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Cooler Master Praetorian 730 Cooler Master Praetorian 730: Cheaper than most Cooler Master cases, our investigation shows it has a lot going for it.
Date: February 6, 2006
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:

Having built many cases for myself, VL and friends, I have had the opportunity to see many case styles and personalities. I have pieced together system for a couple of friends using the Cooler Master Praetorian Case before and although I would not claim it to be a LAN party show case with flairs and what not, it had always been one that caught my eye.

When I got the call to look over and review the latest in the Praetorian lineup from Cooler Master, I was, well, giddy to be honest. It's not often that we get to play with the toy's we have been dreaming about. There was however two distinct problems with getting a case I had envied of my friends. Number one of course is that this is a review, and I must stay unbiased throughout the process to give you, my readers, a straight look at . Number 2, the Praetorian 730 is completely redesigned from the one's I enjoyed installing previously; will the redesign live up to my former expectations and lust?

Before we can delve deeper and determine what is what, let’s look at what the Cooler Master Praetorian 730 has to offer out of the box.

Specifications

Size: ATX Mid Tower
Construction: 2mm Aluminum
Drive Bays: Four 5.25” (Exposed)
Two 3.5” (Exposed)
Four 3.5” (Hidden)
Power Supply: Not Included
Available Colors: Silver / Anodized Black
Fan Configuration: One 120mm Front intake / Two 80mm Rear outtake.
Front I/O Interface: USB 2.0/1.1 x 2 / IEEE 1394 / R-L Audio
Miscellaneous: Thermally advantaged management / Removable motherboard tray

The Cooler Master Praetorian 730 is an elegant design, from the front, top and sides you can see that the flow is well thought out. The front of the case appears as though it was designed by Onkyo or Carver with stereo like lines and doors. Simple things such as the front door closure having rubber seats to make sure it closes softly and without sound. I received the silver variant of the Praetorian 730, once again along the audiophile theme, the silver is brushed aluminum. Overall, while not being the most extreme case I have reviewed, this has to be one of the overall sexiest cases I have worked with.

Starting at the front you can see a swinging front door with the familiar “Cooler Master” logo, I am not a huge fan of swinging doors on my cases (it gets bothersome when inserting CD's, powering on/off etc), however I understand it has become the norm for many; this is a deviance from the original Praetorian cases I had worked on as they had no front door. The front door has grown in popularity and the reasoning is two fold; no longer are we required to purchase Black or paint our Tan covered CD / Floppy units as our door will cover those nicely for us. There is also the ability to dress the front panel up with varying designs and lights. While the 730 covers up the drives behind it, the cover is not directly flashy with lights. There is a simple yet aesthetic design, with some of the 120mm front fan blue light spilling out onto it.

A variation to the “standard” once you open the door, there are four 5.25” bays and two 3.5” bays. The power and USB / FireWire / Audio ports are positioned on the top of the case, alleviating at least a couple of scenarios when you would need to open the swing door. As mentioned earlier, there are four small rubber feet on the door to ensure when closing it there is a soft seal affect. The Black mesh grill you are met with is consistent throughout the front, even the edging is trimmed in this black mesh. The “Praetorian” badge is placed in the center of the 120mm front intake fan, where the black mesh grill doubles as a filter. Looking over the door itself, you can see the 2mm thick aluminum, although you can feel the weight the door swings freely on its pivot.

The top of the 730 case sports the power/reset buttons, power and hard drive lights, a flip door concealing the USB/FireWire and Audio ports. What is catching to my eye is the simple design around the power/reset button and lights as well as the stud filled mounting holes for the flip door. Once again I was asking myself if Onkyo had a hand in the design of this case.

The left side of the Praetorian 730 is not a window panel by default, although it does appear this can be ordered. There is however a blow hole for directing outside air to your CPU intake fan, once again a simple and aesthetic design.

Removal of the side panel is easily accomplished by removing the two thumbscrews on the rear flap. The thumbscrews are of sufficient diameter that you can actually grip them and torque them. The panel itself is easily removed and installed without having to slide it with an exact amount of pressure to finish the job. There is also a beveled out section on the rear of the panel to assist you in sliding the panel rearward.

Now that the side panel is off, I can look closer at the internals of the Praetorian 730. Something shows up that is not on my favorites list as far as case attributes. The drives are all mounted to the actual case; there are no mounting rails that slide in or snap-on clamps that mount the drives. Its good old fashioned remove both side panels, slide the drive in on a small edge shelf and screw it down to the actual drive riser. This is however supposed to be one of Cooler Masters cheaper cases so we won't knock that too much.

In today's day and age, this actually surprised me, why would you build a case as forward thinking and simple oriented as the Praetorian 730, then do something as old school as mounting the drives TO the case?

Copyright 2001-2006 Viper Lair. All Rights Reserved.

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