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HARDWARE

Cooler Master HAF Stacker Case

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4/23/2014 2:30:24 AM

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.

Description: Description: Cooler Master HAF Stacker

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.

Description: Description: Cooler Master HAF Stacker inside

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 CPU.

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.

Description: Description: Cooler Master HAF Stacker System

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.

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