Cooler Master HAF XM Review – Kick-ass Mid Tower Case With Full Tower Features
The Cooler Master HAF XM is the latest generation of mid tower from the HAF series. Oh actually it’s the HAF 935 a.k.a CM HAF Stacker which is the latest. The HAF XM has been on the market for quite a few months now, so it’s not really new. Lucky for us that Cooler Master has sent one for review. I have been using the first generation of Cooler Master CM 690 before, I’ve seen the other HAF series (did not like it by the way), but the HAF XM made a remarkable impression on me. The specific unit that I have tested and reviewed is the RC-922XM-KKN1 or the non-windowed version, but with mesh ventilation on the side panel instead. It has a pretty solid body and despite its category, which is mid tower, the components that you can put in this case, you may consider it as a mid-tower case with full tower features. And since this is a HAF – High Air Flow Series case, it supports multiple numbers of fans and up to 200mm in size. It can support 120m, 240m and even 360m radiators (with modifications). The cooling system is just remarkable in the HAF XM. Check out the rest of the details on my CM HAF XM review below.
Cooler Master HAF XM Review
Let’s talk about the top-front portion of the Cooler Master HAF XM first. We have a large hexagon shape power button with Red LED. On the left is an On and Off switch for the LED of the 200mm fan, which by default is placed in front of the case. Meanwhile, on the right is the reset button. There is also an area where you can place your smartphone, in which the size similar to an iPhone would fit perfectly. There are also two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and as well as a mic and headphone jack.
There are three 5.25-inch drive bays and two X-Dock slots for hot swappable hard drives. But you can also convert these slots to become a regular HDD cage by just removing the PCB of the X Dock located inside the case.
Also in front of the case is the huge air inflow ventilation with a Cooler Master Logo on the middle. In front you can add 120mm fans, 140mm fans or even a 200mm fan (default). The side panel features a latch so that you can easily open the side panel without the need to unscrew and without sliding the panel. This makes it very easy to access the inside portion.
On top you can add two 200mm fans, or two 140mm fans or even three 120mm fans. You can also put a 120mm, 240mm radiator or 360mm radiator for water cooling. There are also holes on the upper back of the case for water cooling tubes. You can either install a 140mm exhaust fan (default) or a 120mm fan with a 120mm radiator in the rear exhaust area.
Inside the Cooler Master HAF XM, there’s plenty of space for your components. It can support from ITX up to EATX motherboards. There are 6 drive cages for your hard drives, of which the upper portion of the HDD cage can be removed if you plan to install longer graphics card.
There are also holes for cable management and also a covering right next to the PSU to hide the cables. On the other side of the HAF XM, there is a hidden mounting slot for one Solid State Drive just beneath the back CPU hole. Not to mention there is an enough space for the cables to be manage and stay neatly hidden behind the motherboard tray. Underneath, the Cooler Master HAF XM has these nice round silver feet with rubbers.
The whole case is colored black with matte finish, and I have to stress out that the material used in the HAF XM is pretty solid. Even the side panel is very sturdy. Compared to the CM 690 and the Thermaltake mid tower case I used before, the HAF XM is built to last and withstand the harsh environment.
But there is one thing that I did not like about High Airflow Cases. If you install fans all over the case, there is a big possibility that dust build up with be faster than you expected. If you want to lessen the dust buildup inside your case, make sure to install just the right amount of fans that your system needs. And be sure that the intake pressure is higher than the exhaust. Otherwise if the exhaust fans are stronger than your intake fans, dust would start to slip in faster even in areas with no filters. Check out the gallery section below to have a better look at the case.
Cooler Master HAF XM RC-922XM-KKN1 Gallery
Cooler Master HAF XM Review: Conclusion
After using the Cooler Master HAF XM for a few months now, I have not encountered a single problem. It keeps my system cool, and thanks to the high air flow design, I can install silent fans to keep my system cool and quite. I’m still waiting for the NZXT Kraken and see how it would fit the HAF XM. I also tried installing high performance Corsair fans, and just as I suspected, dust would easily accumulate from the filter area specially if you set the fans to maximum air intake all the time. So I installed a fan controller so that I can easily control the fans and set them depending on the load.
There’s so much potential with the Cooler Master HAF XM, and I still haven’t gone modifying the case. The current state seems to accommodate all the things that I need to do and setup. In my opinion this is even better than some full tower chassis available on the market. I would definitely recommend the HAF XM to PC Enthusiast, System Builders and even Gamers who want a kickass casing for their system that would, not only stand out from the rest, but would also accommodate the components that they need to install.
For the price, it’s a bang for the buck case. You get a mid-tower case with full tower features. I just wish Cooler Master included a graphics card bracket or VGA holder, like the one in HAF X. I also wished they add a dedicated fan controller since you can install lots of 120mm fans inside this case. If there is one thing I do not like about the HAF XM, it’s the dust filter located in the side panel in the non-windowed version. The holes are a little bit bigger compared to your typical dust filters, thus dusts tend to find its way in through the side panel, specially if you installed a fan or two on the side panel. It would also be nice if dust filters can easily be removed just by sliding it, like on the CM Storm Stryker.
See also: Cooler Master COSMOS SE
Price and Where to Buy
The Cooler Master HAF XM RC-922XM-KKN1 currently has a price tag of only $109.99. Customers who bought this product gave an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. There is also the window version if you prefer this one – HAF XM RC-922XM-KWN2, but currently I can’t seem to find an available unit online.
Cooler Master HAF XM 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
Cooler Master HAF XM Specifications
|Available Color||Full Midnight Black|
|Materials||Appearance: Mesh, Synthetics; Case body: Steel|
|Dimension (W x H x D)||252 x 530.5 x 579 mm / 9.9 x 20.9 x 22.8 inch|
|Weight||10.5kg / 23.1 lbs|
|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|
|Cooling System||Front: 200mm red LED fan x 1 (or 120mm fan x 2 / 140mm fan x 1)
Top: 200mm fan x 2 (1 is optional; can be swapped to 120/140mm fan x 2)
Rear: 140mm fan x 1 (or 120mm fan x 1)
Side: 200mm fan x 1 (optional; or 140mm fan x 2)
HDD cage: 120x25mm fan x 2 (optional)
|Power Supply Type||Standard ATX PS2 / EPS|
|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