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CoolerMaster HAF XB - the good and not so good

Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:33 pm

Let me start off with the not so good because it is a pretty major niggle.

The general lack of mesh on the side panels and back panel. I don't think that there is an excuse for this because CoolerMaster did get hammered for the lack of dust proofing on their HAF 922 and reacted to that with extensive use of mesh on the HAF X (and HAF XM).

I have sorted that by simply buying some mesh, cutting it to size and attaching the pieces to the inside with some 3*1.5 mm N52 Neodymium Disc Magnets.

OK time to put on my cheesy grin to go with that whine.

It just begs to have a 240 mm radiator put into it so that is exactly what I am going to do. The build quality of it is superb and everything attaches with thumbscrews, which I like. There are better test benches out there, but they cannot be used as a computer case so I am getting the best of both worlds without having to sacrifice too much.

Now for one thing which is never mentioned in any reviews about computer cases, I have ran my hands all around the inside of the case and there is nowhere that will even remotely cause me to cut my fingers. For old timers like myself who has left copious amounts of my DNA on the thousands of systems I have worked on or built that is most certainly important and welcome news.

It's not a chassis for everyone. However for the price I don't think you will find a better alternative.


I should have amended that sentence by saying that you will not find a better alternative for the price for something which is not only a computer case but can also double up as a test bench.

Having looked at a few other reviews I see a lot of them say that one shouldn't bother populating the two 80mm fan exhausts/intakes at the bottom of the case. Now that's all well and good if you want to use it just as an open test bench; however if all you want is a test bench then there are better (and more expensive) alternatives out there. If you are using it as a case then the motherboard tray blocks off nearly all the airflow to the lower half of the case that you have on the top half of the case.

Now considering that you will want to hide your wiring under the tray you are adding even more insulation to equipment in the bottom half of the case so any airflow one can create will I think be welcome. I am still debating with myself whether to set the fans up as exhausts or intakes. My preference would be as exhausts, though I will check to see what the temperatures are like if I configure them as intakes.

To that end I have bought two Noctua NF-R8 80mm PWM fans which I got at a very good price ($37.5 for the pair of them - including postage); and yes, I know you can get cheaper fans, however the Noctua ones are to all intents and purposes silent in comparison and come with all kinds of extension cable goodies that will allow me to connect them up very tidily to the fan connector on the Corsair H100i watercooler which I also bought. To anyone who moans about the price of the Noctua fans I would say to them, go out, buy your cheap fan, then see what price the extra cables will set you back and the noise levels you have at the end of it.

I've been using Noctua fans for years now and the biggest difference to other fans I have used in the past, not only are the Noctua fans quiet, but they also stay quiet. I have yet to wear even one of them out or have them turn noisy on me and my systems stay on 24/7. Personally I couldn't give a toss about the colours of the fans so that doesn't even enter into the equation (for other people that might be a negative).
CoolerMaster HAF X, i7-990x, Gigabyte X58A-UD3R, 24GB Corsair XMS, Sapphire 7950 Vapor-X, Corsair Neutron 128GB, 3*Seagate HD (3TB), Seagate HD (1.5TB), Hitachi HD (2TB), Plextor DVD + BluRay, StorageWorks DAT 72, 29160 SCSI Adapter, Corsair H80

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