Cooler Master HAF 700 Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 – Physical Look – Outside

Like many enthusiast cases on the market today, the Cooler Master HAF 700 I am reviewing today has a tempered glass side panel. The thing is, it is not an ordinary tempered glass side panel as we commonly see in the market. To be more specific, the majority of tempered glass side panel I have seen are essentially a flat piece of rectangular tempered glass panel attached to some mounting mechanism. While in this case, the glass section of the side panel has a unique hexagon shape, while the rest of the side panel is made out of steel. The combination of steel and glass makes the tempered glass side panel rich in style. It is worth mentioning the upper side of the tempered glass side panel has a glossy black trim piece to give a curved impression of the tempered glass. There is also a sticker on the tempered side panel to inform that the top panel has to be removed first before removing side panels. The other side panel is made out of steel with a matte black finish. It is less likely to show any fingerprints on the steel side panel, but you probably will not see this side as often. For increased airflow, the HAF 700's steel side panel has two ventilation grilles. The one towards the rear of the chassis is for PSU cooling, as this case has the PSU air intake coming from the side of the case. The ventilation grilles have a parallelogram design to make it more visually interesting. To keep this stylish tempered side glass clean, it is a good idea to have some cleaning cloth around, so you can confidently show off your computer to your friends.

Moving to the front of the case, you can see the base of the front panel is made out of plastic. It features a rugged looking exterior. The exoskeleton styled structure on the front panel not only looks cool, it can provide good protection to the mesh. Of course, this design is very gamer-focused, and some may prefer a simpler design. Even so, it is targeted towards a certain audience. To allow for high airflow, the majority of the front panel is mesh. As you can see from the above photo, two giant fans are installed behind the front panel mesh. There is no doubt about the airflow of this case. We will take a closer look of those fans later in this review. The whole front panel is held on by eight ball-and-socket joints, which can be removed with a quick tug. As expected of a case in 2023, there is no opening for an internal 5.25" drive.

The dimensions of the Cooler Master HAF 700 are 291mm in width, 626mm in height, and 666mm in depth, measured with protrusions. This is quite a large footprint for a computer case. I have not seen a full-tower this wide for a long time. It really gives me the feeling that cable management will be easy thanks to the overall width. In fact, the specification tells us the room for cable routing is 90mm to 101mm deep, which is more than enough to hide cables from anything you can possibly find in the market. I think it will be easy to mount large radiators for cooling at any sides in the case thanks its large size. As for the weight, it is approximately 20 kg or 44 lbs, which is some serious heft. It is definitely not meant to be moved around frequently, unless your intention is to exercise your muscles. Those looking for a smaller or lighter case should look elsewhere.

In the above picture, you can see the top panel has a similar design as the rest of the case as the steel panel is bent slightly downward in the front. The mesh for ventilation also narrows down toward the front of case. The mesh here is grooved to prevent indentation and is firmly attached to the top panel. For cleaning, the top panel has to be removed to give access to both sides. Another thing worth mentioning is how the tempered glass side panel is attached to the rest of the case. The gap between the panels is really small and there are no sharp edges. I can tell that Cooler Master did a really good job designing the smooth angled transition between the top panel and side panels. To remove the side panels, users need to remove the top panel first. This is a bit inconvenient, especially if you need to make minor changes. However, this procedure does not need to use any tools either. There is one captive thumbscrew that holds the top panel in place. Once the top panel is removed, both side panels slide off. Essentially, for this case, the top panel and both side panels are locked by one thumbscrew, which brings tool-free installation to a whole other level.

The front I/O ports and switches are located on both left and right sides of the front panel. On the left side, there are two buttons, one large and one small, one microphone jack, and one audio jack. The larger button is the power switch, while the smaller one is your reset button. For most of us, we have both laptops and desktops, and laptops are commonly equipped with a single 3.5mm audio/microphone jack only. When we buy a headset, we definitely want something that can be used on both laptops and desktops, so it will be inconvenient if we have to deal with the situation where the laptop has a single jack while the desktop has a dual jack. One the other hand, some gaming headsets come with a separate headphone and microphone plug, so it could be convenient to some with gaming headsets. Nonetheless, not matter what situation you are in, there is no issue a Y-split cable cannot solve. To the left side of the buttons, there is a "HAF" logo printed on the edge to remind you that this case is a HAF series product from Cooler Master. Move to the right side, for the front I/O ports, we get four USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A and one USB Type-C port.

The back of the Cooler Master HAF 700, like the rest of the case, has an emphasis on airflow and cooling. There are four major sections at the back; namely, the power supply mounting area, motherboard I/O backplate, rear exhaust, and expansion card slots. There are also two large area of ventilation grille for airflow. According to the shape of the power supply mounting hole, the power supply is vertically mounted at the bottom left section of the chassis, as viewed from the photo's angle. The PSU mounting place is a bit different from other tower cases in the market. Normally, the PSU is mounted below the motherboard, as in this case, the PSU is mounted behind the motherboard. The result is the HAF 700 is wider than most. Since the power supply has already taken this bottom left position, the I/O backplate opening is located at the right side of the PSU. There are eight conventional expansion slots available on the HAF 700, which means it can easily support as many expansion cards as you need. There is also a vertical expansion card slot to show off your video card. For HAF 700, if you want to actually use this vertical GPU mounting feature, you will need to purchase the mount and extension cable separately, which is surprising given a case of this price and caliber. For the rear exhaust, there are two Cooler Master SickleFlow 120mm fans included from the manufacturer.

There are two giant plastic stands on the bottom of the case to support the Cooler Master HAF 700, rising the case up about 40mm on top of the resting surface for better ventilation. The two stands are near the two sides of the bottom, so there is no doubt about the stability of the case, especially considering how wide this case is. Meanwhile, there are four rubber strips attached to further enhance the grip of the stands. It is nice to have some rubber feet that can offer some kind of protection to your floor or table surface. You can also see from the above photo a washable filter is on top of the bottom grille of the chassis. The filter is reinforced by a hard plastic frame, so there is no need to worry about the rigidity of the filter. Note the power supply of this case is not horizontally bottom-mounted, therefore the ventilation area behind the filter is actually designed for the bottom-mounted cooling options like fans or radiators.

Overall, the Cooler Master HAF 700 is an intense looking computer case made out of metal, plastic, and tempered glass. The gaps between panels are small and even, which shows a high level of assembly quality. The tempered glass also exhibits quality attributes in terms of distortion, or lack thereof.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion