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Roundup: Four Gaming Cases Under $150

Inside The Z7 Plus

Made from a light-gauge steel sheet of similar thickness compared to its NZXT competitor, Zalman’s Z7 Plus is still quite a bit more rigid, which is probably due to its more heavily boxed drive cage and lack of cable pass-through holes. However, Zalman retains the access hole for CPU cooler support plates and also uses rolled edges, like its competitor, to increase panel rigidity and eliminate sharp edges.

Twist-out EMI shields fill three of the Z7 Plus’ nine 5.25” bays, creating the case’s only scratch hazard during the removal process. Screw holes allow these shields to be re-installed.

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A single 120mm blue LED fan cools Zalman’s five-drive, four-bay adapter cage. Rubber grommets and shoulder screws reduce the transmission of noise between the hard drives and case panels.

A tray under the drive cage accepts a single 3.5” or 2.5” internal drive, and can be used with a removable face panel for 3.5” external drives.

The Z7 Plus includes two 120mm side fans, but only one is pre-installed. The side-fan controller supports both fans via three-pin connections, but its four-pin power input could cause interference between the power supply's cable end and expansion cards. Thus, it’s best used with right-angle power plugs.

  • skora
    Good article. But I'm a little surprised that the Element actually found the Buy award. Usually seems like that's set aside for superior products that don't have the QC issues this did.

    I'm sure there will be request for this case and that and across a lot of price ranges.

    If you do enough of these, you could do a "Best Gaming Case for the Money" series. Or is that peeing in Don's yard?
    Reply
  • sarsoft
    No Antec Nine Hundred case...
    Reply
  • p1n3apqlexpr3ss
    That wouldnt be a bad idea tbh skora, would like to know what the best budget case is out there... not excactly a fan of the antec 200/300
    Reply
  • 4ILY45
    No CM 690 II??
    Reply
  • bk641
    the cm doesn't have a fan control option, afaik.
    Reply
  • Gosh, that Zalman is butt-ugly.
    Reply
  • zoemayne
    ANTEC 902?
    Reply
  • sarsoft
    More cases need to be added. There are other case under $150 that are better choices.
    Reply
  • bk641
    the lancool (lian-li) k62 is a very, very good case for a sub $100 range. i'm using one, and it has pretty much everything you'd want in a mid-tower case. i especially like its HDD bay system, which can be configured to have the hard drives straight on, or perpendicular. in addition to that there are four quiet fans (two on top) and room for two 5870s.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    sarsoftNo Antec Nine Hundred case...No OLD cases. The Cooler Master case ended up in here by mistake, it was supposed to be for stuff released from November onward.
    Reply