card length: 322 mm / 12.7 in
Unboxing the CM Storm Trooper
The box for the Cooler Master Storm Trooper has a nice overall image of the case front and center with an image of a SWAT team behind it.
On one side is another image of the case with a list of features.
On the other side is the list of specifications.
On the back of the box are images of the case back, side, and front with little notes pointing out features throughout the case.
Out of the box the Trooper is wrapped in a bag made from sheet foam, and cradled in foam end caps. Key shiny parts of the case were protected with plastic.
Looking Closer at the CM Storm Trooper
The Trooper is not entirely like Storm cases of the past. All the Storm series cases were mid towers; the Trooper is a full tower. The styling is still the same military feel, but more stealthy than rugged. Unlike the Storm cases of the past, all the plastic bezels of the Trooper are covered with a rubberized skin very similar to BitFenix's SofTouch.
Like the Storm Series before it, the Trooper has fan and LED controls. This time the fan controller is not a dial style control, rather, up/down buttons that adjust speed in set increments. There is a light bar that shows where you are in the high/low range. Just above the fan controller is the power button. When the system is powered up the CM Storm logo will glow. The rest of the front panel consists of power and hard drive activity lights, audio ports, two USB3 ports, two USB2 ports, eSATA, and reset button.
Up top behind the front controls are the top exhaust vents and carry handle. To me the top vent looks like the vents you would see on the side of some stealth vehicle.
The carry handle has the same rubberized coating as the side panels. It is also separate from the top bezel and attached straight to the case frame. Cooler Master says the handle is rated for 90lbs or 43kg. Take out the 30lbs for the case itself you are left with 65lbs for your system. That’s a lot of system, and at 90lbs total system weight I’d be looking for casters -- not a handle for long distance hauling.
On the back is a removable filter for the top. This slides out the back of the case and snaps in place.
Just under the front panel is the external 2.5” drive dock that Cooler Master is calling X-Dock. I think it would have been more user friendly if the dock handled 3.5” drives as well.
Under that are nine 5.25” drive bays. Six of those bays are occupied with two hard drive cages that can hold four 2.5" or 3.5" drives. Each of the bays has its own removable vented cover with mesh filter.
At the very bottom is a cover plate with the CM Storm logo on it. Behind it is a tool box for spare screws or small parts. This can also be locked into case with a user provided lock.
On the right panel is a vent that lines up with the hard drive cage. There is also a slight bulge in the side panel. This lines up with the main wire routing holes in the motherboard tray to give extra room to run wiring.
The left panel is almost a mirror image, but the bulge on the panel is all vent. The panel can also hold two 120mm fans.
Moving around to the back of the Storm Trooper at the top are 3 pass though holes with grommets. The two larger holes are tubing holes for external mounted water cooling, and the smaller hole is for running wires to external fans. Just below those is the 140mm rear exhaust fan.
In the middle are the expansion slot covers. There are 9 slots for expansion cards and 1 off to the side for the Storm Guard Peripheral lock for locking your headphones, keyboard, and mouse cables to the case.
Looking at the bottom of the case the Storm Trooper is pretty much all vent and split into two sections. The front can accommodate two 120mm fans (with tool box removed), with the filter sliding out of the front. The rear vent is for the power supply intake, and it slides out the rear of the case.
Inside the CM Storm Trooper
With the side panel off the Storm Trooper we can get a look at the inside. It looks tight at first glance, but it’s quite large. The maximum cooler height the Storm Trooper can accommodate is 7.3” or 186mm; that’s one tall CPU cooler. The Storm Trooper also handles video cards up to 12.7” or 322mm.
The power supply area has two rubber pads that the power supply can sit on to absorb vibrations.
Above that is the expansion slot covers. They are all vented and mount with thumb screws.
In front of the power supply area is a 2.5” drive cage that can hold four 2.5” drives.
In front is the tool box. In the box is where some of the accessories are packed.
The box can be locked into the case with a small pad lock to secure items.
If you remove the 2.5” drive cage and the tool box you can put a 240mm radiator in the bottom.
From the bottom of the case to the main drive cages is 3.5” so there is plenty of room for thick radiators.
The main drive cage area consists of two drive cages that hold four 2.5/3.5” hard drives each. The drive cages come mounted in such a way that they run side to side. They can be turned independently of one another, to run front to back.
The cage is held into the case with two thumb screws; with those removed it can be slid out of the case frame.
The cage mounts are attached to the frame with thumb screws. Each side of the mount has a post with rubber isolators that help keep noise down.
