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Zalman Z11 Plus Worst case ever?

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February 7, 2014 7:26:18 AM

Hey

I've built my first rig and I went with the Zalman Z11 Plus case. The asthics of the case is really amazing! but I will warn you, this case is ABSOLUTELY SH*T when it comes to cooling.

The case comes included with
Front 1 x 120mm Blue LED Fan (120mm / 140mm)
Top 2 x 120mm Fan (1 x Blue LED Fan Included, 1 x Optional)
Rear 1 x 120mm Fan (Standard)
Side 2 x 80mm Fan
Bottom 120mm/140mm Fan Vent x 1 (Fan optional)

Update: I went ahead and calculated the fan power consumption. 3 of the fans are powered by molex connections so they run at 1 constant speed. take a look at how bad they are.

Rear(120mm) - 0.16A (12V) = 1.92W DC
Top(120mm) - 0.16A (12V) = 1.92W DC
Front(120mm) - 0.16A (12V) = 1.92W DC
Sidex2(80mm) - 0.08A (12V) = 0.96W DC

In total, the case comes with 5 included fans but don't be fooled, these fans are TERRIBLE and they did make my GPU hit 80-85 degrees C or so which I'm very uncomfortable with considering I have a XFX R7970 Brand New. I'm now having to use the case with the side panel off so the computer doesn't over heat. I didn't record the temps on my CPU

I'm really really angry with what I paid for. I was disgusted with the quality of the fans. It was shocking how much air they were pulling in yet the selling point of this computer was '5 Fans Included'. What a load of bs.

Zalman are the worst company I've ever experienced. I had also contacted them to ask if they could do anything but they said there was nothing they could do.

I'm asking you guys, what should I do? Do I get new fans and hope they're a load better because I need something to help air ventilation because I'm disgusted with not being able to put my side panel on and then face overheating...

Truly disappointed with this case & a waste of money.

More about : zalman z11 worst case

a c 160 B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2014 7:32:07 AM

It's pretty unusual you would end up in that situation. Even a metal box with some vents cut in it shouldn't have any major issues with overheating unless you fill it with really high end stuff.

The HD7970 can get a bit on the hot side, but that is more extreme than it should be. I'd be more inclined towards looking at the graphics card than the case, to make sure it's not the thing causing you problems.
Which exact card is it you have? I've heard sorta anecdotal stuff about some of the Tahiti-based XFX cards being pretty terrible for temperatures.
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February 7, 2014 7:42:59 AM

Rammy said:
It's pretty unusual you would end up in that situation. Even a metal box with some vents cut in it shouldn't have any major issues with overheating unless you fill it with really high end stuff.

The HD7970 can get a bit on the hot side, but that is more extreme than it should be. I'd be more inclined towards looking at the graphics card than the case, to make sure it's not the thing causing you problems.
Which exact card is it you have? I've heard sorta anecdotal stuff about some of the Tahiti-based XFX cards being pretty terrible for temperatures.


I spent a while doing a good cable management job so I know the cables aren't causing problems.. The CPU cooler is stock cooler which Is loud and I'm aware of this, but the CPU cooler I have now Is screaming for cooler air when I play video games with the side panel on. I've never heard a computer so loud before.

I've updated the thread starter and I took a look at the fans included with my case.. they're seriously terrible. I put my hand in the direction the air is blowing and it's the smallest amount of air I can feel at all.

Loudness isn't really a problem to me as long as the temps are as low as they are with the side panel off

Here's the included fans
Rear(120mm) - 0.16A (12V) = 1.92W DC
Top(120mm) - 0.16A (12V) = 1.92W DC
Front(120mm) - 0.16A (12V) = 1.92W DC
Sidex2(80mm) - 0.08A (12V) = 0.96W DC

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a c 160 B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2014 7:50:01 AM

Sadly bundled case fans are often on the poor side, especially on a case that includes a large number of them.
Even a super-high end case will often stick with 3-4 fans as standard, most low-mid range cases go for an intake and an exhaust so you don't need to add any to get started.

I still think it's unlikely to be fans that are causing your issues, or at least not in isolation.
What sort of a deltaT do you get between having the side on or off?
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February 7, 2014 7:54:20 AM

The card I have is the XFX Radeon HD 7970

It's not the GPU at all. I know this because with the side panel on, my CPU temps hit very high as well as the GPU sending my pwm fans crazy fast. It gets so hot inside that with the side panel on and running a game such as BF3, I can touch the side panel and it would be abnormally hot...

well I do most of my temp tests on my GPU. With the side panel off, running maxed out on BF3 I get 80-120fps easy with no problems running at around 60-65 degrees which I'm comfortable with. with the side panel on, the pwm on my fans went to 100% and I closed the game and checked and the temp was at 84-85 degrees celcius.. unclocked.. something that makes me very uncomfortable at those temps
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a c 160 B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2014 8:03:14 AM

The only reason I mention the graphics card is because I've heard multiple people mention how hot/rubbish their XFX HD7950/7970s are. I was also under the impression (though this seems to be incorrect) that there were two different XFX HD7970s, and I wasn't sure if it would have some bearing on the situation.

I'll be honest, neither the case nor the graphics card would be ones I'd generally pick when recommending builds, but that's not really helpful to you.

If you are getting a massive difference with the side off, then it does stand to reason that increasing your airflow is going to help to get things back on track.
Before ruling out the stock fans entirely, how are you controlling them currently?
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February 7, 2014 8:18:32 AM

Rammy said:
The only reason I mention the graphics card is because I've heard multiple people mention how hot/rubbish their XFX HD7950/7970s are. I was also under the impression (though this seems to be incorrect) that there were two different XFX HD7970s, and I wasn't sure if it would have some bearing on the situation.

I'll be honest, neither the case nor the graphics card would be ones I'd generally pick when recommending builds, but that's not really helpful to you.

If you are getting a massive difference with the side off, then it does stand to reason that increasing your airflow is going to help to get things back on track.
Before ruling out the stock fans entirely, how are you controlling them currently?




Did I mention that I have the Double Dissipation edition? It's with 2 fans not 1 on my GPU
The top and front fan are all controlled by the 3 pin motherboard headers and the rear and both side panels are powered by molex.

I just did another check and the top and front fans that are powered by the 3 pin motherboard headers are doing around 1000RPM but I don't know if this is decent or way to little.
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February 7, 2014 8:24:34 AM

I've looked online and found these, I have place for 4 of these but I think I may only get 3 if replacing the fans is my problem.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Antec-Twocool-Blue-140mm-Fan/dp...

they can do 1200RPM and take 3.6W in total and they're 140mm but they aren't the cheapest fans of all.
If replacing all the fans does something, I'll look into investing into replacing all of them.

Never buying from Zalman again.
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Best solution

a c 160 B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2014 8:38:09 AM

Yeah, it turns out I was right. XFX only have the Double dissipation model on their website, but a google images search shows up a load of reference cooler XFX HD7970s. It is the DD versions that people have commented run hotter than average though.

Back on topic. The reason I ask is that I was wondering if they were running at full speed. It's relatively easy to have them running at a lower speed due to inadvertently using an included restrictor, or having them set for lower speeds in the BIOS. That's kinda clutching at straws in this instance though.

A lot of cases when they list a "side" fan location, are referring to a location directly above the graphics card(s). If you are having specific graphics card temperature issues, then it's usually this location which is good to focus on. The Z11 however, seems solid here, and as I understand it the side fans are in the bulge sections at the front (which is a bit useless).

I'm not entirely sure what to suggest. I doubt that the whole thing is caused by rubbish fans, or else every single person with a Z11 would be trying to return it, so it's likely to be a combination of a hotter than average graphics card, poor fans, and a questionable case design.
The issue is that, as I mentioned above, the "easy" solution in most cases would be to stick a really high quality fan on the side panel, usually as an intake to blow onto the card. That doesn't seem viable.
The other cheap option is looking at expansion slot coolers. It's not something I have experience in, but they can get rid of some of the hot air and they aren't terribly expensive, so it might be worth considering.
Replacing the fans with better models sounds sensible, but it's not going to be terribly cheap, and none of them are terribly near to your graphics card, so you could spend quite a bit and get a very small change.
A more extreme solution might be to modify the side panel to give the graphics card some more ventilation. The side window should be fairly easy to drill holes through, and might be a cost effective solution, albeit a kinda rubbish one.
Finally, the worst case scenario is replacing the case itself, something which I'm sure you considered. I don't know how the returns policy works wherever you are/wherever you bought it from, but it might be possible to return the case. This could also end up being expensive, which is a shame.


