Although we hold the HAF 932 and HAF X with high regard, there's no denying what could be viewed as a major shortcoming: they're massive. Full tower enclosures provide plenty of elbowroom to work with, but they're also a hassle when it comes to attending LAN parties or dealing with a cramped desk area. As such, Cooler Master has unveiled a new chassis for folks who are interested in the HAF series but need a compact solution.
Hitting US shelves this week for $100 and due in Europe later this month, the HAF XB measures 17.4 (W) x 16.7 (D) x 13 (H) inches and weighs 18.1lbs -- about 10 inches shorter, 5 inches less deep and 13lbs lighter than the HAF X -- yet it supports the same high-end hardware you'd typically stuff into a larger case.
Along with support for standard ATX, Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards, the HAF XB can handle seven expansion cards including three GPUs measuring up to 13.1 inches (334mm) long, processor coolers standing up to 7.1 inches (180mm) tall and power supplies extending up to 7.08 inches (180mm) long.
Drive-wise, the HAF XB can accommodate up to two 5.25-inch devices, two 3.5-inch drives via hot-swappable X-Dock bays on the front of the enclosure, and up to six 2.5-inch drives if you factor in the X-Dock bays. Front panel connectivity is fairly standard with two USB 3.0 ports as well as audio input and output jacks.
You'll also find room for dual 120mm or 140mm front intake fans, one 120mm or two 80mm rear fans and one 200mm fan up top, as well as support for a 120mm liquid cooling radiator in back or 240mm up front. Once outfitted, you can ogle your hardware through a transparent window in the top of the enclosure.
The Cooler Master Cosmos 2 resides at the very top of the chassis and is partially hidden with yet another sliding door. With the panel pulled back we can see a headphone and microphone jack, an eSATA port, two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. Further back is the advanced control panel which includes a full docket of fan controls, power button, reset button, power and HDD LEDs as well as a button that allows you to control fan LEDs independent of fan speed.
The HAF 912 is a mid-tower ATX case only marginally narrower and shorter than the Cooler Master HAF 932 at 19" x 9" x 19.5". However the 912 deviates from previous HAF models in other ways, such as losing some of the tool-less capabilities, while picking up support for 2.5" drive mounting, a popular option of SSD use. Air flow is also somewhat reduced, with only two 120mm fans included, rather than the large 200mm ones we've grown used to seeing in the HAF series.
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