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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  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Personally I'd probably be fine with the 3"-4" of clearance. Reply
  • BlueHighway - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Thank you, and a follow-up question I forgot to add in earlier:

    According to the NewEgg video describing this case, there's a button at the top of the case that turns on/off the LED strips AND the two bottom fans. In your review, you say that the "high" fan speed setting on the controller turns on the LED strips, but imply that the controller turns all fans on high. Which is it? I guess I'm confused whether there's a separate fan speed controller and a button to turn on/off LED strips and the two bottom fans.

    Operating without the bottom intake fans would just leave the side fans for intake, which could be problematic with so much left-over exhaust, unless the top fans can be flipped upside down for more positive pressure.
    Reply
  • BlueHighway - Friday, July 13, 2012 - link

    Edit: someone posted a correction comment under the NewEgg black Genesis listing, so I understand now -- the LED button lowers the top/bottom fan speeds, but does not turn off the bottom fans. Reply
  • SunLord - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    The intro a paragraph for this article says you can put a atx and min-itx motherboard in this case at the same time. Does it actually have a second motherboard mount point or is it something you have to rig up on your own? Reply
  • ShieTar - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    Actually it says that the "Fusion 4000" by the same company has the capability of mounting an additional mini-itx board. And according to the manual of that box, it does not only have the mount points for the second board in its "top unit", but also offer space for a second power supply for that system. Reply
  • ShieTar - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    "Still, you can do it, and that's how you can install a massive radiator to the top of the case."

    Could you quantify this in a little more detail? I have just made the mistake of buying the "ideal for water cooling enthusiasts" Shinobi XL (according to the Bitfenix Homepage), only to realise that the two options for 3x120 radiatiors allow a maximum height of 75mm (top) or 85mm (front). Not enough for a 65mm radiator and 25mm fans.

    So how much combined height does this case allow for radiator and fan?
    Reply
  • BlueHighway - Sunday, July 15, 2012 - link

    Ok, you can laugh at me for this question, but I can't figure out if the LED strips on the white case are teal or more light blue. On promotional photos, they look like a pale teal color, but then on some photos and videos they look plain light blue with no green... What color are they actually? Reply
  • ViperRCR - Monday, July 23, 2012 - link

    I realize that the bottom supports the 140mm fans/rads.
    Does anyone know if the top can support 140mm fan/rads?
    I am interested in mounting a 3x140mm (420mm) radiator up top and was wondering if the mounting holes are already there for the 140mm width.
    Reply
  • nleksan - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    I am a believer in former following function, especially with things that are so critical to the entirety of a system (not just completed computer systems, but everything from cars to, I don't know, refrigerators)... But surely I can't be the only person who thinks that this case could have been made to look infinitely better?
    As it stands, I find the Genesis 9000 to be a truly ugly case. Plain and simple, it is the absolute opposite of "good looking" in every possible way. I am so, so, so sick of the "G@m3rZ" cases designed to look "high tech", futuristic, and tend to have thirty-bazillion "lines" (visual lines) that go up, do, wn, all-around, and still manage to intersect one another at the worst possible places. Now, I am appreciative of the fact that, unlike many of the cases geared towards 14-18yr olds who subsist entirely on Mountain Dew, Taco Bell, and Cheetos, this is not covered in strobing LEDs, useless (and terrible) "temperature sensors", and countless "features" that exist solely to pad the Case Features list on retailer's sites yet in practice actually serve no purpose but to take up space (at best) or even impede performance/function (far worse and, unfortunately, more common). I get memories of the first case I ever used to build a custom PC in, the Thermaltake Xaser V, which was (is) actually an extremely nice case with a level of build quality that is hard to find today for less than 3-4 Benjamins, and at the time the teenage me thought it was a "wicked" case with its fancy digital display and other doodads. The fact is, the Tt Xaser V is an ugly, ugly case, and while far from the worst, I have never bought a "gamer" case again.

