The Zalman ZM-T3 is a low-cost, mini-tower computer case, compatible only with microATX (and smaller) motherboards, offering one USB 3.0 port and three 2.5” bays. Let’s take a good look at it.
The Zalman ZM-T3 can be also be found referred simply as the Zalman T3.
Figures 1 and 2 show the case. It comes only in black, and the left panel has a meshed area where you can install two 120 mm fans (not included).
Let’s take a closer look at the case in the next pages.
[nextpage title=”The Front and Top Panels”]
The front panel of the ZM-T3 is made of black plastic, with one 5.25” external bay. Although the connectors and buttons are in the top, the hard drive activity LED is located near the center of the front panel.
The front panel can be easily removed by just pulling it. Behind it, you will find room for a 120 mm fan (not included), with an air filter.
As we mentioned before, the buttons and connectors are located at the top of the front panel. Figure 5 shows them, with the power button, one USB 3.0 port, earphones and microphone jacks, one USB 2.0 ports, and the reset button. The power LED is inside the power button.
Figure 5: buttons and connectors
The top panel is plain, with no openings or any additional feature.
[nextpage title=”The Bottom and Rear Panels”]
The bottom panel of the ZM-T3 has no openings for additional fans. However, it has a removable air filter for the power supply fan, as shown in Figure 7.
The rear panel of the Zalman ZM-T3 is painted in black. The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case.
The product comes with a 92 mm fan installed on its rear panel (model ZA9225ASL, 1.44 W, no model info available). There are three holes with 0.79” (20 mm) in diameter to install hoses for an external liquid cooling system, but you need to break the covers to use the holes.
The case has four expansion slots with meshed covers. The first one (closer to the CPU) has a removable cover, while the other three have covers that must be broken to use the slots.
Let’s now take a look inside the ZM-T3.
[nextpage title=”Inside the Zalman ZM-T3″]
Each panel is attached to the chassis using two black thumbscrews.
The motherboard tray has a huge cutout for you to access the backplate of the CPU coolers without having to remove the motherboard from the case. Besides that, there are holes that allow to pass the cables behind it. There is a 0.6” (15 mm) clearance between the tray and the right panel.
The case supports microATX and Mini-ITX motherboards.
Figure 10 shows the case from behind the motherboard tray.
Figure 10: behind the motherboard tray
You can install CPU coolers up to 5.9” (150 mm) tall.
The ZM-T3 supports video cards up to 11.8” (300 mm) long if the internal 3.5” bays are not in use. If you are using them, you can fit video cards up to 9.8” (250 mm) long.
Expansion card are held using standard screws.
The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. It may be installed with its fan facing up or down, pulling air from inside or outside the case. As shown before, there is an air filter for the power supply fan in the bottom panel.
You will be able to fit power supplies up to 11.8” (300 mm) deep if the bottom 2.5” bay is unused, and up to 6.3” (160 mm) if there is a drive installed here.
There is no support for additional fans at the bottom panel of the case.
Figure 12: power supply compartment
[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
The ZM-T3 has one 5.25” external bay, where the devices are held using conventional screws. Under this bay, there is a 2.5” internal bay. There are two internal 3.5” bays in a cage at the front panel, where the units are installed vertically, with the connectors facing down. Figure 13 shows those bays.
There ia a 2.5” internal bay in the bottom of the case, ash shown in Figure 14.
Behind the motherboard tray, there is another 2.5” bay.
Figure 15: additional 2.5” bay
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Zaman ZM-T3 include:
- Style: mini tower
- Application: microATX and smaller form factors
- Material: zinc-coated steel (SECC) body
- Power supply: does not come with the product
- Available colors: black
- Side panel: meshed
- Dimensions: 16.8 x 7.4 x 14.3 inches (427.5 x 189 x 364 mm) (H x W x D)
- Gross weight: 8.8 lbs (4 kg)
- Bays: three internal 2.5” bays, two internal 3.5”, and one external 5.25” bay
- Expansion slots: four
- Maximum video card length: 11.8” (300 mm)
- Maximum CPU cooler height: 5.9” (150 mm)
- Fans: one 92 mm fan (model ZA9225ASL, 1.44 W) on the rear panel
- Optional fans: two 120 mm on the left panel, one 120 mm fan on the front panel
- Extra Features: air filter for front panel and power supply fans
- More Information: https://www.zalman.com/
- Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 50.00
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Zalman ZM-T3 is a good-quality compact and inexpensive case, excellent if you are building a simple, mainstream, or even gamer PC with a microATX motherboard.
- Excellent cost/benefit ratio
- Good construction quality
- Air filters for the power supply and front (optional) fan
- Offers good possibilities for cable managing
- Supports only two 3.5” drives
- Do not support standard ATX motherboards
- Has no anti-vibration mechanism for the hard disk drives
- No tool-less mechanism to hold expansion card or drives
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