Cooler Master HAF XM Case ReviewTue, Apr 24, 2012 - 12:00 AM
The HAF XM front the Inside
Cooler Master historically has done a great job with the interior of their PC enclosures. The HAF series is no exception. The HAF XM, for a mid-tower, has a quite a bit of room, wire management, and versatility for the size of the PC enclosure.
Here we can see how vast the interior is overall. It is so large that a video card of 13.75″ can be installed without cage removal. An 18″ video card can fit with the top half of the hard drive cage removed. This is great news for any gamer looking to install long cards even in a CrossFire or SLI multi-GPU setup.
Also what is really important to note is the black box at the bottom. This is a key for wire management. It is a removable sliding device that will hide most wire during installation. This may even help cure my own wire management problems!
The front bezel is easily removable. With a pull at the bottom the front bezel pops off. You will want to remove the 3.5″ X-DOCK caddies first. The 5.25″ bays are open to slide in any optical devices that a builder would want to install with ease. It is tool-less as we will see soon. A big 200 mm red LED fan rounds out the front side interior.
I have mentioned X-DOCK a couple of times in this review. If you are not familiar with it here is what it looks like. The 3.5″ bays are modified with a dual SATA and power cards. This works really well with mounting an SSD to the caddy and sliding it in. This also gives an easy hot swap option if needed.
The SATA/power card in the X-DOCK is powered by an internal Molex connector and linked with two SATA connections that can be directly connected to the motherboard.
To window a door, or fan a door that is the question. The HAF XM that is being reviewed has fan mounts on the door. The door will support 1 x 200 mm fan or 2 x 140 mm. The manual mentions a window option as well.
As mentioned at the top the 5.25″ bays are tool-less. An easy to push thumb latch allows a drive to be installed. Pushing it back into the lock positions will secure the drive. Yes, it is that easy.
The Cooler Master HAF XM also has you covered if you are looking for bays to install hard drives. There is a split drive cage. A total of 6 drives can be installed. The top half of the cage can be removed if looking to install video cards longer than 13.75″.
The drive cage had 6 easy to remove drive caddies. The caddies can support for 3.5″ drives or smaller 2.5″ SSD drives. The X-DOCK caddy is very similar to this type of caddy.
Some problems with PC enclosures are that they do not support a lot of types of motherboards. The HAF XM is a remedy for those looking to support different types of boards. Micro-ATX, ATX, and E-ATX are all supported formats. Each motherboard screw has an associated letter. There is a key inscribed on the tray associating each letter with a board type allowing for easy screw installs. The large cutout from the tray allows versatility for CPUs and cooling. The rubber ports are also well placed for wire management to the board.
The rear I/O panel is set up like most these days. The 140 mm fan is powered by a 4-pin Molex connector. The MB I/O panel cut out is next to the fan. Three rubber ports are above that support liquid cooling. CF/SLI is supported with the 8 + 1 expansion slot that is held in with thumb screws. A conventional power supply location is at the bottom. The power supply will sit on a mesh screening.
The cap has been removed and this is what is under it. A massive 200 mm fan is pre-installed. A second location can also have another 200 mm fan install as well. This is also where you would want to install a radiator if you are installing liquid cooling.
The back of the PC enclosure is like the backbone of the case. The hard drive cage is completely open allowing for easy wire access. All cables coming from the case are managed nicely and lead to the rubber port that is behind the wire management box. Three other rubber ports can be used for wire management. The motherboard tray is also very obvious from this angle. There are also four mounting brackets on the motherboard tray that can be used for 2.5″ SSD drives. There is also a good amount of room between the secondary door and the PC enclosure to hide more wiring.