AZZA Hurrican 2000 Review

airman - 2010-09-22 14:17:18 in Cases
Category: Cases
Reviewed by: airman   
Reviewed on: October 18, 2010
Price: $129.99

Introduction:

As the computer enthusiast market expands, computer accessory manufacturers must expand to keep up with the trends of technology. AZZA is one of these manufacturers that shares these challenges with other organizations that provide these types of products. AZZA specializes in computer cases and power supplies, all of which are currently available on Newegg, Amazon, and other popular retailers. Unveiled in September, AZZA has designed the Hurrican 2000 computer case with ease of use in mind. The Hurrican 2000 features many innovative accommodations, not to mention the more important aspect of performance. As technology and performance improves, so does the heat output from these components. The Hurrican 2000 is featured in the October edition of Maximum PC, hinting at its rising popularity. The Hurrican series is available with black exterior, and the option between a black or a red interior. This review will provide an extensive overview and evaluation from unboxing, external and internal features, as well as a complete testing and comparison to other cases currently on the market.

 

Closer Look:

The Hurrican 2000 is packaged in an attractive black cardboard box with the AZZA logo and a full sized top-down picture of the case, as well as a small quarter view in the bottom right. The left and right sides of the case each carry display the extensive list of features and specifications, which I will be exploring in this review. The rear of the box explores a more explicative list of features that AZZA has developed with the Hurrican 2000 layered over a picture of the inside of the case. The list of features that this case provides is quite impressive for its price, compared to other cases boasting similar features.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hurrican 2000 is protected in the packaging between two blocks of Styrofoam and is wrapped in a plastic bag with a protective film over the side panel windows to prevent accidental scratching. Thanks to this, the case made it safely to my door. Packaged with the case is the User's Manual in a Ziploc bag, and a plain white box that contains a 5.25" to 3.5" external drive adapter and internal spacers, two Molex splitters, two 12" red locking SATA cables, a set of black accessory screws, motherboard screws, standoffs, zip-ties, and a short PC speaker. After getting the case out of the box, my initial thoughts changed on how I felt about the look of the Hurrican as it is pictured on the box. The case looks great in person, despite the lack of depiction on the packaging since the picture on the front of the box is rather a rather limited view. That being said, my excitement for this case jumped up a few notches after getting it out of the box.

 

 

With the case out of the packaging, it is now time to start sharing the evaluation of the exterior. This will be on the next page.

Closer Look:

The AZZA Hurrican 2000 is, well, big. This means that there will be plenty of room for components and airflow, as well as the characteristic of making a bold statement. The case is well-proportioned and has an attractive stance. The front of the case is lined with plastic notches along the side, a polished AZZA logo, three USB ports (one USB 3.0), audio jacks and an eSATA port. The 5.25" device covers are composed of mesh, and the bottom half of the case is vented with plastic ridges. The left side of the case has an extruded area where the two giant 230mm LED fans are located. This extrusion expands the interior volume of the case that would normally be blocked by these intake fans. Next to each fan is a small window, both angled to flow with lines of the case. These side intake fans are vented with plastic slats on top of metal mesh.

The rear of the case shows a 120mm exhaust fan and two fan speed control switches. These switches control the top two exhaust fans, which will be shown next. There is a grommet at the top left of the case, positioned in a group of venting holes.  It can be used to feed the USB3.0 cable through to the rear as well as any other cabling such as for external fans for a radiator. There are two more grommets to the right of the expansion slots for an external water cooling loop. These grommets are capable of accommodating most 1/2" ID tubing. The right side of the case has something I have never seen before, a fan is positioned beneath where the CPU is located. This can help remove the buildup of heat beneath the CPU socket and may help remove excess heat. The side panel itself has a square design stamped into it, adding some dimension to the usually plain right side panels of other cases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top of the case features six plastic ridges built into the design that cover the two massive 230mm exhaust fans. As previously mentioned, these are the two fans that are controllable from the rear, at three speeds. The front of the top has a power button in the center, surrounded by the power light, with a small reset button and an equally sized hard drive activity light. The bottom of the Hurrican 2000 has four plastic feet, each with two rubber pads. There are two removable fan filters underneath the case. The power supply is located above the first one, and the other fan filter is beneath a spot for another 120mm fan (not included). I usually provide a look underneath the front bezel with the exterior evaluation, but I will wait to show it with the interior evaluation as the disassembly of the case is slightly involved.

 

With the exterior of the case checked out, my thoughts of this case remain high. I like the look and size of it so far as well as the features it offers, and I am excited to see what I find when I open the case and take a closer look on the next page.

