We were apprehensive when we first saw Zalman’s Z-Machine LQ1000 case. From the outside, the chassis looks like a combination of the company’s Fatal1ty FC-ZE1 case (reviewed February 2007) and its Reserator XT external water cooler (reviewed December 2007). But this case isn’t simply a slapped-together hybrid of two products. Zalman packs a number of improvements into the LQ1000.
The LQ1000 abandons the frustrating billion-screw design of its predecessor, the FC-ZE1, for a thumb-screwed side panel. The case’s drive bays use the same tool-free design as the FC-ZE1, but the mounting mechanisms for the case’s four 5.25-inch bays are all tool-free as well.
When most computer users think of folding at home, the image that comes to mind is that of folding proteins in hopes of ultimately coming up with a cure for common diseases. But the term is about to become literal with Asus' announcement of its Vento TA-F foldable chassis.
The main benefit of a collapsible chassis lies in its portability. According to Asus, with a fully folded dimension of 434 x 87 x 434 mm, vendors can cut back on transportation costs by upwards of 30 percent. Presumably this would translate into reduced costs for the end users who often find themselves paying anywhere from $15 to $25 or more to have a case shipped. But are there any other benefits?
"This [space saving design] also allows DIY enthusiasts to carry the chassis back home or to the office without having to contend with the conventional bulk of a normal chassis," Asus explains in its press release. "Once the user arrives back home or at the office, the TA-F Series can be expanded quickly to use and also be kept away by simply folding it flat."
To do so would require removing installed components and then reinstalling, rinse and repeat. To its credit, the TA-F boasts a tools-free setup to help streamline the process, but we can't imagine system builders opting to tear down their system in order to save some cargo space.
What are your thoughts on a foldable chassis? Hit the jump and let us know.
You will not find a more powerful air-cooled case on the market than Antec’s Twelve Hundred—not unless you strap a box fan to the side of your chassis. That’s what it would take to challenge the cooling prowess of this full-tower enclosure, which features one 20cm fan on top and five 12cm fans placed throughout the interior. These six blue LED fans are attached to individual switches that allow you to tweak the strength (and sound) of each fan to suit your needs.
We were hoping to find a giant Chaos insignia on the side of NZXT's newest case, but alas, it appears the chassis manufacturer isn't as big a fan of Warhammer as we thought. Naming conventions aside, this bold aluminum case is a beast to behold. Dubbed the Khaos, it's a huge and expensive addition to the full-tower chassis club. But don't take our word for it: check out a full batch of sexy unboxing shots below!
Like Bill’s Hanzo sword, Luke’s lightsaber, and Gordon Freeman’s crowbar, Thermaltake’s newest chassis appears unconvincingly plain—until you take it out for a spin. The SwordM dices through our typical chassis frustrations like a chain saw through a burrito. This is truly a next-generation case.
There are apparently two versions of the English language going around the technological world: One is the version manufacturers use when they say things like, “The NZXT Alpha also enables the user to fit large expansion cards like the Nvidia 8800 GTX.” The other version is the kind we use, where the word “fit” doesn’t suggest a large bucket of grease, a hammer, and profanity that would make a longshoreman blush.
In our last big case roundup (April 2007), Gigabyte’s Aurora 570 earned top marks for its excellent design and convenience as a chassis. But Gigabyte certainly hasn’t rested on its laurels since then—the company’s designers have gone back to the drawing board and given us a case that rivals the coolness of its predecessor. Gigabyte calls it the Mercury Pro; we would have named it the Monstrosity Pro if we were in charge. That’s because this case isn’t just a run-of-the-mill chassis. It’s a fully functional (armed and operational?) water-cooling/case hybrid. Take a moment if you need to collect yourself.