You’ve NEVER seen an ITX Case like this – ROG Z11 Review

by birtanpublished on October 3, 2020

good people i honestly don't even know where to start with the asus z11 itx enclosure it seems like it's a showpiece it's a really unique piece it's doing many things completely differently than what we've come to expect from an itx market but it's also really inconvenient to work with it's kind of hard to handle in terms of the assembly procedure so who is this case for and why does it exist

I spent the last three days working with the z11 and it brings many unique features that i haven't seen anywhere yet like the 11 degree motherboard angle giving you more room behind the motherboard tray for cables and apparently better cooling too it's a showpiece that gives you the flexibility of orientation either vertical or horizontal with the gpu always on display and the glass on the side too it's also the build quality element here is

Absolutely incredible it's aluminum glass plastic and steel that all work very well together in terms of material choices and aesthetics but at 279 dollars this case will be tough to recommend even for itx lovers so unless you are strictly asus rog fan maybe this thing isn't for you so in this video let's cover everything that is awesome about the z11 everything that is interesting and everything that is like why why does that exist right after this

Wow a mirror finish with a rgb lighting on a team group memory kit not so crazy after all the entire module shines and reflects light for that unique look the kits are available in 16 or 32 gigabyte capacities with up to 4 000 megahertz speeds check it out below alright so first of all before we get into this size comparison let's admire what asus has done here with the aesthetics i've never seen anything like it it's a true rog theme case with angular sections brushed aluminum tempered glass really

Unique ventilation designs and this complex structural layering on the front on the sides basically all around the enclosure that makes you feel like this is something that should be in space and not back on earth but on the contrary because it's all brushed aluminum and glass be prepared to constantly clean this thing after any sort of handling and now let's talk about that size comparison and this is kind of hilarious right next to the corsair 4000d

Airflow mid tower and the corsair one itx enclosure the asus z11 is a behemoth in the vertical orientation it is taller than the 4000d mid tower and it's just slightly shorter in the the length so it's basically a mid tower form factor but for an itx motherboard that is an extremely risky move for asus to do because the itx market is obviously shrinking we're seeing compact itx enclosures that can fit as much hardware as possible

While not exceeding that mid tower category while here the z11 almost highlights the direction they wanted to take not care about the size at all and just worry about the cool factor and the features like the ao for example it is absolutely loaded four usb ports two of which are usb 3 a type c gen 2 we have power reset buttons a combo audio jack and this led button with which you can switch the lighting of the enclosure or you can simply connect it to your motherboard

For that cohesive software control the io would be totally accessible to you regardless of the orientation the power button by the way is in red and does not follow with the whole argb illumination on the power supply shroud and that whole rog section at the front as for the case accessories we have this power supply extension that is used when the case is lying down horizontally we have a power supply sfx bracket because the case supports both atx and sfx power supplies we have a radiator bracket for the bottom fan if you're going all water cooling here

We also have a pump bracket that has a bit of foam and can be installed on the interior we also have this small aluminum screwdriver which is going to be helpful for the assembly process there's an adhesive plastic logo plate that is used when the case is in the vertical orientation and finally some bits and screws plus a few zip ties make sure to look over the user manual because working with the z11 is unlike anything i've worked with before in terms of actually accessing the

Interior removing the panels and like figuring out what goes where so you get inside the enclosure by removing top panel that gives you access to the side panels which are screwed in luckily the mount here is super simple with the pegs at the bottom going in first and then you just slide it from the top removing the case feed is easy there's a thumb screw on the inside and then you simply pop off the feet which means you cannot carry the case by the feet you cannot use them as

Handles because that single thumb screw on the inside will not support the weight of a fully loaded system now the interior is unlike anything i've worked with before and it's kind of unconventional kind of cool so specs wise you can mount dtx or itx motherboards with cpu coolers up to 130 millimeters so you either want to go with something low profile or a water cooler gpus up to 320 millimeters are supported and asus says that triple slot cards can fit inside the z11 but it can but it also in most cases won't so

