AZZA Solano 1000 Gaming PC Case Review


Technology seems to be getting more and more compact even in the PC world. mATX was the smallest desktop pc you could get and now we are starting to see mITX  products come out that are smaller than an original Nintendo. Is compact the better choice? In the world of PC gaming bigger is still better. Graphics cards, CPU coolers, motherboards, and even ram are getting bigger and bigger. It is to the point where if you want a serious gaming rig you need all the expansion you can get. This is where the monster full tower cases come in. The cooling ability and expandability of a full tower dwarfs the capability of a mid tower chassis. A relatively new comer to the gaming case world is Azza today we will be getting s closer look at the AZZA 1000 Case to see how well it stacks up against the veteran of the industry Thermaltake:

Provided by: Azza

Closer Look:

The packaging design for the AZZA Solano 1000 Case is nicely designed with a list of all the specifications and features of the case. The case comes securely packed in packing foam and a plastic cover to cut down on the chances of dust and scratches during shipping.

The Solano is a very well built case; at first glance it looks like a very formidable opponent for the Thermaltake Armor. The monster 240mm fan on the side looks like it could give my armor a run for its money. I love the flat black stealth bomber style paintjob that the Solano comes with. I love my Thermaltake armor but if I was going to pick a case purely on looks the two would be neck and neck. I also like the bottom mount PSU that the Solano features a lot more than the top mount that the armor has. Based on looks alone this case screams strength and durability ,there is a very small amount of plastic parts which means this case will last you many years even if your buddies decide to use it as a seat or a foots stool.

Included with the AZZA Solano 1000 Gaming PC Chassis is all of the thumbscrews, motherboard screws, and standoff’s you will need. Also included is a 3.5 floppy drive faceplate, a 3.5 drive bay converter, a motherboard speaker, and the manual to set the case up for your particular needs.

Let’s check out the working components:

Closer Look:

The top of the AZZA Solano 1000 Gaming PC Chassis is where the “front panel” features are located. There are 3 USB, 1 eSATA, and input and output audio ports. I love how AZZA included a tray on the top of the case which can be useful for a number of purposes such as: holding a 2.5 external hard drive, or just a place to put screws when you are working on your PC. The top of the case is also used for venting hot air with its huge 240mm exhaust fan. The top exhaust works with the natural rising of hot air which is an ingenious feature from an engineering standpoint. Above the rear 120mm exhaust fan there is a 3-way toggle switch to control the speed of the top 240mm exhaust fan which is a nice feature for quieting the fan when it is at idle.

Above the bottom loading PSU on the back of the AZZA Solano 1000 Gaming PC Case is in intake and exhaust port for a water cooling system. On the bottom of the case is 2 vents to draw cool air. In front of the PSU is a spot for an additional 120mm or 140mm fan to increase the fan count even more if you wish to.

 

 

 

The front of the case has two 140mm fans that cool the HDD trays. These are monster fans for intake and I can nom understand the need for a 120mm and a 240mmm exhaust fan just to barley keep up with the intake. The trays come out to make it easier to mount the HDD’s. I would prefer a 90 degree turn so that the slots face out personally because I hate having to tear down the motherboard and expansion cards to get at my hard drives. The removable trays are a nice feature and the foam mounting insures a nice quite running PC. I love tool less but all too often it is done poorly and cheaply so as a nice compromise the designers are AZZA went with a thumbscrew design which I like very much; I love thumbscrews so this is major points for the Solano.

 

 

 

 

The inside of the case is the same flat black as the outside which I love that is the one pet peeve I hade with the Thermaltake Armor. They had a beautiful black finish on the outside but and ugly grey for the motherboard tray. I like the fact that the AZZA Solano 1000 Gaming PC Case has nubs on the motherboard tray so you don’t need to ad as many standoffs for installation. The back of the motherboard tray offer a very large space for running cables. I ran my 24 pin motherboard power cable in this space so that should tell you how much space there is for cable running and modding.

 

 

 

Let’s check out the specs and features:

Specifications:

 

Model Name: Solano 1000
Model Number: CSAZ-1000
Type: ATX Full Tower
Color: Black/Black (internal chassis)
Material: Japanese SECC Steel/Metal mesh in front
With Side Panel Window: Yes
With Power Supply: No
Motherboard Compatibility: Extended ATX, ATX, Micro ATX
Expansion
External 5.25″ Drive Bay: 10
External 3.5″ Drive Bay: 1
Internal 3.5″ Drive Bay: 8
Expansion: 7
Front Ports
Front Ports 2 x USB, e-SATA, Audio, Mic
Cooling System
230mm Fan: 1 x 230mm blue LED silent fan (24DBA) on top
1 x 230mm blue LED silent fan (24DBA) on the side
140mm Fan: 2x140mm blue LED silent fan (19DBA) in front
120mm Fan: 1x120mm fan in rear
Physical Spec
Dimensions (H x W x D): 21.5″ (545mm) x 8.1″ (213mm) x 19.7″ (500mm)

 

Features:

Ultra-efficiency Cooling System: 1 x 230mm top fan (exhaust)
1 x 230mm side fan (intake)
2x 140mm front fan (intake), providing exceptional air flow to cool the HDD
1 x 120mm rear fan (exhaust)
Bottom-mounted Power Supply: Power supply is bottom-mounted, can be installed facing either up or down. Pre-drilled holes located at bottom, allowing efficient air flow when power supply is installed facing downward
Optimized Cable Management: Cable is organized behind the pre-drilled motherboard tray,? allowing better cable routing and internal air flow
Easy Assembling: Thumb screw design for easy assembling of optical drive and HDD; thumb screw design also for the side panel
Maximum Compatibility: Compatible with extended ATX, ATX, Micro ATX and all kinds of Nvidia, ATI long graphic card, and most water cooling systems
Server-like HDD cage can accommodate up to 8 HDD, equipped with? 2 x 140mm front fans for overheat prevention
USB & Audio Ports Located on Top: USB & eSATA & audio ports located on the top panel, allowing easy access

Let’s Get to the testing:

Testing Setup:

Testing:

I will be taking note of the HDD, CPU, GPU, and ambient case temps under both idle and load conditions. The case I will be testing the Solano 1000 against will be the Thermaltake Armor. The room temps will be regulated at 22 degrees in order to provide fair testing grounds. Let’s jump right in to the testing ans see how AZZA competes with the big boys:

  Idle Temps:

Chassis

CPU

GPU

Case Temp

Hard Drive

Armor

41

44

24.2

33

AZZA Solano

39

40

23

34

 Load Temps:

Chassis

CPU

GPU

Case Temp

Hard Drive

Armor

49

44

25.2

34

AZZA Solano

44

40

24

32

Well I must say I was extremely impressed with how well the AZZA Solano 1000 performed. It beat the Thermaltake Armor in every single temp and some of them by a pretty incredible difference. Let’s see the final thoughts:

Conclusion:

I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the AZZA Solano 1000 Gaming PC Case’s performance over the Thermaltake. One drawback worth mentioning is the positioning of the 240mm side fan; I was unable to use my high profile noctua cooler with the side fan mounted the way it was. I had to mount the 240mm on the outside of the case in order to use an aftermarket cooler this makes the over all esthetics of the case a little less appealing. Looks aside it worked and it worked well so the mod was not a con for e because I am constantly modifying my cases to fit my needs anyways.

Would I recommend this case? Yes, I loved this case and its features it is so well made and performs so well for its price point I believe every serious gamer and enthusiast should try one of these out for themselves. AZZA has definitely put there best foot forward with their flagship case the Solano I have a feeling they will be doing very well for themselves in the gaming case world if they keep this kind of quality up.

Pros:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Performance
  • Blue LED’s 
  • Tons of Fans
  • Thumbscrews
  • 3 USB Ports
  • Bottom Mount PSU
  • 3-Way Toggle for top fan

Cons:

  • I would like to see the HDD’s Turned 90 Degrees
  • Modding Needed for High Profile CPU Coolers 
Even With Some Cons this is the best case I have ever used for that reason I give it an Editors Choice Award:
 

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