Cooler Master HAF XB Case / Test-bench Review

Up Close: Exterior

Cooler Master HAF XB case/testbench review


Up Close: Exterior

By now you're probably used to the usual route we take around a case when we review it. However although supporting the ATX form factor the XB can't be said to follow the usual layout conventions, and as such don't be surprised if this route varies a little from the norm.

Measuring 442x330x423mm the XB resembles a hunkered down cube, with the large notches down either side of the front bezel nodding firmly in the direction of its HAF heritage. Subtle yet perfectly sized had holds on either side remind us just how easy this case will be to pick up and carry to LANs.

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

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


The upper section of the front the of the XB is dominated by a large mesh area. Rather than being a purely two dimensional sheet the mesh is sculpted and angled. A simple Diamond cut Cooler Master logo badge sits proudly in the centre. Under the Mesh we find the front I/O area. A large power button and smaller reset button sit alongside HD audio in/out jacks and a pair of USB 3.0 sockets.

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


Further down and to the left the mesh of the upper panel is repeated offering blanking for the pair of 5.25" bays. These are easily removed by means of simply pinching together the small tabs on either side. Over to the right we find the two external 3.5"/2.5" bays, each of which enables hot swap by means of Cooler Masters X-Dock mechanism.

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


The layout of the rear of the XB gives one of the first hints that the interior is laid out somewhat diferrently to a conventional ATX tower case.  Plenty of hex mesh and ventilation, but we can't help noticing an absence of fans back here. 

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


If we imagine the upper half of a tower case rotated through 90 degrees the image below left does at least make a bit more sense to us. At the far left side we find a selection of punch outs should you opt for external watercooling, to its right there is a mesh protected mount for a 120mm fan (conspicuous by the absence of a 120mm fan). Below this we find the rear I/O cut out and 7 expansion bays. Further down we find the PSU cut out. An extension enables the accommodation of longer PSUs without too much encroachment into the interior. finally, over to the right there are mounts for 2 80mm fans, again, no fans are included in this position.

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


Flipping the case over we can see that the body of the case is amply support by broad dense rubber strips  at each corner and along the front, with the PSU area featuring a removable mesh filter.

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


Last but by no means least on our trip round the exterior we visit the roof. A single plate held in place by 2 thumb screws, the roof features a large raised central mesh vent. locations are provided in the mesh for the attachment of a 200mm fan, but bear in mind this may restrict the height of the CPU cooler below. For those of you looking at the roof and whose Dremel hand is twitching as we speak, you might be interested to know that the case is available with a windowed roof as opposed to a mesh roof. The image below right we hope helps show the build quality and finish that we've come to expect from Cooler Master.

  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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