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Product : Stacker STC-T01
Company : Cooler Master
Author : Mark 'Ratchet' Thorne
Editor : Robin 'roki' Kim
Date : June 18th, 2004

Packaging

Cooler Master ATCS packaging
Cooler Master ATCS packaging
My first Cooler Master case is an ATCS I bought to use with my HTPC setup and I was very impressed with the sturdiness of the packaging. Not only was the cardboard box very stiff, the soft foam padding supporting the case inside was also reinforced with cardboard, making it virtually indestructible while at the same time providing a good cushion during shipping. Obviously Cooler Master knows how to box a premium quality case so I was understandably expecting the same level of packaging for the Stacker. However, What I was greeted with was more than a little disappointing and leaves me wondering why Cooler Master has taken such a large step backward in this department.

The sight of CM Stacker's cardboard box made me cringe as it was clear by the crumpled bottom corners that it had taken a significant drop somewhere along the cross-continental trip from California to my eastern Canadian province. Inside, the form-fitting styrofoam meant to protect the case from the rigors of shipping was in very bad shape and obviously couldn't do much to help protect the case.
Definitely not a good sign
Definitely not a good sign
Everything looks ok...
Everything looks ok...
...but the bottom is another story
...but the bottom is another story
Bent frame and side panel
Bent frame and side panel
The styrofoam surrounding the top and bottom portions of the case may have survived and done its job if not for the fact that the Stacker is boxed "face up" which puts the heaviest of the foam on the sides of the box and leaves the critical front and rear of the case open to the most abuse. When the box was dropped, the force of the impact broke the styrofoam which eventually shifted out of the way and left the top rear of the case completely unprotected. The top right rear thumb screw, now with only a layer of cardboard separating it from cement floors and the like, got pushed into the case and bent the frame and side panel where it was attached.

The side panel was easy to straighten out but there is obviously no way to make it look like new again. With some work I managed to get the frame somewhat straight and things go together fairly well now. Unfortunately the end result is a thumb screw that's impossible to operate without a screwdriver.

Also, on top of the case there are two small dents where the inside frame had been pushed up into the aluminium panel. Cooler Master has assured me that these dents are only seen on the sample units and will be corrected for the retail version.




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