Cooler Master HAF 932
Reviewed by: The Smith
Reviewed on: October 2, 2008
Since the first personal computers were available, technology hasn't stopped evolving. We are now very far from the performance computers from the eighties. With each performance increase achieved, there was also an increase in heat produced. Who would have thought to cool a Commodore 64 using some sort of extreme cooling? Nobody, well I'm sure somebody did! Today, new processes allow transistors to be manufactured as small as 45nm, and 32nm will appear soon. But these new manufacturing processes cannot completely counter the increase in the growing number of processor cores and transistors, so computers have to rely on more advanced ways of cooling.
Cooler Master, developing cooling devices since 1992, has always supplied the market with adapted products. Today, to answer the ever increasing demand in case airflow, the new full-tower chassis named HAF 932, for High Air Flow, is launched. It features four fans, three of them having a diameter of 230mm! So let's see what this monster looks like.
My first impression when I saw the box was that it was small for a full-tower chassis. It was as big as the two last mid-tower cases I have looked at, although the package is heavier. On the front, there was nothing more than a picture of the HAF 932 along with its name. At the back, there were some other pictures, along with a list of the main features. On one side, the complete specifications table could be found. I noticed at the bottom of the same side that there are some stickers indicating that there might be versions without a window and a power supply included. On the other side, there was nothing more than the same picture on the front. I finally opened up the box. The foam inserts were much thinner than the previous cases I looked at, however they were still thick enough to protect the case very well. That is why a big case like the HAF 932 enters in a not so big cardboard box. As always, there was a plastic bag for protecting it against whatever may scratch it.
Included with this case are a bunch of different screws, motherboard standoffs, tie-wraps for cable management and a small motherboard speaker. What's interesting though is the processor power extension supplied. Unfortunately, it is a 2x4 connector and it can't be split to use only one 2x2. So on some motherboards equipped only a 2x2 connector, it might not fit. That was the case on my GA-P35-DS3R as there is a choke right beside the connector. So I was obliged to use a different extension if I wanted to leave the power supply mounted at the bottom of the case, which is why the extension is needed. There are even four wheels included in the package. That will allow anyone to move that heavy case with ease. I'll show later how they need to be installed.
Finally, as usually, there is a user manual, in which features are very well explained. There is also a plan of the motherboard tray on a white folded paper. On it, there is a list stating which holes are needed for different types of motherboards. These holes are punched through the paper, so you just have to align that paper on the motherboard tray and you'll figure out where you need to screw the motherboard standoffs.
Now, let's unwrap the case and see what it really looks like.
The rugged aspect mentioned on the box is absolutely awesome. The black finish is mildly glossy, except for the "HAF" on the right side, which subtly stands out. That same side proudly shows a 230mm fan behind its mesh, much like the front side, just behind the grid where the Cooler Master logo is. There is also a grid-shaped window on the side, which fits very well with the design. Overall, that beast reminds me of a war tank, ready for battle. The shape on the left side looks as if the case was reinforced with metal beams. At the back, there is another fan, a 140mm this time. Then there are the standard seven expansion slots and the motherboard I/O panel hole. At the top, there are two grommets with an internal diameter of 3/4" meant for passing water tubing.The room allocated for the power supply is at the bottom, however I'll show you later that it can also be installed at the top.
As if the front, side and back fans were not enough, there is even another 230mm one at the top! With all these giant fans, it better put out some seriously High Air Flow. Near the front, on the highest area, there is a rubber mat. Any small object can be put here to avoid losing it, especially if the computer's desk is in disorder! Also, at the bottom, there is some mesh once again. The power supply will take its fresh air from under the case and exhaust it outside immediately. That prevents any air recycling.
Here is how drive bay covers should be removed. They clip in holes on each side. By simply pressing on them by these side holes, the covers are released. You also get a close-up on the glossy "HAF". Next is the hole by which the liquid tank can be filled. It can be accessed by pulling out the small rubber mat.
This is the front panel. It features four USB ports, the standard e-SATA, microphone in, headphone-out, and also an IEEE 1394a. The power and hard drive blue LEDs are located at the right of these plugs.
The supplied wheels can be installed by first removing the screw retaining the small legs, and then by screwing the wheels' base using the screws provided, four for each wheel. Two of these wheels can be locked to prevent the case from moving accidentally.
