Cooler Master HAF XB Case / Test-bench Review
Published: 28th January 2013 | Source: Cooler Master | Price: £82.99 |
Up Close: The Build
Undoing the two thumb screws on either side of the motherboard tray enable it to be lifted out clear of the case, making the job of mounting the motherboard and the cooler as easy as can be, especially with the more than generous CPU cut out.
With the PSU inserted we can begin to think about how we're going to route our cables. We say think because as this is not a conventional layout, we're not going to be able to follow conventional routes. Still, as everything is compact there's no concerns about cables not reaching their destinations. Far from it in fact, our biggest issue, if you can call it that was having too much cable to lose in the process of getting it from A to B. Those of you who've read other case reviews will know we hold great sway by the cable management options afforded at the rear of a Motherboard, and with no less than 110mm of space we can safely say the XB will not leave you wanting. But what of cable tie points we hear you cry? Well we think there are at least 25. why so vague. I'll tell you why, because there's so damn many we kept losing count, and every time we tried we seemed to find another in an ingenious place we hadn't noticed before, that's why. Not only are there plenty of them, but a great many of them are set at a 45 degree angle enabling attachment of cables running in any direction, not just across them at 90 degrees.
With motherboard complete with cooler and GPU in place we can wire up the components having previously passed the cables up from underneath. It's essential you pass the wires up and through first because with the motherboard in place there's no way you're getting them through, not unless you're blessed with having multiple wrist joints. The end result is a tidy wiring job up top, with most of the unused cable lengths being stowed safely below decks where it can't be seen.
Earlier on we talked about the ability of the HAF XB to accommodate a 180mm PSU. The unit we've used below is a relatively modest 160mm unit, and even here we can see that the amount of space between it and the rear of the 3.5" X-Dock assembly is quite limited. if you're using a modular PSU it's a good idea to attach whichever cables you will need first before inserting the PSU into the case, again, if you have multi hinged wrists, this won't be an issue for you.
With everything in place we can re attach the panels and bask in the glory of our build, noticing that although the mesh panel in the roof is primarily designed for ventilation it does provide a rather nice view of the hardware within.