Hey everyone! I completed my first computer build a few weeks ago, and read through most of this thread beforehand as I was considering the ATCS 840, which I ultimately did buy. I just registered to overclock.net so I could join the club and share some photos of my project.
I wanted a case that would offer just about everything: versatility, expandability, ability to customize, great compatibility, excellent quiet cooling, and a classically elegant aesthetic. I believe the ATCS satisfies on all accounts, though I've never seen a perfect case.
I figured bigger was better, right? Well, there have been times I felt overwhelmed by this chassis, fearing that it could be too massive. But it's not a bad concern, as far as concerns go. Everyone who sees it for this first time is dumbfounded, which is rather fun to watch.
I thought such a big case would make building easy, but it present challenges of its own. The girders designed to support a top-mounted power supply or liquid radiator can obstruct your reach, as can the trusses that allow the expansion slot area to be removed with the motherboard tray. Wiring was by far the biggest headache, especially since I started getting a little obsessive and hard to please. I spent a lot of time just staring at the chassis and components feeling immobilized.
I just went through another ordeal installing a Scythe Kaze Master Pro. The whole wiring nightmare was relived. I must admit I'm happy with how everything turned out.
I'm definitely going to add a fan to the floor. I'm leaning towards a San Ace, but wondering if a Gentle Typhoon would be about the same and more convenient. I doubt the usefulness of the fan mounts behind the hard drive cage. I understand it can direct the flow of air towards graphics cards and such, but if a fan's not taking in air, exhausting air, or pushing/pulling air across a heat sink then it seems rather inefficient to me.
Finally, I was wondering if anyone has thought of closing off the space where you can mount a radiator with some metal milled so it can be screwed onto the rails. The top fans would obviously be rendered ineffective, but I don't really think they're that vital since they hover some distance over all the heat-producing parts. The loss of airflow should be compensated by adding a high quality intake fan to the floor, which also creates positive air pressure inside. I think it would help silence the system and help prevent dust build-up or (heaven forbid!) liquids from being spilled directly on the main board. It's a bit disconcerting for me to look down and see all my precious circuits through a mesh screen. Lastly, it would reduce a bit of the cavernous interior space, making the intake of cool air more effective.