UK price (as reviewed): £99.24 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $109.98 (exc. tax)
The Gamer Storm Macube 550 is the first case from Deepcool we've looked at in a while that doesn't come equipped with pre-installed liquid-cooling, and the aim here is to offer a premium, E-ATX-capable chassis for a very reasonable price tag. The latter certainly seems to be there, as £100/$110 makes it one of the more affordable E-ATX cases out there. While it has a mostly steel construction, hence the 12kg weight, the Gamer Storm Macube 550 does offer a top-to-bottom tempered glass side panel and some internal design tweaks that look set to make it an attractive home for both air- and water-cooled PCs.
The Macube 550 is very well made, and very little plastic has found its way into the case - unlike previous models we've looked at. There are no sharp edges, panel gaps are kept to a minimum, and so long as you're a fan of straight edges and flat panels we doubt you'd find it unattractive. It's certainly minimalist, though, with very few exterior details except for a large aluminium handle that's in place on the glass side panel to open it, with magnets holding it in place before it swings open from the top. The lack of thumbscrews is definitely appreciated, especially if you tinker with your PC's innards often.
The opposing side panel is typical steel sheet and is secured with thumbscrews, but it too sports some interesting design features by way of perforated triangular vents that are a useful feature for the fan mounts that lay beneath and not just an aesthetic tweak. It's a reasonably attractive case from most angles, and if you're not a fan of RGB lighting then you'll find nothing to dislike here, as there are no illuminating LEDs in sight.
The front panel sits flush with the roof of the case and doesn't offer anything stand-out in terms of features other than the usual USB 3.0 ports, audio jacks, and power/reset buttons. There's no fan control or RGB lighting control, but at this price, we suspect most owners won't be needing or expecting those features anyway. It's harder to be forgiving when it comes to the lack of USB 3.1 Type-C, however.
The case is only partially catered for when it comes to dust filters, with the pop-off front panel revealing a large filter that protects the case from dust entering via the narrow side intakes or the gap on the underside. Even so, the front panel is going to be pretty restrictive on airflow, so if you'll be installing fans and radiators, you might want to investigate using the better ventilated (but non-filtered) side fan mounts instead.
The base has two pull-out dust filters that are extracted from either end of the case; we'd prefer to see a full-length one accessible from the front, as the rear is rarely a convenient place to access. Sadly, the side vents do not have any dust filtering in place (though the angling of the material means it's not a direct path in), and there's also a large opening above the rear fan that's devoid of dust protection. As such, a negative air pressure setup, which the case ships with by default, is likely to see dust drawn in through these two areas and especially the side vents.
March 25 2020 | 14:00