Cooler Master impressed us greatly with their first “Storm” chassis, the Sniper, and we’re happy to report that their follow-up, the mid-tower Scout, is yet another winner. Like the Sniper, the Scout has features directly targeted towards LAN gamers, has great cooling abilities, runs quiet, and is set to be priced at an affordable $120 USD.
There is one aspect of the Scout that I feel really needs strong emphasis. This case is squarely aimed at the LAN gaming crowd. In some respects I feel there were certain sacrifices made and in other areas there were features that were enhanced to satisfy the demands of such a use. It is hard to build a mobile full size PC. There are many factors to take into account and for certain you need a solid chassis as a foundation. In that aspect we have our first A+.
Merely describing it as rigid just doesn’t get across the solid feel. The carrying handle is exceptionally strong as is the entire chassis. I violently shook the fully built PC and even sat right on top of it with my slender 210lb frame. I did not hear the slightest creak or feel the tiniest bit of movement.
Cooling capacity also scores a nice solid A+. The fans are very well placed and do an exceptional job of getting all the hot air out. The absolute lack of noise made me very happy since the typical location of a PC in a LAN is within a few feet of your ears. I have tested most of the high flow designs out there by various companies such as the NZXT Tempest, the Antec 900 and even the CM HAF 932. To my pleasant surprise the Scout could easily hang with the big boys in raw cooling potential. I consider this a great achievement for such a small chassis.
There has not been a firm MSRP set for the US market, but based off of European shoppes, the case will retail for around $120 USD (€90). For that price tag I have a hard time thinking of any other contender with the same features and build quality. Adding in the fully painted interior makes it even more of a bargain.
The only real character flaws I can find are the small size which makes it somewhat harder to work on when doing your build, and also makes for a lack of space for water cooling. You will have to spend a few extra minutes when running cables, and getting everything buttoned up takes slightly more effort than a full-tower. It is hard to call this a problem since the smaller size does lend itself very well to the intended use of this chassis. As for water cooling, that is not something that is a major concern for someone that routinely transports their PC since you have a whole new set of potential issues running this type of cooling on the go.
The CM Storm line has another worthy soldier to add to their line-up. Without a doubt this is the best-suited chassis I have ever come across for LAN gaming. With the security features of “Storm Guard” and the rugged construction you, would really have to work at it to do any damage to your prized PC. As for my overall subjective rating, I feel that I have another top notch 9 out of 10 on the desk in front of me. While possibly not to everyone’s taste, if you are a LAN gamer I cannot think of a better case for your needs. Be certain you give this chassis a hard look before your next mobile build. You will not be disappointed.
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