For this system build we wanted to show you the versatility of this chassis so we decided to install a full water cooling set-up. For our build we used:
Motherboard: Asus Z68 Maximus Gene IV Gen 3
CPU: Intel i5 2500k
GPU: XFX AMD HD6870 Black Edition
RAM: Crucial 8GB 1600mhz (2x4GB) DDR3
PSU: NZXT 850 Semi Modular Unit
Drives: 120GB OCZ SSD, 1TB Seagate 3.5″ Drive, Samsung DVD-RW optical Drive
Water Cooling Hardware
CPU Block: Swiftech Apogee XT rev.2
GPU Block: Koolance VID HD6870
Radiators: Top – Swiftech MCR220-Res
Bottom – XSPC EX240
Pump/Res: XSPC Dual bay Res. with Swiftech MCP355 pump
Tubing: Primochill UV red 1/2″ ID 3/4″ OD
Fittings: Bitspower Black Diamond Barbs
Fans: Top – 2x Rosewill 120mm
Bottom – 4x Cooler Master 120mm
As you see here, with all of our gear installed, our set-up looks quite nice. The hardware was installed without modifications. As we move further along into this build we will explain in detail how our components fit and any concerns that we had.
Here’s just another quick look at the set-up with the side panel on.
As you can see here, the water-cooler tubing management was easy and there is plenty of space. You will not have to worry about running out of room. Even if you plan on adding a second graphics card you should be fine. Cable management was also made easy with the holes to route the cables to the rear of the motherboard tray.
Here we added our swiftech radiator mounted at the top with fans in push configuration rather then using the 200mm fan that was included. If you plan on using the top space for a push/pull configuration you may want to rethink it. The fitting of the Rad when the motherboard is mounted is rather close.
Here’s a close look with the motherboard mounted into the chassis. As you can see the fan is rather close to the motherboard heat sink and CPU 8 pin power port. The push/pull configuration here at the top will not fit without some modifications to the top panel.
Here’s just one more look at the top side with the radiator mounted. If you are considering mounting a 360mm radiator at the top here, you will need to do some major modifications. If we measured correctly it can fit, however you will have to consider losing the top 5.25″ bay and also the SSD Dock. It will not allow for the wires to fit depending on the radiator.
Moving onto the lower section of the chassis you can see here that we opted to put an additional 240mm rad here in push/pull configuration using Cooler Master 120mm fans. In order to do this you will need to remove the SSD hard drive rack and also lose the space for the accessory tool box. If the tool box feature was something you wanted to take advantage of you may want to consider a smalled 120mm Rad at the bottom instead. However, we wanted to take full advantage of our water cooling capabilities here, so we opted to remove the 2 items. We removed the side panels of the 5.25″ bays here to show you how things fit. To our surprise the radiator fit without any modifications and mounted right up.
With the 5.25″ Bay plates and hard drive bay put back into place you can see that the clearance is rather close, but fits like a glove. If you plan on using the lower HD bay for storage drives you may want to rethink this particular setup as it will be drawing the hot air from the radiator onto your devices. What we did with our build here is rotated the drive bay so that 120mm fan is taking cold air from the front of the chassis and pushing the hot air back and out the rear exhaust. It’s just something to think about when using this chassis for water cooling.
Here’s a closer look here at the fit of the Radiator with fans in push/pull and the hard drive bay in place. You have maybe 1-2mm of space from the screws.
And, here’s another view of the lower radiator from the front panel. As we mentioned earlier, you lose the space for the accessory tool box if you mounted a large radiator in its place.
What we liked here is even with the longer power supplies, (like the NZXT 850watt that we used), there is plenty of room for your cables even with the radiator in place. This is a nice change, as we often see the lower radiators and longer PSUs have fitting problems. Great job for the Cooler Master team here!
Here’s another quick look at our completed build. It looks rather nice with the Red, Black and White to contrast each other.
Here’s another view with the side windowed panel installed.
Here we opted to install our bay res at the top; however, since there are nine 5.25″ bays you have tons of options here.
Now that you have taken a detailed look at our build let’s sum up our experiences with the Cooler Master CM Storm Stryker.