With the mounts turned the cage can be reinstalled to be in a traditional orientation. You can also choose not to reinstall the hard drive cage and gain 3 more 5.25” bays for devices or a reservoir for water cooling loops.
Moving around to the right we can get a look at the back of the motherboard tray. The tray has a massive CPU cutout, so not being able to get to the back of a CPU backplate shouldn’t be an issue.
The main wire routing hole at the PSU area is massive as well.
At the narrowest there is about 0.5” of space between the motherboard tray and the side panel. This is where the bulge on the panel helps.
To give a little more room the drive cages are set more to the left of the case to give plenty of room for the drive connections and wire routing.
The Storm Trooper has a fan controller on the front of the case. The fan controller can control the fan speed for a total of 5 fans (left connector); 3 of those have LED control as well (right connector).
Pulling the top bezel off we can see the PCB behind the front panel.
Here is a shot of the underside of the bezel in the area of the buttons. The system looks complicated but sturdy, so it should hold up nicely.
Behind the front panel is the main handle. The structure is all steel construction and riveted to the case frame.
At the very back of the case there is a secondary handle, also riveted to the case.
Installing Parts into the CM Storm Trooper
Cooler Master includes all that is needed to mount your system in the case, along with an 8pim power cable extension.
In the hardware bag is an assortment of screws, motherboard standoffs, side panel lock bracket, and a socket for installing the motherboard standoffs.
For the main drive cages there are drive trays. The trays are tool-less for 3.5” drives; 2.5” drives have to be mounted with screws.
Here I have a 2.5" SSD mounted to the drive tray.
Installing the system went quickly and easily. With the rather large Phanteks PH-TC14PE cooler in it there is still plenty of room left.
Though my quick install doesn't look very clean, there is plenty of space for the wiring between the motherboard tray setback and the side panel bulge. With the large opening at the power supply, getting the cables through was very easy.
With the drive trays installed from the right there is a large offset that allows for plenty of room for connections.
With the system together and fired up the LED fans are noticeable, but not overpowering.
With the system powered on the CM Storm logo on the power button glows. Under that the LED indicates the speed of the fans. The higher and brighter the light, the faster the fan. All 3 at full bright is full speed; low is a single dim light. On high the fans are livable; on low they are barely noticeable. What is noticeable is that every press of the button for both fan and LED controls is a loud beep from the controller.
Cooler Master has one nice case on their hands with the CM Storm Trooper. The overall look of the Trooper is reminiscent of the old Stacker series in the front panel, but with the stealthy style of the Storm series in the side and top panels. That is combined with one impressive list of features and cooling options out of the box with no mods.
Unlike its sibling cases, the CM Storm Trooper is a full tower rather than a midtower. With it being a full tower the Storm Trooper can accommodate large parts like XL-ATX Mainboards, CPU coolers up to 7.3” or 186mm tall, and Quad SLI/CF with video cards up to 12.7” or 322mm long. It can also hold up to two 24mm radiators without modding the case or loss of main drive cage space. Speaking of drive space the Trooper had the space for eight 2.5" or 3.5" drives in the main drive cages, and four 2.5" drives in the removable cage for a total of 12 drives.
The CM Storm Trooper also comes with a decent amount of cooling out of the box. Two 120mm front intake fans, top 200mm exhaust, and 140mm rear exhaust. With room for two more 120mm on the left side panel, and two more on the bottom. The Trooper also has filters on the top, front, and bottom of the case to help reduce dust.
To help control the fans the Trooper has a fan controller. Unlike the controllers used on past Storm cases the controller on the Trooper not a rheostat style but a button style that increases and decreases the speed in set increments. This doesn't bother me too much; what did is that the controller beeped every time the buttons are pressed. Same for the LED light controls. The beep is loud and annoying. The beep is really the only real complaint I have about the CM Storm Trooper.
The only other thing that may be an issue for some is the weight. Coming in at 30lbs the case is not the heaviest out there but it's not light. Fully loaded with drives, water cooling loop, and video cards the CM Storm Trooper could be a chore to move around, handle or not. The handle is capable of holding up to 90lbs; now, if your shoulder is up to it is another issue.
Overall, the Cooler Master Storm Trooper is a nice feature-loaded case. Coming in at $185.44 shipped on PrigceGrabber ($189.99 shipped at Newegg) it's in the high-end case price range. Other full towers in the same price range and similar style is Cooler Master's own HAF-X, HAF-932, and Antec's DF-85. None of those have the room that the Trooper has or the configurability without modding.
Legit Bottom Line: The CM Storm Trooper is a very nice, full featured full tower with tons of space and a handy dandy carry handle.