Cooler Master HAF XB Case / Test-bench Review

Up Close: Interior

Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review


Up Close: Interior

The Cooler Master HAF XB splits the housing of its hardware between two levels, with the Motherboard, CPU and expansion cards being pretty much the only items on the upper level. Access to the lower levels is gained by removing the motherboard tray and by removing the side panels, all of which are held in place by the now ubiquitous thumb screws. Although a large CPU cut out is provided it is pretty much mandatory to have to remove the Motherboard backplate to change a CPU cooler as although there is ample room behind (below) the CPU access is restricted by the PSU and by the various drive enclosures. We're not mentioning this in the context that it is an issue, it isn't, the nature of the removable motherboard tray means you can have the whole lot out in under a minute.

Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review     Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review  


The keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that there's quite a bit of space between the rear of the two 120mm fans and the edge of the motherboard, 60mm to be exact. With this amount of space on hand and with access from either side it seems almost criminal not to mount a 240 or 280mm radiator in there, especially as the case is designed with just that in mind. Although the cables can be routed up through the edges of the motherboard tray it's far easier to bring them up through the large space at the front edge of the tray, just need to bear that in mind when deciding on the thickness of radiator.

Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review     Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review  


With the Motherboard tray removed we are afforded a better view of the lower level of the case. Towards the front left are located bays able to hold a pair of 3.5" or 2.5" drives and to their right a 5.25" bay able to house 2 devices, or perhaps a reservoir. Did we just say reservoir? Yes we did. For those of you that have been concentrating will already know this case will accept 240 or 280 rads in the front, but more of that later.

Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review     Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review


The PSU is mounted by means of a sort of external extension. This extension slips over the rear of your PSU with the whole assembly then being slid in from the rear (stop it now). It has to be said that the thick layer of anti-vibration rubber padding at the base of the PSU mount makes the fit very tight. So tight in fact that we had to remove the fan cowling from our PSU to get it in, and even then a fair amount of wiggling was required. The reason for the extension of course is that is permits a certain amount of the PSU to hang out the back of the case and as such enables the use of PSUs up to 180mm in length. Unlike other conventional towers though the longer the PSU you use the less room you're going to have to manoeuvre those cables, as you'll see when we come to the build section. The image below right shows the business end of the Cooler Master X-Dock technology. essentially a PCB with a 4 pin Molex and two sata data connections the X-Dock enables hot swapping of 3.5" and 2.5" drives from the exterior of the case via the front hatches shown earlier.

Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review     Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review      

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Most Recent Comments

28-01-2013, 06:03:29

With the HAF series fast encroaching on legendary status Cooler Master have decided to stir the pot with a new footprint for the latest incarnation, The HAF XB

Continue ReadingQuote

28-01-2013, 10:55:25

dont you guys usually do a vid for a product worthy of a gold??? Quote

28-01-2013, 10:57:52

can 280mm closed loop water coolers fit in the front intake spot? like the nzxt kraken x60 or the corsair h110Quote

28-01-2013, 11:44:14

all the reviews im seeing say only 240mm rads in the front. boooooQuote

28-01-2013, 12:46:50

want one!Quote

28-01-2013, 16:45:06

If I was thinking of going back to air I'd consider getting 1 of these for the price it's a really nice case, I have a Haf X and for water it's good but it's size and weight makes it cumbersome to move.Quote

28-01-2013, 18:13:16

| raVen |
I really like the look of this caseQuote

28-01-2013, 23:11:41

I've wanted one since I first saw it. Want to mod it into a white case and some serious WCQuote

29-01-2013, 05:52:06

likes the look of this case Quote

29-01-2013, 15:35:03

I didn't like the look of this at first, but it has grown on me a little.Quote

29-01-2013, 15:42:27

sure enough the kraken x60 fits just fine in the haf xb -

30-01-2013, 09:41:17

Like this very much.Quote

01-02-2013, 23:33:05

Nmm Nmm,Nmm Nmm, NmmQuote

06-02-2013, 09:35:51

realy like this case will defnitly have to get one Quote

11-02-2013, 06:23:26

Smithy 92
The only problem I seem to have with this case is that I wish there was more space for 3.5" hard drives and maybe fewer SSD mounts but that is just my opinion. Other than that though I still think this case looks great especially once you have some red leds mounted inside.Quote

17-02-2013, 04:16:52

agreed about the 3.5" drive support. I'm sitting here contemplating on pulling the trigger and just buying this case over the cosmos 2. See I'm stationed in united kingdom until 2016 and of course the military movers broke my corsair 800d case. So I need to replace it.

I have 5x 3.5" drives and 2x 2.5" SSD's (patriot pyro 128's in RAID 0) I need to fit.

I'm pretty sure with all the room in the bottom hard drive area (2.5" cage area) I can make something work to where I can either add a 3.5" cage or just drill out the 2.5" and just replace that cage. I've got plenty of sheet metal and car guys that have the tools who work with me in the Air Force.

But then I look at the cosmos 2 and really drool over all the area it has. But then I'm reminded that in 3 years the military movers are going to be handling my stuff again and quite possible are going to break another $300 case.

Both cosmos 2 and haf xb fit the new 280mm all in one water coolers, thats a must have for me with a new case.

AHHHHHH I'm torn. I'm leaning towards the HAF XBQuote

18-02-2013, 11:20:22

I'm really liking that case! Great review G-Dubs!Quote

21-02-2013, 21:03:50

hoxlund, you don't need to drill out the cage, it just has 4 phillips head screws in there and that's it.

Btw I just purchased this case with my new build about a month ago and say I love it. With some quieter fans I could make it much better on the ears. But really, if you buy a HAF case, you aren't bothered by some wind noise.

EDIT: Also if you have the Noctua NH-D14 it fits like a charm. You won't be able to put the 240mm fan on top but the cooling is good enough you don't need to.

One of my MSI 560ti Twinfrozr fans went out on me and it still stays plenty cool enough in this case. Very very pleased.Quote

29-03-2013, 14:50:42

A great chassis out there. Innovative design plus lots of space.Quote

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