A Case Study: Building Myself A New Rig

I recently reviewed Cooler Master’s ATCS 840 case for an upcoming issue of CPU Magazine, and I liked it so much, I decided to build myself a new rig using it. Cooler Master is releasing the ATCS 840 on November 25 to commemorate the introduction of the original ATCS (Active Thermal Convection System) cases that first hit the scene in 1999.

Short of having a similar appearance and being made of aluminum, however, the new ATCS 840 (MSRP $279) has little in common with its older cousins. This new ATCS is rife with modern amenities and can easily handle virtually all of today’s high end hardware. First off, this thing is Huge with a capital “H”. The ATCS 840 doesn’t really stand much taller than most full towers, but it is wider (9.57”) and deeper (24.8”). It is so large and roomy, that the ATCS 840 can easily accommodate an extended ATX motherboard, like Intel’s D5400XS Skulltrail mobo for example, with some room to spare. It’s also got a slide-out motherboard tray, that makes assembly somewhat easier, toolless hard drive and optical drive mounting systems, a “stealth” front I/O panel on top, and strategically placed holes throughout to aid in cable management.

The Cooler Master ATCS 840 also includes some impressive stock cooling. Instead of using fairly common 120mm fans, the ATCS 840 features three 230mm fans (two at the top, one at the bottom front), that move a ton of air, without generating much noise at all. And the little noise they do generate is of a much lower pitch than smaller fans, which I personally find more tolerable. Optional hard drive and video card cooling upgrades are also available to further enhance the case’s cooling, and the top of the case is designed to accommodate a radiator should you want to do away with the stock fans altogether and integrate a liquid-cooling system.

If you haven’t seen the ATCS 840 yet, you can check it out on Cooler Master’s website right here. It may not have the flash and of some of today’s wilder looking cases, but if you’re an old-school geek like me, the ATCS 840’s subdued aesthetics will probably appeal to you. I know I like it.