Zalman Z-Machine GT1000
The GT1000 from Zalman is special, and not only because of its price—the Z-Machine GT1000 is sold for $399 in many online shops, making it the most expensive in our test. The build of the aluminum case is exemplary. There are no sharp edges at all, either inside or outside the case. The left side wall consists of two doors that can be opened using knurled screws, and the right side also has two doors, though those are closed using Allen screws. On the front you will find two illuminated system fans that draw cool ambient air into the housing, though they aren’t very quiet. An additional 120 mm fan sits inside the case and blows the warm air out. Note that the fan illumination can’t be turned off.
Inside, Zalman has installed a mounting system for hard drives; up to six drives can fit in the GT1000, with none of them directly touching the case. Four drives sit in a special cage on top rubber wheels, with the cage supporting and securing them in place. A knurled screw supports the mounting roll so that the hard drive sits securely in its cage. Two additional 3.5 inch hard drives can be installed on the floor of the case, and there is also rubber there to decouple them.
One disadvantage of the Z-Machine GT1000 is that the 5.25 inch drive slot on the very top does not have a protective cover. That means that you need to have at least one 5.25 inch drive installed.