Azza sends along all the mounting hardware that would be needed to mount all your components into the Solano 1000, including motherboard standoffs, standard screws, thumb screws, a 3.5 to 5.25 bay adaptor, 3.5 bay cover, speaker, small wire ties, and reusable cable ties.
I started with putting the PSU in place. I noticed that with a long bodied PSU, like this ABS 1050 watt unit, the lower fan mount is blocked slightly.
Installing the rest of the system went smoothly as there was plenty of space to work in. As I started to put side panels on a couple of things came up.
The space between the right side panel and the motherboard tray is VERY slim. I was able to run some cables back there, but the main 24 pin cable just was too thick, and would not allow the side panel to go on. This tells me that a modular PSU will be a must for this case, otherwise kiss a drive bay goodbye as you will need the space to stash wires in. I’m starting to notice this in a lot of cases lately: little to no space to hide extra cables without losing a drive bay.
The second happened when I put the left side panel on. The housing for the side fan rested right on the top fin of the Noctua NH-U12P cooler I have installed. The panel is able to be put on, but it’s quite literally sitting on the top of the cooler. A hit to the side while transporting the case will cause an issue for sure. So, no coolers over 150mm in height if you plan on using the side fan. If you yank out the side fan, then you’re good to 165mm tall coolers. This is not a mark against the case, this is an issue with all cases that have side panel fans; most side fans cannot coexist with a tall CPU cooler.
Overall the Solano 1000 is a very nice case and it has got a lot of things going for it. It’s all blacked out design makes it easy on the eyes. It’s actually fairly quiet for the number of fans inside due to the fact that the case uses large, low RPM cooling fans. It has plenty of room for loads of drives and the largest of video cards. Its overall layout is modeled after the ever popular Antec Nine Hundred.
The build quality of the case is also very nice; everything is rounded where it needs to be and overall the Solano 1000 is very sturdy. Azza stepped it up a notch over Antec, though, with the larger fans and being overall quieter and cool without having to tweak fan speeds. The improvement to the drive cage design with the padding and ability to use standard hardware is nice too.
I was a little frustrated when I had all the wires run, then couldn’t get the side panel back on. There is space there for cable, but it is tight and definitely not enough room for the large main power cable of the ABS PSU to be routed behind the tray. I would say a modular PSU is a must if you plan on filling every drive bay in the case. If not, then you can move up the hard drive cages a slot or two and stuff the wires under the lower cage and still have good air flow through the case.
The Azza Solano 1000 can be found on our shopping link for $119.99 shipped, but there is a $40 rebate. At $79.99 it has the price advantage over the second generation Antec Nine Hundred, dubbed Nine Hundred Two which can be found for $123.49 shipped.
Legit Bottom Line: The Solano 1000 from Azza is a solid case and gives the gamer community another 900 variant. Looking forward to more from Azza.