|Cooler Master HAF-932 AMD Edition AM-932|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Wednesday, 16 December 2009|
Page 9 of 9
I don't have any statistics, but I'd imagine that full-tower cases— those that can handle E-ATX motherboards and a lot of devices— represent a very small and diminishing segment of the computer market. Full-tower cases appeal to very few users, but you know who you are. The advent of cheap terabyte hard drives means that most people don't need 5 hard drive bays, but you might have a few 150g Raptors lying around that you want to RAID. Most builders don't see the need for twin optical drives, a dual-bay reservoir, a fan controller, and a card reader all in the same computer...but you do. You can put the power supply at the bottom, or at the top; or use two power supplies, or a power supply at the bottom and a radiator at the top, or a power supply at the top, a radiator in front or back or top or bottom, and a pump and reservoir somewhere else....heck, there's enough room for two power supplies and a complete water cooling system with a twin-120mm radiator at the top.
I'm not that extreme. But with case like this, I judge performance by the ease of building in it; the amount of cooling provided, and the amount of expansion capability. After all, these are the main reasons to buy a full-tower case! The Cooler Master HAF 932 AMD Edition receives top marks here. A removable motherboard tray would have been nice, but I have to admit I didn't miss it much.
The appearance of this case will be polarizing: I liked it, but I'm a computer geek; I suspect many people will find it too dramatic. But they're not the intended audience. The AMD theme limits the market even further, since nobody would buy this case and build an Intel/NVIDIA system in it. I don't think so, anyway.
The construction is up to Cooler Master's usual high standards. It doesn't have the Swiss-watch finish of their much more expensive aluminum cases, but the steel and plastic parts all look good and fit together well. Given the cost of this case, a finished interior would have been nice, as this feature is becoming common on much less expensive cases.
Functionally, this case is almost perfect. Improvements are certainly possible: for example, it would be nice to have a SATA backplane for the 3.5" drive bays, but that would have raised the cost of the case substantially.
The original Cooler Master HAF 932 is considered a good value at $159.99; this case sacrifices a small amount of functionality (the side panel fan) but gives you a little exclusivity and a bunch of bling for only $10 more. Frankly, I'm happy to see something that isn't yet another solid black computer case (black is the new beige), so I think it represents a good value, as well as being interesting from a geek-tech point of view. I was impressed with the fit, finish, features, and functionality; and the AMD branding was a fun extra. As of December 2009 the Cooler Master HAF932 AMD-Edition case (model AM-932-RWN1-GP) is available for $169.99 from either NewEgg or FrozenCPU. if you like the case but prefer something a little more understated, the original HAF 932 is on sale at the reduced price of $139.99 for a very limited time.
+ Striking appearance will appeal to some
+ Motherboard cutout for easy CPU cooler back plate mounts; excellent cable management
+ Large interior makes building a system easy
+ Room for dual power supplies or water cooling system, multiple hard drives and 5.25" devices
+ Excellent construction quality
+ More cooling than you're ever likely to need
- Striking appearance may be too much for some
Final Score: 8.8 out of 10.
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