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Antec ISK110 VESA Case Review .............................. ....................

Antec P280 Case and HCP1200 PSU ....................

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AMD Radeon HD 7970 .........................

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Cougar GX G1050 1050W PSU

Antec HCG900 900W PSU

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Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Case ....................

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AMD 6-series Entry Level GPUs

AMD ATI Radeon HD6990 Review

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ASUS ENGTX580 DCUII Review

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ASUS M4A79T Deluxe Motherboard

Antec Midi Tower Case and PSU

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Silent Power Supplies Reviewed

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PAPST Fans (Silent PC Part2)

AMD Athlon XP2700+ CPU

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80mm -> 60mm Fan Adapter

TDK USB Bluetooth Adaptor

Socket-A Cooler Roundup 

Promise FastTrak SX4000 RAID Card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Case

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Introduction

We've reviewed many Cooler Master products over the years but no enclosures since our ATC710 back in 2003, a case that has served us well and continues to be in use today.

The three cornerstones of Cooler Master's business philosophy are innovation, speed, and customer satisfaction. It has been Cooler Master's steadfast commitment to these values and ability to fulfill its promise to honor them that accounts for its sustained record of growth and the many long-term customers it has accumulated. Together, innovation, speed, and customer satisfaction ensure that Cooler Master is the supplier that the companies around the world rely on to deliver the best thermal solutions, creating a win-win situation both for Cooler Master and the companies that become its customers.

That's the espoused corporate philosophy and today we are reviewing the CM Storm Enforcer enclosure to see how things have changed over the years and how they compare with current competitive offerings.

 

 

Features and Specification

 

  • Front I / O Panel with USB 3.0 (internal)
  • Tool - free for 5.25 device
  • Dust Filters on bottom and front intakes
  • Cable management for better cable routing
  • Reinforced front door protects your vital devices
  • Supports rear internal 120mm water cooling radiator
  • Removable & Rotatable HDD cage for convenient installation
  • Support high-end graphics cards including ATI Radeon HD 5970
  • Storm Guard - security system for safeguarding your gaming peripherals

 

Available Color All Black
Dimension (W / H / D) (W) 229 x (H) 484.5 x (D) 523.5 mm
(W) 9.0 x (H) 19.0 x (D) 20.6
Net Weight (g) 8.9 KG / 19.5 lb
M/B Type Micro-ATX, ATX
Material Steel body, ABS plastic, Mesh bezel
5.25" Drive Bay 4 Exposed (one could be converted to 3.5 bay)
3.5" Drive Bay 1 Exposed (converted to 5.25 bay) / 6 Hidden
2.5" Drive Bay 4 Hidden (two converted from 3.5 bay)
I/O Panel USB3.0 x 2 (internal), USB2.0 x 2, Mic x 1, Audio x 1
Cooling System Front: 200mm Red LED fan x 1, 1000 RPM, 19 dBA
Rear: 120mm black fan x 1, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA
Top: 200 mm black fan x 1 (optional ; can be swapped
for two 120mm fans)
Expansion Slots 7 + 1
Maximum Compatibility CPU cooler height: 175mm
VGA card length: 270mm (with HDD cage)
390mm (without HDD cage)
Power Supply Standard ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (Optional)
UPC Code 884102011405

 

 

Case Packaging

Clicking on any picture in this review opens up a larger, more detailed image and in some cases may be the only way to spot fine details such as front mounted fan speed controllers.

 

 

A nice colourful retail box is the first thing that prospective purchasers will see and the branding shows a cyborg with a similar colour scheme to the enclosure, presumably to evoke an emotional association with the customer.

 

On the back is a detailed breakdown of the key features and selling points in a way that is easy for browsers in a large computer store (such as the PC World chain here in the UK) to examine and make an informed purchasing decision.

 

 

The CM Storm Enforcer unveiled  

The side view shows just how shiny the plastic viewing window is once the protective film is removed. The gently sloping roof at the front is designed to accommodate the front panel connectors without restricting the space of the topmost 5.25" drive bay. Two thumbscrews hold each door in place.

 

The other side is plain although removing this door will allow access to the cable management system and the back of the CPU socket should it be necessary to remove a cooler attached to a CPU backplate. The feet give a clearance of about 2 cm and we'll see why that is important later.

