Cooler Master Stacker Case Review

coolermaster-stacker

Introduction

Recently Cooler Master sent us a new case to review, the Cooler Master Stacker case. Let me tell you first off that I didn’t expect what I was being sent in the mail, this thing is a case to end all cases. This is not your run of the mill aluminum mid tower, here are some specifications pulled from the Cooler Master website.

Basics

  • 584 mm x 227 mm x 536 mm (D x W x H)
  • Supports up to 11 5.25″ drives
  • Moveable front control panel with 6 USB 2.0 connections
  • Maximum upgradeability; supports E-ATX and the upcoming BTX
  • Dual power positioning designCooling
  • Supports up to 8 fans
  • Front – Full mesh screen provides superior air flow; support up to three 12 cm fans
  • Ultra silent 8cm Fan * 1 (exhaust)
  • Mesh screen on side panels provides the maximum air ventilation
  • Ultra Silent 12cm Fan * 1 + 8 cm Fan * 2 (intake)Assembly
  • Tool-free installation; Supports the use of screws for permanent installation
  • Maximum flexibility in space utilization for self-assembly

Structural

  • Aluminum alloy motherboard tray frame
  • Strengthened with 1.00mm steel plates
  • Superior mechanical design for greater stability

Exterior

The Cooler Master Stacker arrived in a very large box, too large for my universities mailroom. A friend and I had to pick it up from the mail receiving dock. This is a big heavy case. As you can see, Cooler Master spent a lot of time designing a very nice package for this case. The box was study enough to ship the case in and the sides of the box are clad with pictures and feature lists, so if you see this in a store you know what you’re buying.

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Styrofoam packed and wrapped in plastic, the case was secured well inside of the box. You can be sure that if you order this case, it will show up in one piece and in brand new condition.

After unpacking you can really tell how large and solid this case really is. It has some major heft to it and is built like a tank. There is no case flex that I could find anywhere. The profile is very impressive, with stealthy black mesh covers and silver accents in the front that seem to reach to the sky. The look is clean and elegant; the pictures really don’t do this case justice (the mesh covers look like they are dusty under a flash). The top front has a heavy plastic elliptical dome that leads into the Stacker logo above the power/reset switches and front I/O ports. Below you can see the included mesh cover with a cutout to fit a 3 ½ inch drive.

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The mesh covers themselves are all black and made in three parts. There is a black plastic frame, a mesh dust filter and a semi gloss black metal screen. The mesh dust filters are removable so they can be cleaned. These are the most complex drive covers that I have seen in a case. The only desire these covers leave is ease of disassembly. There are very small clips on the top and bottom of the metal screens that need to be pried over the plastic frame. You need a bit of patience and strong fingernails or a small flat screwdriver to remove them. If you’re cleaning all the cover at once, this could be a daunting task.


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On the left side panel of the case, there is a large circular perforated screen offset from the center of the panel. The screen has a dust filter mounted behind a bracket that can house an 80mm fan to increase airflow through the filter. To remove the filter there are 6 hex screws. The bracket then comes off and the filter can be removed for cleaning. The fan bracket has integrated clips so you can just push the fan into the bracket and the clips bind to edges of the fan, no screws needed. I would have liked to see a larger 92mm or even a 120mm fan utilized here, especially with a filter this large.

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On the back of the case there is a 120mm output fan with a mesh screen over it. The screen has small holes perforated throughout, but the screen looks rather restrictive. Ambitious user may want to remove the grill to help increase airflow. Also, one interesting feature of this case is the lower power supply mounting location. Stock, the case comes with a cover for this location where you can mount two 80mm fans if you don’t plan on using two PSU’s. You can just knock out the two circular cutouts to expose the fan holes. One gripe I have is that the fan bracket mounts using only two screws, and leaves gaps on the sides and top/bottom. This could lead to vibrations, noise and inefficient airflow.

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