A Closer Look - Outside
The ATCS 840 is actually quite massive and has a distinctively different look than previous ATC cases. While the original had sharp edges and fairly lean looks, this one has very round corners and looks quite bloated. Not bad - but bloated. The front fan cover is held in place by tape for transportation, but actually holds quite well on its own. As you can see the top drive bay cover has fallen into the chassis. At first I was under the impression that this was just some rough handling from shipping, but I noticed the same problem with a custom painted 840 at the Cooler Master suite at CES, so these covers do not seem to hold well.
It it obvious that the chassis is rather wide and large. There are no LEDs or buttons on the front of the case and you will only find the Cooler Master logo on the bottom along with the model name on the top right corner. Turning the chassis over, we have the same general layout as the Cosmos, Cosmos S and Stacker cases. Sure, the design has changed considerably, but the location of all key areas has remained unchanged. This gives us some hints as to the interior of the chassis.
Both sides of the ATCS 840 are completely solid. There are no extrusions, air vents, windows or cooling fans. Considering that this chassis is not being directed at gamers, such a omission is actually a positive fact. Both side panels are held in place by thumb screws, so Cooler Master has done away with fancy locking mechanisms we have seen on the Cosmos series.
Taking a closer look at the bottom front area, the cover on the 200 mm fan is simply an aluminum plate, held in place by four rubberized mounts. Its only purpose is to cover up the fan opening. Above that are the six external, 5.25 inch drive bays. The very bottom one may be used for a 3.5 inch device instead, so you are not required to spend additional funds on acquiring such a part.
Turning the ATCS 840 over, starting at the bottom once again, there is the PSU bay. You may install the power supply with the 120 mm fan facing upward or downward, as there are two sets of mounting holes. Above that are the seven mainboard expansion slots, each covered by an individual piece of metal mesh. If you look closely you can clearly see that the screws have been placed outside of the case. I am quite surprised to see such a configuration, as such an attribute is usually associated to only the cheapest OEM enclosures. Such a design leave an opening for dust, allows for unsecured access to the cards and simply looks ugly. Last but not least, it creates a sharp edged hole, which you will have to work around. Cooler Master has tried to solve the latter issue by placing a plastic guard on it, but these things come off quite easily. The upper half of the chassis is taken by the opening for the backplate next to a 120 mm exhaust fan and the secondary PSU bay, which is intended to route water cooling tubes to the exterior of the 840 by default.
Cooler Master has placed a few surprises in the ceiling of the ATCS 840. In the front you have the power & reset buttons along with the standard LEDs. Then there is the top I/O panel which pops out by simply pushing on the entire contraption. That functionality is not only pretty sweet, but quite useful as well. First off, it protects the ports when not required, secondly it gives you an excellent angle so that insertion of cables and flash media is a breeze. This box is made of aluminum instead of plastic - another very positive aspect. The rest of the ceiling is filled by two 230 mm fans, blowing air out of the chassis. Cooler Master has chosen to include both, while other companies who offer the exact same setup usually only include only a single such unit. You may install smaller fans or even a water cooling radiator with the use of the included plastic parts. Doing so requires you to remove both the 230 mm units.