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Wahoo Computers Stratagem Case: A custom case done right? Wahoo Computers does pretty much that with their customized Stratagem.
Date: January 13, 2003
Catagory: Cases & Cooling
Written By:


Finding the perfect case to suit your needs can be a daunting task. So many brands and models exist, that it is often times very easy to purchase the wrong case for your particular needs. Wahoo Computers exists to take the guess work out of your case purchasing.

When Mark Knoch started Wahoo Computers, he set out to make a custom product that people could enjoy for many years. They don't build hundreds of case a day at Wahoo Computers, they build each case to the customers needs as soon as it is ordered.

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Today we are looking at the . The Stratagem is a cube-shaped case that is very expansion friendly. Of course, the expansion capabilities of the case are just the tip of the iceberg. Today I will be pointing out the important features of this wonderfully designed case from the crew at Wahoo.

You will notice that there is a Viperlair applique in the final pictures of the product. The case does not come with the applique, but Wahoo will sell you one with any of their cases, simply call for availability and pricing.


Wahoo FunnelChill™ Cooling Ducting
Solid Steel Construction w/Plastic Front Bezel
Wahoo GetInside™ Easy Open Door w/Chrome Latch
Custom 92mm Panaflo L1A Front Intake Fan
Locking Front Bezel
Custom 80mm Panaflo L1A Top Exhaust Fan
Fits Full Size ATX, Extended ATX, P4 Compatible
Stock 80mm Rear Exhaust Fan
Dimensions: 14" Wide x 17" Deep x 14" High
Stock 80mm Rear Intake Fan
Drive Rails for 5.25" Bays
Dual Finger Guards Per Custom Fan
Six 5.25" External Drive Bays
Aluminum Filter Per Intake Fan
Two 3.5" External Drive Bay
All Custom Fans are Grommet Mounted
Eight 3.5" Internal HDD Bays
Ultra Quiet 30 dB-A Overall Case Noise
Wahoo's 1-Year Enhanced Warranty
125 CFM Total Air Movement!!
Unconditional 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee

The Stratagem has a fairly large footprint, and from the time you open the box looks very impressive. It is fairly heavy, so wipe any preconceptions you have about lugging this case around with you to LAN parties.

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As you can see, the features of the Stratagem case make up quite a long list. Let's break down some of the more important features while I give my opinions on each one.

Yeong Yang Cube

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The base case for the Wahoo Stratagem is a Yeong Yang Cube. The base case is quite heavy, and having worked with the base case before, I can say that it is very rough on Dremel tools. Wahoo actually uses a laser cutter on the case for the window and fan holes, in order to insure clean cuts and to save themselves the 100+ dremel bits they would go through if they decided to go that route instead.


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The FunnelChill™ cooling duct is something I haven't seen implemented on any case before, but it is quit useful. Rather than drill holes into the bezel, Wahoo drills a 92MM hole into the bezel to allow for maximum air intake. The duct also looks cool when the cold cathode is shining through it.

GetInside Latch

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The GetInside latch is another feature I hadn't encountered prior to looking at the Stratagem. In order to open the mainboard side of the case, you push in the metal button and it pops out. Once it pops out you twist and pull to open the door, which swings open like a door. I really like the feature, and think it is a nice touch, as well as a time saver.

Top Fans

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Rather than just one, Wahoo fits two fans on to the top window of our case. They used two 80mm Panaflo fans for this task. The fans habe grills on both sides to protect your fingers from getting chopped off. Ouch. As with the other fans, and the cold cathode, these fans have been wired directly to the custom fanbus.


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The clean job Wahoo did of installing this fanbus is another testament of the time and effort they put into this case. The fanbus controls the top fans, the rear exhaust fans, the front intake fans and the blue cold cathode. There are three settings available for each device. Moving the rocker switch to the right will allow each device to run at full speed. Leaving the switch in the middle position will cut power to the corresponding device. Moving the switch causes the device to run at about half its normal power. I honestly didn't feel the need to run the fans at low speeds, as they are barely audible. The cold cathode barely lights up at half power, so I either left it at full power or turned it off completely.

The Interior

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The inside of the case has been wired with great detail by the crew at Wahoo Computers. The power, reset, and front LED buttons have all been wrapped neatly by clear sheathing.

The mirrored motherboard side panel was a nice touch, and reflected the cold cathode quite nicely. Unfortunently, I can foresee a ton of scratches happening if you are swapping out motherboards and other components at a fast pace. So far, I have pointed out the important features of the case... now, let's take a look at how it performs.

Cooling Performance

We see that in a room at 82 degrees Fahrenheit the system actually runs quite cool.

Final Words

In over four years, I have never reviewed a product I was so enamored with. The Wahoo Computers Stratagem Case is simply amazing. The modifications and design of this case have been handled perfectly by the crew at Wahoo Computers. From the clean-cut window holes, to the perfectly implemented fanbus, this case delivers on a level that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

The large amount of expansion room will ensure that this case will last you many years of good service. I am also surprised at how quiet this case actually is. Wahoo's foresight to use Panaflo fans, which move plenty of air, while remaining nearly silent, was another testament to their attention to detail.

Usually, I would point out the downfalls of a product in my reviews, but there aren't any that come to mind when I look at the Statagem. The price may be an issue, but when you take into account what has been done to the case, as far as time and effort goes, to ensure that you are happy with it, the price is justifiable.

Clean modifications across the entire case
Unique door-opening system
Great Cooling ability
Tons of expansion room
Looks great
Viperlair Applique is awesome

Costs a couple of paychecks
People will hate the fact that you have this case and they don't

Bottom Line
Wahoo took their time and made this case perfect. If you are looking for a case that makes your visitors do a triple-take, then look no further. Expansion room galore and exquisite mods make this a true "Must Have" product. The time and detail that Wahoo puts into their product justifies their price tag.

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