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Following the success of 2008's HAF 932 chassis, Cooler Master didn't waste any time adapting its High Air Flow design to various other form factors and price points -- many of which we've covered in depth. Along with its larger options, the company offers three mid-towers: the $50 HAF 912, $100 HAF 922 and $130 HAF XM.
While the cost of these cases varies significantly, they're all fairly similar in terms of stature in that their tall, rectangular profile resembles most other mid-towers. Mixing things up, Cooler Master's latest mid-size enclosure, the HAF XB, breaks the conventional mold with boxier dimensions -- in fact, the company describes it as a "LAN box".
Cooler Master recently launched yet another enthusiast-friendly CM Storm chassis, the Scout 2. Despite its relatively low $90 price tag, the Scout 2 has plenty to offer, including ergonomic steel-reinforced carrying handles, USB 3.0 support and room for up to two SSDs, nine fans and any graphics card around.
Although we reviewed several Cooler Master enclosures in 2012, it's been a year since we laid hands on a new CM Storm-branded case, so it'll be interesting to see how the company's latest offering holds up in the increasingly competitive sub-$100 territory.
From the perspective of folks who cover tech-related happenings, this is always a polarizing time of year. The final weeks of December are generally void of product announcements, yet only two weeks later, we're bombarded with new gadgets at CES.
Before we move on to the latest and greatest devices of 2013, we figure it's worth revisiting some of 2012's most popular devices as suggested by our Product Finder, which includes reviews by hundreds of seasoned specialists across the Web. We've included 59 products across 14 categories along with their aggregate review score and a brief commentary that explains why they're special.
Gamers tend to take a lot of pride in building their own rigs, but it's generally not enough to have top-notch performance without the looks to match. Motherboards, for instance, have transformed from generic green slabs to works of art. Interestingly, it seems increasingly common to find aggressive military styling among high-end motherboards. Despite the prevalence of military-themed motherboards, enthusiasts haven't had a whole lot of stock options for matching cases.
Hoping to fill that void, Corsair updated its Vengeance gaming lineup earlier this year with the C70 series which comes in Military Green. Thermaltake also launched the Level 10 GT Battle Edition with the same olive drab paint job and a few nifty details that are well worth a look if Army-themed gear is your thing.
The Silencio 650 not only resembles a cleaner version of Cooler Master's more aggressive HAF series, but it touts many attractive features, chief among which is sound absorbing foam mats and specially designed air vents to minimize noise while maintaining low operating temps.
The Silencio's ability to muffle high-end hardware is undoubtedly its key selling point, but there's plenty more to see here. Other noteworthy features include a "DualBoot HDD Switch" for toggling between OSes, a fan speed controller, a memory card reader, 1amp USB 3.0 ports for charging smartphones and tablets, as well as X-Dock, Cooler Master's hot-swappable 2.5"/3.5" HDD/SSD drive bay.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve no doubt seen the Cooler Master Cosmos II either online or at your local hardware retailer or LAN party. Cooler Master showcased their 'Ultra Tower' at this year's CES and we've been anxious to get it on the test bench ever since to see if it lives up to the hype.
With support for up to 13 hard drives and a total weight of nearly 50 pounds without any hardware installed, this is probably the largest case I've ever worked with in over 10 years of reviewing computer hardware.
Cubitek is a relative newcomer to the chassis industry, but that's not stopping it from challenging the biggest names in the business -- including veteran Lian Li. Last month, the company unveiled its latest ICE series with five premium models spanning everything from Mini-ITX to HPTX.
All of the ICE series chassis feature a 2.5mm aluminum construction and Cubitek says this makes them stronger than standard aluminum cases while maintaining a thin and light figure. The largest model, the Cubitek HPTX-ICE, stands 559mm (22") tall and 613mm (24") long, weighing 19.6lbs (8.9kg) when empty.
Cooler Master is at it again, releasing yet another gaming-oriented chassis and the first full size model in the Storm lineup. At $190 the Storm Trooper packs several new features: 90-degree rotatable 4-in-3 HDD modules, an easy-to-carry handle, a hidden toolbox to store private goods, a built-in fan controller, an external 2.5" storage drive X-dock and the ability to support up to 14 internal hard drives.
It's been a year since the HAF X's arrival, and Cooler Master may have already outdone itself...
The PC-Q25 vows to be Lian-Li's most advanced Mini-ITX offering yet. The case has plenty of room for high-end hardware, including full-length graphics cards. Besides catering to gamers, the chassis also attempts to woo media buffs with support for five 3.5" hard drives and some impressive cooling options.
The PC-Q25 has received hot-swap connectors to quickly load hard drives, tool-less side panels for faster access and it lost the 5.25" optical drive bay. The new arrival certainly appears to be a more modern enclosure, but it also seems to have a few drawbacks that we'll flesh out right up next.
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