   

On the left we have a top down view and can see a multitude of options for attaching fans (no top fan is included) ranging from a single 20cm one to twin 12cm fans. Incidentally, with the release of the Corsair H100 this case would be ideal to mount such a double size radiator on the top. The recess behind the front panel connectors is just the right size for an external hard drive or an iPod etc. and solves the question of where to balance external USB devices while they are in use.

Looking at the rear view we can see a single 12cm fan (included with case) and three holes for water cooling pipes and other cables. A securing mechanism holds the cards in place (and allows for a GPU support bracket) and a standard size hole for a power supply.

 

Now we can move onto the front of the case. Plenty of ventilation is available for the large single fan (included with case) that sucks air in. When in use it emits a red glow that can be disabled with a switch inside the case if not desired.

Opening the flap shows the see through grill of the 4 5.25" bays. To install an optical drive it is not necessary to punch out one of the grills - the front bezel comes off and the grills can simply be popped out. No screws are needed for optical drive installation as we will see.

 

The front panel connectors include microphone and headphone connectors in the centre and two USB2.0 (black) connectors but most notable are the two blue USB3.0 sockets. We would have liked to see at least one E-SATA connector but the way things are going it seems as if USB3.0 may end up being the preferred medium for portable drives and USB memory sticks. A large power button of sturdy construction rounds off the front panel area.

 

Once we move to the internals we can see that a heavy duty solid steel design was used throughout (we can still stand on our Cooler Master ATC710 without any damage to the case - although we didn't try that here) with the doors making a satisfying clanging noise when tapped. Clicking on the image will open the full size one and allow smaller details to be examined. These include the 5.25" locking mechanisms which hold firm optical drives etc. without the need for rails, the big cutout section behind the CPU for accessing a back plate and the ample room for cable management.

The raised section on the floor is designed for SSDs and is a welcome addition. The drive bays are turned 90 degrees and the centre cage can be removed to allow for graphics cards longer than 27cm, such as the AMD Radeon HD 6990 or the Nvidia GTX590. Hard drives simply attach to the provided rails and slide into place with a click. This also provides vibration dampening (not needed for SSDs). Included is a 3.5" conversion kit should it be required.

Adequate room is at the top of the case for mounting a hefty radiator such as the Corsair H100 without interfering with the processor mounting.

 

We like innovation and here's something that seems so obvious its a wonder why no-one has thought of it before. The age old problem of motherboard spacers being hexagonal is a real pain to mount them securely (who has a spanner that small?) so Cooler Master have provided a tool which goes over a hex spacer and can then be tightened with a philips screwdriver.

 

We were also fortunate enough to receive the latest Turbine Master fan from Cooler Master. This fan has blades that resemble those of a jet engine and is hotly tipped to be the fan replacement of the year.

 

Accessories include screws, adaptors and a plastic nose to complete the jet turbine look. The rubber mounts are long enough to be used to connect a radiator to the fan. We used the Turbine Master with our H50 cooler and it was most definitely quieter and provided much greater airflow than the stock fan supplied with the Corsair cooler. Two of these combined with a Corsair H100 mounted on the top of this case would easily be able to handle any overclocked system.

 

At the bottom of the case is a grill to allow a PSU to take air in from under the case. While it is beneficial to do this it is also important to remember that despite the tall feet and dust filter, if you have a deep carpet then this intake will get clogged easily and require regular cleaning.

  

 

Conclusion

Cooler Master have continued in their tradition of offering good build quality and plenty of features in their cases. The CM Storm Enforcer is ideally suited for any Midi Tower based system and can be coupled with any standard form factor power supply and any modern graphics card (dual GPU cards will require the removal of the central cage) to make a wide variety of PCs. Gamers will be particularly pleased and separate mountings for SSDs which this case provides should be standard across the industry by now. The tool-less drive mounting system and the ease with which 5.25" devices lock into place without screws is a wonder to behold. Attention to detail such as a motherboard spacer tool and GPU support bracket are the icing on the cake of this enclosure. At first glance the lack of a top fan seems an ommission but from our experience with our Antec 902 we welcome the ability to choose our own fan(s) dependant on the needs of the situation.

The CM Storm Enforcer is a well built case at an affordable price with a wealth of features that should give many years of enjoyment and easy upgrading of components. We highly recommend it.


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