Manufacturer:Cooler Master UK Price (as reviewed):£68.09 (inc VAT) US Price (as reviewed):$59.99 (ex tax) MSRP Preferred Partner Price:£64.69 (inc VAT) (please note the 'Plus' version with the black interior we reviewed is not available in the US)
We’ve seen plenty of cases from Cooler Master’s HAF range over the years. All share the common design ethic of being high-airflow cases and all seem to be designed in a chunky, rugged Weyland-Yutani supply crate kind of way. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, and we’ve never found serious fault with any product from the HAF range. As a result, we knew what to expect when the latest addition the HAF range - the dinky HAF 912 Plus - arrived in our labs.
The first thing to hit us when un-boxing the HAF 912 Plus, apart from its size, was how well constructed the case is. Everything fits together perfectly and neatly, and the workmanship on display throughout the case is top notch. Even the front panel of the case, which is made from plastic, is reassuringly solid and sturdy. It’s good to see this level of quality in a case that sneaks in at just under £70 and we’d certainly be satisfied with the quality on show if we’d shelled out our hard earned cash for it.
As we mentioned earlier, all the HAF cases share a certain design aesthetic and the HAF 912 Plus is no exception. The chunky clasp-like detailing running down the front of the case may not be to everyone’s tastes but it’s par for the course for a HAF case. So too are the large mesh sections that make up the rest of the fascia and allow air to flow freely into the case. It’s not exactly chic but nobody who saw the case thought it was ugly either.
Click to enlarge.
The usual gaggle of front panel connections are located just above the mesh section of the fascia with two USB 2, one e-SATA and microphone and headphone jacks on show. The bottom of the fascia meanwhile plays host to a hefty 200mm intake fan which glows a menacing red when turned on. We liked the effect and are glad to see a company using LEDs in a colour other than blue.
The inside of the case is painted in the same hard-wearing black paint as the exterior which made our test components stand out. Though the interior of the HAF 912 Plus isn’t exactly spacious, given the dinky portion of the case itself, it was large enough for us to assemble our PC with only a little more hassle than usual.
The only concession to the relatively compact size of the case was the amount of space behind the motherboard tray; maybe we’ve been spoiled by assembling systems in huge cases such as the BitFenix Colossus and the Antec Dark Fleet but we found it more challenging than usual to tidy all the PSU cables behind the motherboard tray. You’re always going to have to make compromises in a smaller case but even an extra half centimetre of space behind the motherboard tray would make things a lot less complicated.
Click to enlarge.
There’s a healthy six internal 3.5in drive bays and four external 5.25in bays, one of which can be converted to an external 3.5in bay. On top of this Cooler Master also fits the HAF 912 Plus with a dinky 2.5in caddy that’s capable of holding two SSDs. This is located in the floor of the case between the internal 3.5in bays and where the PSU sits – this isn’t a great position as it can interfere with the cables coming out of your PSU. The caddy is removable though, so if this is a problem it’s an easy one to fix as long as you can find somewhere else to mount your SSD. The 2.5in caddy also has pre-drilled holes for mounting a Laing pump if you wanted to be ambitious and attempt to water-cool a system housed in the HAF 912 Plus.
The top internal 3.5in hard disk caddy is removable and can be attached with the drives either perpendicular or in parallel with the case. The latter is preferable for cooling, but data hoarders will find that hard disks will clash with long graphics cards.
The case ships with two fans, one 200mm intake fan and one 120mm rear exhaust fan. There are extra mounts provided if you need more cooling oomph though, with a 120mm mount in the side panel and a large grilled section in the roof that can accommodate one or two 120mm fans or a single jumbo 200mm fan. There are also mounts in the roof for a dual 120mm radiator but if you want to fit one of these it’ll have to be an external one as there isn’t enough internal clearance between the motherboard and the mounts to fit a radiator and fan assembly.
Dimensions (mm) 230 x 480 x 496 (W x D x H)
Material Steel, plastic
Front Panel Power and reset switches, 2 x USB, stereo, mic, eSATA
Drive Bays 6 x internal 5.25in drive bays, 4 x internal 3.5in drive bays.
Form factor(s) ATX, micro-ATX,
Cooling 200mm front fan mount (fan supplied), 120mm rear fan mount (fan supplied), 200mm/2 x 120mm roof fan mount (fan not included), 120 side fan mount (fan not included)
CPU cooler clearance 175mm
Graphics card dimensions supported 280mm with drive caddy, 410mm without