Capitalizing on those Expansion Points
Expansion is a big bonus these days and something that RTS gamers in the crowd are big on. In general though, gamers always have a lot to connect to their systems at any given LAN party. The last thing we need is to take along USB Hub adding one more piece of hardware to already limited table space. The less we have carry around with the LAN parties or events, the better.
Cooler Master’s research came to the same conclusion and that’s why you’ll find audio, eSATA, FOUR USB ports, power, and reset buttons all conveniently located at the top of the front bezel. Common cases typically offer only two USB ports. Remember, gamers have a lot of cool devices that aid them in “pwning” their opponent like USB powered rocket launchers and USB powered beverage coolers.
The LED light control can also be found above the audio ports. If you don’t want to see the LEDs, simply press the button and they turn off. This is good for those close quarters LAN parties where the lighting could annoy your neighbor. However, the fans will keep spinning and continue cooling the chassis. Enthusiasts who don’t want the lighting will find this very useful as well.
Scout! Inspection, arms!
A couple thumbscrews later, the Scout submitted its internal aresenal for a detailed inspection. It’s much easier to see just how nice the black interior is versus the standard gray steel. Donning a white glove (without Rhine stones), a quick handling of the chassis revealed it to be extremely clean and well fabricated.
For quick reference, Coolermaster includes a motherboard template so you know which holes to use for your motherboard. The last thing they want to hear is that someone shorted their system even by accident. The template is only paper and requires care when removing lest you tear it like our’s. Some thin construction paper would have been perfect.
The Scout’s PCI Features
The rear of the chassis that holds the PCI cards in place is pretty easy to use. Each clip is tooless and should hold even the largest of video cards securely in to position. However, these did feel a little weak when a bit of pressure was put on them. They can be pulled loose to the inside, but not pushed to the outside. So, they do work, but require a little attention to detail.
The plastic tooless drive locking slides are much studier than seen in some other cases. The PCI slotware appear equally improved which is one feature that can wear out with some light abuse. It’s nice to see some added attention given to these two items which should last your many future systems or upgrades. You’ll also notice the appearance of the Storm Guard Security System (SGSS). It’s basically a PCI slot with hooks it is that allow you to wrap the cable for your keyboard and mouse inside the case so they cannot be pulled out without having to go inside the case, which is typically locked in a LAN party setting.
One nice touch is the extra venting on the bottom of the chassis intended to give you some flexibility no matter how you install and orientate your PSU. And there’s plenty of space for installing large PSUs as well.