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Cooler Master HAF XB LAN Box / Open Air Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Open Air Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Nov 13, 2012 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




The HAF XB is a two tiered chassis design that allows for dual cooling zones when all of the panels are on the chassis. The body, panels and drive racks are all built of steel and given a black textured paint treatment. The front bezel is made from a polymer and is shaped with the edges and a body line or two that really scream HAF series without looking like a gas can.


The dual level design allowed Cooler Master to offer a removable motherboard tray, not only for better access to installing the motherboard, but also the ability to get to the "basement" and get the drives, PSU and wiring installed and tended to much easier. The motherboard tray I mentioned will house a Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX or an ATX motherboard and still leaves room for a dual 120mm radiator on the "first floor". The sides as well as the floor of the chassis are well ventilated, so if you plan to use this as a LAN box, there is plenty of air flow and places to draw fresh ambient airflow into the chassis. If you want to leave all three panels off, you can then use this chassis as an open air test bench with great access to the components you would swap out most.


On a more technical note as far as what is found around the chassis, I will cover that now. The front of the chassis offers the front I/O, which aside from the power and reset buttons offers only the HD Audio jacks and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Under the I/O is a pair of mesh 5.25" bay covers that easily remove from outside of the chassis, and to the right of these are a pair of 3.5" X-Dock bays for hot swap storage access. There is also a 2.5" specific storage rack. Along with the trays in the X-dock and the four bays found near the back, there are a total of six locations for them.


For the power supply, it is located in the "basement", and not only offers a pad to rest upon where it mounts, but they also add an extension panel to allow for 180mm of PSU to be able to fit. Back on the "first floor" you have a pair of 1800 RPM 120mm fans as the only ones equipped in the chassis. There is another 120mm fan at the rear of the chassis, and an option to install a pair of 80mm fans in the back at the "basement" level. Some of the last bits are some of the most important. With the top panel on, CPU coolers can be 180mm tall and still fit. You can also fit video cards up to 334mm in length, and that covers almost all cards.


Since the chassis just came from NDA status to you being able to read this review, I can guarantee there is no stock showing anywhere that I could find. There are a couple of premature listings outside of the USA, but even then they show no current stock, just pricing, not even an image yet. With the emails back and forth from Cooler Master I am astonished to see the MSRP they have set for the HAF XB. Hold on to your chin so it doesn't hit the floor as you read this; Cooler Master has set the MSRP of the HAF XB at $99.99.


For what you are about to have a look at, and from the testing I have already done, I can tell you already this is a smoking hot deal for a chassis like this.

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