I’ve taken a look a quite a lot of cases that have been in this price range and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised with the Z9 Neo from Zalman. The thing that really stands out the most for me is that the case comes with 5 included fans. Not only is that a lot of fans for a case, but that is the maximum amount of fans this case supports. So you don’t have to worry about buying anymore fans. If you wanted to go the water cooling route the case does support a 280 mm radiator at the front and a 240 mm up top. Did I mention the two top fans are blue LED fans? So you will already have some extra bling for your system.
Power supply covers are becoming all but standard on cases these days and it is great to see one on the Z9 Neo. Zalman’s extends almost the entire bottom of the case and has a hard drive cage built-in which I really like. This helps separate components in the case and makes it easy to organize things. Talking organizing things I was pleasantly surprised to find velcro cable organizers on the backside of the case, typically we only see those on premium cases. This case also has no problem fitting large graphics cards as well.
Now I did come across a few issues with this case. The biggest one was with the 2.5-inch hard drive mounts that are on the front side of the case. It does not matter which way you mount your hard drive the wiring is going to be tight. This could easily be solved by making the opening towards the front of the case larger. Also the 5.25-inch drive bays are removable, but when you remove them there is no added benefit. I thought there would be another fan placement there, which would allow for larger radiators in the front (360 mm), but that was not the case. Having the 5 included fans is definitely a plus, but only one of them (the rear fan) had a 3 pin connector, the others were molex only. This means I have to connect them directly to my power supply and I can’t use them with a fan controller or connect them to my motherboard without using an adapter.
At the end of the day this is one of the better cases I’ve seen in this price range. You can’t argue the value you are getting with the 5 included fans and other features. Right now you can pick up this case at my favorite online retailer for $68.50. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Zalman Z9 Neo case an 8 out of 10 score.
– Sleek design
– 5 included fans (2 blue LED fans)
– Supports long graphics cards
– Velcro cable organizers
– 2.5-inch hard drive mounts on the front of the case could have been implemented better
– 4 of the fans are molex only
– Removing the 5.25-inch drive bay has no real benefit