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Cooler Master ATC-600 Case: Looking for a nice HTPC-type case? This case may be just the thing you are looking for.

Date: August 29, 2003
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:
 

Precis & Overview
 

Cooler Master shows us that they are on top of the game when their engineering division is able to take risks and release the ATC-600 series of computer cases.
 
The risks taken run the gamut: a desktop design in a world that prefers towers; an internal configuration that does not take the industry standard ATX form-factor, but opts instead for the OEM slice of the pie, the Micro-ATX form-factor; design that bucks the trends of the very demographic it appeals to, the desktop-power user (more on this in the article); and they risk alienating their customer base by providing a case that is so unique, it may not fill a proper niche.
 
This is not to say that Cooler Master has shot themselves in the foot, but rather that they are secure in their position at the apex of case-design and that risks, such as those enumerated above, are not enough to shelve a unique design. It is refreshing to see a company can push their product line out of the comfort zone, into a creative area.
 
Given the successes of every model they have released to this point, and adding momentum to a trend largely started by the PC-modder scene, it is high-time that a unique case make its debut. The Cooler Master ATC-600 series is a site for sore (jaded) eyes.

 

Case Specifications
Dimensions:
476 mm(L) x 426 mm(W) x 145 mm(H)
or 18.7 in. x 16.8 in. x 5.7 in.
Weight:
5kg or 11 lbs. Dry
Material:
All Aluminum & Acrylic
Drive Bay:
5.25" x 2 (Exposed)
3.5" x 2 (Shadow)
Slot Bracket:
4
Motherboard Type:
Micro-ATX Motherboard
I/O Bracket:
Standard ATX
Power Supply:
Optional power supply unit 300W, 400W
Cooling:
One 60 x 60 x 15 mm fan attached right side panel (intake)
One 60 x 60 x 15 mm fan attached left side panel (intake)
One 60 x 60 x 15 mm fan attached back panel (exhaust)
USB port:
Dual USB ports and IEEE 1394 port

Tour
 

The old saying, "First impressions are the most important" may apply to our review here. Cooler Master markets superb products. It would be a crime to allow their engineering and attention to detail to be occluded by shoddy packaging and shipping materials. They get excellent marks in this department as well. The shipping carton is the denser corrugated cardboard that weathers UPS/FedEx/USPS "loving" well. The requisite bumps, scratches and punctures all make their appearances, but the carton is totally intact and reusable.
 
Opening the box, which you will notice opens to the flattest surface (another nod to the quality of the box =P), an exceptionally efficient method of packing will greet you. The clearances on all sides of the case guarantee that unless the box is impaled upon another shipper's package, your case will arrive in perfect condition.
 
The cardboard spacers use a very light, non-rigid Styrofoam molding that absorbs much more impact. It is also worthy of noting that the packaging material will not shed, getting the ubiquitous static dandruff (pills of Styrofoam) over your case, your room, and any pets that may decide to take up temporary residence in the recently vacated box.
 
Moving on to the case itself (yes I know, about damned time), let us take a minute to appreciate the esthetics. The version we are reviewing is the ATC-600-DX1 (fog verdant).
 
As of this writing, there are five variations to choose from. The Cooler Master website does not have actual photographs of the cases, save but the one in the title header. Instead, their website shows conceptual artwork (all the product detail shots appear to come from the ATC-600-VX1). It cannot be deduced from the artwork what the case (beyond the bezel) looks like. As you can see in these photographs, instead of the typical brushed aluminum surface that is the hallmark of aluminum cases, we have instead a textured painted surface. The bezel contrasts sharply with the rest of the case. It will be assumed until we get confirmation, that all the case covers are of the same dark texture.
 
ATC-600-VX1 ATC-600-VX2 ATC-600-DX1 ATC-600-SX1 ATC-600-GX1

 

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