Akasa, while not the first name to mind in the case market has still been able to forge a reputation for excellent build quality and ease of use within its chassis range. This is particularly true with cases based on the original Akasa Eclipse design, which was later refined with first the Mirage and then finally the excellent Omega.
Now it’s turning its eye towards the lucrative inexpensive “gamer case” market with the Infiniti ZOR, a steel chassis packing plenty of cooling in the form of three 120mm fans and enough space for even the beefiest of systems.
Here at bit-tech we have a chequered past with “gamer cases” though - the Antec 900 might have packed in plenty of cooling but still had more than a handful of flaws, so let’s hope that the Infiniti ZOR doesn’t compromise too much where it counts.
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Despite a name more reminiscent of a Superman villain than a high end chassis, from the outside the Infiniti ZOR, while not the most striking case in the world, manages to be a whole lot more restrained than a traditionally aggressively styled gamer case like the Cooler Master Sniper. The side panels, all made of black painted steel, are smooth and well finished, although we do still prefer the almost powder coated paint job of the Sniper.
Thankfully though the ZOR isn’t just a featureless black box, with a large clear Perspex window built into the side panel just to show off your precious hardware inside. Whether you’re a case window person or not will depend on personal preference: this one is fitted flush to the side with multiple rivets rather than being glued and comes with protective peel on both sides to protect it from scratches during your build. However, the clear perspex is very thin and feels a bit cheap, as do the plastic rivets that also lack style.
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It’s worth noting though that the simple window means that the ZOR doesn’t have any sort of mounting for a side panel fan – this fan location which our testing has proven time and time again has a bigger influence on component temperatures than any other. Whether this will have a big impact on operating temperatures remains to be seen, but it’s something that both the Antec 900 (and its newly released follow up, the Antec 902) and the Cooler Master Sniper all feature.
Making up for the lack of side panel ventilation though is a dual 120mm fan mounting cut into the front of the roof panel. This is actually the same mount that’s found on the roof panel of the Akasa Omega and grants the option for not only two extra 120mm cooling fans to maximise cooling, but also for a 2x120mm watercooling radiator (albeit at the sacrifice of the upper most 5.25” drive bay), something that the Antec 900 and many similar completing affordable “gamer” cases simply don’t offer.
While the side panelling and core chassis is steel, the ZOR’s front fascia is an amalgamation of a plastic frame, aluminium cladding and steel mesh, masking a rather nifty modular drive bay setup.
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The fascia pulls free from the case with a firm tug, with the eleven separate meshed drive blanking plates held in place by two screws each on the inside of the fascia. There are nine standard blanking plates, along with a 3.5” drive compatible plate as well, along with the rather unique front panel, mounted right into the case’s top drive bay.
Packing all the usual connectivity options like dual USB 2.0, Firewire 400, eSATA, mic and headphone ports recessed in behind a pop out cover, the front panel blanking plate can be moved to any other accommodating mount on the fascia panel, with all the internal cabling easily removed if unwanted thanks to the use of socketed cables. This is a great inclusion, especially as few of us will ever use all the connectivity ports on a case’s front panel (how many of us really use Firewire any more?) and means fewer cables to tidy away inside your PC.