Cooler Master HAF XB Review

Posted on Dec 17 2012 - 2:26pm by Christopher Allega

Provided By: Cooler Master

Price: $99.99

 

Closer Look:

 

The Cooler Master HAF XB comes in a black box with purple accents with the front of the box featuring a large graphic of the case itself. The purple accents are an eye catching way to address the features as well.  On the back CM offer three images of the HAF XB with 11 features pointed out around them. At the bottom you also get six features listed in eight languages.

 On the inside of the box you will find the HAF XB first wrapped in a plastic liner, and then surrounded with thick Styrofoam placed on either side.  As for accessories included with the case, you are getting a small box secured inside of the case itself. Inside you have a small baggy of screws, a motherboard speaker, hard drive/ssd slider mounts, and very small black zip ties.

What makes the HAF XB stand out is its unique shape, with dimensions of 18 inches wide 13 inches tall and 16.7 inches deep it’s actually considerably wider than tall or deep. There are only a few cases with a similar size, almost all of them are actually open air test benches. That is where the HAF XB is a little different. Cooler Master calls it a test bench / case. It has the layout of a test bench but gives you a full case features like power buttons and front USB 3.0 ports.

Around front you have the full HAF treatment with its industrial look. You can see the case’s two front mounted 120mm fans through the large mesh area on the top half of the front. Below that you have the front I/O panel with two USB 3.0 ports, audio connections, and then large power and reset buttons.  The bottom half of the front houses two 5.25 inch drive bays and two hard drive hot swaps.

The back of the case is a bit different to look at with it being a fatter case. The motherboard will actually lay flat in about the middle of the case with the power supply and wiring mess to be hidden below it. There are seven PCIe slots to fill, two 80mm fan options, a 120mm fan spot, and an extended PSU holder that hangs out a bit further.

The top of the case seems to act as really just another “side” panel to the case. It is also fastened in the same manner as a side panel in the fact that it slides on and is secured with two more thumb screws.  You also have the option to mount a 200mm fan here to aid in cooling.

The sides are essentially the same with only the direction of the panel being different between the two. There are a bunch of oblong hexagons cut out for ventilation and an awesomely large handle on each side to carry the case. Both panels are held on with two thumb screws.

The bottom of the case is where the one lone removable fan filter lives. It keeps all the dust out of your power supply allowing you to keep it clean, as long as you remember to wash it once in awhile. It has a nice little handle to pull from beneath the PSU and slide back in with little effort.

With the top and side panels off we can get a look at the inside, you can easily see the two tier design of the chassis. Looking from the top down you can see the motherboard tray with a couple standoffs already in place. The two front fans have some cabling hanging into the case and the full front I/O panel cabling is bundled nicely on top. The motherboard tray is removable with just four thumbscrews.

Here is a closer look at the motherboard tray, the Motherboard tray is very easy to remove, remove four thumbscrews two on the left, two on the right. It slides to the front of the case and then lifts out easily.

 On the bottom of the chassis, we are now seeing the 5.25″ bays and the tool-less mechanisms used to keep the drives in place and easy to remove. Just like there are two covers in the front, there are two bays in here.

On the bottom of the chassis, this time on the opposite side, we are looking at the back of the pair of 3.5″ drive bays of the X-Dock. Here you power both bays with a 4-pin Molex connector, add your SATA cables, and then enjoy the hot swap capabilities of these bays.

Features & Specification:

 

Model RC-902XB-KKN1
Material Steel body, Front Mesh, Plastic bezel
Dimension 442(W) x 330(H) x 423(D)mm / 17.4 x 13 x 16.7 inch
Weight 8.2kg / 18.1lb
M/B Type ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
5.25″ Drive Bay 2
3.5″ Drive Bay 2 (from X-Dock)
2.5″ Drive Bay 6 (2 from X-Dock)
I/O Panel USB 3.0 x 2 (internal)Audio In & Out x 1 (supports HD Audio)
Expansion Slots 7
Cooling System Front: 120mm fan x 2, 1800 RPM, 21 dBA (or 140mm fan x 2)Rear: 120mm fan x 1 (optional), and 80mm fan x 2 (optional)Top: 200mm fan x 1 (optional)
Power Supply ATX PS2 (Support Max. of the PSU in 180mm length)
Maximum Compatibility VGA card length : 334 mm / 13.1 inchCPU cooler height : 180 mm / 7.1 inchWater cooling support :
240 mm radiator x 1 (front)
120 mm radiator x 1 (rear)
Accessories Transparent Top Window PanelRemovable Motherboard Tray
Warranty 2 years
UPC Code 884102019616

 

Conclusion:

The Cooler Master HAF XB to be honest is cheap as hell for a chassis of its quality. Sturdy, solid builds are hard to find in this price range without the loss of some feature or another. On a technical perspective, you get just the right amount of bays, wires, aesthetics, and room to make using the HAF XB very enjoyable, then you add in the fact that I can also run this without the three panels and use this as an open air test bench; I just love that part (you will be seeing this case in many more reviews to come).

The downside to the HAF XB is its 7 expansion slots, previous HAF cases featured eight or more which can really limit your options when it comes to multi-gpu configurations.

The Cooler Master HAF XB receives the Xtreme Tech Junkie’s Editors Choice Award!