The sunny weather is here again in California with just a few more rain drops here and there. Most of us are preparing for the heat once again, seriously, I'm just wondering if it will get hot enough to just melt away the northern ice caps this year? Only because of 2012 Mayan calendar and multiple solar flares have been trying to reach us every month or so. Let's brace ourselves and be prepared, I know most of us need to keep things cool this time of the year, especially me. Personally at home and work, I have lots of computers and live aquatics, my nemesis is heat. In seasons like this one, people look for AC, Fans, Ice Packs, Freezer Mugs, etc... Just name it; there is plenty of cool stuff to buy.
My hardware will always have the perfect solution which is always being developed by Cooler Master. As I follow through my research, the masses over the globe have been anticipating this case for quite some time now, finally being released and launched 4/24/2012. I received the item just a few weeks ago and we all know the HAF series towers by now, they stay in the mid sized form factors. At first, just looking at the box (not the printed text) will throw you off because the size is very similar to the Full Tower form factors. Even in comparison to my CMSTORM Trooper, it isn’t too much of a difference in size. Let’s get to the details and check out the differences from the ancestors.
The following information was provided by the Cooler Master web site and used for general specifications.
Full Midnight Black
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
10.5kg / 23.1 lb
Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX
5.25" Drive Bays
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)
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
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)
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
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
Now that we got basic information out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the Cooler Master HAF XM Mid Tower Case.
Taking a look from the front of the box, we see the very similar family resemblance in design from its predecessors with a few simple touches. As usual, Cooler Masters’ Logo is placed on the left top corner, right below that is the name of the product, as well as very little detailed features.
Three 45° HAF XM Product Photos
SNEAK PEAK: Front I/O Panel
SNEAK PEAK: Two Hot Swap X-Docks for SSD/HDD
SNEAK PEAK: Six 3.5" Drive Bays for SSD/HDD
SNEAK PEAK: Three 5.25" Bays for ODD
SNEAK PEAK: Tool less and pressurized side locks for 5.25" Bays
SNEAK PEAK: Back side of the locks for 5.25" Bays
SNEAK PEAK: PSU Slot and Cable Cover
SNEAK PEAK: 200mm Front Panel Fan
SNEAK PEAK: Top Exhaust
Printed with three product images on back at 45° views, we can see the front, side, and back of the HAF XM.
The first image usually shows the front I/O Panel with two USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports along with the popular X-Dock which can push two more 3.5” storage drives for convenience and no external drive needed. Got to love this feature, unlike external enclosures, you can just carry your bare drives around in protection cases and pop the drives into these X-Docks without any hassle and extra costs.
Through the side panel, we see internal form factors which consist of:
Six 3.5” drive bays which is tool free
Three 5.25” tool less bays used for ODD, these are very similar to the normal locks but these are slightly pressurized to clip perfectly into position
PSU cable cover cage for hidden cable management
Large 200mm Fan for the front panel
Large 200mm Fan for the top exhaust including an additional 200mm fan support or a 280mm radiator support
Lastly, the product image of the rear consisting of 8+1 expansion slots for 3-way SLI or Crossfire.
HAF XM Product Photo
HAF XM Product Information
Left Side Panel
On the left side of the package, we can clearly see the photo of the HAF XM side panel. The side panel alone will easily fit one 200mm fan or optional two 140mm fan, the choice is yours.
Manufactured Product Infromation
Right Side Panel
On the right side of the box, we can now see all the important specifications just to make sure you have the correct measurements to fit your new or current components during installation and purchasing the tower.
Opening the Box
What's in the Box?!?! HAF XM!
When it is time to open the package be careful, double check, and ensure it was delivered safely to you. Surprisingly, a perfect box and shipped a few cities away, my sample is damaged and I cannot lock the top cover anymore. Once I pulled the HAF XM out of its box, it is nicely supported with thick styrofoam top and bottom for support. After removing the product supports, the instruction guide will pop out.
Cooler Master HAF XM
Front I/O Panel
Three 5.25" Bays for ODD
Removing the X-Dock Trays to Remove Front Panels
After removal of Front Panels
Two Hot Swap X-Docks for SSD/HDD
Front Bottom Mesh Panel 200mm Intake Fan
As we look at the actual product, it definitely brings out an impressive feel and look of the modern tank design. It is kind of boxy but will look like a beast if it were a Full Tower Version, providing a unique military design. At a closer look from the front I/O Panel, there are two USB 2.0 ports in combination of two USB 3.0 ports for more additional peripherals to attach including HD audio jacks for Mic and Headphones.
As mentioned earlier, the HAF XM is tool less and kind of tricky because the 5.25” covers is clipped from the inside. To remove these, you may unclip by unlatching the two X-Dock covers, additional top exhaust, or from behind through the side panel.
Collecting Air Flow from the 200mm Front Fan is perfect to allow direct air Flow throughout the whole case while cooling the drive bays.
