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

Cooling And Dust Protection

Air Cooling

Cooler Master includes two of its A12025-18CB-3EN-F1 fans, running at 1800 RPM. Without an integrated controller, you end up with quite a bit of fan noise. But then again, let's not forget that HAF stands for "High Air Flow." That should give you some indication that this thing isn't appropriate as a home theater PC enclosure. Cooling performance is clearly the priority, even though the case can be made significantly quieter by adding your own fan control.

The bundled blowers have three-pin connectors and come with a four-pin Molex adapter you can use to hook them straight up to a power supply. Alternatively, Cooler Master's 120 mm fans can be replaced with 140 mm fans. But even though the screw holes are there, swapping out old for new doesn't really make sense. As you can see in the shot below, much of the outside edge would sit behind the case's wall, Even though the necessary screw holes are in place, the switch doesn’t really make a lot of sense, since a lot of the larger fans would just sit behind the case’s wall.

Up to two additional fans can be installed: one 120 mm fan in the back and a 200 mm fan on the mesh covering the opening at the top of the case.

If the case’s lower level is filled with a lot of drives and you feel like you need to keep some air moving over them, two 80 mm fans can be installed at the back.

Water Cooling

As a result of the HAF XB’s nice internal layout, you can get a pair of closed-loop or water cooling radiators installed.

First, there's room for a 240 mm radiator behind the two front fans. Depending on the unit you're using, it's possible to get two more fans installed for a push-pull setup. You have 80 mm to work with before hitting the motherboard.

The space where the 120 mm rear fan comes installed can just as easily hold a similarly-sized radiator attached to a compact closed-loop system cooling your CPU.

Dust Filters

The PSU air intake opening is covered by a removable dust filter. It settles into place with a satisfying click, and locks in securely. It doesn't slide around like the dust filters in some other cases.

The air intake and dust filter are long, allowing even longer fans with uncommon placement to draw in filtered air without a problem.

The entire front cover (which is to say the part right in front of the two 120 mm fans, as well as the openings in front of the 5.25” bays) is also protected by a dust filter. The mesh in front of the fans cannot be removed, but it’s easy to pull off that entire front fascia for easy access and worry-free cleaning.

  • 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