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Zalman Z-Machines GT 1000 Case

Manufacturer: Zalman USA
Supplied by: Zalman USA
Street Price: $379

by Dean Barker (8/25/2007)

Introduction

In a world of compromises and balanced choices, Zalman has released a no holds barred computer chassis.  With four and five millimeter thick aluminum walled construction and craftsmanship to rival anything out of Lian Li, Zalman is looking to establish itself as a serious player in specialty enthusiast case market.  Their first attempt in this arena was with the Zalman Fatal1ty edition case.  Not having reviewed one of these units myself, I had read that while nice it was lacking in some areas.  Zalman has reworked this case to adjust areas that didn't work well and polish areas that did.  The case that was left in the end has been styled the Zalman Z-Machines GT 1000 Case.  Today, the staff at Zalman have sent a sample over for a long and lasting look at what Zalman obviously feels is the best case money can buy.  Priced at just under $400, let's see if they are right as the bar is set pretty high.

Specifications:

  • Observed Dimensions: 480 x 222 x 467mm

  • Observed Weight: 11.4 kg

  • Construction: Aluminum

  • Drive Bays: Four exposed 5.25" bays, one exposed 3.5", six internal 3.5" bays

  • Cooling: Two 92mm LED front intake fans, Rear 120mm LED exhaust fan

  • Top Mounted Ports: USB 2.0 x 2, Firewire, Line out, Mic

  • Available Colors: Black/Red LED fans, Titanium/Blue LED fans

  • Expansion slots: Seven

  • Motherboard Type: ATX, Micro ATX

  • Window: Yes

Now this is some box!

The Zalman GT 1000 Case is offered in two color schemes.  The first is a titanium anodized aluminum with blue LED case fans while the second, seen here today, is a black anodized aluminum with red LED case fans.  At the first glance of the Zalman GT 1000 the word "solid" pops into your mind.  All the walls of the GT 1000 are four or five millimeter thick panels.  When you look at the case, particularly the edges, you can see just how thick the aluminum walls are giving you an impression of strength and durability.  Now all that aluminum comes at the price of a case weight of 25 pounds (11.4 kg).  Not that 25 pounds is extremely heavy but for a $400 case, I would like to have seen some case handles here as anyone buying this level of case is likely going to want to show it off at a LAN every once in a while.

The front bezel offers some bold no-nonsense styling that should please most any user.  The four 5.25" and single 3.5" external bays give realistic expansion room without adding to the GT 1000's height.  The topmost bay is does not come with a cover which is something you don't see very often but when was the last time you saw a rig without at least one optical drive?

Across the middle of the front bezel are the power/indicator lamps as well as the access ports.  There are two hard drive activity lamps here in addition to the expected speaker and mic ports, twin USB 2.0 ports and Firewire port.  Below there is a very clean oval cut area revealing two 92mm intake fans.  A screen is mounted over these to act as a very aesthetically pleasing finger guard.  Unfortunately, the screen isn't tight enough to act as a dust filter.

  


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