Cooler Master HAF XM Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on April 24, 2012


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

Cooler Master is announcing today its latest addition to the HAF case series, the HAF XM, which is a mid-tower model with eight expansion slots and several interesting features. Let’s check it out.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 1: Cooler Master HAF XM case

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 2: Cooler Master HAF XM case

One of the highlights of this case is the presence of a latch for you to remove its left panel. However, you still need to remove two thumbscrews located on the rear panel before removing the left panel. The left panel is meshed and supports the installation of one 200 mm fan or two 140 mm fans. There is an air filter attached to this mesh, but this filter uses large holes. If it used smaller holes, it would probably decrease the airflow.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 3: Left panel

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 4: The latch

The Front Panel

The front panel of the Cooler Master HAF XM comes with three external 5.25” bays and two external 3.5”/2.5” bays. These external 3.5” bays, however, are not targeted to floppy disk drives or memory card readers, but to hard drives and SSD units. They feature how-swap connectors, allowing you to install and remove drives without the need of attaching cables and connectors. Each of these bays is actually a small drawer, as you can see in Figure 6, making it very easy to remove or add drives. Furthermore, for 3.5” drives, these drawers feature pegs with rubber rings in order to reduce vibration and noise.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 5: Front panel

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 6: The external 3.5”/2.5” bays

The case comes with one 200 mm fan on its front panel, using a three-pin fan connector. It comes with an adaptor if you want to connect it to a standard peripheral power connector. This fan has red LEDs that can be turned off through a switch available on the top panel. Further technical specifications for this fan are not provided. You can replace this fan with two 120 mm fans or one 140 mm fan if you want. The case comes with an air filter with fine mesh for the front fan.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 7: Front fan

The case comes with two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and the traditional audio jacks at the top part of the front panel. The USB 3.0 port uses an internal USB 3.0 connector.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 8: Buttons and connectors

The Top, Bottom, and Rear Panels

The top panel of the Cooler Master HAF XM is meshed with air filters, and it comes with a 200 mm fan installed at its rear portion. You can install another 200 mm fan, two 120 mm fans or two 140 mm fans at the middle portion of the top panel. See Figure 10. The top panel supports the installation of a 280 mm radiator for liquid cooling solutions.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 9: Top panel

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 10: Top panel

The bottom panel of the HAF XM has a mesh with an air filter for the power supply fan.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 11: Bottom panel

The rear panel and the interior of the Cooler Master HAF XM are painted black.

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

The product comes with a 140 mm fan installed on its rear panel. It also supports a 120 mm fan, allowing you to install a radiator for liquid cooling solutions based on either a 120 mm or a 140 mm radiator.

This case has eight expansion slots with vented slot covers. A ninth slot placed above the expansion slots allows you to install a blower or an I/O bracket containing communication ports, for example.

There are three holes with rubber covers for hoses of liquid cooling solutions, two measuring 0.8” (21 mm) in diameter and one measuring 0.7” (18 mm) in diameter.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 12: Rear panel

The rear panel has a loop for you to install a padlock or a warranty seal in order to prevent unauthorized people from opening the computer.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 13: Loop for padlock or warranty seal

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

Inside the Cooler Master HAF XM

Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews, with the left panel being released through a latch that was already shown in Figure 4. The motherboard tray has a huge hole for you to access the backplate of the CPU coolers without having to remove the motherboard from the case, several holes protected with rubber covers for you to route cables behind it, and several clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 14: Overall look

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 15: A view behind the motherboard tray

In Figure 16, we get another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using black thumbscrews. As previously mentioned, the top panel supports 280 mm radiators for liquid cooling solutions. The Cooler Master HAF XM supports video cards up to 13.9” (354 mm) long if the top hard drive cage is installed or up to 18.2” (463 mm) if this cage is removed. The reviewed case supports CPU coolers up to 7.7” (196 mm) tall.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 16: Overall look

The HAF XM supports the installation of a 120 mm fan at each of the available hard drive cages.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 17: Support for fans on the hard drive cages

The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. It can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, 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 shown before, there is an air filter for the power supply fan. The case comes with a power supply cover for you to hide the power supply cables and make your computer look nicer.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 18: Power supply compartment

The Disk Drive Bays

The Cooler Master HAF XM has three external 5.25” bays, two external 3.5”/2.5” bays with hot-swap connectors, six internal 3.5”/2.5” bays, and one internal 2.5” bay behind the motherboard tray. You won’t need tools or screws to install the 5.25” and 3.5” drives, but the 2.5” devices need to be installed using regular screws.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 19: Disk drive bays

The six internal 3.5”/2.5” bays are installed in two cages with three bays each. You can remove the top cage if you want to install video cards longer than 13.9” (354 mm). (Actually, you remove only its left panel and its bays.)

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 20: Top hard drive cage removed

Each 3.5”/2.5” bay is actually a drawer, featuring anti-vibration mechanisms to reduce noise.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 21: One of the 3.5”/2.5” bays

The stand-alone internal 2.5” bay is located behind the motherboard tray.

Cooler Master HAF XM case
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Figure 22: The stand-alone internal 2.5” bay

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Cooler Master HAF XM include:

Conclusions

Cooler Master hit the bull’s eye with the HAF XM. It is a high-end case at an affordable price. We simply couldn’t find anything negative to say about it.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-HAF-XM-Case-Review/1539


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