Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review

HAF System Stripped

Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review

HAF System Stripped

Having assembled the full 945 Stacker by adding a 915F to the 935 system we thought we'd strip off all the panels and see how it looks in the nip.  The side panels come away very easily and actually have captive thumb bolts so no more losing them and having to use mobo screws instead.  All of the front panels are secured in the same way and come off with relative ease and without the worry that you're about to break them as has been the case with some we've looked at recently.  What surprised us most on removing the front panel from the main case was the total absence of any fans up front.  Is this a HAF case or not?  OK, you can put your own 120mm units in here but to be honest we did expect to find at least one, if not two fans included as standard.  Cooler Master did actually supply a few of their excellent Jetflo 120s along with the case but as they aren't supplied as standard we've chosen no to represent them less you should mistakenly think looking at the pictures that the case came with fans up front as standard.

Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review     Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review

 

The 915R seen below left, and identifiable by its lack of a front I/O does come with a front mounted 92mm fan.  The 915F seen below right has no such fan as the front of the case is surrendered to the PSU and 5.25" bay.

Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review     Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review

 

We've already talked about the modular nature of the HAF stacker system, but let us expend by pointing out that the front I/O fittings are common between cases, meaning that should you wish to build a system within the 915R you can swap out a front I/O from either of the other cases.  Two screws is all it takes and Robert's your Mother's Brother

Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review     Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review

 

The 3.5" drive bay racks of the main case can also be removed and/or reconfigured to suite your needs.  We think the 354mm of GPU card length available is already more than generous, but should you feel the need to extend all you have to do is whip out a couple of thousand screws and slide the drive bays out.  OK, so it's not a couple of thousand, it's more like eight, but it feels like more, especially as you have to take the front panel off to access some of them. 

Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review     Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review  

 

Four more screws from the underside of the case release the final part of the bay area clearing the way for a monster front 240mm radiator.  Unfortunately because Cooler Master have recessed the screw holes that are used to secure the drive cages the dimples left internally mean that you're going to need to purchase an adapter from Cooler Master to make this a reality, either that or fabricate your own.

Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review     Cooler Master HAF Stacker System Review  

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Most Recent Comments

11-01-2014, 05:38:11

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...165410279l.jpg

A big case needs a big review. And boy is the HAF Stacker system from Cooler Master BIG


Continue Reading

11-01-2014, 06:25:51

Mullet
Nice review Tom. Personally, I think the case looks pretty dreadful and I'm not sure who CM are pitching at with their modular approach. Most of us like to change our case every few years and if this is driven by a change in mobo form factor or some other reason.... most would want a new case. This looks like a jack of all trades attempt at being everything to everyone.... and pays for it.

11-01-2014, 06:34:30

Rastalovich
It's not going to tickle many people's fancy with it's looks ..

.. but as someone who considers looks pretty far down on the scale of case requirements - looking mostly for adaptation, options, practicality, ease of build/'monkeying around inside' - this is one heck of a range.

(even tho I'm not a case-looks person, I know when something isn't going to appeal to others)

There's some corporate uses this stack could come in useful for, and I'm keeping that in mind for suggestions. Sometimes you see something reviewed and it has features that stick in your mind when people talk to you about if and how they can have things created for them.

Good stuff. (didn't consider the pricing at all tbh)

11-01-2014, 07:38:21

tinytomlogan
Is it just me that thinks not being able to use a 240mm AIO in the top of the main section is nuts?

HDD's or WC in the bottom AIO in the roof, then add the extra bit on the roof if you want even more water space? I still think there should be a roof panel for the main section and AIO support basically.

I think by trying to make it appeal to everyone they have actually made it a bit half arsed.

11-01-2014, 08:29:33

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
Is it just me that thinks not being able to use a 240mm AIO in the top of the main section is nuts?
.
Its to encourage you to buy more bits . Also, its probably because they want to make it for custom loopers, not people who use AIOs. Every other HAF case supports a 240 AIO in the roof/front(in the case of the XB ) I think.

11-01-2014, 08:31:16

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
Its to encourage you to buy more bits . Also, its probably because they want to make it for custom loopers, not people who use AIOs. Every other HAF case supports a 240 AIO in the roof/front(in the case of the X I think.
Yeah but a roof panel should be avail so you can use the lower case. With the 240mm AIO's being so common just seems retarded to not support them straight out of the box.

