Cooler Master Unleashes the HAF X

9.7 Overall Score

The side panels on the HAF X swing open then slide off. The main reason here seems to be to make attaching the side panel fan to the motherboard a bit easier. It would have been preferable, in our opinion, to incorporate a simple switch that closes when the side panel is fully mounted providing power to the fan. It gets annoying when you have to remove the side panel and jam your hand into the case and fiddle with finding the fan header. A bit nit picky, yes, but it is something that adds a little convenience to the overall design of the case. A simple switch would also hide the fan wiring that sticks out like a sore thumb when the system is all closed up.
As previously mentioned, there are two hot swap bays located on the front of the HAF X. The trays slide out easy enough and can accommodate 3.5” and 2.5” drives. We did have a small issue with the hot swap back plane in our review sample. Cooler Master was already on top of the problem and has assured us that retail product will not have the same issue. The problem being the back plane has leads for LED lights and in our review sample, those leads were touching the chassis cause some shorting issues. In our case, the motherboard would not overclock and some of the pretty lights on the Foxconn Inferno Katana would not light up. A simple piece of electrical tape was used to cover the bare spot and resolved all issues we had. Again, production samples will not have this problem, it has been rectified by Cooler Master.

Finally, with the outside of the HAF X covered we get to see what the inside has to offer. The internal layout is very similar to the original HAF 932. As you can see, the big differences are the expansion slots, an all black interior, grommets used in the wire routing holes, the top fan has been moved to the outside top of the case, a gpu cooling duct system has been installed and the hot swap bays occupy the bottom two 5.25” bays. There is now no option to install the power supply on the top of the case. The addition of the extra expansion slots has eliminated this option. To be honest, we prefer systems that mount the power supply in the bottom of the case. Cooler air pulled from underneath the system helps keep the power supply cool.
The bottom inside reveals a power supply sleeve that helps route cool air to the psu and helps in hiding some unsightly wires. The graphics cooling duct, which will be covered in more depth later on, completes Cooler Master’s version of separate compartments. The internal HDD bay offers tool less installation of up to 5 hard drives. The HAF X does come with one 3.5” to 2.5” adapter for the internal HDD bay.

Once we remove the PSU shroud we can see the exact same layout as in the HAF 932 with the exceptions already discussed above. The back side of the hot swap backplane uses a 4-pin molex connector for power. With the back panel removed, we see the rest of the wiring system used. Again, this is very similar to the HAF 932. We would have liked the CPU socket access hole to be larger. We ran into a small issue with reaching two holes on the s1156 motherboard while installed(more on that later).

To complete our unboxing tour, the top inside of the HAF X has mounting for an internal radiator up to 360mm in size. Looking at the bottom of the case, the HAF X has room for wheels as did the HAF 932. With the new extreme version you do not need to remove the bottom feet in order to install the wheels. There is no filter for the PSU which would have made the case almost perfect. However, the front 230mm fan does have a filter which can be cleaned by removing the fan cover.
To close up our unboxing, we leave you with the full specifications of the HAF X. 

Up next we cover installation of a CPU water cooling setup and a look at how the HAF X handles an air cooling job, too.


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