The Build and Finished Product Continued
Looking at things through the right side of the HAF XB you can see there is plenty of room left for even a taller CPU cooler, and I was able to keep the build very clean and almost wire free looking. In the lower half you can see just how close things get between the X-Dock and the PSU, but there is just enough for me to easily get things wired and keep it all tidy.
Looking in from the top you can see how beneficial this concept is to an open air design. All of the wiring stays neat and tidy while with the removal of four thumbscrews you can pop the whole board out of the chassis. For those that like to swap cards and memory a lot, this also gives you plenty of room to access all of that.
The HAF XB design allows this to be the final build stage if you wish it to be. This is what the chassis looks like with the full open air concept at play.
If you need to add that 200mm fan to keep things cool inside, but still don't want to run the door panels, you can do that if you wish as well.
Flipping the coin to the other side, if you have short people in your house that tend to want to grab into things on the table, you can add the side panels while leaving the top off for easy access inside.
If you do have curious pets, or would rather run the HAF XB fully enclosed, besides the ODD or possible a bay reservoir, the exterior of the chassis looks no different really than when we first pulled it out of the box.
As for any illumination you have to deal with, the constant glow of the red LED in the power button is all you contend with. There is an occasional amber flicker of the activity LED, but with the SSD installed, I saw very little of that. What you do notice right away at this point is that those 120mm fans in the front make a lot of racket, but since this is designed as a test bench, performance is the name of the game, not silence.