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Cooler Master ATCS 840

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Posted March 11, 2009 by Jake in Cases & PSU

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by Jake
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Summary

Things often tend to seem more favourable when we look upon them in hindsight; we tend to overlook the negatives and focus on the positives. While that sentimentality is perhaps a good thing in terms of our relationships and the way in which we view the world, it’s not quite ideal in the context of factual conclusions, as it can cloud our analysis and judgments. Such is the case with the Cooler Master ATCS series, both past and present. The older folks in the crowd that are familiar with the original ATCS chassis may look wistfully in hindsight, and while it was an innovator in its day and holds up well in that proper context, it cannot match modern case design, both in terms of features and technology. However, the new ATCS brings us back to the future, so to speak, in convincing fashion.

Cooler Master has been very busy updating their product lineup of late, particularly in their chassis department, which has been a bit overdue in our opinion.  While it’s great to see the new Storm lineup that caters to the gamer crowd, it’s perhaps even more refreshing to see the return of the ATCS, catering to the discerning tastes of the enthusiast crowd, particularly those with water cooling aspirations. Tossing aside misguided notions that a great case must have some outlandish design, Cooler Master has shown great direction in the styling of the 840, showcasing a beautiful balance of refinement and restraint that avoids becoming mundane and "boxy".

The ATCS 840 has a tidy and exceptionally spacious interior that offers flexibility and functionality without sacrificing quality. Attention has been paid to the critical details that make a difference, from the ball bearings on the motherboard rails to the tabs on the removable dust filters; every component area has addressed probably every complaint most of us have ever had about case design.  The feature set here is outstanding, including excellent cable management opportunities, friendly tool-less design, extensive cooling options (including an optional 360mm rad setup for water cooling enthusiasts), and versatility of control with the system setup and operation.

At a current approximate price tag of $230 USD, the ATCS 840 does not come cheap; it sits in the premium market segment that is reserved for consumers with very discerning tastes and high expectations. The competitors in this price range and above are rather few, but the 840 offers better features, flexibility, and design than several cases I’ve seen that are considerably more expensive. In that context, the price tag here is very reasonable for what is expected and delivered, espcially considering the life span of a case and viewing it as an "investment" rather than a "cost".

The ATCS 840 is a very rare breed of product: one that successfully achieves a combination of aesthetics, features, and quality, at a price that leaves you feeling you walked away with the deal of the year. With a gorgeous and sublime aesthetic style, oustanding feature set, and attention to detail and quality that are second to none, the Cooler Master ATCS is one of the very best cases you will find on the market at any price range.

Summary

 

Cooler Master ATCS 840

Our thanks go to Cooler Master for providing the ATCS 840 for this review.

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