|Cooler Master HAF-X Case RC-942-KKN1|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Sunday, 11 July 2010|
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Closer Look: Interior
At first glance there's not much internal difference between the HAF-X and prior models. They use the same layout, drive trays and the same locking mechanisms.
A few differences can be noted. The interior is all black which provides more visual appeal and better contrast when showcasing your hardware. The cable orifices are grommetted for safer cable routing. Two of the bottom 5.25" drives lack the standard locking mechanism, but for reasons that will be seen later. Finally, the PSU supports have also been protected to help dampen noise and vibrations.
Here's another look at the same interior with some optional features included. On the bottom is a cable cover that can be installed to hide the cables where they mount to the PSU. Some PSUs are not modular and may have extra, unused cables that dangle off the back. These can be tied and hidden behind the partition for a much cleaner look. Mounted to the 3.25" drive cage is a duct or fan cowling that can be installed to guide the airflow directly to the video cards. This "VGA Fan Duct" accepts an additional 120 mm fan to accelerate airflow across the graphics cards. Finally, a "VGA Holder" can be installed above the graphics cards to provide additional support and cooling. This holder accepts one 80 mm fan and will adjust its height to fit the cards installed.
The back shot shows the hole in the motherboard tray for installing coolers and also demonstrates that the tray is not removable. Around the perimeter of the tray are several anchors for cable ties (included). There are several slots that give more options for bringing cables to the surface. This means that the cables can be surfaced closer to the connection point so more cable can be hidden.
The HAF-X panels are removed by hinging and pulling instead of sliding then lifting. The fit is secure and in practice I find this much easier to remove and replace then the sliding type. The main panel incorporates a 200 mm fan and the remainder is windowed.
Removing the top panel is no simple task. Unlike many cases, this top panel doesn't simply pop off with applied pressure. I have one case that is hard to move without the top popping off. The HAF-X uses locking tabs to secure the lid in place. There are 6 tabs which must be pressed from the inside to release. The most difficult tab to reach is on the front right near the IO panel. I tried to reach through the left side of the case, but in the end both panels had to be removed to get the lid off. I actually prefer the locking tabs to the pressure release as I handle my cases much more than I remove the top.
Here is another shot of the drive trays for 3.5" and 2.5" drives. The internal cage is the same as previous models while the external trays are an addition new to the HAF-X. Unlike the other drive trays and bays, the tray requires screws to mount the drives, and they have no grommets or rubber to help dampen vibrations. This seems like a hassle for the drive bays I will be accessing most frequently.
One really nice feature of the HAF-X is the rollers in place of rubber knobs. I keep my case on the floor in a relatively narrow space. In order to get inside my case I have to slide it out. The huge rubber feet on my current case makes this sliding an undesirable task. Even though the HAF-X is a larger, heavier case, the wheels make it easy to slide the case back and forth. However, they add 1.5 inches to an already tall case. It won't fit in my other computer desk. Based on the convenience of the wheels I'd rather keep the wheels and buy a new desk. Let's look at the interior more closely in the next section.