Coolermaster's ATC-210b aluminum case
Finding a good looking case isn't always easy. There are many shapes, sizes and colors to choose from. This time I'll introduce Coolermaster's ATC-210b aluminum case. This case is something that you might call pre-modded because it has side window already installed. There are still many areas left untouched so modders, keep on reading. :) Lets start with the specifications.
|Dimension (WxHxD):||196 x 452 x 520 mm|
|Material:||All Aluminum Alloy & Acrylic|
|USB Port:||Dual USB Ports|
|M/B Type:||Standard ATX Mainboard|
|5.25" Drive Bay:||4 ( Exposed )|
|3.5" Drive Bay:||2 ( Exposed ) ; 4 ( Shadow )|
|Power Supply:||Optional power supply unit 300 / 400 W / PS2 redundant|
|Cooling:||One 80 x 80 x 25 mm fan attached top and back panel ( Exhaust )|
Case did not include a power supply but as you can see from the specifications there are many options to choose from. Redundant power supplies is also supported as the case is shipped with a frame that can be used to attach them. Screws to attach drives, motherboard etc. are also supplied.
Color scheme on this case is brushed aluminum and blue acrylic. There are four color options to choose from and they can be seen here.
There is a large acrylic door covering the front side of the case. It is transparent so the drive bays are visible through it. Great news for those users who want to place a LCD display to those 5.25" bays. Power and reset buttons are also covered and this may be either a pro or a con for you. On the other hand for example it keeps children from resetting the computer but you also need to open the door yourself if you want to power up the system.
There are four 5.25" and two 3.5" bays visible. Too bad that Coolermaster didn't ship all those four 5.25" bay covers with the case because they are really usefull if one would like, for example to stealth those optical drives. For "regular" user this doesn't matter because he/she will most likely install at least one 5.25" device to the system and this one bay cover is not needed.
There are two little magnets holding the door from opening on its own. They are just strong enough to keep the door closed but when you want to open it, very little force is needed.
Case from the rear (Sorry for the fingerprints)
At the back there is one 80x80 mm hole for the fan. Seven PCI slot covers and regular color coded ATX backplate. There would have been space for two fan holes but that usually means that there would be one more fan increasing noise coming from the case.
Buttons and front USBs
Very clean layout here. Both the power and HDD leds are blue so Coolermaster is following what is hip among the modders.
As you may have noticed already, there isn't any frontal intake fans. For those that are building a silent system this again comes as a good thing but for most users the heat inside the case can become a problem. With these new Ati's 9800pro and nVidia's 5800 Ultra display adapters, 10000 rpm hard drives and CPUs that produce more and more heat, the fan that brings more cool air inside the case can be vital. Drive bay covers have thin gaps between them so case will get some cool air inside but that may not be enough. I ran the same system that I had in my last case with frontal intake and the temps inside this 210b were several degrees higher. Again, this may not affect the system stability in any way on a system that is running with the default clock speeds but for overclockers this isn't such a great thing to hear.
USB ports on the front are accessible even when the door is closed. There is an arch on the bottom edge of the door so it won't block the ports. Good thinking there Coolermaster.
Rubber on these case feet make a great job on keeping the case from moving. You can't slide the case around like those other cases with regular plastic feet. Brass ring around the feet also add a cetain amount of class to the case.
One more great feature. The sides of the case are smooth because the handle for opening the side is located at the back. Open the three thumb screws that are holding the panel and pull it back a bit and it will pop right off.
Inside the case there are four hidden 3.5" drive slots. Everything is made out of aluminum and it will improve the heat transfer from the drives to the rest of the case thus keeping them cooler. Speaker is located at the bottom of the case and the top fan is also visible in this picture.
Modders will appreciate the free space between the drive supports and the side of the case. There is plenty of room to install cold cathodes and other light sources inside the case.
Interesting detail in both, back and top fan is the dual fan grills. Usually the fan has this protective grill placed on the side that is facing the outside world but Coolermaster has added a second grill to face towards the insides of the case. This will protect your fingers from touching the fan blades when you are checking something inside the case while the power is on. Also it will protect the fan from any wires that might try to block the blades from inside the case. Again a nice touch from Coolermaster.
Took this image just to show you these handy thumb screws incase you haven't seen them before. Each side panel has three and motherboard tray has four of these to hold them in place. Basically you don't need any tools to take the case apart.
Motherboard tray is removeable like it should be. Too bad that not every manufacturer seem to realize this. Tray itself feels really sturdy and it includes mounting holes for many different motherboard form factors. Rear fan with dual fan grill is also attached to this same tray. All addon card slots use thumb screws so no tools are needed when adding a new card or changing them.
Connectors for buttons and leds
It is easy to plug in the right wire to right place on the motherboard because the wires are marked clearly. Maybe some day someone will come up with one connector that you just plug in to your motherboard and it contains all the needed wires. After all, most cases and systems use power and reset switch, power and hdd led and a speaker. :)
USB connectors for motherboard
Coolermaster decided to add connectors that you should plug in to your motherboard inside the case. This is a nice feature if you happen to have a motherboard that have these pin headers and after that has the right pin order etc. Maybe there should be a cable that connects to these connectors and you then could connect the cable to the USB connectors at the back of the case. Sounds simple... :)
Window attached with screws
Window is attached outside the case. Some people will like it this way and some may not. It shouldn't be that difficult to detach the window and reattach it to the inside of the case. It is nice to see this window included because most of us would have modded it to the case anyway. Yes, you can't now decide what the shape of the window would be etc. but Coolermaster offers many different models of cases without this window so perhaps you should look for them instead. For most buyers this window will be just great.
With lights on
System installed and running. Used two bi-coloured (Blue-Green) cathodes to light up the case. This just to show you how easy it is to make this case even more beautiful and something that will definitely get noticed on the next LAN party.
Some suggested mods could be a blowhole to the side of the case, glowing base for the entire case and of course LCD or VFD display to the front side of the case to bring some life to it.
+ All aluminum
+ Great looks
+ High quality in every detail
+ Pre installed case window
- Cooling in some setups
I like this case a lot. I've been running my system in it for a while now and it is totally stable and looks really great. Coolermaster's cases aren't the cheapest cases around but you will get what you pay for. High quality craftsmanship and details that are not just thrown in but carefully evaluated and modified to suit this case best.
Many computer users would like to have a good looking system but don't have either skills nor time or money to do all these basic mods to their cases so it is nice to see that there are many companies bringing these products with this basic stuff already included. Buyer can then focus on choosing a case with right color or select a case with different kind of window. While there are people who think that this kind of premodding is bad and that it takes all the glory from modding the cases yourself, these cases can still bring more people into the modding community because there is always something that one can do more for a case. Not all people even want to be modders but they still might want to have their boring beige system swapped for something esthetically more appealing and that is something that Coolermaster and this case delivers.