Coolermaster ATCS840 Case ReviewZertz - November 20, 2008
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Coolermaster's latest full tower is definitely a great computer case, the subtle cardboard box keeps the brushed aluminum beast secured. A good thing since it is very well finished, looks awesome and is solid. Dust and fingerprints seem to enjoy the surface, but it's not a problem you can really blame the case for. The included bundle is quite generous with more than enough screws, an air duct and even a fan grill. All these little extras make a good impression and shows Coolermaster's dedication to provide a solid product. The exterior layout is good too. The IO panel located on top is a smart idea, especially on such a tall case. It doesn't scream "look at me" like many gaming cases out there, this one is rather more, like its name implies, classic. The two fans up top are great, although, unfortunately, their already highly limited airflow is slowed down so much by the cover over them, that it is very hard to tell if they are moving any air at all. At least they are nearly inaudible and they can be swapped out for a bunch of smaller fans or even a radiator, which is really something to consider if you're into watercooling. No modifications are needed should you decide to take the plunge.
Keeping this case clean and up to date is made easy, thanks to the removable motherboard tray. Installing hardware was a breeze, nearly everything can be done outside the case, leaving you ample space to work. The processor's heatsink backplate can even be changed just by taking off a side panel. Speaking of heatsinks, the case can accommodate up to 200mm high coolers, so even the tallest ones out there will fit without a hitch. The whole enclosure is also a breeze to take apart, especially after a quick glance over the well detailed manual, making maintenance that much more enjoyable. Fortunately, there is an air filter in front of each intake in order to keep dust outside as much as possible.
Perfection isn't part of our world and Coolermaster's enclosure is no exception to this rule, although it does come pretty close. The fans were quiet, almost silent actually. However, it would be nice to have the option to crank them up when needed because even though they can easily be controlled, and by controlled I mean slowed down, using the standard three pin connector instead of the Molex, they already spin at a mere 700 RPM. Also, the air duct didn't, as expected, have much of an effect, if at all, on the video card temperatures. Its usefulness could be extended by adding a hole on top letting us route USB, audio and Ethernet cables through it, along with the video cable. That would make the desk's back area less of a cable mess. Back on Earth, the case was still able to keep temperatures well under control and lower than Antec's mid tower. So, except for ATI's 4850, although this one is already a lost cause with only the stock cooler, it performed very well in my testing.
Overall, Coolermaster's ATCS 840 is a great, large and high quality enclosure. It's truly up there along with the other high end cases on the market. With just a few minor adjustments, the company could have an even shinier gem under its wings. It's not out on the retail market yet, but availability should come within the end of this month. Until then, hold your breath and make some space for this classy monster.
- Removable motherboard tray
- Build quality
- Mostly tool free
- No fan control