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Hardware Installation And Overclocking

System Builder Marathon, June 2011: Alternative $2000 PC

The HAF X by Cooler Master includes the rare internal-header USB 3.0 interface. That means we aren’t forced to loop a cable around the back of the case or create our own workaround to achieve the full functionality of this case.

Cooler Master gives builders the option of putting 2.5” drives in the HAF X front-loading two-drive backplane or mounting one internally via an included adapter. We didn’t feel like wiring up the backplane, so we used the two 3.5” bay adapters included with the A-Data SSD drives.

Remaining components installed in the same manner as outlined in our original build, which borrows heavily from the methods of our our How To guide.

Note that two of the HAF X’s major features are missing in today’s build: the card holder bracket and graphics card duct. Both features are designed for dual cards using two-slot spacing, while our motherboard instead uses three-slot spacing to improve cooling without necessitating those devices. Another feature, the power supply cable cover, hides the left-over cable bundle from our non-modular power supply.

We were not able to improve the overclock of our CPU whatsoever, and our graphics cards were already pushed to the maximum frequencies allowed by software. Program performance is thus identical between the original build and this new alternative, and we’re instead forced to focus on heat and noise alone.

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