Log A brief review of ZS OC V1 build

tinyitx

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
Jan 25, 2018
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This is not a new build but rather a transplant. The hardwares are relocated from an old chassis (Streacom BC1 Mini) to this ZS-OC (ver 1).

Point form to avoid a wall of text.😊

1. Package was delivered via SF Express. It came in good shape, with strong corner foam and wrappings inside.

2. Material quality is very good. Workmanship is also excellent, without any flaw. The frame is available in black/silver/grey. Mine is 'grey'. This grey is more like a grey with a bluish hue (like 'slate grey').

3. Not many accessories. Besides the main components of the open frame, there are 2 PSU brackets (one for ATX and one for SFX). And there is also a mounting bracket for a 360 radiator/fan. There are a few bags of screws and 2 screw drivers. I used the larger one for installation. Not sure what the little one is for.

I also ordered the PCIe 3.0 riser as well. I have never liked the idea of using a riser (due to reliability and availability). This is my first ever usage. This riser looks and feels good quality. It came in an anti-static bag. Let's see how it goes in a longer run. If it can last for, say, 4 years, without problem, then I might be impressed.

4. No manual or package content list whatsoever. I suppose nothing is missing. It is not overly complicated to assemble the open frame and I use the pictures in the product webpage as guide.

There is a hinge mechanism so that the central compartment can be opened to do cable management inside. It tool me a few minutes to figure out the correct procedure.

Also, I noted that one or two pics in the product webpage are misleading as far as the direction of the riser cable orientation is concerned. No big deal. Just use common sense to override any doubt.

5. When installing the mobo, I discovered the M.2 SSD on the mobo bottom side had conflict with the mobo tray. 1st surprise!

The tray's square cutout opening is just not large enough. I suspect it might work if the EKWB's M.2 heatsink installed on the SSD is removed. But I did not want to remove the heatsink. So, the quick alternative is to use standoff extender to raise the mobo higher. Fortunately I have some spare standoffs in my PC part box.

6. While this problem was solved, another arose. With a raised mobo, the mobo's (Asus Z390-I Gaming) integrated IO shield has conflict with the frame's IO cutout. 2nd surprise! So, the quick solution is to cut away the top and the 2 sides of the frame cutout opening. As my mobo has a fully integrated IO shield, the end result still looks good. Afterall, this is an open frame, who needs the frame cutout anyway!

7. SF600 was installed next. It could be installed in either a higher or a lower position, leaving the space to install some 2.5'' SSDs either above or below the PSU. I chose to install the PSU in the lower position to make it further away from the GPU riser cable.

8. GPU installation next. My display card has a backplate and it is coming very close (1-2mm) to the frame. As I wish to have a larger clearance for better ventilation, I use standoff extenders to raise everything up, ie the 2 support rods and the pcie riser socket.

9. PSU cables:- Before ordering the open frame, I chatted with the seller via AliWangWang and he told me to use the stock SF600 cables as the cables can be hidden inside the frame. To be fair, he did say he would make me some custom cables if I wanted. I did not place that order and planned to use the stock cables.

Anyway, the 24-pin cable turned out to be just a little too short. 3rd surprise! I think I could possibly force the SF600 Gold stiff stock cables into the mobo 24-pin socket. But it definitely will stress the socket and I am afraid the long term effect will be disastrous.

Fortunately, I have a spare set of custom cables around. They are a little bit longer than needed but the extra lengths can be hidden. So, this problem was solved.


A few observations:-
a. Fan/Radiator mounting bracket is mounted onto the front vertical panel by 6 screws (2 on top + 2 in the middle + 2 in bottom). The bracket has those 6 screw holes but there are none on the frame!

I suspect, this mounting bracket is an 'after thought' design, thus explaining why there are no receiving pre-drilled holes on the ZS OC V1. This is just a manufacturing overlook. Hopefully, V1.1 or V2 will fix this.

EDIT:- it turns out that this is not an overlook at all. Read my post (#5) down below.

b. From the power button there come 2 sets of cables. One for power on/off and the other is labelled as HDD LED. But, this later cable does not really do anything as there are no built-in LED in the power button. I do not know why it is there. So, I suggest either remove this cable or actually use a power button that has a built-in LED.

c. Some kind of holes for zip ties to tied to (helping cable management inside the central compartment).


So much for now.

