It’s certainly been quite a while since we’ve looked at a new Cooler Master case – April in fact, if you can believe it, which is surprising considering the popularity of their cases in the modding community.
Now it’s time for Cooler Master to further add to its range once again, this time with the Cooler Master HAF 932, an imposing looking steel chassis with more ventilation options than you can shake a great big stick at. Can the HAF 932 live up to the Cooler Master name and deliver another case that’s high on both customisation and performance? Let's have a look...
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As is usual from Cooler Master, the HAF 932 constructed from steel and plastic, and while we do tend to sing the praises of aluminium as a build material, steel is usually just as durable and is significantly cheaper. The core of the chassis, as well as the top rear and bottom panelling are all black painted steel, with the front and top fascia both moulded plastic, although thankfully the build quality is of a sufficiently high standard that all the panels, both plastic and steel, fit snugly together without any noticeable gaps.
The “HAF,” in the Cooler Master HAF 932’s name stands for High Air Flow, and just glancing at the exterior of the case you can see why – the side panel, case roof and front panel have huge meshed sections allowing for unrestricted airflow into and out of the case, and they dominate the design giving the case an overly industrial feel that we’re just not that keen on.
Usually the looks of a case tend to bitterly divide the office; for every opinion of “understated style” there’ll be another for “boring and unimaginative,” but in the case of the HAF 932 we were all unanimous in our opinion – it’s pretty ugly isn’t it?
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The side panel especially is almost schizophrenic in design – it just can’t decide wherever it wants to be meshed, windowed, ventilated or carry the HAF logo, so instead does them all, making for a desperately messy appearance with no real design consistency.
The whole case just seems to have ticked off a list of features that a committee of designers wanted, without any one person making the final decisions to ensure the whole thing looks slick or stylish. The result is a case with a very military-industrial complex styling – it’s all mesh and straight lines and certainly doesn’t have the class or style of previous Cooler Master models.
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The front fascia itself has no less than six 5.25” meshed drive bays, as well as a very well featured front panel which sits flat with the drive bays, packing in four USB 2.0 ports, Firewire 400, eSATA, microphone and headphone jacks with support for both AC'97 and HD audio, and both power and HDD activity LEDs. The power and reset buttons themselves sit in the elevated plastic structure on top of the drive bays, and both have decent tactility and are recessed away nicely so won’t be accidentally pressed.
This structure also houses a rather unique feature of the HAF 932 – a removable rubber panel that lifts up to reveal a hole down into the case, which can be used as a fill port for those looking to use a bay reservoir in their watercooling set up. While this is a clever little inclusion, and will doubtless be a major draw for those with watercooled set ups looking to refill without crawling around inside their case, for the majority it’s a bit pointless.