For example, there are four 2.5in six 3.5in bays - up from five in the rest of the HAF series, while the 5.25in optical drive bays have been dropped to four; really, this is what Cooler Master should have done for the HAF-X too.
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What Cooler Master has done for the first time is drill out four holes on the SSD cage, behind the PSU, as a mount spot for a watercooling pump. This is the first time we've seen this offered and it's somewhat surprisingly and potentially very advantageous for such a small, budget case: easy options for watercooling removes the barrier to entry that lets more people dive in, and could pay dividends for Cooler Master. In the top the included 200mm fan can also be replaced with a dual-120mm fan radiator.
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On the downside, if you don't want to watercool, then the HAF 912 'only' has two 200mm fans (front - with red LED - and top) and a single 120mm fan in the rear, with an empty 120/140mm fan mount in the side panel. The 922 remains a slight upgrade and offers an additional 200mm fan thanks to its greater length.
Overall, if the $79 (~£65) street price is what the HAF 912 actually retails for then it could make its way onto many people's shopping lists. Unlike many budget cases that come through our labs, from our brief encounter we're very impressed with its design and solid build quality.
Like the rest of the HAF range the design won't be for everyone. It won't challenge the Fractal Design R2/3 for those who want a neat and tidy case, but the two camps have distinctly different needs and it's an indirect comparison, despite the price similarity.
We also wonder if Cooler Master isn't mostly just competing against its own 690 II and Scout. The latter seems almost defunct now: unless you really want that case handle, it's more expensive and smaller still. We'll know the full story once we review it, but the foundations already laid seem a strong start for the HAF 912.