Coolermaster CM Storm Sniper Gaming Tower

Search form

Posted by on Monday, July 6, 2009 - 5:03am

CM Storm SniperToday in the lab we have Cooler Master's new case the CM Storm Sniper. Never heard of CM Storm before? Well I am sure you have heard of Coolermaster, right? Well CM Storm is Coolermaster's new gaming line of cases. The Sniper is to be considered the best gaming case for the true gamer. Coolermaster realized that gamers want the best in their rigs, so Coolermaster decided to equip the Sniper with large fans that are positioned to cool all areas of the case. To make the building process to go smoothly the case is almost completely tool-less. This just the start of what the Sniper has to offer. If you want to know what else is in this case you will have to read ahead.

 

Introduction

Today in the lab we have Cooler Master's new case the CM Storm Sniper. Never heard of CM Storm before? Well I am sure you have heard of Coolermaster, right? Well CM Storm is Coolermaster's new gaming line of cases. The Sniper is to be considered the best gaming case for the true gamer. Coolermaster realized that gamers want the best in their rigs, so Coolermaster decided to equip the Sniper with large fans that are positioned to cool all areas of the case. To make the building process to go smoothly the case is almost completely tool-less. This just the start of what the Sniper has to offer. If you want to know what else is in this case you will have to read ahead.

CM Storm on Sniper

Today, CM Storm is proudly unveiling the Sniper™ gaming grade PC chassis, developed in cooperation with the world's leading professional gaming teams, including SK-Gaming, Team Fnatic and mousesports. Featuring CM Storm's radical new doctrine, Storm Tactics™, which emphasizes Strength, Security and Control, the Sniper is designed to satisfy the lifestyles and unique needs of hardcore and casual gamers alike.

Storm Sniper™ – gaming grade ultra mid tower PC chassis.

Storm Tactics™ – guarantees unbeatable, secure reliability that is completely tuned to gamers’ needs. With a total dedication to Strength, Security and Control, Storm Tactics will keep your most vital gear fortified and well tuned at all times.

StormGuard™ – groundbreaking security prevents your high-end gaming gear from being stolen.


 

Packaging and Contents

The case comes in this awesome black and blue box with a image of the case in the cross hairs of a sniper's rifle. The "Arming The Gaming Revolution" slogan is key to letting you know that Cooler Master's goal is to satisfy the gamer in all of us. The rear of the box is just as exciting as there is a picture of a sniper taking aim; sweet stuff. The rest of the back displays images and written features of the Sniper case inside.

Specifications

Model SGC-6000-KKN1-GP
 
Available Color Black
 
Material Steel, ABS Plastic, Mesh bezel
 
Dimension (L)22.3 x (W)10 x (H)21.7 inches
or
(L)566.6 x (W)254.6 X (H)551 mm
 
Weight 23.42 lbs
or
10.6 kg
 
M/B Type Micro-ATX/ATX
 
5.25" Drive Bay 5 Exposed (without the use of exposed 3.5 inch Drive Bay)
 
3.5" Drive Bay 5 Hidden 1 Exposed (converted from one 5.25 inch Drive Bay)
 
Cooling System Front: 200x30mm Blue LED Fan x 1 (500 - 1000rpm, 17 - 23 dBA)
Top: 200x30mm Blue LED Fan x 1 (500 - 1000rpm, 17 - 23 dBA)
(can be swapped for two 120mm fans or 120x240mm Radiator)

Rear: 120x25mm Standard Fan x 1 (1200rpm, 17 dBA)
(can be swapped for 90mm fan or 80mm fan)

Bottom: Supports 140mm Fan x 1 or 120mm Fan x 1 w/ Dust Filter (optional)

Side: Supports 200x30mm Fan x 1 (optional)
120x25mm Fan x 2 (optional)

 
Expansion Slots Standard x 7, Special x 1
 
I/O Panel USB2.0 x 4; IEEE1394 x 1; eSATA x 1; Mic x 1; HD Audio+AC’97 x 1
 
Power Supply Standard ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional)
 
UPC Code 884102003752

Features

  • Fierce exterior design inspired by military weapons.
  • Unprecedented airflow from up to 3 huge fans.
  • Next generation control center for tuning your lights and fans.
  • StormGuard – ground-breaking security system for safeguarding your gaming peripherals.
  • Convenient handle and foot stand for fast and efficient mobilization and relocation.
  • Screw-less design for quick upgrades and maintenance.

 

Closer look externally

The front of the Sniper is something that only a mother could love, just kidding. The front is rigid just like the rest of the case. It is divided into two portions. The first would be the drive bay area in which there is a total of five 5.25" bays with the fifth one used as a 3.5" with the help of an adapter. The drive covers are typical of a lot of cases we have reviewed lately as they are meshed. Granted the mesh looks way better than the plain jane covers of before. They do however allow for a bit of dust to enter the case. The bottom half consists of a rather large 200mm cooling fan with blue LEDs when lit up.

The top of the case has a lot going on. Usually this is where a case is boring but this is not the case for this case. In the middle of the top you can see the outline of another 200mm cooling with the same blue LEDs underneath more black mesh. Trust me we will talk more about the noise output of these fans later. Just before the fan is a bunch of ports, buttons, and even a knob. First there is the typical input connections like eSATA, USB, firewire and audio. This one of the first cases we have seen with this many ports which is seven in total. To their far left is the power button which is pretty large so there is no mistaking it when it comes time to power it down or up. A small reset button sits right beside it. In the middle of all this is a large knob with a button in it's center. The knob controls the speed of the fans while the button powers the interior lighting. The fan controller can support more than the three fans that come with the case. The last cool thing about the top is there are handles built right in the case. The handles are almost flush with the case making for a much better look than the typical handles modders use.

