Being a huge supporter of Cooler Master and their fantastic parts, I was stoked to try out the CM Storm Scout case. It would mean that I would have to strip my components of my glorious Cooler Master CM690 for a few days. They say separation is good for any relationship, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
CM Storm is a subsidiary of Cooler Master, so one expects the same level of quality and build as you would find on their cases. That is exactly what you get and then some.
I’m not saying that CM Storm is a better case manufacturer than the Cooler Master, or vice versa, but they both offer amazing quality and functionality for great prices. The CM Storm Scout case is rock solid. There is no light or weak feel of any part of the case. Granted, this comes at a price. The Scout is rather heavy for its size, at about 30lbs, but the case still remains portable thanks to a sturdy handle at the top of the case. One of the only issues I have with the Scout is that it’s smaller than my personal case, the Cooler Master CM690. And due to this, my massive GPU (Raedon HD 4870 with dual-slot cooler) just barely fit into the case with enough room to plug the PCI-E power connectors into it. Luckily, it fits, but another quarter of an inch and there would’ve been issues with the fitment.
CM Storm really takes the aesthetic quality of their cases very seriously and this clearly shows when you get a good look at the Scout. The sleek black paint job that spans from the outside to the inside and everywhere in between is great. Even the included screws match the black theme and they implemented a great idea of including a button on the case’s front panel that turns off the LEDs in your case fans, while leaving the fans spinning.
The only problem with the overall athletics of this case is that the full black paint job leaves a lot of very tight-fitting screw holes. Granted, after you put a few screws through each hole, the excess paint is cleared right up, but I would have expected CM Storm to “tap” the holes of all paint before they shipped their cases.
The front control panel of the Scout (located just above the 5.25″ drive bays) is very handy. It includes 4 USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port and in/out audio ports. Accompanying the front panel connectors are your power and reset buttons along with the power and HDD activity indicator lights.
*We made a bit of a change here because the standard Coke can wasn’t quite up to the task, so we also added an Xbox 360 for size comparison.*
The Scout amazed me with its acoustic control. When compared to my Cooler Master CM690 case, the Scout was nearly silent. This is partially due to the fact that it uses less mesh design and also has half as many fans as my CM690. Still though, with half the number of fans, it managed to keep my temps right around the same as the CM690, an impressive feat considering the fact that it is slightly more crowded by cables due to it being smaller than the CM690. All in all, the Scout is great looking, but it’s not something that will jump out at you and blow you away.
- Price: 7
Although I will admit, the price isn’t unrealistically high, but I believe that the case does not quite warrant such a price tag.
- Setup/Install: 6
Setup is much the same as with any other case. You’ll have to be careful if you’ve got a large GPU, it will be a tight fit. The case comes with tool-less drive bay mounting systems, but this has become standard on gaming cases for the most part.
- Ease of Use: 7
Much the same as the setup, this case doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary to make things more simple. It does however, offer an awesome button on the front panel that allows you to disable the lights in any LED fans you might have, thus allowing you to actually sleep in the same room as your PC.
Despite the confined, crowded spaces within the Scout, it still manages to cool the components quite well. Not to mention the fact that there are slots for two 120mm fans in the fantastic looking acrylic side panel.
Along with the 4 front panel USB ports and the previously mentioned LED fan-controlling button, the Scout also offers a great, sturdy handle at the top for all your transportation needs. And you can’t forget the fantastic side panel window that just adds to the great look of the case.
Overall: 7 Olives