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Cooler Master HAF XB LAN Box Case Review

Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

The HAF XB mid tower case is the newest member of the Cooler Master HAF line of cases. Touted as a LAN box, this cube-shaped case has both looks and features that appeal to any enthusiasts. We decided to put the HAF XB on our test bench to validate these claims. At a base price of $99.99, the HAF XB is a bargain for the features you are getting.

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

Cooler Master designed the HAF XB with a scratch-resistance, flat-black colored coating applied to all surfaces. Both side panels have integrated hand-holds for easy lifting and transport to your event and the front and top panels contain non-impeding mesh grills allowing for optimal airflow across your vital system components. Integrated into the case's front panel are power and reset buttons, power indicator LEDs, audio input and output port, USB 3.0 device ports, two 5.25" device bays, and two hot-swappable hard drive bays.

Continue reading our review of the Cooler Master HAF XB case!

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

The HAF XB's rear panel shows off the case's dual level design with the power supply sitting directly under the motherboard's rear panel. Additionally, the case supports up to three fans in the rear panel - one 120mm fan in the top deck and two 80mm fans in the lower deck.

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

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Courtesy of Cooler Master

Cooler Master coated all inner surfaces of the HAF XB with the same scratch-resistant, flat-black coating used on the case exterior. The lower level supports up to four additional 2.5" hard drives in a drive cage in between the 5.25" bays and the rear panel fans. All drive bays, including the internal 2.5" bays in the drive cage, all tool-less for easy device placement and extraction. The upper motherboard tray is removable with a large cutout underneath the CPU socket area to accommodate CPU cooler mounting devices. Additionally, the power supply fan inlet contains a removable dust-screen.

Technical Specifications (taken from the Cooler Master website)

Case Type

Mid Tower

Model

RC-902XB-KKN1

Material

Steel body, Front Mesh, Plastic bezel

Dimension

442(W) x 330(H) x 423(D) mm
17.4(W) x 13(H) x 16.7(D) inch

Weight

8.2kg / 18.1lb

Motherboard Support

9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX)
12” x 9.6” (ATX)

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 optional 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 inch

CPU cooler height:
180 mm / 7.1 inch
155 mm / 6.1 inch (with top 200mm fan installed)

Water cooling support:
240 mm radiator x 1 (front)
120 mm radiator x 1 (rear)

Accessories

Transparent Top Window Panel
Removable Motherboard Tray

Warranty

2 years

UPC Code

884102019616

 

August 2, 2013 | 02:07 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Morry,

You are a breath of fresh air. Finally someone doing a review of a case on pcper that lists the materials used in the spec sheet. Thanks so much.

August 2, 2013 | 02:28 PM - Posted by ArcRendition

This is one of the best designed cases I've ever seen. Incredibly flexible and very affordable.

August 2, 2013 | 03:59 PM - Posted by Mnemonicman

Was going to ask if that case could fit a 360 radiator but you already answered that question. Looks like a good case for my next project. Thanks for trying the swiftech rad.

August 3, 2013 | 03:04 AM - Posted by Fishbait

Great review, thanks Morry.

I've been looking into this case on and off for about a month now and seeing these detailed pictures showing the amount of space, and reading your thorough review have removed the few doubts I had about it. :D

August 3, 2013 | 03:56 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Glad to help on this.  The case has alot more space than it seems, especially if you are willing to break out the dremel or take a creative approach to mounting...

August 3, 2013 | 03:55 PM - Posted by Bill (not verified)

Great review of a really nice looking and well designed small case. Although I doubt I'll ever buy one as I'm WAY too happy still with my Haf-X! It's easily the best case I've ever owned and the workmanship is top notch. I can only imagine this one is the same.

August 3, 2013 | 04:28 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Yeah, I can relate.  I absolutely love my HAF 932, but the HAF XB would make an intriguing modding project...

August 4, 2013 | 04:41 PM - Posted by tim (not verified)

Love Cooler Master...Got a CM mid-tower in 2010 right before Christmas at Fry`s for $15 Not too tall , but good depth for GPU`s
Can`t beat that. Plus it looks nice and clean like this review unit.
No crazy plastic lumps hanging off of it.

August 4, 2013 | 06:15 PM - Posted by ShadowLeaper

One thing:

"Additionally, the case supports up to three fans in the rear panel - one 200mm fan in the top deck and two 80mm fans in the lower deck."

It's a 120mm fan in the top deck rear panel, not 200mm.

The XB is a great case. I debated between the Thermaltake Armor A30 and the XB for my most recent gaming build, so I actually bought both. The Armor A30 got the nod for that one (which I will be selling to a buddy of mine), and the XB will house the new build I'll be doing in September.

August 5, 2013 | 10:08 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thanks for pointing that out...

November 24, 2013 | 01:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That is incorrect. The 200mm fan goes in the top the dual 120mm are in the top half in front

November 28, 2013 | 12:14 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You are incorrect in saying "That is incorrect." when it is correct the top deck REAR panel does fit 120mm fan not an 200mm which is what the ShadowLeaper stated.

August 13, 2013 | 11:59 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just ordered the case, can't wait to get it and start my build. I do have a question about cooling. The cooler master web site show the air flow setup as two front fans bringing in the air, and the top fan exhausting it. I'm going to do a 240mm radiator with push pull fans. I will now be exhausting the hot air out of the front of the case. Do I still use the top as exhaust as well? (Hot air wants to go up anyway) If I did my concern is that the case will be a dust collector. Is is best to keep the case at negative pressure? Do I flip the top 200mm fan to intake, or do I add more fans, and try to create positive pressure within the case? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

August 13, 2013 | 03:06 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

That sounds like a cool setup, I'm sorta jealous :)

Anyway, your concerns about case negative pressure and dust collection are spot on.  For case cooling (and especially for watercooling) it is best to have positive pressure in your case so that air is push out, rather than negative pressure which causes dust and debris to get sucked in.  Also, positive pressure will result in slight better airflow and pressure through your rad which is always a good thing.  I would recommend using the top fan to push air into the case.

If you are mounting the 240mm radiator at the case front, it may also be better to pull air in through the front of the case rather than to push air out.  That way, you have cool outside air flowing over your rad rather than hot case air flowing through it.

Good luck...

September 18, 2013 | 05:25 PM - Posted by Ben (not verified)

Hey Morry,

Regarding cooling, I'm trying to plan my setup. This will be my first build, so I'm new to the whole cooling world.

I'm currently trying to decide between a noctua NH-D14, and the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme. Air vs. water--the age-old decision.

Anyhow, what would the best cooling setups be respectively for either of these coolers?

If I choose noctua, I don't lose the functionality of the case's included fans. Would I need more as well?

If I go with the Thermaltake, I understand it mounts to the front. Does that replace the existing fans or mount behind them? You mention a quad setup in the review.

If they do get replaced, can they be used elsewhere in the case? What setup would be best for airflow? If you intake via the front, an have the reservoir there, where would you exhaust... Up too? Should I get the 200mm fan?

Thanks so very much for any help you can render!

Cheers,
Ben

January 10, 2014 | 06:30 AM - Posted by Eltonin (not verified)

The main advantage I see in this device is that it can accommodate nearly any size of board that is compatible with it. Even the tray for motherboard is not at all a bad idea. Anyways thanks a lot for sharing this.

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