It’s been a good two-and-a-half years since we’ve taken a look at a Zalman chassis, so with the announcement of the ~$69 Z9 Plus, we were eager to get one in and see how it compared to the current fleet of sub-$100 offerings on the market. With that, let’s see what the Z9 Plus gives us aside from its good looks and focus on efficient airflow.
Popping off the panels gives us a peek at the internals.
On the left side at the front are the five hard drive bays, which are rotated 90 degrees with the 5.25″ drive bays above them.
Along the bottom of the case, as mentioned earlier, are the spots for a 120mm fan and the power supply.
Up above is the motherboard tray, and this is what I like to see in my cases; cable management areas running down the right side, a cut out at the CPU area to make it easier to change out coolers with back plates, and another cut out up at the top left corner for routing the 12V power cable.
The interior is a bit on the small side but not cramped, however it will only be able to accommodate GPUs measuring 29 cm or 11.4 inches in length. This does not take into account GPUs with power connections coming off of the end that directly face the hard drives. Connections in this location will reduce the overall length allowed so those with larger GPUs should do their homework first.
Some might be wondering what the mesh area below the CPU cutout is for. Even though the right side panel was very plain, what’s under it is something that seems to be more and more popular among case manufacturers; mounting points for a 2.5″ hard drive or solid state drive behind the motherboard tray.
The included hardware comes packed in a resealable bag, which is great. I like to keep my hardware fresh!
It includes an 8-pin 12V extension cable, metal and plastic capped thumb screws, extra motherboard standoffs, rubber washers and screws to mount the hard drives and absorb any vibration created by them, small zip ties and various screws along with the user manual.
So far the case looks great but how will the install go? I may have a case addiction but I’m not a push over if it doesn’t function well – this is where I get picky.