AZZA Z Mini-ITX Case Review

Inside the Case
As it’s easy to see the front face has been dismounted and laid on top of the case to show how things look behind the scenes. The person using this case really needs to get acquainted with this part of the case as it is one of the busiest parts of the build and one of the last to hook up so knowing each plug and wire is essential in the building of any case.

The bottom right is where the power supply resides and the wire hanging out of the picture is that power supply cord that runs through the middle inside of the case. Then located on the right side bottom is the nearly useless hard drive bay access point. Not really needed except for ventilation since getting to the drives is very difficult when the build is complete. The kit does not come with an ssd adapter 2.5 inch to 3.25 inch and the kit expects the builder to use mechanical drives exclusively with this build but, “where there is a will, there is a way”.

The top left is made for a laptop type slim type DVD drive and you will need to buy a SYBA CL-CAB40042 6″ 37″/6″ mini SATA Data/Power cable with Molex power adapter to fit your drive in the unit and have it work properly with your m-itx motherboard.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 Front of case exoskeleton

Taking a closer look the front control bezel has the power LED, power button, USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and the headphone output and the microphone or a separate speaker hook up that can be connected if you choose not to use the back speaker out or HDMI for connecting your gaming box to a high output receiver. The Front LEDs are not hard drive lights as you might first think but hook straight to a low voltage Molex connection and just lights up solid when powered on.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 Front of case internals

From left to right you have the headphones out and the microphone in ports. There are the 2 x USB 2.0 outlets and finally at the end the USB 3.0 super-speed port in blue or just another USB 2.0 if you need want since the USB 3.0 plug is backwards compatible with both USB 2.0 and 1.1.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 usb and audio port internal

MODDING NOTE
(Notice that all the green vents are easy bend and remove metal modding mesh, so if you choose to paint these another color to give your own appeal to the AZZA-Z it’s really simple to bend the tabs, remove the mesh then paint both sides and place back once the paint dries and wha la.. You are modding dude!)

THE DRIVE LIGHTS
Further across is two LEDs, but they are actually just two LEDs hooked to one simple 5 volt molex plug. They are spliced together to get even lighting to the three clear plastic glowing power on lights. They do not blink or pulse but they are bright. They are basically accent and power indicator lights to remind the owner the power is turned on or off if the power supply shuts down.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 internal LED lighting

Here is the way you will see the case when you first remove the top side panel. There is like an structural skeleton on top to help hold a light weight monitor on top of the unit if the user chooses but there is also a motherboard memory fan here so try not to stack anything heavy on top of the case for the best cooling and less fan noise. If the builder does plan to use the case hold a monitor on the top of the horizontal laying case then simply eliminate this fan and get a higher quality CPU cooler to keep the CPU and the memory cooler during those heated gaming battles.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 skeleton of case

With the top struts removed you see the basic way that everything is laid out. The AZZA Z is basically broken into 4 quadrants that are made for four separate but not equal sized parts. The graphics quad, the motherboard quad then the power supply quad and finally the drive bay or mechanical hard drive bay quad all have sufficient space for the purpose they were made for.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 top of case without exoskeleton

The quadrant that we are looking at below is for the graphics card or if you want any PCIe card that the user chooses for their AZZA-Z project. The plastic block is made primarily for holding the weakest part of the graphics card in place and steady and also to help the builder route that big power supply cord so wire management and a very steady card is its best purpose. It has four positions for different sized cards and will works great for other types of tuner or ultra awesome sound cards.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 GPU compartment

The trickiest part of the build and the first you must attend to is removing the top struts and the hard drive bay from the main unit. They should be removed and filled with the hard drives that are planned to be used for the build because once the drives are place back and the power supply is set in place, you will be removing the PSU and replacing it again if you need to change drives. When struts and the hard drive bays are removed correctly it is easy to mount up two 3.25 inch mechanical hard drives. If you plan to mount an SSD there is not an appointed place for one, but that’s nothing that an extra optional SSD adapter or some double sided tape won’t take care of and just stick it to the side or the top of the drive bay on the inside wall to give you two mechanical drives and an extra SSD drive boot drive but that’s not from AZZA, that’s to you from me. You’re welcome.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 drive bay

Here is the motherboard memory cooling fan that was mentioned before. The fan does have its purpose and understanding how noisy a tiny little 60mm fan would have been in any other place, I can see why they mounted this clear thin fan here. As any reader that has building experience can see, the fan is not in the best place and it could get into the way of most cooling solutions or power supply wires so unless you go OEM intel cooler which I have chosen for this project you might want to ditch the fan. The Intel or AMD processor come with an acceptable air cooler and the user might want to plan to use one or just simply remove the clear fan for it bigger and better cooling solution but this is completely up to the discretion of the builder.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 motherboard fan

The motherboard tray is fully accessible from the back of the tray unit for quickly adding another cooling solution without removal of the motherboard itself and this case is only the m-itx size board of 6 x 6 inches. It also helps with keeping the motherboard cooler during operation and saves AZZA some money in steel.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 motherboard tray

Probably the coolest accessory to come with the AZZA-Z-CSAZ-103 is the PCIe extension plug ribbon that looks really tough and professional. The ribbon is covered with an insulating type black covering material to keep the professional look inside the case complete. It is primarily the most important accessory that you will have besides the mini sata to regular sata adapter you may need during this build as this is what is required to remotely mount your larger than usual video card solution into the AZZA-Z-CSAZ-103. This case held our 7970 video card with plenty of room to spare.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 PCI Extention

The power supply area is shown below and in the next page we will discuss the proper steps to build in this case because m-itx builds can be some of the most difficult computers to build if you don’t do it in the proper steps you will not enjoy building experience at all. As the builder will find themselves removing mounted equipment over and over until they get things to fit right. I plan on making this as easy for you as I can and one of the first issues you will run into is that pesky power supply extension wire traveling its way from the back of the case plug to the front of the forward mounted power supply. The mounting of the power supply is done in the usual way as any with four screw designations to mount and the front case holes will line up with the mounting holes of the power supply unit as it should.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 Power supply area

HARDWARE
Hardware is simple it consists of all the screws and mounts that you will need to complete the build as usual but you should keep in mind that additional parts for the mini laptop DVD drive to the m-itx motherboard. The screws for mounting the small laptop DVD drive securely into the case are included with this kit and will be easy to see as they are the smallest silver M.2 size screws that come with the kit. There are also motherboard screws, an extra standoff just in case, and self sticking rubber mounts to use in whatever configuration the builder desires so think first and install these rubber bumper feet last so it will be a nice one time fit.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 Accessories screws

The blueprint below will help you to see what hardware comes with the AZZA-Z-CSAZ-103 case and also let you see where and how the controls and plugs are located.

AZZA Z CSAZ-103 case manual assembly kit diagram

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