Computer Cases Hardware Reviews

Cooler Master HAF XM – Review

CM Haf XM

Cooler Master has recently released the little brother to the other members of the HAF lineup, titled the HAF XM. The HAF series has been around a few years, and since the start, Cooler Master has been releasing several revisions based on the design of the original HAF case. All of the products in this series are geared towards gamers, overclockers and PC hardware enthusiasts. They are known for for their abundant features and high quality. So before even starting the review, at first glance, we have high hopes for the HAF XM. But lets just see if it lives up to the name.

Supposedly, according to Cooler Master this case falls in the mid tower category, but looking at the product dimensions, this is probably the largest mid tower case on the market, measuring larger than other full tower cases ( 9.9 x 20.9 x 22.8 inches). Regardless of it’s size, at first glance this case seems to pack almost every feature we could think of including internal support for a 240mm radiator for all your water cooling needs.

The HAF XM has an MSRP of 129.99 USD and comes with a 2 year warranty.

Features and Specs

Just by looking at the list of features, it is obvious that the HAF XM lives up to the reputation set by the other cases in the series. Below is a list of features provided by Cooler Master.

HAF XM – a “mid tower” version of the HAF X, which comes with full tower features for PC enthusiasts. It supports up to four 200mm fans to keep constant cooling while housing high-end components, such as AMD Radeon HD 7970 and NVIDIA GTX 680. It also supports up to 9 HDDs and 8+1 expansion slots for 3-Way SLI/CF. The smart design of latch on side panel and sliding PSU cable cover ensures the convenience and neatness of system building. Additionally, HAF XM is equipped with two USB 3.0 ports for faster data transfer.

Features

  • Enthusiast case with the support for four 200mm fans
  • Latch on 90° rotated side panel for easy system access
  • Rich I/O panel with two USB 3.0 super speed ports
  • 8+1 expansion slots for NVIDIA 3-way SLI™ and AMD CrossFireX™
  • Supports up to 9 HDDs, including two X-Dock slots and one behind the motherboard tray
  • Sliding PSU cable cover for improved cable management
  • Top compartment with rubber pad for placing personal belongings
  • Mesh on front panel, top cover; vents on side panel and bottom for excellent cooling

Specifications

Available Color Full Midnight Black
Material Appearance: Mesh, Synthetics; Case body: Steel
Dimension (W / H / D) 252 x 530.5 x 579 mm / 9.9 x 20.9 x 22.8 inch
Weight 10.5kg / 23.1 lb
M/B Type Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
5.25″ Drive Bays 3
3.5″ Drive Bays 8 (hidden:6, X-Dock:2)
2.5″ Drive Bays 9 (6 are converted from 3.5″ bays, X-Dock x 2, 1 is behind the M/B tray)
I/O Panel USB 3.0 x 2 (int.), USB 2.0 x 2, Audio In & Out x 1
(supports HD Audio), LED switch for the front fan
Expansion Slots 8+1
Cooling System Front: 200mm Red LED fan x 1
(converted to 120mm fan x 2 / 140mm fan x 1)
Top: 200mm fan x 2 (1 is optional; converted to 120/140mm fan x 2)
Rear: 140mm fan x 1 (converted to 120mm fan x 1)
Side: 200mm fan x 1 (optional; converted to 140mm fan x 2)
HDD: 12025mm fan x 2 (optional)
Power Supply Type Standard ATX PS2 / EPS (optional)
Maximum Compatibility VGA card length : 354.0 mm / 13.9 inch (with HDD cage)
463.0 mm / 18.2 inch (without HDD cage)
CPU cooler height: 196.0 mm / 7.7 inch

 

HAF XM: Exterior

The overall look of the case has that same militaristic design that we find on the rest of the HAF series. This should appeal to gamers or enthusiasts who want a more subtle look, without the need of large side windows and flashing lights. Just like its big brother, the HAF XM’s exterior is made up of plastic coverings and lots of mesh grills for cooling.

Here is a view from the right side/rear of the case. One subtle feature that we thought awesome was the bulged side panel. This really comes in handy if you’ve got a lot of wires to cram behind the motherboard tray.

