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Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Cooler Master has a reputation for cases geared towards the enthusiast and its Stacker range of chassis have been immensely popular, being amazingly well built and very functional – especially if you have large water cooling or require plenty of fans.
The latest incarnation of the Stacker is the 830 series. From the outside it looks very different to the previous models, with its solid aluminium door and a much more rounded look. As cases go, it’s certainly on the large side at 540mm x 250mm x 640mm. Clearly, you’ll need to clear some desk space or for-go some leg-room.
The door looks quite smart, sporting a front grille. The grille is mainly for looks as there is an ample amount of space at the bottom of the door for airflow. For most cases, when you take a door off it looks a little ugly as you can still see the where the door attaches. However, because this case is designed to have the door hung on either the left or the right, the four holes for the hinges are not only discreet but are symmetric too. The hinge is spring-loaded and comes off much in the same way a loo-roll holder does. Once removed, it has a striking resemblance to a medieval shield and those with a good imagination may find other, perhaps battle related uses for it.
The power button area looks like it wouldn’t be out of place on a Stargate Atlantis set. There’s a strangely shaped power button, backlit with a blue LED and two USB ports with a flush reset switch. At the very top of the case front are two more USB ports, a headphone, microphone and a six-pin Firewire port. These are thankfully accessible even when the door is shut.
There are no case screws holding the side panels on, but instead a plastic lock much like you’d see for attaching lights to mountain bikes. By pushing these in, the doors just pull off. If you’re like us, case screws always end up unused, for easy access to a PC’s gubbins but this is a better solution offering ease of removal without any rattles or doors falling off in transit.
Once the side panels are removed, you’re greeted by yet another swing door, but this time designed as a holding cage for up to four 120mm fans. Considering the side panel is almost one complete grille, airflow is aplenty. A couple of 120mm fans running at a low spin speed should provide plenty of air without damaging ear drums.