I am quite satisfied with this transfer. The 14cm fan NH-C14S dominates the look (especially when it dwarfs the SF600 with its tiny 9cm fan). I think, if I were to start afresh again, I would choose a tower cooler like Thermalright Silver Arrow 130 which is less tall and gives a more subtle less-imposing look.

Here come the pictures.

 
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thelaughingman

SFF Guru
Jul 14, 2018
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The bracket has those 6 screw holes but there are none on the frame!
damn, that is such a shame! I need that fan bracket to work for a 360 rad. Just looking again at the live pictures on the product page and there's no screw holes on the front either. Could you ask the seller about it directly on Aliwangwang?

thank you for the quick write-up. it's almost there. v1.1 or v1.2 would be great!
 

tinyitx

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
Jan 25, 2018
2,279
2,338
damn, that is such a shame! I need that fan bracket to work for a 360 rad. Just looking again at the live pictures on the product page and there's no screw holes on the front either. Could you ask the seller about it directly on Aliwangwang?

thank you for the quick write-up. it's almost there. v1.1 or v1.2 would be great!
Sure, I will contact him via Aliwangwang. I will let you know what he will say.

Edit:-
OK, just talked to him on Aliwangwang. (Glad that the guy was online!)
Anyway, it is my bad. I misunderstood how the rad bracket be mounted onto the frame.
The bracket does not mount onto the front strip panel.

That strip panel will need to be removed, exposing internal mounting holes (top, middle height and bottom).
Then, the rad bracket will be screwed through a standoff system/mechanism.

(Guess what? I have used those supplied standoffs to raise the GPU without knowing that they are meant for the front rad bracket...lol Now, I know why those standoff extenders are for!)

If you do not get what I meant, I will post a few pics to illustrate.

So, there is no oversight or manufacturing flaw at all.
 
Last edited:
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thelaughingman

SFF Guru
Jul 14, 2018
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Sure, I will contact him via Aliwangwang. I will let you know what he will say.

Edit:-
OK, just talked to him on Aliwangwang. (Glad that the guy was online!)
Anyway, it is my bad. I misunderstood how the rad bracket be mounted onto the frame.
The bracket does not mount onto the front strip panel.

That strip panel will need to be removed, exposing internal mounting holes (top, middle height and bottom).
Then, the rad bracket will be screwed through a standoff system/mechanism.

(Guess what? I have used those supplied standoffs to raise the GPU without knowing that they are meant for the front rad bracket...lol Now, I know why those standoff extenders are for!)

If you do not get what I meant, I will post a few pics to illustrate.

So, there is no oversight or manufacturing flaw at all.
oooohh I think I get it. the "front" panel is just a visual piece. ofc a pic is worth a thousand words but I'm sold!

1 last thing - the gap I asked you earlier, now with the cables in place how much is left?
 

tinyitx

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
Jan 25, 2018
2,279
2,338
oooohh I think I get it. the "front" panel is just a visual piece. ofc a pic is worth a thousand words but I'm sold!

1 last thing - the gap I asked you earlier, now with the cables in place how much is left?
OK, I will give you 4 thousand words.

And, what do you mean by the gap left with now the cables are in place?
Refer to my pic #11 in the album above. Could you mark on that pic which distance are you talking about?
 
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thelaughingman

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Jul 14, 2018
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loving it!

Refer to my pic #11 in the album above. Could you mark on that pic which distance are you talking about?
it's this, cause obviously there's the connector in the way

 

tinyitx

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
Jan 25, 2018
2,279
2,338
loving it!


it's this, cause obviously there's the connector in the way

I see. The blue distance is 61mm.
Actually, if you plan to put a reservoir there and are afraid the clearance might miss several mm, you can use standoffs to extend to make the mounting bracket further away from the open frame. Technically, you can keep on increasing that distance by multiple standoffs. But, of course, aesthetically it might not be very pleasing when the standoffs are very long.
 
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thelaughingman

SFF Guru
Jul 14, 2018
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I see. The blue distance is 61mm.
Actually, if you plan to put a reservoir there and are afraid the clearance might miss several mm, you can use standoffs to extend to make the mounting bracket further away from the open frame. Technically, you can keep on increasing that distance by multiple standoffs. But, of course, aesthetically it might not be very pleasing when the standoffs are very long.
thanks a lot man! you're such a big help. Next step is to actually having the case and put the pieces together to be completely sure 😂
 
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