Cooler Master’s original Scout brought a lot to the table when it was released in 2009, and for all it did right, it came highly recommended by us. Will we be left just as impressed with its sequel, the “Scout 2″? On the surface, this LAN-inspired chassis looks the part and its feature-set proves sufficient, so let’s find out.
For gamers on the go, there are a whole separate set of wants and needs compared to gamers who setup their rig and leave it on the floor. When it comes to cases, they need to be lightweight, easy to transport and able to keep your bits and pieces safe, all without sacrificing features or build quality.
Enter the Scout 2 from Cooler Master, which has just been released today under the gamer-oriented CM Storm brand name. Like the original Scout, the Scout 2 is made for LAN gamers and aims to cover all of the above requirements without stripping down any of the must-have bells and whistles.
Made primarily of steel with plastic accents, the Scout 2 supports micro-ATX and ATX motherboard form factors, just as the original did. The entire front panel is covered by a filtered, metal mesh to provide maximum airflow. There’s room at the top for up to three 5.25″ drives and up to two optional 120mm fans or a single optional 140mm fan that will take up the remaining space below.
Over on the left side is a raised trapezoid window and two vented areas where optional 120mm fans can be installed. Raising this area allows for extra room when using tower-style heatsinks and/or mounting fans over the GPU area. The right panel features the same raised area, but without the window or vents and makes for more room to tuck cables behind the motherboard tray.
Around back are features found on many popular cases including 7 expansion slots, grommet-lined holes for pass-through water cooling and the opening for a bottom-mounted power supply, complete with a removable dust filter. Seeing how this case is geared towards LAN party goers, Cooler Master has once again included its StormGuard “locking” system to keep your peripherals safe if you have to step away from your rig. This time around, it’s placed vertically to free up an extra expansion slot.
Up top, a sliding cover on the front hides the microphone and headphone jacks, a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a set of USB 2.0 ports. Behind that are the power and reset buttons, along with the fan LED on/off button that can control the lights on up to 9 fans, including the stock exhaust fan. The rest of the top is taken up by a removable vent where up to two optional 120mm fans can be installed, and sitting over this is a reinforced, “soft touch” (aka rubber) coated handle to make transporting the case easier.
Removing the left panel gives an overall view that shows room for up to seven 3.5″ hard drives with one of the drive bays holding a tray for 2.5″ drives. The top half of the drive cage can be removed for extra airflow or left in place where an optional 120mm fan can be mounted to the side that faces the GPU. Rounding out the interior are the tool-less mounting system for 5.25″ drives, grommet-lined cable management holes and a cutout around the CPU area of the motherboard tray, room for another optional 120mm fan on the floor of the case, foam-capped risers to absorb any vibrations made by the power supply, and an included 120mm red LED exhaust fan.
Included with the Scout 2 are some brass motherboard standoffs and a socket for those tricky ones that just won’t tighten down, screws to hold the motherboard and various drives in place if some extra stability is needed, a loop that will allow for a lock to be used on the left panel, a speaker, some zip ties and the rails used to mount 3.5″ drives.
Avid readers might notice that this review is shorter than past articles, but it’s not because the Scout 2 lacks features. In fact it’s quite the opposite, but chances are that those of you who feel the Scout 2 is an option for your system are likely to visit Cooler Master’s site. Specs are specs and pictures are pictures. Anybody can read specs and anybody can look at pictures.
We feel that real-world testing is more applicable than going over what is listed on the official site or snapping a few extra pieces of eye candy since functionality and performance can make or break a case. With that said, we install our test system and put the Scout 2 through our usual battery of tests on the next page, so read on.