PC enclosures are all alike these days. They all have that same cuboid shape with an inverted PSU emplacement, side-facing drive bays, grommeted cable routing holes, and charcoal-black paint job. It's a great design, but it's gotten awfully boring to write about.
Thankfully, Cooler Master has thrown a little excitement and novelty into the mix with its new HAF XB enclosure. This is a LAN party case designed to accommodate a full-sized ATX motherboard and a relatively generous assortment of components, but it has a pretty unconventional layout. Take a look:
The motherboard lies flat at the top, flanked by two 120-mm intake fans and crowned by a 200-mm spinner at the top. There's enough space in there for CPU coolers up to 7.1" tall and graphics cards as long as 13.1". Storage and power all go below the motherboard in a separate compartment, which includes two hot-swappable "X-Dock" hard-drive bays, six SSD bays, and a couple of optical drive bays. That compartment also has a pair of 80-mm exhaust fans and a filtered intake for the PSU fan.
Cooler Master says the HAF XB should already be available stateside, and it quotes a suggested retail price of $99.99. Sure enough, Newegg already has in stock at that price—and shipping is free.
I like my PC to be tucked away under my desk, so the HAF XB would get a pass for me as a daily driver. And heck, for a LAN party, I might be more inclined to slap together a small-form-factor build. Still, I'm sure certain folks will appreciate the unique design and the opportunity to show off something other than a boring old tower case. Kudos to Cooler Master for going there.
|Hynix slides tease vertically stacked memory with 256GB/s of bandwidth||13|
|HP's new Intel-powered Win8.1 tablet costs $99||0|
|Catalyst 14.9 drivers improve performance, CrossFire scaling||30|
|Photoshop heading to Chromebooks—in streaming form||16|
|Chinese vendor preps $81 tablet with Bay Trail and Windows 8||20|
|VR-Zone posts purported Broadwell-U specs, anticipates CES debut||14|
|The typical enthusiast PC is more decked-out than you might think||113|
|Microsoft Indonesia President: Windows 9 will be free for Win8 users||66|
|Micron's M600 solid-state drive reviewed||18|