Cooler Master HAF XB LAN Box Case Review
As of July 21, the Cooler Master HAF XB mid tower case was available at Newegg.com for $99.99 with free shipping. The case was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $92.82 with Prime shipping and TigerDirect.com for $89.99.
Before continuing with our final weigh-in on the HAF XB, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at Cooler Master a hearty “Thank You” for giving us the opportunity and pleasure of reviewing the HAF XB mid tower case. Normally, mid tower cases are more of an after though for me rather than a target. I want a case that will house all my drives and water cooling equipment and tend towards the full tower case spectrum. Let me say that I was pleasantly surprised with the HAF XB and the sheer amount of space available inside this mid tower case. Cooler Master calls this a mid tower case because of its physical height and dimensions, but it has as much room as many full tower cases because of its cube shape and dual layer design. In a stroke of genius, Cooler Master physically separated the case into two distinct layers - the lower level for housing the drives and PSU with the upper layer housing the motherboard and CPU heat sink. This design allows for heat to be segregated and dispersed in a custom tailored fashion on a per level basis rather than the balancing act needed to optimize air flow patterns over an entire upright case. The lower level can be cooled by the PSU alone or with the addition of optional add-in fans without affecting the air flow for upper level area. The upper level and its heat generating centers (read that as the CPU and video card) are similarly segregated from the lower level drive devices and can be cooled accordingly.
Best of all for me is the configuration options that are open for cooling the top level components. You can use larger air coolers, single or multiple all-in-one water coolers, or even custom cooling loops using multiple radiators. Further, the case can be modded to allow for use of even larger radiators such as 360mm (3x120mm) size radiators without much work needed. For routing, the custom water system can be split between levels with the pump and reservoir installed on the lower level without much hassle.
- Sleek flat black powder coated surfaces - inside and out
- Tool-less hard drive and device trays
- Support for multiple water cooling radiators and custom water loops
- Available external port support
- Inclusion of externally accessible hot-swap drive bay
- Fan filters
- Internal spacing, layout, and design
- Rubber grommets for case fans
- Ground clearance
- Case configuration and modding possibilities
- Lack of bundled fans