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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Zalman is about to launch a new very high-end all-aluminum case, called Z-Machine or simply GT1000. This case is an evolution over their previous Fatal1ty case, check it out.

Z-Machine is based on Zalman Fatal1ty case, and the major differences are on the side door – on Z-Machine the side door is divide into two panels, while on Fatal1ty the side door uses a single panel – and more internal hard disk drive bays on Z-Machine (six internal bays against three on Fatal1ty). The rest of the specs are just about the same: we are talking about a case 100% built with 5-mm anodized aluminum.

Z-Machine will be available in two colors, black and titanium, and we took a look at the titanium version.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 1: Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 case (this sample was authographed by Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel).

As you can see in Figure 1, this case has four 5 ¼” bays and one 3 ½” bay (plus the seven internal 3 ½” bays).

On Figures 2 and 3 you can see the side door, which is divided into two panels, making it easier to open and remove or add components inside the PC.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 2: Side door.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 3: Side door.

In Figure 4, you can see the switches, connectors and LEDs that are available on the case frontal panel: power switch, power LED, two HDD LEDs, reset switch, headphone jack, mic in jack, two USB ports and one FireWire port. Since this is a very high-end case, we think it could have come with an eSATA port as well, since this feature is starting to appear on high-end cases from other brands.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 4: Switches, connectors and LEDs on the case frontal panel.

[nextpage title=”Inside Z-Machine”]

On Figures 5 and 6 you can see Z-Machine rear panel. As you can see, there is space for seven expansion slots and the case comes already with 120 mm fan installed on its rear panel. Like Fatal1ty case, Z-Machine also comes with two 92-mm fans installed on its front panel.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 5: Z-Machine rear side.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 6: Z-Machine rear side, view from inside the case.

In Figure 7, you can see the interior from Zalman Z-Machine case. What is really interesting to note is that you don’t need to use any tool to install and remove drives on this case, as it uses thumbscrews and also a different hard disk drive installation system.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 7: Inside Zalman Z-Machine.

[nextpage title=”Inside Z-Machine (Cont’d)”]

As we mentioned before, this case has six internal 3 ½” bays. Four of them are on a cage that is rotated 90º, making it easier to install hard disk drives on this case. Also, no screw is required, as this case uses the same lock system used on Fatal1ty, shown in Figure 8. On Fatal1ty case, however, there were only three internal 3 ½” bays available.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 8: Installing a hard disk drive on a bay located on the HDD cage.

The other two 3 ½” bays are located on the bottom part of the case, see Figure 9.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 9: Two internal 3 ½” bays located on the case bottom.

Installing a hard disk drive on these bays is very easy and you won’t need any tool. First you need to remove the four thumbscrews located on the bay and then screw them on the hard disk drive.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 10: Installing a thumbscrew on the hard disk drive.

Then release the front two locks, slide the hard disk drive into the bay and then flip the locks back in place and that’s it.

Zalman ZMachine GT1000 CaseFigure 11: Installing a hard disk drive.

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Z-Machine GT1000 case main specs include:

  • Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
  • Material: All-aluminum.
  • Power supply: Doesn’t come with the case.
  • Available colors: Black and titanium.
  • Size: N/A.
  • Weight: N/A
  • Bays: Four 5 ¼” bays and one 3 ½” bay plus six 3 ½” internal bays.
  • Expansion slots: Seven.
  • Fans: Three, two 92-mm fans on the front and one 120 mm fan at the rear.
  • Extra features: None.
  • More Information: https://www.zalmanusa.com
  • Average price in the US: This product isn’t available yet.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Like the previous very high-end case from Zalman, Fatal1ty, we were very impressed by the overall quality of this new Z-Machine case from Zalman. The material used is top-notch (5-mm thick aluminum) and it brings two advantages over Fatal1ty case: the side door is now divided into two panels, making it easier to open the case and allowing you to add or remove drives without needing to open the whole case, and there are now six internal bays for hard disk drives, against three on Fatal1ty. Since hard-core gamers are now running very high-end RAID systems, the more internal bays, the better: three is simply not enough for anyone running RAID10 or RAID0+1, where four drives are required.

The internal hard disk drive bays are definitely the highlight of this product. First they are rotated, making it easier to access them. Secondly, they use a special screwless mechanism, allowing you to install and remove hard disk drives very easily.

Even though the front panel features two USB ports and one FireWire port, we think Zalman could have added an eSATA port there – especially when we consider the price range of this baby. Adding an eSATA port seems to be the new trend with high-end cases.

The major problem with this case will be its price tag. Fatal1ty is quoted around USD 350 and this case should reach the market costing even more, making it affordable only for the very rich.

If you are like 99.9% of the people around there are other very high-end cases from other manufacturers that will probably provide you the same experience costing less than half of this.