Noise Levels and Temperature
In order to test our case, we decided to do things a little more unconventionally. Instead of installing a system into our case which would obviously be easy to cool, we used a heat gun set to low to give us an idea of just how well the case would stand up to increasing temps. Even the heat gun, which simulates a worst case hot system scenario, could not produce enough hot air to warm the inside of the chassis more than 15 C degrees above the room's 20C ambient temp.
I'd also like to point out that the fans just barely break the 28dB noise level which was recorded in a perfectly quiet room. And, they do an expert job of keeping the interior cool by expelling warm air through the top and back very quickly. The side panel monster fan is especially the MVP when it comes to keeping the case cool.
The Cooler Master Storm Series Sniper Black Edition Gaming Case definitely scores at the top of the class for features that gamers love like the mesh lit side panel, tool-less assembly, extra interior chassis space, aggressive design, expert cooling, and fan control. The enclosure takes a lot of what makes a good case back to basics while improving on things that make life easy. Things like the motherboard tray cut out for easy CPU cooler assembly should be, in our opinion, an industry standard.
Though the chassis is completely tuned for gamers you can't see your internal system very easily through the mesh side panel. Gamers like to show off their brand new "Nitros Injected" motherboards and video cards. I would've really enjoyed seeing a clear or tinted acrylic window used instead. This is specifically why Cooler Master does make a version that uses a clear plexi window as well called the Black Edition Window Version. It shows that Cooler Master definitely has their ears on when it comes what gamers are looking for.
But if you are looking for a bit more privacy, this case still requires a sizable CCFL light to light up the inside enough to see what's inside making it pretty obvious when people are trying to snoop around your case at a LAN Party.
While the regular Sniper saves you a few bucks (when in stock), it seems like a shame to deny yourself this elite, deadly silent beauty. At $149.99, it's currently only $10 cheaper than its comparable nemesis, the Antec Twelve Hundred which is pretty much a legend on the battlefield. With the major holiday rush over, it seems probable that more year end rebates or price drops would make the enclosure even more appealing.
Congratulations soldier! You're being highly recommended for the system builders and elite gamers "Bronze Star". Sniper Class of 2009, dismissed!
- Plenty of interior space for builds
- Tool-less features work well
- Removable hard drive trays
- Excellent fan control system for customized cooling
- Black interior chassis is both tasteful and cool at the same time
- Excellent cable management
- Can't easily see the elite interior without heavy lighting (buy the plexi version instead)
- Lots of competition at similar price points
Overall Rating: 8.75/10.0