Aerocool Strike-X ST
The longest case in our four-way comparison, Aerocool’s Strike-X ST is large enough to support up to nine 120 mm fans on its left side panel. Four external drives are supported up front, but the area under those bays that looks like it'd be a front-access backplane is nothing more than a molded-in vent.
While the front panel only appears to have a backplane, the top panel actually does have one. Designed for external connection to internal drives, separate doors guide 2.5” and 3.5” drives into position over its data and power connectors. Three fan control knobs are found nearby, along with dual USB 3.0, dual USB 2.0, headphone, and microphone connections.
Though most of its front-panel capabilities are found up top, the one feature remaining is a slide-out intake fan filter. This washable filter protects a single 200 mm fan.
In addition to its support for a triple-fan internal radiator, Aerocool’s Strike-X ST supports up to three external liquid coolers lines via seven grommetted ingress/egress holes. A removable cover facilitates a second power supply, and the Strike-X ST even allows an extra fan to be installed behind the CPU socket.
Strike-X Cable Management
Though it’s barely wide enough to support a 24-pin power cable, space behind the Strike-X ST’s motherboard tray is broad enough to contain the excess cable length of most power supplies. Grommets dress most of its cable access holes.
Inside The Strike-X ST
Ten hard drive trays and three fan controllers highlight the cavernous space inside Aerocool’s Strike-X ST. A dozen grommets fill most of its holes, though rolled edges make these an aesthetic, rather than mandatory, feature.
Quick Drive Access
Drive trays hasten drive replacement, though Aerocool’s tray style still requires screws. Noise-dampening grommets support 3.5” drives, while 2.5” drives are attached without these.
Above the hard drive cage, sliding latches on pinned brackets allow 5.25” drives to be secured without screws.
Slowing Up To Fifteen Fans
Each of the Strike-X ST’s three fan controllers supports up to five three-pin fans. Note that four-pin PWM fans can also be controlled via voltage on three-pin headers.
Strike-X Intake Options
Though it includes a single 200 mm fan within its face panel, the Strike-X ST’s metal is punched for dual 140 mm and dual 120 mm coolers. Those alternatives are not easy to access, however, since Aerocool did not make space above the main intake fan for the two-fan option. And while adequate space exists between the hard drive cage and face plate to install two fans there, the edge of the case prevents installation with the cage installed.
The best reason we can think of to use the previous-generation fan mounts is to install a second internal radiator, though the hard drive cage must be removed completely to do so. It’s unfortunate, then, that Aerocool uses rivets rather than screws to secure the cage.
A Room Upstairs
The most-important feature of Aerocool’s Strike-X ST could be its top panel with support for three fans. Also able to hold up to two 200 mm fans or three 140 mm fans, the factory-equipped 200 mm fan is going to be removed for our upcoming radiator installation.
Azza Hurrican 2000
A classy matte finish gives Azza’s Hurrican 2000 a far-more professional appearance than its previously-reviewed Fusion 4000, while a classic ATX layout gives it a far friendlier size. Small windows and a pair of LED fan on the side impart a somewhat more playful look to fully-integrated machines.