Closer Look:

Entering the case only requires removing two thumbscrews per panel. After removing the thumbscrews, each panel slides backwards and then swings open. Doing so exposes the clean black interior and shows off the wire management potential. There are five holes in the motherboard tray that allow for routing of the cables. The AZZA Hurrican 2000 has by far the most room behind the motherboard tray for routing wires and this is a breath of fresh air compared to many other cases! Between the motherboard tray and the bottom edge of the case is average, but the right side panel is shaped outwards which adds an extra half inch or so to the interior clearance for wire management. The 5.25" device bays have tool-less mechanisms on them which I will explain later in this section, along with the four hot-swappable SATA drive bays can also be seen. There is a CPU retention bracket cutout for access to the rear of the motherboard where aftermarket heatsinks typically bolt on to. I have had a lot of problems finding cases that correctly position this for the MSI X58 motherboard, and luckily I have found that this case will be compatible with the X58 motherboard used here in testing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two side panels are easy to remove and sturdy. As I stated on the previous page, the panels are easily removed by taking out the two thumbscrews per panel, sliding the panel backwards and then swinging it outwards. The right (plain) side panel has approximately one half on an inch of extra room built into it thanks to its shape. I can't wait to get the computer put into the case and wires managed because I expect a very easy experience doing so.

 

 

Looking at the bottom left of the inside of the case shows four rubber dampening feet that support the power supply. The power supply mounting bracket allows for the PSU to be mounted facing upwards or downwards, giving the user a choice to satisfy their preference of how they want the power supply oriented. The seven mesh expansion slot covers are held in with thumbscrews and are easily removed. Looking towards the top of the rear shows the 120mm exhaust fan and the wiring for the fan speed controllers for the top two fans. The wiring for these switches are sleeved which cleans up the interior further and adds a nice touch.

The cables for the front I/O panel come down and go through the closest wire management cutout and behind the motherboard tray. The tool-less 5.25" device bays work simply by sliding the two tabs away from each other to lock the devices and towards each other to unlock them. They are removable if preferred, which only requires taking out one screw in the middle of each tool-less mechanism. Securing by screws on either side of the device is always more sturdy, but the two pegs on one side with this tool-less system seems to hold the devices securely. Each hot swap circuit board has a 4-pin Molex plug, a SATA output, and a 3-pin connector for fans. The top two hot swap circuit boards have two fans ready to plug into it, the two that are in the front bezel that blow air over the hard drives.

 

 

 

Removing the front bezel is done by removing two screws underneath the rubber bungs on the top rear of the case. The top then slides forward and off, allowing the front bezel to then pop off. Behind the front bezel, the fan filters on the two 120mm intakes can be seen. The fan filters are clipped onto each fan. Removing these filters will give access to the screws that hold in these fans. The two intake fans on top and front intake fans operate on 12V at 0.35A. The top fans are not lit, and the front fans have blue LEDs.

 

 

 

The tool-less 5.25" device bay mechanisms are unique to what I've used before. The require moving two pieces, rather than just one. Locking a device into place involves sliding the drive into position, then sliding the two pieces away from each other. Below are two pictures of the locking mechanisms in the open position and in the locked position.

 

 

I really like the hot swappable bays that are implemented into the Hurrican 2000. The bottom of the front bezel flips open and exposes the six individual bays. There is a lever on the right side of each tray that releases a spring loaded door on each, which then allows the drive tray to slide out as a whole. The drive trays look like they're about 40% restrictive from the incoming airflow of the front intake fans, but I feel that this small sacrifice adds to the rigidity of the individual trays.

 

 

 

I always try to provide a close up of the individual and removable pieces of each case that I review. The Hurrican 2000 has several removable parts: the individual 5.25" bay covers, the 3.5" HDD trays, as well as the removable fan filters. The 5.25" drive covers are made from a one piece plastic frame wrapped in black metal mesh. Between the mesh and the frame is a thin piece of foam which will prevent a good amount of potential dust from entering the case. Each bay cover is removed by pinching one of the exposed tabs inwards and swinging it outwards. I found a small difficulty with this design since the placement of the tabs leave less than a quarter of an inch between the tab and the inner sidewall of the bezel. Since the tab has to be pinched inwards, it is difficult to get enough of a finger between there to get the tab depressed enough and be able to swing it outwards. Applying pressure on the rear of the cover from inside of the case while doing this is the easiest way to get them out.

 

 

The hard drive trays are made of black plastic and have three barbs on each side that secure a standard 3.5" hard drive. The trays flex just enough to snap the drive into place and no more. The spring loaded front door locks each tray into place when it is closed due to a hook that extends once the door is locked - an elegant and secure solution.

 

 

The fan filters are rather ordinary, but easy to remove and clean. This is a nice feature because computers accumulate dust very quickly in my residence and require frequent cleanings. The dust filters have a plastic frame with a fine plastic "fabric" attached to it. The two dust filters on the bottom each have a small handle on them that allows an easy grip to slide them out. The front dust filters require a little more work as they are attached with plastic locking tabs that can be stiff and requires a little more effort to remove them.

