AZZA XT1 Reviewhornybluecow - March 12, 2014
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AZZA XT1 Closer Look:
Removing the side panels took a bit of a struggle to come off, even with notches on the back that allow you to grab it firmly. This seems to be a standard these days, but not a big deal. Once the panel comes off, you can see the white interior. The front includes a non-removable hard drive cage with six 3.5" bays along with four 5.25" bays on the top. The chassis itself is more or less standard for a full tower with a bit of space to spare. Even if the hard drive cage is not removable, installation up to 340mm is available, which covers any video card currently on the market, along with 190mm for CPU coolers.
The tool-less design AZZA implemented here was very intuitive. The design is similar across many chassis and if you have read any of my past reviews, this will look very similar. The 5.25" bays have a simple locking system where the notch up is open and the holder can come out and down, allowing it to be locked in place. Once a bay was used, I did not have much of an issue getting it to lock and generally you have to wiggle it a little to get it to fall into place. Next is the hard drive bay, which uses a locking system based on pressure. In its hold state, the bays are held by pressure on the sides. Pushing the hooks inwards releases this and they will slide out. Installation is an easy matter; you put the bay back in and once you hear a clicking sound, it is secured in place.
Behind the motherboard tray is roughly half an inch of space for the cables, which is not much space to work with. However, the side panel itself has about the same amount of space in the extruded portion. I did have to fiddle with the cables quite a bit to get the panel back on, but it is better than not having any space.
Onwards to the lights! If you know me, I am weary of chassis that add the lights to its major selling point. To me that gives the feeling that it is a cover up for a less-than-stellar build quality. However, I am happy to report this does nothing of the sort that I just ranted about. In fact, AZZA went a step further and included three blue LED fans to make sure the blue theme was not unnoticed. With the lights on, the blue is just enough to be noticeable and once the lights go out, it can be a bit bright.
The top has a large power button that lights up blue like the rest of the chassis. Below that includes a tiny rest button and a hard drive access light that blinks orange when in use. Finally, two USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports each reside next to the headphone and mic jacks.
In the front is a hard drive hot-swap bay that is easily overlooked as it blends in with the look and style of the chassis. The PCB board is powered by a 4-pin Molex cable and also powers the front fan in case the motherboard port cannot be used.
With everything installed, you can see below how spacious this chassis is. Installation did not go without some sort of issue, though very minor. As I explained above, the space behind the tray is limited so I had to organize cables so that they overlapped in the least way possible. The second thing to note is the annoyance of mounting anything to the top because of the panel that has the I/O ports connected to it. While I did not cover it before, installing the Corsair H100i was much more work than it should have been. My initial thought was you could setup a push/pull, but the idea fell apart when I found the top only had a cutout for a 230mm fan, which translates more or less to two-thirds the size of the 240mm radiator. Adding extra fans on top would not help the temps much and would be more of a hassle than it is worth.