|Cooler Master HAF-XB Computer Case Enclosure|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 12 November 2012|
Page 3 of 5
Closer Look: Interior
The top and side panels slide off easily once the thumbscrews (each panel secures with two) are removed. The top compartment of the case is for the motherboard, and as you can see the two front 120mm fans are positioned to provide a cool air flow across the entire width of the motherboard. This is also where you'd mount a 2x120mm radiator were you so inclined.
At the lower left of this image is a separate vertical cage for mounting up to four 2.5" drives. These mount with the rails included in the accessories pack. At the lower right are the locking levers for the two 5.25" device bays. The design of the case means that the other side of the 5.25" bays isn't accessible (not without drilling out rivets, anyway), so mounting things like fan controllers or card readers that don't fully engage the locking mechanism will be difficult.
Four thumbscrews secure the removable motherboard tray. I like removable motherboard trays, but this one is removable only to provide access to the bottom compartment. Since the tray doesn't include the back panel, it's less useful than a "normal" removable motherboard tray because you can't mount any cards or case exhaust fans. If you're using an all-in-one cooler with a 120mm radiator, you'll have to install it after the motherboard and tray are mounted back in the case.
Each of the two hot swap bays use a removable drive caddy similar to what we've seen in other Cooler Master cases. 3.5" drives like this Western Digital Velociraptor just snap in; 2.5" drives and SSDs mount with four screws through the bottom of the caddy. Although I used a Velociraptor for this picture, it might not be the best choice for a drive here, since the hot swap bays receive virtually no airflow.
The connection panel for the hot swap bays sports two SATA connectors and supplies power to the drives through a single Molex connector. It's directly in front of the power supply, so depending on the length of your power supply and whether or not it's modular, you might want to use SATA cables with right-angled connectors. A right-angled Molex connector would have been nice here, too.
Up to four 2.5" drives slide into this bay located behind the 5.25" bays. Cooler Master provides rails for all four drives so they just slide in and lock into place. While there's no airflow for the hot swap drive bays, these 2.5" drive bays are just inches from two 60mm fan mounts, so if you're concerned about their temperatures, you can ensure they'll stay cool.
An almost absurd number of tie-down points populate the inside of the case. There are 10 in this view alone.
OK, now for the real test: building a system...