AZZA XT1 Reviewhornybluecow -
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AZZA XT1: Conclusion
Let us recap my reasoning and scoring method before diving into my final words. First I look at what the company is saying it offers. For example, say the company states the case supports large / long graphic cards or ten quiet fans. In this example, I examine what is advertised versus what is actually offered. Most of this becomes uncovered as I take pictures to document the product. If the company does not stay true to its word, then it loses points because no one ever wants to be sold on false advertisement. Next I look at what the product is marketed for and put it into perspective. An example of this could be trying to overclock a CPU in a Mini ITX case and expecting a low temperature. This would contradict its target market and something I try to catch so it does not affect the score. The last bit is my own interjection. What could the case offer in its price range, and what do other companies offer. This category may include an extra fan, cable management, different color paint, or support for larger video cards. This list is endless so let's move on to the conclusion.
AZZA has shown you can still put lights in a chassis without sacrificing quality. I will admit I had my reservations about what can be offered for the price, and that quickly vanished when I realized the XT1 wasn't something slapped together; it is part of the selling point. So to wrap up this review let me cover the pros and cons. Continuing tradition, my issues with this chassis are more design choices rather than quality issues. Next, the use of the now-dated Molex connector is an odd choice for the included fans when 3-pin fan connectors are the standard. I don't know why the front fan is 3-pin and the other three are not. While it's not a deal breaker, it does take up some precious space behind the tray. Next, as I ranted a bit earlier in the review, it bugs me that the way the top panel is attached makes it a bit of a pain to do anything with it once everything is installed. The solution for the consumer is to do everything you need on the front and top before installing anything. A simple solution for AZZA would be to make the part with the I/O ports non-removable and just have the back half come off.
Saving the best for last, the XT1 has a few stand out things worth a mention. Having great stock airflow is good news for anyone who has real concerns about the heat generated by the components inside the chassis. Having a high overclock or multiple video cards warrants the need for high airflow. It bugs me when companies offer chassis in the same price range and have just a single rear fan. The cost to add a few extra fans on a large production is negligible. The counter to this, which I covered in the past, companies like Cooler Master found from a survey that most consumers just replace the included fans anyways, so why include them?
Every argument has two sides, but in this case I am glad AZZA included all the fans while keeping the price within reason. This brings me to my next point. If you are going to pick a color, do it well! AZZA's blue color choice is in fact a well thought out idea and everything but the rear fan glows blue; simple and effective. Last up is something you don't see at all, and that is space up to 190mm for a CPU cooler. I cannot tell you how many times I really wanted a chassis, but the CPU cooler I wanted (or had) did not clear. While the best air coolers on the market top out at 170mm, it's good having the extra room just in case and gives it less of a squeezed look.
When it comes down to the choice whether to recommend or skip, I am in the middle. There is nothing wrong with this chassis other than minor things, and I think if the pros fall in line of what you want, then don't hesitate to buy this. Being an all-around chassis has its benefits, but generally that means the price goes up as well. This is definitely not overpriced for what you get, but on the other side, modding or using this for a custom water cooling setup isn't practical as nothing is modular. You get what you see and that can be more than enough for the majority of people.
- Well-built metal frame
- Support for high-end graphics cards (340mm)
- Support for large aftermarket CPU coolers (190mm)
- Decent lighting (blue)
- Good stock airflow
- Poor design choice (top panel)
- 4-pin Molex connectors on fans (No 3-pin connector)
- Not modular