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Cooler Master is launching today a new full-tower case within their HAF family: HAF X. Let’s see take an in-depth look at this new beast.
The new HAF X follows the same general design concept from HAF 932, with a mean rugged-looks. It comes with a big transparent window on its left-side panel (HAF 932 uses a smaller dark window) and a big 200-mm fan (HAF 932 uses a 230 mm model here) rotating at 700 rpm and producing a 19 dBA noise level. This fan uses a small three-pin connector allowing you install it on your motherboard so you can monitor its speed. The fan also comes with an adapter for you to install it on a standard peripheral power plug, if you prefer. The mesh where this fan is installed has an air filter.
The front panel of HAF X can be seen in Figure 3. This case has four external 5.25” bays. The bottom two bays look like conventional 5.25” bays but they are in fact two hot-swap drawers for installing 3.5” and 2.5” hard disk drives and SSDs. All these bays have meshed covers with air filters.
At the bottom part of the front panel we have a 230 mm fan that glows red when turned on. It spins at 700 rpm, produces a noise level of 19 dBA and you can turn off its LEDs through a switch present on the top panel. Like the side fan, it comes with a small three-pin connector and with an adapter if you prefer to install it directly on the power supply.
The front fan comes with an air filter that is really easy to remove by pulling its bottom part.
[nextpage title=”Introduction (Cont’d)”]
The connectors of HAF X are available on the top part of the front panel, while the power, reset and fan LED switches are available on the top panel, coming with a sliding lid to you to cover them and thus preventing from accidentally turning the computer off or resetting it.
HAF X comes with two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports (blue ones), one eSATA port, one FireWire port and the traditional audio jacks.
You may be wondering what is the difference between the USB 3.0 and the USB 2.0 ports. There are two differences. First, because it operates at a higher speed, their wires require a better shielding. Second, USB 3.0 ports are available on the rear panel of the motherboards that come with this feature and, therefore, the USB 3.0 ports of the front panel must use a regular USB A connector. So the two USB 3.0 ports are attached to standard USB connectors that must be routed to the outside of the case and connected to the motherboard external USB 3.0 ports.
On the top panel HAF X comes with a 200-mm fan identical to the one used on the left-side panel, and a space for installing a second 200-mm fan (as you can see, the manufacturer removed the storage compartment present on HAF 932). The case comes with air filters for both fans, which is a feature not usually found (since top fans blows air from inside the case to the outside, usually manufacturers don’t add air filters on the top panel).
Finally we have the rear panel in Figure 7, which was drastically improved over HAF 932. What immediately caught our eye was the presence of nine (yes, nine) expansion slots for video cards. This allows you to not only install motherboards that are wider than the standard ATX size, but also install dual-slot video cards on the left-most PCI Express x16 slot (on regular cases with seven slots you can install a dual-slot video card on the last PCI Express x16 slot). The slot covers are vented, which may improve airflow inside the case, and there is a mesh on the area above where the expansion cards are installed, for the same purpose.
On the top part of the rear panel HAF X has three holes protected with rubber covers. Two of these holes are for passing hoses of liquid cooling solutions that have external components. The third hole is for you to pass the two cables from the front USB 3.0 ports, since they need to be connected to the motherboard rear connectors.
A 140 mm fan (1,200 rpm, 19 dBA) is present on the rear panel, also with a three-pin connector and coming with an adapter if you want to connect it directly on the power supply.
The rear panel and the interior of HAF X are painted black, giving a very professional looks to this case.
The reviewed case comes with a set of wheels that can be screwed to the bottom of the case if you want your computer to have more mobility.
Now let’s take a look inside Cooler Master HAF X.
[nextpage title=”Inside HAF X”]
Both panels are fastened to the case using black thumbscrews and we wouldn’t expect anything less in a case from this category. Before talking about the internals of HAF X, we’d like to point out that the side fan comes with a fan guard attached to it, which helps to direct the airflow on top of your video cards.
In Figure 10 you have an overall look at the inside HAF X. The motherboard tray has a hole around the area where the CPU is installed, allowing access to the backplate of the CPU cooler, so you can replace the coolering without having to remove the mo
therboard. A few holes for routing cables behind the motherboard tray are available, two of them protected with rubber covers. The motherboard tray also features several clips for fastening zip-lock ties.
In Figure 12 you have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened to the case using black thumbscrews, which is great. The motherboard tray is big enough to hold Extended ATX (E-ATX) motherboards, and the case supports video cards up to 13.5” (34.2 cm) long and CPU coolers up to 7 ½” (19 cm) tall. You can also install the radiator of certain liquid cooling solutions on the top panel inside the case.