Finally, here is what it looks like once it is fired up. There are two things that light up, which are the LEDs on the front panel mentioned earlier, and the front 230mm fan. The LEDs are hidden, leaving only the illuminated blades seen, so there is no direct light, just like it should be so that you are not annoyed when gaming in the dark. However, that might be different for other people.
Now that we've carefully looked at the exterior of this beast, let's see what's hidden inside.
Closer Look (continued):
The first thing I noticed when pulling out the side panel is the square hole in the motherboard tray, which gives us the access to the back of the processor socket. The round-shaped 5.25" drive bay buttons also immediately caught my attention, along with the hard drive trays, all tool-less. Then, I noticed that there are many other holes in the motherboard tray. We'll see later if it helps managing wires.
Here is a close-up on the hard-drive tray and the 5.25" drive bay buttons. They are as simple to use as the computer power button. You push, it hangs the drive in place. You push again, it frees it. This is the simplest system I've seen so far, and Cooler Master has patented this tool-free design. The third picture is the 5.25" to 3.5" converter, along with its cover and the normal one, for comparison.
Next is the power supply support rack, which, as you can see, can be adjusted for longer ones by simply removing a screw and sliding it.
The Expansion slots are also tool-less. To replace a card, simply press on the small black arms. Then you bring them back into place. As for the hard drives, there are small metal pins which enter into the screw holes. They are covered with rubber in order to absorb vibration. If you still want to use screws, there is a hole for that in the middle.
From the interior, I figured out that the metal plate with the two grommets for water tubing can be unscrewed. It has the same layout as a power supply, so it can be installed at the bottom. But it also means the power supply can be installed at the top. However, to do that, the top fan must be removed, much like if is put at the bottom, the space where two 120mm fans can be added is lost.
These are the four fans included with the HAF 932. The transparent one with LEDs is located at the front, as I said earlier. The one with the finger guard is installed on the side, and the smaller one at the rear. Each 230mm fan draws 0.4A and is rated at 75 CFM, 19dBa. The smaller one needs 0.14A for producing 57 CFM for 17dBa. The front one can be accessed by removing the mesh at the front. Then, the top piece with the front panel can be removed by unscrewing three screws hidden under the rubber mat. It allows the user to replace the top fan by three 120mm fans, or a radiator. The side fan can also be replaced by 120mm fans. This time, there is room for four of them. By the way, the black 230mm fans require a hex wrench of 3mm in size and not the standard screwdriver.
This is what the holes in the motherboard tray allow. Cables can be runned behind it, thus freeing the inside of the case. There is also enough room between the tray and the side panel for many cables. There is also valuable room behind the hard drive cage.
Now that the computer is built in it, let's have a look at temperatures to see if it is worthy of the High Air Flow moniker.
Dimension (W / H / D)
(W)9.0" X (H)21.5" X (D)22.7"
Micro - ATX / ATX / E-ATX
5.25" Drive Bay
6 (without the use of exposed 3.5" drive bay)
3.5" Drive Bay
5 hidden 1 exposed (converted from one 5.25" drive bay)
Front: 230 x 30 mm red LED fan x 1, 700 rpm, 19 dBa
Side: 230 x 30 mm standard fan x 1, 700 rpm, 19 dBa (support 120 x 25 fan x 4)
Top: 230 x 30 mm standard fan x 1, 700 rpm, 19 dBa (support 120 mm fan x 3 or 120 mm x 1 + 230 x 30 mm x 1)
Rear: 140 x 25 mm standard fan x 1, 1200 rpm, 17 dBa (support 120 mm fan x 1)
Standard ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional)
USB 2.0 x 4, IEEE1394a x 1, eSATA x 1, Mic x 1, Audio x 1
- The HAF features a fully-rugged appearance and is housed in a tough casing to offer outstanding protection
- A rugged HAF comes equipped to operate with unparalleled thermal performance
- Patented finger-press buttons for quicly maintaining or upgrading 5.25" drive devices
- Removable HDD racks and cable management system for better cable routing and neatness
- Easy access to liquid coolant fill port
- Retaining holes in the rear is perfect for liquid cooling kit
- 120mm x2 or x3 radiator can be mounted inside the top of the case
- Three 120x25mm fans can be mounted on the top for excellent air exhaust
- Meshed back slot for providing passive cooling
- Independent air intake designed for bottom-mounted PSU or installation of two 120mm fans
All information on this page courtesy of Cooler Master At http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=2810
I will test the Cooler Master HAF 932 by recording hardware temperatures in degrees Celcius at idle and load. They will be provided by the SpeedFan 4.34 Utility, except for the graphics card, which will be reported by ASUS Smart Doctor. I will run Stress Prime 2004 Orthos using small FFTs (Fast Fourier Transform) to load the processor, and ATI Tool Scan for artifacts function to load the graphics card. By copying the program files folder, I will load the hard drive for a long time. Each temperature, representing the highest core for the processor, is measured thirty minutes after beginning the test, for both idle and load. Keep in mind that all digitally reported temperatures have an uncertainty of one degree celcius, as it is the smallest unit used. Also, all fan speeds will be set at maximum in every test, in order to represent maximum cooling efficiency and to avoid variation. As for the room temperature, it is gathered by the Sentry LX. Finally, the processor voltage is provided by SpeedFan 4.34 and is reported at idle, having a Vdroop of 0.03V at load.
