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Cooler Master CSX Stacker 830 Red Flame Edition Review

ccokeman    -   March 18, 2009
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Conclusion:

Cooler Master and Smooth Creations have produced a masterpiece - this is one of the cases I have drooled over for the past year and a half, ever since I saw one similar to it at the AMD Spider Platform launch in November of 2007. The chassis used on this case is the venerable Cooler Master Stacker 830. Cooler Master and Smooth Creations have created a limited amount of these cases based on the Stacker 830 Evolution series case. Being a Limited Edition piece of artwork means that the $200 initial price of the vanilla Stacker 830 Evolution case is lifted to the $600 range for this particular case - but you get what you pay for. The artwork on each of these cases is done by hand, so while you may have a 1 in 400 Limited Edition piece, each one will be slightly different due to the hand painted variances. This means in all reality that no one else will have one just like yours. That alone is worth the price of admission into the club of CSX ownership, complete with a certificate of authenticity to boot. If you are building that special rig why house it in a case that is not indicative of the quality of the rest of your components? Once you get past the artwork, you are left with the chassis itself. The Cooler Master Stacker 830 Evolution series are tried and true performers. The chassis is a combination of aluminum and plastic. With the stock configuration, it was dead silent and offered plenty of fan options to increase airflow. From the fan panel that will house four 120 mm fans to the roof top that can handle a couple more, plus the addition of additional HDD cages for another fan up front, you can get the chassis to flow pretty darn well. You would think all of these options would be covered at some point on a case of this stature, but they sadly were not. Only two fans came with this beautiful case from Cooler Master and CSX, and one was blue - a total faux pas if you ask me. The chassis uses several means to keep from having the beer can rattles you get from some cases that will go unnamed at this point. The removable motherboard tray has plastic rails that keep noise to minimum as well as insulating foam strips and locking connectors on the back side of the tray where it contacts the chassis, again reducing noise and vibration. The nice thing here about the removable motherboard tray is that you can install your large heatsink on the motherboard and have it slide in just as it was meant to - sweet! The Stacker 830 only has tool less functionality on the 5.25" bay devices. Not that it is a deal breaker, because most - if not all - of the tool less expansion slot brackets fail to work with dual slot video cards. On the flip side, the fan panel that mounts on the side of the chassis does not fit with tall tower type heatsinks, and the optional blower fan will not work with video cards longer than 12".

The temperatures delivered by the chassis in stock condition were not stellar, but were far from being what I would consider dangerous. For those running a stock system, this really presents no challenges to you. But, if you work on the jagged edge of the fence, the airflow will need some improvement via the addition of more fans or a water cooling setup - something the chassis will accept without too much work, and can be customized to suit your ultimate needs. Awesome artwork and an excellent chassis make this case a high-end purchase, but well worth it for those of us that like something a bit unique! Cooler Master and CSX offer up additional designs so this is not just a one trick pony, so choose the one you like and make a one-off piece for yourself.

 

Pros:

  • Incredible artwork
  • Limited Edition status
  • Cooler Master 830 chassis
  • Removable motherboard tray
  • Tool less drive bays(5.25" only)
  • Aluminum chassis
  • Ease of assembly
  • Room for large heatsinks
  • Cooling potential

 

Cons:

  • Price
  • Fan panel good for low profile heatsinks only
  • Need grill instead of plexi for side fan functionality
  • Blue front fan
  • Two fans included

 

OCC Gold



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Case)
  3. Closer Look (Working Components)
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing (Setup & Results)
  6. Conclusion
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