|Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 Black Mid-Tower Gaming Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 06 September 2007|
Page 6 of 6
Final Thoughts: Zalman GT1000
Zalman certainly invested tremendous resources into the Z-Machine GT1000. There are a lot, nay, too many, black mid-tower ATX cases flooding the market every year. For once, the market can bear the weight of just one more, a High-End Gaming enclosure which offers the most durable finish known to the industry, and several convenience and performance features to keep any enthusiast happy. Unfortunately, happiness has a price, and that price is just under $400.
I suppose that if you are the gamer with a budget for a set of GeForce 8800 Ultra's in SLi, then perhaps your budget would allow for a premium enclosure of this caliber as well. I will confess that I have not found the level of detail present in the Zalman GT1000 anywhere else, ever before. I thought the machine work and construction in the NZXT Adamas Aluminum Mid-Tower ATX Case would never be rivaled, and I have just been proven wrong. The Z-Machine is every part a machine, as well as an engineering marvel.
Looking back at the glossy retail package the Z-Machine was boxed in, I have to think that Zalman could have gone a little overboard with the packaging as they did with the case. They did double box the Z-Machine (SKU 40GT0100), but the GT1000 is supposed to be "the very best of the best", so I don't think that using the same exact box as nearly every other manufacturer really pushes this point home. Actually, it might make a buyer question what is so different about this case compared to the other nice cases displayed on equally glossy finishes.
Appearance had its overall strong-points, but the GT1000 is not fashion heavy. Zalman did offer some very passive design features such as Allen head screws and beveled edges, and they added in a few LED fans to help color things up a bit. In the end, this black High-End Gaming mid-tower ATX case offered conservative looks with a prestige built from elegance.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is construction, which is really the highpoint of the entire Z-Machine. Corrosion-protected fasteners, perfectly engineered panels, and high-strength panels all come together and form one very solid GT1000. Zalman is proud of their work, and they should be, because this is another case which will easily outlive all the rest of us.
The functionality had many scalable features, but was not without its limits. Plenty of working room inside, especially after opening the service door "panels". Extremely easy drive and component installation thanks to the tool free design. But the Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 defers the liquid-cooling crowd to a different product in the Zalman product line: the Reserator.
At the time of this writing, which is not long after the product release, the Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 Black High-End Gaming Mid-Tower ATX Case is being sold at NewEgg.com for $399.99. This is the most expensive case Benchmark Reviews has ever seen, without question; but that should be held in the same context that the Lamborghini is the most expensive car I have ever driven. The GT1000 may not offer value, but for everything it lacks in this category it makes up for everywhere else - and then some.
In conclusion, I wouldn't expect each and every reader out there to see the same justification in the GT1000 that I do. This is the case because of two simple reasons: I have one and can clearly see the advantages, yet it costs too much for most shoppers. For those of you that can afford the finest quality products available to gamers and hardware enthusiasts, the Zalman Z-Machine is the premium chassis made just for you. The GT1000 is clearly at the very top of the hill, but the price tag has kept an otherwise extraordinary product from receiving the praise from the masses it deserves. Zalman just missed our Golden Tachometer Award, purely based on a low value score, but this case proved elite in every other regard. Expect a follow up when the price makes this product more obtainable.
+ Extremely Expandable
- Very expensive
Final Score: 8.9 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.