The Perfect Enclosure (Part 4) : Cooler Master Storm Trooper, NZXT Phantom 820

3/29/2013 11:20:32 AM

Full – tower cabinets

This section is for people who want to go all out with their case purchase and have amazing drool-worthy hardware at their disposal. It must be noted that these cases are huge and heavy – even when empty. Some of them may require you to sell a kidney, but hey they’re awesome. These cases support XL–ATX and E–ATX boards and have enough room to house the most extensive liquid cooling components out there. Needless to say, we didn’t run into any sort of trouble while installing components in any of these cases during testing.

Circle Herculean

This case propels Circle to the next level where other veteran case manufacturers tread. We received the white colored one and it has an aggressive design element to it with sharp edges. Its front panel has a white frame with small divided clefts at the sides. It has a large side-panel window. The top of the case has hemmed vents which can be opened or closed. The integrated fan-controller knobs lie on a brushed aluminum panel along with the ports. It also has tool-less PCI slots. With all these great design elements, its pin-holed reset button is some-thing we couldn’t fathom. This case is actually a copy or re-branding of the Rosewill Thor v2 available outside India.

Cooler Master Storm Trooper

No, this case has nothing to do with the cloned Storm Trooper characters from Star Warsas its name might make you think. Still, its design is what a stealthy case should be like. We emphasize stealth because Cooler Master has actually included a hidden and lockable box at the bottom of this case which can be used to securely keep your stuff when at LAN parties. Other than its design, it has tons of space, 90 degree rotatable HDD cages, a sturdy steel make, rubber-gripped carry handle for easy hauling at LAN parties, and an extra vertical PCI Slot called the “Storm Guard” for routing peripheral cables through it for security. Phew! It also has easy-to-remove front panels, space for a 240 or 280 mm radiator at the top and bottom, and lots of space behind the motherboard tray for cable routing. The built-in fan-controller works very well. It also has a small removable bracket at the bottom for installing 2.5-inch drives. Front has a 2.5inch hot-swap bay called the X-Dock. There are dust filters everywhere in this case which makes it easy to keep it clean. This is a good case indeed.

Cooler Master Storm Trooper     

Cooler Master Storm Trooper

NZXT Phantom 820

Being NZXT’s flagship case, it has a futuristic design to it along with a host of amazing features. Its build quality is great and it also has a raised-steel stand. It can accommodate a 360 mm radiator at the top, a 240 mm or 280 mm radiator at the bottom, and the rear fan can be slid up or down to directly be in front of the CPU cooler. It has lights on its back I/O shield and PCI slots to make it easy to see in the dark. The included fan controller works like a charm. Its hue LED controller can be used to change the color of lights inside and along the edges of the case to your heart’s content. The bottom dust filters can be easily removed by pushing them and they pop out.

Being NZXT’s flagship case, it  has a futuristic design to it along  with a host of amazing features.

Being NZXT’s flagship case, it has a futuristic design to it along with a host of amazing features.

Cooler Master Cosmos II

This case is like the sports-car of PC cases. And the analogy extends to its price tag too. It is humongous, very heavy, but very well built. The handles at the top help in carrying it (pro-vided you can lift it) and the base of the case is also composed of the same handle like rods but instead they’re stands. Sliding the front cover down reveals the external drive bays. Forget thumbscrews, you just need to press down a lever at the back and the side panels open up. Both the side panels open like hinged doors. There is massive amount of space inside the case and there are two fans hinged together on the drive bays too. The top portion can be removed to install fans or liquid-cooling radiators. If you have an itch for huge cases and $380 to burn then go for it.


This bout goes to the underdog. Circle beat out the biggies to win the Best Buyaward, but keeping its pricing in mind the Hercule an edged past the next best contender - the Storm Trooper. The Herculean does offer a great feature set with a lovely design. Having said that the Cooler Master Storm Trooper was the only case in the test which man-aged to keep the test GPU temperature lower than all the other cabinets and we are fans of its stealthy design. So, if you can get the Trooper under $230, it’s a great buy too.

Overall best performer

Every once in a while an un-likely upstage happens in our performance tests. For instance you may be surprised to know that a case from our lowest price bracket won the Best Performer award. But numbers don’t lie. The Cooler Master HAF 912 won it for having the lowest overall temperature spanning all categories of our test. A good case to go for considering it’s not costly too.

The editors pick

NZXT Phantom 820 won the Editor’s Pick for having a great overall score and being consistent in both its performance and features. This case was the second biggest case in our test after the CM Cosmos II. The Phantom 820 was followed closely by the Cooler Master Storm Trooper in most of the parameters and is also a very good case to get considering its cheaper than the Phantom 820 and also has similar features.

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