Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 Titanium = Sweet - Z-Machine Inside - Inside Improvements Galore!

Article Index
Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 Titanium = Sweet
Z-Machine Outside - Tour the GT1000
Z-Machine Inside - Inside Improvements Galore!
Installing Gear in the Z-Machine GT1000
Z-Machine GT1000 Running and Conclusion

Inside the Z-Machine GT1000:

This case has some much need improvements all around.  The first up is the door hinging mechanism.  With the FC-ZE1, the side door hinge would only rotate so far and when you were installing hardware this was a major cause for concern.  With the case laid on its side, the door would swing and then pry against the hinge as it couldn't rotate and lay down on the workbench.  Zalman has done things quite different by splitting the left side of the case and making two doors.  One contains the window and can be swung clear around to rest on the workbench, while the other swings forward and rests against its hinges.  Even though this door does pry against the hinge, it's not as big of an issue as the front-left door is much smaller than the entire side panel of the FC-ZE1.

Case Open
Case Open

 

As you can see above, the window is tinted and is large enough to display the motherboard area, but not the drives.  The tint screams sweetness, and the lack of windowed drives gives you a better chance of hiding cables out of sight of the window.

The left side panels are secured with thumbscrews for transportation, but also feature magnetic closures that keep the doors shut when you have the GT1000 sitting stationary on your desk.  These magnets are strong enough to keep everything closed without rattling, but are weak enough so that you can easily open the door.

 Magnet Closures
Magnet Closures
 Metal For Magnet
Metal For Magnet

 

Although there are a lot of wires included, the mid-sized window, combined with the cable management loops that are pictured on Page 1 in the bundle help you route, manage and hide most of the cables and wires easily.  I am no cable guru and my management skills are limited, but Nicao has some mad cable skillz that he picked up assembling computers for a few months.

 Bundle Of Wires
Bundle Of Wires

 

One issue we had recently with the Gigabyte 3D Mercury Pro case was that some of the cables were not long enough to reach the back corner of the motherboard (where our firewire was located).  Zalman has provided long enough cables so that this isn't an issue.  In fact these cables are long enough, you can probably route them around the board and keep them hidden underneath.  Some may list these long cables as a "Con" because there is more cable length to hide, I believe this is a "Pro" as you have a lot more options on what to do and where to go with your cables.

As we take a look at the inside back and front of the case I'll quickly point out a few features and improvements.  The PCI slot area has removable and replaceable covers with the Fatal1ty case did not.  This should be standard on every case that is made, especially premium cases, and Zalman spent the extra $0.10 and installed them - with thumbscrews no less.  This makes adding cards easy as screws hold cards in place better than most tool-less clip designs I've seen.

 Front & Back Inside
Front & Back Inside

The front of the case has room for four (4) 5.25" devices and the top two are tool-less with built-in screws.  This is very handy and works very well.  The reason Zalman didn't include these on all drive bays is a complicated issue.  Most drives and devices should work fine with this design, but if for some reason they don't you have the option to use the bottom two drive bays.  I would have liked to see them included on all bays, but for compatibility, sake, I can't blame them.  Speaking of compatibility, you may recall that I had to sand down my DVDRW drive in order to get it to fit in the aluminum bay opening on the FC-ZE1 Fatal1ty case.  Thank goodness that the GT1000 has slightly larger bays that allow standard drives to fit.

The Hard Drive rack has been expanded to fit a total of four drives now instead of the three drives on the Fatal1ty case.  This is a big deal for many gamers that have RAID arrays and often use more than three drives in a system.

 

 HDD Rack & Fans
HDD Rack & Fans
 Bottom HDD Rack
Bottom HDD Rack

 

Wait a minute!  Zalman said that the case supported 6 drives and there is only room in the rack for 4?  Check out the bottom drive mounts in the picture above on the right.  These drive racks are also tool-less and have a very nice anti-vibration system as well.  I prefer to use the bottom racks for showing off what drives are in the system, but the front rack offers active cooling by means of the two 92mm fans.

On the next page we'll cover system installation.