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Review: Coolermaster ATCS 210

by James Morris on 24 January 2002, 00:00

Tags: Cooler Master

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Coolermaster ATCS 210 Review


Coolermaster ATCS 210 AX1

In these days of high tech computers, the latest processors and systems are still quite hot beasts. This is before you start overclocking the thing. To counteract this Coolermaster introduced a range of high tech cases, which were made of aluminium with super effective cooling to keep everything cool, they also looked amazing and people stood up and took note. No longer is a boring beige computer acceptable, people want looks and performance, and this is where the ATCS 210 comes in...

So. Lets look at the tech specs:

  • 5.25' Bays (Exposed) x 4
  • 3.5' Bays (Exposed) x 2
  • 3.5' Bays (Shadow) x 4
  • Form Factor: - ATX Mid-Tower,
  • Material: - Aluminium
  • Weight: 6.5kg
  • Dimensions 520 mm(L) x 196 mm(W) x 452 mm(H)
  • Dual USB ports at the front of case for easy access.
  • 2 x 80mm fans
  • Blue Power and hard disc LED's
  • Tool-less assembly/disassembly for quick and easy access for maintenance or upgrades.

Colours...

There are several options available on the ATCS 210 series:

  • AX1: Azure (Blue)
  • AX2: Fog Azure (Blue)
  • VX1: Verdant (Green)
  • VX2: Fog Verdant (Green)
The one I am testing here is the AX1 (Blue) and a mighty fine choice it is.

The arrival (Ooooh late xmas pressie)

Imagine my happiness have the knock at the door to find a nice man with a big box saying Coolermaster, does life get any better?








From previous experience I knew that the box would be well packed and would protect your new little purchase. I see I get a little bag of goodies to play with and some instructions as well...








So lets get this little baby out and take a look.... Lots more packing stuff keep those nasty scratches away :) As you can see Coolermaster haven't skimped on this and I can say that the box would save the case from all but the most violent of journeys.







First impressions

Right now I can take a first look at this little case. I have to admit when I knew it was the 210 I was getting I was unsure as to whether I would like the look of it, as I'm a Coolermaster ATCS 200 lover at heart. Well as you can see I was wrong to worry as this case is gorgeous and the blue little door looks amazing.







And here's another pic from the side of the case :) Mmmmm lovely ain't she. You can see the top blow hole to vent heat from the case. And the door was tapped down while in transit to stop it opening. The door (made of Perspex) opens smoothly and is held by two little magnets and feels very high quality.








Getting to the nity gritty

Since Coolermaster built my ATCS 200 a lot has happened and I'm pleased to see coolermaster haven't stood still either. There are several improvements on this case , including new thumbscrews and new improved airflow on the rear fan. They have made fitting the PSU very easy by removing a little plate with 5 screws and sliding into the hole.







As with all Coolermaster cases the sides are removable for easy access, although the right hand side one on my case was very difficult to remove and require a lot of force (I think this is just my specific case though). The sides are a very nice brushed aluminium that will not look out of place in your lounge.






And the motherboard tray is easily removeable for ease of installation. After you have used a case with one of these there is no looking back, trust me. Easy installation was the name of the game here, it took a matter of minutes to remove the cage and put in the motherboard, also Coolermaster included lots of motherboard mounts.




Getting the case set up.

Fitting the motherboard, PSU, drives, and other stuff is ridiculously easy in the case. First off the PSU fitment has been well thought out, the method employed on the ATCS 200 & 201 won't work on this case, due to the way the door is fitted to the top. Therefore Coolermaster must have employed another method, you simply remove a shroud on the back of the PSU space, slide the PSU in and then screw the shroud back. Simple really and much better than the fiddly drop in slot on the ATCS 200 & 201.

The motherboard tray is removable as well so fitting your motherboard is a breeze, I don't know how people go back to normal cases after using one with a tray? The drives are easy to get to and fit. Perhaps a removable drive cage could be an idea but you would lose the sheer number of drives you can squeeze in this case if you did, and as it is there isn't a problem.

One problem, which will affect a lot of the owners of this case is drive facia colour... Beige wouldn't look as good as the silver one I put in. The blue door does help matters but its still not a perfect solution , your best bet is to stealth mod the drives or spray them if you are really picky.

The only criticism of the case that I could find was that one of the side panels was very difficult to remove, I have put it down to this just being the review case in particular as I have heard any problems like this before? Let me know if you have experienced this, as I would love to hear.

Using the case

Using this case, is an absolute joy, it drew admiring glances from all my housemates, (the girls in particular :D). Accessing the drives is fun as you to open the door which, is held on magnet catches. The door itself is made of Perspex but looks very much like glass and is very high quality.

The second thing you'll notice is the front USB ports which are now becoming the norm on new computer cases however these are something else the machined cut out for them is stunning. Having a couple of USB ports is most useful particularly for plugging in camera's and the like.

What I didn't realise until booting up for the first time was the colour of the power and hard disc LED's they are BLUE! I see Coolermaster have been listening to modders and have acted accordingly. I know blue LED's are a bit more expensive but they are worth every penny.

The case has two 80mm fans already one at the back and a blowhole on the top. I would have preferred one at the front as well but the cooling provided was more than adequate. The fans themselves weren't exceedingly noisy which surprised me. As with all the ATCS series the whole case acts as one giant heatsink so this alone creates a big difference between it and a normal plastic case.

Some gratuitous shots of the case

















Pro's

  • Look's
  • Build Quality second to none
  • Cooling top notch
  • Blue LED's
  • Front Door covers drives
  • Removable drive bay
  • PSU access very easy
  • Very light
  • Two front USB ports
Con's
  • Price (This case is not cheap)
  • One side panel not easy to remove
  • Drives still visible and look best when silver

Conclusion

Well I love the case it looks lovely, the quality is top notch. The cooling is brilliant. There is only one major drawback of this case ,the price, Not all will be able to afford a case like this, but you certainly get what you pay for. If you can, the only decision to make is which colour...

Now if only I was allowed to mod it :p