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Maximum PC Staff Jun 05, 2009

Cooler Master ATCS 840

The latest hit from an old favorite!

We loved the features of Cooler Master’s HAF case but weren’t thrilled with its looks. Now comes the ATCS 840, billed as a “classic” model by Cooler Master. It combines the useful amenities we’ve come to expect from Cooler Master with a sexy brushed-metal, no-window, no-nonsense exterior, and nary an LED to be seen.

No case windows or fancy LEDs in the Cooler Master ATCS 840; just sleek brushed metal.

The roomy (22.8x24.8x9.8 inches) ATCS 840 is packed: removable dust filters on its intake ports, the sturdy slide-out motherboard tray with CPU-backplate cutout (so you don’t have to remove the motherboard to switch CPU coolers, even those that require a backplate). The tray even includes the full rear I/O area, so your PCI cards can come too! There’s even space for a second PSU or water-cooling reservoir up top. Three 23cm, 700rpm fans—one in front, two on the top—provide big airflow with little noise. There’s a 12cm output fan in the back, too.

Oh, just look at those toolless drive bays, that cutout panel, and the oh-so-roomy interior. It’s enough to make us melt.

The five 5.25-inch drive bays use the same toolless locking mechanisms as the HAF case and Cooler Master’s Cosmos line, and the six hard drive bays use the same sliding trays as the HAF. Overall build quality is superb, with no flimsy parts in the whole case. Even the PCI slot covers are sturdy black mesh, and the front bezels clip in from the inside.

The hideaway front-panel connectors: a whopping four USB 2.0 ports as well as eSATA, FireWire, and headphone/mic jacks.

Our one gripe with the ATCS regards the plate in front of the front-panel fan filter. It’s ostensibly removable, although we found the locking mechanism frustratingly obtuse.

Removing the panel that guards the front intake fan wasn’t the hard part. Putting it back on once we busted the fasteners was.

Still, the ATCS 840 is another well-engineered triumph for Cooler Master. If your tastes run more to brushed metal than to blingy windows and lighting, we highly recommend it.

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THE VERDICT

Cooler Master ATCS 840

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