[nextpage title=”Inside HAF X (Cont’d)”]
The reviewed case comes with a cooling duct for video cards where you can install a 120 mm fan. This duct is attached to the case using two thumbscrews and it can moved up or down to match the exact place your video cards are installed.
HAF X also comes with a bracket for holding video cards under SLI and CrossFireX modes (see Figure 13). This bracket is the same one that comes with CM 690 II Advanced case from the same manufacturer, and ensures that heavy video cards will have an additional support inside the computer. You can install an 80 mm fan on this bracket if you want to provide extra airflow to your video cards.
In Figure 15, you can see the power supply compartment, which comes with a cover to separate the power supply compartment from the rest of the case. This cover is fastened to the case using thumbscrews and can be moved back and forth to better match the power supply you have.
With this cover removed, you can see the huge mesh available on the bottom part of the case for the power supply fan. Here we saw what is probably the only “flaw” of this case: this mesh doesn’t come with an air filter. The power supply sits on top of rubber supports, which is nice.
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
HAF X comes with four external 5.25” bays, two external hot-swap bays for 3.5” and 2.5” hard disk drives and SSDs and five internal 3.5” bays. The internal bays use screwless installation mechanisms, with the hard drives being installed inside little drawers with rubber rings to prevent the vibration produced by the hard drives from generate noise. The top-most internal 3.5” bay comes with a 3.5”-to-2.5” adapter, allowing you to install a 2.5” storage device there.
The two hot-swap bays are one of the highlight of the product. Each bay has a drawer where the hard drive or SSD must be installed using regular screws.
You can, if you want, remove the hot-swap cage to get two extra 5.25” bays.[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
Cooler Master HAF X case main specs include:
- Style: Full-tower
- Application: E-ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
- Material: Zinc-coated steel (SECC).
- Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product.
- Available colors: Black with interior painted black.
- Side panel: Transparent acrylic/meshed.
- Dimensions: 23.5” x 9” x 21 5/8” (59.9 cm x 23.0 cm x 55.0 cm) (H x W x D).
- Net weight: 32 lbs (14.6 kg)
- Gross weight: 37 lbs (16.8 kg)
- Bays: Four external 5.25” bays (six if the hot-swap cage is removed), two external hot-swap bays for 3.5” and 2.5” hard drives and SSDs, and five internal 3.5” bays (one of them comes with a 3.5”-to-2.5” adapter).
- Expansion slots: Nine.
- Fans: One 230 mm on the front (700 rpm, 19 dBA, glowing red with on/off switch for the LEDs), one 200-mm on the top (700 rpm, 19 dBA), one 200-mm on the left panel (700 rpm, 19 dBA) and one 140 mm on the rear (1,200 rpm, 17 dBA).
- Optional fans: One 200-mm on the top, one 120 mm on the video card cooling duct and one 80 mm on the video card bracket.
- More Information: https://www.coolermaster-usa.com
- MSRP in the US: USD 200.00
Cooler Master HAF X is probably one of the most fully-loaded cases around today. We could complain about its price tag – and in fact we tend not to recommend cases that cost USD 200 or more –, but we think th
is case presents a compatible price tag to the amount of features it carries. Also, the USD 200 price is the suggested price, and retailers rarely sell cases at the suggested price, so its street price should be a little bit less than that. Of course if you are a regular user that won’t need all the features provided by HAF X you will be better off buying a more affordable case. But if you want to build a very high-end machine with several video cards, several hard drives and up to three SSDs, HAF X provides an excellent value.
- Meshed bay covers with air filters.
- Vented slot covers.
- Air filter for the side fan.
- Side fan featuring a fan guard.
- Air filter of the front panel is easy to remove.
- Two hot-swap bays supporting 3.5” and 2.5” hard disk drives and SSDs.
- Support for up to three 2.5” hard drives or SSDs.
- Support for up to seven hard drives is more than enough for even the most hardcore user.
- Thumbscrews for holding expansion cards.
- Nine expansion slots.
- Hole in the motherboard tray for accessing the backplate of the CPU cooler.
- Holes for routing cables on the motherboard tray with rubber covers.
- Clips for fastening zip-lock ties.
- eSATA port.
- Two USB 3.0 ports.
- Screwless mechanisms on the 5.25” and internal 3.5” bays.
- Anti-vibration mechanism on the internal 3.5” bays.
- Supports the installation of radiators from certain liquid cooling solutions on the top panel.
- Set of wheels that allow you to easily move the computer around.
- No sharp edges where you could cut yourself while building your PC.
- No air filter for the mesh of the bottom panel (power supply fan).
- No screwless mechanism on the hot-swap bays.
- No anti-vibration mechanism on the hot-swap bays.