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ZALMAN Black Aluminum / Plastic / Steel HD501 ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

  • Aluminum / Plastic / Steel
  • 2 x 80mm rear fans

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  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Learn more about the Zalman Tech Co., Ltd HD501

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the Zalman Tech Co., Ltd HD501

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  • Toby F.
  • 6/23/2010 2:10:35 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsTight fit, defective part, bad customer service.

Pros: Surprisingly big, which was necessary to fit everything in. Nice finish. Some interesting features with the hot swap bays.

Cons: Things like the hot swap bays take up a lot of space and make it hard to fit everything in. Had to use a lot of pressure to get things in position. My main qualm, though, is that the power button and the LEDs on the front do not work. Only the reset button has worked, and I had to wire it to the power button so my computer can turn on. I've contacted Zalman about it and have not gotten a response in 3 days. Rest assured I won't be buying any Zalman products in the future, just from their bad customer service alone.

Other Thoughts: It's up to you if you want to try your luck on any of their products. I don't want to do an RMA on the whole case because then I'll be out a computer for a whole week, possibly more. So I guess I'll have to live with a PC that has no working power/hard drive LEDs.

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Value Customer,

We are very sorry to hear about that, have you try our online system at www.zalman.com or you may contact us directly at 714-530-0700 ext. 227. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Team Zalman USA

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Nick W.
  • 4/4/2010 8:14:06 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggsThe End Justifies the Means

Pros: Once it's finished, it's easy to love the look and feel of the case. Brushed black aluminum... Solid, sophisticated, and no unecessary bling. 2x120mm fans (optional) separates it from most full-sized HTPC cases. Plus, a basic fan power distro/ voltage controller is nice. Some folks may really like the swappable HD bay; for me, it's for future additions.

Cons: Almost lost an egg: Optical Bay difficult to line up, and recessed about 1/2" (taking the cover off of the drive made the "button" not line up. Fixable, but not ideal.) I may have done something wrong, but a "normal" 5.25" bay would be better, IMHO. If modifying cases is not your thing, drop an egg.

My WD Blue Caviars vibrated all the way through the case into my desk (Just enough to be annoying, seeing as how the fans are relatively quiet on the 5V setting). Used some of the foam (1/8" thick or so) under the cage to deaden, now it's fine.

Overall, not an easy build, but I suppose that's how most/ all standard ATX HTPC cases are. mATX users should have a bit easier time.

Other Thoughts: For a 'pure' HTPC case, it's a real easy 5 stars, noting the optical drive button issue. You should be quite pleased. (Note the 503 may have some HTPC elements worth considering.)

However, I built a gaming case, and knew I had some mods going into it. The biggest was the three-drive bay- I hacksawed it down to two for better air flow around the graphics card. Also, the cooling characteristics, even with the 120mm fans, are simply not the same as you'll get from a "power user" mid/ full tower. I think this is mostly due to the graphics card length (I have a 9600GT, goes right up to the end of the MB. It would have fit fine without any mods, but I'd rather the better air flow). In addition, to support a heavy monitor (26" LCD), you probably want to build in extra support (not hard to do here)

At the end of the day, a challenging build, but once it was all finished, it's exactly what I wanted in a case. 5 eggs is for the results, not the work that went into it.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Mark K.
  • 3/29/2010 7:35:39 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsNice case if you're very careful with component selection

Pros: Very good quality materials. External finishes are nice. No sharp edges internally. Room in the right places for cable management. Supplied fans are quiet (not silent) on low speed.

Cons: As stated in the other reviews this case is a VERY tight fit for an ATX MB. I purchased it to pair with an i7-920/DX58SO setup. Unfortunately there were two fairly serious problems:

1) The DX58SO SATA connectors face out instead of up. Due to the placement of the hard drive container I had to use 90 degree SATA cables and can only hook up to 4 of the 6 SATA ports. As I'm doing 3 drive RAID + a CDRW there is no way to take advantage of the eSATA port in my case.

2) Due to the CD container overhang of the motherboard it's very tight as others have stated. In my case there is an additional heat sink to the right of the MB power connector which also runs onto this container. (See DX58SO pictures for info.) After running a Gentoo install for an hour BIOS reports that the chip under that heat sink is 72 degrees when the processor is 34 degrees.

I think I'm going to have to scrap this combination and buy a mid-tower for my current needs.

Other Thoughts: Consider purchasing larger side fans for additional cooling.

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  • Marc F.
  • 12/28/2009 10:03:56 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggs

Pros: Great Looking Case. Solid build. Lots of room for HDDs and expansion cards.

Cons: ODD cage is hangs over ATX format motherboard where RAM slots and ATX power connector often located. My PSU's (Zalman ZM 660 XT) 24 pin connector was too high and I had to 'modify' it to make it fit.
I also had issues with the side panels (they need to be removed to install additional case fans). They are made of plastic and some of the 'clips' broke as I removed them.
Finally I had an issue with the 8 pin CPU power connector. On my board (Asus P6t se) it is located right where one of the optional case fan is located. Because of the thickness of my fan, the connector is completely flush with the fan 'enclosure' making plugging in operation a bit tricky. I had the firs plug in the connector to the motherboard, then mount the fan on the case.

Other Thoughts: Viedo card length and CPU cooler height can be an issue.

Was my first build.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Al L.
  • 12/20/2009 9:57:04 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsSolid Case for HT PC

Pros: Solid case, very good airflow, high quality components, fit my ASUS ATX board nicely, great that it had an adapter for a SSD drive.

My goal was to get as close to a fanless case as possible. The good ventilation in this case means I can get away with only dual ultra slow speed fans on Noctua NH-U9B SE, even though I am running a Intel i7-920, and no case fans. Even run full out on benchmarks, temperature stays well under 60 C for all components.

Cons: Tight squeeze to fit memory under DVD/hotswap drive bay: G.Skill DIMMs fit, but it was close. The Sony DVD drive door was a little below the opening in the front on the case, and there was no easy way to adjust the height; ended up having to file a notch in the mounting rails to get the door aligned. Don't know if this was Sony's or Zalman's fault for not meeting the standard.

Case may be a little deep for some audio rack installations, but fit in mine.

Other Thoughts: Case looks great next to the AV amplifier. Even better, it is basically silent; the system is quieter than the small fan on the back of my Samsung Blue-ray player.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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