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Zalman HD135 HTPC Case
Author: Spire
Manufacturer: Zalman
Source: Zalman
Purchase: PriceGrabber
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 3 of 7 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]
Zalman HD135 HTPC Case
November 22, 2006

The Basics (continued):

After removing the two thumbscrews from the back of the case I noticed two more screws up toward the front. As I began to loosen these, I noticed that they were not backing out. Turns out these two screws hold alignment pins to the top cover and do not need to be removed. The inside of the case is as exceptional as the outside. Up front are three removable cages, the two on the outside are geared to 3.5" devices, and the one in the middle has room for a single optical drive and a single hard drive. A total of five hard drives can be mounted and possibly a sixth if you leave the external 3.5" bay covered.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

With the hard drive cages removed, you get a look at the guts of the HD135. On one side is a circuit board for the Firewire, USB and mic/headphone arrangement. Centered under the optical drive cage is the circuit board for the VFD display, temperature sensors, and fan speed controller.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

The cavernous internal space available inside the HD135 is all due to one innovative change, the power supply is mounted upright on it side. This allows more floor space for a full sized ATX motherboard. At the same time Zalman eliminated one of the rear feet and dropped the power supply down. All this adds up to a case that is large enough for a full ATX motherboard but not as tall as an upright power supply. The height of the case more closely resembles standard audio / video equipment at 5.3 inches.


Installation and Operation:

The following parts were installed in the Zalman HD135 HTPC case for this review:

DFI Infinity RS482 mATX motherboard
AMD 3500+ Processor
2 x 512GB OCZ PC3500 XTC Gold Edition
Thermalright XP120 heatsink
Enermax EG701AX 600 Watt PSU
Western Digital 36GB Raptor System Drive
NEC 3550A DVD Burner
10 in 1 Card Reader

Although a full size motherboard would fit, I decided to install a MicroATX DFI motherboard. I have been waiting and collecting parts to create a home theater PC for quite some time and early on decided on the ATI chipset DFI Infinity RS482 due to it having acceptable onboard video with both VGA and DVI outputs, optical output, Firewire both out back and onboard for a front panel hookup, and most importantly, no chipset cooling fan. This setup should provide plenty of power for a home theater computer, but stay cool enough that I can reduce or eliminate noise. Initially I planned on running this system with a water cooling setup so you will see a water block installed over the processor in a few pictures. In the final build I decided to return to air cooling. I am hoping to create a system that will stay cool even without a fan on the processor heatsink.

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