The main reason I accepted this Azza Cast case for review is because of the promise of customization for the end user. The whole idea behind the Cast is that whole exterior shell can potentially be changed since everything is on screws so being able to swap it out for a mesh shell, or a shell made of different materials, or of a different color is very appealing.
However, as we have seen with many other brands, often companies are promising so much customizability to lure you into the concept, but not fully delivering on that idea. I feel like that is exactly what is happening with the AZZA Cast. I really appreciate the risks they have taken here, but I would not recommend this for $199 USD. Not even close, but I really hope other companies take note and try to deliver something different and innovative.
If you are after the whole performance aspect and want the best possible airflow for the cheapest possible price, then this case is not for you. Because of that top swivel panel this is a showcase PC, but not in the traditional way, it is quite different than the usual tempered glass approach. There is no glass in here, the whole construction is steel and aluminium. This is why you can see, especially on the black model that color discoloration between the aluminum and the steel backplate. There are a bit of green and purple hues. This is especially visible on the white model because that entire exterior has s very distinct pink hue. I’m not a fan of this, I would say that it is definitely a drawback, especially because this is supposed to be a showcase PC in the first place.
The big question is can your case’s side panel swivel upwards like suicide doors on a car? Probably not, but it can on the Azza Cast. Being able to open it reveals your CPU cooler, your GPU, basically everything is on display. It’s an open air system, so good luck with dust cleaning in the future. It is one of those things where you probably don’t want this to be your like daily running machine. The magnets here feel strong, the swivel mechanism is robust and has a nice density to it, so you can actually leave that top panel in any position after it’s been opened and it’s going to stay there unless you manually close it.
Now unfortunately a few things are rough around the edges that I was not expecting for the price point. The discoloration of the exterior is one thing, but the front panel on my black model actually came in broken. The little aluminium pins that hold it together were detached and broken during shipment, so I swapped it out for the airflow panel that AZZA offers as an optional accessory. Notice that the I/O is attached to the front panel, but in the final production design the I/O will be attached to the frame, so you can swap them out without needing to change all your cables, which is a major positive. I appreciate the simple design here with dual USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB Type-C, separate audio jacks, and your power button.
As for the interior, it’s pretty barebones, no fancy modularity here. It features ATX motherboard and ATX power supply support, but the PSU can only be installed with a fan facing up. That is probably because there is not enough spacing if the fan is facing down underneath the chassis, and that is because that whole section is completely closed off and it only has tiny rubber feet to raise off the ground. Again, that is one of those things that doesn’t really scream quality to me. Looking at the back it’s pretty hilarious how little you get for cable management guidance for $200. They are clearly targeting maybe DIY modders who can turn this case into a piece of art, but standard users who love the design and still can spend the money on it are going to have to put in the work.
As for cooling this one case is a bit disappointing simply because you can only do up to a 360mm radiator at the front. There are 140mm fan mounts inside the case, and a single 120mm exhaust fan that is included. This included fan I actually swapped out for a Be Quiet! fan just because my motherboard does not have the 5V addressable RGB connector that the fan requires. Also, I didn’t really like the design of it, it’s all white and that makes no sense to me in a black case. I didn’t want to go all bling bling with this build either.
One interesting thing to notice with the PCIe slots is that no PCIe covers are included, and that is intentional because you can install the GPU in the vertical orientation without the need to install additional accessories. You just have to provide your own riser cable. I thought that was kind of cool, but accessing the screws for the vertical orientation mount is extremely difficult and that makes a cool feature basically inaccessible. It’s funny how many things they have done wrong with this case.
To install the system in the Cast you have to remove the insider frame from the the exterior shell in order to be able to install the power supply and to do all your cable management. There are 5 mounts on the frame that are clearly labeled, so you can remove those screws and pop out the frame easily. There are have 5 spacers behind the mounting points. I’m thinking that is to give you extra durability in case that whole thing snaps, but one of the spacers was shorter than the other four. And then it’s all a basic installation procedure like you would with a normal enclosure, install your power supply, install the power supply shroud in front of the power supply that hides all the cables, etc. Since I went with a pretty barebones system, no SSDs, no storage outside of one NVMe drive, all the cables are very nicely contained at the back.
I installed two Be Quiet! fans at the front, one at the rear, plus I had my Be Quiet! CPU tower in here. The idea behind this is that because the whole system is exposed I want it to be as quiet as possible. With the massive Colorful iGame RTX 3080 Vulcan OC installed I even had to use the included anti-sag GPU support bracket because the GPU is just so heavy. Once you close the top panel it is the graphics card that is the center of attention, literally, because that is the only visible part of your hardware, which is kind of cool. However, you also have to keep in mind that you have to install the GPU and the top slot of the motherboard or the one that is right below it for the GPU to be visible. I’m not sure if many people will approach this build from the silent angle as well, because it’s literally an open enclosure, but I succeeded. The system is dead silent even that load, and the only thing you can hear is GPU coil wine, which is really unfortunate and one of those things you have to keep in mind.
One more thing when you talk about is that last bit of the assembly procedure. I don’t know who at AZZA thought that it would be a good idea to have your assembly done inside the frame and have to physically it place back into the Cast shell. Not only do you have to stretch before lifting something heavy with a steel frame, but then you have to secure in in 5 places. Personally, I don’t feel very confident with those 5 points holding the entire frame and your entire system to the Cast shell. The main drawback to me in this final configuration is that you lose any access behind the motherboard tray for any cable management. Imagine needing to like replug your SATA cable or needing to plug something else into the power supply and still need to route it behind. You have to do the whole thing again, remove the 5 screws, take out that heavy frame, redo your thing, put it back, and because of how the cast opens you need just so much extra actual real estate in the space you are working on in order to do like simple hardware modifications. And that to me is just so backwards.
It doesn’t matter how quiet this is case, it doesn’t matter that I can open or close the shell and have one of the coolest swivel panels around and maybe some customization down the line. I feel like they have complicated basics tasks like cable management, and cable management was already frustrating enough. The only saving grace for this enclosure and this whole concept is if they roll out with some sort of customizability that is available to purchase for current customers, because this case is already available to buy right now. For example, wood panels or steel panels or aluminium panels with a tempered glass windows or something along the lines. However, those things are not going to be cheap and you are already buying into an ecosystem that is so limited.
To conclude, those are my thoughts on the AZZA Cast. It’s not an enclosure that I would recommend at this price point, in its current condition with all the color inconsistencies, the frustrating user assembly and lack of access behind the motherboard tray for all your cable management. Yes, cooling is fine because it’s fairly opened up but it’s just like a regular case with side panel open. AZZA makes unusual cases, that is kind of there thing, they make cases shaped like pyramids and they make thing case, some are hits and some are misses.
Buy items in this review from Amazon at the links below:
AZZA Cast – https://geni.us/AzzaCast
Steelseries Aerox – https://geni.us/AEROX3Wireless
Buy the Aerox from Steelseries – https://steelseries.prf.hn/l/7Bnqo1D