Joined on 02/01/06
Great Little Case
Pros: This is an excellent little barebones system. The case is one of the best built and most carefully engineered that I've worked with. The power supply and hard drive mounting cage swing out for easy access---a very cool design. The included heatsink and fan keep the 65W Athlon64 X2 4600+ at 31C at idle (w/ frequency scaling). All the hardware is supported by Linux (gbit LAN, onboard sound, onboard graphics, mem card reader).
Cons: My only criticism is that the HD LED doesn't work. It appears to be poor design---there's a stenciled pattern on the front panel for the LED to shine through, but the LED is mounted 1/2" below the pattern on the inside of the panel. You can see the LED flickering in low light enough to see it's in the wrong position.
Overall Review: It may not be clear from the product description or pictures, but the optical drive panel is hinged and swings open when you eject the tray. Thus you don't need to buy a silver optical drive to match the case.
Does its job.
Pros: Effectively allows you to reduce the speed of your fan. Zalman makes some high quality stuff, and this is no exception. The included cable should be plenty long for any application I can think of.
Cons: A bit pricey for what it is. And why doesn't it go down below 5V? One of my fans wouldn't go below 2500 RPM, but I probably should have been using a fan with a lower 12V RPM.
Pros: Practically eliminates seek noise, reduces the high-pitched whine of older hard drives a bit, does seem to cool the drive.
Cons: Doesn't eliminate that much high-pitched whine in older ball bearing hard drives. Perhaps that's a non-issue since most hard drives nowadays are fluid dynamic bearing.
Overall Review: Kind of expensive for what it is, but it gets the job done.