There’s normal PC cases…and
- Available Colour – Black
- Materials – Appearance: Mesh, Synthetics; Case body: Steel
- Dimensions (H*W*D) – 252(W) x 530.5(H) x 579(D) mm
- Net Weight – 10.5kg / 23.1 lb
- Motherboard support – Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
- 5.25″ Drive Bay – 3
- 3.5″ Drive Bay -8 (Hidden x 6, X-Dock x 2)
- 2.5″/3.5″ Drive Bay – 9 (2 from X-docking, 6 converted from 3.5″ bays, 1 behind motherboard tray)
- I/O Panel – USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, Audio In and Out (LED Switch for front intake fan)
- Expansion Slots – 8+1
- Cooling System – Front: 200mm Red LED fan x 1 (converted from 120/140mm x 1)
- Top: 200mm fan x 2 (1 is optional: Converted to 120/140mm fan x2)
- Rear: 140mm fan x 1 (Converted to 120mm fan x2)
- HDD: 120mm fan x 2 (optional)
- PSU Support – ATX PS2 / EPS
- Max Compatibility – Graphics card length: 354mm/ 13.9inch (with HDD cage)
- 463mm / 18.2 inch (without cage)
- CPU cooler height – 196.0mm/ 7.7 inc
then there is the Coolmaster!
It has been quite some time since I have seen a new mid-tower design from Cooler Master and to be honest, this may be the best mid-tower design of them all. Cooler Master dug back into their history of chassis designs, stuck with a top selling chassis series and rolled it all together into a package that shows they really stepped up their game with the release of this chassis.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t like this is a completely new build from the ground up. If you look around this latest release both inside and out, you will see traces of the full-tower HAF 932 and HAF-X, as well as even hints of the CM 690 II in this design. Just to elaborate a bit, this new chassis offers things like an 8+1 expansion card configuration, just like the 690 II. You get a PSU wiring cover like that found in the HAF-X and of course the original HAF 932 is what started the line-up. Even this newest version has hints in the exterior design that lends to the original concept yet are changed enough not to look like a WWII gas can.
Just like other HAF cases, the XM is built from steel and uses a combination of ABS plastic and mesh inserts to give this chassis its shape and style. Down the face there are large chunky plastic sides with both the 5.25″ bay and the two X-Dock bays having mesh covers. At the bottom there is a large mesh insert backed with a 200mm fan with a Cooler Master badge at the very bottom. The top of this chassis is also mostly plastic and stands a couple inches taller that the steel of the chassis.
Besides the front I/O with USB 3.0 and other connectivity and a storage tray just behind it, the back two thirds of the mesh covered top is removable for access to change the fan arrangement from the 200mm fan already installed here. Both sides of the chassis offer the bump-out that the HAF 922 had, just shaped slightly different and the left panel offers an area for fans and a large plastic handle to release this panel. The back of the chassis offers a 140 mm exhaust fan with an 8+1 expansion slot configuration and a bottom mounted PSU with a dust filter.
On the inside, at the front, there are racks for the three tool-free 5.25″ bays with the X-dock just below it. Moving down a bit more you find the HDD rack that can hold six 2.5″ drives or 3.5″ drives in the slide out trays. Also the top of this rack is removable to allow room for longer video cards inside this chassis. The motherboard tray inside of the chassis is laid out well offering plenty of wire management options; it can hold a 2.5″ drive behind the motherboard and is compatible with Micro-ATX, ATX and E-ATX boards. Another cool feature on the inside is that Cooler Master adds the PSU wire cover found in the HAF-X to keep it all very clean and professional looking when the build is completed.
As I said before, Cooler Master has always been very competitive with not only their designs, but most importantly, in pricing. As I looked for this chassis Google came up a bit lame with only one hit. So I dug a little deeper and specifically searched for this chassis at a few locations.
When I was choosing parts for my very first computer build, I was originally debating between the Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-912-KKN1) and the Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (RC-932-KKN5-GP). I wanted a case with lots of air flow, plenty of room, slick looks, and gets me more for my buck. I’m not sure how, but this case didn’t come up in my searches or I just plain didn’t notice it for the longest time, but thankfully I found it.
For being a mid-tower case, it is absolutely massive. It makes me glad I chose it over the full tower cases, as I can’t even conceive of how big those must be. It gives enough depth to allow large after-market heat sinks to be installed and still have plenty of room. When building, I never felt cramped or had to squeeze my fingers into places like I had to with my old case.
It comes with lots of fan screws, three included and installed fans (one 200mm front, one 200mm top, and one 140mm rear fan), with plenty of options to add more. I installed one Cooler Master Computer Case Cooling R4-L2R-20AC-GP (red, to match the front LED fan) to the side panel and one 200mm OEM black fan to the top, which I had to get from Cooler Master. Even with five case fans running (plus my CPU fan), it’s remarkably quiet.
The front panel gives easy access to two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, as well as headphones and mic ports. Above them on the top, you’ll find the power and reset buttons, as well as a button to turn off the LEDs on the front fan. Unfortunately, this button will only work to turn off the LEDs on that fan only, any other LEDs on other fans will remain on.
One thing I love about this case is the amount of thumb screws. Front and back panels, the top panel to uncover the fans, and even the expansion slot brackets are secured with thumb screws. While you may need a screwdriver to loosen them for the initial install (I only had to do this with the ones on the inside), it makes for much easier changes later on. The latched 5.25″ and 3.5″ drive bays make adding drives tool-free.
The main side panel is easily removed with a latch. You can choose to also secure it with thumb screws, though the side latch makes for easy removal and it remains securely shut. The other side panel can also be removed, allowing access behind the motherboard to allow for cable management. Grommets are placed in many areas to allow for less cabling to be seen. The panel itself is reinforced, so it doesn’t warp or bend easily.
Overall, I love this case and it’s worth every penny I spent. I only have these minor complaints about it:
– The front removable grates for 5.25″ drive bays pop inward way too easily sometimes, making you have to remove the front panel to pop them back in.
– I wish there were more easily removable dust filters, especially for the power supply intake at the bottom of the case.
– To install a second 200mm fan on the top of the case, an exact replica of the one provided already, I had to cut off two of the tabs on the fan in order to get the panel back on. Seem a bit silly that Cooler Master overlooked that…
I’ll move on to a Pro – Con part, repeating myself in this review seems inevitable so here it goes ha!
- – Firstly, airflow… Honeycomb grill plus removeable, mesh dust filters at every air intake on case.
- – Supports 4 200mm fans(comes with 2!), SATA X-Docks for drive swapping with ease.
- – Extra hidden 2.5 inch SSD mount behind motherboard tray.(Bonus)
- – Easy to maintain as in removing panels and accessing items.
- – Optical drive switch locks so no screws needed.
- – Supports E-ATX, ATX and M-ATX Boards.
- – Removeable top half of HDD cage for up to 18.2 inches for bigger GPUS…13.9in with…