Cooler Master ATC-201 Case Review
Specifications and Features
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.For those of you not familiar with the ATC-201, I’m sure you noticed the little door on the left side of the bezel in our photo above and this photo revels its secret; two front panel access USB ports.
There is a cable on the inside that connects to your motherboard’s secondary USB header.
I ran into a problem here, because the motherboard manufacturers do not use a standard pin configuration for the USB headers. I had to painstakingly remove one row of pins from the USB cable and re-orient them so I could get both USB ports working properly.
The Cooler Master ATC-201 is one of the lightest cases in its class weighing in at a mere 5 Kg without power supply. The overall dimensions are 497 (L) x 196 (W) x 452 (H) mm. Cooling is accomplished with two vertical 80 mm front intake fans, one 80 mm rear exhaust fan and one 80 mm exhaust fan mounted in the top panel of the case. All four fans are YS Tech FD1281253S-1N 80 mm units (see page 1 for fan particulars).
The photo above shows the ATC-210 with one side panel and the motherboard tray removed (all the panels including the top are removable and are attached with thumb screws). The internal speaker is mounted in an odd position on the floor of the case, but does not interfere in any way with populating the case.
It’s important to note here, that if you’re using a power supply that has a fan with a grill on the bottom, like the Enermax power supplies, it will be necessary to remove the grill before installation, otherwise the power supply will not properly line up with the power supply bracket retention holes. This is due to the framework supporting the power supply as can be seen in our photo above.
There are ten drive bays; four exposed 5.25” drive bays, two exposed 3.5" drive bays and four hidden 3.5” bays. The two intake fans are located in front of the four hidden 3.5” bays to adequately cool your hard drives, as can be seen in this photo that looks directly into the case from the back
On the left can be seen the motherboard LED and switch wiring. On the right, is the USB cable for connection to your motherboard, this is a little long for my liking, as most motherboards have the USB header located on the lower right third of the board.
Another nice touch found in the Cooler Master ATC-201 is the bay covers method of attachment. Most cases attach the bay covers using little nibs or tabs that catch on to the case once the bay cover is inserted.
The problem with this method, especially if you move your computer around as much as I do, is that with a little pressure applied the bay covers tend to dislodge and can be a real pain to put back into place.
Cooler Master has solved this dilemma by attaching the bay covers to the bay racks with two screws (one on each side). There is no chance of the bay cover getting dislodged and maybe, falling inside the computer and causing some serious damage.
Now we come to one of the ATC-201 most important and most useful features, the motherboard tray. Anyone who has ever owned a case with a motherboard tray would find it almost impossible to use a case without one and this is the best of them all!! Construction and quality of the motherboard tray is as superior as the rest of the ATC-201; there are two support brackets that maintain the rigidity (top and bottom).
There are the seven standard expansion slots all held in place by thumb screws and the standard ATX port alignment. Please note, the large number of cut out squares, they hold the motherboard standoffs and are a real pain to install, you squeeze them in slightly and push them through from the back I would have prefered the standard brass screw in vairity found in most cases, but there are more than enough to mount any ATX motherboard that I am familiar with.
The photo below shows the Cooler Master ATC-201 populated with an Epox 8K7A+ motherboard, an Athlon XP1800 CPU, 512 megs of DDR PC2100 memory, an Asus GeForce2 MX 400 Video Adapter, Philips Acoustic Edge Sound Card, a D-Link Network Adapter, a DigitalDoc5, Sony, CDROM, CDRW, Floppy Drive, Iomega Zip250,and a IBM 30 GByte Hard Drive. With all this installed, as you can see, there still is plenty of room for any new goodies I might want to add later.
A complete set of Silver Series Rounded Cables can also be seen as well as Loomed power supply lines. I’ve got more work to do here; I’m waiting for more Red Loom to arrive, so I can finish the job and make it a little neater. I almost forgot; the power supply is an Antec352 watt unit and the HSF sitting on the CPU is a Cooler Master HCC-002 (more on this in an upcoming massive Cooper Cooler Comparison).