Introduction

AZZA is not a new name in the PC industry as the company dates back to 1996 where they started manufacturing motherboards as OEM products. From 2004 onwards they were manufacturing PC Chassis and PSU for XION as OEM products. It was 2009 when they started manufacturing and marketing products under the brand AZZA. Solano 1000 was their very first PC Chassis and ever since they have been making waves with some interesting and unique designs.

When AZZA offered Apollo 430 chassis for the review, I was quick in telling them to send a white version and boi-o-boi was I wrong about it! Not at all! It is for sure a beautifully crafted mid-tower PC Chassis. It is a compact mid-tower that still is quite spacious and offers tons of build opportunities. The chassis is available in 4 models:

  • CSAZ-430B-DF1 [Black with a Hurricane II ARGB Fan]
  • CSAZ-430B-DF2 [Black with a standard ARGB Fan]
  • CSAZ-430W-DF1 [White with a Hurricane II ARGB Fan]
  • CSAZ-430W-DF2 [White with a standard ARGB Fan]

The model I am taking a look at is CSAZ-430W-DF2. I wish I could take a look at Hurricane II fan is it looks quite stunning design. The chassis has a tempered glass side panel while the back panel is a standard metallic cover. The chassis has cooling support for up to 3x 120mm / 2x 140mm fans on the front. 2x 120/140mm fans on the top and a 120mm fan on the rear. The chassis supports 240mm AIO/radiator on the top whereas up to 360mm AIO/radiator on the front. The maximum CPU cooler height is 155mm. Up to 370mm long graphics cards are supported. The motherboard support ranges from mini-ITX to standard ATX.

  • Product:               Apollo 430 White
  • Manufacturer:      AZZA
  • Price:                   USD 99.90 [At the time of the review]

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The AZZA Apollo 430 white is shipped inside a standard brown color cardboard box.

The front and the back sides are identical in layout. A picture of the chassis is printed on the. The model of the chassis is printed on the left side of the picture.

The left and right sides are identical as well. The specifications of the chassis are printed here. On the top, the included model is marked with blue marking. The net weight of the chassis is 7.9Kg. The chassis is made in China.

AZZA has provided zip ties and various screws in the accessories. There is a scanning label included, scanning which would lead to the product page on their website. The picture above is showing the drive caddies which were taken out at that time from the drive cage.

Closer Look

The AZZA Apollo 430 white is a beautifully crafted mid-tower chassis with some stunning styling to it particularly the orange accent befitting on the front speaks for itself and it is further augmented with an ARGB lighting strip provided under the front white color frame with a diffuser lining running from the towards the bottom. Here is what AZZA is saying about this chassis, “With its bright orange accent befitting of its name, the Apollo 430 mid-tower case is sure to become the spotlight of any computer setup. This case offers everything you need for a variety of builds, supporting ATX and micro ATX motherboards. It can support some of the longest video cards on the market, up to 370mm long, so it is able to accommodate almost any build you throw at it. With a high-quality tempered glass side panel, you can show off your aesthetic inner components. With water cooling support up to 240mm on the front and 240mm on the top, you can be sure that this case will fit all of your cooling needs. The front panel sports a stylish RGB strip light in a unique pattern, allowing you to customize the lighting to your heart’s desire.”

This is a mid-tower category chassis with support for up to ATX size motherboard. It has a dimension of 480x205x420mm. It has a weight of 7.9Kg. The chassis is made up of steel and tempered glass. The White edition has an outer side and the inner side finished in the white color. The chassis supports bottom-mounted ATX standard PSU. It is time to take a look at the chassis.

Here are the salient feature highlights:

  • Supports up to 370mm long video card.
  • A high-quality tempered glass side panel allows for clear visuals to inner components.
  • Available Fan Ports:
    • 3x120mm or 2x140mm Fan ports in the front
    • 2x120mm or 2x140mm Fan ports on the top
    • 1x120mm Fan port in the rear
  • Supports radiators up to 240mm in the Front and up to 240mm on the Top
  • Model options depending on the matching fan difference.

Let’s start with the front side.

The front side of the AZZA Apollo 430 White is one heck of a show. The front side packs two panels or metallic covers. The main front panel is finished in the white color and it secured to the second orange color panel using two thumbscrews. The front panel has a diffuser that starts from the upper top and runs across the panel’s length on the top and orange panel’s protruded portion’s length.

A certain portion of the white color panel extends through the orange color panel on the right side and this befitting gives a balanced look and feel to the overall design and layout. One thing by now would have been cleared. This chassis has the front side completely blocked as there is no potential air intake side either on the sides or on the top except that on the bottom which would not help at all.

