Cooler Master HAF 922 Review

damian - 2009-04-13 19:41:32 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: damian   
Reviewed on: May 11, 2009
Price: TBD

Introduction:

With the introduction of newer technology revolving around the latest processors and graphics cards, heat is becoming more and more apparent. While heatsinks do their best to eliminate it, sometimes there can be room for improvement. How about the component that houses and builds up all that heat, the case?  Some people tend to take the case for granted and settle for a low quality one. Sure they might do the job okay, but do we really want a case that's just 'okay' to hold our expensive hardware? I don't think so. In my opinion it's performance first, looks second. I'm sure I'm not the only one either. If you are looking for a new case, try sitting down, drinking a cold drink of your favorite beverage and spare about half an hour or so looking for that perfect case that will protect your hardware with ease, and keep the temperatures as low as possible. To make it a little easier, how about we take a look at a new case, a case from one of the most respected brands out there - Cooler Master.

When Cooler Master released the Haf 932 to the general public it was praised for its amazing air flow, rugged industrial looks and top notch quality. Now Cooler Master is at it again. There is a new addition to the family the Cooler Master HAF 922. The HAF 922 is basically identical to the 932 with a few minor setbacks in features but more so, it has adopted the mid tower design. Does it have what it takes to hang with his brother and friends? More importantly, does it suit the needs of the consumer? Let's find out!

Closer Look:

There were two things I noticed right when I got the package. First, was that there was a bit of tear on the front of the box, and second it looked huge compared to my other two mid tower cases. Much like the packaging of the HAF 932 the 922 comes in a blue styled theme. The front of the package simply shows the case and Cooler Master logo. On the back of the box are the features and a few pictures with slight detail on airflow. The sides of the box have different information such as specifications and different case models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Packaging for the HAF 922 was like any other. It was shipped with two foam covers to protect the front and back of the case, and was wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent any unwanted scratches.

 

 

What's also included with the case is a manual, a bag of assorted screws, motherboard stand-offs, tie wraps, and a 3.5" track used for installing a 3.5" drive.  

 

Closer Look:

The exterior of the HAF 922 looks nearly identical to its big brother, the HAF 932. The front of the case offers five exposed 5.25" drive bays, five hidden 3.5" drive bays, one exposed 3.5" drive bays as well as a convenient front panel. The back of the case is where somewhat of a difference in design comes into play. Instead of having the option to install a power supply at the top or the bottom, with the 932, it requires it to be installed at the bottom of the case. This is understandable since the move to a mid tower form factor limits the amount of space. With the power supply located at the bottom, the top of the case offers two water tube holes, a 120mm fan, and an I/O panel. The sides of the 922 still keep that rugged look as the 932, but come short of the side fan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located on top of the Cooler Master HAF 922 is a fan LED switch, power switch and reset switch. At the bottom right hand corner are the HDD and Power LED's. Across the power and reset switches is a massive massive 230mm fan. The bottom of the case includes four rubber grommets that help prevent scratches as well as help reduce vibration.

 

 

The front panel of the Cooler Master HAF 922 includes a variety of ports including two USB 2.0 ports, a microphone in and headphone out jack, as well as eSATA connectivity.  

Closer Look:

When you take off the side panel you will see that you have quite a lot of room to work with. Cooler Master also provided a cheat sheet of sorts to help you install your motherboard stand-off screws in the correct order. As you can see from the picture, the case comes with three fans. One 230mm fan by the hidden 3.5" removable drive bays, another 230mm fan at the top of the case and lastly a single 120mm fan near the I/O slot. Moving to the front of the case, you can remove the front panel by unscrewing three screws on each side of the panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front panel of the case comes with 5.25" exposed drive bays and each one houses a filter for easy cleaning later on in time. Simply pushing two pins will release the disposable bay covers.

 

 

One great feature about the Cooler Master HAF 922 is the tool-less design. Installation of a DVD/CD drive was a piece of cake; just slide, arrange, and push the Cooler Master logo. Installing the hard drive was also a breeze. unhook the hinge, slide in your hard drive, fasten back into place and you're set.

