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

Motherboard And Graphics Card Installation

I/O Shield Installation

The I/O shield snaps in to the case without any problems. It can be popped in without bending, and it sits securely in place without any give.

Back Plate Opening and Removable Motherboard Tray

As we've seen from Cooler Master in the past, its motherboard tray features a large opening to allow easy access to the CPU cooler’s back plate. This opening is a good deal larger than any processor interface we test with. Unfortunately, the HAF XB’s two-level design works against it here, though. It can be difficult to reach the opening, and the longer your power supply, the more it obstructs access.

Cooler Master has an answer for that predicament, though. The motherboard tray is held in place by two thumb screws per side, and is easy to lift up or out of the case once they're removed. This design has several advantages. With some planning, it’s possible to achieve great cable management because all areas of the case’s lower level can be accessed. If your cables are routed well, the cooler back plate should be pretty simple to switch out if you need to, since the motherboard tray can be lifted a bit.

We had no issues routing the +12 V CPU power cable; there's enough space between the motherboard tray and the case’s side walls to pick the best path.

Motherboard and Graphics Card Installation, Maximum Height of the CPU Cooler

Two motherboard spacers come installed, and the others have to be screwed in by hand. A small but very practical hexagon bit is included for this purpose. It fits over the spacer and has an indentation for a normal screwdriver on top. This way, you can get the standoffs in place without stripping the skin off of your fingers.

The HAF XB’s upper level offers plenty of space and no protruding parts, which makes putting in the motherboard painless, literally. The case can accommodate CPU coolers up to 180 mm high due to the mesh top’s domed shape that protrudes up and out. The same goes for the version with the window instead of the mesh.

The solid PCI slot covers have to be removed before a graphics card can be installed. They’re held in place by thumb screws, which again save you from marring your delicate fingertips. As long as no radiator is installed on the front of the case, the maximum graphics card length is 334 mm.