Zalman Z9 Plus Case Review Introduction
Purchase: The Zalman Z9 Plus Case at Amazon
Recently, I bought the Z9 Plus PC case to support my current PC gaming build. Previous to the Z9 I was using a very old case that was given to me by a friend of my girlfriends for free, so at this point in time I thought I should upgrade for a few reasons:
- My old case was VERY loud; although it made it sound very powerful it also sounded like a helicopter prepping take off.
- My older case was quite dusty inside (needed cleaning anyways so since I was going to open up and clean anyways, thought mise well carry everything over to another case at this point in time)
- Finally, the airflow in my other case was terrible. Even though I had fans full fledge 100% of the time, it got hot inside. It would run at a case temp of about 38 degrees case temp, whereas I run at 24 degrees Celsius case temperature now.
What made me choose the Z9 Plus?
Well I started with a rough budget I was going to set aside for a new pc case and this was around $50. So I chose all of the cases in this budget and quickly narrowed down the cases based on a few things I wanted:
- A solid construction (metal or really sturdy hard plastic)
- Good air flow (as to keep the case cool and as dust free as possible)
- Front USB ports Supporting at least USB 2.0 (and at least 2 ports)
- Mid Sized ATX to fit my motherboard
Z9 Plus Case Pros
Fantastic amount of air flow
With the Z9 Plus Case I was moderately surprised in that it came with all of the features above, plus (get it…plus? :P) the Z9 came with a case fan control, a rear fan, a front panel fan, and 2 rather large fans; one in the side panel mesh, and one exhaust fan at top.
These fans indeed create fantastic air flow, which actually gave me the chills while turning it on for the first time.
Not only did this case come with an abundant amount of fans, it also supports up to 7, so I was not at all worried about a lack of air flow cooling in this thing. Also, the case and fans emit an elegant blue glow. My other case also emitted a blue light, however it was quite brighter than the dark blue glow of the Z9 Plus case.
On the top and bottom of the case there are dust filters, which I found nice since my other case seemed to attract way more dust than it should have (which may have contributed to my PC being much hotter in that case). Having four feet on the bottom corners of the case also, I believe adds to further increase the air flow as it leaves a slight gap between the floor and the case for air to move through.
On the bottom of the case, you also can install your power supply unit (PSU) and this did turn out quite well for me as seen in the mage below. My PSY installed quite well with the fan facing upwards and it also includes subtle blue glow which complements the already fantastic blue glow of the Z9 case.
Great Quality Case Material
The Z9 Plus Case material is mostly plastic and steel, and trust me it is way sturdier than most of the cases in the $50 price range. The siding is a very hard steel, as well the sides are extremely easy to take off with 2-3 screws you can unscrew with your finger, and slide the panels out with ease. This came in quite handy when I had to actually take the side a couple of times after I thought I was done putting everything into the new case; once I forgot to plug in the side fan, and the other time I forgot to plug the SATA power cord into the hard drive…haha yep it’s true.
Some of the case trimming is a hard plastic which gives the corners and frame a nice elegant sleek look.
The Front Interface of the Z9 is Compact & Bountiful
As you can see in the gorgeous picture that I took from Zalman.com this case has a very sleek looking front interface. The left picture in the above image shows the front interface panel without the cases front face attached to the case with all of the expansion slots below it (such as DVD optical drives etc.) To the right you can see the front interface with everything in tact. That is an external LED temperature display screen (without any numbers being displayed), a 2-channel fan controller for adjusting the system temperature, a mic jack, a headphone jack and four USB 2.0 slots.
For me this was an exact fit as it had plenty of USB slots (double than what I wanted and what my old case had), a bonus external temperature LED screen, and fan control – this was a huge bonus for me. Zalman.com describes the fan control being for controlling the fan speeds in order to control noise and interior temperature, however noise only increases slightly, which I found quite nice.
