A crazy amount of customisation
There are cases, and then there are CASES. Cooler Master’s
latest PC chassis effort goes beyond even that simple dichotomy, presenting a series
of interlocking cases – plural – that simply takes the cake in terms of the
amount of different design options, and case-specific builds.
There are a total of three boxed products in the range. The
915R and 915F are both mini-ITX form factor cases, each with a slightly
different interior layout, while the 935 combo delivers both a full tower case
and a 915R in the one package. The idea is simple – different chassis for
different purposes, all able to be stacked one atop the other in some insane
tower of power that will no doubt end up being worshipped by any proto-human
hominids that wander by.
Cooler Master HAF Stacker
In terms of design, the HAF Stacker range does what it says
on the tin – the CM Stacker series has been modular for a while now, an the Cooler Master’s HAF range are highly competent high
air-flow designs with gaming and overclocking in mind. The combination of the
two ranges is not only elegant – the cases do look good, though your own
individual thoughts on style will always be the final arbiter – and the cooling
power on offer is likewise impressive.
So let’s break it down case-by-case. The HAF Stacker 915F is
an option if you’re looking for a smaller gaming build, such as something like
Steam Box, or even just a handy, portable, second machine, the 915F is perfect.
Cooler Master HAF Stacker inside
There’s room in this tiny case for video cards up to 360mm
long, and three each of SSDs or HDDs, as well as a single 5.25in drive bay.
Cooling is handled by a single rear exhaust fan, so we’d recommend upgrading on
that front. There’s also room for a 170mm heatsink on
The HAF Stacker 915R is a little more curious, as it’s really
not intended as a standalone case, but rather as an adjunct to the other two.
It only accommodates three SSDs (after conversion), and its
single intake fan is a small 92mm model, compared to the 915F’s 120mm option.
Cooler Master sells the HAF Stacker 935 as a two-case combo. While it is
costly, the options are huge. The second case is a 915R, while the tower is as
roomy and breezy as you’d expect from any HAF case. Out of the box it’s cooled
by a two 120mm fans sucking air through the open front fascia, and a rear 140mm
exhaust fan. There’s a total of nine expansion slots, and nine drive bays that
be rigged for either HDDs or SSDs, and all in modular cages that can be removed
as necessary to suit your build. There’s a tonne of
room for cable management, and lots of rubber grommeting
to protect those cables too.
But it’s the stacking options that make this such an
interesting build choice. It’s a little difficult getting the stacking
mechanisms to clamp on to each other, but we suspect that’ll come good with
use. However, it some builds, it’s not going to be an issue. If you’re a
dedicated SETI@home or folding advocate, or are
simply setting up a second system for mining Bitcoins,
you’ll never really be moving that second, smaller system clamped to your main
gaming rig. If you’ve got the 915R set up as a cooling or drive farm, again,
it’ll be happy just sitting there, giving you an incredible amount of “my case
is bigger than yours” bragging rights.
However, other options are more mobile. Want a second system
for when a friend pops round? Done. Do you like the
idea of separate Steam, HTPC or LAN box that you can easily update from your
main machine? Too easy.
Cooler Master HAF Stacker System
Or, really, any number of options. There’s room for all
kinds of interesting cooling setups. Hell, even the idea of having separate
machines (say, a HTPC, a spare PC, and your main machine),
all with a similar design aesthetic could be appealing.
You are paying for this privilege when it comes to
versatility, but if that is what you are after – performance and adaptability –
Cooler Master’s made just about the perfect case for you.