Technology content trusted in North America and globally since 1999
8,519 Reviews & Articles | 65,809 News Posts Z-Black Windowed Case Review (Page 3)

By Mike Wright from Oct 12, 2003 @ 23:00 CDT
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Extreme Cases

The Inside

Beginning with the optical device bays we see space for up to four drives. All four of these bays are externally accessible so there won't be any worries regarding too little space. All four bays have tabs included to hold the device in the proper place when installing, so you can easily fill the spaces in whatever order you want.

Remember, this enclosure is designed for modding on a budget, so don't be disappointed when you see there is no rail system for the drives to be mounted. This can be costly and would drive the price up drastically.

Again, we're not getting overly fancy, but you'll still find enough room for two external 3.5" devices and up to four hard drives on top of that. You'll need to get the screwdriver handy to install your devices, but that isn't to big a deal to be honest.

For those who are observant, I'm sure you'll have noticed the impressive design behind the 3.5" drive bays. You can fit upwards of four 80mm fans into the front of this case. Mounting the fans is a simple matter since you just remove the front bezel and mount the fans from the front side. While no fans came fitted into the base enclosure, you should have no problems finding them in your favorite computer shop (or on the back shelf in my case).

Oh, and you WILL want to add some fans to this front area. I tested the case as it came from the factory and noted internal temperatures getting a bit high (around the 42C degree range), so go ahead and plan on adding at least a couple of fans here.

If you recall the headphone and microphone ports on the front bezel, you'll certainly realize they need to be ported to your sound card (or motherboard) in some manner. Since onboard sound is becoming a useful tool, there isn't always the ability to hook up your sound from a PCI board. This requires common RCA jacks to make everything work, but then these jacks are only accessible from the back of the motherboard.

Included with the case is a PCI blank allowing you to feed both of these cables through the enclosure and out the back. Simply hook them into your sound board or motherboard and you're set.

As noted earlier, you get two USB ports on the front bezel. A great many enclosures give you a mass of individual wire blocks that require you to fit these connectors one at a time on your motherboard's USB pinouts. This made sense several years ago when USB was a new concept and there wasn't really an industry standard for the pin layouts, but that has pretty much changed a long time ago. All of the motherboards I've tested in the past couple of years have had identical pinout designs for their USB ports.

I don't know about you, but I have rather large hands making this a total pain in the rear. The Z-series line of cases makes the process a great deal easier by having only two blocks to install per USB port. This was truly a blessing when it came time to set up the front USB ports.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.