|AZZA Solano 1000R Full-Tower Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Wednesday, 03 February 2010|
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AZZA Solano Final Thoughts
The AZZA Solano case fans are quiet but not silent, I currently have eight fans installed inside this case; the five already mentioned in this review, plus two 120mm fans on my VGA cooler and one 120mm fan on my CPU cooler. I could go now and reach into my spare part bin and pull out one Antec 120mm high airflow fan that would produce more noise than all of these combined. The temperatures below are idle temps with all fans running 100% speed.
The AZZA Solano is very spacious and it was an absolute pleasure to work with, the only real issue was with the side panel fan conflicting with my CPU cooler, which was rectified by rotating the CPU cooler 90 degrees. The side panels slide on and off seamlessly which makes a big difference when you are in and out of your case as much as I am. The lack of tool free solutions wasn't a problem to me as I prefer to work with thumb screws anyway, they are a simple solution that has worked very well for years.
This is a chassis designed for enthusiasts without a doubt, It has a nice looking side window to show of your hardware, and a great combination of fans that also double to illuminate the interior. It has the most awesome red paint job that I have seen on the inside of a chassis, which is perfectly offset by the black exterior. You have support for water cooling and you have the all important bottom mounted PSU and cable management cut out's. I don't know if there is anything else you could really need from a chassis that the Solano 1000R doesn't provide, apart from 2.5" SSD support obviously and possibly some filters for the fans to stop all the dust getting in.
Performance is a difficult area to test when reviewing PC cases as they need something to be compared to. I am lucky enough to have owned several different aftermarket cases so I know the difference between the norm and something special. The Solano is something special as it managed to reduce my temps by a few degrees, this is made possible by the five fans that come pre-installed with the case. The motherboard tray cut out's for cable routing can also share the credit here as they keep the cables hidden and allow the airflow to flow freely throughout the case. The lower temps mean you get more overclocking headroom.
The construction of the AZZA Solano 1000R is very good, the chassis is made from Japanese steel which makes it solid and sturdy while at the same time not too heavy, although when all your hardware is installed you definitely notice the weight. Don't expect this beast to fall over though as it has some of the biggest feet I've ever seen on a case. Sharp edges on aftermarket cases are thankfully a thing of the past now with modern PC chassis designs, and the Solano 1000R is no exception.
Appearance ratings are very particular to our own particular taste. I am definitely blown away by the red interior, which I just cant stop staring at, and it is made more obvious by the black exterior. I have noticed a hairline gap where the side panel and front face meet (or should meet), which is made more visible thanks to the red interior paint job. Thankfully enough though, my attention is drawn elsewhere by the illuminated interior provided by those two massive 230mm fans. The two front 140mm fans are also visible through the front panel drive bays thanks to their red LED's which is overall a very nice effect that is much more visible in the dark than in daylight.
Functionality isn't the strongest point of the Solano 1000R. The fact that you need to completely take your case apart just to install a new hard drive is a big downside, add to that the fact that 2.5" SSD's are not catered for. There is potential support for water cooling, but there isn't dedicated installation space with dedicated mounting points for radiators and such. There is however support for big graphics cards and motherboards, and the cable management cut outs on the motherboard tray are a big plus.
Is this case value for money? That depends how you look at it. Are you after something that just looks good (like the level 10 for instance) or do you value performance and functionality over looks? Thankfully the model CSAZ-1000R case provides us with looks, performance and functionality all at the same time. The AZZA Solano 1000R is available for $129.99 ($99.99 after $30 mail-in rebate) at NewEgg or other online retailers. When all is considered I believe the Solano 1000R is definitely value for money before, and even more so after rebate.
The AZZA Solano has a few downsides that are by far out weighed by the positives. There isn't really anything that I would change about this case, it's not perfect but it comes pretty close. Maybe AZZA could have made it from aluminium but that would have almost certainly doubled the price.
+ Big airflow and superior cooling provided by five fans
- No 2.5" drive support
Final Score: 9.1 out of 10.
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