Zalman MS800 Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on February 11, 2013


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

The MS800 is the latest mid-tower case from Zalman. Let’s see what this case has to offer.

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 1: Zalman MS800 case

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 2: Zalman MS800 case

Both side panels of the MS800 are solid, as you can see in Figures 1 and 2.

The Front and Top Panels

The front panel of the Zalman MS800 has 10 external 5.25” bays, which are also used as internal 3.5”/2.5” bays through adapters (the case comes with four). Also, one of the 5.25” bays comes with a cover that allows the installation of an external 3.5” device, using one of the four adapters that come with the product. All bays have meshed covers with air filters. Unfortunately, the Zalman MS800 doesn’t come with a front fan, nor does it support the installation of one.

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 3: Front panel

The top panel of the Zalman MS800 has a mesh with an air filter, coming with one 120 mm fan installed, which can be replaced with a 140 mm model. No technical specifications for this fan are provided. The top panel also supports the installation of a second 120 mm or 140 mm fan. These fans can be installed on the fan controller that comes with the case.

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 4: Top panel

The case comes with two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and the traditional audio jacks. The USB 3.0 ports use an internal connector. One of the highlights of the Zalman MS800 is the presence of a single-channel analog fan controller, supporting up to six fans.

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 5: Buttons and connectors

The Bottom and Rear Panels

The bottom panel of the Zalman MS800 has an air filter for the power supply fan as well as for the optional bottom fan.

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 6: Bottom panel

The rear panel and the interior of the Zalman MS800 are painted in black.

On the Zalman MS800, the power supply is installed at the bottom of the case.

The product comes with a 120 mm fan installed on its rear panel, which can be connected to the fan controller. No technical specifications for this fan are provided.

This case has seven expansion slots with vented slot covers.

The reviewed case has two holes protected with rubber covers for external liquid cooling solutions. Each of the holes is 0.7” (17 mm) in diameter.

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 7: Rear panel

Let’s now take a look inside the Zalman MS800.

Inside the Zalman MS800

Both panels are attached to the chassis using black thumbscrews. The motherboard tray has a huge cutout for you to access the backplate of the CPU coolers without having to remove the motherboard from the case, several holes for you to route cables behind it, and several clips for you to fasten cables using cable ties. The motherboard tray has several venting holes as well.

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 8: Overall look

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 9: A view behind the motherboard tray

In Figure 10, we have another overall look inside the case. Expansion cards are fastened using regular screws (at least they are black), accessed from outside the case. The Zalman MS800 supports video cards up to 11.8” (300 mm) long. The main highlight of the reviewed case is the presence of a bar that comes with three adjustable brackets. These brackets can be used as a supporting mechanism for video cards or can be used to hold a fan inside the case. The case comes with a 92 mm fan for you to install using this mechanism. There are three different positions where this bar can be installed.

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 10: Overall look

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 11: One possible configuration

The power supply is installed at the bottom of the case. It can be installed with either its bottom fan facing up or facing down, so you can decide if you want the fan of your power supply pulling air from inside the case or from outside of it. As shown before, there is an air filter for the power supply fan. On the case’s default configuration, you can install power supplies up to 8.7” (220 mm) deep. If you move the support bar to its first possible position, the clearance for power supplies is reduced to 5.5” (140 mm).

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 12: Power supply compartment

The Zalman MS800 allows the installation of a 120 mm or 140 mm fan on its bottom panel. If a 140 mm fan is installed, you can have power supplies up to 5.9” (150 mm) deep. If a 120 mm fan is installed, you can have a power supply up to 6.3” (160 mm) deep. As already shown, there is an air filter for this optional fan.

The Disk Drive Bays

The Zalman MS800 has nine external 5.25” bays, which are also used for installing external 3.5” devices and internal 3.5”/2.5” devices through the use of adapters (the case comes with four of these adapters). Installation of 5.25” devices can be done without the use of tools or screws, but installation of 3.5” and 2.5” devices requires the use of regular screws.

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 13: Disk drive bays

Zalman MS800 Case
click to enlarge
Figure 14: One of the 3.5”/2.5” adapters

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Zalman MS800 include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

The Zalman MS800 presents some very interesting features, such as the unique support bar for holding video cards and fans, and the single-channel analog fan controller. It misses a few features, most notably the absence of a front fan. We think its price tag is right for what is has to offer.

Strong Points

Weak Points

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Zalman-MS800-Case-Review/1728


© 2004-13, Hardware Secrets, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Total or partial reproduction of the contents of this site, as well as that of the texts available for downloading, be this in the electronic media, in print, or any other form of distribution, is expressly forbidden. Those who do not comply with these copyright laws will be indicted and punished according to the International Copyrights Law.

We do not take responsibility for material damage of any kind caused by the use of information contained in Hardware Secrets.