Zalman GS1000 Tower Case - Closer Look Inside

Article Index
Zalman GS1000 Tower Case
Case Features, Specs and Closer Look
Closer Look Inside
System Installation and Final Thoughts

Closer Look - Inside:

The GS1000 has nice clean lines on the outside of the case and while some may not like the glossy black plastic top of the case in contrast to the brushed aluminum side panels, I like the look of this case as it's wandered a bit away from the super square looks of the GT1000 and GT900.  As we remove the side panel and take a look inside, I found a very nice feature that is worth mentioning.  The side panels use non-removable thumbscrews that work very well.  You can't lose these, drop them, or have someone else steal them for their case.  I'm a fan of these screws for sure.

Side Panel Screws
Side Panel Screws

 

One of the features that Zalman touts with this case is good cable management.  Just in front of the motherboard tray there are a bunch of holes cut for routing cables through.  What is a large bonus here is that there are a bunch of these holes and that they have the edges protected with a rubber strip.  This prevents injury to your fingers and of course the cables that will make their home through these.  The only two fans installed in the case are exhaust fans and they are located at the top and back of the case.  Zalman is using negative case pressure here to cool down the components - namely the Hard Drives which we'll get to in a few moments.

 

 Side Off
Side Off
 Top & Rear Ventilation
Top & Rear Ventilation

 

Front Inside

The inside front of the case is very clean and has some things worth mentioning.  The top four 5.25" bays are tool-less and use the same spring loaded non-removable thumbscrews that the side panels use.  This is great for standard devices like optical drives but other non-standard units may have to use screws.  Zalman has provided slows and holes for screws to be used if required.

The GS1000 is designed to hold six HDDs in tool-less bays as well.  The top three bays support IDE or SATA drives and secure the drives through rubber supported pins that keep the drives mounted securely in an anti-vibration tray.  These are removed from the front of the case and click securely in place.

The three lower hard drive racks are designed for SATA drives only and use the same mounting rack that the top bays use.  What makes these different and SATA only is the hot-swap backplane that the drives plug into.  This backplane requires power from a pair of 4-pin molex connectors and takes your consumer gaming chassis to the realm of enterprise class servers with tool-less, hot-swap HDDs.  Of course if you plan to use the hot-swap feature, you'll need a motherboard that supports swapping drives on the fly as well.

The top three HDD bays can accept the hot-swap module if you need to have all six bays hot-swappable.  The beauty of these bays is that you can pull a drive and rebuild a RAID 1, RAID 5 or RAID 10 array without shutting down your system.  The bays are built to exacting specification and I had no issues using them with Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung or Hitachi SATA drives.

 

 Hot Swap HDD
 Hot Swap HDD
Hot Swap Backplane
Hot Swap Backplane

 

SATA HDD installation is as simple as releasing the clips on the bottom of the rack then dropping in the drive, lining up the pins and squeezing the rack back together.  Once the drive is securely in the rack, it slides into the drive rail and clips in place interfacing perfectly with the SATA hot-swap backplane.

HDD In Tray
HDD In Tray
HDD Installation
HDD Installation

 

On the next page we'll continue with system installation and see how the GS1000 holds up.