Zalman Z11 NEO Case Review: Value vs Features
Closer Look at the Zalman Z11 Neo Case
The dimensions of Z11 NEO are 205mm wide, 465mm tall, 515mm long. As I have mentioned this case is a mid sized and it definitely has a style to it. Z11 NEO has top and the front bezel made from ABS plastic. Side doors are made of steel and left door has acrylic window. Both sides of the case have one 80mm air intake fan that help cool the components.
A good portion of the front of the case is made to look like brushed aluminum. The back of the case layout is pretty standard. I found seven PCI slots along with holes for an external radiator for water cooling. Rear fan is 120mm fan that pushes air out of the case.
On the top of the case there are two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0, one headphones and one microphone connector for easy access. The power button is set to be dead center of the front bezel and the reset button is on the right side of the I/O panel.
There aren’t many logos on this case. The only Zalman logo I found was on the front bezel to the bottom of the case. Very small and economical. Z11 NEO logo is found on the left side of the case by the left intake. The logo in not embossed like the front Zalman badge, just fancy lettering with couple of lines going trough it.
As I have mentioned earlier, the two front intake fans are 80mm and provide substantial cooling for the hard drives inside. Both of these fans are powered by 5 volt Molex connector. What I found odd here is the lack of any kind of filtering. As your system collects dust trough these intakes, it will be a challenge to clean the fans.
Power supply space in the case is rated for up to 250mm long power supplies. I am using a large 1200watt Cooler Master Silent Pro power supply and it fit perfectly. To minimize vibration Z11 NEO comes with four PSU feet that keep the power supply in place. Skeleton of Z11 NEO is pretty solid. When I have removed all of the panels the case kept its form and didn’t wobble. The joints are interlinked and provide good locking.
There are two color fans in this case. One is located on the top of the case and the other one is located in front of the case. Both of the fans are 120mm Blue LED. They give off soft blue glow when in operation. The motherboard tray is not removable in this case. However, it offers a large cutout for any CPU replacement work. Cable management in this case is fairly good. I would advise to have a fully modular power supply to minimize cables in this case.
There are couple of filters in this case. One located in the front of the case and the other one is on the bottom of the case near power supply. Filters are easy to remove and clean but I still wish there were some kind of filters on the intake of the case.
Z11 NEO is very much customizable. If you are planning to run water cooling in this case, you may want to take a look at horizontal radiators to mount on top of this case. You should have no issues mounting 240mm or 280mm radiators on the top. A whole top of the case is dedicated for ventilation. If you plan to use external radiators, you can do that here as well. The Z11 NEO has rear holes for external radiators.
The whole case sits on rubber pods. These are basically long and wide pieces of rubber that keep the case from slipping and sliding. They might not be that appealing but they sure do their job. Mounting hardware in Z11 NEO is easy. Hard drive (3.5″) mounting requires no tools. Just slide the drive in a sled and secure it in place. 2.5″ could be mounted in the external slot or right in the 3.5″ sleds. For 2.5″ drives you will need to use screws to secure them to sleds.