|Submited By: Ralf B. Caliebe on 12/29/2009|
I purchased the case because I was building a high end system i.e. Intel i7 processor, 12gig of ram, Gigabyte extreme system board, and 5 tb total disk space. My concern was the amount of wiring that could hide the system board and make some components hard to access, as well as proper cooling.
The case arrived in good order, and there was no damage anywhere. I like the finish, but it doeas leave fingerptints whenever touched. Best keep a microfiber cloth handy when working on the case.
The wiring management is very good and allowed me to keep almost all wiring away from the system board. It was easy to setup the hard drives with the hot swappable backboard. The only problem I saw is the way Zalman chose to have only 3 drives to be hot swapped per board unless you purchased a second board for a total of 6 drives.
I did and when installed gave me the ability to have 6 hard drives available for hot swap. I choose a RAID 10 with 4 1tb disks, and a RAID 1 mirror with 2 500gig drives. I liked everything about the case and with SATA drives it looks clean and the wiring is out of the way.
Biggest problem I had was keeping the inside of the case cool with all that hardware. The case comes with 1 Fan at the top pulling air out and and 1 fan in the back also pulling air out. The built in fans do not have a very high rpm ability. It also has 1 fan in each of the front drop down doors where you access the hot swappable drives. Unfortunately those fans do not contribute much to the cooling of the case but do help keeping the drives cool. Had trouble keeping the system board under 140 degrees fahrenheit. With some experimenting, I replaced all the 120mm fans with high rpm fans, and arranged them so that I have the rear fan pushing in air and now 2 fans at the top pulling out the air. That allows me to keep the temparature for the system board at about 100 degrees fahrenheit.
The processor seems to be running cooler as well in about 90 to 95 dgrees fahrenheit.
I am very happy with the case, but would like to see Zalman improve the cooling for this case, and offer it with the second hot swap board as an option, perhaps with a different case model number. It was hard to find someone that had this board in stock. In fact when I did finally find a supplier they were out, and I was told that Zalman was out as well. It took almost a month to get the second board.