Coolermaster Scout Gaming Tower

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Posted by on Monday, July 6, 2009 - 5:47am

overviewBesides looks features is another tough and rough area to conquer and keep the price decent. The integrated fan LED controller, one/two hand carrying handle and the solid black interior are just a couple of options that users will like for the $100 asking price of the Scout. The Scout does offer some cable management features as well but due to the shorter narrower design there isn't a lot of outlets for cables to exit to the rear of the case. This may not be a large deal breaker due to the fact this is more of a LAN case and I don't see many having to buckling down too many cables because of the lack of components they may use in the case.

 

Introduction

When Coolermaster decided to explore in another territory with the Storm lineup, they introduced to us just one case. The Sniper. It was received with some very favorable reviews. The looks and styling had gamer written all over it. It was one case that had a love it or hate it look to it. I for one like the functionality of the Sniper. The big black button on the top allowed you to control all the fans' speeds and even shut down the glow that came from the fans. The ventilation within the Sniper was ideal for anyone running large graphic cards as well as a large number of drives. But we can not have a new lineup with just one case. So enter the next case from Storm.

Keeping in line with the whole military name theme Coolermaster has generously sent us over the Scout. The Scout has the same rugged looks as the Sniper has but a feature or two was left out of the Scout while a feature or two was added to the Scout that is not part of the Sniper. One feature that many LAN goers will enjoy are the two large carry handles that grace the top of the case. Gone is the large knob fan controller replacing it is a stealth panel that does the same thing. We are starting to like the Scout even before we take it out the box. But we will make the final conclusion on the case at the end of the review. So read on.

CM Storm on the Scout

CM Storm deploys Scout, the True LAN Gaming Chassis. Mobility, security and 20 years of advanced technology converge in one rugged portable mid-tower chassis. Every Scout is engineered with Storm Tactics: a dedicated focus on Strength, Security and Control. The Scout blends into the darkness with a menacing all black interior showcasing your internal hardware.

An automotive tinted side window with dual fan exhaust brings efficient cooling with subtle transparency. A single button triggers stealth mode deactivating cooling fan LEDs. This covert outlook is complimented by innovative internal designs allowing swapping CPU coolers without motherboard removal. Inside, intelligent cable management maximizes space while supporting internal 2.5" and 1.8" SSD bays. On top, a rugged, steel reinforced handle allows the Scout to be easily wielded in a single hand.


Packaging and Contents

Specifications

Model Number SGC-2000-KKN1-GP
Available Color Black
Material Steel, ABS Plastic, PC, Mesh bezel
Dimensions (D)489 x (W)219 X (H)495.5 mm
(D)19.2 x (W)8.6 x (H)19.5 inch
Net Weight 8.7 kg / 19.23 lbs
pinEdit WP Evaluation 6.0.0426
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)
2.5" Drive Bay 1 Hidden  (converted from one 3.5 inch Drive Bay)
Cooling System
Front: 140mm Red LED Fan x 1 (included)
Top: 40mm Fan x 1 (included) or 120mm Fan x 1 (optional)
Rear: 120mm Red LED Fan x 1 (included)
Side: Acrylic window; supports 120mm x 2 (optional)  
   
Expansion Slots Standard x 7, Special x 1
Power Supply Standard ATX PS2 (optional)
Included Accessory 1.8 or 2.5 to 3.5 inch mounting bracket for SSD or HDD

Features

  Fierce exterior design inspired by military weapons.
  Reinforced carrying handles for fast and efficient mobilization.
  Menacing all black interior and window side panel for striking visuals.
  Stealth panel for tuning your lights.
  StormGuard™ - ground-breaking security system for safeguarding your gaming peripherals.

Closer look internally

For you gamers that are not into very tall or heavy cases you will be glad to hear that the Scout is a full two inches shorter than the Sniper at 19.5 inches tall. And when it comes to weight the Scout is four pounds lighter. To some these measurements may not be a lot but when it comes down to carrying a full featured rig around town to different parties that little weight helps. And just like the Sniper the Scout is only available in black.

As usual we will begin our look at the Scout from the front. The Scout does not have the aggressive front like the one used by the Sniper. But rather a more subtle all mesh facial. The bezel of the Scout is made from plastic while the middle mesh area is all metal. Integrated into the front facial are a total of five external 5.25 inch bays. We see no 3.5" as of now but I am sure that is an adapter plate seating behind one of the larger bays. And looking at the Scout from a straight on view we see that the sides of the case does not expand outwards like that of the Sniper. Making for a slimmer case.

