Cooler Master CM Storm Stryker Case Review

Author: Roger Cantwell
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, August 20th, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/cm_storm_stryker/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Today we will be looking at Cooler Master’s newest edition to their CM Storm product lineup, the Stryker. Cooler Master launched the CM Storm division back in 2008 with the mission of “Arming the gaming revolution”. Since its creation, they have released numerous high quality gaming products including their latest case, the CM Storm Stryker. Although it bears some resemblance to the CM Storm Trooper, they do have minor differences. For example, the Trooper is equipped with an external e-SATA port, while the Stryker’s side-panels flare outward allowing a little more room behind them.

Lets take a look at the packaging. The Stryker is packaged in a red on black color scheme with a side view of the case itself, Along the bottom of the box is the name Stryker stenciled along the bottom. Turning the box over, you will find 3 photos depicting the backside, left side, and front of the case. On each end panel of the box you will find information and specifications regarding the Stryker.

 

 

 

Specifications:

Model
SGC-5000W-KWN1
Color
Black and White
Material
Appearance: Synthetic, Mesh front bezel; Case body: Steel
Dimension
250.0 x 605.6 x 578.5 mm / 9.8 x 23.8 x 22.8 inch
Weight
13.7 kg / 30.2 lb
M/B Type              
Micro-ATX, ATX, XL-ATX
5.25" Drive Bay
9
3.5" Drive Bay
8 (converted from 5.25" bays by 5.25"/3.5" Combo Cages)
2.5" Drive Bay
13 (converted from 5.25" bays by 5.25"/3.5" Combo Cages)
I/Expansion Slots
USB 3.0 x 2 (internal), USB 2.0 x 2, Audio In and Out (supports HD Audio)
Expansion Slots
                9+1
Cooling System
Front: 120mm LED fan x 2, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA
Top: 200mm fan x 1, 1000 RPM, 23 dBA (converted to 120/140mm fan x 2)
Rear: 140mm fan x 1, 1200 RPM, 19 dBA (converted to 120mm fan x 1)
Bottom: 120mm fan x 2 (optional)
Power Supply
ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (Not Included)
Maximum Compatibility
VGA card length: 322.0 mm / 12.7 inch
CPU cooler height: 186.0 mm / 7.3 inch
Warranty
2 years
UPC Code
884102017179

With the Stryker removed from the box, we can get a better look at the case. The integrated control panel has just about everything you would need built-in, with the exception of an e-SATA port and a flash media card reader. One of the biggest highlights is the built-in fan controller with support for up to three fans, and variable settings for low, medium and high speed.

Dual Super-Speed USB 3.0 ports and two standard USB ports are also included on the control panel, as well as 3.5 HD Audio (in & out) connections. CM Storm's Stryker features one (2.5 inch) X-dock located just below the control panel for easy transport of your personal files.

The Stryker case has a built-in handle to make it easier to move, but I don't think I would care to lug this case to any LAN parties due to the weight of the case alone (30.2 lb's)! That said, behind the CM Storm logo at the bottom you will find a convenient storage compartment for storing whatever energy drinks and snacks you may need for those all night LAN sessions.

The Stryker's left panel  has an extra large window and vent for the hard drive fans, and on the right side of the case you will find another exhaust vent.

The nine 5.25 inch standard drive bays can be converted to hold up to thirteen 2.5 inch drives, leaving a lot of room for hard drive expansion. The rear of the case features 9+1 expansion slots, and can utilize either a 120 or 140mm cooling fan. For water cooling fanatics like myself, the case provides two ports allowing easy setup of an external radiator.

Again, the control panel has an integrated fan controller, dual 3.0 super-speed and two standard 2.0 USB ports, along with HD audio input and output. Just beneath the control panel is the 2.5 X-dock.

The Stryker comes with a built-in handle for easy transport. Another feature is the removable dust filters at the both the top and bottom of the case.

With the side panels removed, we get our first view of the case interior. The Stryker supports motherboard form factors ranging from Micro ATX up to XL-ATX. The Stryker is huge on the inside to say the least, considering the amount of hardware and wiring which can fit into the Stryker case, leaving ample room for cable management. The case is able to accommodate graphic cards up to 12.7 inches in length, which is more than enough room for a pair of 690's in SLI.