11-01-2014, 08:39:37

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
Yeah but a roof panel should be avail so you can use the lower case. With the 240mm AIO's being so common just seems retarded to not support them straight out of the box.
If enough people do a mod for it they'll release it as a panel to order. Its the same with my case, enough people wanted a window mod/did a window mod so you can now buy a windowed top on their site.

11-01-2014, 08:42:19

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
If enough people do a mod for it they'll release it as a panel to order. Its the same with my case, enough people wanted a window mod/did a window mod so you can now buy a windowed top on their site.
With all the other 'options' it should have been there from the start. Something like that not to be supported out of the box is actually a big thing to miss. If I had reviewed this Id have been a bit harsher on that aspect tbh.

11-01-2014, 08:50:14

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
With all the other 'options' it should have been there from the start. Something like that not to be supported out of the box is actually a big thing to miss. If I had reviewed this Id have been a bit harsher on that aspect tbh.
Yeah you are right, to be honest the way that they've marketed it I don't actually think I've seen one which didn't have a custom loop. It is a big shame tbh as the window is a lovely size on the main case. Its not like they don't do a 240 AIO either.

11-01-2014, 12:12:40

Davva2004
It's a case I considered before with two 360 rads in the small section below the main case, but now I'm seriously thinking it'll make a bloody good watercooled top end mini ITX build... Maximus VI Impact with full coverage block, 290X with a Kryographics block.... Mmmmmmm.

11-01-2014, 13:11:39

TheOuterOne
I don't really like the look of any HAF case, the mesh looks really cheap to me :/

Isn't there anything inbetween the front of a 350D and the front of a HAF case?

13-01-2014, 05:01:20

Warchild
Doesn't really deserve the name HAF anyway. If this case is intended for watercooling, why do they give it the "High Air Flow" series name.

But VERY ugly. I know you mentioned it already but it just seems like a company rip from the SR-2 stacker. The difference being here that the SR-2 is much more sleek (spelling?) and better designed. Then again most mod cases generally are.

I remember having the HAF932. The moment I switched from stock cooling to water cooling I felt limited with options for the case. Now this case is aimed at water cooling so give it a new name like HWF or WCP - watercooling performance.

13-01-2014, 06:13:51

ShaunB-91
Don't even know what to say about this case.

Really not a fan of any of the HAF series, it's just an ugly thing, but I do kind of think the design is kind of cool. The idea of having more than one build in one case, although I'm sure people have made better cases themselves to allow for this, kind of a strange one for me, yay and nay, shit hot but as two individual words does it best for me.

13-01-2014, 06:44:42

barnsley
I probably should add as someone who likes the HAF series, they've really ruined it now and should put the series to rest. the max airflow,max noise thing is kinda a bit dated as it is now. Don't get me wrong, I do really like my HAF but the whole original concept behind the HAF series is dead.

13-01-2014, 16:42:51

G-Dubs
We appreciate your thoughts on the HAF element of this case. What would you be thinking if this case was sleek and minimalist? In other words, is it the looks or the concept that's not lighting your fires?

13-01-2014, 17:30:29

barnsley
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Dubs View Post
We appreciate your thoughts on the HAF element of this case. What would you be thinking if this case was sleek and minimalist? In other words, is it the looks or the concept that's not lighting your fires?
Its too much of a half way house between trying to go for the 'signature' HAF look (basically alot of mesh and big frontal fans) and trying to go towards a more sort of sleek look. What has happened hasn't really worked well I think. To be fair to them though I don't think they could elongate the "HAF look" much xD.

13-01-2014, 21:52:03

Dicehunter
I can see some people liking it but like their Corsair 540/hifi system ripoff, This is not for me.

13-01-2014, 23:10:15

Bartacus
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
Its too much of a half way house between trying to go for the 'signature' HAF look (basically alot of mesh and big frontal fans) and trying to go towards a more sort of sleek look. What has happened hasn't really worked well I think. To be fair to them though I don't think they could elongate the "HAF look" much xD.
I second this. Plus I'd like to add that if CM is adding all this expansion capability, they are presumably targeting water coolers. For those of us under water, mesh is actually a negative, not a positive. A mesh case generally means more noise, as there isn't enough "case blockage" to silence the multitude of fans that we run. Personally, I'd much rather a case that's more "plugged up". Heck, I have 15 fans in my Case Labs M8 now, and I'd be rather despondent if it had more holes than it already does. That noise isn't doing my tinnitus any good.

EDIT: that being said, I'd love to see a water build in ITX format with *just* the 2 expansion pieces, and to heck with the big "middle" piece.
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