|Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Computer Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Nate Swetland - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 20 January 2011|
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Closer Look: Interior
As with most things in life, you cannot judge a book simply by its cover. The way a case looks may be one of the most important external features about it, but the interior of the case needs to be able to properly house all of your components. In the next sections we will look at the inside and then fill the Z9 Plus with components to see whether this case is as nice on the inside as it is on the outside.
This is an image of the Z9 Plus empty. You can see the elegant black paint fully covers the interior of the chassis. Some of the major features of the interior include tool free hard drive installation, and an internal SSD mount. We will take a look at these features and several others.
This is an image of the opposite side of the case, underneath the motherboard. The wiring is what is included with the case for the fans, fan controller, USB ports, and everything else for the I/O panel. There are two pass-through 4 pin molex plugs, two 3 pin fan power plugs, two USB headers, a AC97/HD Audio header, and the plugs for power/reset/LED. By design, this is where you would run all of your cabling so that you don't have it cluttering up the interior of your case reducing the airflow, and making it look bad. Measuring the distance between the back of the motherboard tray and the exterior wall of the case gives you roughly 1/2" of room to tuck your cables in, which should be plenty for most all of your cables. There are plenty of open spaces to run your cables through and tie-off points for zip-ties and twist-ties to allow for proper cable management. Also shown in this photo is the large open space behind the motherboard to allow access to your CPU cooler. This can allow you to work on whatever cooling system you have installed without having to remove the whole motherboard just to remove a couple nuts from the backplate.
Still looking behind the motherboard tray, this is a close-up of the SSD mount. The drive would obviously mount on the opposite side of the motherboard. Mounting a drive here would allow you to keep it separate from your other hot hard drives, or even completely hide it if you have no other hard drives. One downfall is that there is not a lot of airflow through this section of the case, so heat may be an issue. It is still nice to see a clever use of a space that typically has nothing there.
Shown here is the place where your power supply goes. The power supply can be mounted in either orientation to accommodate those with different fan configurations. There are vents underneath the PSU to allow airflow from underneath, but I am a little disappointed that they chose to not put a dust cover over these vents, but the fan mount right next to it has a cover. The rubber stand-offs help reduce vibration and sound from your PSU.
Shown here is the adapter for using a 3.5" drive such as a floppy, memory card reader, or any other 3.5" device in your 5.25" bay. This comes pre-installed in the bottom 5.25" bay, but is easy enough to move around.