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Zalman Z7 Plus

Roundup: Four Gaming Cases Under $150
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Previously known for expensive and relatively-exclusive cases like the LQ1000, GT1000, Fatal1ty, and TNN series, Zalman surprised us by sending the least-expensive “mainstream” gaming-system enclosure of today’s comparison.

Though moderately-priced, the Z7 Plus top panel still includes eSATA connectivity and a tilt-in cover.

The second feature that vendors seem to like applying to the “game case” theme is a fan controller, and Zalman includes one on the side panel.

Another feature shared by all of today’s gaming cases is support for external liquid cooling, which Zalman accomplishes with holes that have rubber grommets.

Screw-free card latches that are functionally identical to those found in Cooler Master’s Storm Sniper separate the Zalman Z7 Plus from today’s other sub-$100 case. On the other hand, Zalman goes a bit cheap by using knock-out slot covers rather than the replaceable variety.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 24 March 2010 01:18
    why are other cases such as the antec 900 not in this comparison?
  • 0 Hide
    Silmarunya , 24 March 2010 02:46
    Indeed, a very limited comparison.

    Btw, is this a series of articles discussing cases at all price points or a stand-alone article? Please tell me it's the first option...
  • 0 Hide
    chechak , 24 March 2010 04:31
    i love my nzxt apollo
  • 0 Hide
    serjster , 24 March 2010 05:13
    Whats a gaming case? ;P
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 24 March 2010 08:54
    A gaming case should be easy to transport to a Local Lan Party and the only one that comes close is the Coolmaster, atleast they included a Handle to transport it around. The Scout by coolmaster is the closes to a prefect Gaming case with a handle that make it easy to move around. The scout needs to be a little longer and made out of a lighter material and it would be perfect. A gaming case without means of easy transportation is not a gaming system case in my book. All these cases would be better with handles.
  • 1 Hide
    Silmarunya , 24 March 2010 17:48
    cobra32A gaming case should be easy to transport to a Local Lan Party and the only one that comes close is the Coolmaster, atleast they included a Handle to transport it around. The Scout by coolmaster is the closes to a prefect Gaming case with a handle that make it easy to move around. The scout needs to be a little longer and made out of a lighter material and it would be perfect. A gaming case without means of easy transportation is not a gaming system case in my book. All these cases would be better with handles.


    There are cases for Lan parties availible, and folks at Anandtech managed to make a tiny (micro-ATX) full blown gaming rig with high end graphics and all (even handles!). Pricey, but great.

    However, I wouldn't say a gaming case needs to be the above. It has to be well cooled, sturdy, pleasing to look at (altough that's subjective) and well priced. Being portable is not something that a gaming case must have according to most people. Not having a niche feature doesn't make a case incomplete, just unsuitable for that niche.
  • 0 Hide
    serjster , 24 March 2010 20:02
    SilmarunyaThere are cases for Lan parties availible, and folks at Anandtech managed to make a tiny (micro-ATX) full blown gaming rig with high end graphics and all (even handles!). Pricey, but great. However, I wouldn't say a gaming case needs to be the above. It has to be well cooled, sturdy, pleasing to look at (altough that's subjective) and well priced. Being portable is not something that a gaming case must have according to most people. Not having a niche feature doesn't make a case incomplete, just unsuitable for that niche.


    In my opinion you're 100% right, It makes perfect sense. Thanks
  • 0 Hide
    ronanh , 25 March 2010 16:16
    So the thermaltake is the best of a bad bunch. From these reviews I don't think you should have given a recommended badge to any of them. This badge will be touted as a "must buy" with none of the caveats in the article mentioned. There are several other gaming cases that weren't considered so to recommend one without that consideration is a very narrow viewpoint.
  • 0 Hide
    zrunelord , 29 March 2010 01:34
    My choice was the Xigmatek Midgard - a great all black inside case.Very spacious,ready for liquid cooling & with loads of other features.Unfortunately not everyone considers the fact in top mounted psu's,the Cpu heatsink exhaust will be sucked in the Psu by its fan.Therefore instead of having cooling air , the psu will have heated air !!! My only comment is that the 2 front Usb's are connected to only one internal connector.Would have made more sense to connect them to 2.Another consideration one has to make is the length of the PSu to Cpu power cable.In my case I had to cut it off some 2 inches from the connector on my Coolermaster silent pro & add around 5 inches more wire.Whilst this is fairly easy to do,one has to solder the wires & use heatshrink to insulate them.Checking for shorts with a meter is a must also.Otherwise one has to pass the cable across the Gpu,definetly not nice.By increasing the length ,it can now be threaded & clipped behind the M/b.
    Hope this helps
    Z
  • 0 Hide
    blakeyon2asd , 19 July 2010 12:47
    I think that the hades maybe the best one out of them because it's the easiest to work with, I have some pics of mine on the forums and everyone seems to like it a lot. Also this isn't the best comparison I mean where is the Cooler Master 692 advanced at its the best case for under 100 bucks by far ask anyone. Also I do have the 692 advanced and I love it, I've got triple 4850s in it and it keeps them and the 955 black edition over clocked to 3.97 38 degrees c at load. But I also have some of the more expensive cooling solutions in it.