Introducing the Cooler Master Storm Enforcer

It's a treat to get one of Cooler Master's enclosures in for review: they've been at it for a long time, and they have cases that cover virtually every price point on the market. They manufacture my personal favorite Micro-ATX budget enclosure, the Elite 360, an attractive $40 devil that makes for a fantastic budget HTPC case. They're also responsible for the crowd favorite enthusiast juggernaut, the Cosmos. What we have in today isn't the beast the Cosmos is, but it's not the pint size player the Elite 360 is either. From their Storm series of gaming cases we have the Enforcer. At an MSRP of $79 it lands right between our incumbent In-Win BUC and the budget ninja BitFenix Shinobi. Can it beat them both?

I wound up reviewing the Enforcer fresh off of working with the BitFenix Shinobi, so that entrant is still fresh in my mind. Opening the box and pulling out the Enforcer made me again feel refreshed to see that an inexpensive case doesn't necessarily mean "cheap;" while it's $10 more than the Shinobi, opening the case and poking around its insides revealed a modern design with more than a few thoughtful touches that we'll discuss in greater detail in just a bit. But first, the specs:

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Drive Bays External 4x 5.25" (includes 5.25"-to-3.5" external bay adapter)
Internal 6x 3.5", 2x 2.5" (includes adapter to add two additional 2.5" bays in 3.5" bay)
Cooling Front 1x 200mm red LED intake fan (3-pin header w/ molex adaptor)
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan (3-pin header w/ molex adaptor)
Top 2x 120mm or 1x 200mm fan mount
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 7 normal plus 1 for fan controller/extra ports
Front I/O Port -
Top I/O Port 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, headphone and mic jacks
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 15" without drive cage/11" with drive cage (Expansion Cards), 175mm (CPU HSF), 290mm without 2.5" drive cage/180mm with 2.5" drive cage (PSU)
Weight 19.5 lbs.
Dimensions 20.6" x 9.0" x 19.0"
Price $79

The Enforcer also has a door that covers the external drive bays with a hinge on the right-hand side, which actually struck me as a little unusual since the Antec cases I've tested all hinged on the left. It's a minor point in the grand scheme of things, what may be less minor is the way the Enforcer supports USB 3.0: this is the first enclosure I've tested that uses the USB 3.0 motherboard header instead of just running a pass-through to the back of the case. Cooler Master includes a slotted expansion bay cover expressly for routing an adaptor cable to the back, but unfortunately the Enforcer doesn't include that cable, so if your motherboard is decidedly old school that way (since when did USB 3.0 become old school?) you'll have to buy it separately.

In and Around the Cooler Master Storm Enforcer
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  • tzhu07 - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    I would not buy the case simply because it is so damn tacky looking.

    These companies need to take a hint from Apple, Fractal Design, and Lian Li on how to make simple aesthetically clean cases.
  • SunLord - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    This is why I like my Silver stone fortress 2 some much it's stands out with out being tacky plastic crap pile
  • andy5174 - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    What do you expect from such a cheap case? It doesn't make any sense to ask for a Ferrari for the price of a Nissan. BTW, Fotress 2 is also damn ugly imo. I prefer Fotress 1 and 3.
  • Operandi - Thursday, July 7, 2011 - link

    Look at InWin's server/workstation and mATX boxes. Not perfect but clean lines, quality plastics, and tool-less features that actually work, almost certainly better than the case featured here in every regard.
  • your Mama asshole 123 - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    fuck you !! you asshole .... you dont know what coolermaster is ...
    i am in india ... and is not cheap if you are so rich try buying this shit ( ) fuck you !! asshole !! bhitch!!
  • ziggurat512 - Monday, July 8, 2013 - link

    nice username
  • Nataku - Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - link

    I would have to disagree with taking hints, imagine a world where everything look nearly the same, that would suck

    and besides maybe u don't like this design, but someone else might

    some ppl like simple/elegant designs and im ok with that, I myself, I like designs like thermaltake, so ya...
  • san1s - Friday, July 8, 2011 - link

    I think those cases are too bland and boring. It's like the designers took some pieces of metal, placed them in the form of a rectangular prism, and gave up from there.
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    actually, for me this case has the same problem as HAF912: almost 23cm wide. I need a case 21cm wide at most :(
  • epistemological 1 - Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - link

    I actually have this case, and have had to remove the central drive bays to fit my GTX580 card in. However the one thing I bought this case for was the 2 front USB 3 & USB 2 drive slots. This alone sold me the case, which, whilst I agree is ugly & loud, has massive functionality as I have had to transfer large amounts of data recently.
    Besides who really looks at the case after turning the computer on? I have found all my past cases to be invisible after the first couple of weeks.

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