Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 High End Gaming Case - HotHardware

Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 High End Gaming Case

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Closer Look: External
What Does a High End Gaming Enclosure Look Like?

Soon after taking the GT1000 out of its box, we could tell that the case looked as good as the pictures on the box and on Zalman's web site. Immediately, you can tell that Zalman took a different approach with the GT1000's design. While most cases feature one-piece, removable panels on each side of the case, the GT1000 sports two-piece panels that remind us of hinged doors. The right panel doors are secured by screws that have hexagonal sockets in the heads (hence the inclusion of the Allen wrench, or hex key). The left panel doors are secured by thumbscrews, and the bigger side features a window. Each side of the case is also adorned with a couple Zalman logos and an arrow with "Open" written inside of it.
 

      


Each part of each side is held on by two screws that are at the top and bottom of the sides. We appreciate Zalman's choice of thumbscrews for the left side. They make it very easy and convenient to get into the case. After removing the screws, each part of the panel can be swung open, but the panels aren't designed to be removed.
 

      


When we turn the GT1000 to look at its front, you can see its four external 5.25" bays and one external 3.5" bay. One of the 5.25" bay covers sports a Z-Machine logo. Beneath the external bays, you will notice the power button, power LED, hard drive activity LEDs, reset button, microphone jack, headphone jack, two USB ports, and a IEEE1394 (FireWire) port. Finally, at the bottom of the case's front, you can see the grill in front of the two 92mm fans.
 

      


Once we turn the case around to check out the back, it looks fairly typical. At the top, you see the empty area where the PSU goes, and beneath that, there is the empty rear I/O panel, a 120mm fan with a metal fan grill, and the expansion card slots. Interestingly, Zalman even included some logos back here. That's not all, though. There's even a warning below the fan to be cautious of ESD (electrostatic discharge) when handling expansion cards.
 

      


Overall, we think the outside of the case looks great. We like the simple, clean style of the brushed aluminum. We have to move beyond the surface, though, to see if we have a good case on our hands. A case that looks great but isn't very functional won't appeal to users, so let's open the GT1000 up to check if the internal design matches the great looks of the outside.

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after going through it, i think the bottom hard drive option is the best i've seen, i never completely fill the bottom hard drive section simply for air flow and cooling reasons, i would run 5 drives, in raid 5 with parity, 3 in the stack and 2 on bottom, it's an awesome feature

price, not so much

but i can't tell you how much i love no system speaker, finally no 1983 style beeping, i got rid of my modem a long time ago, it's time to get rid of this ancient thing also, led post code readings are the future, and i think replace system speaker needs.

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That's a good point about the bottom drives and cooling. I'll have to keep that in mind as I build my system in that case. :)

You also make a good point about the speaker, but not every mobo has LEDs on it for POST code readings. So what do you do for them?

Regaring price, yeah, it's definitely hard to swallow.

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So many reviews of this case and most including this one overlook a most glaring fault. This is a case that aspires to be a premium gamer's chassis and the folks at hothardware have evaluated it on the basis of ". . . various areas of design, including cooling, tool-less installation, and style". Too bad long term functionality is not as heavily weighted.

To be fair, the reviewers at hothardware are not alone. Look anywhere and you will find the seemingly willful neglect to identify this design fault.

What am I talking about? Dust control. Simple air filters. For quite some time design considerations centered on a cases's "light show" characteristics have trumped the need for this protective measure. Where air enters a case a filter is required. Ignoring this leads to early component failure and if you think opening the case once a year for a thorough swiffering is a good back up plan, forget it. Damage is done. By that time dust has entered your optical drives and affected servos and optics. It has reduced the effiency of your expensive CPU and GPU coolers and increased heat has prematurely aged the components you're trying to protect.

All case designers know this and so should the good folks at hothardware etal. Use air filters. Keep them clean and replace them when necessary.

Any case that does not have air filters on their intakes cannot be recommended. Period.

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