Remove the two black color thumb screws on the left side of the white color panel. You will have to pull the white panel from the left side by lifting it upwards. There are two black color rubber pads inserted between the white color panel and the inner side of the orange color panel’s shroud. They are not fixed and will come off as well. Please, note that the ARGB cable is connected to the lighting hub on the backside of the chassis. Make sure to unplug it from the hub before taking off the front panel.

We are left with a complete orange color front panel. It has a deep cut in the middle which runs on 360mm height. We can see a magnetic dust filter placed on the fan mount grill. The black color spacers are on the two mounts. This panel is installed on the chassis frame using two black color screws on the bottom. Remove those two if you want to take the orange panel off. This panel has studs on the backside which slide and locked in the chassis cut-to-size holes.

The above picture shows the inner side of the front white color panel. There is a plastic cover hiding the ARGB lighting strip. The strip can be accessed by removing the three screws of the cover.

The AZZA Apollo 430 White has 12 ARGB LEDs on the front panel which are tucked inside a cut-to-size diffuser holder.

The ARGB strip is using a 5V 3-pin connector for the connectivity.

The above picture shows the backside of the orange color panel. This panel seems to be spray painted. There are 5 studs that hook up on the chassis.

The above picture shows the front side of the chassis with both panels completely removed. Only the magnetic dust filter remains intact.

And here is what the naked front side of the chassis looks like. We have a fixed rail to install the fans/radiators. The user can install up to 3x 120mm fans or 2x 140mm fans. Similarly, a radiator of up to 360mm can be installed subject to the provision from the HDD cage from the bottom. AZZA has mentioned support for a 240mm radiator on the front. There are two cutouts on the right side. The ARGB cable of the front panel passes through one.

Let’s take a look at the rear side of the AZZA Apollo 430 White.

The top section has approximately 52mm of a solid cover with one cutout which has a cover that can be removed. This cutout has a dimension of 10x24mm. I am not sure why this is there as it can hardly be used for any water cooling purpose. There is a large size cutout for the motherboard’s rear I/O shield. On its right side, we have a vented portion for the 120mm size fan (pre-installed). The good thing is the rail mounting mechanism which would allow the user to adjust the height of the 120mm fan.

In the middle, we have 7 PCIe slots with vented covers. My first complaint is coming from this area. Only the first PCIe slot has a removable cover. The covers on the other slots can’t be reused. These days, the majority of the consumer-grade motherboards have the first PCIe slot of X1 speed class which we don’t use for the graphics card. They should have made all the slot covers reusable or at-least make the second slot’s cover a reusable. I can see they have taken a purely aesthetic aspect over the functionality. The area next to the PCIe slot covers is not vented.

There is a protective cover on the right side of the PCIe slot covers. It is held with the chassis using two thumbscrews. It needs to be removed before installing the PCIe device.

The right side panel has a strange locking mechanism. There is no hole on the side of this panel which we usually see in the majority of the Chassis. The locking screws are passed through the holes on the side of the panel and inserted into the chassis frame to lock the panel. Quite an unconventional design! The bulkhead thumb screws are to be screwed in the chassis frame and their bulkhead side is supposed to hold and lock the side panel.

At the bottom, we have a standard ATX PSU mount. Another complaint is that PSU can only be installed with the fan side facing downward. I can understand that there is no vented portion on the shroud facing the PSU but still, they should not have forced the user to make it happen in one way only.

Let’s take a look at the top side of the AZZA Apollo 430 White

We have a sleek design on the top of this chassis. There is a large size magnetic dust filter covering the entire vented area. The vented area has a provision for 2x 120/140mm fans or a 240mm radiator. Again, we are seeing a rail mechanism that would allow the user to adjust the position of the fans/radiator a bit.

On the left side, we have an IO panel.

Let’s take a look at the bottom side of the AZZA Apollo 430 White

There are 4x black color feet on the corners of the chassis. These give the chassis a lift of approximately 22mm from the ground. They have rubber mounts at their base to avoid scratching the surface on which the chassis will be placed. The PSU area is vented and has an iron net which is removable and washable.

The right side area shows 4x screws. These are holding the HDD cage. As can be seen, the position of the HDD cage can be changed inside the chassis thanks to the rail mount mechanism here as well. The far-right side area shows a bit of room for possible air intake but it isn’t much.

The side panel features tempered glass. It is installed using 4x bulkhead screws on each of its corners. The panel sits on the rubber mounts to avoid scratching. The panel does not fall as soon as screws are removed but one can’t be too careful while handling the TG panels! The glass does not have a dark tint. The borders of the glass panel on three sides have a black color border which adds some look to the overall design.

The bottom of the chassis is in white color frame with AZZA textured print which in my opinion looks cool. This makes the chassis a dual-chamber design. Though it is modular as the bottom side panel is removable.

The right side panel is a solid body design.

