|Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 Black Mid-Tower Gaming Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 06 September 2007|
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Detailed Exterior Features
Aside from the thick flat plates which make up the Zalman Z-Machine GT1000, this black high-end gaming chassis offers very little design imagination with the only exception being the front of the mid-tower ATX case. I really like the twin fan intake, and it seems to be fitting for the overall design. I know that shaping and forming 5mm alloy aluminum is very far from easy, but it would be nice to see something more done with the machining of the front.
The Zalman GT1000 features a special controller to manage noise and system cooling. The ZM-MC1 is provided with the GT1000, which allows the control of fan RPM according to the ambient environment (temperature, humidity, solar flares, etc). This ultimately means the user (a very fortunate user) can manually control the fan RPM, and therefore control the levels of noise and internal system cooling performance.
On the service entry side of the Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 Black High-End Gaming Mid-Tower ATX Case, there is a transparent window. Zalman has included this feature on the side door (panels remove, doors have hinges) to boost the aesthetics as well as to allow the user to be able to view the fireworks coming from the components installed inside the system.
This is a feature especially intended for those users which are fanatics about their system tuning. Additionally, various LEDs can be used inside to create a unique look inside the system according to your special preferences.
I am not a huge fan of LED's on my internal components (video card, CPU cooler, etc), and find them to often be a distraction while playing video games with my infinite amount of spare time (it's the LED's, not my lack of l33t gaming skillz), so the Pink Floyd laser light show tours elsewhere.
Convenient front Input/Output (I/O) Ports include sockets for speakers or headphones, a microphone (since headsets are practically required equipment for gaming), 2 USB 2.0 device ports, and a IEEE-1394 (Firewire-B) device for convenient system access. Because Zalman includes the wiring connections to accommodate Azalia and AC'97 specifications, the audio sockets support HD Audio.
All connecting bolts and the expansion card holder on the Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 are plated or colored to provide an elegant image as well as to provide semi-permanent corrosion prevention - even though aluminum alloy will not rust.
I think manufacturers are in a holding pattern trying to decide on the next big plan to introduce improvements for chassis feet. I'm very thankful the industry has evolved away from push-in plastic feet, which were as slick on top of a desk or table as some gaming mice are on special mouse pads. Zalman's Z-Machine offers a "home-theater" finish to each of the four feet located at the corners of the GT1000, but only a small center square of rubber makes the contact to the surface.
This would be a good time to introduce my own idea, although more functional than fashionable. If manufacturers really wanted to get high-tech with the isolation of vibration, they would do what audiophiles have done with their highest-end equipment: use the sharp cone and plate technique. Instead of an ugly looking round foot, which everyone has done, use a brass/bronze/aluminum alloy or other hard metal with some flash appeal to extend from the bottom about an inch like the tip of a pencil. These "sharp" cones would then rest in the center pit of a small (usually circular) piece of similar metal which has a soft silicon rubber (or foam rubber) underside. That's high-end, and it would certainly do the best job possible.