Azza Solano 1000 Gaming Case
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 05-11-2009
Provided by: Azza

When installing the motherboard I noticed one thing I had missed earlier, a small area up under the top inside corner that appears to have gotten only a very light paint spray. You really have to be looking close to see this area when the side panel is in place. The optical drive and floppy with adapter rails mount easily in the top 5" bays, although despite the five-position screw holes available I found that the drive faces either protruded slightly or were inset slightly compared to the mesh fillers. I opted to install them slightly inset as pictured.

With the motherboard and power supply installed, the drive cages cannot be removed from the rear, they must be slid out through the front of the case in order to mount the hard drive(s). Four thumbscrews on each side hold the cages in place with additional thumbscrews provided to secure the drives. These fit neatly behind the fans with only an inch or so extending out of the rear of the cage.

Other than the length of the power supply cables I had no other issues getting everything installed in the Solano. Despite the case measuring 21.5" tall, roughly two inches of that height is in the plastic top vent panel with another inch gained from the rubber pedestal feet. But given its mid-tower-sized interior, with the power supply mounted at the bottom some units are simply going to have wiring that is too short. The +12v auxiliary, the primary ATX and the long reach to the optical drive were particularly close on length.

I was a bit concerned about using a heatpipe tower type CPU cooler with the large fan mounted in the side panel, however with more than eight inches of width there was plenty of clearance there. Some excessively-sized coolers may still prove to be an obstruction. Since installing the optical and floppy drives freed up some blank mesh filler panels, I opted to swap out the one with the Azza logo attached, to give the case more of a stealth look.

Both front fans, the side panel fan and the top vent fan, as well as the power switch, all have blue LED lighting. The hard drive access LED however is amber. While the fan frames are solid black, the blades are all clear, which helps to disperse the lighting effect. Only the rear exhaust fan is not lit, however being a common 120mm size you could easily replace this if additional lighting was desired. The fans are relatively quiet, rated at only 19dB for the fronts and 24dB for the large side and top fans, with the top offering the ability to select the speed via the rear switch.

Let's wrap things up with some final thoughts on the Azza Solano 1000.

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