CoolerMaster Storm Sniper Black Edition ReviewCompxpert - November 11, 2009
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As I look at this, I'm already impressed with the layout. Everything is almost symmetrical in a way, because of the layout on the top. In fact, let's talk about the top. The top sports an awesome 200mm LED fan. I really like the effect the mesh puts over top the fan. It even forces the air out from the front portion of the opening, which feels like a nice breeze. The LEDs on the case fans, which consist of top, side and front, are all blue. The top fan runs at 500 - 1000rpm at only 17 - 23 dBA, which in my opinion is pretty quiet.. So why the 500 - 1000rpm? Well, all three LED fans are driven by a fan controller that CoolerMaster included, which is already set up. Just plug in and the fans work.
Also sporting alongside the fan controller are a lot of nice features, but I'll talk about those in the next paragraph. The side panel also comes with a fan, which features the same specs as the top fan, also running at 500 - 1000rpm at 17 - 23dBA. The side panel is completely mesh, but upon looking at CoolerMaster's site, I also found a window version. However, it would seem the window version doesn't include a side fan. On the back of the case you'll notice two ports at the top for WC tubes. Heck, there are some on the bottom too, if you want another radiator in the rear. The top also supports a dual 120mm fan setup for a radiator. I really like this, because that gives really great water cooling potential.
The PSU also mounts on the bottom of the case, which makes access easy for a 120mm radiator mount. If you're really into that, I will tell you something that is also very awesome in the next paragraph. Apart from that, the only things worth mentioning on the back are the full set of seven expansion slots and over on the side of that, you can also see the included Storm Guard™, as I mentioned in my last mouse review of the CoolerMaster Storm Sentential. As mentioned in that review, the case comes with essentially a locking device of CoolerMaster's own design. What the Storm Guard™ does, is that allows you to secure up to three devices with a USB cord or similar thickness into a PCI slot, which then keeps them there. So unless someone picks the lock on the side of your case at a LAN, no-one can get the devices out. Additionally, there is a 120mm fan on the rear panel, which sadly is the only fan featured on the case that isn't LED, but that isn't really that bad considering how inexpensive fans are. The fan runs nicely at 1200rpm with 7 dBA. Apart from that, there isn't much else to say here. I suppose though, that the other side of the case does look very nice - especially the CM Storm logo on the side.
As I said in the last paragraph, I will talk more about the front panel connections. But first, I will talk about the fan controller. The fan controller is a fully adjustable knob, which is clearly labeled for slow, medium, and fast. Also in the center of it is a button that allows you to turn on and off the LEDs on the fans. Next to the fan controller on the left is the power button. I really like how it's the same size as the button next to it. It makes it look like CoolerMaster spent time to make things really neat and organized on this case. On to the front panel. Something you won't find on many cases is a FireWire port. Also featured is the ever-popular eSATA connection. Apart from that though, you have the standard arrangement of USB ports and MIC and Headphone connections. Here you also have a HDD indicator LED and Power LED.
The front of this is also a nice polished looking black aluminum. Keeping consistent specs with all but the rear fan, the front fan is also the same as the top and bottom in terms of specifications, since it is also sporting 500 - 1000rpm at 17 - 23dBA. Moving on, you can see the top of the case with the top panel removed, showing the 200mm fan, but also showing the holes for a dual 120mm radiator. Finally, note the awesome feature of movable feet. Also inside the box of hardware are regular rubber feet in case this isn't to your taste.
So here is the front of the case. As you may notice, there are a total of five 5.25" bays, one of these being able to convert to a 3.5" bay. I really like that this is provided, so one can use either an internal floppy drive or card reader if desired. Here you can also see the awesomeness of the front 200mm fan.
So you've seen the outside of the case, but what about the inside? Let's move on.