EDIT-
1000rpm is pretty normal. I run some fans at ~500-700rpm for silence.
Also, I notice the Z11 has a fan location in the base of the case, in front of the PSU. This might be the area to target. It might be worth moving a fan into this location and seeing if it has any impact on temps.
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February 7, 2014 9:48:11 PM

If the solution above doesn't work and you have recently ordered it try and RMA the case.
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February 8, 2014 10:17:13 AM

1. Are you sure the fans are not moving much air? Hold Your hand near them and see if anything is blowing (or sucking.)

2. Are the fans pointing the right way? Which ones are intake and which ones are exhaust?

3. You are running the fans at half-speed by connecting them to motherboard headers? If so, try connecting them to power directly, to run them at full speed.

3.5. Try a fan controller.

4. Dude, they are FANs. If they are not running enough air, replace them. RMAing the case is a PITA. Replacing a few fans is an hour's work including the time at the store.
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February 8, 2014 1:42:37 PM

Recycled said:
1. Are you sure the fans are not moving much air? Hold Your hand near them and see if anything is blowing (or sucking.)

2. Are the fans pointing the right way? Which ones are intake and which ones are exhaust?

3. You are running the fans at half-speed by connecting them to motherboard headers? If so, try connecting them to power directly, to run them at full speed.

3.5. Try a fan controller.

4. Dude, they are FANs. If they are not running enough air, replace them. RMAing the case is a PITA. Replacing a few fans is an hour's work including the time at the store.


1. I have my side panel always off. I put my hand in there to see how how it is every so often and the fans are definitely blowing the right way.

2. The 3 main fans (Front, rear and top) are as below.
Front-Intake
Rear & Top- Exhaust

I have tried reversing the rear and top to both intakes as well which I would never normally do but It was worth a try and just made situation worse of course which is pretty oblivious.


3. I don't have a way of inputting the 3pin fans into my PSU. I'd probably get adapters but I'm not buying nothing until I know it will definitely resolve my issue

3.5 I've configured all the fans in this BIOS menu (and in software on windows too) to make them at max speed consistently.

4 My first look was to replace fans of course. RMA the case will just be a pain in the ass.
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February 9, 2014 1:11:50 PM

Keeping the side panel off will change the airflow, and change the cooling.

This may be another dumb question, but: Did You ever test the case with the side panel on?
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February 9, 2014 1:18:11 PM

As for not buying anything unless You know it will definitely solve the problem...I disagree.

We PC builders are often reduced from engineers to mechanics. A mechanic tests something and observes a problem, then takes a guess as to which part is the problem, and replaces that part. After everything is put back together, we repeat the process. We test again, and if the problem is still there, we guess at which part to replace, and replace it. Then we test....

When something should not be happening, but is, replacing parts at random until we fix it is the only way to go. If those parts are non-returnable RAM, Processors, Video Cards, and MotherBoards, then it can be very expensive. If the parts are easily returnable power connectors, fans, and/or fan controllers, then it's a mild annoyance. $20 and 2 hours should fix it. You can return unused parts to the store the next time You go.

Just make sure You know what size fans and what connectors before You go.
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June 13, 2014 8:39:19 PM

Have this case and My CPU Temp is when idle = 30°C and when i'm Gaming 40°C - 45°C
My Brother has also this Case and he's CPU Temp idle =28°C when Gaming not Sure

My CPU Cooler is Corsair Hydro Series H60
Brother's CPU Cooler is Cooler Master Hyper212 Evo

you probably will need to Change you CPU Cooler or replace its Cooling Paste
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