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Cooler Master's HAF XB: Give Your LAN Party Box Breathing Room

Results: Temperature And Noise Level At Full Fan RPM

For the sake of comparison, we’re starting with a list of the case's fans and their rotational speeds before moving on to the thermal measurements. We're using an Aqua Computer Aquaero 5 LT to measure RPM. The following results represent each fan at its highest setting.

Fan RPM, Benchmark 1
Front Fan2 x 120 mm Cooler Master A12025-18CB-3EN-F11857 RPM
Rear Fan1 x 120 mm Cooler Master1831 RPM
CPU Fan2 x 150 mm Noctua NF-A15 PWM1508 RPM

Aggressive cooling performance is accompanied by lots of noise. Nothing in life is free, after all. Here are the exact numbers:

Cooler Master HAF XB: All Fans at Maximum RPM
Ambient Temperature22 °C
AMD FX-8350 (Core Temperature)47-48 °C
GPU (GeForce GTX 470)69 °C
2136 RPM (45%)
PhysX (GeForce GTX 650 TI)49 °C
1200 RPM (37%)
SSD32 °C
Hard Drive29 °C
Noise Level from Front, 50 cm50.2 dB(A)
Noise Level from Top Left Diagonal, 50 cm47.8 dB(A)
Noise Level from Top Right Diagonal, 50 cm48.0 dB(A)

As we expected, the HAF XB's layout helps keep our components nice and cool. AMD's FX-8350, which isn’t exactly known for its appealing thermals, flips between 47 and 48 degrees Celsius. This is quite a ways from the 70 degrees where we know this chip will start throttling. There's clearly headroom available for an even higher overclock attempt.

The graphics cards are in similarly good shape. Gigabyte's 990FXA-UD7 gives us two slots between the Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 and GeForce GTX 650 Ti, which handles PhysX calculations. That's enough space to allow airflow from the front of the case to flow through. Consequently, the GTX 470 hovers at 69 degrees Celsius, while the 650 Ti stays at 49 degrees. Each card's fan is barely audible over the case's coolers, which you can certainly hear at 1800 RPM. Then again, this setup is optimized for thermal performance, not acoustics.

Color us impressed by these results, particularly since we didn't even use the optional 200 mm top cooler, which would have required a shorter CPU cooler than Noctua's NH-U14S.

Next, we'll try to answer whether Cooler Master's HAF XB continues to perform well when we tune for performance and noise. The following batch of measurements is taken with fan RPMs cut back.

  • supermag24
    bitfenix prodigy > HAF XB
    Review the prodigy.

    Good review, though.
    Reply
  • ohyouknow
    Absolutely love this case. Only thing I don't like is motherboard removal is a pita if you have a water cooler and want to add drives to the bottom compartments. Nice and clean up top.
    Reply
  • panderaamon
    i've been using this case for the last 2.5 months. my only problem is that my H100i cant work in 4 fan mod cause my GTX 570 DIICU is 3mm's longer than i calculated. oh well, 3 fan mod is working nice. also whatever you do get the upper case fan aswell. use it as an exhaust. you'll be suprised what a difference it makes.
    Reply
  • midnightgun
    The only change I would like made to this case is the ability to mount rads to the top where the 200mm face spot is. I am really interested in this case for my build early next year. Will you also be reviewing the Corsair Carbide Air 540?
    Reply
  • thebluephilip
    i really love this case! perfect for almost all around duties regarding pcs. :)
    Reply
  • Vlad Razvan
    I fell in love with the HAF XB first time I saw it. Have been using one for three months now - lots of space, extremely well ventilated, easy to work with, and a great looker too.

    Initially I wanted to go for an expensive 250$ case so my crossfire configuration could fit and have enough ventilation, but then I saw this thing for 125$, bought it and we have been happy ever since.

    PROTIP - buy the quietest 120 and 140mm fans you can find or get a fan controller. If you keep the stock frontal fans, you're gonna have a noisy time.
    Reply
  • Vlad Razvan
    11393992 said:
    bitfenix prodigy > HAF XB
    Review the prodigy.

    Good review, though.

    For a lanparty, yes, the prodigy es better because it's smaller. As a high-end PC enclosure / testbench - HAF XB is way better. My sister used to keep a pair of GTX 480s in SLi in her HAF XB - it's one of the few cases with good enough ventilation for such hot hardware.
    Reply
  • cscott_it
    Kai,

    Given your experience with this case (and any previous case testing), do you think the HAF XB would cool well with better fans? You wouldn't happen to have the time and a couple of decent Noctua or Thermaltake (the models with the fluid bearing) to test with, would you?

    Also, any thoughts on the stock fans rated CFM vs. actual amount of heat dispersed and any impressions with them? My experience with Coolermaster's case fans has been unfavorable over the years.
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    I absolutely love my HAF XB. I don't use the internal 2.5" drive bays, though. I used a Vantec 5.25" to 4X2.5" hot swap drive bay adapter, for a total of 6 hotswap drive bays. I have 4 SSDs installed, with no mechanical storage. I use a HAF 932 for my storage server, keeping my personal data stored elsewhere so it can be independently virus scanned and backed up. This way I can take my main system places without risking my personal data. I mess around with the insides of my main system enough that this saves me a ton of frustration. It's just awesome.

    For the guy who suggested the Bitfenix Prodigy as an alternative to this: what are you, crazy? That thing is a mini-ITX case. It could never pull the duty of this case. It's worthless to any of my needs. Go play with your toys and leave the big boys to talk here.
    Reply
  • rolli59
    Looking good, one of my favorite cases.
    Reply