- Brand: CM Storm
- Model: Scout 2
- RRP: £75 (At time of review)
Cooler Master, or in this case, their gaming brand CM Storm, have been at the forefront of gaming chassis since 2008. With their ever growing range which ranges from headsets, keyboards, and mice etc, CM Storm have the entire market cornered, but does their range deserve the gaming moniker?
Well moving on from the last review I did in terms of CM Storm, The CM Storm Havoc Gaming Mouse, I have the CM Storm Scout 2 Gaming Chassis in my possession. Is it worthy of being a member of the illustrious gaming brands range, or is it just “another” case?
Let’s find out, starting with the specifications…
|Available Color||Full Midnight Black|
|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||8.3 kg / 18.3 lbs|
|Motherboard Type||Micro-ATX, ATX|
|5.25″ Drive Bays||3 (exposed)|
|3.5″ Drive Bays||7 (hidden)|
|2.5″ Drive Bays||2 (converted from one 3.5″ drive bay)|
|I/O Panel||USB 3.0 x 2 (int.), USB 2.0 x 2, Mic x 1, Audio x 1 (supports AC97 / HD Audio)|
|Cooling System||Top: 120mm fan x 2 (optional)
Front: 120mm fan x 2 or 140mm fan x 1 (optional)
Rear: 120mm red LED fan x 1 (with LED on/off function)
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 CM Storm Scout 2 comes packaged inside a relatively large box, which is very vibrant in terms of colour etc. It has an illustration of the Scout 2 itself on the front and has a picture of what appears to be a soldier in attack mode. This gives the impression the case is designed around a military style theme, but we shall see later on. The main colours in the packaging are black, white and red.
On the rear of the box, we have a diagram of the main features of the Scout 2 including measurements etc. We have a list of the features on the bottom in 8 different languages. They are as follows: English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Japanese and Chinese. Again the colour scheme remains the same all throughout the entirety of the packaging.
Overall the packaging is straight to the point, inside the box, there are polystyrene inserts which protect the case during transit. The polystyrene used here is of good thickness and it feels like it would take a large hit, with considerable force to make a dent in the case through the packaging.
The CM Storm Scout 2 is all black, with a small viewing window which also features 2 x 120mm grills built into the side panel for 2 x 120mm fans. This is good if you want to increase the airflow to the case and allows extra air to flow directly over your components. By doing this, you will increase the noise of the overall build depending on your fans of choice, but the pros and cons balance themselves out.
Looking at the front of the case, we have a very sleek design with a black mesh to allow air to flow freely throughout the case. At the bottom of the front grill, we have the CM Storm logo.
In terms of front panel headers, we have 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0 and a headphone and audio jack. The front I/O panel has a sliding door to hide the ports when they aren’t in use. I think this is a good idea because it maintains the cases aesthetic when the I/O isn’t in use.
Here we have the roof of the case, which is also ventilated by its mesh design. In view is the power button, the reset button and also the LED switch, which turns the fan LED on and off. This gives you the option to have the bling on, or off which I know some people will find appealing.
On the other side of the case, we have a bevel in the side panel, which gives a couple of millimetres extra space for cable management behind the motherboard. Enthusiasts with plenty of GPUs will like that, as the PSU cables on some PSUs (Especially my Enermax Platimax) are relatively thick. There are also the carry handles on the top, which is covered in a rubberized material. This aids with grip and even with sweaty hands so you are unlikely to drop it, unless it’s too heavy for you of course.
The rear has the usual features of a normal case, a cut out for an ATX form factor power supply, a 120mm fan grill for an exhaust in which a fan is included by CM Storm, 7 PCI blanking plates which are removable depending on which slots you are using, a gap for the I/O shield for the motherboard and 2 rubber grommets designed for water cooling. The inclusion of the grommets is something we see a lot of on cases these days; it also shows the integrity of CM Storm who are keeping up with the times as a lot of enthusiasts generally do water cool these days.
In this picture, you can see the handle where you can take the front panel off the case. I have taken it off slightly to show you how it comes off. It required a little force and I was scared it was going to break, but it came off without a hitch although I do feel the plastic latches could be easily broken if too much pressure is applied.
On the floor of the case, you can see where the floor 120mm fan mounting is, including the dust filter for the power supply. Also in each of the 4 corners are rubberized feet which not only keep the case gripped to your desk, but also prevent the case from scratching what you place it on.
As you can see at this general look of the interior, we have all the usual suspects that should be there including 3 x 5.25 drive bays which can be used for optical drives, fan controllers and even reservoirs for water cooling, there are also grommets for cable management; this is always a joy to see and something I look for personally when choosing a case. There is a nice large cut-out for the motherboard to affix coolers to your CPU’s, included also are 7 x 3.5” bays for HDDs and 2 x 2.5” bays for SSDs. One of the 2.5” is slotted into a 3.5” slot via an adapter which is included with the case. The HDDs and the 2.5″ adapter are complimented by plastic black runners, which keep the HDDs secure and also aid in quick removal from the bays. Long has it been since the days of screwing the actual HDD into the case directly.
Here we can see a closer look at the HDD bays that comes included with the case. These are removable and if you wanted to, you could easily fit a 240mm radiator with fans inside this space. This will appeal to some enthusiasts but you need to weigh up the pros and cons as you do lose considerable media storage space by doing this. On the left hand side of the shot, there is also an intake on the floor of the case for a 120mm fan, I am however slightly disappointed there is no dust filter included.
With the front panel of the case off, we can see the front of the HDD bays, which again are removable. Also in sight is the 3 x 5.25” drive bays. As mentioned earlier, you could remove the HDD bays and install a 240mm radiator in the front as there are mounts for 2 x 120mm fans to be installed or 1 x 140mm fan.
Here I have illustrated a full system install inside of the CM Storm so you can see a rough idea of how a full system would look inside. The case is ATX form factor and also accommodates Micro ATX motherboards also.
Here is a list of specifications of the test setup:
CPU – Intel i7 4770k
Motherboard – ASRock Z87 Extreme3
Memory – G.Skill RipjawZ 8GB (2400MHz CAS10) 2x4GB
Graphics – XFX 1GB 6870 Black Edition
Cooler – Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme
Storage – Intel 520 240GB Solid State Drive
PSU – Enermax 1200w Platimax
One problem that did arise during the installation was my CPU cooler was so tall; the side panel wouldn’t fit on the case. This is quite disappointing in my eyes. I know the Thermaltake Silver Arrow SB-E is a very large cooler but a chassis of this price should accommodate it no problems.
As you can see here, there is just fewer than 3cm of space behind the rear of the motherboard for cable management. This is ample room for the majority of builds and I really don’t feel you would struggle, unless you had 2-3 GPUs installed.
In terms of GPU clearance, the official specs state that with the HDD bays installed, there is 11.3” of clearance space and 15.7” of clearance with the HDD bays uninstalled. As you can see from the picture, there is just under 12” of room which is ample for the majority of GPUs on the market.
The CM Storm Scout 2 comes with 1 x 120mm fan which is installed as a rear exhaust. This is slightly disappointing given the price of the case. Albeit, I decided to test the thermal performance at stock (case as it comes).
The ambient temperature was 21.8c for the 3.9GHz idle/load tests and for the 4.5GHz idle test. It warmed up slightly to 21.2c for the 4.5GHz load test. Delta temps were recorded.
Based on the specifications and looking at the interior, this case has ample water cooling options available. There is space for a 240mm in the roof, a 240mm in the front (proviso on removing the HDD bays) and space for a 120mm radiator in the rear. This case would be able to providing enthusiasts and water coolers alike with numerous options and the fact the Scout 2 is classed as a midi tower, I can’t find an issue with that. Touching on air cooling options, there are 9 x 120mm mounting options available for 12cm fans which is definitely plentiful.
The main issue I came across during installation was the fact the side panel wouldn’t fit onto the case with my Thermaltake Silver Arrow SB-E extreme cooler installed. I do feel that a case of this calibre should accommodate all coolers and there is no excuse for this. In saying that the Silver arrow is a very large cooler and with coolers such as the Noctua NH-U14S, there would be no problems fitting one of those into the Scout 2.
The overall build quality of the case is very good, although the latches on the front panel when removing are a little suspect and I feel they could snap off quite easily, but in saying that overall, this case could take a bit of a bashing and not buckle.
Another slightly disappointing factor I would like to mention is the lack of dust filters for the fans, there is one for the power supply but for the bottom intake fan; dust tends to gather easily and without a dust filter, you’re effectively shovelling dust inside. Some could say it would add to the price, but how much is a thin piece of mesh in the grand scheme of things? Also coming with only 1 x 120mm fan included, for a case of this sort of spec, I would expect at least another for an intake on the front, but this was not to be.
Overall the CM Storm Scout 2 is a very solid contender and coming in at roughly £75 depending on your retailer of choice, some could call this expensive for what it is, but when you take into consideration the options available, I feel it’s pretty much exactly where it should be on the market. Compared with what’s around, the Scout 2 certainly has plenty of features and is comparable with some of the best around.
With plenty of cooling options available, especially in terms of water cooling, the Scout 2 delivers and for a fairly reasonable price of around £75, the CM Storm Scout 2 delivers not only solid build quality, but plenty of features and in my opinion, this case is one to consider.