Review Zalman H1

Review Zalman H1

Index «H» in the notation of cabinet products from Zalman, we still have not met, and the manufacturer’s website does not mention the other models with such designations. And housing Zalman H1 really is new: it was first presented at the exhibition CES-2014 (Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas, January 7-10 2014). However, then he had a different name – Z15, but changed it later.

On the basis of the housing Zalman H1 / Z15 presented a new concept AHV (Automatic Heat Ventilation), which implies the following: the fans on the top panel are utilized only at a certain temperature.How it is implemented in practice, we describe below.

The housing comes in a box of cardboard with good quality but not too catchy typography. Since the box is big and heavy, when you carry it very rescue cutouts on the sides for gripping hands.

Zalman H1: Arrangement

Enclosure Zalman H1 declared by the manufacturer as Full Tower. However, it is in all dimensions much smaller than the other hull Zalman of the same size declared GS1200. Model-volume, with the lower position of the power supply, which is sold separately.

Design option is offered only: black, on the left wall there is a large window covered with lightly tinted transparent plastic.

Review Zalman H1

The 5.25-inch device has four slots, but the output on the front panel has only three. In the fourth you can put the supplied adapter frame designed for mounting 3.5 or 2.5-inch drives; such a solution in cases of Zalman we have already met. But going outside for a 3.5-inch device is not present, since there are no plugs from the corresponding slot.

Hard drives both dimensions skid mounted transversely extending in a basket consisting of two independently extracted triple compartments. Thus, the total number of installed HDD / SSD is found to be seven.

The chassis can be installed motherboards E-ATX and more compact versions, nine expansion slots. Specification limits the choice of graphics card models up to 360 mm, the illustration shows on the site and do 370 mm, but according to our measurements with both mounted drive bays maximum length of video cards (including additional power connector, if it is located in the end plate) was found to be 350-351 mm and extracted at the upper compartment 485 mm – unless, of course, there are.

Accessory kit, packed in a handy with clasp, very much the rich can not be called: a handful of fasteners in general bag, five disposable ties for cables, power adapter and instructions for the processor – the truth, we got it without translation into Russian. But there are a couple of specific add-ons, which will be discussed in due time.

Zalman H1: Design

Housing dimensions 560 × 237 × 569 mm (H × W × D), including protruding parts. The weight of the body 9.6 kg, set in multiples of 11.8 kg.

Review Zalman H1

The steel used for the chassis of different thicknesses – from 0.65 to 0.8 mm. Removable side walls are quite thin, only 0.65 mm, and no additional projections stamped except perimeter available, no such amounts and turned their low stiffness.

Legs body in the form of large plastic pads with rubber inserts to ensure good and shock absorbing capacity.

And the front and top of the enclosure plastic, the upper is also quite high, because underneath lurk and fans, and said system AHV. Their shape is classically austere design without any frills: angles, minimum jewelry. Plastic mat, but on the front panel are allocated laths of anodized aluminum, which occupy the central part of the panel: it covers five inch slots and located underneath the front cover is a big fan.

Control Panel exceptionally rich in various elements. It occupies the front quarter panel top and slightly skewed forward, forming a small depression in the longitudinal projection of the triangular shape. The panel is decorated with another plate of anodized aluminum, on which are inscribed.

Controls, switching and display lined in two parallel rows. In the near to the front of settled most familiar: Right large silver button Power (this is the only shiny element), the left black button Reset smaller size. Both buttons protrude from the plane of the panel, making it suitable for pressing, but does not preclude operations from accidental contact. This is especially true Power, which is pressed a fairly soft, and it is necessary to make a Reset significantly greater force.

Between the buttons is disk activity LED.

Review Zalman H1

Placed to the left of USB-ports in the middle panel USB 2.0, closer to the edge USB 3.0. The interval between the connectors is 11 mm, so there can be problems with connecting wide devices to neighboring connectors.

Next take a number of bodies involved in the control of the fans, we say about them in the appropriate section of the review.

This arrangement of the body at high altitude makes uncomfortable desktop installation collected on the basis of his computer. However, the body is not so high that when placed over it under the table was not sufficient for managing and connecting the USB-device space (unless, of course, under the sink no drawers).

Zalman H1: Ventilation system

Nominally established fans in the housing Zalman H1 relatively few: four, all of its own production Zalman.

The biggest 200-mm fan with the blue LED light mounted on the front of the chassis. It is designed to cool the drives in the basket, and when you remove one or both halves will create a flow of air to graphics cards and expansion cards.

Review Zalman H1

The top panel made stamped brackets protruding height of 28 mm for securing the cooling systems. They nominally a pair of the 120-mm fan without a light, but you can replace the radiator liquid cooling system sizes up to 318 × 168 mm.

On the back wall, there is a 120mm exhaust fan.