Left Side Panel
Close Up of the Left Side Panel
Opening the Left Side Panel
Left Side Panel Handle Lock
In the little mysterious brown box
MB Screws and Spacers
Taking a closer look at the left side panel, I would love to throw in one more 200mm Fan or possibly two more 140mm fans. Adding additional fans will take just a little more juice but providing High Air Flow is the key especially during any gaming this summer the heat may get impressively hot.
As we take a look at the accssories box, we find multiple sized and threded black screws, Gold MB Spacers, wire ties, and additional goodies as usual.
Right Side Panel
Cable Management Behind the MB Tray
Hidden 2.5" HDD/SSD Holder Easy Access Connection
Power Cable to Front 200mm Fan
Thickness in Spacing for Cable Management
Audio Connector for Front Panel
USB 3.0 Connector for Front Panel
Front I/O Panel Controllers
When we take a look from the right side panel, we can see the same popular design for cable management, very like the CMSTORM Trooper. It would be nice to develop the right side panel with a latch handle for panel removal as well but I am sure it has to do with keeping the cost more affordable to everyone. As we look at these few photos for cable management, I see a plenty of space and definitely enough room to clean and tie down the cables.
HAF XM Rear
Top Cover Damaged During Shipping
The Broken Hidden Piece
8+1 Expansion Slot
PSU Cable Cover for Cable Management
PSU Slot and Cable Cover
Cooler Master Logo
Closer Look at the HDD/SDD Tool less Trays
X-Dock SATA Circuit Board
Six 3.5" Drive Bays for SSD/HDD
Tool less and pressurized side locks for 5.25" Bays
Six Drive Trays
X-Dock Tool Less
Finally after taking pictures and moving along to the back, look at what I find from the usual shipping trends that happen day to day as we usually expect. I looked all over the place for the cracked piece from packaging to the internal case, it wasn’t there, but ended up finding it in the X-Dock Tray afterwards… Moving along, since the HAF XM is a serious mid tower gaming case it is definitely beneficial to run a water cooled system especially since it can handle up to four 200mm fans.
As usual, there is a 140mm Fan right below the three rubber grummets used for external liquid cooling systems. Since many have requested in previous HAF series products to expand slots to make room for 3 way SLI/CF, it has been done this time around, Cooler Master really has provided the 8+1 expandable slot for 3-way SLI/CF. Since the PSU market has grown, the size difference does matter for the deck below, it fits standard ATX PS2 for now but any new robust PSU’s may not fit beneath the deck or will it? Unsure yet but we’ll find out soon enough in the future.
External View of 200mm Fan
External View for Additional Options
Top Cover unable to lock
Internal Supports are broken during shipping
Utility Tray and Power/Reset Button
200mm Top Exhaust Fan
Top Mesh for Radiator or Additional 200mm Fan
Looking from the top, there is two separated mesh covers for air flow exhausting. They don’t call it HAF XM for half the air flow, it is prestigiously designed for high air flow which is standard for HAF Series Towers, can’t wait for any Full Towers. A little cool addition is a utlilty tray, this way you can place your bare 2.5" drives, pens, tools, etc...
Size Comparison and preparing for transplant
Gutted CMSTORM Trooper
Closer look into Cable Management for the HAF XM
Product in Use
Left Side Panel
X-DOCK in use with 3TB and 1.5TB Drives
Plenty of Storage
Overall Design and Look
After transplanting my current system to the Cooler HAF XM Mid Tower Case, I fell in love accomplishing a nice clean up. In comparison to the CMSTORM Trooper, it is much lighter but doesn't have a convenient handle to lug around, so, it's back to traditional back breaking. I really have to say, Cable Management is the most perfect and peaceful activity for the installation for the HAF XM but I really wish it was a Full Tower. As large as the capacity comes, there is plenty of space to upgrade to larger capacity drives and adding performance drives in the future.
Testing & Conclusion
The only real test for the Cooler Master HAF XM Mid Tower Case is real time air flow and cable management. Since I don't have anything to test the air flow, I can not confirm that it may be better than the trooper or compared to others, BUT, it has a heck of a lot more room to breathe than other Mid Towers. I transferred over my E-ATX MB with a breeze, thinking it was going to be slightly tighter, usually a lot more less room. Impressively proving me wrong. The Cooler Master HAF XM is a very nice case and affordable because the pros listed can keep going on and on. The con that I can see so far is that the HAF XM needs sturdier plastic and better locking design for the cover due to easily cracking but it will not get any points off for that. Based on the overall design and installation, UMLan would like to provide the Cooler Master HAF XM Mid Tower Case a score of 9/10 because of the pros and cons listed below.
Some pros we found:
Side Door Panel Latch for Convenience
Clean Cable Management with Cover
Unique Family Design
Front I/O Panel: 2 X USB 3.0 and 2 X USB 2.0 Ports
Support motherboards sizes up to E-ATX
8+1 expansion slots in support of 3-way SLI/CF
2 X 200mm Large fans with additional fan options
Quiet and pushes a lot of air
Quick and tool less installation for optical drives
Water cooling ready
Hot Swappable X Dock Drive Bay
Supports up to 6+2 3.5" HDD/SSD and one hidden SSD holder behind the MB Tray.
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