Zalman GS1000 Plus Tower Case - Installation and Final Thoughts
|Zalman GS1000 Plus Tower Case|
|Case Features, Specs and Closer Look|
|Installation and Final Thoughts|
Although the GS1000 Plus from Zalman doesn't have a removable motherboard tray (neither does the GS1000), there is still plenty of room to work inside this case. The layout of the case and drives is quite good and with the hard drives sliding in from the front, and the three bays are actually below the motherboard - there will not be any issues installing long cards in this case. There is ample room between the motherboard and the front drive racks to support even the longest graphics cards available today.
There are a few cases now that place the PSU at the bottom of the chassis, there are several reasons for this and some designs are implemented better than others. Zalman has include a plate the attaches to your PSU and then the PSU can be slid in on a couple of rollers. Traditional thumbscrews are used to keep it in place. It works very well, and there is even a folding handle that allows you to grab on and remove the PSU easily.
* Identical installation to GS1000
With the PSU in place, the cables can be routed through the provided holes in the motherboard tray and this helps keep them out of sight and out of the way. If you have a motherboard with a rear-mounted 24-pin connector, this may not work, but most motherboards today have the main power connector located at the top right corner and this makes for a nice tidy system - even with a lot of drives, fans and temperature probes. You can see in the picture below that there is a lot of room between the end of the GTX 260 and the front of the case. This is good news for all of you graphics card junkies.
The GS1000 Plus is a nice update to the first "cheap" Zalman case - the GS1000. The GS1000 Plus is done right and includes thumbscrews for Side Panels, Optical Drives, PCI slots and PSU removal. You'll need a screwdriver to mount the motherboard and the PSU to the bracket, but other than that it's tool-less. There is a single power button located at the top middle of the front bezel - giving the case a cycloptic appearance in low light. There is neither a reset button present nor HDD activity LEDs. The Hot-Swap bays provide steady LED indicators when the drives are installed, but don't indicate drive activity - just like the GS1000. A couple things that Zalman has improved upon is the Hard Drive cooling and anti-vibration feet - nothing drastic, but nice improvements regardless.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the GS1000 Plus case from Zalman. It is listed online for about $200, but is worth the money in my opinion if you're looking for a roomy case with good looks, hot-swap Hard Drives, and a very professional appearance. Zalman has tweaked the GS1000 into the "Plus" version that offers better noise control in several areas while providing better cooling and ventilation to your hardware. It's not a ground breaking upgrade over the GS1000, but it's a nice upgrade regardless.
- Sleek design with aluminum frame and side panels
- Externally accessible HDDs
- Three hot-swap SATA bays
- Support for six HDDs
- Ample room for installation and long graphics cards
- Non-removable thumbscrews on side panels and ODD bays
- Excellent cable management
- Dust filters on intake HDD fans
- It's a $200 case that many people will pass over for something cheaper
You may feel that this case is expensive at $200 for a aluminum/plastic case mix, but I feel that the value is well deserved as the hot-swap option is worth the extra money. If you were to buy three 5.25" - 3.5" Hot Swap SATA racks, you'd easily be spending $30 each. Zalman now offers the extra Hot-Swap backplane as an available option. Six Hot-Swap 2TB drives would be sweet (12TB of Hot-Swap Goodness).
I'd like to thank Zalman USA for sending this case over for us to review. If you have any questions or comments, please head on over and post those in the forum at the "Comments" link below.