While this specification does not mention, the top and rear fans can be replaced by 140 mm since there is a corresponding fixing hole.

The specification states and one additional fan, although in fact they can be set to five. Thus, two 120 mm fans have seats on the lower plane of the chassis. However, the second will not only remove the lower drive cage, but also to remove its plastic base, which is attached to the bottom screws.

In case there is a design that we have seen in the model Zalman MS800 : plastic vertical bracket with slots, which moved the clip screw. They can be used to install fans or for additional fixation massive graphics cards.

The specification says that there are two clips in the set, but we have them turned three, respectively, and fans can be up to three – if you fix them in one corner. And then swivel design clips will direct each of the fans in the right direction.

If the fan is mounted behind the two corners, its orientation will be fixed.

And of course, the position of the clip on the bracket can also be changed. The bracket itself can be set to any of three fixed positions or removed.

For mounting additional fans in komlekte there are eight screws. This, by the way, indirectly confirms the fallacy of reference in the specification only one optional fan, for which it would take no more than four screws.

The filtration system consists of three filters. Two of them are made from a nylon mesh on a plastic frame disposed underneath the outside, they close the holes in the place of installation and lower power supply additional fans. They are extracted without opening the case: simply push one forward movement, the other – back, it is only necessary to submit the ledge to grab a little down, releasing the latch.

Review Zalman H1

With the filtration air flow generated by the front fan is more complicated.

Along the perimeter of the front panel has a series of small slits on the outside of the metal mesh decorated with small holes and are any missing filters.

The zone of the front panel, the corresponding location of the fan, plastic door closed, the outer part of which is framed solid aluminum plate; the door hinges are on top and at the bottom of the latch (its position marked inscription «Push»). When closed, the air through the door does not come, but if you click on «Push», then the built-in spring pushed bottom of the door outward, and form a sort of air intake duct from the bottom and sides.

And this is exactly duct fitted with a filter in the form of a thin plastic sheet with holes. Remove the sheet for maintenance, you can, but it is not easy: not only that it is necessary to remove the front panel, so still have to tinker to get the filter itself from the numerous retainers. Therefore, it is easier to maintain with the panel, since she still charged.

However, the efficiency of this filter is questionable: there are mentioned holes at the edges of the front panel, and the slit in its lower portion for gripping when removed, so that part of the incoming air is unfiltered.

The most unusual is the way to protect against dust, provided for the top panel instead of the filter there are five curtains, size and shape resembling a stub five inch slots.

Generally, these shutters closed to prevent dust from entering the housing. However, a small engine can open and close them in accordance with the temperature conditions inside the body – is also part of the original concept «AHV» (Automatic Heat Ventilation).

Operates the fans built a three-channel controller. Two channel regulate its rotation speed of the front and rear cooling fans blackout each. Together with the front fan is turned off and lights.

The third channel control ceiling fan, there are two modes, toggle button, and choose a display in one of two small blue LED next to the button.

Algorithm mode «Fan Control» is the same as that for the first two channels, wherein when the shutter opens and the top panel, respectively, when they are closed disconnected.

More complicated is the mode «AHV»: one more button, you can select the temperature rating of 35 or 45 ° C, which is also indicated by blue LEDs. The effluent from the controller enclosure depth sensor monitors temperature, displaying the current value of the two-digit display semisegmentom blue, and upon reaching a predetermined temperature controller includes a ceiling fan at maximum speed, while opening the shutter. If the temperature drops below the set, the process is reversed: the fans are turned off, the shutter closes.

It looks pretty impressive, and the only bottleneck is the time when the temperature fluctuates around the setpoint: The fan can be continuously switched-off and the shutter opening-closing.And, of course, put something on the top panel is not recommended, as available in the kit resembles a small leaflet.

Power is supplied to the controller via the peripheral connectors («Molex», male).

Of the additional vents have only slots in the expansion slot cover. And for liquid cooling systems at the rear there are four holes with rubber plugs.

Zalman H1 : Assembling the system unit

Side covers are fixed conventional system of grooves and combs that the body of this size does not seem the best solution: cover large, remove and install them is not very convenient.

They are fixed pairs of screws with plastic thumbscrews, and the rear end caps are pressed grip tabs with your fingers.

Four hex rack system board is already installed, another seven are in the accessories. Slots for expansion cards closed reusable plugs, mounting screws and plastic thumbscrews.

In the opening for the input-output ports of the motherboard plugs not, as in the top two five inch slots. In the substrate of the motherboard has a large window that will allow installing or removing the CPU cooler without dismantling the board.

Optical drives are mounted screwless plugs on the left and right additional screws.

Halves baskets for HDD / SSD same, as already mentioned, you can install them both at once, and only one – at the top (with fastening to the five-inch bay) or below (with fastening to the plastic base). An abundance of holes in the walls, of course, improves the cooling of the disk drives installed, but does not sufficiently rigid removable compartments, compounded thin metal from which they are made.

