Cooler Master Storm Sniper Black Edition

9.3 Overall Score
Build Quality: 9/10
Layout: 9/10
Price: 10/10

Excellent price, awesome all black finish backed by the Cooler Master name.

Could use some better cable routing and an additional option to change case LED colors would be nice.

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As with all new products, we start with the packaging. After all, the best part of getting new hardware is opening it up. The Cooler Master Storm Sniper Black Edition comes in a black box, as it should. The front side of the packaging displays the Sniper without any distinguishing differences from the original. On the back side panel we get a glimpse of the all black interior painted to match the rest of the case and the theme of the product. The two additional sides offer up some more information on the Sniper Black.

[timg]box_front.JPG[/timg] [timg]box_back.JPG[/timg] [timg]box_side01.JPG[/timg] [timg]box_side02.JPG[/timg]

Cracking open the top of the box gives us a look at the typical packaging used to ship the Sniper Black. Nothing special here, either.

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Finally, we have the case out of the box and ready for inspection. The Cooler Master Storm series has many design influences from gamers and military engineering. Our reviewer, being a U.S. Marine(once a Marine always a Marine), knows a thing or two about detailed inspections. So we put the Storm Sniper up on the chopping blocks.

Unsheathed, it still looks like an ordinary Sniper chasis, but as we turn it around we see where the Black Edition starts to stand apart from its brethren. The back panel is bathed in all black to match the exterior of the case. With the side panel removed, we see the all black interior along with accessories and a white standoff guideline sheet taped to the motherboard tray. You can see that Cooler Master has included a mouse pad from its new Storm line of mouse pads and the Sentinel gaming mouse(review found here). A nice addition and added benefit of purchasing this case.

[timg]case_threequater.JPG[/timg] [timg]case01.JPG[/timg] [timg]case_back.JPG[/timg] [timg]case_backside.JPG[/timg]

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Removing the accessories and other surprises, we see a matte black interior which matches the exterior nearly perfectly. Sometimes you get tired of silver/gray interiors and the Sniper Black subtly radiates sleekness with an all black look. You put this case in a room with a dozen others and that all black sexiness grabs you from across the way. Much like that sexy little black dress mentioned earlier.

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Moving on to the interior, we will start with the 5 1/4″ bay. Again, the all black adds a bit of style and pizzaz to the Sniper Black, but as this Marine reviewer points out, there is a flaw. In the bottom left corner of the bays you can see a spot where the black paint missed. Now, this could be a result of this being a review sample, but when our money is on the line, we expect nothing short of perfection. As our ever vigilant reviewer continued with his white glove inspection, we noticed two more areas of concern as far as the paint job goes. Below the HDD cage and away from the front side you can see an area where the paint missed. Moving to the rear of the case at the back of the PSU mounting position we can see another area missed. Hopefully these are just minor occurances and will not be seen in other retail Sniper Black Edition cases.

[timg]3.5in drivebaay.JPG[/timg] [timg]bad paint02.JPG[/timg] [timg]bad paint01.JPG[/timg]

Leaving behind our white gloved inspection, we move on to the more interesting details of the case. The HDD mounting is the same as with the original Sniper. However, you will find a bracket in the accessories kit that allows for the installation of an SSD, 2.5″ HDD, or 1.8″ HDD/SSD. Installing the HDD is very simple and requires no tools. The expansion slot area also has a unique tool less design. This setup had no problems with the 4870X2 or 4890 we installed in the Sniper Black Edition.

[timg]hdd cage.JPG[/timg] [timg]hdd installatioin.JPG[/timg] [timg]expansion slots.JPG[/timg]

The feet on the Sniper Black Edition fold out to give the case a sturdy stance. You can adjust them in a variety of angles to give your case the look you want. The fan control area remains the same as the original Sniper. It offers control over the fan speed of the side panel, top and front panel fans. You can also turn the blue LEDs on or off. A quick peak at the inside of the main side panel shows us the 230mm fans used in the Sniper Black. The accessories include small rubber feet that can be used in place of the larger rotating feet that come installed on the Sniper Black Edition.

[timg]bottom01.JPG[/timg] [timg]bottom02.JPG[/timg] [timg]top control panel.JPG[/timg] [timg]side panel backside.JPG[/timg] [timg]accessories.JPG[/timg]

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