AZZA is a relatively new company when it comes to enclosures. Their major splash came with the Fusion 4000 enclosure (which we're still slated to review at some point in the future), a case that can house both a full ATX system and a secondary Mini-ITX system simultaneously. Someone over at AZZA is definitely thinking outside the box, and that becomes increasingly evident when we take a look at their most recent launch, the Genesis 9000.

The Genesis 9000 is an incredibly flexible enclosure, not in terms of building materials (which are almost entirely SECC steel) but in terms of assembly. This is a case that looks incredibly daunting to build in (partly because it's 36 pounds on its own) because of how many ways you can actually build a system in it. More than that, AZZA has gone slightly off the beaten path with the cooling system. The result is a very unique case at a remarkably competitive price, and after multiple nights of testing, we're only too happy to share our conclusions with you.

Saying AZZA is relatively new isn't wholly accurate; they're new to the end user, but they've been building enclosures and power supplies for OEMs like XION for some time now. The hardware that's been released in America under the AZZA label has been distinctive, though, and it's extremely gratifying to see newer Taiwanese companies like AZZA and Bitfenix carving out their own niches with designs that go beyond the basic "gamer" boxes. The Genesis 9000 is one of those designs.

AZZA Genesis 9000 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Micro ATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX
Drive Bays External 9x 5.25”
Internal 5x 2.5"/3.5" (drive sleds housed inside 5.25" bays)
Cooling Front -
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 2x 230mm exhaust fans
Side 2x 120mm intake fans and 1x200mm fan mount, 2x 120mm fan mounts on opposite panel
Bottom 2x 140mm intake fans with space for up to 3x230mm fans
Expansion Slots 9
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, eSATA, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size Standard ATX
Clearances HSF 200 mm
PSU 2x 240 mm
GPU 15.7" / 400mm
Dimensions 25.1" x 9.8" x 23.2"
640mm x 250mm x 590mm
Weight 36 lbs / 16.33kg
Special Features USB 3.0 connectivity via internal headers
Removable, rotatable motherboard tray
Dual power supply bays
Integrated fan/LED controller
Support for 480mm radiator in top of enclosure and 240mm radiator in bottom
Price $169

Honestly, for $169 you get a hell of a lot of case. The Genesis 9000 sports a healthy number of ports in the I/O cluster, nine expansion slots, and uses its array of 5.25" bays as a means for supporting 3.5" and 2.5" drives. The drive trays feel like a bit of wasted space, but they're made of solid steel and two of them even have hot-swap backplates that also include 3-pin fan headers. In a pinch you can easily buy an aftermarket 5.25"-to-2x2.5" adaptor as well.

That's before you get to the pair of power supply bays, army of internal fans, LED enclosure lighting, and fan controller. And a removable motherboard tray! There's a lot to dig into here, so let's get started.

In and Around the AZZA Genesis 9000
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  • Grok42 - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    I too agree that it would be nice to see cases reviewed with min and max setup options, I can only imagine this would take forever. I work on a social site and we have a guy that does reviews which we participate as additional testers. It takes an enormous amount of time to test and this is for simple things like specialized towels and other non-configurable equipment.

    I not exactly sure of your exact point about 5.25" bays Vs 3.5" bays but I think you and I are of the same opinion. I posted a long screed about this in the last case review that wasn't very popular. Basically 5.25" bays are pretty useless. There are almost no internal 5.25" accessories on the market anymore other than CD/DVD/Blue-Ray drives which you pointed out you only need one of. Other than possibly using one for an optical drive, the rest of the bays, while providing plenty of room for cooling, are also a waste of space.
  • lwatcdr - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    "Basically 5.25" bays are pretty useless. There are almost no internal 5.25" accessories on the market anymore other than CD/DVD/Blue-Ray drives which you pointed out you only need one of.
    Actually you are mistaken their. I admit that the huge number of 5 1/4 "drive bays in this case is a bit odd but they are used a lot in custom rigs for water cooling which this case looks like it was really set up for.
    For example here is a page of Bay reservoirs for water cooled rigs.
    Some come with pumps as well.
    With this case you could put a rather large rad in the top and an smaller one in the bottom for a dual loop set up. Two large pumps and reservoirs would take up 4 bays.

    You also have something like this
    Which lets you mount 31/2" drives in two 5 1/2 bays and have them be hot swappable so one could in mount 16 hot swappable drives in this case for a storage server. Or any combination of or drives you could want.
    There you go . I am sure you can see ways now to fill them with a high end water cooled rig.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    You seriously can't tell that the hard drives are going to be spaced well apart? Even after I specifically mention that the drive trays actually kind of waste space because it's basically one drive per 5.25" bay?

    We're a long, long way from the old days of horrible 3.5" hard drive cramping.
  • P5-133XL - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    The vast majority of internet reviews are non-critical specifically designed to sell the product. Is because there is a potential problem with HD temps and that's why they didn't include them? We don't know, for they didn't test.

    There are lots of cases where that info is known so there are lots of alternatives so this case is not needed but if they want to review a case then they should do a good job and include important data such as this.
  • P5-133XL - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Sorry about the grammar/editing error.

    I wish to reword the sentence "Is because there is a potential problem with HD temps and that's why they didn't include them?" to be "Is there a potential problem with HD temps and that is why they were not included?
  • MilwaukeeMike - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    "Bottom-to-top cooling can be very effective, but the motherboard isn't rotated ninety degrees here the way it is in SilverStone's more efficient designs, so air travelling through the Genesis 9000 unfortunately just doesn't have a very efficient default path to work with."

    If I remember right, some website did a compare of Silverstone's alignment to other cases rotated at 90 degress and found that rotating your case (or mobo inside it) made no difference in temps.

    I'm surprised this case isn't quieter, I wonder if the fans could be replaced by slower/quieter fans. As the results show, increasing the speed doesn't help much, so maybe it could be lowered.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    The point I was making wasn't that the convection design isn't what makes SilverStone's designs work, it's the fact that the coolers for the CPU and GPU are completely unobstructed in their 90-degree rotated designs. There's just a straight shot from the fans right into the coolers, while here either the CPU fan or the GPU fan is being prioritized.
  • MilwaukeeMike - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Found some other pics online of this case... the top looks very cool, you should throw in some pics of it.
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Very nice to see another case acknowledging the fact that larger mainboards exist, and multiple-GPU rigs need space to support them all. I would have preferred to see a 10-slot capability over 9-slot, but definitely a step in the right direction.

  • BlueHighway - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    I've been considering this case since I noticed it about a week ago. I was hoping for good results in this review, but now I'm not so certain... For one thing, my video card is the hottest component in my case (GTX 580), so I'll have to rotate the motherboard to the normal position - and I was under the impression that this alternative "flipped" design was supposed to be superior for GPU cooling!

    A minor thing I'm disappointed about is that the blue-teal LEDs will not be illuminated except when fans are at maximum speed, which I will probably never have... Unless maybe I can replace the stock fans with my Noctuas and keep them running at high speed.

    Quick question - 25" is the maximum height of the case, and as some of us keep computer cases under our desks, how much of an impact would a 3"-4" clearance above the case have on the overall airflow? I assume 25" is the maximum height, as the top is rounded, and the lowest points are maybe 23", so there's going to be more clearance in those areas.

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