CM Storm Scout 2 Advanced Review
Published: 7th May 2013 | Source: Cooler Master | Price: £79.99 |
When reviewing, one of the first things we look at, or rather get a feel for is the quality of a product. There are certain manufacturers who stand that little bit taller than the others in this field and Cooler Master is one of them. From the top of their range, right down to the very bottom there is an inherent feeling of pride of workmanship. OK, so pride of workmanship is perhaps over romanticising an item that is mass produced in a factory, but then "Pride of adherence to Quality standards" doesn't have quite the same ring to it does it.
The aesthetics of the case have an unquestionable lean towards the balls out gamer who has a desire to cart both his arse and his beloved (no not the GF) off to a mates house or a full blown LAN party. The large and reassuringly secure rubber coated carry handle at the top of the case of course makes this all the more easier and a darn sight safer than risking it slip from your grasp. What it doesn't do however is make it any lighter. With the case weighing in at 8.3 kg you can expect to add at least another 4kg once you've filled with kit. which ever way you look at it, you're going to arrive safe, but with one arm significantly longer than the other.
With the addition of 2x120mm red LED fans included in the front of the Advanced edition CM have mitigated any lacking in cooling ability that may have previously been levelled at the Scout 2. Should you wish to add more then there's certainly scope to do so with the Advanced edition able to provide accommodation for no less than 9 fans in total. What you're not going to be doing is fitting water cooling in here, other than single AIO 120mm rads in the rear extract position. It's fair to say that the single 120mm rad/fan combo in the rear extract position isn't exactly our favourite cooling solution here at OC3D towers, but given the reduction in stresses and strains the comparatively lightweight contact plate paces on the CPU area of the motherboard when compared to a conventional tower cooler there is perhaps something to be said for this option given that the case and therefor its internals are going to be subjected to forces that could potentially cause a heavy tower cooler to damage to the motherboard.
Building into the Scout is easy enough, with 30mm of space behind the motherboard and plenty of well distributed cable tie points to work with. A small criticism though is the placement of the vertical motherboard edge cable management holes. We'd rather of had 3 smaller holes or the two that are provided being better distributed. this is however but a niggle.
Hardware wise with the Scout 2 Advanced you're going to be able to cram in GPUs up to 287mm in length. If you're willing and able to sacrifice 4 of the 7 HDD bays then whip out part of the rack and you can happily wedge in GPUs up to 399mm. Even though you're not going to be able to plant a monster air cooler atop that hot CPU you're still going to be able to paste in place anything up to 162mm in height, which if you look back at our air cooler charts, both present and past, should provide you with plenty of high performance air cooler delight, and as we mentioned above, if it's likely that you're going to be lugging, then there's always the AIO solution.
Even if the Scout 2 is destined never to be toted across a rainy car park somewhere on the outskirts of Telford it still makes for a pretty decent desk top case in its own right. Ample cooling, good looks, high quality and decent feature count mean this is a case to be reckoned with.
So what of the competition, well there are plenty of cases in the £80 region, but few if any that offer the portability that the Scout 2 advanced offers. In fact if you really want portability and have to have Mid tower and ATX then the only other real contenders are the other Scout models and the much larger Trooper line of cases.
Following on from the progenitor of the line, and the more recent Scout 2, the CM Storm Scout 2 Advanced has a hard act to follow. However, with the revisions that have been made to the styling, functionality and not to mention the rather attractive Gun Metal finish Cooler Master are likely to have another winner on their hands.