On top of the case there are two huge 230mm exhaust fans, fitted behind a fully removable mesh grill which slides out from the rear. Sadly there are no dust filters here, a shame considering how easy it would have been to build one into the removable mesh panel, but as these fans are designed as exhausts it’s not as important as the total lack of filters on the HAF 932.
The top also houses one of the coolest features of the ATCS 840 – the concealed front panel. With a gentle push, the panel pops out of the top of the case revealing a healthy array of four USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire 400 port and eSATA as well as the usual microphone and headphone jacks with support for both HD and AC'97 audio.
It’s a great little feature which means that the front panel doesn’t have to spoil the looks of the case when it’s not needed, although on our review sample the panel didn’t quite sit flush with the rest of the surround – hopefully this is something that Cooler Master will address before the ATCS 840 reaches the channel.
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Not all of the ATCS 840’s tricks are so visible, and the underside of the case also houses some nifty features, not least two 120mm intake vents, one for the PSU mounting at the rear of the case, and another for an optional fan mount. Both mounts come fitted with fully removable washable dust filters, with the PSU intake’s filter mounted internally and the optional intake’s external. It’s great to see such a comprehensive dust filtering system for all a case's intakes, especially in the bottom of the case where intake fans can suck in a surprising (and rather gross) amount of dust, hair and other gunk.
The side panels are very easy to remove, with just a pair of thumb screws to unfasten to remove each, revealing the cavernous interior – it’s huge! Once fitted into the ATCS 840 our standard test ATX motherboard setup looked small in comparison to the enormous case into which we’d mounted it – there really is a great deal of room inside this case, making it ideal for larger watercooling set ups or the most ambitious of mods.
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And what makes this enormous internal space even better is the inclusion of what is probably the best removable motherboard tray on the market right now. As with the old ATCS cases, and more recently Akasa’s Mirage
, the entire rear panel of the case, 120mm cooling fan, expansion slots and all are integrated with the motherboard tray and the whole assembly slides out for easy access and hardware installation.
The guide rails for the tray are, quite brilliantly, lined with tiny ball bearings that make sliding the tray in and out a breeze and to ensure the strength and rigidity of the whole assembly Cooler Master has fitted braces at 45° between the tray and rear panel. The pre-cut hole behind the CPU on the motherboard tray also makes a very welcome reappearance; it makes fitting back plate mounted heatsinks a much easier experience.
With our PCs invariably in some state of disassembly, we can’t stress enough just how useful a removable motherboard tray can be. A good case should be seen as a long term investment, into which you’ll fit a good few years of hardware and a removable motherboard tray makes upgrades and installs a whole lot easier.