I then mounted the rest of my test system and it went very smoothly. It swallowed the massive Noctua NH-D14 with ease and still had tons of room above it. The rest of my components went where they should and how they should with no issues. At this point I started putting in things like the GPU duct and PSU cable management partition, just to see how easy they were to reinstall with parts in the case. The PSU cable management partition was easy to put in.
Next I added the GPU support bracket. You can see in this image really well how the duct will funnel air into the video card, and the also how the support rail will help hold up the card. This may not be needed with some cards, but if you have a video card like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 with a copper water block you will need this. Even with all this mounted there is still plenty of room between the system and the top of the power supply.
With the side panel on you can see how air is funneled straight to the expansion card area. With both the side panel fan blowing down on the cards and the GPU duct blowing straight into the video card inlets this should be a very effective air solution to try and tame the heat from any nVidia 4XX series card.
In the unit we received the side panel duct was turned 180 degrees the wrong direction, thus hitting the GPU support rail. This was easily fixed as all it required was 2 minutes’ time to unscrew the duct and turn and reinstall. We asked Cooler Master about this and this is what they had to say:
“This issue you are mentioning is not exactly the intended application. Based on our initial design with nVidia, you can use either the side panel shroud, or the GPU holder – not both. We orient the cut in the shroud towards the front of the chassis because we found that the shroud will interfere with the power supply cables. This means the cut out is towards the front to reduce the cable management issues with the GPU 8 pin power supply cables. The GPU support is available to fit larger non nVidia cards also. Either way, you found a solution to use both parts but I hope you have enough room for your graphics cards power cables.” – Cooler Master PR
Cooler Master also sent along some pictures for our readers that show a system build using popular Cooler Master components. I really like this picture because they show that a pair of ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics cards fit just fine in the Cooler Master HAF X PC case. The Radeon HD 5970 is one of the longest graphics cards on the market today as it measures in at just over 12″ in length! You can see that the HAF X has more than 12″ of space for the video cards!