 

 

Getting the components into the Hurrican 2000 took little effort with the large amount of room that this case boasts. The extra amount of room behind the motherboard tray certainly helped out with routing wires and helped keep the interior clean to match the nicely painted insides. The hot swap circuit boards are pictured by themselves and then ready to go with the included SATA cables. There is a red LED that illuminates when a hard drive is connected to each board. The hot swap mechanism is well-made and I like its design. Now that everything is in the case, it is now time to get it ready to get tested. The next page will feature a complete list of specifications and features as provided by AZZA, followed by testing of the Hurrican 2000.

 

 

Specifications:

Type
ATX Full Tower
Color
Black (exterior) / Black or Red (interior)
Material
SECC Japanese Steel
External 5.25" Drive Bay
4
External 3.5" Drive Bay
1
Internal 2.5" Drive Bay
2x 2.5" SSD, HDD Drive Bays
Interla 3.5" Drive Bay
6 (4 Easy Swap 3.5" Drive Bays)
Expansion Slots
7
Front Ports
1x USB3.0, 2x USB 2.0, e-SATA, Audio, Mic
230mm Fan:
Top: 2x 230mm Silent Fans (24dBA)
Left Side: 2x 230mm Blue/Red LED Silent Fans (24dBA)
120mm Fan
Front: 2x120mm Blue/Red LED Silent Fans (19dBA)
Rear: 1x120mm Fan in Rear
Right Side: 1x120mm super slim fan for CPU
Dimensions (H x W x D)
21.6" x 10" x 23.2" (549mm x 254mm x 590mm)
Weight
28.6 lbs / 13 kg

 

Features:

 

Information provided by AZZA @ http://www.azzatek.com

Testing:

To test the AZZA Hurrican 2000, temperatures will be recorded for the CPU, GPU, chipset, hard drives, and the overall system temperature during load and idle phases. Load will be simulated by Prime95 small FFTs and HD Tune for one hour with maximum temperatures recorded by RealTemp. The GPU load will be the maximum value recorded by Catalyst Control Center after five loops of 3DMark06’s Canyon Flight test. Each case is tested as is from the factory, including the fan configuration. As stated earlier, the fan configuration for the Hurrican 2000 is 2x120mm front intake, 2x230mm top exhaust, 2x230mm side intake, 1x120mm rear exhaust and 1x120mm behind the CPU.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Cases:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These results here give a clear picture of exactly what this case is capable of. The eight included fans operate silently for the most part - they get the job done effectively, despite spinning rather slowly. The Hurrican 2000 achieved temperatures below the average of the comparisons, which is a strong result since as a full tower case, the Hurrican 2000 is significantly cheaper than some of the other full tower comparisons. I will wrap up my thoughts of the Hurrican 2000 and this review in my conclusion on the next page.

Conclusion:

I am extremely happy with what I have found with the AZZA Hurrican 2000. The case has plenty of room, allows for easy wire management, has an attractive look and a painted interior, includes 8 fans, and is relatively inexpensive to a lot of other comparable cases. The Hurrican 2000 implements a lot of new things that I really like that I haven't found anything on other cases. The top two of these things on my list is the loads of extra space behind the right side panel simply due to the shape of the panel, and the way that the tool-less hard drive trays work (removal/installation). The slim 120mm fan behind the CPU socket is a neat idea, though for a lot of aftermarket coolers this may cause a clearance issue since some can require rather large rear support brackets. The only design that I found that I dislike with this case is the way that the 5.25" bay covers are removed. The design and rigidity is good, but there is not a lot of clearance between the tabs on the sides and the inner wall of the bezel. This makes it difficult to get a finger or two in position to get a grip on them to swing the bay cover outward to release it. A little annoying, but these don't have to be removed often and a flat-head screwdriver can be used to gently apply pressure to the tab while applying force from inside the case on the back of the cover to release its grip.

My first impression of the case judging by pictures alone didn't really spark my excitement for the Hurrican 2000 because the pictures don't do a lot of justice for the case. In the product pictures, the big piece of plastic on the left side panel makes the case look off balance, goofy, and as if it has too much extra plastic. However, in person the look is unique - in a good way. This plastic piece on the side panel that houses the fans removes the potential clearance issues caused by having the fans otherwise inset into the case, as I have experienced with previous cases with large side intake fans that had to be removed in order to accommodate large CPU coolers. I will admit, I expect a certain percentage of people to not like the look of the case, being those that prefer more "concrete" designs. I can speak for this as I used to feel this way about certain cases, but with the AZZA Hurrican 2000, it is not form over function like a lot of others with similar design - but a thoughtful and balanced combination of both.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: