Cooler Master HAF XB Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on November 13, 2012


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

Today, Cooler Master is releasing the HAF XB, a case targeted to gamers that looks like a huge cube and focuses on airflow. Let’s check it out.

The reviewed case is available in only one color: black.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 1: Cooler Master HAF XB case

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 2: Cooler Master HAF XB case

The side panels have two handles for you to transport the case to gaming events. There are also huge venting holes. Unfortunately, the case doesn’t have air filters for these holes.

The Front Panel

As we will show later, the motherboard compartment is located at the top half of the case, while disk drive bays are located on the bottom half, making the HAF XB to be different from most cases. The front panel of the Cooler Master HAF XB features two 120 mm fans (1,800 rpm, 21 dBA), which cool down the motherboard compartment. Each fan comes with a three-pin fan power connector with adapters for you to install them directly on the power supply. There is an air filter for these fans. These fans can be replaced with 140 mm models or with a 240 mm radiator.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 3: Front panel

At the bottom part of the front panel, the Cooler Master HAF XB has two external 5.25” bays, with meshed covers featuring air filters, and two 3.5”/2.5” hot-swap bays, called “X-Dock” by the manufacturer. These bays have tool-less installation mechanisms with rubber rings for 3.5” hard drives, but 2.5” devices must be installed using regular screws.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 4: The external 3.5”/2.5” hot-swap bays

The reviewed case comes with two USB 3.0 ports and the traditional audio jacks. The USB 3.0 ports use an internal connector.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 5: Buttons and connectors

The Top, Bottom, and Rear Panels

The top panel features a huge mesh, supporting one 200 mm fan. The bottom panel has an air filter for the power supply fan and several ventilation holes. These holes can also be used for connecting external cables inside the computer.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 6: Top panel

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 7: Bottom panel

The rear panel and the interior of the Cooler Master HAF XB is painted in black.

The case has seven expansion slots, with white vented covers.

The rear panel supports the installation of one 120 mm fan and two 80 mm fans.

On the Cooler Master HAF XB, the power supply is installed at the bottom of the case.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 8: Rear panel

Let’s now take a look inside the Cooler Master HAF XB.

Inside the Cooler Master HAF XB

To open the HAF XB, you must remove the top and the side panels, which are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. The motherboard tray is located at the middle of the case, creating two chambers, a top one for the motherboard, and a bottom one for the power supply and disk drives.

The Cooler Master HAF XB supports video cards up to 13.1” (334 mm) long and CPU coolers up to 7.1” (180 mm) tall.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 9: Inside the Cooler Master HAF XB

To facilitate the installation of the components, you can remove the motherboard tray, which is attached to the case by four black thumbscrews. The motherboard tray has a huge cutout for you to access the backplate of the CPU cooler without having to remove the motherboard from the motherboard tray. The bottom panel has several metallic clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties. There is enough space between the motherboard tray and the side panels for you to pass the power supply, SATA, and other cables.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 10: Interior of the Cooler Master HAF XB without the motherboard tray

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 11: The motherboard tray

The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case, with either its bottom fan facing inside the case or facing outside the case, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it. As already shown, there is an air filter for the power supply fan. The case supports power supplies up to 8.7” (220 mm) deep, and there is a stand with rubber pads for the power supply, reducing its vibration and noise.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 12: Power supply compartment

The Disk Drive Bays

As already shown, the Cooler Master HAF XB has two external 5.25” bays and two 3.5”/2.5” hot-swap bays, called “X-Dock” by the manufacturer. Installation of 5.25” and 3.5” devices in these bays can be done without the use of tools or screws, but you must use regular screws to install 2.5” devices in the hot-swap bays.

Internally, the HAF XB has a hard drive cage supporting the installation of four 2.5” devices without the use of tools or screws. To install an internal 2.5” device, you just need to attach a ruler to each side of the device and slide the device into the bay you want to use.

Cooler Master HAF XB Case
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Figure 13: Hard drive cage with four 2.5” bays

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Cooler Master HAF XB include:

Conclusions

The Cooler Master HAF XB will certainly please the user who is looking for a non-conventional looking, yet practical, computer case. This case is perfect for overclockers and tweakers who need to open the computer quite often, as the motherboard is located at the top half of the case, and you have access to the motherboard and components that are attached to it by simply removing the top panel.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-HAF-XB-Case-Review/1670


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