A Proper HAF - Cooler Master HAF 700 EVO Case Review
Published: 15th February 2022 | Source: Cooler Master | Price: |
Conclusion - Is this a proper HAF? Yes!
Cooler Master's HAF 700 EVO is a case that lives up to the HAF series' legacy of innovation. This case has us thinking of the old days of PC modding, when PC cases were huge and enthusiasts fought to install as many liquid cooling radiators as possible within this chosen chassis. The HAF 700 EVO has us thinking of Mountain Mods, Caselabs, and older Lian Li cases, proper old-school large-scale PC cases with copious amounts of radiator support. Cooler Master has created a modern case with classic sensibilities, and we love it!
With the scale of a Cosmos and the design goals of a HAF, the HAF 700 EVO delivers something that is unique when compared to other modern PC cases. The HAF 700 EVO's scale and customisability means that no two PC builders should be able to build the same PC within this chassis. Will this case house an air-cooled moster rig? Will this case be the home of some of 2022's largest liquid cooling loops? It's up to you. Yes, this case is hugely expensive at £449, but for a water cooling case of this calibre, that isn't an insane amount of money after you factor in the cost of water blocks, radiators and fans. Yes, £449 is expensive, but so is liquid cooling components.
On the topic of liquid cooling support, we will note that the top panel of the Cooler Master HAF 700 EVO is removable, and that factor alone makes it very easy to build high-end liquid cooling loops within this enclosure. This feature makes fans easier to mount, radiators easier to place, EATX motherboards a lot easier to position. While a removable top panel (or radiator mount) is expected on most modern cases, it is good to see that Cooler Master did not skip this useful ease of use feature.
One of the things that we love about the HAF 700 EVO is that it gets all of the little details right. The case's large 200mm fans are not choked by a front-mounted glass panel or poorly designed case panels. Cooler Master has optimised their dust filters to increase airflow, the case is almost entirely tool-less, and the case doesn't require dremel skills to maximise this case's radiator support. There isn't much that we can say about this case that is negative.
The HAF 700 EVO is a case that call our for large graphics cards, larger radiators, and EATX motherboards. Nothing about this case is small, and that gives PC builders a lot of room for lofty ambitions. This is a flagship-level PC case that truly offers PC builders an ultra-high-end experience.
For £449 we expect Cooler Master's HAF 700 EVO to feel like a premium case, and it does. The case comes with an infinity mirror that can be mounted in various locations for maximal visual umph. The case's GPU mounts are tool-less, which is a hugely uncommon feature, and the case's PSU mounts are tool-less and use captive screws, another feature that makes the HAF 700 EVO a hugely user-friendly chassis. No more lost PSU screws! Yes please!
On the topic of PSU support, the HAF 700 EVO does something that we think should be commonplace on most future high-end PC cases. By placing the HAF 700 EVO's PSU behind its motherboard tray, users now have access to the entire floor of their cases to mount fans and liquid cooling radiators. If that doesn't sound like a good thing to you, remember that GPUs are getting more power hungry and that bottom-mounted fans will be able to provide GPUs with direct airflow. Moving PSUs behind motherboard trays allows for more bottom-top airflow and retains fan/radiator support at the top of PC cases. This is a huge design win.
If you want a PC case that will let your creative juices flow, the HAF 700 EVO should offer you more than enough options to help you fulfil that goal. While the case's external aesthetic is relatively fixed, the combination of strong RGB support and Cooler Master's IRIS screen should allow you to differentiate your HAF 700 EVO from others. Beyond that, we all know it's what's on the inside that counts.
Given its almost all-tool-free design, its scale and its almost un paralleled support for liquid cooling components, Cooler Master's new HAF 700 EVO is deserving of nothing less than OC3D's Innovation Award. This case is a proper HAF series chassis that lives up to the series' its legacy of innovation and delivers everything that PC builders should want from a high-end HAF series chassis.