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Zalman Z9 NEO Mid-Tower Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Mid-Tower Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jul 19, 2016 12:15 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Zalman

Inside the Z9 NEO

 

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Something to consider when it comes to removing the dust filter, or swapping the 120mm fans for 140mm versions, is that the wiring is fully attached to the bezel. As long as you leave some slack in the leads when wire managing, you should be all right, but is something to keep in mind.

 

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Inside of the chassis, we found that all of the wiring has been tended to and is not floating free in the chassis. We also found the hardware and literature hanging from a back tied to the motherboard tray.

 

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The pair of 5.25" bays are hanging from the front of the chassis, they are not removable, nor are they made with tool-free mechanisms. They do supply thumbscrews to mount drives and devices here to lessen the burden.

 

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The front of the Z9 NEO is left open to the wind of the 120mm fans installed there. Off to their left, there is a pair of optional SDD mounting locations, and there is a gap to allow water cooling in the front, not conflicting with the PSU cover.

 

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If you remove the front bezel, the top of the chassis can be lifted off, exposing the top of the chassis along with the pair of LED fans. This section is raised to keep the fans from conflict with the motherboard, but it is entirely possible to use a thin radiator based AIO in there.

 

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The motherboard tray is clearly marked for standoff locations, offers a large access hole while providing seven holes around the edges for wiring. Along with 18 places to tie wiring down to, there is also a pair of holes way to the right, which should allow the SSDs to be wired cleanly.

 

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On the floor of the chassis, we find this large PSU cover. There are holes near the back edge to pass wiring through, the Zalman name is embossed on the side, and near the front is ventilation for storage drives.

 

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The back of the chassis sports a white bladed, non-LED fan, just like the pair in the front, but only this one of the three requires a 3-pin fan header for power. Below the fan, there are thumbscrews installed, currently holding the slot covers in place.

 

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With near 15mm for wiring behind the motherboard tray, running the I/O wiring under the hook and loop straps is not an issue. It is hard to see them for the front fans, but with the leads hanging from the top, these four fans are seen to use 4-pin Molex connections for power.

 

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In the bottom left corner, there is an HDD rack with two trays to accommodate 3.5" or 2.5" drives. To get the fifth and sixth 2.5" drives in, or the third and fourth 3.5" drive installed, you need to recall back to those holes in the floor of the chassis we pointed out on the outside.

 

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At the back of the chassis, the PSU is meant to be installed. There are elongated rubber pads applied to the floor of the chassis, and these along with steel bumps keep the PSU in line to be screwed in from the back.

 

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Cabling is kept short to try and lessen the wiring mess, but this can be an issue with routing for some motherboards. There are all the connections needed from the switches and LEDs. There is a native USB 3.0 connection, a USB 2.0 connection, and last, but not least, there is the HD Audio cable.

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