Cooler Master HAF X Reviewjlqrb - May 25, 2010
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After using the HAF X for sometime now, I can easily say that this case is not just an improvement upon the original design, but one that is very well deserving to the be the new face of the HAF series. A few of the main factors that drew so many enthusiasts to the HAF 932 was the industrial style of the case, the High Air Flow design (aka HAF) and the ability to support the latest technologies. In these regards the HAF X did an exceptional job not just meeting, but greatly exceeding all the expectations I had prior to the review. This is in part due to its very efficient cooling setup that utilizes four large case fans to cool all the internal components. With the added bonus of having the option to use a large, top-mounted radiator, without any modification, this makes the HAF X absolutely phenomenal when it come to cooling performance. The new look of the case is also very appealing and most past HAF users should be extremely pleased. This is because the original bold design of the HAF is maintained, but thanks to the inspirations drawn from battle tanks and military style design, it is defiantly quite unique.
Cooler Master also did a very good job with the new additions and in my opinion, one of the best is the new hot swap bays. These new bays allow for easy installation of two SSDs or HDDs thought the front bezel. When connected, the drives are actually attached directly to the motherboard via the circuit board, so there is no reduction in performance when using your hard drive via the bays. Another new feature and one that should be included in more full towers, is the use of nine rear expansion slots. This will allow for up to four dual slot graphics cards to be installed in the case at the same time. So, for users that can afford to setup a quad-SLI or Quad-CrossfireX gaming rig this case is ideal. Since the HAF X is a full sized tower, it will have no issues accommodating even the largest graphics cards. Along with these you also get exceptional cable management, support for up to four extra 2.5" or 1.8" drives, USB 3.0 support on the front panel and additional VGA cooling options.
When using the HAF X, I found very little to dislike, as this was a very well thought-out and executed design. There were however, just two things I would point out. The first is the awkward solution used to power the front USB 3.0 ports. I know that Cooler Master was working within limitations, as this really is the only means to supply USB 3.0 support to the front panel. Cooler Master is very aware of this, and they have stated that when a new method becomes available they will send out support for it. Now, it's just up to the motherboard manufactures to find a way to get USB 3.0 headers on their boards. The other issue is that when using four high performance graphics cards, the power requirement will be huge and with the HAF X supplying space for only one power supply, it might be hard to fully power (for example) four GTX 480 graphics cards with one PSU. There are however, extremely high wattage power supplies available, and they should fit in the case with no problems.
As you can see, these issues are rather small and they in no way take away from the case. Even with all the high end features this case offers, it manages to come in at a price of $199.99. Now, it might just be that I have gotten used to seeing full towers coming in at the $300+ range, but I would say for all the HAF X offers, it is very much worth the asking price.
So, for those of you looking for a new case that can hold your extreme gear and sacrifice little in return, then the HAF X is definitely for you!
- Looks amazing
- Dual hot swap bays
- Great cooling performance
- Plenty of room
- Nine expansion slots
- Supports up to four additional 2.5" or 1.8" drives
- Supports mATX - EATX motherboards
- USB 3.0 support on front panel
- Extras: VGA support and cooling options
- Water cooling ready
- Great cable management
- No room for dual power supplies
- USB 3.0 cables are a bit awkward
- Large size is not for all users