If you are a fan of bottom mounted power supply cases then you will like the Sniper. This shot of the rear of the case shows us more of what the case is about. For exhaust purposes the Sniper comes with a 120mm black fan. For you water cooling fans there are two pairs of inlets for tubing. Two at the top shown with the rubber grommets inserted and two near the power supply. The last two are covered default by metal, but more grommets are included with the case to further protect your tubing.

If you are a fan of windows in the panel of the case we hate to disappoint you, but there aren't any on the Sniper. Instead Cooler Master chose to use a mesh window. This is definitely a good idea as it allows for more air to enter the case.

The bottom of the case reveals more mesh and some plastic moveable feet. The feet can be angled out for better stability. If you are not a fan of the feet Cooler Master includes some plastic feet that simply stick to the bottom. Both sets of feet elevate the case off your floor or desktop to allow cool air to enter through the large mesh area between the feet.


Closer look internally

When I opened the side panel to get the a look at the inside I was greeted by a wide open interior along with a lot of cabling which was a byproduct of the I/O portion of the case. This also where I found my first real negative about the case. The inside of the case is bare metal in color when a nice black paint would have looked better. The only reason I can see for not painting it black is to keep costs low. Whatever the reason the interior is still spacious.

The front of the case consists of five internal 5.25" bays and five 3.5" bays. Each of the bays uses some form of tool-less bracket to secure drives inside. Just in front of the smaller bays is the back of the front 200mm cooling fan.

The motherboard tray comes with a paper layout of the proper placement for stand-offs for different motherboard sizes. The thing that I fell in love with was the fact that the motherboard tray had an opening for CPU cooling removal. This is an option all high-end cases should have, as a lot people change coolers as much as they change socks. You may see that there isn't a lot of holes in the tray for cable routing. It really isn't necessary as there is plenty of room between the tray and the drive bays to allow for good cable management.

The bottom of the case houses an area for your power supply and another 120 or even 140mm cooling fan.

The rear of the case is traditional except for the quick locking mechanisms that are used to secure cards and a small plate that is useful when leaving your rig or input devices like your keyboard and mouse unattended at a LAN party. Coolermaster calls this the StormGuard.

Check out the 200mm top fan from the inside. The nice thing about this fan is that it can be removed and replaced with two smaller fans. It is also a nice location for your rad if you do desire to use one.

Here we have the back of the motherboard tray as well as the HDD cage.


Installation

The build of the Sniper went without any issues at all. What I liked about it was it went really quick. Including the minor cable routing I attempted.

The only areas of the build where tools were needed was tightening down the motherboard standoffs and the securing of the power supply, which both happened without incident. We were easily able to pull the cables from the power supply out the back of the motherboard.

Next came the installation of the PCI cards into the case. Cooler Master made this process painless and simple. There is a small latch that secures the mounting bracket in place. Unsecuring the latch opens the bracket allowing you to place your cards in. Once the card is inserted return the latch to it's ordinary location. Simple right? We agree. After this process was completed it left the card a little loose. Granted Cooler Master made the whole plastic mounting removable so you can use simple screws.

The installing of a HDD is a very simple procedure. You will have to slightly pull the two sides of the bracket apart and lay the drive between while aligning the pins of the HDD bracket with the holes of the drive.

After the total build was done I was happy to see this. I no longer have to remove the motherboard from the case to change out coolers, and yes the cable management it ok too.


Testing and Results

We decided to up the ante on your case review from this review on. Now included will be temp readings from the CPU, VGA and HDD. We feel that a review is not complete about a case without having these numbers as part of the review.

Testing Hardware:
Intel Core i7 920
OCZ PC10666 3GB
Stock Intel Cooler
Sapphire Toxic HD3870
Maxtor Diamond 10 100GB
Thermaltake TP1000

Testing Software
Hyper PI 0.99b
Real Temp 2.60
Speed Fan 4.37
ATI CCC
Furmark


Conclusion

I believe the CM Storm Sniper will be a big hit for Cooler Master in the gaming community. It has a rigid good look to it that many gamers will find pleasing. I am sure many non-gamers will be taking a solid look at it as well. More than looks the Sniper has features and options that work and make things like building and cooling your components easlier. Any moderately experienced computer builder will learn that it takes no time to put a rig together using the Storm, and this includes cable management.

The Sniper comes with only three fans, but two of those fans are 200mm in size which by themselves are enough to cool the entire case. All the fans can be controlled from one knob or control center located at the top of the case. At low levels the fans are very quiet, but at maximum speed the fans can be heard but this is for maximum performance as well. The top fan can be removed to allow the intregation of a water-cooling setup which will be a big hit with those that want water in their rig. If a second loop is needed the user has the option of mounting a rad in the rear of the case and can route tubing through two different locations. If you are looking for the ideal location for your pumps then we have it. The HDD bay area is screwed in so it is easily removed to allow pumps to be setup here.

My favorite feature of the Sniper is the motherboard tray as it has a large opening designed to allow the user to switch out CPU coolers without having to deal with removing the motherboard from the case. It is a simple feature but well thought out and wanted by the enthusiant that has a habit of changing coolers when a better one is released like the Coolermaster V10 we will be reviewing next.

The only issue I had with the Sniper is it's locking mechansim for the PCI expansion card. I felt the plastic bracket did not really secure the cards in place tightly enough. This was only an issue with some cards I used. Good thing Cooler Master made this feature removable to allow simple screws to be used.

Taking a look across the web we found that the Sniper can be had for about $179. Not too bad of a price considering all the case has to offer.

We would like to thank the people at Cooler Master for giving us the opportunity to review this case.

{aseadnetadblock|coolermaster sniper|coolermaster}

Category: 

Linode VPS Hosting