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CM Storm is a brand from Cooler Master focused on high-end gaming products. We’ve already reviewed Scout case and Sentinel Advance mouse and both got our highest praises. Let’s see if Sniper Black Edition also follows the same path.
The left side panel impresses with its huge 14" x 12" (36 x 31 cm) mesh featuring a giant air filter. Behind this mesh Sniper Black Edition comes with a 200-mm fan (500 to 1,000 rpm, 17 to 23 dBA). This fan is connected to the case fan speed controller, so you can control its fan through the big knob present on the top of the case and also turn off its blue light. If you want you can replace this fan with two 120 mm fans.
The front panel features five 5 1/4" bays, all with meshed covers and air filters. As you can see the bezel from the bottom bay comes with an adapter allowing you to install an external 3 1/2" device (floppy disk drive or memory card reader).
On the bottom section from the front panel there is one 200-mm fan identical to the one used on the side panel, also controlled by the knob available on the top panel. Like everywhere else, a mesh with an air filter is present in front of this fan, and this piece can be easily removed for cleaning, as you can see in Figure 4.
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The top panel from Sniper Black Edition impresses by its study looks. It has two handles that helps whenever you need to transport your computer. Another 200-mm fan identical to the ones used on the left and front panel is present here, also controlled by the big knob.
The buttons and connectors available on the top panel makes Sniper Black Edition one of the most complete cases in this area: four USB ports, one FireWire port and one eSATA port, plus the traditional mic in and headphones out jacks. The big knob controls the speed of the top, front and side fans (it doesn’t control the rear fan), and by pressing it you can turn the LED’s from these fans on or off. This is definitely a highly desirable feature.
The bottom panel, portrayed in Figure 7, is meshed and the feet can be rotated to match your own personal taste.
Finally we have the rear panel in Figure 8. On Sniper Black the power supply goes on the bottom of the case. The slot covers are meshed, which can improve airflow inside the case. Above the expansion slots there is a cable holder for you to lock your mouse and keyboard, making sure nobody will steal them (very useful if you pretend to carry your computer to LAN parties or are thinking in making it available in public spaces). A tab for installing a padlock or a warranty seal is also available. On the top part of the rear panel there are two holes for passing hoses from liquid cooling solutions, protected by rubber covers. Two extra holes are available near the power supply, but they must be broken to be used. A 120 mm fan is available on the rear panel (1,200 rpm, 17 dBA), but as mentioned it is not connected to the main fan controller.
The rear panel is painted black, as you may have already inferred by the name of the product.
Now let’s take a look inside CM Storm Sniper Black Edition.
[nextpage title=”Inside CM Storm Sniper Black Edition”]
Both panels are fastened to the case using black thumbscrews, which is excellent. The interior from this case is all painted in black, giving it a very professional looks. This case comes with a big hole on the motherboard tray for you to have access to the backplate from the CPU cooler, allowing you to replace it without having to remove the motherboard. It has two holes for routing cables behind the motherboard tray, but if you pay attention the motherboard tray is shorter than usual, allowing you to easily pass cables on the space that exists between the tray and the disk drive cages. The motherboard tray also has several clips for you to fasten zip-lock ties, helping to organize the cables behind the motherboard tray.
This case allows the installation of video cards up to 12 1/2” (31 cm) long.
In Figure 11 you have an overall look inside Sniper Black Edition. The top fan can be removed for you to install up to two 120 mm fans or a radiator from liquid cooling solutions. Expansion cards are held using individual plastic
The power supply compartment can be seen in Figure 12. The reviewed case has a space for install a 120- or a 140 mm fan on its bottom panel, featuring an air filter.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
CM Storm Sniper Black Edition comes with five 5.25” bays featuring a very easy to use screwless retention mechanism. There are five internal 3 1/2" bays for hard disk drives, which are actually small drawers for installing the drives. These drawers feature a rubber ring around the pegs used to hold the hard drives in order to absorb the vibration from the drives and thus preventing the noise generated by the drives from propagating.
Sniper Black Edition comes with two set of brackets, one for allowing you to install an external 3 1/2" device such as floppy disk drives and memory card readers, and one for allowing you to install a 3 1/2" or 1.8" solid state drive (SSD). After installing the brackets on an SSD, the SSD is installed inside a hard disk drive drawer. This is very nice because on several cases featuring such adapters the SSD is installed somewhere else. These brackets can be seen in Figure 15.
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CM Storm Sniper Black Edition case main specs include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC), painted black.
- Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product.
- Available colors: Black.
- Side panel: Meshed.
- Dimensions: 21 3/4” x 10” x 22 3/8” (55.1 cm x 25.5 cm x 56.7 cm) (H x W x D).
- Net weight: 25.5 lbs (11.6 kg)
- Gross weight: 30 lbs (13.6 kg)
- Bays: Five external 5.25” bays (comes with one 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter) and six internal 3.5” bays (comes with one 2.5”/1.8” adapter).
- Expansion slots: Seven.
- Fans: One 200-mm fan on the front (500-1,000 rpm, 17-23 dBA, glowing blue), one 200-mm fan on the top (500-1,000 rpm, 17-23 dBA, glowing blue), one 200-mm fan on the left panel (500-1,000 rpm, 17-23 dBA, glowing blue) and one fan 120 mm on the rear panel (1,200 rpm, 17 dBA).
- Optional fans: One 120- or 140 mm fan on the bottom, two 120 mm fans on the left panel (if the 200-mm fan is removed) and two 120 mm fans on the top panel (if the 200-mm fan is removed).
- More Information: https://www.cmstorm.com
- Suggested price in the US*: USD 150
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
CM Storm Sniper Black Edition amazed us: we couldn’t find any single weak point on it! Of course we would like it even more if it cost USD 10 or USD 20 less, but we think that for the user who is looking for a fully loaded and flawless mid-tower case, Sniper Black Edition is worth every cent.
- Meshed bay covers with air filters.
- Huge mesh on the left panel with air filter.
- Air filters also on the front and top panels.
- Vented slot covers.
- Three huge 200-mm fans.
- Speed control for the 200-mm fans with on/off switch for their LEDs.
- Supports the installation of radiators from certain liquid cooling solutions on the top panel.
- Hole in the motherboard tray for accessing the backplate of the CPU cooler.
- Holes for routing cables on the motherboard tray.
- Clips for fastening zip-lock ties.
- Panel with one eSATA port, four USB ports and one FireWire port.
- Screwless mechanism for fastening expansion cards.
- Screwless mechanisms for fastening drives.
- The number of hard drive bays (six) will please even the hardcore user.
- Adaptor for 2 1/2" or 1.8" SSD that fits inside a hard disk drive bay.
- Handles for carrying it around.
- Anti-theft mechanism for keyboard and mouse.
- No sharp edges where you could cut yourself while building your PC.
- Could be a little bit cheaper.