Installing and setting up our Micro ATX test components couldn’t have been easier considering the Stryker’s size. We had plenty of room to work with. Even packing our old 1100 watt power supply in was simple and it is slightly larger than what you will see from other power supplies. I did notice that the 2.5 inch drive bays near the power supply area might make things tight if you were working with an extra-long modular power supply, but most won’t have to worry about this at all. Clearance for large video cards is there as well, you have a total of 12.7 inch’s to work with. To put that in perspective, the GTX 680 is 10 inches, and the GTX 690 and HD 7970 are both 11 inches long. I did run into a slight issue where the wires from my CPU fans kept pushing up into the top fan of the case, tucking them away or a zip tie would take care of this issue though and it won’t be an issue for people using a tower style cooler.
Putting SSD’s is easy but installing your 3.5 inch hard drives will require pulling out the hard drive cage first. It’s not hard, but it is another step to take. It’s worth it to have that direct air flow over the hard drives though. Not to mention being able to swap the drive bays to face th side or the front of the case to change your airflow needs. Personally I would face one bay to the side and pack it full of drives and face the second bay to the front for additional airflow for the case. This would prevent any heat from the hard drives from warming up the case as well.
With everything hooked up, I was curious what the case would sound like with the four fans (two fronts, one rear, and one top). All four of the fans were quiet and pushed plenty of air as well. The LED fans used on the hard drive cages looked great lit up as well. I was especially impressed with the Stryker’s control panel up top with everything powered up. It made turning the lighting on and off easy and having a fan controller built into the case is also nice. When you speed up or slow down the fans the case beeps to confirm that you pressed the button as well. With the fans turned up the Stryker has all the cooling performance you will need. That is of course if you turn at least one of the hard drive cages to blow into the case, the way they ship they don’t add to the cooling performance of the case.
As a whole package, I was extremely happy with how easy our loaded up case was to carry around. Generally cases of this size are always a pain to carry around, but a well-placed and well-padded handle made a big difference. What I also liked was the 2.5 inch hot swap. With SSD prices dropping a lot of people are moving up to larger SSD’s, the hot swap is a perfect use for your smaller 30 or 60 gig SSD, you can basically use it as an extremely fast flash drive.