So I always considered the Antec P182 (now replaced by the Antec P183) to be a big heavy case… until I met the COOLER MASTER HAF X ATX Full Tower Case. A few months back I upgraded to a pair of EVGA GTX 470 cards (for more CUDA fun and games) and needed something to put them in. The P182 looked like it would be a little cramped, not impossible but cramped.
I was worried that it would be noisy. Lots of fans means lots of holes for sound to escape. It is noisy when the GPUs are running flat out – as in hovercraft noisy – but for the most part it’s not too bad. I used MSI Afterburner to create a custom fan speed profiles which keeps things quiet at low GPU temperatures. So surfing the web and doing development work doesn’t feel like I’m doing it at the end of a carrier flight deck.
- It’s REALLY BIG… Lots and lots of room. Great for big components like graphics cards and CPU coolers. This makes working in the case very easy even with my big hands.
- Big fans that move lots of air as slow RPMs. The HAF-X isn’t as noisy as you might expect. Not as quiet as the P182 but there’s not much in it.
- Great wiring system with lots of room to route cables. Cable tie attachment points and rubber grommets around cable ports makes clean wiring easy to achieve.
- Additional ducting and fan placements for SLI systems to keep the cards cool.
- A big red glowing fan on the front. Yes, I know I’m far too old to be admitting this is cool, but actually it is.
- It’s REALLY BIG… and some would say… ugly. In fact pretty much anyone with any sense of aesthetics would say “really ugly”.
- Air intake through bottom of the case seems like a great way to maximize the amount of dust pulled into the case.
- No front door. This was a feature of the P182 I particularly liked. It keeps everything out of the way and deadens sound.
- No removable dust filters like the P182. The HAF-X has filters but they’re nowhere near as nice and easy to remove and clean as the P182’s.
- The SATA dock bays are all metal construction with no damping. I ended up not using them as they were noisier than using the lower bays.
Hardware Canucks has a video review of the HAF-X if you want a walkthrough of the case’s features. If you want to build a GPGPU workstation this is probably the case to do it with. It will take up to four GPUs and has the air cooling to match. I’m limited to two but the motherboard.