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Four ATX Cases For High-Capacity Water Cooling, Reviewed

Building With Aerocool’s Strike-X ST

Aerocool’s Strike-X ST includes a user’s manual, an optional wheel set, and separately labeled screw packets. It does not include the 180 mm side fan from the manual’s image, and builders who prefer a rolling chassis must add around 2” to the height listed on the first page of this article.

Dual mounting patterns on all ten drive trays support 3.5” and 2.5” drives. Since the 2.5” drives most frequently used in desktop systems are SSDs with no moving parts, the use of noise-dampening grommets exclusively for 3.5” drives is perfectly acceptable.

Though we’re told that Intel actually designed the now-standard front-panel USB 3.0 header, this editor pushed that concept into the market. After all of that effort, it’s sad to see any modern case arrive without support for this two-year-old standard. The Strike-X ST uses rear-panel pass-through cables instead.

Designed exclusively for exhausting heated air, Aerocool’s 200 mm top fan had to be removed before we could install our triple-fan radiator. This same part is used as a front-panel intake by mounting it on molded-in spacers, but the Strike-X’s side panel doesn’t have this provision. We soldiered on without any side panel fans.

Swiftech’s MCR-320 Drive Rev3 radiator fits the Strike-X ST most easily with its pump on the front and reservoir on the back. The top panel also has room for some 3 x 140 mm radiators, but a larger radiator wouldn’t leave enough room for an integrated reservoir at the back end.

We wanted enough coolant line to fit the same system into all cases without having to drain it. By being the first case tested, the Strike-X ST sets the pace for evaluating other enclosures.

One small problem was that the USB 3.0 pass-through cables were too short to reach the appropriate ports on our motherboard, at least when using any of the chassis' original egress holes. We were instead forced to plug these cables into USB 2.0 connectors

A much larger problem was that the side panel tabs did not properly mate with six keyholes across the opening’s top and bottom edges, forcing many minutes of finessing before the panel finally closed all of the way—but even then was only mostly secure.

Front and rear fans feature red LED lighting.

  • EzioAs
    Too bad we can't see the full build on the cosmos II. Maybe cooler master should have sent the storm trooper instead
    Reply
  • wolfram23
    Should have put the rad in the bottom of the Cosmos II by removing the HDD trays. Seems like it should fit there.

    Also, Swiftech makes a sweet kit although I can't imagine the size of the triple rad. Using the Edge 220 myself, love it. Fits in my Antec 900 II.
    Reply
  • wolfram23Should have put the rad in the bottom of the Cosmos II by removing the HDD trays. Seems like it should fit there.Also, Swiftech makes a sweet kit although I can't imagine the size of the triple rad. Using the Edge 220 myself, love it. Fits in my Antec 900 II.The Cosmos II only accepts a 2 X 120 rad in the HDD compartment. Its too bad that toms wasn't able to complete the build in the cosmos II. Maybe within the end of the year, Cooler Master will introduce the Cosmos S II and fix all those enthusiast complains that i read.
    Reply
  • hellfire24
    i would take Switch!it's a personal choice no offence to others they are great too.
    Reply
  • theuniquegamer
    The Nzxt switch 810 is a good overall case. Too bad they can't fit the rad to cosmos ii . May be they should try the svgtech h80 triple rad air cooler .
    Reply
  • theuniquegamer
    The Nzxt switch 810 is a good overall case. Too bad they can't fit the rad to cosmos ii . May be they should try the svgtech h80 triple rad air cooler .
    Reply
  • Crashman
    theuniquegamerThe Nzxt switch 810 is a good overall case. Too bad they can't fit the rad to cosmos ii . May be they should try the svgtech h80 triple rad air cooler .Guys, I'm collecting suggestions for future uses of the left-over Cosmos II.
    1.) Yes it supports STANDARD 3-fan radiators. It just couldn't be compared to other cases if it had a different cooling system.
    2.) It can probably also be MODIFIED to fit the radiator used in the article.

    So, do you have a custom system suggestion? or are you looking for a modification article? Like I said, I'm taking suggestions. Thanks!
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    For the Cosmos II, try doing a full build with a standard 360 rad in the top and a 240 rad in the bottom compartment with a 3960X cpu and 2 LCS 7970 from powercolor to show the lowest temps and highest overclock on custom watercooling build. Maybe do an extreme build guide or something like that with the cosmos II. Just a suggestion
    Reply
  • acekombatkiwi1
    If you want to stick with Swiftech gear use the 240 edge kit down the bottom with a Swiftech 360 QP up top.
    Reply
  • koogco
    It seems a bit silly to use a rad with bits tagged on the end, since most good cases would be designed without those bits in mind. I can see the apeal of using something that is almost like closed loop, but using one of the optical-bay resevoirs with built in pump might have put you fairly close aswell.
    I would like to see what else you can do with the Cosmos II, perhaps a 240+360rad built with just that case as others suggested.
    Reply