Zalman GS1000 Plus case review

Written by Antony Leather

August 19, 2009 | 10:51

Tags: #120mm #air-cooling #case #fan #water-cooling

Companies: #zalman

Results Analysis

The Zalman GS1000 Plus is a mixed bag. We love the cable routing, half of us like the beefy looks with glossy black merged with brushed aluminium and the tool less drive cages, some of the hot swappable are a definite boon too. Unfortunately as is clear in our graphs, despite having two additional fans, it's no better at cooling than the GS1000. In fact in most cases it's slightly worse, especially at cooling our graphics card.

We've looked high and low for a reason for this and re-run our tests twice to make sure our results weren't up the spout. The front intake fans should, if anything, have relieved the negative air pressure of the GS1000 which only featured two exhaust fans. Our only conclusion, given that most other aspects are the same (apart from the vented expansion slot covers but we doubt they have much of an effect) is that the front fans are just too weak to provide any kind of cooling benefit to the case as a whole. The idle temperatures are slightly better than the original case but in both CPU and GPU stress tests at full fan speed, the GS1000 Plus performs the same or slightly worse than the GS1000.

Zalman GS1000 Plus case review Results Analysis and Conclusion

As we've already mentioned it's a shame Zalman didn't make those front fan mount enclosures a tiny bit bigger so full size 92mm fans could be used as these might have been enough to force enough air through the hard drive cages to improve the airflow through the case. As it stands, we believe the restriction caused by the drive cages and the SATA interface at the rear of the bottom cages is enough to all but kill any airflow gained by the addition of the front intake fans.

The GS1000 Plus is far from a bad case though. Build quality is good, installation is very easy thanks to the hot swappable drive bays with tool-less design a bit feature throughout the case. Cable routing is top notch too as we've seen. With the addition of a bottom and top 120mm fan (thankfully Zalman have provided the extra mounts for these) the airflow will undoubtedly be improved and with the option to install water-cooling hardware too, it's fairly flexible.

Zalman GS1000 Plus case review Results Analysis and Conclusion Zalman GS1000 Plus case review Results Analysis and Conclusion

However as we've already discussed, there are plenty of other cases around that are either offer much better cooling such as the Antec Twelve Hundred which also features great cable routing or have much more potential with water cooling (the Lian-Li PC-A70 comes to mind). The GS1000 Plus is also noisy with the 92mm front intake fans making a right racket on full speed. Unfortunately, while the included fan speed reduction cables do a good job of making the fans quieter, cooling suffers considerably. For example, in the GPU stress test, our graphics card was a massive 10°C hotter with the fans on low speed.

Conclusion

The GS1000 Plus finds itself in a bit of a bind. At £140, it's not a cheap case. It's out done in several areas - particularly cooling, but also adaptability - by other cases which are often much cheaper. While it does have some unique design features, there's certainly nothing too interesting over and above what the original had (we'd certainly not recommend upgrading from a GS1000 to the GS1000 Plus). What we'd like to see in the next model are some decent intake fans and mesh or larger vents in the roof and on the front fan intakes. At the moment, despite the changes incorporated over and above the GS1000, the GS1000 Plus is a long way from living up to its full potential.

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Score Guide

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