    The most recent build of mine, and the first foray into custom water cooling since it has become much closer to mainstream (and not dependant upon Bonneville heater cores), has been in what I have to say is perhaps the absolute best case under $200 or even $250, for water cooling. I was originally going to be purchasing a CaseLabs TH10 with White Powder coating, the 85mm extended + ventilated top, XXL MB-side and XL PSU-side Windows, 6 total drive cages (a mix of Flex-Bay and regular), the entire Extended Pedestal with Reinforced Casters, USB3.0 I/O panel, 6 Flex-Bay fan mounts, 2x 4x140 Rad Mounts, 3x 4x120 Rad Mounts, 1x 3x140 Rad Mount, 1x 2x120 Rad Mount, 4x Accessory Mounts (2x Extra-Large Horizontal HD and 2x Extra-Large Vertical HD), 8x HDD Bay fan mounts (blow air up through HDDs), 6x 90deg 120/140mm Fan Mounts (for behind HDDs, and spot cooling), all fan holes replaced with Hex-Mesh Grills, PSU Support (Magnum), 8x SSD Mounting Kits, and lastly full anti-vibration kit (HDD/MB/Fans/everything) and full-case filtration. The wonderful people at CaseLabs were actually giving me a good price for buying it all at once, and I was extremely close to purchasing when...
    I saw the Switch 810 for the first time, and instantly fell in love. I was originally facing the dilemma of "CL TH10 + IVB" vs "no-CL + ultimate SB-E", and I instantly changed to the latter (although I will still be purchasing the TH10 when I add GPU's 3+4).

    The NZXT SWITCH 810 is the preeminent example of how to design a case that is:
    - Elegant and Understated yet Subtly Powerful (Aesthetically speaking)
    - Cuts NO Corners in Function or Features
    - Makes the Absolute Most of the Space Inside incl E-ATX MBs, 200mm PSU's, 10+ 140mm Fans, 7x 3.5" or 13x (up to 15) 2.5" drives, 4x 5.25" Bays including the Hot-Swap Bay and Stealth ODD bay, and insane amounts of room for water cooling (420 + 280 + 140 + 120 rad config possible)
    - Does not sacrifice airflow when you go with H2O for CPU/GPU's, unlike the majority of cases
    - Assembled entirely with SCREWS instead of Rivets (the sole exception being 3 of the 5.25 bays) making modding as easy as possible
    - Removable and easily cleaned fan filters for all intake areas
    - Almost a full inch of space behind the MB panel for cable management, with 10x cable routing grommets

    And I don't feel like a dork showing it off, in fact it fits the modern black/white/grey/blues style of my house so well that most people ask if I had it made custom.

    I guess my point is that there is absolutely no excuse for building ugly cases! It is ALWAYS possible to make an equally functional, if not more functional, case that looks GOOD, grown-up, and mature than it is to make a "Uber-L337 GamerZ Dude Mega-Ultra-TechPlus eXtreme Ultimate Gaming Case" filled with pointless ugly trash.

    The tech community has grown up (at least the gamers/tinkerers), and most of us want mature cases, we don't want stuff we have to hide under a desk because it's embarrassingly childish or tacky.

    I sincerely hope AZZA recognize this and start, at the very least, producing a line of cases with far more upscale designs. Just follow NZXT's lead (and Fractal Design's Arc/R4/etc, Bitfenix's Shinobi/XL/Prodigy, Silverstone's FT02/TJ04/TJ07/TJ10, the exterior of Lian Li cases (they are masters at making "it was so close to being perfect but it falls short" cases because they have a truly horrendous internal design philosophy which seems to be "let's make this as bad on the inside as it is good on the outside"), and of course the PREMIUM case manufacturers such as CaseLabs (by far the best enclosures ever built, ever, by anyone), Little Devil, XSPC, Mountain Mods, and Phobya).

    I promise, we are waiting...And "us" is many....
    Reply
  • DeepFrydFreedom - Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - link

    i have a question about the front mounted psu, im not gonna bash it or anything im looking forward to building my first pc soon. and im very interested in this case, but about that psu it takes in air at the bottom of the case and exhausts out the front. but my question is when you have that front panel on and the psu is exhausting air to me i looks like the only place for it to go is up or down. is the being exhausted out of the psu into the bottom part and being sucked back in a endless cycle plz reply this going to greatly effect my choice for my first pc. Reply

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