The Case Archive
Tucked away in the corner of the warehouse is a true piece of Cooler Master history, and PC enthusiast history in general for that matter. The shelves you see here are lined with the majority of cases that the company has been responsible for from past to present, though sadly not in chronological order. A job, or rather a test, for the next intern perhaps...
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We spoke briefly with Knud Gosens, Product Manager for Cases, about the company's history in the case market, as well as some of his favourites.
For many of our readers, we expect there will be some familiar products here, and no doubt some stories to go with them. After all, Cooler Master's cases have a long history of being used in modding projects, and even today the company still has a lot of love for the scene, showcasing our own Mod of the Year 2013
winner, the awesome Skyline GT-R
by Ronnie Hara, at its booth this year at Computex
this year alongside some other great mods.
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However, for the author of this piece, who is still yet to spend his first quarter of a century on this planet, it was also something of a history lesson. It was hard to believe the exceptional build quality and abundance of aluminium on many of the classic case lines like Praetorian
, Wave Master
and Stacker. Of course, there are plenty of high quality cases these days, but even so it's truly a shame we don't see more like those relics today. We asked why this was, and Cooler Master said the high price of aluminium coupled with the need to stay competitive on price is a strong deterrent for most companies. The cost of going that route is simply too high to justify it relative to the current demand.
There's definitely a great many classic cases on these shelves. There's the Stacker 810 (above, top left), with its eleven optical drive mounts making it a DVD duplicator's best friend, you know, when that was still a thing. There's also a great many of the original ATCS cases, including one ATC-220-VX1 that's had some old school fan controllers fitted as well (above, bottom right). We think you'll agree that those analogue dials on the Musketeer II are to die for, while the Aerogate I holds up very well too. Cooler Master also told us that the original ATCS case from pre-2000 was the first one to include a removable motherboard tray. Then again, it did cost the equivalent of around 500 Euros.
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We quizzed Knud about the case he was most proud of designing. His answer? The ATCS 840 (above, left), which is undeniably a fine chassis. Despite being released in 2008, whereupon it received an outstanding review
and our top award, it is still used and much-loved today. Overclockers UK even has one for sale pre-fitted with a noise dampening kit, and with its pop-up USB panel, gorgeous brushed aluminium exterior and rounded corners the design has certainly stood the test of time.
Anyway, enough of our rambling. We hope the photos here have sparked some memories and that you enjoy reminiscing about previous cases and case mods. We greatly encourage you to share your stories in the comments below and in the forums – the author's interest in these gone but never forgotten cases has definitely been piqued...
...Except, before we go, Knud had one more thing to share. He and the case design team are currently working on a chassis for next year which is so secretive that even the other product managers and the PR representatives know nothing about it. Coupled with what we were told about the mysterious big changes coming next year for Cooler Master, 2015 could be a very interesting year for the company indeed.
We'd like to thank Cooler Master for inviting us out to and showing us round the Eindhoven headquarters. Stay tuned for more coverage from the company's gaming, cooling and PSU teams.