As you can see the front of the case is very similar to Cooler Master’s original HAF case. At the top we have the IO ports, two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, and sound/mic for your headset. Below that there is room for three 5.25 inch drive bays. Just below that there are two removable 3.5 inch hard drive bays. We will go over this feature more in detail on the next page. Underneath the plastic front cover you have access to the 200mm fan mounted in between the frame of the case and the hard drive bays.

The rear of the case is pretty standard. You can easily see that the PSU is bottom mounted. There is also water cooling support and an included 140mm fan. The expansion slots come fitted with vented slot covers to maximize airflow and are configured in an 8+1 configuration which can support up to three full size graphics cards.

The top plastic shroud is easily removed with a single thumb screw located on the back of the case. Underneath we have one 200mm fan with support for one more the same size. Now, if water cooling is your thing, it gets better, the shroud is deep enough for you to mount a 240mm radiator in place of the fans.



 

HAF XM: Interior

Unlike most traditional cases, the HAF XM’s side panel uses a latch system similar to that of the Corsair 600T. This makes gaining access to the inside of the case much easier opposed to the typical two thumb-screw method. The photo below shows how the side panel folds down once the handle is pulled. Also pictured is the reverse side of the side panel.

The inside of the case is painted black which seems to be the new standard now days. Some of the more obvious features include a large port on the motherboard tray which allows access for removing CPU cooler mounts. We also see rubber grommets for cable management. All the drive bays are screw-less. Towards the bottom there is a PSU cable should strictly for cable management. This helps hide all those ugly cables coming from the back of your PSU.

As mentioned before the HAF XM comes with two front mount remove HDD slots which can secure either an HDD or an SDD. This is mostly for convenience purposes only and does not magically make your hard drives hot swappable. Most modern motherboards have the option to switch SATA ports into E-SATA in order to make them hot swappable so be sure to check first.

Another unique feature is the ability to remove three of the hard drive slots. This may come in handy when dealing with incredably long graphics cards, or just freeing up space in general.

 

 

Hardware Installation

As you would expect, installation is pretty straight of the hardware components is pretty straight forward. Cooler Master was kind enough to supply you with all the screws, standoffs and even zip ties that you will need for installing your components. The already included cables such as the front panel connectors as well as fan connectors were nice and long which made hiding them easy.

Cable management features for the HAF XM is absolutely top notch. There is plenty of room behind the motherboard tray to hide all the wires in any system. The rubber grommets are positioned nicely and are large enough to handle quite a lot of cables. Located on the back of the motherboard try are “hooks” which allow you to tie down cables behind the motherboard tray. Also, as mentioned a few pages back, the right side panel is bulged which makes it easy to stuff even more cables behind the motherboard without having to worry about how you are going to get the side panel back on.

Conclusion

IT was really hard trying to find many cons for the HAF XM. The overall construction is solid inside and out and this case definitely packs enough features to make it equal with the rest of the HAF lineup. The case has an endless amount if features that should keep any hardware enthusiast or gamer satisfied. The only thing that set us back was the size. Cooler Master claims this is a mid tower case, when clearly it is the size of a typical full tower case. If you are in the market for a mid tower case due to size restrictions, this may not be for you.

  • Appearance 5/5 – Cooler Master did a great job on the design of this case. The blend of plastic and mesh makes it fit in perfectly with the rest of the HAF series.
  • Construction 4.8/5 – The overall construction of the HAF XM is solid and very well formed. The only con was that the hard drive mounts were a little overly flimsy. Likely this won’t be an issue though.
  • Performance 5/5 – Seeing as that the HAF XM has support for up to four 200mm fans and paired with it’s water cooling support, this case will have no trouble keeping your components cool.
  • Functionality 4.9/5 – The features in this case are endless. If you are picky about hiding your cables, then this is the case for you. All inside and outside components have easy access.
  • Value 4.6/5 – The HAF XM has an MSRP of $129.99 USD. For a case with as many features as it has, this really is not a bad price.


Overall: 97/100

IT was really hard trying to find many cons for the HAF XM.

The overall construction is solid inside and out and this case definitely packs enough features to make it equal with the rest of the HAF lineup. The case has an endless amount if features that should keep any hardware enthusiast or gamer satisfied. The only thing that set us back was the size. Cooler Master claims this is a mid tower case, when clearly it is the size of a typical full tower case. If you are in the market for a mid tower case due to size restrictions, this may not be for you.

9.7
Diamond Award:
9.7

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