G.Skill Z5i (Mini ITX) chassis review

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Final Words & Conclusion

Final Words & Conclusion

It’s time for the conclusion. Overall, the G.Skill Z5i is an interesting debut from this manufacturer known mainly from the RAM kits. The main things that make it stand out from the crowd are the bent glass panels. 



Overall, the build quality is pretty good but not perfect; for example, the plastic base is too soft. The internal layout is 90 degrees tilted Mini ITX. You get no fans, but you get some ARGB lighting at the mentioned base. To be able to control the colours, you need to connect them to your motherboard.


There’s enough space for up to 330 mm long GPUs, 70 mm tall CPU coolers (which limits the selection a lot), and you can fit the SFX/SFX-L PSUs. There are no supplied fans. You get ARGB lighting; the motherboard software controls that as there’s no provided/dedicated device for that. It’s possible to fit only the mITX board. Storage-wise, you’ll have a basic set of options in the form of two dedicated mounts for SSDs and one for 3.5”/2.5” drives (for the HDDs, it’s needed to install them before the PSU). The liquid cooling capacity is more than expected for this kind of chassis as you can install a 280 mm rad at the back. The I/O panel has a standard set of two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.2 Type-C, and a power button. You won’t find an audio jack here.


Looks are always a subjective matter. The design of the new Z5I is very exciting and unique. The two bent tempered glass panels make it stand out from the crowd, that’s for sure. You won’t be able to fully show off your gear, as the tint is rather dark. But there’s a reason for that, as it aims to hide the cable clutter. The front panel is made from brushed aluminum, and overall there’s also metal and plastic used in this product. 


There are no provided fans, so you need to rely on the ones you’d install in case of using the air cooler or the ones from the AIO cooling your CPU. The processor temperatures are rather good, but because of the design – the GPU will struggle. It has no place to “breathe,” so this makes it (and the whole system) also loud.




The Verdict

The G.Skill Z5i is a Mini-ITX compatible mid-tower chassis (307.5 x 190 x 417.5 mm (H x W x D)) that is unique, and the main focus here was the design. You get no fans here, and the case is aimed at the AIO cooling for the CPU. You can install a radiator of a size up to 280 mm. This should make the life of the CPU easier; the PSU that will fit needs to be compatible with SFX/SFX-L standard. The storage options are rather limited; there’s one place for 3.5”/2.5” and two for 2.5”. With the growing popularity of the m.2 drives, that shouldn’t be a problem, especially in this chassis kind (and size). The build quality is very nice, especially since there are used, for example, the brushed aluminum parts. The things we don’t like are for sure the price. The 199.99 USD is not cheap. This is probably mainly due to the bent glass panels. When we’re at this topic – this solution makes the GPU very toasty and, in the final result, also noisy (and the whole system). The chassis is, in fact, typically aimed at using the LCS. You get the ARGB lighting, but you need to use the motherboard software to control it, as there’s no built-in device. If it were thought a bit differently – there would be a place for another 3.5” drive. There are no fan filters at all so that the dust will build up quite fast. The top mesh panel should be framed; that would add rigidity. Overall we can say that the debut of G.Skill is good but not perfect, and we can grant the “Approved” award mainly for the looks (the bent tempered glass panels are stunning, but on the other side – “cooking” the GPU very well) and the innovative ideas. If it would be a system made mainly for being attractive and used for some more heavy applications/games rather rarely – you can pick it. In any other case, we can't suggest it for heavy-duty users.

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