Cooler Master Storm Scout
The motherboard tray here is not removable, so assembly and installation has to be done completely inside the case. The Scout’s interior is reasonably spacious, not as cramped as some we’ve seen, nor as open as others, resting comfortably in the middle as "fine". Installing the motherboard standoffs do require tools so the build will not be entirely tool-less. The motherboard went in without a hitch, plenty of room to maneuver things into place. The optical drive quickly installed with the tool-less mechanism after struggling a bit to force the front bezel off.
The hard drive is installed into the caddy by means of pinned drive rails that pop into the drive itself. Push them into place, then slide in the drive. To remove the drive, simply pinch the rails with your thumb and finger, and remove. It’s not terribly complicated, and though not the best we’ve seen, it is pretty good. The drive does manage to stay quite tight, which is the primary focus here.
There are two issues with installation that became evident during assembly. The first issue concerns the cable management opportunities of the Scout. I will admit up front that I’m a cable management nut and very picky about how a case’s internals look and function when assembled. While the pre-bundled cables coming from the front bezel and running behind the motherboard tray is top-notch, the accolades end there. With the Scout featuring a bottom-mounted power supply, there has to be a cutout in the top of the motherboard tray in order to route the CPU power cable behind the tray; that doesn’t exist here. There also aren’t any voids or large gaps behind or below the hard drive cage to actually get cables to that area in order to hide them. Lastly, while there are holes in the motherboard tray to route cables behind the tray itself, there isn’t enough space back there when the side panel is installed; the offset distance between the tray and the side panel is too shallow. Another quarter inch at least is required to create enough space to route cables back there. So while the intentions are good, the execution here is lacking. A modular power supply is definitely recommended for the Scout in order to cut down on the amount of cables to route throughout.
The second issue with installation is an issue that will only arise in certain circumstances and won’t apply to everyone. We installed an Nvidia 9800 GTX+, a very long graphics card, and it just fit in the Scout. Barely. Some minor finagling was needed to get it into place. Thankfully, the 9800GTX has side-mounted power connectors, but if you have a long card with end-mounted power connectors, then you’re out of luck; it will not fit in the Scout. This is rather surprising given the fact that the Scout is a gamer case. It wouldn’t take much to avoid this issue; cheating a half inch onto the front of the case and another half inch on the back end would make the dimensions perfect overall, but as it stands, if you have a very long graphics card with end-mounted power connectors, then you’ll run into a very big problem. It won’t be an issue with any other cards, however, just the longest ones, so keep it in mind.
Below you can see the ATX power cable issue due to lack of rear-routing holes, as well as the space issue with the 9800GTX+ as noted.
Lastly, a quick word about noise: the noise generated by the Scout’s fans is not very loud. It’s not silent but neither is it an annoyance unless you have a very sensitive threshold and tolerance for noise levels.