Cooler Master CM Storm Enforcer
Interior Components and Design
|Who says beauty is only skin deep? This Enforcer is beautiful on the inside too!
First off, THANK YOU FOR FINISHING THE INSIDE EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE OUTSIDE! Case manufacturers are coming around to realize that a lot of people who buy cases actually look inside them. To finish a nice case like this with the same old “inside of a circuit panel” grey would be a travesty. The inside of the Enforcer is finished in the same very finely textured black found on the outside- which is spot on with the plastic components on the outside. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. By doing this, you let the focus be on the goodies inside, not the lack of attention paid to the case itself.
Starting at the 5.25” bays on the front of the case, once the front bezel is removed (easy), you have access to the 5.25 cage. The tool-less mechanisms used to lock the 5.25” drives in place is also simplified engineering at its finest. Once the bezel is off, select where you want to put your drive, flip the lever to “OPEN”, slide in your drive ½ way,
Then lip the lever to “LOCK”,
Then push the drive in the rest of the way- the lock catches is securely and you are done. The mechanisms are very easy to operate, and with their design appear to have a huge amount of duty cycles, and for those of you who still want to custom paint the inside of your case REMOVE from the case with 2 fingers- easily popped back on. The guy who came up with these deserves a little something extra in his check!
Included is a pair of brackets for mounting a 3.5” device (card reader, etc.) into one of the 5.25” bays.
Moving on to the hard drive cage (3.5” cage), it features state that it has the ability to rotate or remove a 4-bay section of the hard drive cage. Interesting idea, but we have a problem. To do this, you remove 4 screws on the back of this section.
Once you do that, the 4 bay section slides right out.
You can then turn this cage 90 degrees or remove it entirely.
BUT, don’t get any ideas about using normal 3.5” drives in this cage with them rotated 90 degrees from facing you, because it’s not going to work- see pic below:
The rear of the hard drive hits the front of the case before it even latches into position, and I hadn’t even run the cables back there too- which would require even MORE room. I think we should stop marketing it as “rotatable” Cooler Master, and just call it “removable”. I don’t really know why rotating it would be desired anyway, as it may just leave you trying to wiggle hard drives in and out around your motherboard and wiring- and once the cage is rotated, it is not going to be quite as easy to change your mind as your motherboard, graphics card and wiring won’t allow the room to slide the cage all of the way out to again rotate it to its “stock” position. But if you desire, there are TWO reasons to remove it entirely- One reason is the fact that they have included a 2.5” (or SSD- (S)olid (S)tate (D)rive) cage!
There is a little bracket screwed to the floor of the case, and when the “removable” section of hard drive cage is removed- this little bracket attaches to the top of the 2 remaining 3.5” bays. This little bracket is your mount for 2.5” (think SSD!) Nice- back in business with the interior design guys! This little bracket will allow two SSD drives or 2.5” regular hard drives to be mounted above the remaining two 3.5” drives. This could give you a nice SSD boot drive with 2 hard drive storage option- a fairly common configuration for those getting into using solid state drives.
The OTHER reason is for extra-long video card support you can go with a video card up to 390mm without the 3.5” HDD cage
OR, alternatively, you could use the little bracket in its “stock” position on the floor of your case with 2.5/SSD drives, and then fill the six 3.5” slots with hard drives giving you a real storage monster, if you are so inclined.
The choices in configuration are nice to have. It’s nice to be able to change the configuration of the inside of your case easily depending on what you want your system to be like.
The motherboard tray (which is not removable) includes a “Designed by Cooler Master” stamping- pride in this case is evident, and aside from the “rotating” 3.5” cage, they nailed it quite well.
As well, they have a stamped guide on what standoff mounting positions to use depending on the type of motherboard you will be using- either Micro-ATX or ATX. Nice touch- no need to hunt the instructions for it.
Which kind of got me thinking… Other than to find out what the “Storm Guard” peripheral security was all about, this case is so intuitive that I didn’t find much need for the operation manual at all. That speaks volumes on the thought and simple clean engineering what went into this case. Why make it complex when it doesn’t need to be seems to be a recurring idea throughout this case, and it is welcome to see.
Moving back to the motherboard tray, there is a large cutout behind where the processor will live (IN GREEN)- allowing easy access to your CPU cooling solution, and 7 openings around 3 sides of where the motherboard would be located to cleanly route your wiring (IN YELLOW)- the openings do not have any sort of plastic or rubber grommets to further protect cables, but the edges of the openings are nicely rounded back on themselves for a very smooth finish that is unlikely to damage anything.
On the rear panel of the case, you have 3 rubber-grommeted openings for your exterior liquid cooling setup should you desire. Also, there is a single 120mm fan (that the instructions show can be equipped with a closed-loop liquid cooling solution available commonly now) and even gives you the option of installing another 120mm fan inboard the radiator giving you the option of having the 2 fans configured in a push/pull arrangement. The slots for your add-in pci cards are nothing spectacular- normal slotted covers with each held in place by a screw- no tool-less installation here, but the access to the screws is very good.