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.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • 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
    1350171 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.
  • ubercake
    Good review. A nice comparison would be to pit this versus the Corsair Carbide Air 540. I find Corsair cases to be a tad better in build quality, but the design differences would be interesting to look at.
  • demonhorde665
    good article , I bought this case 3 months ago I didn't sue a after market cpu cooler on my FX 8350 though. my load temps on prime 95 are right at 60 with a 100% load, this is in alge part thanks to the awesome 200 mm top fan I got with my case . I actually replaced the front fans with 2 120 mm red LED fans that use hydrolic bearings , coolermaster's default fans were sleeve bearings and they just don't have the longiviety or noise reduction that hydrolyic bearings have. I wound up using one of the default fans as a back fan , and when it dies I'll pop the second one in. there are a few key things you leave out in this review though.
    1. the case only take Cooler master 200mm fans I have heard of some people using work around to fit other brands in, but since there is no "standard" for 200 mm fan's screw hole spacings, its best to get a cooler master brand for the best fit. they do have a really good red led 200 mm @ 700 rpm (non adjustable) also sadly its a sleeve bearing ...
    2. when you do install the top fan you lose some range on how high of a cooler you can use. that being 30cm normally the case does fit 180 , but with a top fan in you can only fit a tower cooler that is 150 in height. this is why I haven't gotten an after market cooler for this cpu yet , its hard to find a tower cooler below this size. I however do have my eye on a Gemini low profile (the not so low model) cooler that is leagues above AMD's stock cooler and even offers clearance for tall ram dims., but I avhent had the bread to buy it after blowing my money on the rig itself.
    3. last but not leat maybe CM fixed this by now , but at the time I bought this case , the hot swap board had been notorious for killing some Hard drives. On the flip side it is easy to remove the hot swap board all together and just use a sata cable to hook up your hard drives if you fear this problem rearing its ugly head at you which is what I did.
  • dgingeri
    To demonhorde665: I have a Bitfenix 200mm fan in my HAF XB. It fits and works fine.
  • paladiin
    I bought one of these and changed out all the fans. 2 fractal design R2 120mm for the front, 1 120mm Cougar for the rear and my Hyper 212 evo has 2 prolimatech 140mm in push pull. I can't hear this case even when it is running at 100% during prime 95. Hottest I have gotten is 40 on the cpu.
    Cooler Master HAF XM
    Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 750w
    Intel 4670k
    MSI Z87-G45 MB
    Hyper 212 Evo Gigabyte gtx760 Windforce 3x Rev.2
    Corsair Neutron 240gb SSD
    2 3tb Hitachi Deskstars in Raid 0
  • Marcus52
    My only problem with this case is the fact that it won't hold E-ATX. I realize I'm bucking the trend here and certainly don't blame Cooler Master at all for making this case the way it is, but for me, the more room, the better.

    I also have an unusual amount of desktop space, and don't do the LAN thing, except amongst my computers here at home. Even though the case isn't quite designed for my usage model, I have to say - well done CM!
  • knowom
    This is my favorite looking case designed to date. I haven't tried it first hand or anything, but I can just tell by looking at it that it's designed nicely in terms of the ventilation. It's also easily accessible as well which is great. Bottom mounted PSU is always good. I love the fact that the motherboard lays flat as well that's a big plus.

    If you looking for a case for pure passive cooling and natural convection this is probably the most well designed case on the market for it yet even though it was designed for a different intent in mind, but you could easily cool a Intel Core i3-2100T in one of these no problem silently with no fans using a good CPU tower cooler, a sdd, and a fanless psu and have a solid dead silent digital audio workstation system.
  • hyperparageom
    To Marcus52
    Don't give up on your e-atx dream! I've had this case since Christmas 2012 and installed an Asus Maximus V Formula e-atx mobo ( another Christmas gift from my better half) in the little beast with room to spare on the motherboard tray. This was one reason I asked for the XB. Btw it is strongly built. I couldn't resist trying what another pro reviewer did-popping off the top panel and sitting on it. Yep, it hold my 185 lbs without a complaint. And, pushing the envelope, I used the frame rails for a few pushups! No sweat for the case. The XB is located on a cabinet right by my desk about two inches below the desktop. Now it doubles as an armrest! Kudos to CM again( wife has a StormTrooper)!
  • RedJaron
    The flat mboard mounting also means the CPU cooler and GPU cards aren't subjected to torque when being jostled up and down when carrying. Another LAN friendly aspect.
  • damric
    Got my XB last week. You got to get your hands in it to truly appreciate it.
  • Maygentria
    Looks like good case, I'm sort of regretting my 600T now!