Zalman HD160XT Plus HTPC Chassis review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 02/18/2008 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Zalman HD160XT Plus Chassis
When you get your first glimpse at the Zalman chassis the one word that comes to mind is excellence.
It's a chassis that will blend in perfectly with the rest of the surrounding components namely the TV, Receiver and such. The casing is made of an aluminum front panel with a selection of hidden I/O ports for painless connectivity.
A great feature of the the HD160XT Plus is the fact that it is compatible with both ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards. So you can insert any modern mainboard in it as it'll fit and you'll have plenty of room to work with.
Inside, you will find an intake fans and exhaust fans. Zalman will provide sufficient cooling for the HTPC yet will manage to do this silently.
As you'll be able to notice on the next pages in our photo-shoot, this is an impressive case with a lot of functionality as you can install all peripherals you want to install. I mean it, you could easily mount a SLI setup in there as there is lots of space to work with. We decided to use a full ATX motherboard and silent power supply. Inside the chassis you'll notice there's space for Five 3.5 bays and one 5.25 bay. You'll also find a media remote control to power on/off the PC and manage all HTPC functions.
The bigger part of the case is constructed from aluminum (black), and this is an exemplary product when it comes to material thickness and strength, it's all just so sturdy.
Let's have a look at the specification after which I'll take you on a large pictorial showing inside and outs of the Zalman HD160XT Plus Chassis.
What we'll do today is take a good look of the outside and innards of the HTPC chassis, and then start building it. The product will be used by yours truly and since I'm sort of a HTPC buff, we'll connect the HTPC towards a High-def Pioneer plasma screen and to my "precious" THX Ultra2 Certified Onkyo TX-SR875 Hi-Def HDMI receiver. One of the best, if not the best AV receivers I have owned in my lifetime.
Let's go into a pictorial. Talk is cheap right, you need to see this stuff.
Here's the packaging. A rather sizable box. The photo already gives the magic away; you'll be blown away by the chassis design if you see the first glimpse of it. Sized precisely the same as you regular amplifier or other A/V equipment. Let's unpack.
Inside the box is the chassis extremely well packaged in a plastic bag and sandwiched between dense foam blocks to protect it during shipping. Obviously you do not want any scratches or even fingerprints on the chassis. Zalman took care of that for you. I think dropping the box would not even damage the chassis (not that we're trying that though!).
Included with the chassis are software and (compared to last years XT model) a new remote; designed with Windows Media Center Edition in mind, but can be configured to work well with earlier Windows operating systems. It's a Windows VISTA-Compatible Remote Control' Multimedia Software is provided as well (iMon).
The media remote is pretty good and will server every need you have in a Media Center environment.
And there she is, even powered off, and uninstalled .. it already looks amazing.
A PC in your living room however has to look nice, be silent and functional; and that's quite a challenge as today's computer parts are often noisy and create lot's of heat. Building a HTPC surely isn't an easy task as you need to carefully handpick all components used. For optimal cooling and nice looks today we land at the premises of Zalman. They recently released their Zalman HD160XT Plus HTPC chassis. A seriously gorgeous looking HTPC chassis, made out of aluminum and with a small 7" Zero Defect LCD touch screen (no dead pixels).