CM Storm Stryker Case ReviewBluePanda - September 13, 2012
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Out of the box, it is much like any other CM case I've dealt with – solid and sturdy. It's something you could make a chair out of or a nice end table. It's well built and has a bit of weight to it to prove it. It does look much like the Trooper and I hate to keep talking about the Trooper, but that is what it is – really just a white version with a different name. The windowed side panel gives a nice view to see what is going on inside. You can practically see your full motherboard, which makes it easy to look for LED codes when trouble arises. You can also show off what you have – or what you don't have. There is a little bit of doubled over mesh to allow air movement through on the HDD fans and keep flow through the case. The back side has the same double mesh pattern to allow the flow, literally, through the case.
The front of the case looks a little more trooper-esque to me. The raised handled and grooved "head" really puts on a mask that gets me in the mood to watch a little Empire Strikes Back tonight. It is a really clean look and despite my hate for glossy cases, I'm finding a liking to this one. The back has three grommet ports for water tubes or whatever you may need to route in or out of the case. A 140mm white fan is mounted stock with the case, but if you felt the need to downsize, there are holes for a 120mm fan as well (which works nicely with single-bay water reservoirs). The PCIe slots have a nice black accented finish and really make the case what it is. Same with the "Storm Guard" to protect your valuable peripherals from thieves (it at least makes them work a bit more for it).
The case looks really nice from just about every angle. Even cutting off the bottom edge in this first shot makes you smile at the case. The top portion of the case really makes it what it is. The prominent handle that swoops off to vented holes, a well-blended white paint job, and neat black-accented buttons/controls. It's a sexy little thing and you know it. Moving in a little closer, you can see the neat, almost hidden, X-dock. It's a quick hot-swap bay for you SSD lovers – that to me is wondrous. I do apologize, however, for the bubbled plastic still on the little door flap – I couldn't seem to get the plastic off prior to snapping the photo. The front I/O panel is where I found my first difference between the Styrker and Trooper. You can even see the blank space that makes it blatantly obvious. There is no longer an eSATA port up here on the front – no big deal really, but I'm surprised at the loss. The rest is the same, with the audio ports, 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, and reset switch. The massive power button with smiley face fan controller remains – you can see this powered on just a bit further.
Looking at the top of the case, you can finally see all the mesh and cutouts I've been talking about. The handle there has some serous grip with a rubber feel and little finger ridges like a golf club. It feels tough and durable, and I have a feeling it'll be there for a long time. Stryker is carefully printed on the center peak of the case, just behind the handle. The blacked out mesh openings make for a really nice touch on top here. I'm seeing some serious modding options already – simply changing mesh colors can give this case a whole new feel.
Continuing down the back end of the case, there seems to be a handle-like structure sticking out. Recalling from the Trooper, it isn't a handle – well at least not a carrying handle. A slight tug and it reveals itself as a fan filter for the massive top fan – easy to clean and put right back in. For once you might actually clean out the dust bunnies from your case. It is really easy to slide in and out, so there are no excuses to your case being "gunked" up. There are even a couple filters on the bottom of the case to help with the same issue (I'll show you those a little later).
There's a lot to the Stryker – I've shown you most of the outside features, so let's get a look inside. Move to the next page for more!