- Processor: Intel E6750 C2D(Lapped) @ 333x8=2.66Ghz, 1.31V
- Motherboard: Gigabyte P35-DS3R
- Memory: Corsair XMS2 PC2-6400
- Video Card: ASUS EN8800GT 1GB RAM
- Power Supply: OCZ StealthXtream 600W
- Hard Drive: Seagate 250GB Barracuda
- Optical Drive: Pioneer DVR-212D BK
- CPU Cooler: Xigmatek HDT-S1283
- OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
- Ambient Temperature: 25.9 degrees Celcius
- Case 1: Thermaltake Xaser VI VH9000BWS
- Case 2: NZXT Guardian 921
- Case 3: Codegen 4063-CA
- Case 4: Open-air(Tech-station), without added fans
I'm amazed. The HAF 932 wipes out everything, even the open-air setup. In every temperature recorded, it was equal to or better than any of the comparison cases. The big difference is that the HAF has a 230mm fan on the top, whereas the other ones dont have a top fan. Moreover, my processor heatsink is positioned in a way that it blows the air upward. In other cases, that was not really good because my top-mounted power supply recycled all that hot air. But in the HAF 932, it is immediately exhausted by the 230mm top fan, whereas the bottom-mounted power supply has its own intake under the case. But the huge difference is in graphics card temperatures. Its 230mm side fan blows directly under it. So its name, HAF for High Air Flow, is really representative of it. Also, the noise generated by its set of fans is very reasonable. It is not the quietest I've seen, but really there is no reason for being disturbed by it.
The HAF 932 has a great look. It reminds me of a tough and solid war machine. It is also well equipped to face off any component producing a lot of heat, like high-end graphics cards such as the HD4870x2. Each of its three 230mm fans produces up to 75 CFM at a low 19 dBa, which you will barely hear. Also, a good cable management is a must for not hindering air circulation. Well, this case has all of what you need to get wires out of the way. There is plenty of room behind the motherboard tray to run them there. If the computer is liquid cooled, radiators with up to three 120mm fans in a row can be housed at the top of this beast. Also, for expansion cards and drive bays, including the internals 3.5" and externals 5.25", there are tool-less devices, which allows a quick hardware swap.
However, there is only one external 3.5" bay, and this one is not tool-free. This can be a limit for using many 3.5" devices like floppy disk drives and memory card readers. I also had some trouble connecting the processor power cable when the power supply was mounted at the bottom. The extension provided, which is a 2x4 connector, might not fit in some motherboards having a 2x2 connector. I finally rummaged around and found another extension to test that monster with the power supply mounted at the bottom. No more problem. This cable could be made into a modular type plug so that the 2x4 connection can be separated into two 2x2 power connections for those on a little bit older technology. I could have mounted the power supply at the top, but I would have needed to remove the top 230mm fan. Not an option for massive air flow.
Overall, I highly recommend the HAF 932. It is a good quality case with great features, room for cable management, awesome cooling capacity, the whole package at a reasonable price.
- Tool-free design
- Incredible air flow
- Fans can be replaced with several 120mm ones
- Easy cable management
- Great look
- Liquid cooling ready
- Power supply can be mounted either on the top or bottom
- Only one 3.5" external bay
- Processor power cable extension might not fit all motherboards