Cabinets are the least classy of all the PC components. They’re some of the last pieces of hardware you’ll put up your shopping list and you’ll use your spare money to buy one. Power enthusiasts and enthusiasts often purchase high-end cabinets priced above Rs. 10,000.
A front view of the chassis
If that’s well beyond your budget for a PC chassis, this new offering by Cooler Master - the 912 HAF Advanced case might just wet your palette.
Features and Design
The HAF tag in the model name of a Cooler Master chassis may conjure ideas of a really large PC case but the 912 HAF Advanced is actually a somewhat small looking mid-tower; especially, when you compare to one of Cooler Master’s successful mid-ranged cabinets – the 690. The number of slots for 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch drives hasn’t changed much from the Cooler Master 690. You get space for more or less the same number of the drives as some of the other smaller cabinets.
The 912 HAF Advanced - the new affordable mid-tower from Cooler Master
Probably one of its key features that should interest new system builders is the USB 3.0 connectivity. The panel on top houses the buttons, audio connectors, two USB ports and one eSATA port. The ports on the panel on top do not support USB 3.0 but a dock that sits in one of the 5.25-inch slot bays has two ports.
USB 3 extension cables
Long USB 3.0 cables are available so you can hook them up to the back of the motherboard. There’s sufficient space for cables to to be channeled between the side panel and the motherboard support frame.
USB 3.0 ports docked at the front
The panels all across the cabinet are machined well. There are no sharp edges on the panels and all the prone area panels have been folded and rounded off. The build of the cabinet is pretty sturdy – there is very little flexing of frames. However, the face of the cabinet has several protrusions growing out of the body – which might not be appealing to everyone.
Provision for a fan on the transparent side panel
There are three fans in all on this cabinet. The ones at the top and front are 200mm fans; both LED lit. The one at the rear is smaller in comparison – a 120 mm fan is used. Provision for water cooling pipes is present at the back. Thanks to all the thumbscrews being used, the entire chassis is toolkit-free.
Not the most spacious of cabinets
The cabinet has provision for two sets of 3.5-inch drive compartments. The one of top can be removed which should allow you to attached larger graphics cards to your motherboard. We’re talking obviously of cards such as the AMD Radeon 6970 and the Radeon 6990.
The power and reset buttons are of a similar material to the rest of the body and of the same colour – the look is somewhat boring. The power and reset buttons on most cabinets stand out, but not so much in this case. There are some missing goodies such as the folding, easy locking panel for cards that you install. The 3.5-inch drive sliding mechanism is somewhat more tacky than some of the other chassis from Cooler Master. The 5.25 locking is simple as ever. An additional lock is supplied should you want to remove the USB 3.0 dock and use the space for an optical drive.
The Cooler Master HAF 912 Advanced sells for around Rs. 5,900 in the market. The official MRP price is Rs. 7,300. For the price you pay, you get a feature-rich chassis. While it might not be as hefty as the HAF 932, it's still more than enough for most of us. It may not be the most menacing looking chassis around, but it sure is practical. It also falls in the same price range as some of Cooler Master 690 II models. The USB 3.0 support is a great thing to have if you’re building a new rig based on a board that supports the new standard. Being able to install large cards also means that you can setup a SLI or CrossFire configuration with high-end graphics cards without much hassle. If you're building a rig with a budget of around Rs. 45,000 and above, this is a good base to build your system on.