CM Storm Scout 2 Case ReviewBluePanda - October 11, 2012
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Getting inside this case is like getting inside its brain – let’s go ahead and see what it is thinking. Like most modern cases, there is a large cut out for access to the rear of the mobo for easy CPU cooler mounting or re-mounting. As well, there are grommeted pass-throughs for cables, so as long as there is enough room on the backside, cable management will be clean. Although the case looks a bit “naked” without the side panels on, the innards aren’t disappointing by any means. It’s got a pretty standard layout, with the powder coated black paintjob and printing for standoff positions.
There’s a lot of room here on the back side, surprisingly – I’ll show you a top-down shot ahead. The cables are pre-routed very nicely and gives the case a clean feel. I like the thought put into this case, as it’s ready for me to wire up rather than being just thrown together. There are plenty of spots cut out for me to zip-tie cables back here and keep things from showing on the other side. I’m not as ADD about cables as I used to be (reviewing several cases will make you care less), but I still love me a clean built case. I think this one will be just that.
Here’s a little closer look for you to approximate the amount of clearance on the back side for cable management. The lack of HDD cradles gives a ton of cramming room if need be. There’s just a lot of space behind the mobo tray compared to many cases. On top of that, the panel bows out a bit to allow for some additional overlap – I don’t think it will be an issue trying to get even a fully-cabled PSU routed back here.
Back to inside the case – looking up top at the external mounting for drives, I already find myself overjoyed. Rather than having to go find some screws to force-fit into tiny holes, you get a quick lock/unlock switch to mount drives. There are screws to be inserted on the reverse side if you need additional support, but in most cases, you won't absolutely need to find them unless you decide to pick up a front-mounted reservoir for water cooling down the road.
Inside the HDD cage, there is a single drive caddy – I’m guessing it’s different than the others. Taking a better look, I find mounting options for an SSD. The rest of your HDDs will mount with classic drive rails that sit in with pins on the side of your drives (there are pictures of these ahead). If you are looking closely in this first shot, you also might notice some screws on the side of the HDD cage – like most cases, this one has the ability to reduce to a half stack. Panning out, you can see there is room for seven HDDs with both the top and bottom cages in place. The cages are very open and allow for both cable routing space, as well as plenty of air flow between the drives.
Looking carefully at this picture, though it’s hard to tell, there are no fans mounted in the front of the case. Unfortunately, you only get the rear fan with the Scout 2, though there are plenty of places to add more. For the price of the case, I can’t really complain about getting only one fan. There seems to be a lot of holes cut out for decent airflow without the need for fans anyway. I guess we’ll really see how it does in testing.
Going back to those screws on the side of the HDD cages – removing the two on the left (and a little one on the back side) will allow the side of the upper cage to come out. Rather than storing an entire cage somewhere, you only need to find room for this little piece. I find it pretty nifty. It’s held in with case screws, so if you have a couple extra ones from a previous build, you can easily make this quick change. I don’t think this is something you would be periodically taking in or out, though. Either way, it pops right out and stows away nicely, giving you plenty of room for long video cards or just the extra space if you don’t have 7 HDDs to put in.
Laying the case down on its side, we can get a little peak at the top on the inside. Here, there’s room for a couple 120 mm fans or perhaps a small radiator of your choice. The top has a neat little fan filter to keep all the cat hair and dust bunnies out of your case and allows you to clean it without much effort. As with most cases today, the filters are removable. There are six tabs under here for you to squeeze together and allow the filter to pop out the top of the case. Pulling from the top won’t get you far otherwise. Once removed, you can see that there’s little to block air flow. Otherwise, it’s pretty easy to add fans up here – even the handle doesn’t get in the way of installation. When you are done adding things or looking around, you can simply slide the filter back and give it a good push into place. The clips click rather loudly – you almost feel like you are breaking them.
Taking a look at the bottom of the case, you will find the standard CM feet installed. Nice foam dampers keep your case from scratching wooden floors and helps with the slight uneven surfaces you may have, as the foam compresses nicely to keep the case from rocking. There’s even some room for yet another fan (though without a filter). The PSU spot gets its own fan filter on the bottom, so even with all that floor air, you’re sure to have a rather clean-aired system. The filter does come all the way out, so you can rinse it in the sink if need be, though I’m a bit concerned if you need to…
Getting to the fun bits that come with the case, there isn’t a whole lot to be excited about, but more than enough to build with. I’ve already shown you the SSD tray and classic HDD rails that still make adding drives incredibly easy, but there are actually 5 more sets of drive rails included with the case. You also get my favorite little motherboard speaker, as well as a bunch of zip ties. Zip ties always make it easy to build a clean case and with the monstrous amounts of room on the back side, it’s even easier. There doesn't seem to be a lot of screws in the picture, but you do get everything you need – you even get the standoff tool to ensure you get them in nice and tight.
Throwing it all together wasn’t too bad. This was probably one of the easier builds I’ve done in a while. Either I’ve built just too many or, more likely, this case is just well designed. The grommet cable pass-throughs are sized adequately to fit plenty of cables through to the backside, hiding even the un-needed ones. There is a lot of room on the back side, though a lot of my mess still managed to get crammed into the HDD cage – it’s just where the cables naturally want to go. Get a few more drives in there and you can easily hide these. At this point, all that’s left to do is plug in the power for the video card and get this thing up and running…
Closed up, you can see the small window. I always talk about windowed vs. non-windowed side panels on cases and though you can’t show off all your components in this one, you can at least get a quick glance in to see how things are going. It also has a nice tint, to really match the rest of the case aesthetics. Powered up, there is a slight glow of red from the rear fan and the little HDD indicator on the front. It is really subtle, but if you don’t want the fan light on the back – you can just turn it off. Overall, it’s just a damn fine case.