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.
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.
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.
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.
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