Date: September 2nd, 2008
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman USA
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The rear of the Plus has a PSU cutout, two 80mm fan placements, an I/O shield opening and seven expansion card slots. The last slot is occupied by a cover that provides VGA cable egress (we'll discuss this necessity a little later,) and can be moved (albeit with some effort,) to whichever slot best suits the user during installation. The expansion slot and I/O shield module is nickel-plated steel and quite sturdy.
Removing six screws allows the top to slide back and off the case. Inside, the front of the chassis contains two drive cages and a lot of wires and cables. The motherboard tray is not removable and the silver-colored standoffs are pre-installed. There are a lot of wires and cables in here, but Zalman has tied them all in neat bundles and secured them for shipping.
While there are no tool free features in the Plus, the HDD cage, on the left, has vibration dampening grommets to minimize drive noise, and a single screw secures each cage in the chassis. The faceplate of the DVD drive tray must be removed to affix the stealth faceplate via the included foam tape. It's a simple peel-and-stick operation, but getting the proper spacing for front panel aesthetics and button operation requires a bit of trial and error. There is room for another HDD in this cage, making the XT capable of holding five hardies, pretty impressive for an HTPC chassis.
Toward the rear of the case, we see the twin 80mm exhaust fans and the pre-installed silver mobo standoffs. If a mATX board is to be used, the manual has detailed instructions for using the two additional standoffs included in the hardware bag. Note the bottom 80mm intake fan and air inlet for the PSU cooling fan.
The inside front is a little less cluttered in the Plus, with the buttons and I/O stuff consolidated on their respective sides, and the elimination of the 3-pin fan headers that were located just below the ODD. The locating blocks for the drive cages are now made of plastic and they slide a bit easier.
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