Sitting just above the mesh front is a the control panel of the Scout. Here we have the off/on as well as the reset switch. For input there are four USB, one eSATA and typical audio jacks. But instead of the large knob to control the fans and lights the scout uses a 'stealth panel' to serve this purpose.

At the top of the Scout we have a reinforced plastic I-beam handle that is used to carry the rig to its next destination. The look of the Scout takes a small detour here from a more subtle looking case to something more functional. Honestly, I don't know if I think the handles really go with the flow of the case so I will leave that up to the individual consumer to decide. Sitting just under the handles is a single 14cm fan opening. We will take a longer look at that later.

The only side panel with any real interest is the left windowed panel. Gone is the symmetrical window that we see on a lot of cases. Now we have a more decored window which shows off more of the motherboard and surrounding components and not the drive cage as much. Coolermaster designed the side panel to accommodate two 120mm cooling fans which are not included in the package. Here we also get another look at the handles of the Scout. From this view we see that they fit more with the side styling than the front or top.

Here from the rear we see evidence that the Scout is a bottom mount power supply casing. Included is a rear 120 red LED cooling fan. Gone is the opening used to route water-cooling tubes through the rear of the case. And just like the Sniper Coolermaster included the StormGuard feature that allows you to route the cabling of your peripheral through to keep from being a victim of theft.


Closer look externally

The one thing that I will continue to give kudos to cases manufacturers for is when they paint the inside of the case the same as the outside. This allows the system builder to be more creative in their install. Having everything match inside a case these days is becoming more of a wanted than anything else. Just imagine a black interior with black power supply, black motherboard and a black cooler. You can have all this with the Scout. Along with the five internal 3.5" drive bays and another one that can be converted from a large 5.25" bay.

Coolermaster uses a different securing mechanism in the Scout than other cases they produce. For optical drives a level is used to lock drives in place. And for small drives you must attach plastic rails to the drive before mounting. Just ahead of the bottom drive bays is a front mounted 140mm fan for intake.

The motherboard tray is not removable in the Scout. But it does have the knock-out hole in the tray to allow for the user to switch out coolers without removing the motherboard before doing so. Several other openings are used in the tray as well in order to run cabling from their respective locations to the back side of the motherboard tray for a cleaner setup.

From the inside we get another look at the rear mounted 120mm cooling fan. And we also get a better look at the top mounted 140mm all black fan.

Our last photo of the case is of the windowed side panel. To allow cool air to flow over the CPU and GPU an additional two fans can be placed in the window.


Installation

Coolermaster took a builder's approach to to making the Scout. With the ability to remove the front facial completed from the rest of the case made life easier when it came time to install the CD-Rom. This is needed if you want to clean or change out the front fan.

Mounting the power supply is just a simple. CM uses the bottom mount way to integrate the user's supplied PSU into the case. And with an opening in the motherboard tray just at the back of the PSU getting the cables out to the back of the tray painless.

Laying the case on it's side and taking a downward photo we see how much room the Scout has between the motherboard and the top fan and power supply. Space between the motherboard and the hard drive cage is plentiful so installing shorter cards should not be a problem. Larger cards like the X2s and GTX may cause a couple of issues in this smaller case.


Conclusion

If you were to step out right now and pick up a CM Storm Scout you would be returning home with one of the best little cases available. This Scout offers a lot of what the Sniper and 922 also from Coolermaster has. The absolute first thing that made the Scout a winner in our book is the clean mesh front. The front facial does not have a lot doing on. It remains sleek from top to bottom. And this look will appeal to the gamer as well as the casual PC user.

Besides looks features is another tough and rough area to conquer and keep the price decent. The integrated fan LED controller, one/two hand carrying handle and the solid black interior are just a couple of options that users will like for the $100 asking price of the Scout. The Scout does offer some cable management features as well but due to the shorter narrower design there isn't a lot of outlets for cables to exit to the rear of the case. This may not be a large deal breaker due to the fact this is more of a LAN case and I don't see many having to buckling down too many cables because of the lack of components they may use in the case.

Good airflow and the option to be able to change out CPU coolers with out removing the motherboard from the case are just a couple of things that I feel needs to be commonplace in a case. And I am happy to see CM offer both of these to the consumer.

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