The Stryker has got your storage needs covered with nine 5.25 drive bays (thirteen if you choose to convert them to 2.5 inch) and that doesn't include the four 2.5 inch drives bays located at the bottom of the case. These give you the ability to expand your storage capacity by an appreciable amount.

For cooling, the Stryker can accommodate up to seven case fans. You can replace the top 200mm fan with two 120/140mm fans and at the bottom of the case you can place another two 120mm fans, with the hard drive cage supporting up to two 120/140mm at the rear of the case. Talk about serious cooling potential.

Looking at the motherboard tray you can see the rubber grommets that help to protect the cables from the sharp edges surrounding the openings.

In the first photo you can see the 2.5" hard drive cage attached to the bottom of the case. To rotate the hard drive cages, simply remove four thumbscrews, disconnect the fan/fans and pull outward.

Both hard drive cages can be rotated 90 degrees so that the fans will intake air from the front of the case.

Inside the Stryker you will find room enough to accommodate just about any modern pice of hardware, from Micro ATX all the way up to XL-ATX motherboards, along with the ability to rotate the hard drive cages 90 degrees to give you the freedom to experiment with different configurations. For instance by removing the 200mm fan in the top, you have the perfect place to mount your favorite water-cooling solution. Let's not forget the Stryker can handle some of today's larger graphics card solutions, up to 12.7 inches in length.

We will start by preparing the motherboard, and once we have that installed we move onto the power supply installation followed by the hard drive and graphics card, and the last thing on the agenda, cable management (or at least my attempt at it).

With the motherboard installed we can move onto the power supply installation. Oh what a tangled web we weave, one of the reasons I am a huge fan of modular power supplies.

I have to admit the front looks better, being free of any excess wires that can interfere with our air flow.

To test the Cooler Master CM Storm Stryker, I will be utilizing the OCCT test suite. I will run the test suite for 30 minutes, with both the case and graphics card fan set at their highest rotational speeds. Temperatures will be recorded using HWMonitor, the highest recorded values will be used for the load test. For the idle portion of the test, the system will idle for 30 minutes allowing for temperatures to stabilize. And the lowest values will then be recorded.

Test Setup:

Looking at the results above, the Stryker did quite well against the competition, scoring first in two out of four tests, and placing second and third in the remaining tests.

Having worked with quite a few cases over the years, the Stryker was one of the more user friendly ones I have come across. One little feature that goes a long way is the ability to swap out your CPU cooler without removing your installed motherboard. This is a particularly important option which I pay attention to when looking to upgrade my case. The others are cable management and price; these three little points can make or break a case in my opinion, and the Stryker doesn't let down on all three. Priced roughly at $159, it fits right in the sweet spot for performance versus cost.

The Stryker offers many features not found on some of today's higher priced cases, for instance the ability to rotate the hard drive cages by 90 degrees to allow you to experiment with different configurations. The Stryker has room for up to eight 3.5 inch hard drives, or up to thirteen drives if you happen to convert them to the smaller 2.5 inch SSDs. Then we have the removable dust filters to help protect your valuable hardware from dust build up, while at the same time helping to extend the life of your hardware. Cooler Master has even built a carrying handle into the case for easy transport, but as mentioned before at 30.2lbs in weight (empty!) I can't imagine how eager you would be to lug it around once its fully loaded.

The integrated control panel sports a niffty built-in fan controller that supports variable speed control for up to three fans. Cooler Master has swapped out two of the standard 3.0 USB ports for their Super-Speed 3.0 ports, as well as adding an external 2.5 inch X-Dock with support for hot-swapping, and the standard 3.5mm audio connections that support HD audio output. Let's not forget an extra large side window for showing off all that expensive hardware. Put them all together and you have the makings of an outstanding case!

When it comes to performance, the Stryker scores well where it counts. Placing second in two out of four tests is not bad, however I believe the Stryker could perform better if it was equipped with higher performance fans. The stock fans run at 1200rpm and are designed to move some air, however two of the four fans are blowing through the hard drive cages. This has a huge impact on the amount of air flowing into the case, and if these were replaced with fans that offer a higher static air pressure I believe we could see an increase in the overall cooling performance.

Overall the Cooler Master Stryker is another outstanding example of what we have come to expect from Cooler Master's CM Storm division.

»Neoseeker.com

Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc., 1999-2014.
All Rights Reserved.

Please do not redistribute or use this article in whole, or in part, for commercial purposes.