Five More Mainstream Gaming Cases, Rounded-Up

Building With The Cooler Master Storm Enforcer

Cooler Master’s Storm Enforcer fits into more traditional mid-tower dimensions, its tall feet and front-panel peak pushing its height to a mere nineteen inches. With an extra-deep door constituting more than an inch of its 21” total depth, this case's interior is limited to ATX-sized motherboards and a maximum graphics card length of 11.1”.

Sacrificing the four-bay center hard drive cage gives builders room for cards up to 16.7”. Fortunately, that sacrifice wasn’t needed for our build.

The Storm Enforcer includes several 3.5” drive rails, a pair of 5.25”-to-3.5” external bay adapter rails, a 3.5”-to-2.5” hard drive adapter tray, several screws, a PC speaker, and cable ties. If you need more 2.5” drive mounting space, you'll find a two-drive cage mounted to the case’s floor.

Installing our 2.5” drive in the adapter allowed us to use one less power cable in the installation, since our power supply's cable has three leads spaced approximately 6” apart.

Drive latching pins for 5.25” devices rest within a swinging mechanism, engaging the drive’s mounting holes with the flip of a lever.

Shoulders on the two factory-installed standoffs center the motherboard over holes to insure proper alignment. These also enable one-handed installation, since they prevent the board from sliding out of position.

Cooler Master unclutters the Storm Enforcer’s cable kit slightly by omitting USB 2.0 connectivity, though some users will likely prefer the added ports you get from some competing products. The firm goes on to add clutter by including an AC'97 audio lead. Motherboards have used HD Audio for many years, guys. Let's retire AC'97 once and for all!

Our oversized motherboard fits inside the Storm Enforcer with barely enough of its cable holes exposed to pass through SATA connectors. Most of our larger cables were forced to follow an alternative path around the hard drive cage, though the case at least has space above the motherboard we could use to route our ATX12V lead.

Red LED fan lighting finishes the Storm Enforcer’s gaming theme, without being so bright as to distract us from getting our work done.

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43 comments
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  • samorf
    That's a great looking case. I know value isn't a huge point for the CM Cosmos 2 but I would love to see your benchmarks on it.
  • mjmjpfaff
    I really thought that the Antec Eleven Hundred would get this site's nod, especially with its build quality and its plethora of features to help with cable management, as well as all of its removable dust filters which many cases at the 100$ mark lack as well as some cases well over 100$.
  • jimmysmitty
    mjmjpfaffI really thought that the Antec Eleven Hundred would get this site's nod, especially with its build quality and its plethora of features to help with cable management, as well as all of its removable dust filters which many cases at the 100$ mark lack as well as some cases well over 100$.


    Antec, I think, has fallen behind in case design as of late. While the Eleven Hundred is much better than the aging 900/300 design, it still has some small points of meh such as only one 2.5" drive bay when there are other cases close to the price (not current price but original price) trat support 2.5" in every drive bay.

    Also the design is a bit meh. Though I have fallen in love with the Corsair 500R so its a bit hard to make me think of another case. And the CM Storm Enforcer is ok. Had one in the shop the other day. Nothing amazing honestly but its not overly bad.
  • Crashman
    jimmysmittyAntec, I think, has fallen behind in case design as of late. While the Eleven Hundred is much better than the aging 900/300 design, it still has some small points of meh such as only one 2.5" drive bay when there are other cases close to the price (not current price but original price) trat support 2.5" in every drive bay.Also the design is a bit meh. Though I have fallen in love with the Corsair 500R so its a bit hard to make me think of another case. And the CM Storm Enforcer is ok. Had one in the shop the other day. Nothing amazing honestly but its not overly bad.
    I really liked the Eleven Hundred, it's just that the Enforcer's super-low price makes it a better value for the majority of builds.
  • damric
    I really felt like I was reading a commercial. Was this review cut and paste from the marketing documents provided?
  • randomkid
    Nice article. I feel glad about my choice of the CM Storm Enforcer... :)
  • Crashman
    damricI really felt like I was reading a commercial. Was this review cut and paste from the marketing documents provided?
    I'll have what you're having! Then I can look past all the careful observations, performance data and criticisms and see a world made of cotton candy!

