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Zalman Z11 Neo ATX Case Review

With more radiator space and a more-modern design, does Zalman’s Z11 Neo have the combination of cool and quiet to get our stamp of approval?

Test Results And Analysis

Worried about the impact of those side exhausts fans of the Zalman Z11 Neo? The intake fan flows much more air, as indicated by the moderate GPU temperature. Note that the GPU fans were set to full speed in each of these full-load tests.

CPU temperature, on the other hand, favored the Gaming S5’s pair of intake fans. It probably makes sense that the spread-out airflow would benefit the CPU and GPU separately, though the Gaming S5’s side vent also allowed some of the graphics card waste heat to escape out the side rather than traveling up to the CPU.

Be Quite got reduced noise by using thin acoustic foam, but Zalman achieved similar results by stiffening up the side panels with plastic ductwork.

Zalman’s higher acoustic efficiency score is due entirely to its reduced GPU heat, compared to the Silent Base 800. The other cases didn’t produce bad GPU temperatures though, and the Z11 Neo did have higher CPU temperature than the Silent Base 800, dropping its overall lead down to 1 percent.

Good acoustic performance combines with a low price to give the Z11 Neo a huge value lead over the Silent Base 800. The price difference is larger than even the performance number.

The Zalman Z11 Neo offers a great combination of overall quality and price, and much of that quality comes from stiffer panels that weigh more than most other cases in the sub-$100 class. It also offers better radiator support than most cases in its class, so what’s the downside?

  • Alexandru Tudor Sarbu
    I have one and it's awesome! :D
    Reply
  • danlw
    I would be interested to see it up against the Fractal Design R5. That's the case I'm planning to get, but I can be swayed.

    But really, Zalman? Break away slot covers? You came so close to knocking it out of the park...
    Reply
  • Steveymoo
    So, 6 months before all your components get covered in dust? :D
    Reply
  • Crashman
    15895020 said:
    So, 6 months before all your components get covered in dust? :D
    Put in another intake fan if you want positive pressure to trap most of your dust in the front filter :)

    Reply
  • King Kii
    I would be interested to see it up against the Fractal Design R5. That's the case I'm planning to get, but I can be swayed.

    But really, Zalman? Break away slot covers? You came so close to knocking it out of the park...

    go for the Fractal. Fractal's build, material quality, and thoughtfulness is very hard to beat. you definitely get what you pay for when it comes to their stuff.
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    Those hard drive mounts look like corsair rip offs.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    15900142 said:
    Those hard drive mounts look like corsair rip offs.
    Nearly every time I see a statement like that, I'm able to find a previous product from a third brand to contradict it. Many of these ideas come from the ODM itself, rather than the brand that has the product customized to match its market.
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Great performance, a little ugly.

    But if you like the way it looks, then it seems like a great deal!
    Reply