Case Cooling and ConclusionsCase Cooling
The The Zalman GS1000 enclosure has five mounting locations for 120mm fans but only comes with two fans installed (ZF1225-ASH). Both of these are exhaust fans; one on top and one on the back panel. It would have been nice if Zalman had at least populated both the top fan openings instead of just one to provide more airflow thru the case, especially for cooling the HDDs bays. The HDDs rely on the exhaust fans to draw cool outside air in through the front and bottom of the case for cooling.
(Courtesy Zalman USA)
While no fan controller is provided with the GS1000, I tested the two GS1000 case fans at different voltages (speeds) to see how quiet the case is. The following table lists the noise generated by the two case fans while operating at different voltages.
Note: Sound Pressure Levels were taken 3’ from the front, left-side of the GS1000 enclosure with both fans running. The ambient background noise level was approximately 27 dBA.
At full speed the fans are far from silent and may be annoying to some users. Slowing the fans down with a fan speed controller could quickly reduce the noise level to a whisper. This isn’t a very good showing, especially from Zalman who specializes in quiet hardware. For example, the NZXT Tempest we reviewed two months ago came fitted with six 120/140mm fans, which only produced 35 dBA under the same conditions at full speed (12V). Granted the Tempest is a mid-tower enclosure but the main difference is two less 5.25” bays and a price nearly half that of the GS1000.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Overall I like this case. The fit and finish is excellent and the blend of high-gloss (black or Titanium) and brushed aluminum finishes looks great. There is plenty of room inside to work along with good cable management. There are also plenty of drive bays along with three hot-swap bays for internal HDDs. The GS1000 has the potential for very good case cooling but you will most likely have to add more fans to take full advantage.
My main complaint with GS1000 is the price; it’s still relatively high considering the competition (Cooler Master, Antec, NZXT), especially considering only two case fans are included.
The Zalman GS1000 full-tower enclosure is currently shipping and should be available from many of your favorite resellers with street price of around $179.00 USD.
• Excellent fit and finish, attractive styling
• Potential for very good case cooling airflow
• Four external 5.25” bays (with two 3.5” device adapters)
• Up to eight internal HDD bays
• Up to six hot-swap HDD bays (3 standard, 3 optional)
• Tool-free HDD installation
• Vibration absorbing HDD dampers and feet
• Easy PSU installation
• Cable compartment behind motherboard for cable management
• Convenient top I/O panel location
• Plenty of room to work inside the enclosure
• Too expensive given the competition
• Will have to add more fans to realize full case cooling potential
• No E-SATA port
Zalman GS1000 Full-Tower Case
I would like to thank our friends at Zalman for sending us the GS1000 enclosure to review – thank you! Be sure to use our price checking engine to find the best price on the GS1000 or any of Zalman’s other fine products.
If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to see what others have to say about the GS1000 enclosure, just click into our Cases, Power and Modding forum to join in the discussion!