Cooler Master HAF XM Mid Tower

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Posted by  on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 6:52am

Cooler Master HAF XMToday, we will be taking a look at a new member to Cooler Master’s HAF family. That new member will be the HAF XM. A ‘budget’ minded XM is a short on structure but tall on features and options. Some of these options and features you will not see on the older big brothers of the family. The HAF XM may just be the case you were looking for. Read on to find out why we say this.

Introduction to the Cooler Master HAF XM Mid Tower

Today, we will be taking a look at a new member to Cooler Master’s HAF family. That new member will be the HAF XM. A ‘budget’ minded XM is a short on structure but tall on features and options. Some of these options and features you will not see on the older big brothers of the family. The HAF XM may just be the case you were looking for. Read on to find out why we say this.

Cooler Master’s take on the HAF XM

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.


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 Bay

3

3.5" Drive Bay

8 (hidden:6, X-Dock:2)

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

Standard ATX PS2 / EPS (optional)

2.5"/3.5"- SATA HDD Drive Bay

9 (6 are converted from 3.5" bays, X-Dock x 2, 1 is behind the M/B tray)

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

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


Closer look at the Exterior

The HAF XM style-wise has some of the physical attributes of the other members of the family but in my eyes looks quite different. What I saw in the XM has a more subtle look that has a more professional look than the other models. This is something many will look as it doesn’t look as aggressive.

The front end of the XM is made most of plastic and mesh. A combination that is typical of many cases nowadays. The cases measures 22.8” deep and 20.9” tall. And it is pretty heavy as well as sturdy at 23 pounds.

We begin at the top front of the case where we will find the I/O panel which consists of two USB 2.0, two audio jacks and two USB 3.0 ports. Just below the I/O are three 5.25” optical drive bays. The XM has two easy access bays for 3.5” drives. This is a must have for quick retrieval of data from various drives. Below that is a large mesh area which a large 200mm red LED cooling fan.

The top of the case is tasteful in design as the first half consist of power/reset and LED control button for the front mounted fan. Just behind them is a docking area laced with a rubber mat for any miscellaneous items. The rest of the top is a vented area for the 200mm fan that is installed.

The left side panel has a unique that none of the other HAF has and that is a left latch for removing the panel from the rest of the case. Keeps from having to replace the thumbscrews. Releasing the latch allows the panel to come straight down and not towards the rear for easy access to the internal components. There is also a small vented area that can house additional 140mm fans which does not come with the case.

The right side has no latch as you can see. If you followed any of the trade shows like CES this past year you many have seen a proto-type of the XM with a latch on this side. It was left out as it interfered with cable management. The panel is convex to apply more area to support the excessive cabling from the power supply.

The bottom of the case doesn’t have much going on except for four rubber feet and a small vented area for the power supply cooling.

Removing the front panel you get a better view of the 200mm intake fan which can be replaced with two 120/140mm fans.

The rear of the case has two inlets for water-cooling tubing. The third hole is for routing the USB 3.0 cable to the back of the motherboard into I/O. there is a 140mm fan for exhausting warm out of the case.


Closer look at the Interior

The interior of the XM is pretty open and here is where I saw the first signs of it being a case for the budget minded. There was a lack of some of the features that we would see in cases in some of the more expensive cases. But that doesn’t take away from the fact the case can support any of today’s graphic cards and several drives with ease. Without removing the HDD cage there is 13.9” to play with. Removing it will net a total of 18.2” for a GPU.

You cannot miss the very large CPU cut-out sitting in the top of the motherboard tray. And for cable routing there are just a few opening for that purpose. But there is plenty to accommodate any amount to cabling you may need to route to the back of the motherboard tray.

Any optical drives threw into the build are secured with these plastic mechanisms. The HDD dock bays are not a permanent solution as they can be removed if something like a card reader needs to be fitted. Six more drives can be added to the system with the aid of these plastic trays.

Below are images of two of the three fans that are included with the XM. The first is a 120mm rear exhaust and the top mounted unit is an all-black 200mm exhaust. Another 200mm fan can be added or the one that is included can be removed and replaced with 120/140mm triple blowers.

The XM also implements a power supply guard that once installed will hide all the cables connected to the PSU.

The rear of the motherboard tray has another additional spacing for adding a SSD or other 2.5” drive. Great idea if you are planning using just one drives in a system and keep the interior clean and neat.

In this image we see there are a total of eight PCI expansion slots with an additional side slot. The eight slots are ideal for triple GPU setups.


Build Images


Conclusion

The Cooler Master HAF XM could be the ideal case for gaming on a moderate budget. With ease the case will hold any of today’s gaming video cards as well as numerous drives and we can forget about support for eATX motherboards. These three things is what makes up most of the components of a gaming system.

When considering a case to build upon, it usually begins with looks as we don’t want to be looking at a case all day they we did not like. And the CM HAX XM is really not a bad looking case. Are there better looking towers out there? Sure there are. But we do like the fact that the HAF XM offers a more subtle look than the rest of the HAF line-up. This helps the XM to crossover to other realms and not just for building a gaming rig.

As far as cooling is concerned we thought out of the box the fans that are included was adequate. A rear 140mm and two more 200mm fans in the top and front allows a fair amount of air to enter and enough pushing tower to allow generated warm air to escape. Additional sizes ranging from 120mm to 200mm can be implemented into the case for those that want more cooling and air movement. Even water cooling can be added to the equation. With a little creativity dual and triple rads can be XM for even better CPU and GPU cooling.

I like how CM gave to the case a number of little features to help the XM worth its asking price. It begins with the dual X-Dock drive bays, motherboard tray SSD mounting option,LED power switch, large fans and the side panel latching system. The little things is what makes a case and this one has several.

For those there are worrying according to CM's global site there will be a windowed side panel for the HAF XM.

We tried really hard to find something we did not like about the Cooler Master HAF XM. And the only really compliant was the asking price of the case. Word on the streets is the HAF XM will retail for about $130 making it one of the more expensive cases.

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