I just got my ZS-A4 last night. I acquired it in a unique way. I asked my wife’s uncle if he could help me order it because he owns some kind of business over in China, so I figured he would be able to help me navigate Taobao. It turns out that he was about to go to China to check up on his business, so he apparently just dropped by the house/business of the guy who sells the ZS-A4. Long story short, the guy had a silver/orange one on hand so Uncle bought it and brought it back with him.
I didn’t want the orange interior, but that is all the guy had, so It was orange or wait months for the next production run and pay a lot for shipping.
Does anybody have any suggestions for how to change the color? Spray paint? Plasti-dip? I really don’t know where to start. After looking at it, I’m a little concerned that I might not be able to get the motherboard I/O panel in. Did anyone have any troubles getting it in?
So after owning the ZS-A4 for a while here are some more thoughts.
I like how thick the aluminum panels are. I don’t know exactly what alloy of aluminum is used in this case, but I think the sheer thickness of the panels makes it feel high quality. Also, the panels and pieces are cut and shaped with such precision, things fit just perfectly and that also makes it feel high quality.
I was worried about being able to fit the motherboard I/O panel in, but it fit perfectly.
The power cable that came with it had what I assume is a standard plug in China, but I was able to find a replacement for it online easily enough and for only a few dollars.
Because of the abnormal procurement process in my situation, it arrived pre-assembled and without any instructions. I ended up needing to take apart what I had just built a number of times during the build process. There is definitely a specific build order for some of the pieces. My biggest difficulty was getting the PCI riser cable installed. I had to take apart almost everything to get it installed. The PCI riser cable length is so exact that there is no slack to allow the motherboard end to be pulled out of the PCI slot when the motherboard and GPU side of the cable are secured to the case. That also means that there isn’t enough slack to get the motherboard end into the PCI slot if both the GPU end of the riser cable and the motherboard are secured to the case. Also, there is not enough slack for the GPU side to fit in to its slot if the cable is already slotted into the motherboard and the motherboard is secured to the case. So in order to get it to fit, I had to secure the GPU end of the riser cable to the case then slot the other end into the motherboard and then secure the motherboard to the case.
The side panel on the GPU side was very close to my graphics card....so close that the Fans were rubbing against the side panel. I took a couple of the rubber washers that came with the case and put them between the case and side panel and that was just enough space to keep the fans from rubbing, but the panel sticks out from the side a little bit now. The graphics card is the MSI GTX 970. This card is not a 2.5 slot card like the 1080ti cards, so beware, there is verry little leeway for graphics card thickness.
Also, with the washers spacing the side panel away from the frame a little, I have to be careful how I lift the case, making sure not to press in on the side panels, otherwise, the side panel could bend, even though they are so thick.
The motherboard I used is the Gigabyte GA-Z170n-WiFi. This board has some peculiarities, but one in particular makes it less than ideal for use in this case. All but 2 of the sata ports are situated flush with the edge of the motherboard at a 90 degree angle, so the sata cables cannot be plugged in because the ports are facing directly into the side of the SFX power supply.
The ventilation holes are quite large, I think this results in lower noise, and it makes it easier for components to pull in fresh air instead of recycling hot air from inside.
I haven’t tried a CPU stress test, but the GPU stays well below thermal throttling temps with full GPU boost when running benchmarks.
This case has been called a Dancase clone. The design was definitely based on the Dancase design, but there are 3 differences that I think are important to point out, differences that makes me like this case more than the Dancase.
1. There are 2x80-92mm slim case fan slots on the bottom of the case which help provide cool air under the motherboard and GPU.
2. The power supply extension cable doesn’t stick up so far out of the power supply, so the PSU sits higher in the case, which I think helps more of the PSU exhaust to make it out of the top and also allows for the third difference.
3. You can fit 3 drives under the PSU.
Overall I am really happy with this case and want another!