Hard Drive Installation
Ok, so this more than what I was expecting, but the Hard Drive installation for the Z9 Plus was fantastically easy to instal. Zalman refers to it as the “Tool free HDD Installation With Anti Vibration Rubber”, which could not be more than true. The tools that come with the case include these rubber like screws that screw into the side of a hard drive. Once you screw the rubber screws into the HD, all you have to do is slide the Hard Drive into the case until you feel a finite snap; it honestly feels so crisp and smooth. For me, this was a significant improvement over the previous case where I had to physically screw in the hard drive into a metal siding.
As you can see in the image above there is a hard drive being installed on the left with some rubber screws already installed being easily input into the the grooves on the Z9 case. The right image simp;y gives you a view of the Z9 Plus Pc Case dimensions horizontally.
Z9 Plus Case Cons
As I was shopping in the $50 range for a PC case, it is tough to fulfil a cons column for what you get with the Z9 Plus case. One caveat I am going to add here is that the Z9 Plus case was not a known PC case brand of mine. Yes, I do post monthly PC builds on this good ol’ site at Newb Computer Build, however I have never indulged into the Zalman series of PC cases and for this I call a shame upon myself since this case has blown well beyond my expectations of a gaming pc case of this caliber. Therefore, next month I will indeed include this as recommended case for at least one of my builds.
Another to be honest suggestion for this case (and all other cases that offer color LED lights) is that there be a flick of the switch to turn the nicely ‘hardcore gaming feel’ colourful led glows off. This is a generalized con, because there are so many cases like this and I do love the Zalman Z9 Plus solemn blue glow. However, my problem comes with this perfect gaming pc build of mine being located in the midst of my bedroom. At times, (for reasons undisclosed) I have liked to keep my gaming pc running throughout the night and this is tough with a bright glowing colourful gaming pc. Having a glowing brightish LED glow of a pc does not come in handy when trying to sleep in the same room. Therefore (as not a con specifically for this PC case), I do declare a simple click on / off button for any LED glowing lights. Sure I can choose to buy some regular non LED lit fans, but why the hassle?
The Zalman Z9 Plus PC Case Specifications
Conclusion: Zalman Z9 Plus PC Case Review
Out of the blue I personally would not have chosen the Z9 PC case, however after doing some personal research and value comparison in the $50 price range, I have concluded that this PC case is a great case that is worth far more than what I purchased it for at $59.99 (with a $10 mail in rebate). I initially would not have chosen this case because I simply had not heard much of it.
The Zalman Z9 Plus case has well surpassed my expectations and could not be more well built, expandable for a mid sized ATX case, sleek and inclusive of my gaming hardware. I have gotten more than what I expected after doing my research, checking the case out in store, and using it for a few weeks now.
Quite honestly, I would recommend the Zalman Z9 Plus PC Gaming cae to anyone who is in the market for this price range, unique sleekness (an unobtrusive black sleek look with a blue glow) PC gaming case.
If you have any further questions about this case, then by all means get in contact with me via the comments below or the contact form in the many above. Below I have included a couple of quick images of the Zalman Z9 Plus PC case as seen where my PC currently resides.
If you are looking to purchase the Zalman Z9 Plus PC Case then please visit Amazon
Thanks for the honest writeup, im building a new rig on boxing day and was considering this case. I noticed you mentioned memory express, thats where ill be going boxing day!! Love that shop, You must be Albertan, that’s pretty cool. Cheers and happy holidays!
..And thank you for your comments! You a very correct as I am an Albertan…although in contrast to you an Edmontonian 😛 I agree, memory express is a good shop and they do have the Zalman case on even cheaper for boxing day…I believe $10ish less and a mail in rebate if I remember correctly (making it $39ish), so all in all an even better deal.
I wish you good luck on your boxing day build and a happy holidays as well!
Great write up. Saving this one for later, but the case caught my eye and stopped (got me to) by to check it out. Building servers (cloud) right now so will finish later. Good job dude!
Thank you very much for your kind words, and have fun doing your cloud server thing!