 

 

Cooler Master went ahead with a different approach with the expansion slots, rather than having a tool free system they used the average screw into place method.

 

The included cables are the standard ones found in most cases such as the system header connectors, USB connector, audio, reset switch, power switch, HDD LED and Power LED. I also noticed that flipping two small levers grants me access to the wires connectivity PCB.

 

 

Unlike the HAF 932 where you had the choice of installing the power supply at the top and at the bottom of the case, the HAF 922 only allows installation of the power supply at the bottom of the case. The power supply itself is supported naturally via four screws as well as two rubber strips that stretch across the units rails. It's also worthy to point out that Cooler Master decided to include even more ventilation at the bottom of the case.

 

Cooler Master provides us with a total of three fans. Two are 230mm fans rated at 12V and one is a 120mm fan.  

 

 

The HAF 922 is also liquid cooling ready and has two loop holes at the top of the case able to accommodate water tubing.

 

While cable management isn't at its finest, it does a good job at showing just how much room there is in the case.

 

Now that we have seen this beauty in and out, let's move on to testing!

 

Specifications:

Available Color
Black
Dimension (D/W/H)
Main Unit: 563 x 253 x 502mm/ 22.2 x 10.0 x 19.7
Net Weight
8.7 kg / 19.2 lb
Motherboard type
Micro-ATX / ATX

5.25" Drive Bay

5 Exposed (one could convert to 3.5" drive bay)
3.5" Drive bay
5 Hidden
1 Exposed (converted from one 5.25" drive bay)
Cooling System
Front: 200 x 30mm red LED fan with LED switch x1,
700 RPM, 19 dBA (included)
Top: 200 x 30mm fan x1, 700RPM, 19 dBA (included)
(can be swapped for two 120mm fans)
Rear: 120 x 25mm fan x1, 1200RPM, 17 dBA (included)
Bottom: 140/120mm fan x 1 (optional)

Side: 200 x 30mm fan x1 (optional, can be swapped for two 120mm fans)

Expansion Slots
7+1
I/O Panel
USB x2, e-SATA x1, MIC x1, Audio x1 (support HD Audio)
Power Supply
Standard ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional)

 

Features:

Testing:

In order to properly test the Cooler Master HAF 922 I will gather temperatures for the processor, chipset, hard drive and the video card during their idle phase and load phase. To record idle temperatures I will leave the computer running for fifteen minutes with little to no stress whatsoever. Next I will simulate a load using Prime 95 with small FFTs (Fast Fourier Transform) and HDTune simultaneously for thirty minutes. Next, I will use ATITool's built in stability tester to load the graphics card. I will be using the latest version of HWMonitor to help monitor temperatures. Ambient temperatures during testing were 22 degrees Celsius.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Cases:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like the HAF series case has done it again. In all areas except the chipset temperatures, the Cooler Master HAF 922 was able to  cool down the CPU, GPU and HDD. While it did not succeed in the chipset testing, it stayed well below the safe zone.

Conclusion:

I can't say I'm too surprised. With the Cooler Master HAF (High Air Flow) 932 being a top tier case, I expected great things from the mid tower case. With two 230mm fans, one 120mm fan that alone provide decent airflow and passage, the case also has a lot of potential for cable management, as there are a few areas behind the motherboard tray as well as in any unused HDD cages to store any unused power cables.  The looks are not too bad either. It has a rugged "industrial" look that a few people might enjoy. Its also has a lot of room to work with. With the 3.5" and 5.25" drive bays being tool free and having a power supply installed at the bottom of the case, everything should be plain sailing from the start. As for any cons, I just cant seem to find one. Motherboard headers, connectors or just about any location on the motherboard is in reach, drive bays have a tool-less design, yet the expansion slots don't. Personally I find this as an advantage - Id much rather have an expensive GPU to be well fastened out of harms way.

Overall, I highly recommend this case for anyone looking to start a new build and wants a quality case able to deliver the right amount of performance and satisfaction. The HAF 922 has followed in the footsteps of its big brother, the HAF932, with a sound design, excellent airfow and rugged good looks.

Pros:

Cons: