Starting with the build quality of Cooler Masters HAF XM we have a case which offers a nice, solid main body. It would be nice to see some additional metal used for the top and front panel but the plastic used (in addition to the mesh) is of a decent standard with no sharp edges or ill-fitting sections. Inside the high level of build quality continues with each component feeling secure and all items fitting together well.
In terms of overall design the HAF range continues to be a love it or hate it aspect. It won’t be for everyone but many will like the industrial style and those who do will find a feature packed case. This starts with the two hot swap bays at the front and continues on through plenty of fan configuration options before allowing us to install a wide range of hard drives, large components (E-ATX /Tri CrossFire/SLI). There are some nice touches like the wiring cover and rubber sections on the wiring holes and top tray. In terms of changes we would prefer to see Cooler Master install all the motherboard standoffs at the factory to save some time and an LED fan on the top would work well too as would moving the PSU filter to the outside of the base.
Moving to performance we have a case which runs reasonably quiet and thanks to the three large fans it pushes plenty of air in the default configuration. Airflow can be improved further by adding additional fans and it is nice to see the inclusion of USB 3.0 to maximise the potential of our external devices.
Moving to value the case retails for around £110/$130 which compares well to a number of competing models. Cooler Master could knock a little off the windowed version which is a little more but other than bundling some extra items like a USB 3.0-2.0 convertor or adding a card reader there can be no real complaints on the value front.
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