In and Around the AZZA Genesis 9000

Big cases draw a lot of attention and even can draw some consternation due to their sheer size, and I can see how the styling of the AZZA Genesis 9000 may not be for everyone. As far as gaudy enthusiast cases go I actually don't mind the Genesis 9000 as much, and users not bullish on the white-and-blue motif can pick up a black-and-red version for the same price.

Looking at the front of the case, you can immediately pick up on two things. First, the front of the case is almost entirely 5.25" bays, reminiscent of Cooler Master's Stacker line. That means that there are no front intake fans on the Genesis 9000, which is unusual in a modern enclosure. There's also a bottom vent held in place by plastic and thumbscrews, but behind that is actually one of the power supply bays complete with a cable that routes to the back of the enclosure. The blue plastic accents aren't just for show, either; when the fan controller's "high" setting is enabled, they actually glow.

The sides of the Genesis 9000 are just as revealing. The two side panels are interchangeable, with the windowed panel tinted blue. It also includes two 120mm intake fans powered by 4-pin molex connectors and a 200mm fan mount. The less ostentatious side panel just includes two 120mm fan mounts. What AZZA got right that cases like Lian Li's PC-A55 didn't was the ventilation in the bottom: there are venting holes along the sides of the bottom of the case to allow the bottom intake fans to do their jobs.

The top of the case hides two 230mm exhaust fans under slanted vents as well as housing the fan controller, I/O cluster, power and reset buttons, and fan speed/LED toggle. You can also remove the top panel via the thumbscrews, but it's still largely held in place by virtue of having to disconnect all the fans and headers that come plugged in by default. Still, you can do it, and that's how you can install a massive radiator to the top of the case. The blue strips up top also illuminate when the "high" fan speed is enabled.

When you get to the back of the case, you can see the handle for the removable, rotatable motherboard tray held in place with six thumbscrews along with the routed power cable for a front-mounted power supply. There's also a removable bracket for a rear-mounted power supply, but when we open up the Genesis 9000 you'll see that space is occupied by one of the two ducted 140mm intake fans.

By default the Genesis 9000's motherboard tray is actually mounted in an inverted configuration as opposed to the standard ATX style, and the internal cabling is very neatly tied to the back of the tray. You can also see the removable support bar for extra heavy video cards. What's changed for the Genesis 9000 since the last era of removable motherboard trays, though, is that we now route cables behind the tray for cleaner internals. That means that if you need to rotate the tray, you're going to need to do all the routing you've already done.

AZZA also includes ducts above the included 140mm fans for both directing air and reducing noise, and these easily snap on and off of the fans. You should also pay close attention to just how much space there is in the bottom for installing newer, more powerful fans. Theoretically you could set up quite a little wind tunnel inside the Genesis 9000, or alternatively a healthy amount of watercooling. Note, too, that the front power supply bay (which is admittedly preferable for most installations) can also house two 3.5" drives.

What we have, essentially, is an extraordinarily flexible enclosure design the likes of which I haven't seen since NZXT's Switch 810. NZXT sells the Switch 810 for $169, but the AZZA Genesis 9000 is in many ways a more high quality enclosure with even more flexibility for the same price; I'm surprised to see a vendor try to undercut NZXT. You'll see the Genesis 9000 also offers solid performance, but we'll get there soon enough.

Introducing the AZZA Genesis 9000 Assembling the AZZA Genesis 9000
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  • Grok42 - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    I too agree that it would be nice to see cases reviewed with min and max setup options, I can only imagine this would take forever. I work on a social site and we have a guy that does reviews which we participate as additional testers. It takes an enormous amount of time to test and this is for simple things like specialized towels and other non-configurable equipment.

