Cooler Master Storm Stryker Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

Thankfully, removing the side panel is painless. Two thumbscrews come off by hand power, and panels slide off smoothly. Now, I can truly see what is in Mr. Stryker. One of the first features that will be noticed immediately is the side mounted fans attached to the inside of the chassis rather than the side panel. This means that removal of the side panel will not require other fan disconnections. While common on many high-end cases, it is these features that set the Stryker apart from any value-oriented chassis. As seen in the picture above, this tank of a case has very little space restraints. The Cooler Master Storm Stryker can support up to XL-ATX motherboards, and allows for quite a lot of room when working with standard ATX and mATX boards. Internally, the case can hold up to 322mm in length, allowing room for the latest (and largest) graphics card.

Having a fan on the top of the case is starting to become more common. Much like the CM Storm Trooper, the Stryker includes a 200mm fan at the top with a 140mm rear exhaust fan. This will allow for more than sufficient airflow around the CPU. The large room in height allows the Stryker to house aftermarket coolers up to a maximum of 186mm. As well, there is a gigantic opening on the tray, allowing for CPU backplates. This will accommodate any aftermarket cooler you may use.

As you can tell, higher end cases separate themselves from value-based chassis by doing the little things right. A common problem in lower-priced towers is the lack of vibration absorbing materials inside the chassis. During operation, parts that may not be secured tightly will rattle around, causing vibrations that spread around the chassis. This will create annoying sounds, which would annoy any avid computer user. As you can see in the picture above, black rubber padding has been added to various places, including underneath the power supply. This ensures that the PSU has a good cushion to sit on, which will dampen any vibrations. A second feature the Cooler Master has included is the separate dust filter for the power supply. As seen in the Storm Trooper, the ability to separate the filter means it is easy to clean. You can see there is an opening right above the power supply, which allows for easy convenience in wiring. This means that rather than wiring components over the power supply to the motherboard, wires can be brought through the back. One drawback by the power supply is the 2.5" bracket used for mounting solid state drives. This is placed right in front of the power supply. While the idea is innovative and ingenious, this means that the supply is limited to a certain length. When consumers are to purchase enthusiast cases as such, it is expected that they would also dish out more on higher-end power supplies, which often are larger than value-oriented PSUs. In other words, your ballin' power supply could possibly not fit.

If you were to purchase this case, there are two things you would not need to worry about at all. One is aforementioned: The size. The other is the number of hard drive bays. Cooler Master has made sure that any and everybody would be accommodated, with a customizable array of 5.25", 3.5", and 2.5" bays to suit any person's needs. In total, there are nine 5.25" drives, and the case includes brackets to fit in other sizes.

As this case is the same case (Dimensionally, and internally) as the Storm Trooper, it doesn't seem like Cooler Master has really thought of changing the parts bay. While storing these additional parts can be quite cool, it would be nice if they actually allowed users the flexibility of choosing whether they put their parts there, or sticking the option for additional drives. The real reason behind this would be for cable management. If the tray was at the top of the case, it would make routing cables to the bottom easier. Especially at this size of a case, the distance between the power supply and the top drive is quite large to do a simple cabling job. It would mean easier access of said additional parts. While it is not a necessity, it would be nice for convenience sake.

Finally, we reveal the case's dark side... or rather, the side that is usually hidden. As seen above, the wires hanging off the back of the motherboard tray is cray cray. These wires cut down on the available working space, even in a case as large as this. On the good side, there is plenty of space for cable management, and drive bays are extremely easy to access. Each drive bay comes with a holder for easy insertion and removal of disk drives. The wires are fed through large rubber grommet holes, which is an easy but effective way to hide cables. This also directs air to where it should be going, rather than losing air to various openings. There is, however, one large flaw: The rubber grommets themselves are rather flimsy and fragile. After pulling and tugging lightly at them, it is easy to see that with a little bit more force, the grommets may tear. This can be improved by using thicker rubber. However, this may inadvertently cause greater stress due to greater frictional forces.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion