Intel Core 2 Duo Q9450 @ 3.2 GHZ
MSI 680i Diamond
4GB (effective 3.2gb)Super Talent DDR2 @ 1066MHZ
Western Digital Raptor 75GB
Windows XP Pro 32bit
Testing cases is another one of those odd "benchmarks", as the main test of any case, is what features it has, and whether its cooling options are quiet. The features are detailed in the look at the case itself, but individual ones will be looked into during the testing to highlight any problems or particularly innovations we liked.
We also have a rather unique test termed the case "strength" test. This involves yours truly standing on said case, and checking how it reacts in terms of flexing. This test is detailed more here.
Unsurprisingly for this rather large case, it’s construction was sound and it barely even flexed when my paltry 130lbs stood atop it. That said I managed to scuff my foot against the front panel and it peeled up the plastic sticker back off it so if you purchase this case be aware that the sticky part of that isn’t that great and may take a bit of work to get back down if raised.
Cooling wise the Sniper is more than amply equipped to handle almost any hardware setup. With it’s multitude of oversized 200mm fans placed at the front, side, and top panel along with an exhausting rear 120mm impeller, there really is no reason that your hardware should be heating up.
There’s also easily enough space at the front for a secondary intake fan, and for the placement of an intake or exhaust fan on the floor panel of the case. This would allow for nearly unparalleled system cooling and would make the Sniper one of the most well equipped air cooled cases in the world.
I must admit I was a little apprehensive about turning on the Sniper, as with its extensive fan setup I expected it to be pretty damn noisy, but surprisingly, it wasn’t at all. Sure if you use the front turn knob to jack up the speed, it does get a little loud, but at more reasonable fan speeds, it would be easily tolerable for silence enthusiasts, and for the average user more than quiet enough to game or work by.
Cable management was another area that this case impressed. There was plenty of space outback for all those excess cables, HDDs were faced away from the side panel meaning that the power and SATA cables are all well hidden. The bundled cable ties also allow for quite extensive cable tidying by grouping them together in certain areas, and holding them in place against the motherboard tray.
Here is where the Sniper may turn some potential buyers off, as while not being otherworldly expensive, some would consider spending over £100 on a case a little extreme. All in all, the case comes in at around £120 depending on retailer, which while not busting the bank isn’t a small sum either. Worth it if you can afford it, but not everyone can justify it.