Cooler Master ATCS 840 Aluminium ATX Case

Packaging & External Appearance

Packaging & External Appearance
Packaging on the ATCS 840 is quite a standard affair with the case arriving inside a brown double-walled cardboard box. At the front of the box is a sketch-like graphic of the case sitting in front of two unicorns and a knight. Around the back is yet another image of the 840, but this time from a more technical perspective with the case being fully 'exploded' to give potential buyers a good idea of just how the case fits together. Overall the design is fairly minimalistic, which is quite fitting considering Cooler Master are marketing the 840 as a 'Classic' design.
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Box Front Cooler Master ATCS 840 Box Back
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Packaging Cooler Master ATCS 840 Accessories
Once inside the box you are presented with the ATCS 840 sealed inside a clear plastic bag. To be honest, we were half expecting the drawstring fabric bag used on the Cosmos S to make a reappearance here, but unfortunately the 840 receives no such treatment. Two polystyrene slabs protect the top and bottom of the case and prevent it from moving around during shipping. However, at the end of the day the fate of the case is ultimately still in the hands of the courier.
Jumping ahead of ourselves a few steps, Cooler Master have secured two accessory boxes inside the case. Included in these boxes you will find the usual assortment of screws and motherboard spacers, some sticky cable tidies, a 120mm fan grill, brackets for securing a triple radiator and the external air duct that we'll cover in detail a little later.
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Front Cooler Master ATCS 840 Front-Side
Starting around the side that you're most likely to see during every day use, the most striking feature about the ATCS 840 is most definitely it's width. Compared to the likes of Lian Li's V2010, the 840 comes in around 4cm wider, giving the case a rather 'beefy' appearance. A total of six 5.25" drive bays are on show at the front of the case with one serving a dual purpose as a 3.5" bay as well.
Interestingly the drive bay covers are not totally made from aluminium, and instead have a plastic construction with an aluminium faceplate. This may sound like a cost saving exercise, but has actually been done so that the bezels work with Cooler Master's patent pending quick release drive buttons. Furthermore this also prevents the problem of scratches that some aluminium drive bezels leave behind when removing them from your brand new case.
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Front Lower Cooler Master ATCS 840 Front Fan
Moving on to the lower half of the case we can see the aluminium face plate that left many of our forum-goers in two minds when the ATCS 840 was revealed to us a couple of months ago. While I personally quite like the way the plate breaks up what could have been a rather bland case design, the oversized silver Cooler Master logo looks extremely out of place on the black version of the 840 and would have been much better sprayed entirely black.
Removal of the plate to access the 240mm fan and filter placed behind is actually quite tricky and led to a few cringe-worthy moments. While the manual simply shows the face plate being pulled outwards away from the chassis, the plastic tabs used to hold the plate in position looked like they would snap at any minute. For a case of this class it would have been much nicer to see some kind of magnetic hinging system, or even something as simple as four screws.
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Side Cooler Master ATCS 840 Side
The side panels of the ATCS 840 are fairly standard and slide into place like the marjority of other standard cases. Once again it would have been nice to have a door mechanism like the Cosmos S or indeed the Lian Li 'V' series, but maybe we're asking a bit too much? The ATCS 840 also falls short of the Cosmos S when it comes to the thickness of the side panels. Whereas the Cosmos S is often applauded for its rigid 1.5mm thick aluminium panels, the ATCS 840 panels are actually quite flexable when detached from the case and we'd estimate them to be around 0.9mm thick

Neither of the panels feature any kind of additional cooling - be it vents or fans (Not that it's needed!!), and at the present time we're unsure if Cooler Master will be releasing any windowed panels.
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Top Cooler Master ATCS 840 Top Grill
The top of the ATCS 840 is simply jaw dropping. While most manufacturers are happy with simply placing a couple of 120mm fans at the top of their case, Cooler Master have taken things several steps further by kitting the ATCS 840 with two 230mm fans. This gives the ATCS name some real meaning and as we've already seen from the accessories box, the fitting of a triple (or 360mm) radiator is absolutely no problem either.
Cooler Master ATCS 840 Ports Cooler Master ATCS 840 Button
To match the aluminium face plate at the front of the 840, Cooler Master have designed a console style area at the top of the case which contains the power and reset switches along with a pop-up interface that provides access to four USB ports, a 1394 port, an eSATA port and microphone/headphone sockets. Everything here feels of the utmost quality, with the power switch and USB interface having little lateral movement.
 Continued over next page...

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Most Recent Comments

26-11-2008, 13:54:23

Wow what a gorgeous looking beast and I agree with the areas that you highlighted for further improvement. I've gotta get me a black one of these Quote

26-11-2008, 15:29:29

wow that's stunning! i'd easily have one of these with a full black interior possible window or mesh side panel and a BLACK badge... hrm...

I'm due a new case, be nice to have one thats basically ready to go for watercooling too... tempting...

how much is this? i didn't see a priceQuote

26-11-2008, 15:44:14

Been waiting for this review.

Absolutely gorgeous case though, easily able to hold it's own against a Lian Li or Silverstone. I also like how they took all the good bits from the Cosmos S aswell, the tool-less drive bays and radiator-compatible roof particularly.

Also, lovely artwork on the front of the box, if a little out of place.Quote

26-11-2008, 16:02:09

That case is stunning . Love all the little details. This would definitely be in my case wishlist xDQuote

26-11-2008, 16:11:06

Wow Jim thats a great review as usual! I think thats a lovely case with some insane cooling, but I dont get how they can call it an ATCS At least to me the ATCS cases were nearly all smallish mid towers with beautifully simple design...

Even though I've butchered it a lot, my old Praetorian (last rev. ATC-201 in black ano) still makes me go wow at the engineering involved, if you took out the fans, switches, LED's and the front IO thing you wouldnt be able to find a piece of plastic in the whole case.

The ATCS 840 is lovely but I don't have one on my christmas list. If anyone from CM can read this (yeah right ) come out with a beautiful mid tower (think ATC-110), and I'll buy one, maybe even two!

On a side note, didn't CM fire the ATCS engineers years ago and they went to work for silverstone?


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