CoolerMaster Announces New SLI-Certified HAF X

If you're in the market for a new high-end chassis, Cooler Master has launched an updated High Air Flow (HAF) case you might find interesting. Currently the company is talking up the NVIDIA version but we suspect there'll be a generic equivalent as well. The advantage of the new HAF X, according to CM, is its ability to handle more than two video cards and a great deal of heat.

"These new limited edition cases represent the culmination of our collective efforts. Cooler Master and NVIDIA® engineers worked tirelessly to improve thermal designs in order to best cool NVIDIA® GTX 480 graphics cards in a triple-SLI setup”, said Bryant Nguyen, Product Marketing Manager at Cooler Master... "We look forward to seeing enthusiasts push the limits of their graphics cards within our cases."

Cooler Master's own HAF X copy describes the case as follows: "Designed for performance systems, this chassis is able to house today’s latest and hottest CPUs, motherboards, graphics cards, and is even compatible with USB 3.0 devices." The HAF X sports some nifty features, particularly if you're planning a high-end system. These include:

  • SATA Dock for easy installation without the need of removing side panel.
  • USB 3.0 on front I/O panel.
  • Air duct to cool the latest graphics cards.
  • Up to 1 x 230 mm green LED fan and 3 x 200 mm fans.
  • 9 slots support triple VGA cards.
  • Adjustable VGA card holder to support heavier GPU cards.
  • Power supply partition to conceal cables.
  • Advanced cable management with rubber grommets.
  • Spacious interior for larger component parts.

It's the nine physical slots, adjustable VGA card-holder, and front-panel USB 3 support that most set the HAF X apart from a number of other high-end cases. Nine PCI slots instead of the typical seven gives the system ample room for three dual-slot video cards; the HAF X supports E-ATX, the Ultra-ATX form factor (as defined by Foxconn) and the unofficial XL-ATX. It's not clear if XL-ATX will ever be formally accepted as a standard but ultra high-end boards from Gigabyte and EVGA make use of it. The only motherboard this case won't take is EVGA's massive SR-2, which is built on a custom standard EVGA calls HPTX.

The VGA card-holder  might not seem useful when your system is standing on solid ground, but it'll prove its worth if you ever have to ship or transport the chassis over long distances. Modern high-end cards are heavy enough that they can torque badly even when screwed in with two screws at the slot. The only thing to keep in mind is that HAF cases tend to be louder than other ATX designs. It's not just the amount of air passing through the system; the case is perforated at the front, side, and top to maximize cooling. This potential issue can be largely alleviated through the use of quiet fans and if you plan to run tri-SLI you can't be that concerned about noise in the first place.

Couple these benefits with an NVIDIA-branded chassis and this could make an excellent stocking stuffer—provided you know someone with sufficiently large feet and a preference for the Green Team. More details on the case are available here