Cooler Master HAF XB LAN Box Case Review
Interior Case Overview
The HAF XB has a total of three removable panels - the left, right, and top panels. With all panels removed, you get a much better view of the design genius that Cooler Master poured into this case. All surfaces are powdered coated in a flat-black color to match the exterior, and are scratch resistant to boot. Looking into the case from the left side, you can easily see the division between the layers. The front 5.25" device bays are fully tool-ess with large switches used to lock the devices in place. The switches are marks, moving to the left locks the device in place, while moving to the right unlocks the device for removal. Directly behind the 5.25" drive bays is a removable drive cage for use with 2.5" hard drives or SSDs. This drive is also tool-less, with drives held in place by the included drive rails. The drive cage holds a total of four drives. If additional airflow is needed for cooling the caged drives, two 80mm fans can be mounted directly behind the cage on the case's rear panel.
Viewing the inside of the case from the right side, you can easily see the space available between the from hot swap drive bays and the PSU area. While there is sufficient room for most PSUs, Cooler Master recommends use of PSUs with a maximum length of 180mm, or 7.1 inches, for proper clearance between the PSU and hot swap bay cables.
From the top-down view, the upper layer design of the case becomes apparent. The case supports all motherboard form factors from ITX to an E-ATX sized board. The motherboard tray is removable as well, sitting on reinforced rails to hold it in place. Dual 120mm fans sit directly in front of the motherboard to force cooling air flow over your CPU and discrete video card. The seven motherboard port covers are held in place by the same sized thumbscrews used on the outside of the case. The motherboard tray itself sports an overly large cutout corresponding with the typical board CPU area, allowing easy access to the CPU hold down hardware without have to remove the board from the tray.
The front panel 120mm fans are mounted in between the front metal wall of the case and the front bezel. The entire area behind the fans in the front wall was cut out entirely to maximize airflow through the fans. Notice that there are screw holes provided to allow for mounting of dual 140mm fans if desired. You could easily mount a 2x120mm or 2x140mm water radiator in that front section with some creative placement. Both fans come with plastic-coated cables ending in a four pin Molex power connector. The plastic tabs on the lower right and left of the case front are clips holding the front bezel in place. There are a total of seven front bezel clips, at the top, middle, and bottom along the outer vertical edges of the front case wall and one in the top middle of the case front.
With the motherboard tray removed, you can more easily view the lower layer design and layout. The space in-between the hot swap bays and PSU area on the left and the 5.25" drive bays and drive cage on the right becomes much clearer. The loops in the lower surface of the case are zip tie mounts for cable routing and tie-down.
The PSU sits on an elevated tray with a cut out accommodating up to a 140mm fan. The tray itself is covered with a rubber overlay to protect the surface of the PSU as well as creating an air tight seal around the PSU intake fan. This forces the PSU to draw air though the air filter on the bottom of the case. The air filter is oversized to accommodate PSUs with non-standard fan layouts.
The control panel for the hot swap bays is simply screwed to the back panel of the hot swap bay housing. There are spots for plugging in two SATA 3 cables with each tied to one of the bay devices. The drives are powered by a single Molex power connector from the PSU.