The gaming offshoot of Cooler Master, CM Storm, has been making a bit of a name for itself over the past year in gaming circles. With a range of mice, keyboards, headsets and chassis, we're seeing some great new products.

The older, smaller brother of this Trooper case, the Sniper, was a favourite of ours. I've got one encasing my home rig as I type. This Trooper chassis is a proper full size version of the Sniper, but with some serious, modern extras thrown in for good measure.

The most intriguing of these features is the fan control system laid into the top panel of the case along with the LEDs, power/reset buttons, and USB 2.0, 3.0 and eSATA ports. There's a fair amount of granularity in the fan speed adjustments, with the buttons allowing for six levels of spinning goodness.

Sadly there's no opportunity to set the fan speed levels yourself or have individual fans configured differently, but as a simple solution for a hot day or a toasty LAN party, it gives you some semblance of control.

Twist and shout

The Trooper's innards offer a little more configuration. The front 3.5-inch drive bays have two 120mm fans, which are side-mounted out of the box. With the twist of a few thumb screws you can alter the alignment to draw air in from the front, switch to 5.25-inch bays, take half the rack out or remove it completely if you've got one of those freakish long graphics cards.

The chassis has a simple, functional style, with more than a little of the HAF or classic Antec cases about it. Weirdly, it's still got the Sniper's carry handle, though the case is rather heavy even when empty. When filled with the componenty goodness of your PC, it's not going to be the sort of machine you'd lug round to a mate's house for an afternoon.

As is so often the case though, the real issue is the price. For a nigh-on £150 chassis, it simply lacks the wow factor. It's stylish in a matte black kind of way, and there is a fair amount of configurability, but there's nothing about it that could make us forget about the cheaper and more beautiful Corsair 600T White.

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