Zalman Z11 Plus Black Case ReviewMon, Jun 18, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Z11 Plus Internal Thoughts
Since I went through the outside of the Z11 Plus chassis, it is time for me to give you a good look at the internal portion of this chassis.
On each of the 2 side panels, Zalman places a small fan to help exhaust some of that hot air that our HDDs may produce during their usage. These small 80mm fans do not use the standard 3 pin fan header, but instead use a 4 pin Molex connector.
The side panel exhaust vents can be removed so we can clean/replace the 80mm fan that is located behind here. There are 2 screws toward the front that have to be removed first.
Then there are 4 small clips that have to be gently pushed away from the small mounting holes.
After we do the above, the side panel vent will just pop right off, allowing us access to the fan. If you look at the interior of the side panel vent (last picture), you will see that Zalman places a channel to ensure the hot air gets exhausted towards the rear of the chassis so that it does not get re-circulated back into the chassis by the front fan.
Well, let’s give the interior of the Z11 Plus chassis a good look through.
The Zalman Z11 Plus chassis does not use independent HDD carriers; instead, this chassis uses T screws that mount directly on to the HDD and then it slides into the HDD cage shown here.
I would have personally liked to have seen individual HDD carriers that can mount both 3.5″ and 2.5″ HDDs. This would give the Z11 Plus chassis much greater flexibility on what the user can install/use with this chassis.
In the lower part of the 5.25” drive bays is an external 3.5/2.5″ bay
device where we can either mount a 2.5” HDD/SSD, a 3.5” HDD, or a floppy drive with this bay device.
These are pretty much standard front IO header hook ups, with one exception: the USB 3 front IO header is not actually a header but an extension cable that has to be hooked up to one of the onboard rear IO USB 3 motherboard ports.
Looking at the included 120mm rear exhaust fan on the Z11 Plus chassis.
Zalman makes sure the CPU cut out is large enough for this chassis to accommodate a multitude of different motherboard CPU configurations. Zalman also installed 4 of the motherboard standoffs around the CPU cutout.
Looking at the included upper 120mm exhaust fan, the Z11 Plus chassis can accommodate either a 120mm or a 140mm fan.
Then right directly in front of the 120mm exhaust fan we can install another 120/140mm for more ventilation inside of the chassis.
Grabbing a measuring tape to see how much room the Zalman Z11 Plus has, we can see from the back of the chassis to the back of the HDD carrier we have a tad bit over 12” of room here. Considering this is a midsized chassis, this should be able to accommodate a variety of different configurations. We just have to be careful not to get too large of components, because it may be a really tight fit, or it may not fit at all. Double check all of your PCI/PCI-E expansion cards sizes.
We have just about 5/8” of inch of room behind the motherboard tray; it should be more than enough room to hide all of the wires here. Only time will tell if it is.
Zalman places a 2.5” HDD/SSD mount directly behind the motherboard tray, and right below the CPU cutout. Things may get a bit warm back here.
Rounding out this portion of the review, I will like to add that Zalman did a good job on ensuring this chassis is solidly built and that all of the corners of the chassis are rounded enough to keep us from shredding our hands, arms, and fingers.