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Written by Nate Swetland - Edited by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Computer Case
Closer Look: Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: Interior
Detailed Interior Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Zalman Z9 Plus Computer Case Review

Zalman Tech, Co. is a well known company in the enthusiast PC market. They are most widely known for their performance cooling products, but they have a large assortment of Tower, Mid-Tower, and HTPC style computer chassis. The Z9 Plus is one of Zalman's latest offerings in the Mid-ATX computer chassis market, and it is designed to look good, perform well, and be reasonably priced. Benchmark Reviews is pleased to have one of the first looks at this new chassis.

Being a veteran company, Zalman is no stranger to what PC enthusiasts want in a product. The Z9 Plus computer case aims to please with attractive features at an attractive price. Zalman has included such features as a 2 channel fan controller and temperature display built into the 4 USB front I/O panel. The Z9 Plus supports up to 7 system fans, as well as up to 290mm video cards for your convenience. Will this newest Mid-Tower ATX Case, the Z9 Plus live up to the Zalman name of performance and quality?


Cases are very cosmetically orientated items, but they also must perform and function to certain standards before they can be considered worth purchasing. Items reviewed by Benchmark Reviews are rated on the following categories: Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality, and Value. While some of these categories can tend to be a bit more subjective than others, Benchmark Reviews strives to provide the most professional and unbiased review as possible.

Manufacturer: Zalman Tech, Co.
Product Name: Z9 Plus ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Price As Tested: $69.99 at Amazon and Newegg

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Zalman.

Zalman Z9 Plus Features

  • Front Mesh Cover for High Cooling Performance
  • Supports up to 7 System Fans
  • Supports Bottom PSU Installation and Aperture for Cable Management
  • Black Interior Coating
  • Tool Free HDD Installation with Anti-Vibration Rubber
  • Spacious Interior for Installing 290mm Card
  • Front I/O module for Easy Component Change
  • 2-Channel Fan Controller and Temperature Display
  • Side Acryl Tuning
  • Supports 4 USB 2.0
  • Supports Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Separate Apertures for Convenient CPU Cooler Installation
  • 3IN1 Adapter Tray Provided
  • Tube Apertures for Liquid Cooling Systems

Z9 Plus Specifications

Atx Mid Tower
Dimensions (WxHxD)
207 x 464 x 504mm (8.1 x 18.2 x 19.8")
Main Unit: 7.2kg (18. lb)
Materials Plastic, Steel
Compatible Motherboards
Standard ATX / m-ATX
Compatible PSUs
Standard ATX / ATX12V
PCI/AGP Compatibility
Full Size (290mm)
Expansion Slots
Drive Bays

(3) External 5.25"
(5) Internal 3.5"
(1) External 3.5"
(1) Internal 2.5"

Cooling Component
( ) Denotes Included

Front 120 mm or 140mm Fan x1
(120mm Blue LED Fan x1)

120mm or 140mm Fan x2
(120mm Blue LED Fan x1)

Bottom 120mm or 140mm Fan x2 (Optional)
Rear (L)
120mm Fan x1
Side 120mm Fan x2 (120mm Blue LED x1)
Front Panel I/O Port mic x1 / headphone x1 / USB 2.0 x4 /
Fan Controller / Temperature Display



# RE: Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Computer CaseDougq 2011-01-20 22:51
Meh. Decent low budget case I guess. It's pretty functional, and I think you're review was clean and well ordered.

I'm still not seeing any innovative ideas in case making, save the side mount drives, putting their rear ends back where the connectors are, which is good.

I also don't like the cheap look of stamped metal and injection molded plastic, but hey, it's what everyone does.

I can see why you think the case is decent looking, but for me, it might win one of the fugliest cases ever award. But I'm really nit picky when it comes to cases.

As stated before, I have a CcolerMaster Stacker 830 SE black brushed full aluminum case, and it's build quality and thick aluminum is second to none, along with its beautiful design. It's an old case and still puts to shame many of the newer ones in form and functionality. You can still by these iconic cases, but their prices haven't gone down in 5 years. They will set you back almost 300US dollars.

Here is the case in bare brushed aluminum:

Now THAT is a handsome case!
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# RE: RE: Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Computer CaseNate Swetland 2011-01-21 08:38
@Dougg - Thanks for the comments. I actually own the original CM Stacker case, now known as the Stacker 810 ATX. That may be one of the best looking cases I have ever owned, but both the 810 and the 830 are/were near twice the price of the Z9 Plus, so they can't really be compared in the same way. Stamped metal and plastic tends to cost significantly less to use than brushed aluminum, which is reflected in the cost. I do not disagree with your taste in the Stacker cases, they are very sharp.

As far as it looking good or bad, I think we can agree that is very much a subjective category. If you don't like a particular color or material, and the case is made out of it, you will think it does not look good, but another person will praise it up and down. It is just the way it works.

Again, thanks for your comments!
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# RE: RE: RE: Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Computer CaseDoug 2011-01-21 13:47
Nate agreed on the subjective nature of looks for sure. Function comes first, as I can live with subjectively ugly, but not with objectively functionless. The price difference is also a fair evaluation. If you have noticed, CM no longer carries the 830 Stacker series. I guess it was too expensive to be too profitable.
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# RE: Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Computer CaseRobrt17 2011-01-21 06:06
It's nice to see certain design trends filtering down from the higher end cases to the mid-range such as wire management, dust filters, fan controllers, tooless mounting, and water cooling ducts. All this, and the cases are still affordable which will allow many more enthusiasts to enjoy these benefits. In my mind it will help create more enthusiasts rather than frustrated or price-shocked builders.

Thanks Nate. Good review.
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# RE: RE: Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Computer CaseNate Swetland 2011-01-21 08:40
@Robert - Thanks for the comments. I agree with you. I think it is nice that companies are now taking some of the trends and features typically reserved for the high-end and high-priced chassis and putting them into their mid-market cases. Just because consumers may not want a case that will cost them an arm and a leg, they still want one with decent features.
I hope more and more companies continue these trends. Having the same features as the high-end cases will require more innovation just to keep the cases in the high-end categories and justify the costs.

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# Nice reviewEd Hume 2011-01-21 18:47
First of all, thanks for measuring the distance between the mb tray and the right side panel.

This case has some nice features, especially for this price point. I liked the two 140mm fans on top. That means your can block off the rear position and set up the forward position as an intake to feed your cpu cooler fresh air.

I liked the bottom 140mm intake - with filter.

The HD cage seems to be made with mesh, so there is better airflow past the HD's.

Finally, if you put your ODD up top, you will have three 5.25 slots available for a 120mm intake fan., which can also feed fresh air to the heatsink.

Lots of opportunities in this inexpensive case.
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# RE: Nice reviewNate Swetland 2011-01-24 09:47
Thanks for the comments.
The bottom intake fan is a nice option. But, depending on your PSU, it may be a pretty tight fit with all the wires down there. I still don't understand why they put a fan filter there, but not one for the PSU intake.

Adding a 120mm fan in the 5.25" slots would indeed be a great way to push fresh air from the front all the way across the heatsink and out the back, or straight out the top depending on your heatsink and fan position.
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