For example the recently launched rtx 3090 it's a triple slot card and it's shorter than 320 millimeters so in theory it should fit but two things first of all the gpu must have only two pci brackets because as you can see there's that little frame beside the pci slots and therefore if you have a third on the graphics card it will not uh grant you access it clearly will not fit there secondly if your gpu only has the two pci brackets

But it's a triple slot design that should fit but then your cooler will be right against the glass that is another visual compromise where the graphics card will be pretty right against the glass there but it will be kind of choked despite having some ventilation at the front with its own removable filter that you kind of pull down and remove for cleaning and we also have some ventilation on the side with its own fine dust filter as for dust protection for the

Rest of the enclosure both the front and back panels have a built-in fine mesh with removable pieces for the sides there's also a dust filter for the feed panel that is shaped around the ventilation pattern which makes me think like the tooling for this enclosure must be absolutely expensive which makes sense why this cost 279 dollars now for cpu cooling if you're not going with the 130mm cpu low profile tower we have a 240mm radiator support on the

Side of the motherboard but you have to remove this ssd bracket that can mount two ssds therefore your storage is already sort of compromised and limited if you're using that space for a 240 radiator and of course in this horizontal orientation with the radiator at the bottom and the bump above it that will cause some issues in the long term for this aio even if you're going with a custom water cooled route it's going to be the same situation because the pump will have to be

Above the radiator now the case comes equipped with three 140 mm 1400 rpm fans which are really powerful and they are a bit loud at full speed but it helps tremendously with cooling especially in this horizontal orientation we're not blocking too much uh of that intake with the single 104 mil fan near the power supply which by the way is on a separate platform so it does not interfere with the power supply compatibility so you can mount a really long power supply that might overlap with the fan if you remove that little uh angular

Shroud there but at least you will always have a fan for intake at the bottom near the power supply speaking of power supplies since the shroud is so massive full size atx unit are compatible and also the bracket at the back is slightly extended backwards giving you slightly additional room for cables on the interior and we also have that bracket like i mentioned earlier for sfx power supplies now the dual one 40 ml fans up top can be swapped out for 120 mil fans and

You could potentially mount the radiator there but it's not recommended simply because the motherboard io is facing exactly in that direction so you need that space for clearance for all your cables if you mount a radiator with a set of fans there no way you can mount a displayport cable because usually those are really chunky at the cable exit and secondly you can see that whole portion of the frame up top is almost blocked off without easy access

So i doubt you can actually fit or like jam a 240 radiator through it as a cooling recap there's a 140 intake at the bottom that can be substituted for a 120 mm radiator with that bracket included you can mount two 120 motor fans beside the motherboard for intake or exhaust with a respective 240 radiator and for the top exhaust we have the two 140mm fans with spacing for 120. this type of cooling potential for an enclosure this massive

It seems like other things were prioritized so in terms of gpu clearance i would say anything that is six centimeters in width should satisfy and it should fit no problem up to 320 millimeters in length in terms of the height of the gpu you have about four centimeters away from the pci slot uh for the gpu height so tall graphics cards should be fine wide graphics cards up to six centimeters should be fine too up to 320 meters in length millimeters yeah millimeters as for the motherboard

Tray you can clearly see that is angled at 11 degrees and that gives you a lot of space behind the motherboard tray for all your cable work and we also have that cable cover in front of the motherboard onto which you can mount a two and a half inch drive so storage isn't totally compromised if you do decide to go with this configuration but of course m.2 drives on your motherboard is what i would recommend doing one of the best features

About this case especially for itx is the hub at the back not only do we have six four pin fan connectors that you can connect everything into it you don't require little splitters for your motherboard because usually itx motherboards don't have a million four pin fan connectors but we also have three five volt addressable headers which means you can connect other accessories like my lianle all-in-one cooler plug

