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Roundup: Four Gaming Cases Under $150

Building With The Z7 Plus

The Z7 Plus includes a basic user's manual, a second side-panel fan, and a bag filled with standoffs, standard screws for the motherboard, shoulder screws for the hard drive cage, and cable ties.

Our preference for a desktop placement led us to install the optical drive in a center bay. Removing the drive adapter tray from the bottom and placing it on top gave us a handy place to stuff excess cable.

Zalman doesn’t provide a top-panel exhaust fan, but the power supply’s intake fan serves the same function.

Notice that the Z7 Plus, like its NZXT competitor, forced us to overlap the hard drive and graphics card. Repositioning the hard drive cage allows cards up to 16.8” long to be installed through the drive bays, but the space between the back of a 3.5” hard drive and slot panel is only 10.44.”

Pre-installing only one of the Z7 Plus’ two included side fans makes sense, since Zalman is also a CPU cooler company. Leaving the top fan out allows extra space for oversized coolers, such as our test platform’s 120mm tower.

  • 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