In skids 3.5-inch drives are mounted side pins. These pins, as are the slides, plastic, plus they are not separate parts, and part of the walls of the slide and fix them drives uncomfortable.

With a 2.5-inch SSD / HDD easier: they are screwed to the bottom of the slide. Appropriate screws supplied enough.

Note that in the bottom of the sled and has a large slot to ensure cooling of the lower part of the store, where the board with electronic components.

Slide slide into the slot basket with rubber shock absorbers with a T-shaped cross-section; like we have seen in other buildings Zalman. In addition to noise reduction, these gum should also provide a snug fit in the sled basket, but it works only when the 3.5-inch drives, and even then not very well. And if runners are empty or they mounted 2.5 “drive, they just hang out in the side slots of the basket. No screw attachment not provided – perhaps because the fall out will not give sled latches that are in front of them. Unless, of course, we are not talking about some kind of extreme vibration.

When installing the drives to the right side wall is not too much space, and should be used SATA-cable c L-shaped connectors.

Here we must also mention the supplied SATA-cable hot-swap, which seats three drives. True, hot-swap this gives some very uncomfortable too, judge for yourself: the cable is soft, it is secured only by the connectors and only drives, so to remove or install the HDD or SSD is necessary to remove not only the left side wall and right to be able to hold the connectors, and when you install more and send them to the drive connectors.

Of course, this cable will not be superfluous, but that’s about hot-swap’a manufacturer obviously got excited.

Recall that another drive either of the two dimensions can be set in five-inch slot with your current frame-adapter.

Cables from external connectors shielded connectors are connected to the internal system board connectors monolithic.

The front panel is secured by six plastic latches and can be removed without much difficulty. In the same way, and fastened the top plastic cover, but shoot it better after removing the front panel, because they are interconnected latches. And we need to be careful because of the located on top of the control panel leaves a thick bundle of cables.

Wires and cables can be laid over the substrate of the motherboard, which it has eight large holes, closed with rubber plugs with split petals. That’s only when the E-ATX motherboards significant portion of these holes will be fully or partially overlapped. Secure the cables can be fully complete ties to existing punched lugs.

The power supply can be placed after the motherboard, placing his fan up or down. The length of the building will allow BP to install almost any length – of course, from the actually existing. PSU is mounted directly to the rear panel without any additional limitations, but at the bottom of the housing for it are provided projections with rubber shock-absorbing pads.

All edges which may injure the garbage, neatly seamed.

Zalman H1 : Noise measurement

Noise measurement is carried out in accordance with our method using a sound level meter Octave-110A Eco soundproofed room with a typical noise level of 20 dBA. During the measurement, all appliances in the room are turned off.

The housing is equipped with a full-time three-channel controller with continuously variable fan speed. It is powered by peripheral connectors (“Molex”) two standard voltages. Controls are located on the top panel. One of the channels can also be operated in the automatic mode, not only the opening in the top panel flaps and including fans, and adjusting the speed of rotation in a relatively wide range.

The noise level of the cooling system enclosure varies too widely, from 23 to 32 dBA at DESKTOP (near field) and from 21 to 30 dBA at outdoor location (in the middle field). These values are achieved when all the regular fans. The noise is quite moderate, one might even say that it is low or reduced in most of the provisions regulator, if the obtained values correlate with the background in a typical residential environment in the daytime. The controller allows the fan to stop completely and connected to any one of the three channels, independently.

Complete quality fans, except the front, very decent – not even knock when powered by 4.5V, but a small permanent overtone of the drive can still be distinguished from the minimum distance (about 20 inches), but only at a very low level of background noise .

We also measured the noise level at the front off the fan. It was recorded a reduction of noise, especially at medium and maximum position of the regulator. With this configuration, the acoustic cooling system housing even better ergonomics.

In ventilation systems Zalman H1 balance is shifted toward low noise rather than toward the maximum cooling. Even at maximum speed the noise level of the cooling system does not exceed the average values for the dwelling in the daytime. There are no problems with cooling and standard components are not expected, because the cooling system is sufficiently competent body configuration and ample capacity.

Zalman H1 : Positioning and conclusions

Yes, the developers have managed to come up with the company’s “flavor” that could draw attention to the case Zalman H1. Without a system of AHV and especially without upper blind it would be just another good Full Tower with quite a standard set of advantages and disadvantages and no less typical applications.

Another important factor is that the main “feature” is not a blank decorations or designs with very limited utility. Of course, the practical benefits of opening the curtains and AHV, together and separately, using specific computer, you can argue, but agree that turned out and very original and useful to.

Review Zalman H1 updated: April 17, 2015 author: John Malkovich