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Cooler Master CM Storm Scout II Advanced review

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Cooler Master CM Storm Scout II Advanced Review
Introduction

CM Storm is a sub division of the well known Cooler Master which make gamer oriented products along with the usual cheesy introductions. CM Storm make a range of products from the Scout and Trooper cases to peripherals like the Inferno and Sentinel mice, Sirus and Ceres headset and the Quickfire and trigger keyboards.
CM Storm currently have three cases in the Storm range. This includes the Enforcer, Scout II (which I will be reviewing here) and the Trooper/Stryker.
This is taken from CM Storm's website:

Owning the PC trenches for almost two decades, Cooler Master's veterans present their scars from battles past as claims over the competition. United with a new generation of eSports athletes and engineers, now marching under the flag of CM Storm, the time has come to reveal ground-breaking, military grade hardware for the gaming revolution.
Through long-standing research programs, Cm Storm is co-developed with the world's most prolific enthusiasts and eSports prodigies. Thanks to intensive testing and continuous feedback, the CM Storm division has been able to encompass and improve upon gamers' needs and their tough to handle scenarios.
By working directly with the gaming community we have injected our Storm Tactics into each and every product we make. Storm Tactics, with a heavily dedicated focus on Strength, Security and Control, will keep your most vital gear fortified and well tuned at all times.
2008 marks a new era for Cooler Master, as its fierce Storm Gear stands ready at bay to mobilize and back up your gaming skills.
CM Storm – Arming the Gaming Revolution

Today I will be reviewing the Cooler Master CM Storm Scout II Advanced in Gun Metal Grey. This is the second in the Scout series of case from the gaming arm of Cooler Master, CM Storm. This is a mid tower with a handle to help you carry the case to LAN parties etc.

Specifications

Materials
Appearance: Polymer, Coated Steel Mesh and Body
Dimensions (W x H x D)
230 x 513 x 517.5mm / 9.1 x 20.2 x 20.5 inch
Net Weight
8.56 kg / 18.87 lbs
Motherboard Type - Micro-ATX, ATX
5.25" Drive Bays - 3 (exposed)
3.5" Drive Bays - 7 (hidden)
2.5" Drive Bays - 4 (converted from 3.5" drive bays)
I/O Panel - USB 3.0 x 2 (int.), USB 2.0 x 2, Mic x 1, Audio x 1 (supports AC97 / HD Audio)
Expansion Slots - 7
Cooling System -
Top:120mm fan x 2 (optional)
Front:120mm red LED fan x 2 (with LED on/off function)
Rear:120mm black fan x 1
Bottom:120mm fan x 1 (optional)
Side:120mm fan x 2 (optional)
HDD cage:120mm fan x 1 (optional)
Power Supply Type - Standard ATX PS2
Maximum Compatibility - VGA card length: 287mm / 11.3 inch (with HDD cage); 399mm / 15.7 inch (without HDD cage) CPU cooler height: 162mm / 6.4 inch
The specs for this case are impressive for a mid tower. With support for M-ATX and ATX motherboards, room for all the biggest custom cooled graphics cards all in a case made easily portable thanks to its handle.

Packaging

The case comes in a box showing three cases in formation with some spec op soldiers behind. The colours are a dark stealthy colour to keep in theme with the case.

The side of the case has a big table showing the specifications of the case.

The back of the box has a diagram of the main points of the case. At the bottom is the points translated into seven other languages.

These include the 7 expansion slots, the steel reinforced handle and the three pre installed fans.

Taking the case out of the box, you can see that it comes in a plastic bag to protect against scratches and polystyrene at each end to protect against bangs and knocks.

Exterior

Starting on the left side, you can see the indentation where the two 120mm fan mounts and the grey window are. At the top you can see the side of the handle which can be used from the side or the top.

The front features a honeycomb mesh with a finer mesh over the top. There is room for 2 120mm fans here. 2 come at stock with red LEDs. There are 3 5.25 bays here for disc drives/fan controllers etc. These feature a screw less design but more on that later. The whole front can be pulled off by lifting the case and pulling from the bottom. The little gap at the top is your HDD activity light which looks a bit out of place with the red fans right below it.

Removing the front cover you can see the 2 120mm fans. They are clear with red fans. There is a convenient hole on the right for the fan cables of which there are 2 for each stock fan. One for power for the fan which goes to the motherboard and another for the LED power which connects to a cable in the front panel to allow you to switch the lights on and off to your hearts content.

Moving onto the back there is a 120mm fan mount with a fan supplied. At the top is a couple of water cooling holes to mount external radiators. However I believe these have been added more as something to add to the selling list than something of use. There is very little room on top due to the handle and there is no reason to use one on the back as there is enough room on the inside. There is no room inside for custom water cooling so there is no need for these holes.
Anyway under the fan mount you can see the 7+1 expansion slots. The +1 on the right has a special cover that has been designed to help when going to LANs etc. The idea is that you thread your cables from your mouse and keyboard etc through the holes so that no-one can snatch them and run.
Then at the bottom we have a standard ATX PSU slot.

Here you can see there is more of the honeycomb design on the top of the case. This is removable to allow you to install fans above the motherboard. The handle is made to support up to 30KG of weight so plenty strong enough for what you can fit in the case. At the front there is the power button, reset button and a button to allow you to turn on and off the LEDs on the fans supplied at the front at stock. And then in front of these buttons is the front panel which holds a mic port, headphone port, 2 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 ports.



