|Cooler Master ATCS 840 Computer Case RC-840|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 17 November 2008|
Page 5 of 8
Interior Look and Pressure
When it comes to computer cases, I can be a very tolerant of the appearance so long as it features a sound design. This is where the Cooler Master ATCS 840 comes to shine for me, because while I am pleased with the general exterior appearance it's the interior design that really elevates my opinion.
In the image below, which is quite possibly my favorite picture of the RC-840, you can see for yourself that the ATCS is a completely researched and developed system. If we keep track of the internal air pressure the math becomes evident.
Starting from the top, the Cooler Master ATCS 840 exhausts heated air (since heated air rises) up and out of the computer case. Two 230 x 30mm cooling fans accomplish this task on the RC-840 (although they can be replaced with three 120mm fans), which give a combined 460mm of negative pressure for our tally.
The bottom vent is large enough to accommodate a 120mm intake cooling fan. Since Cooler Master does not include a fan for this position, I will consider this as 120mm of positive or neutral pressure. Not to overwhelm readers with complicated basic mathematics, but so far the tally is 460mm negative pressure with 120mm removed for positive (or neutral depending on your position) pressure, for a remainder of 340mm of negative inner-case pressure.
From the image below you also get a very good look at the tool-less HDD racks. These racks can fit any standard 3.5" hard disk drive, and by using some screws you can also fit 2.5" drives (such as SSD's).
A well-vented drive rack allows a 130mm front intake cooling fan to draw air into the lower chambers, which adds additional positive pressure to the enclosure. Thus far, the RC-840 has been shown to be negative-pressure heavy in its construction, with the current inner-case pressure now at 210mm negative. There's still more ventilation, so things will balance-out (somewhat) eventually.
The last of the case ventilation on the ACTS 840 is found in the removable motherboard tray section. A single 120mm fan exhausts heated air out through the rear of the case, adding additional negative pressure to the enclosure. There's roughly another 120mm worth of open ventilation beneath this exhaust fan, which will act as positive pressure in the current configuration. Taken into account, the final estimation of our crude total is 210mm worth of negative inner-case air pressure. Considering my estimation gave neutral ventilation the same weight as active fans, this estimation could probably be doubled if we further scrutinized.
Negative inner-case air pressure is not something you want with most modern video cards, since they will have to work harder to draw air from inside the case to exhaust it out. Removing one or both the top 230mm fans might be a good idea, since finding a replacement for the front intake fan could be worth keeping them as spares.
One of my favorite features, and long overdue on computer cases in general, makes its first appearance on the Cooler Master ATCS 840. When looking at the open chassis from the motherboard side of the case, you can see a cut-out section where the processor mounts to the motherboard. Since I do an unbelievable amount of testing with CPU coolers, all of my previous cases were modified by hand to accommodate this. I assure you that this feature alone would be reason enough to purchase RC-840, because removing the motherboard just to change a CPU cooler is unreasonably unfair.