Or some may call it garish – that’s their opinion, but I also haven’t had much love for the rugged looks of modern chassis lately. The HAF family started things off with a rugged military look and a high cooling capability, but it didn’t win over many modernists who insisted on a blank face or brushed aluminium. Gradually, its begun to stuck and over the years the design has worn its way into a few hearts and minds. With that, Cooler Master has released the HAF XB, another assault on the way chassis are designed. Its arguably their most interesting effort to date.
Yes, its a return to the cube form factor, previously a dead-end in the design segment when it came to chassis choices. The only other company offering them has been Lian Li and its nothing as versatile as what lies before you. The HAF XB is a completely new design from the company and doesn’t use any existing components, aside from some design cues. The Honeycomb grilles are prevalent on the HAF family and the 3.5″ drive covers are similar to those seen in the Raidmax Seiran, but they’ve never appeared on a Cooler Master chassis before.
The 5.25″ drive covers don’t have the angular looks of the Elite K550, which is a relief. It actually looks rather tame overall, nothing like a cage holding an angry beast inside. There’s dual 120mm fans in the front and a single 200mm unit on top, along with the choice of a single 120mm and two 80mm fans at the rear. The outer shell is a mixture of steel and plastic for the front facia. The handles are made from reinforced steel and the chassis is designed to be lugged around to LANs a lot.
The interior is spacious and there’s a lot of space for cable routing. The PSU sits at the bottom facing down and all the other components sit at the bottom of the chassis. The interior is painted black and it looks like there’s enough space for even the highest of the high-end configurations, including triple GPU sexiness. You can slap in two 5.25″ devices and up to five hard drives. There’s no mention of where 2.5″ drive mounts are, but I figure Cooler Master will ship their own 2.5″ adapters with the chassis.
As for those of you using your imagination already, what could you stuff in there? I’ll give you a visual clue:
A heck of a lot, by the looks of things. Cooler Master says the HAF XB will be available towards the end of November for EU and EMEA countries, but no price has been set. You can expect it to cost a pretty penny, though. Who’s going to be up for modding a perspex panel on the top?
Discuss this in the NAG forums: Linky