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How does cable management work?
CoolerMaster obviously thought this out to a great extent. The cables can be hidden from sight and thus have a positive effect on the looks as well as airflow. There are plenty of holes in the metal to allow for easy cable routing but the case would greatly benefit from brackets to which the cables could be tied and thus be routed even better. The picture below shows a mini cable forest – so you can imagine how it gets when there are more HDDs and optical drives.
The brackets used for cable management are usually located around holes, and we’d really like to see them on more places around the case so that the cables can be fixed rather than piling up on certain spots. In fact, it gets pretty irritating when it won’t allow the side panel to close.
We’d very much like to see some of the newer cases to come with a special channel for all the cables. The following photo will drive our point further – the channel could run up to the blue cables, where you currently see two holes. Furthermore, a few “tying-points” wouldn’t hurt either.
Of course, we’re paid to be nitpicky so don’t be discouraged – HAF X is in no way behind any of the high-end cases when it comes to cable management. We however didn’t bother much with aesthetics (as you can see from the photo below) so we were content to see the side panel close unhindered.
HAF X does offer something we haven’t seen on other cases – a special bracket that will hide the cables going from the PSU on the bottom of the case (picture below). The cables that you won’t route behind the motherboard can be arranged and hidden from sight.
Are the fans loud? How efficient are they?
HAF X comes with four preinstalled fans which we controlled via Scythe’s KazeMaster ACE controllers. However, the fans are pretty quiet at maximum RPM so there was really no need to control them. All the fans have 3-pin connectors and the only thing we’d like to see are slightly longer cables.
Air intake is handled by two fans – 230 mm (700 RPM, 19dBA) on the front panel (bottom) and one 200 mm (700 RPM, 19dBA) on the side panel. Air outtake is also left to two fans – a 140 mm (1200 RPM, 19dBA) on the rear panel and a 200 mm fan (700 RPM, 19dBA) on the top panel.