Cooler Master HAF XB 12

Cooler Master HAF XB Review

Assembly & Finished Looks »

A Closer Look - Inside

You may easily remove both top and side panels; each element is held in place by thumb screws. Being able to detach these panels gives you all the room you may need to access the hardware within.

There are, as mentioned before, two 120 mm fans in the front. They pull air in from the outside and push it across the motherboard. Their placement allows for the use of 240 mm radiators if one feels inclined to do so. Both of the fans come with 3-pin headers and Molex adapters, which gives you the utmost flexibility in powering these.

You will find the aforementioned motherboard expansion-slot covers in the rear. These have air vents in them and are held in place by black thumb screws. Next to them is another spot for a 120 mm fan, although Cooler Master does not include the fan right out of the box.

All various drive bays are located below the removable motherboard tray. In the rear, the PSU bay comes with foam lining to kill any vibrations due to such a part. The bay is large enough to hold a fairly large unit, but does not provide as much space as I had initially hoped for. The hot-swap bay is right across from the PSU bay, which is the limiting factor. There is also a small, simple but effective cage to hold your 2.5 inch drives. It may hold up to four such units and utilizes plastic rails to keep them in place. We will see how well it does later on in the review.

Towards the front, the two 5.25 inch external drive bays come with a one-sided locking mechanism. It would have been nice to have the same type of lock on the other side. This would, while a tight fit, allow you to properly secure any drive. This locking mechanism will, as it stands, work, but does not - by any means - compare to traditional screws. Next to them are the two 3.5 inch hot-swap bays, backed by a high-quality PCB. The board utilizes individual SATA data ports and a single Molex connector to power both. This is great, because it slightly reduces the overall cable clutter.

Last but not least, there are the internal cables. All of them are sleeved black and of the usual kind. Since Cooler Master has chosen not to include USB 2.0 I/O, you will only find a single 20-pin USB 3.0 plug. Under normal circumstances, I would not mind the fact that the older version of the input is missing, but the HAF XB is also intended as a test bench. Such a scenario would benefit from a 2.0 based Universal Serial Bus input at the front.
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