Cooler Master Storm Scout Review

damian - 2009-04-16 15:08:49 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: damian   
Reviewed on: May 21, 2009
Price: $109.99

Introduction:

Choosing a new case can be a simple task, a few easy steps can be to inspect the interior and exterior, make sure it has a proper cooling system, and most of all, make sure it fits your needs. If you're an average Joe, maybe any case will suffice...maybe. Some enthusiasts prefer full tower cases to house all of their expensive gear, or maybe they'd settle for a tech station. Now, if you're a gamer, specifically an avid LAN gamer, you might be in luck. Today we will be looking at another offering from Cooler Master's Storm lineup. In case you didn't know, both the Storm Sniper and Storm Scout are engineered with Storm Tactics, a dedicated focus on strength, security, and control. The Storm line from Cooler Master assists in offering true LAN-ready gaming chassis, specializing in mobilization and security. Let's take a closer look and see if Cooler Master can back up its words.

Closer Look:

The Cooler Master Storm Scout comes shipped in a large box with a law enforcement-style theme. The front of the box features the front panel of the Scout case along with the Cooler Master Storm logo and motto, "Swift Intelligence - Secure Mobilization." The back of the box has a figure that reminds me of a character from the game Killzone. The top left hand corner has a Storm Tactics approval label; this ensures unbeatable, secure reliability. At the bottom left hand corner are approvals from professional gaming teams, which include Team Fanatic, Kode5, and MouseSports. Last, but not least, you have the features of the case, as well as a few pictures. The specifications table is located to the side of the case, as well as a full body shot of the case to opposite side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The packaging is like that of any other case, it comes packed with Styrofoam on each end to protect the case during shipping, and comes wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent scratches or harm.

 

 

Along with the Scout case, you also get an installation manual, bags of assorted screws, zip ties, washers, 5.25" to 3.5" meshed panel, sliding rails, and two HDD brackets.

Closer Look:

As you can see, the front of the case features five exposed 5.25" drive bays, and one exposed 3.5" drive bay. At the very top are the ports of the case, and a convenient handle to assist in easy transportation. The back of the case has seven expansion slots, with one having a special curve design to allow wires to be fed through. Located above the expansion slots is where the I/O shield would go, and a 120mm fan. At the very bottom is where the power supply would be installed. The left side of the case features a clear side panel with a large vent to the left of the side panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


On top of the case is where the most appreciation might lie. Located on the top of the Cooler Master Scout is handle bar to help ease transportation of the case and its components. Unlike most low quality LAN cases with a handle bar, the Scout excels in this area, using a reinforced plastic material that makes it a strong and sturdy handle. The bottom of the case has a large vent area where the power supply would be installed. There is a surplus in connectivity to the front of the case, including three USB 2.0 ports, standard eSATA connectivity, a microphone and headphone jack, power and reset buttons, HDD LED and power LED, as well as an on/off LED switch for the front 140mm fan. Located at the end of the case is a 120mm fan.

 

 

Closer Look: 

The interior and exterior of the Scout case are coated with an all-black finish. There are also plenty of holes in the motherboard tray for easy cable management. When the front panel is taken off, the 140mm red LED fan is revealed, as well as the hidden drive bays. It's also worth noting that the removable front panel includes dust filters for the drive bays and the fan area. The hole that is seen in the motherboard tray is a godsend for those who use bolt-on heatsinks or water blocks to cool their CPUs. It may not be the perfect cutout for every board and application, but thought was put into this opening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Scout features an all tool-less system; this includes the top drive bays, hard drives, and expansion slots. When first installing a drive, don't be afraid to give it a good push. At first, I thought my Lite-On DVD drive was just too big to fit, but giving it a good push fixed this. I was not too fond of the tool-less expansion slots. It might cause a problem for heavier graphics cards. The plastic is also somewhat flimsy, and caused problems down the road which I will note in the conclusion. The main problem comes when using video cards that do not have room at the front of the card to accommodate the locking mechanism

 

 

Included with Scout are the standard case wires, such as the front headers, two USB cables, audio, and the not-so-standard eSATA cable.