There are locking positions on each of the mounting portions. There are screws on the mainframe on which these locking positions are placed. This seems to be a tongue and mortise method of locking.

The top I/O panel includes:

  • Power Button
  • Reset/RGB Button [Default is RGB]
  • Headphone jack
  • Microphone jack
  • 2x USB 3.0 port

Let’s take a look inside the AZZA Apollo 430 White.

The chassis is well planned from this side. We have a solid motherboard tray with no flex. There is a large cutout on the motherboard tray for ease of CPU cooler installation. There is a total of 7 cutouts on the tray for cable management. All of these don’t have rubber grommets. 8x standoffs are pre-installed in standard ATX configuration. The chassis has a PSU shroud which runs to the entire length of the chassis. There is a cutout on the left side of this shroud to show the PSU side. There is roughly a provision of 58mm from the top of the chassis to the top of the motherboard. Installing a 240mm AIO should face no issue. In terms of displacement from the AIO to the side of the chassis, we have roughly 28mm of space leaving us with almost no incompatibility with any RAM height.

The chassis comes with a 1x pre-installed fan on the rear. This fan has digital RGB lighting. It has 7 translucent blades and has a circular ring on the border for some killer lights. The fan was reaching up to 1400 RPM when set at full speed. There are a total of two cables coming out of this fan. One is a 3-pin power cable whereas the other cable is for the ARGB lighting and it is already connected to the RGB hub. The cables are flat.

Only the first PCIe slot cover is reusable. All others once removed, can’t be reused. I was expecting more from AZZA as all should have been made reusable.

The above picture shows the side cover and the first PCIe slot cover removed.

There is no vented portion on the PSU shroud. There are 2x 2.5” SSD brackets preinstalled there. These are removable and can be used on 4 other possible 2.5” mounts. There is a total of 6x 2.5” storage mounts but only two brackets are provided. The brackets are in the black cover. There are two cutouts on the shroud opposite to the brackets. These are there to route the cables for the connectivity on the motherboard’s bottom area as well as for the SSDs on the brackets.

In the above picture, we can see the inner side of the front-mounted rail. The fans or the radiator can only be installed on the inner side of the chassis (on the backside of the rail). The area next to the rail has a solid cover without any cutout or other provision. The SSD brackets can be installed on the backside of this cover. The radiator of a maximum 21mm thickness can be installed given that 25mm thick fans are installed on it. More room can be made by removing the HDD cage.

The bottom chamber of the chassis has a cover on the front side. This cover is removable as it is secured using two screws on the rear side of the chassis.

The above picture shows this cover removed with the inner side shown.

Let’s take a look at the chassis from the backside with the panel removed.

Cables everywhere! Pun intended. This is a dual-chamber design. There are only 4x cable tie points which is really strange! I was expecting more particularly on the right side on the tray’s backside. Two 2.5” brackets can be installed on the motherboard tray’s backside. We can spot a black color RGB lighting hub. Cable management space ranges from 20mm to 28mm depending on the area.

The bottom chamber houses an HDD cage on the left side whereas there is a provision for the PSU housing on the right side. The drive cage is tool-less and is secured using 4x thumb screws which are on the bottom of the chassis. A PSU of approximately 206mm length with cables is there.

If you move the HDD cage to the left-most then more space for PSU and cables can be made which is roughly 250mm.

The above picture shows the bottom chamber with HDD cage removed.

The HDD cage is made of steel and is quite rigid. It can house two caddies. Each caddy can either hold a 2.5” or a 3.5” drive.

Let’s take a look at the RGB lighting control box or hub. This hub is SATA powered. It has 6x 3-pin ARGB male headers. The rear fan is already connected to the top first header. There are 2x 3-pin female headers. The I/O panel’s Reset connector is connected to this header. Doing this has removed the reset capability of the chassis as the user can change the lighting modes by pressing the Reset button on the I/O panel. The right side of the hub is giving a hint of cables going out. That is true. The user can connect up to 8x ARGB devices to this hub (2x are already connected, leaving a room for 6x).

One of the cables is the SATA connector which needs to be connected to the PSU to power the hub. The other two connectors allow the user to connect this hub with the motherboard’s digital lighting (5V) headers. This way the user can control and sync the lighting effect of the build.

The front panel’s cables include:

  • 1x USB 3.0 Cable
  • 1x Front Panel HD Audio Cable
  • System Panel Cables

Storage Capacity

  • Up to 2x 3.5” Drives
  • Up to 6x 2.5” Drives (Only two brackets are provided)

CPU Cooler Height

  • 155mm

Graphics Card Length

  • Up to 370mm

Fans Provision

  • Up to 3x 120mm or 2x 140mm fans on the front
  • Up to 2x 120mm or 2x 140mm fans on the top
  • 1x 120mm fan on the rear (pre-installed)

Radiator Provision

  • 120mm/240mm/360mm radiator on the front*
  • 120mm/240mm on the top

*The installation of a 360mm radiator is possible without an HDD cage.