    BTW, you should at least read the ENTIRE conclusion before calling an article a fluff piece. Thanks!
  • randomkid
    ^No editing feature while in the Article comment mode. But I found out that once in the forum, it can be edited or deleted just like any post.
  • jaquith
    I tend NOT to recommend cases to folks (personal preference) - it's like saying your Girlfriend is ugly or has a flaw.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    As long as the case functions and has what you need -- it's all what YOU like and flips that switch.
  • eddieroolz
    I'm not a fan of obviously gamer looking cases, but the Antec 1100, by virtue of being so similar to my P280, gets my vote.
  • DirectXtreme
    The Antec, the Fractal Design, and the Silverstone look good. The other two just look way to... colorful. I'm all for a simple yet elegant design.
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    I used this case in my most recent build,and it is a wonderful case to work with.
  • skaz
    Corsair 550d is also a baller choice too. Not sure what makes a case "gaming" grade. I'm not a big fan of unnecessary plastic pieces. The main things I look for are good airflow options, solid material, cable management, overall build quality. Less to me is better. But I understand how this is all personal preference. I guess I'm just tired of the "gaming" label being marketed to death when in most cases it doesn't mean anything. No pun intended.
  • g-unit1111
    That Raidmax case looks like it's going to transform into something. :lol:
  • Crashman
    JaquithI tend NOT to recommend cases to folks (personal preference) - it's like saying your Girlfriend is ugly or has a flaw. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As long as the case functions and has what you need -- it's all what YOU like and flips that switch.
    One more reader who can skip right to the conclusion Really, there's details in there about quality. It's not like these are all built identically.
  • g-unit1111
    JaquithI tend NOT to recommend cases to folks (personal preference) - it's like saying your Girlfriend is ugly or has a flaw. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As long as the case functions and has what you need -- it's all what YOU like and flips that switch.


    Yeah but that's when people choose crap or junk brands like Raidmax, Xion, Ultra and Apevia - those have serious flaws and horrible build quality, I really try to persuade people not to buy those under any circumstances. The computers I work with on a daily basis all use these cases and they suck - I moved a computer built around an Apevia case from one desk to another and the door fell off in the process! There's a lot of crap brands out there and that's why sites like this exist - to help people sort the good hardware from the junk. You don't want to get a case that's poorly made for your new quality components.

    The things I never recommend on builds are monitor, keyboard and mouse - I don't like spending hundreds on these things and I don't cut corners to get say a $140 keyboard, that's not what I want people to concentrate on their builds.
  • gm0n3y
    Useful article. I personally wouldn't have recommended any of the cases simply because recommending one means that its better than the others and I think that the Coolermaster, Silverstone, and Antec we all about equal. The Silverstone and Antec were better but the Coolermaster was cheaper.

    Of course, like everyone else, I think my case (Antec P280) is the best and should be the recommended buy. It is $30 more than the Eleven Hundred, but only $10 more than the Raidmax.
  • Yuka
    Thanks for the advice. I've never recommended a CM PSU, since they all tend to fail early. Their caess though...

    I used the CM Storm Enforcer for a friends build and it's quite a good case, thanks to it's price in a 99%, lol.

    It's not bad looking and very quiet. Fit's the 7970 perfectly and it's build quality is quite good.

    Cheers!
  • mjmjpfaff
    51742 said:
    Useful article. I personally wouldn't have recommended any of the cases simply because recommending one means that its better than the others and I think that the Coolermaster, Silverstone, and Antec we all about equal. The Silverstone and Antec were better but the Coolermaster was cheaper. Of course, like everyone else, I think my case (Antec P280) is the best and should be the recommended buy. It is $30 more than the Eleven Hundred, but only $10 more than the Raidmax.

    The Antec Eleven Hundred and the Antec P280 are both the same price (100$) at Amazon.com.
  • jaquith
    g-unit1111Yeah but that's when people choose crap or junk brands like Raidmax, Xion, Ultra and Apevia - those have serious flaws and horrible build quality...

    There's times when I see 'crap' and try to persuade folks to different brands & models, but for the most part folks get offended so I keep my opinion to myself.
  • randomkid
    I've known of cooler master bad psu's mostly from comments from Tom's forum. The links you posted have been mentioned & I checked by myself. As a result I never recommend this PSU & even persuade people who have put it in their list to get another PSU instead. I guess Cooler Master see these kinds of posts, including yours, and if cooler master does not get their act together, it will continue & totally ruin their PSU department. Just a matter of time.

    However, I still use & recommend their other products which does prove to be best bang for buck like the Hyper 212. In most cases the questions are just about "what cooler should I get for this budget" so I answer the question straight.

    In general, I believe that the the people who work on good products should not be penalized by the unscrupulous acts of others in their company.
  • ChromeTusk
    Thanks Crashman for another great article. I can't wait for the next set.
    Personally, I have always like Antec and recently began using Silverstone; CM cases look nice, but are not my preference. The 1100 might be on my next build list :sol: .
  • Antec Eleven Hundred is to me quite a stunning case. Classic, elegant, functional. The side fan design is unusually nice looking, which is notoriously hard to pull off on a side panel window. Its one of the very few I've seen that truly aesthetically works. This one does. Yes, one minor misstep not making the top more flexible. Should be much more like Arc Midi there. It's clearly spacious enough to accommodate many options there, being almost an inch taller, an inch longer and half an inch wider than the 500R. Side by side I find the Antec Eleven Hundred aesthetically more classic and elegant looking than the 500R. Antec has a close to perfect mid-tower case here, I think, for its price range. Changes I'd most wish for are 1) all-removable side hard drive bays a la Arc Midi, 2) modifications to the top to allow, e.g., dual rad closed loop water coolers (H100, upcoming Eisberg) without any additional modding, 3) removable side fan filter 4) slide-out front fan filter, 5) morf the rear fan port into a real fan controller. What else?
  • vishalaestro
    what about cooler master cm 690 ii advanced version i think choosing storm enforcer is a bad option