The Cooler Master HAF XB is a remarkable design concept. It caters to the experienced system builder and hardcore enthusiast user. Not only does it have a vast array of features including plenty of space for CPU Coolers and watercooling radiators, but it fits it all in effortlessly without any serious system build concerns.
In terms of features the HAF XB can support thick 240mm radiators … even in a push-pull configuration, or if you prefer, it can cater for CPU Coolers with a maximum height of 180mm.
One of the greatest design features is the motherboard tray which can be completely removed via four thumbscrews. This allows for easy installation of new motherboards without requiring a complete system disassembly. Obviously you can use this chassis as a test bench, giving easy access to all computer components. We also appreciated the dual carry handles which allow you to move the case around without much effort.
The design is not without a few niggles. It is very hard for example to fit power cables as the space between the supply and the back of the X-Dock bays is quite limited, especially when you have to try and bend a thick 24-pin power cable.
Admittedly, there is a solution as you can unscrew the power supply and slide it out an extra few inches before installing any cables. However, when you try to refit the power supply, it can be quite tricky to seat the cables in the correct position.
The thermal performance of the HAF XB is exceptional as there is a high-level of airflow through the chassis which really reduces the temperatures of all components. With just these two fans fitted the CPU temperature dropped 10 degrees lower than our expected value inside a standard case. Even the motherboard temperature only increased by 2 degrees on load.
Sadly this incredible airflow comes with a caveat. Noise emissions are very high. That said, this chassis is only really designed for those of you who want to overclock your system and keep it extremely cool, or want easy access to the components – with multiple system rebuilds. It would be possible to reduce noise levels, by swapping out the fans for low noise models, obviously at extra cost.
Overall, we did really like using the Cooler Master HAF XB. It is really designed for reviewers and people who are always tinkering with their system components. The build quality is also excellent and the chassis feels very solid. No doubt, we love it.
- Can be used as a test bench.
- Excellent thermal performance.
- Great case for system building.
- Can fit 240mm watercooling radiator.
- Tons of features.
- Poor acoustic performance.
- Hard to router power supply cables easily.
- Has a broad footprint.
Kitguru says: A well made, versatile chassis design for people always playing with components. Just be prepared to deal with some noise.