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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Monday, 22 June 2009 14:15

Cooler Master HAF 922 finds its way to our lab

Written by Muamer Odobasic


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Review:
A great case for a handful of dollars

 

A few weeks ago we tested Cooler Master’s Full Tower case called HAF 932, and this time around we tested its more compact sibling the HAF 922.

HAF stands for High Air Flow, so your precious components will be kept nice and cool during those long gaming hours.

The case comes in a red and black box with a design similar to the HAF 932. Packaging measures 285x550x605mm and weighs 10.9kg, which is 4.5kg less than HAF 932’s packaging.

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The front of the box shows the picture of the case and it’s just about the same size in real life.

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The back of the box has a couple of smaller pictures as well as specifications.

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The left side features some info on weight, dimensions, slots, the cooling system, etc.

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Within the box is the case, wrapped in a large plastic bag and nicely secured with Styrofoam.

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The HAF 922 is, just like its big brother, made of metal and plastic. Plastic is mostly found on the front and the top of the case, and we’d say that the HAF 922 looks much tougher than the HAF 932. The reason is in the side-panel design, as there’re no Plexiglas windows this time around, and the mesh grill is more extruded helping the HAF logo blend into the design much better.

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The case dimensions are 253x502x563mm (WxHxD) and it weighs 8.7kg, about 4.5kg less than the HAF 932.

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With the case you’ll get a small box with all the needed mounting equipment as well as a user’s manual.

The front of the case is almost identical to the HAF 932 but this case has much less plastic on it and more grills, so the light from the front fan is much more visible than on the HAF 932.

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The front panel features 4 optical drive slots and an additional slot you can use to mount a floppy or an additional optical drive. Underneath the optical drive slots you’ll find a metal grill hiding the 200mm fan. The fan comes with red LED lamps that shine a nice glow on the front panel.

Mounting optical drives is done in the same way as on the HAF 932, whereas the removal of the front optical drive grill will have to be done differently. On this case you’ll have to take the side panel off and remove the grill from within, but that’s not a problem as you’ll have to open the case if you want to mount a drive anyways.

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On the top of the front panel is a panel containing 2 USB ports, eSATA port and audio in/outs for the mic and headphones.

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The top panel is made of metal and plastic as well.

The grill hides another 200mm fan but you can mount two other, smaller fans if you choose to.

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On the top of the panel you’ll find Power and Reset keys, power and HDD LEDs, and a key to turn the fan LEDs on and off.

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The left side of the case is, unlike the HAF 932 made entirely of metal and comes with a mesh grill that will allow for nice airflow, and at the same time serves as a bracket for any additional fans. We were surprised to see that Cooler Master didn’t provide a fan for the left side of the case, but that’s probably the reason behind the lower price. If you want your case to look like on the picture, you’ll have to buy a LED fan yourself. The sides of this case are painted in matte black, so no fear of smudges. The HAF logo on the left side adds to the entire impression of a military piece of equipment, and the target markets will surely like it.

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The right side is about the same, except for the grill and the logo.

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The rear panel is standard – there’s the 7+1 PCI slot and a grill hiding the third fan on this case. This fan is a 120x25mm one and it spins at maximum 1200 rpm.

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Although this case is smaller than the HAF 932, there’s still plenty of room within the HAF 922 to mount some of the largest cards or CPU coolers. We didn’t attempt to install water cooling, and while it’s in no way impossible, it might be a bit too much for this case. The case will house two motherboard form factors – microATX and ATX, whereas the additional instructions can be found on the instruction sheet found inside the case.

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The case has 5 optical drive slots and 5 hard disk slots. The mounting mechanisms are the same as on ATSC 840 and HAF 932 and are quite simple to use.

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Like on the most of the new cases, the motherboard tray features a hole directly behind the CPU. This hole will let you mount certain CPU coolers which would otherwise require you to dismount your motherboard. This is a nice touch as most today’s coolers require this.

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The rear inner panel houses the 120mm fan, openings for the 7+1 PCI slot and a PSU mounting spot. This case will only let you mount the PSU on the bottom.

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Cooler Master decided to take the old route when it comes to mounting Add-In cards. The HAF 932 has a plastic push-in mechanism, whereas this case has large screws, eliminating the need for tools.


Pricing and Conclusion

With this case, Cooler Master made a smaller replica of its HAF 932 model. There were a couple of changes made to the mounting of the components, but nothing out of the ordinary. HAF 922, although less spacious than its predecessor packs enough space to satisfy the needs of the most demanding users. Airflow is excellent and the two large 200mm fans and one small 120mm are almost inaudible.

We’re a bit disappointed that Cooler Master doesn’t provide a fan for the left side of the case. This is most likely the reason why this case is some €30 cheaper than HAF 932, and at the same time the reason why your case won’t look like on the pictures.

The price of this case is one of its greatest selling points, especially at this time and day. Cooler Master made a great combination of nice bang per buck, and we found the lowest price on this case to be at €89,44. You can check out all the prices here.

If you’re a passionate gamer or just need a great case with excellent airflow and raw military looks, then HAF 922 is the right case for you.

Last modified on Monday, 22 June 2009 14:32
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