 

At the bottom of the case is where the power supply would be installed. There are four standoffs for the power supply, two metal brackets at the top for secure installation, and a large dust filter. 

 

Included in the case are two 120mm fans rated at 12V.

 

 

With everything installed in the case there was plenty of room to store any leftover connectors from the power supply. It was only at the top of the case where things started to get a little cramped.

 

Now that we have inspected the case in and out, let's check out its performance.

Specifications:

Model
SGC-2000-KKN1-GP
Available Color
Black/All-Black Interior
Material
Steel, ABS Plastic, PC, Mesh bezel
Dimension

(D)489 x (W)219 X (H)495.5 mm (D)19.2 x (W)8.6 x (H)19.5 inch

Weight
8.7 kg / 19.23 lbs
M/B Type
Micro-ATX/ATX

5.25" Drive Bay

5 Exposed (without the use of exposed 3.5 inch Drive Bay)

3.5" Drive Bay

5 Hidden 1 Exposed (converted from one 5.25 inch Drive Bay)

2.5" Drive Bay

1 Hidden (converted from one 3.5 inch Drive Bay)
Cooling System

Front: 140mm Red LED Fan x 1 (included)
Top: 40mm Fan x 1 (included) or 120mm Fan x 1 (optional)
Rear: 120mm Red LED Fan x 1 (included)

Expansion Slots
Standard x 7, Special x 1
Power Supply
Standard ATX PS2 (optional)
Included Accessory
1.8 or 2.5 to 3.5 inch mounting bracket for SSD or HDD
UPC Code
884102004537

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Cooler Master @ http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?category_id=1665&product_id=2912

Testing:

In order to properly test the Cooler Master Scout, I will gather temperatures for the processor, chipset, hard drive, and the video card during their idle phase and load phase. To record idle temperatures I will leave the computer running for fifteen minutes with little to no stress whatsoever. Next, I will simulate a load using Prime 95 with small FFTs and HDTune simultaneously for thirty minutes. Next, I will use ATITool's built in stability test to load the video card. I will be using the latest version of HWMonitor to help monitor temperatures. Ambient temperatures during testing were 22 degrees Celsius.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Cases:

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a mid-tower case and stock cooling in all departments, the Cooler Master Scout did a great job at cooling across all fields, from the processor to chipset testing. It was able to win four out of eight tests, and provided close competition to the Cooler Master HAF 922 - even outperforming it in some of the areas of testing. Hard drive cooling seems to be the Scout's specialty, it was able to cool it down better than any other case, and it's no doubt the included 140mm front fan was a big help.

Conclusion:

The Cooler Master Scout performed exceedingly well; it was even able to give the HAF 922 some competition. Depending on what you're interested in, the Scout offers impressive features that any gamer would enjoy - for one, its promised ease of mobilization. The included handle bar is of Grade "A" quality, and should do well for transportation to and from LAN events. Cable management was an easy task with the Scout case; there are a few cutouts in the motherboard tray to route any leftover cables or connectors. Cooling was also taken care of with the help of the three included fans, with one 120mm fan at the back of the case, one 140mm fan at the top of the case and lastly, one 140mm fan in the front of the case - which I should mention was screwed too tightly to even come off. My biggest concern with the case, though, was with the expansion slots. Cooler Master decided to use a tool-less system, which is fine for most video cards, but the problem I ran into was that it couldn't support the GTX 260 with the material used. The plastic material was not quite sturdy enough, during the testing part of it just snapped right off. This is definitely not a good sign if you plan on using large or heavy video cards, but the standard solution to the problem would be to attach the card with a screw. While the Scout has its share of disadvantages, it's still a great solution for anyone that is looking for a decent mid-tower case capable of easy transportation and great cooling.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: