In and Around the AZZA Genesis 9000

Big cases draw a lot of attention and even can draw some consternation due to their sheer size, and I can see how the styling of the AZZA Genesis 9000 may not be for everyone. As far as gaudy enthusiast cases go I actually don't mind the Genesis 9000 as much, and users not bullish on the white-and-blue motif can pick up a black-and-red version for the same price.

Looking at the front of the case, you can immediately pick up on two things. First, the front of the case is almost entirely 5.25" bays, reminiscent of Cooler Master's Stacker line. That means that there are no front intake fans on the Genesis 9000, which is unusual in a modern enclosure. There's also a bottom vent held in place by plastic and thumbscrews, but behind that is actually one of the power supply bays complete with a cable that routes to the back of the enclosure. The blue plastic accents aren't just for show, either; when the fan controller's "high" setting is enabled, they actually glow.

The sides of the Genesis 9000 are just as revealing. The two side panels are interchangeable, with the windowed panel tinted blue. It also includes two 120mm intake fans powered by 4-pin molex connectors and a 200mm fan mount. The less ostentatious side panel just includes two 120mm fan mounts. What AZZA got right that cases like Lian Li's PC-A55 didn't was the ventilation in the bottom: there are venting holes along the sides of the bottom of the case to allow the bottom intake fans to do their jobs.

The top of the case hides two 230mm exhaust fans under slanted vents as well as housing the fan controller, I/O cluster, power and reset buttons, and fan speed/LED toggle. You can also remove the top panel via the thumbscrews, but it's still largely held in place by virtue of having to disconnect all the fans and headers that come plugged in by default. Still, you can do it, and that's how you can install a massive radiator to the top of the case. The blue strips up top also illuminate when the "high" fan speed is enabled.

When you get to the back of the case, you can see the handle for the removable, rotatable motherboard tray held in place with six thumbscrews along with the routed power cable for a front-mounted power supply. There's also a removable bracket for a rear-mounted power supply, but when we open up the Genesis 9000 you'll see that space is occupied by one of the two ducted 140mm intake fans.

By default the Genesis 9000's motherboard tray is actually mounted in an inverted configuration as opposed to the standard ATX style, and the internal cabling is very neatly tied to the back of the tray. You can also see the removable support bar for extra heavy video cards. What's changed for the Genesis 9000 since the last era of removable motherboard trays, though, is that we now route cables behind the tray for cleaner internals. That means that if you need to rotate the tray, you're going to need to do all the routing you've already done.

AZZA also includes ducts above the included 140mm fans for both directing air and reducing noise, and these easily snap on and off of the fans. You should also pay close attention to just how much space there is in the bottom for installing newer, more powerful fans. Theoretically you could set up quite a little wind tunnel inside the Genesis 9000, or alternatively a healthy amount of watercooling. Note, too, that the front power supply bay (which is admittedly preferable for most installations) can also house two 3.5" drives.

What we have, essentially, is an extraordinarily flexible enclosure design the likes of which I haven't seen since NZXT's Switch 810. NZXT sells the Switch 810 for $169, but the AZZA Genesis 9000 is in many ways a more high quality enclosure with even more flexibility for the same price; I'm surprised to see a vendor try to undercut NZXT. You'll see the Genesis 9000 also offers solid performance, but we'll get there soon enough.

Introducing the AZZA Genesis 9000 Assembling the AZZA Genesis 9000
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  • Ilias78 - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Great review Justin and the case looks like an incredibly interesting piece of work - mostly due for its customization capabilities. Much like the Silverstone FT02, Id love to get my hands on one of these and spend hours on making a perfectly assembled system (its also a challenge to do builds on such unusual cases and i like it). I still do believe however that your cable management needs more attention. I suspect that you usually must be on a deadline to build the system and write your review (which means that you dont have the luxury of time on your side), but i would really-really like to see you doing better cable management. You assembled the system ofc and you know better, but i look at the case and i see so many options and possibilities for cable routing, or ways to make things cleaner :) But still, great revew... its one of those cases that make your "creativity juices" go sky-high :)
  • blackmagnum - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    It looks like a storm trooper and a Camaro has mated. Though it seems easy to clean the smooth exterior.
  • MakingMonkeys - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Thank you for the review,
    The price link is attached to a wrong item on newegg.
  • mentatstrategy - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    and Tron themed devices - including the price! (Super high for a case in my opinion sheesh)
  • sudz - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Great review, Except I have one overall gripe with how you do mid and full size case reviews.

    I can't speak for everyone, but When I'm building a machine that needs a medium or large sized case, I have more than just an SSD, MicroATX and one video card.

    I understand the need for uniformity across all your reviews/test beds, however using the case in a way that the majority of users in a real life situation would be much more informative.

    For example, my "gaming" machine is a Mid sized tower, with 5 hard drives, 2 optical drives, and two 6850's in crossfire.

    The setup you have could be fit into a small HTPC (minus the video card) Who in their right mind would waste 200+ (160 in this "case") to put micro atx motherboard and a single hard drive into a full size tower?

    Heat, Airflow, noise would all change when loaded up with an "average" full size setup, Including installation, cable routing, etc.

    Just a thought!
  • AeroJoe - Monday, July 16, 2012 - link

    I'm with sudz on this one. I would want to see something more in line with a case full of motherboard, graphics cards and hard-drives. After all, that's why one would need a case this big.

    So let's see it with a liquid cooled core-7 processor with a closed-loop radiator in the top of the chassis, and at least four 3.5-inch hard-drives installed with the OS running on a 2.5-inch SSD. Then I would have a MUCH better idea as to whether this case deserves consideration for my next build project.
  • Nomanor - Sunday, July 22, 2012 - link

    Great point.

    When reviewing Full Tower cases, stuff them with proper components.
  • Arbie - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    We know that, all other things being equal, a larger fan will move more air with less noise. So I would like to have 230mm fans everywhere. The problem comes when you're actually trying to select and buy them. There is practically no choice. All ideas of working with RPM ranges and PWM control go out the window. And you may find that only sleeve bearings are available. Those are completely unsuited to horizontal mounting (as at the top of this case) where they will fail early.

    I've learned the hard way to prefer plain old 120mm or at most 140mm fan ports. I'd like it to be otherwise, and tried to go there, but the industry is nowhere near ready. There just isn't enough demand, and I don't see that changing soon.
  • P5-133XL - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    I'm annoyed, the review gives temps for SSD's and doesn't use HD's. SSD's don't generate much heat and are quite heat insensitive. HD's on the other hand generate significant amount of heat and are sensitive to heat especially if there aren't fan's in front of them.

    I've had significant issues with cases where placing HD's next to each other have caused HD's to get excessively hot and I've needed to either get fans that generate noise or spread the HD's apart so that they are not next to each other.

    With no HD temps in the review, means I skip this case in my next build...
  • Belard - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    I second that. I think future reviews for gamer/power user cases should reflect more reality... One SSD and two 2TB Hard Drives. Both of my desktops have two HDs, my main has an SSD.

    While the 3.5 Drive bays may seem a bit of a waste being in 5" drive sleds, it gives them plenty of air-space. In todays world, I think even having TWO optical drives is rare. In the past 10 years, I've only built 2 computers for others who requested 2 drives.

    In the OLD days of PCs, the 3.5" drive bays were SNUG against each other. I noticed this problem back in 2002 when I opened my side panel of my HUGE Antec case (God it was loud) and notice the HEAT from the 3 HDs that were attached side by side. The AIR gap between the drives was slightly bigger than a quarter and the sides were solid. (These were drive cages).
    The drives were too hot to touch for more than a few seconds. I moved 2 drives to an adapter and stuck in a 5.25 bay (each), and left the 3rd in the middle 3.5 cage.

    Since then, my PC cases require having an air-vent in front of the HD bays and a good amount of space (top and bottom) for each drive.

    In the 90s with typical 4-drive setups (FD/HD/CD & CDR), this wasn't an issue with SLOW tech.

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