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

Results: Temperature And Noise Level At Reduced Fan RPM

For our second round of tests, we dialed down every fan's rotational speed to 1000 RPM. Since the Cooler Master HAF XB is a very open case with an emphasis on high airflow, it's still louder at this setting than most conventional towers.

Nevertheless, the noise level stays within an acceptable range for everyday use, and it could be minimized even more by scaling back fan speed even more.

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Cooler Master HAF XB: All Fans at 1000 RPM
Ambient Temperature22 °C
AMD FX-8350 (Core Temperature)58-59 °C
GPU (GTX 470)75 °C
2819 RPM (52%)
PhysX (GTX 650 ti)53 °C
1380 RPM (41%)
SSD36 °C
Hard Drive32 °C
Noise Level from Front, 50 cm41.2 dB(A)
Noise Level from Top Left Diagonal, 50 cm40.8 dB(A)
Noise Level from Top Right Diagonal, 50 cm40.9 dB(A)

The temperatures are higher this time around as a result of reduced cooling performance. AMD's FX-8350 now hovers between 58 and 59 degrees Celsius, which is still 11 degrees lower than where it starts throttling.

It's common to consider liquid cooling when you want to try getting AMD's FX up above 4.5 GHz. A chassis like the HAF XB, with its direct and unobstructed airflow across all major heat-producing components, makes it possible to hit those speeds with a good chip on air.

Like the processor, the graphics card's temperature and fan speed remain acceptable. The GeForce GTX 470’s core rises six degrees, and its fan automatically spins 100 RPM faster, making it a bit more audible than before. Comparing the noise level under load to that at idle illustrates the difference, since the latter reflects just the CPU and case fans.

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Noise Level at Idle
Noise Level from Front, 50 cm39.7 dB(A)
Noise Level from Top Left Diagonal, 50 cm38.3 dB(A)
Noise Level from Top Right Diagonal, 50 cm38.1 dB(A)

Remember that we put a lot of hot components into the HAF XB. The case's name is well-deserved; it manages to keep all the components cool enough, even at lower fan speeds. We also think there is room to optimize. For example, adding a compact liquid cooler would likely help bring down noise. We'd also be curious to see and hear what three- or four-way graphics arrays could achieve in the roomy enclosure.

  • supermag24
    bitfenix prodigy > HAF XB
    Review the prodigy.

    Good review, though.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • thebluephilip
    i really love this case! perfect for almost all around duties regarding pcs. :)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • cscott_it

    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.
  • 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.
  • rolli59
    Looking good, one of my favorite cases.