Directly into the hub so i can control all the lighting via the hub via my motherboard and we also have two internal usb 2 pass-throughs in case you're running an all-one cooler or maybe another hub you connect both into the hub for the case and then that goes into your motherboard that is brilliant for an itx system now when it comes to the assembly process everything is pretty much simplified in terms of mounting motherboard the gpu the 240 radiator

And routing all your cables in my example the cable work took about maybe 15 minutes and it was pretty enjoyable yes the angle helps to hide and stash some of the cables especially where the angle is at its maximum however all the i o cables are pretty chunky and that leaves you little room to actually uh compress everything because the side panel is totally flat against that section one word of caution

During assembly when the case is in the vertical orientation without the bottom uh panel installed the fan actually has tiny rubber bits to prevent uh it going directly against the surface that you're working on so just be careful with that but my issue with cable management wasn't routing everything but actually connecting things into the motherboard like usb ports display ports your ethernet cable and that is because the motherboard is facing up

Therefore all your io is internal meaning you have to plug in everything from the back panel and route it into the motherboard which is extremely difficult to do because the room isn't enough especially reaching the graphics card that was like the most challenging for me and imagine having to replace a usb cable or replug something in that is going to be a nightmare not only because you have to remove the side panels which requires to remove at least three panels so the back panel the top

Panel and the side panel as well but you also have to take into account the orientation of your enclosure because both of those introduce different challenges for your motherboard in and out cables you will have to shut down the system or turn off the top fans when you're replugging anything into the motherboard and especially when doing anything for the gpu cable routing because that displayport cable is absolutely massive and it touches the top fans i have to reroute it

So that it touches the fan frame and not the blade furthermore i wish that asus had built in the power supply adapter somewhere on the inside because in the horizontal orientation using that 90 degree adapter i mean you have to follow a particular assembly procedure and like plugging it in and routing it through the little feet so that it exits on the right side you have to think about so many things for this thing to look good in the end of the day you have the power supply cable that

Will be at the front while all your i o cables will be at the back you will have no issues cleaning up the interior but it is all the exterior cables that will look kind of messy i wish they would have put more thought into exterior cable management because going from horizontal to vertical orientation requires a bit of cable readjustment as for cooling i was surprised to see this massive temperature difference in horizontal versus vertical orientations in horizontal position our

Gpu is so much cooler and my thinking is that because the front fan is unobstructed so we have this front to back constant column of air versus the case in the vertical orientation where the bottom is basically just choked when we compare temperatures versus other itx cases yes the gpu is much cooler in horizontal orientation so that's a positive but to be honest for this size of an itx case i was expecting to have a bit more variety in cooling potential

Larger cpu towers maybe and more watercooling support after having worked with the z11 i still can't pinpoint who this case is for it's not for itx lovers because cases like and case dan case the new nr200 from cooler master while it's slightly bigger in the itx space it is much smaller than this guy and it actually is much cheaper and offers much better cooling capacity and potential the unique part of the z11 is its design and this direction of like we're gonna release something that is

Completely out of the ordinary we should give asus some props for trying to do something risky like that but of course at this price point it's such a inconvenient external cable management because the motherboard is facing up on the interior and not is facing on the external side that is easily accessible like normal i think the demise here really lies in that flexibility of orientation because if it was just one position that was available

Then a series could have focused their attention on making sure that the motherboard io is facing on one of the sides on the exterior so that you don't have to deal with this whole internal cable management but you do have that vertical orientation which gives you worse cooling it does look cooler though but temperatures do suffer my favorite part about the z11 is its design i love all the paneling all the layering for glass the brushed aluminum the designs of the ventilation all this

Like angularity for the enclosure but i still would not recommend this for anyone looking for an itx experience unless you're looking for a challenge all right guys i'm dimitri thanks much for watching check out this other relevant content subscribe for more i'll talk to you in the next video let me know what you think about the asus z11 i know it's going to be majority of like no but for people who do what is your favorite part about this

Case all right talk to you guys next month

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