Skip to main content

System Builder Marathon, Q2 2014: A Balanced High-End Build

Completing Hardware Installation

Cooler Master's Storm Scout 2 Advanced uses push-in drive rails to secure 3.5” hard drives, and includes two 2.5” adapter trays that employ the same rails.

Clips hold the fan to the CPU cooler, and a set of nine screws and standoffs hold the motherboard inside the case. The graphics card slides into its slot after removing a couple of slot covers. The drives slide into their brackets. And all of the power supply’s wires are attached to finish the installation. When in doubt, refer to the case and motherboard manual for further instructions.

Do you see anything missing in the shot above? The case originally supported up to seven hard drives, but PowerColor’s PCS+ AXR9 290X graphics card wouldn’t fit with the upper cage assembled. Attached with five screws, the rear wall of the upper cage is removable.

The PCIe power cables look a little messy because they're too short to run behind the motherboard tray. Also, a second CPU power cable (4+4-pin divisible) is permanently attached to our semi-modular supply, which doesn't make sense. Most motherboards only have one auxiliary CPU power header, and semi-modular power supplies are supposed to permanently attach only the universally-required cables. I stashed the spare cable between the motherboard tray and right side panel.

Given what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have picked this case or power supply. Then again, both are priced aggressively, so I might have simply second-guessed myself before buying the same components. At least the finished product is solid and looks great.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.