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AZZA Zen 8100 Review

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AZZA Zen 8100: Closer Look

Onwards to the innards! Right from the start, I must say this chassis has a unique take on cable management by having a second compartment that can be opened from either side. This allows for the hard drives to be semi-separate and a lot of space to move the wires where you want them to go, rather than shoving them all in the back and squishing the panel back on, which I've been accustomed to in the past. So far this is a good start for AZZA. The now established trend of having a PSU cover also has its own perks, but why follow the pack when you can get creative? The AZZA R&D has tried something different and in practice it works well enough.

 

 

A close up inspection reveals that everything in the forward compartment is of a tool-less design. The hard drive trays are made of a hard plastic. The trays themselves are more like a cradle, as the drives are placed in them and secured in place with screws from the sides. Above those are the 5.25" bays, which also deploy a tool-less design. Without any markings figuring out which way is open isn't that difficult. When it's positioned to the left it is locked, and the right is unlocked, allowing an optical drive to be inserted.

 

Besides having a tool-less design for installing the drives, the back also has two bays setup for hot swap if the user wants to go that route. Now this little PCB board cannot be removed as it is riveted in place. That isn't a huge deal; just be prepared on how these bays will be used. This powers two drive via a Molex connector. Besides a RAID 1 setup, two hot swap bays have very little practicality otherwise in my opinion. I'm sure people will find some good uses for this, however.

On the same subject, above that are places for two SSDs. I found wiring them up at an angle was a bit of a challenge, as the lack of space makes it difficult to connect the wires. I suggest connecting everything first and then installing the drive. Even if it's slightly flawed, AZZA found use for the extra space.

 

 

Last up is the AZZA attempt at water cooling support. The top supports up to 320mm radiator, or three 120mm fans. Because of how it is raised, it may not be possible to install the radiator on top. Most radiators have the inlets and outlets on one side; some AIO coolers, like from EK, have the pump attached to the radiator itself. With that in mind, I suggest doing research first or you may be forced to have it in a pull setup. The second problem is because the panel above it isn't open, the air must be pushed out the sides. This will lead to heat lingering and overall higher temps.

 




  1. AZZA Zen 8100: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. AZZA Zen 8100 Closer Look: The Case
  3. AZZA Zen 8100 Closer Look: Working Components
  4. AZZA Zen 8100: Specifications & Features
  5. AZZA Zen 8100: Setup & Results
  6. AZZA Zen 8100: Conclusion
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