    I not exactly sure of your exact point about 5.25" bays Vs 3.5" bays but I think you and I are of the same opinion. I posted a long screed about this in the last case review that wasn't very popular. Basically 5.25" bays are pretty useless. There are almost no internal 5.25" accessories on the market anymore other than CD/DVD/Blue-Ray drives which you pointed out you only need one of. Other than possibly using one for an optical drive, the rest of the bays, while providing plenty of room for cooling, are also a waste of space.
    Reply
  • lwatcdr - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    "Basically 5.25" bays are pretty useless. There are almost no internal 5.25" accessories on the market anymore other than CD/DVD/Blue-Ray drives which you pointed out you only need one of.
    Actually you are mistaken their. I admit that the huge number of 5 1/4 "drive bays in this case is a bit odd but they are used a lot in custom rigs for water cooling which this case looks like it was really set up for.
    For example here is a page of Bay reservoirs for water cooled rigs.
    http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l3/g30/c97/s168/list/...
    Some come with pumps as well.
    With this case you could put a rather large rad in the top and an smaller one in the bottom for a dual loop set up. Two large pumps and reservoirs would take up 4 bays.

    You also have something like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Which lets you mount 31/2" drives in two 5 1/2 bays and have them be hot swappable so one could in mount 16 hot swappable drives in this case for a storage server. Or any combination of or drives you could want.
    There you go . I am sure you can see ways now to fill them with a high end water cooled rig.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    You seriously can't tell that the hard drives are going to be spaced well apart? Even after I specifically mention that the drive trays actually kind of waste space because it's basically one drive per 5.25" bay?

    We're a long, long way from the old days of horrible 3.5" hard drive cramping.
    Reply
  • P5-133XL - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    The vast majority of internet reviews are non-critical specifically designed to sell the product. Is because there is a potential problem with HD temps and that's why they didn't include them? We don't know, for they didn't test.

    There are lots of cases where that info is known so there are lots of alternatives so this case is not needed but if they want to review a case then they should do a good job and include important data such as this.
    Reply
  • P5-133XL - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Sorry about the grammar/editing error.

    I wish to reword the sentence "Is because there is a potential problem with HD temps and that's why they didn't include them?" to be "Is there a potential problem with HD temps and that is why they were not included?
    Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    "Bottom-to-top cooling can be very effective, but the motherboard isn't rotated ninety degrees here the way it is in SilverStone's more efficient designs, so air travelling through the Genesis 9000 unfortunately just doesn't have a very efficient default path to work with."

    If I remember right, some website did a compare of Silverstone's alignment to other cases rotated at 90 degress and found that rotating your case (or mobo inside it) made no difference in temps.

    I'm surprised this case isn't quieter, I wonder if the fans could be replaced by slower/quieter fans. As the results show, increasing the speed doesn't help much, so maybe it could be lowered.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    The point I was making wasn't that the convection design isn't what makes SilverStone's designs work, it's the fact that the coolers for the CPU and GPU are completely unobstructed in their 90-degree rotated designs. There's just a straight shot from the fans right into the coolers, while here either the CPU fan or the GPU fan is being prioritized. Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Found some other pics online of this case... the top looks very cool, you should throw in some pics of it. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Very nice to see another case acknowledging the fact that larger mainboards exist, and multiple-GPU rigs need space to support them all. I would have preferred to see a 10-slot capability over 9-slot, but definitely a step in the right direction.

    ;)
    Reply
  • BlueHighway - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    I've been considering this case since I noticed it about a week ago. I was hoping for good results in this review, but now I'm not so certain... For one thing, my video card is the hottest component in my case (GTX 580), so I'll have to rotate the motherboard to the normal position - and I was under the impression that this alternative "flipped" design was supposed to be superior for GPU cooling!

    A minor thing I'm disappointed about is that the blue-teal LEDs will not be illuminated except when fans are at maximum speed, which I will probably never have... Unless maybe I can replace the stock fans with my Noctuas and keep them running at high speed.

    Quick question - 25" is the maximum height of the case, and as some of us keep computer cases under our desks, how much of an impact would a 3"-4" clearance above the case have on the overall airflow? I assume 25" is the maximum height, as the top is rounded, and the lowest points are maybe 23", so there's going to be more clearance in those areas.
    Reply

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