The internal layout of the Z-Machine GT1000 chassis is pretty typical for a standard mid-tower ATX style case. I usually install the power supply first, followed by the drives, and then the motherboard (with CPU, CPU cooler, and RAM already mounted). After the major parts are in place I route the cables and make all the various wiring connections. Once the assembly work is done I’ll stick in the video cards, sound card, etc. As with most mid-tower ATX style enclosures, the overall installation of parts into the Z-Machine GT1000 enclosure was straightforward and was completed without problems. Here’s a list of the parts we used.
- Zalman ZM600-HP modular heat pipe cooled 600W PSU
- Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Intel edition motherboard
- Pentium Extreme Edition dual core 955 (3.46 GHz at 1.22 Vcore)
- (2) Corsair CM2X512-8000UL DDR RAM
- (2) nVIDIA 7800GTX 512 MB 550/850 video cards in SLI
- Creative SoundBlaster Audigy2 sound card
- WD1200JD SATA HDD
- Zalman ZM-MFC2 Multi fan controller
- Sony DVD, NEC DVD RW
- Multifunction card reader
- Windows XP Pro with SP2
- nForce 91.31 drivers
For a power supply I chose Zalman’s very capable ZM600-HP modular heat pipe cooled PSU. This is a quiet, high quality unit that can deliver up to 600W of clean, stable power. You can read our review of the ZM600-HP here.
Zalman included extra-long power supply mounting screws with the case that are needed because of the thick back panel. The power supply must be installed from inside and this time around we had no issues or problems. (Installing this same PSU into the Fatal1ty case proved to be somewhat challenging because the big side door seemed to always be in the way.)
There is a small support bracket on the rear panel, which helps hold and align the power supply during mounting. I would still like to see a second bracket inside to help support the front end of some of the new high-capacity power supplies that are longer and heavier than most.
Exposed Drive Bays – Optical Drives
The hinged side doors makes accessing the 5.25″ drive bays a snap. Before a drive or bay device can be mounted the bay cover must first be removed (two small screws inside). The Zalman ZM-MFC2 multi fan controller and all of the various drives I tried fit snuggly inside the machined openings (Sony, Plextor, and NEC).
I really like Zalman’s new tool-less mounting system! The captive thumb screws lined up perfectly with the drive mounting holes and held each drive securely in position. They proved very easy to use. Unfortunately, the tool-less mounts are only supplied on the upper two 5.25″ drive bays. You have to use traditional machine screws to mount devices in the lower two 5.25″ and single 3.5″ bays. However, this does provide some added flexibility and insurance for mounting problematic or non-standard devices if necessary.
Internal Hard Disc Drives
One of the more unique features of the Z-Machine GT1000 enclosure is the internal HDD cage and floor mounts. The HDD cage will hold up to four 3.5″ HDDs, and the case floor mounts will hold two more. That makes the Z-Machine one of a very few mid-tower style enclosures that directly mount six HDDs!
When using the HDD cage, each HDD is held between apposing pairs of rubber rollers, which help isolate vibration and minimize noise. To install a drive, you simply insert it into an open slot and then gently push it back against the foam block in the rear to let the rubber roller in front fall down and securely hold the drive in position. Small locking screws are provided on each of the front roller assemblies to lock them in place if desired.
The two floor