Source: EXTREME Overclocking
Note that prices are no longer time accurate
Note that prices are no longer time accurate
|Always striving for perfection, Cooler Master has released a new model in their Stacker line of PC chassis'. The CM Stacker 830 represents a revolutionary leap in innovation and style, making a bold and fresh departure from the more traditional case styles that all seem to be the same design rehashed over and over. Cooler Master has created what looks like something from the realm of science fiction, the smooth brushed aluminum panels combined with large black mesh grills give the Stacker 830 a clean and futuristic feel.
The CM Stacker 830 is entirely made from an ultra light weight 2mm aluminum alloy. This offers a lighter case than if it were steel, while still maintaining a sturdy, durable, and quiet design. Thermal management is achieved with the capability to support up to nine (9) 120mm fans! This case can easily be converted from an ATX layout to a BTX layout, and Cooler Master includes all necessary BTX hardware. As if all that wasn't enough, the CM 830 has been designed to accommodate Cooler Master's latest liquid cooling system.
Manufacturer Features and Specifications:
* Available Color: Silver (Black Mesh)
* Dimension: 250mm x 536mm x 638mm (W x H x D)
* Material: 2mm Aluminum Alloy
* Motherboards: E-ATX, ATX, m-ATX, BTX, m-BTX, PICO-BTX
* 5.25" Bays: 9 (Exposed)
* 3.5" Bays: 4 (Hidden) from 1 x 4-in-3 Device Module included; 1 x 3.5
* I/O Panel: Dual I/O Panel in Front and Top USB 2.0 x 4, IEEE 1394 x 1, MIC x 1, SPK x 1
* Cooling System:
o Front Fan (Intake): One 120x120x25 mm (LED)
o Rear Fan (Exhaust): One 120x120x25 mm
o UP to 9 x 120mm FAN (option)
+ Front x 3
+ Top x 1
+ Rear x 1
+ Side x 4 (Side fan bracket is also for 140, 120, 92, 80, or 60mm x 4, or 300mm Cross Flow Fan x1 or MIX)
* Expansion Slots: 7
* BTX Upgrade Kits: SRM, BTX Air Duct, and BTX I/O shield included
* Power Supply: Standard ATX PS2 (Option)
Packaging and Accessories:
The Cooler Master Stacker 830 comes in a huge box, inside the case is well padded to prevent damage during transport. The back of the box shows various features and options available with the CM 830.
The manual may look a little intimidating being so thick, but that is because there are instructions printed in 8 different languages. The case is really easy to work with, and the instruction manual provides clear pictures and illustrated diagrams. As mentioned before, this case can be converted to a BTX design, and is extremely easy to do so using just a screwdriver. The SRM (Support and Retention Module) and air duct are both included for proper BTX installations. Extra drive brackets, screws, and the cross-flow fan bracket are also included in the package. A special front plate and brackets are included for mounting a floppy drive and having it match up with the other mesh plates.
Exterior of the CM Stacker 830:
Cooler Master has really come up with a well designed case, you can't help but just stare and examine the workmanship. The lines are so clean, nothing sticks out or looks like it doesn't belong. The contrast between the brushed aluminum and black mesh blends exceptionally well. This case is just so clean and simple looking, yet extremely elegant.
The front of the chassis features a large door with an octagon shaped black mesh grill to provide unrestricted airflow into the case. The door is held close by a couple magnets, no hooks or locking mechanisms. The door can also easily be converted to open from either side simply by swapping the hardware on the back. Opening the door reveals nine (9) drive bays, each with its own filter mesh that can be removed & cleaned.
The front door is notched at the top to provide access to two (2) USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire port, and audio jacks. On the top of the case are an additional two (2) USB 2.0 ports, power & reset buttons, and hard drive LED. All too often I've seen cases where they place the power & reset buttons inside the front door panel, so you must always open it up to turn your PC on. Two thumbs up to Cooler Master for moving them to the top of the case where they are more easily accessible. The top of the case also features a vent for an optional 120mm fan.
To access the front drive bays, two long slides swing open on either side. Once those are open you can remove a cover plate and insert a drive as usual. As mentioned above, the cover plates have a filter inside them, which can easily be removed & cleaned as necessary.
Interior of the CM Stacker 830:
To remove the side panels there are two levers on the back clearly labeled "lock / unlock", once unlocked the side panels simply slide back then out. Also in the same general area on the rear is where the PSU is mounted. Four screws hold a bracket in place which the PSU mounts to, it is worth noting that the PSU can be mounted in either direction.
Inside the case reveals a large plastic panel which can hold four (4) fans ranging from 140mm to 60mm, or a cross-flow fan in combination with two regular fans.
The motherboard tray slides out quite easily, all that is needed is to slide a couple retention clips to "unlock" and it slides right out. The rear panel can be converted from ATX to BTX by switching the fan / IO shield side with the PCI brackets' side (the manual illustrates how to do this). Inside the case it is almost a mirror image for the MB tray slides & holes to swap the plastic panel that holds the 4 fans. Additional instructions are included on how to mount the air duct and SRM. Once a motherboard is mounted, as you can see it is very spacious inside and would provide plenty of room for a water cooling setup.
Inside the drive bay area, Cooler Master includes one 4-in-3 device module. It's called a "4-in-3" because four (4) hard drives will fit in the module which only takes up three (3) drive bay slots. A 120mm fan is mounted to the front of the module to keep the hard drives nice and cool.
All the drive bays feature a tool-less design, simply slide the drive in the move the plastic bracket to the "lock" position. When locked, little tabs slide into the screw holes of the drive, keeping it held firmly in place. There are slots in the bracket to allow regular screws to still be used, furthermore the brackets can be removed completely to reveal regular mounting holes.
Product Summary & Final Conclusions:
The Cooler Master Stacker 830 has totally exceeded all my expectations, you simply can not ask for a better full tower aluminum chassis. This case combines a sleek & clean look with maximum functionality & versatility. Every aspect of this case has been extremely well thought out and enhances every day use. The CM 830 is the same height as any other full tower case, and just a hair bit wider, yet provides a lot more useable interior room for hardware, cooling, or other customizations.
With many enthusiasts wanting to integrate their PC into their home theater, often a common PC chassis can be an eyesore when placed next to a nice TV or theater equipment. However, the CM Stacker 830 with its smooth brushed aluminum panels and black mesh grills would, in my opinion, blend right in. Add a water cooling setup in the case and you could also have a near-silent setup for your HTPC.
This case isn't just meant for good looks though, it can be a serious server too. Purchase a couple additional 4-in-3 modules and you can easily fit a total of 12 hard drives! With space for up to nine (9) fans (120mm or larger in some spots), cooling is not a problem.
The only downside to this case is the cost, with prices around $275 (plus shipping), it's not exactly the most affordable. Aluminum cases always fetch a premium price though, and the CM Stacker 830 is definitely worth every penny.