As I need to wait on the motherboard, not much will happen for a while on this build. Need to get DreamCatcher figured out so I can get some of the mess out of the floor…….besides it is inheriting Kermit’s MSI 785GX-E65.
I’ll toss out these pix and give you a little “initial thought” first of the case and then modify those as necessary as things go together!! Starting with “the arrival”
and then go through the customary Case shots first…….oh yeah and by the way got lazy and didn’t edit my toes out of the pix either!
First off these initial thoughts are going to make me sound like a Zalman fanboy (I am) and part of their PR folder…………however that is how it stands until I get a chance to really get into things! And yes as typical of my logs, this one will be long winded with lots of pictures.
You have the “arrival” of the packages after being brought down into the office and then un-boxing the less obvious items. So for now we have the case, a fan controller, the HSF, and a memory cooler. The GPU cooler arrived earlier and can be seen in more detail in a “user review” that I putting together. After that the 285 will join the pile.
Please realize (other than making changes to Oz1a) I’ve only been building mATX systems for over 8 years.
Part of the deciding on this case is the fact that while a full size case it isn’t too tall to sit on top of my desk as opposed to under it. However with the location of the front ports on top, I’ll have to mod my reach a little!
Component cooling has always been an issue with mATX so all the fans that come with this case is cool….literally. The Z7 Plus come with provision to mount three 120mm OR 140mm fans and 1 120mm on the rear. Matter of fact Zalman provides 1 120mm LED in the front (mounted to the HDD drive cage), the 120 for the rear, one mounted on the door, and had one in a box inside. That one would be the second one on the door. Also all intake areas come with filters to help keep dust bunnies and their relatives out. Having the bay covers basically vents with removable filters adds to the air flow. Believe most give Antec the credit for coming up with this idea.
There are two versions of this case and the only difference I can find between the “plain” Z7 and the Plus is the Plus gets a neat fan cover on the door that comes with a speed control. For me it would have been better to have gotten just the Z7 as there is a window in the works that will remove that part.
On the inside, for me, I love all the room as shown by the interior view with a mATX mobo. Zalman’s “tool-less” system seems fairly simple and functional, the only exception is while the hard drives are mounted tool-less it requires one to remove four screws for the cage to be taken out. I need to work up some pix to show that later.
Finally where you see the plastic covering is the Zalman logo that lights up blue when powered up. Also in closing it looks like assistant #2 approves as he decided to bed down on the left panel.