The right side is a plain door with an indentation to give more room internally for cable management.

And lastly on the bottom there are two fan filter. One under the PSU and one under a 120mm fan mount. The feet are aluminium with a rubber base to help stop vibrations.

Interior

The internals are your typical set-up. Motherboard with a cut out for backplates etc, and space for most PSUs. On the right is your 7 3.5 inch bays for hard drives of which you get 2 3.5-2.5 inch adaptors to allow you to install up to 4 2.5 inch HDD/SSD. There are cable cut outs with rubber grommets for your cable management at the bottom and the side. There are none at the top due to there being very little room for anything. I couldn't even install any fans up top once I had installed the motherboard and cables. At the back you can see the 7 expansion slots and the 120mm fan above them.

The top cage can be dismantled to allow GPUs over 287mm in length while sacrificing 4 bays. It is held on by 4 screws and then simply pulls out Above this is the 3 5.25 bays for disc drives and the like. These are tool less and use a simple but effective clip to hold your drives in place.

At the top here you can see the mounts for the top 2 120mm fans. However as mentioned earlier I could not mount fans internally after everything else was installed. If you wanted fans up top, you would have to remove the top mesh and install the fans externally but this would leave very little room between the fans and the handle so you would have to pick one or the other.

Installing SSDs/2.5 inch HDDs is simple enough. You place it on one of the 2 supplied converters and screw it on. You then put a rail on either side, simply clip it into place and you're done. 3.5inch HDDs are even easier, you put rails on either side and clip it in. Done.

Build

Now for the best bit, the build.
Installed here I have a fairly high end rig.
Specifications include:
Maximus V Extreme (EATX)
i5 3570K CPU with Coolit AIO cooler
Asus GTX 680 DCII GPU
Corsair AX850 PSU
16GB Kingston HyperX Genesis 1600Mhz RAM
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB SSD
Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB HDD
Now I have to point out that the cable management was my fault due to using an EATX board not an ATX board as I didn't have one to hand at the time. Otherwise the grommets on the side would have been in a good position for cable management. My GPU was a couple of mm too long so I had to remove the hard drive cage wall so it would fit. This was easy enough and gave plenty of room.

At the back there is plenty of room for cable. I measured ~20mm which is plenty as you can see here even with me having to have the cables round the side of the midplate due to me using a board that is too big. The cables for the front ports is plenty long enough.

One last picture of the side panel window if you excuse my ugly mug. I found the lights on my motherboard gave the inside a nice red tint through the window. I do however think that if you were to use a big air cooling tower that it would take up the entire window so it maybe could have been a bit bigger.

Testing
I did a bit of testing but due to this being my first case review it simply shows how well it cools rather than how it cools compared to other cases.
After an hour of prime95 at stock, the CPU topped out at a Delta of 37 degrees Celsius.
After an hour of prime95 at 4.4Ghz @1.32V, the CPU topped out at a Delta of 51 degrees Celsius.
To test my GPU I ran 3DMark11 and looped it for an hour.
At the stock speeds of 1086Mhz, it topped out at a Delta of 70 Degrees Celsius.
When over clocked to speeds of 1200Mhz, it topped out at a Delta of 74 Degrees Celsius.

Conclusion
I am very pleased with this case with only one real niggle and that is not being able to install fans and cables at the top of the motherboard which I think is rather important if you have a hot GPU or other hot CPUs like a 4770K or a 9590 for example. So it needs to be made a few mm taller.
While this case can take pretty much any components including high end Z77/Z87 EATX boards that use ATX mountings and GTX 690s or HD 7990s, I wouldn't recommend using anything higher than a GTX 670/760 or an HD 7950/R9 270X in this case and I wouldn't recommend using any motherboard bigger than ATX for the cable management holes, even though it is big enough to accommodate them. If you plan to use anything higher then I would recommend buying the CM Storm Trooper/Stryker as that will give you more room and ventilation.
Another thing is that if you plan to put more than one GPU then I would recommend getting a couple of fans for the side door to feed them fresh air and help keep them cool. These are the fans pre installed in the front http://www.coolermaster.co.uk/product.php?category_id=3602&product_id=6737
Overall I like this case quite a bit. It's fairly light weight while being big enough to hold decent components. Combined with the handle on top and this case is brilliant for going to LANs or general transportation and only being under £80 I have no difficulty in recommending this case and would give it an 8/10.
It is currently available @OCUK for £79.99 http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-317-CM
I would like to say thank you to Cooler Master for sending me this case to review.
post #2 of 2
Thanks, good review. I did a build for a friend with the original Scout and it was difficult to work with due to the limited space inside. This looks like a huge improvement size wise. Have a CM Enforcer for a 2nd PC and would have gotten a Scout 2 if it was available back then just for the convenience of the carrying handle on top.
My System
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
7700k Asrock z270 Taichi GTX 1070 AMP! 16gb Vengeance 3200mhz 
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Qnix QX2710, Yamakasi DS270, Catleap 2b XFX 750W Pro CM Sniper BE SBZx 
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My System
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
7700k Asrock z270 Taichi GTX 1070 AMP! 16gb Vengeance 3200mhz 
MonitorPowerCaseAudio
Qnix QX2710, Yamakasi DS270, Catleap 2b XFX 750W Pro CM Sniper BE SBZx 
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