|Cooler Master HAF 912 Case RC-912-KKN1|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Dan Ferguson|
|Monday, 06 September 2010|
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Detailed Interior Features
Since each build is different, Cooler Master took some of the best features from other designs and blended them to yield a highly configurable case for different needs. One feature borrowed from the CM 690 II is the modular drive bay.
The HAF 912 has a modular drive bay similar to the one seen on the CM 690 II but with a different purpose. The CM 690 allowed the modular bay to be removed to make space for a bottom-mounted radiator. The HAF 912 allows the modular bay to also be installed sideways in the bay or be removed completely. With the modular bay installed the clearance will accept video cards up to 10.6 inches in length. That is enough to house the HD 5870. If the bay is left out then there is room for video cards up to 13 inches in length.
When the modular bay is removed there are additional configuration options. The 2.5" SSD cage can be installed atop the remaining 3.5" bays to make room at the bottom of the case. The SSD cage can hold two drives, and if more drives are desired a 3.5" slot can be converted to hold two additional drives.
The conversion is accomplished using the drive adapter included in the kit of case hardware. The adapter allows two small drives to be mounted one above the other and inserted into the 3.5" bay using the standard mounting hardware.
All previous cases in the HAF series included 3.5" drive trays common in many of Cooler Master's cases. The HAF 912 did not ship with any of these trays and does not appear to be compatible with their method of locking into place. Instead of drive trays, model RC-912-KKN1 ships with a bundle of plastic rails. The rails use metal posts in rubber grommets which are similar to the drive trays on the other HAF models. To install a drive with the rails, the rails must be held against the hard drive while it is slid into place. A small plastic tab on each rail locks the drive into place.
Building the HAF 912 was a snap. My typical setup uses a single optical drive, two 3.5" drives, and normal sized components. For "convenience" I installed an E-SATA port in the extra PCI expansion slot. It turns out this is not very convenient. The ports consume hardly any space, but it is more than enough to block access to the normal PCI slots. No wonder Cooler Master installed a thumb-screw for this port; it has to be removed to access any other PCI device. Not that the thumb-screw is that helpful, because you'll already have the screwdriver out for the other PCI slot.
It's fairly typical to spend much of the install time running cables, but there was so much room this took no time at all. The build image above shows a rather sloppy cabling job since I could have taken more time to hide cables, but I kept the build time under 40 minutes by being lazy. The 40 minutes includes time spent removing parts from the old case.
My default setup is very simple. If I had more optical drives and cards requiring tools to install then the build time would have been longer. The build image also shows the clearance between my GTX 260 and the modular drive cage. There's plenty of room to get the card in and out.
While running the case at idle I noticed the interior temperatures were a couple degrees cooler than my last case. Under load the difference was more noticeable. The HAF 912 ran several degrees cooler with the CPU and GPU under stress. Despite having only two fans the open design of the panels was sufficient to allow the air to flow freely and have sufficient cooling.
In the next section I'll give my final thoughts on using the HAF 912 as well as rate the case and my experience.