Test Build and Experience

The following configuration has been used for the test build:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
  • AORUS X570 Pro WIFI
  • CORSAIR VENGEANCE PRO RGB 16GB @ 3200MHz CL16
  • ID-COOLING SE-234-ARGB and CORSAIR H!00i RGB Platinum
  • MSI RX 5700 XT MECH OC
  • HyperX 120GB 2.5” SSD
  • Antec HCP1300

I started with the motherboard installation and had to remove the pre-installed 120mm fan as the I/O cover of the motherboard could not slip past the fan. Other than that I did not face any issue regarding the motherboard installation. The RAM was installed outside of the chassis whereas both coolers were installed inside the chassis and I did not face any difficulty installing the cooler.

Since the chassis supports only 155mm height coolers, you are kinda restricted on what you can install in this chassis for the cooling purpose. I could not install the Noctua NH-U14S which is very obvious why but I also could not install the Noctua NH-U12S since that cooler has a height of 158mm and it was obstructing the tempered glass panel. I ended up using the ID-COOLING SE-234-ARGB CPU Air Cooler. I will cover the reason why I have used two coolers for the testing in the Testing section.

The chassis has quite a good space on the top of the motherboard and I love those two cutouts on the top letting me complete the job hassle-free and in a clean manner. I must say the installation was a convenient job in the AZZA Apollo 430 White.

The two cutouts on the PSU shroud are very helpful in effective and easier cable management. I did not install the 2.5” SSD here rather on the back of the motherboard tray. Consider using a flat cable and straight connector cables if you want to install the SSD on the front side otherwise, PSU would obstruct the cables.

Next, the PSU was installed. It is important to install the PSU first before routing the system panel cables. Since the PSU is fully modular, only the needed cables were used (24-pin ATX, 8+8-pin PEG, 8-pin EPS, and SATA). The PSU can only be installed with the fan side facing down which seems to be a forced decision on the builder/user though it makes sense as the shroud has no vents on it and it is only logical to install the PSU fan side down so that the fan can pull in the fresh air. You may want to consider taking the shroud’s side panel off before installing the PSU as it helps in.

The rear fan having a 3-pin power cable was connected to the motherboard’s CPU_OPT fan header. There are only 4 cable tie points on the back of the chassis which is too low a number to help with any good cable management job. Spending some time, you can get a clean job done.

Other than that, I did not face any issues and it was a simple and straight forward task.

Testing

Next up is the thermal testing using the same configuration as mentioned above. Here are some key points regarding the testing:

  • The rear fan was set to run at 100% of the speed.
  • The CPU Cooler’s fan was connected to CPU_Fan header and was set to run at a 100% duty cycle.
  • No other fan was used to ensure the testing of the chassis in stock configuration.
  • I have used Far Cry 5 on 1080P using Ultra settings to measure the thermals. For each test, a minimum of 30 minutes of gameplay was made.
  • A minimum of 15 minutes of idling time was ensured between the tests.
  • The thermal testing is conducted with and without the front panel to see how much airflow restricted this design is.
  • To make the case, two Noiseblockers NB-BlackSilentPro PL-PS fans were installed on the front rail. These have a rated speed of 600~1500RPM with a maximum of 58.9 CFM airflow and a 1.42 mmH₂ air pressure rating.
  • Testing was done on Stock/Auto settings on Ryzen 7 3700X and RX 5700 XT.
  • MSIAfterBurner was used to record the temperatures.

Configuration Clarification

Here are some pointers before you take a look at the graphs:

  • The AZZA Apollo 430 White has only one fan which is pre-installed on the rear.
  • I have tested the thermals of this chassis with the front panels removed and with the front panels on.
  • I have tested the thermals of the chassis with 2x 120mm fans installed on the front with and without the front panels.
  • Based on initial test data from the air cooler, I also used an AIO to test the thermal performance.

Here is the result:

Since the ambient temperature varied, I will be considering the delta temperature for the interpretation. Let’s discuss the first case which is the stock configuration of having no front-mounted fans. The difference between the two configurations (with and without the front panel) is merely 2.9°C on the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X which is negligible. At this point, one would conclude that the airflow issue is not glaring but hold on.

Now, let’s bring into the equation two 120mm fans installed on the front and repeat the tests with and without the front panels. If we compare that with the front panel installed there is hardly a difference of 1.9°C that the two 120mm fans made. This goes to show the totally blocked design on the front.

Next, let’s see the difference those 120mm fans on the front made with and without the front panel. There is a whopping 10.5° drop in the temperatures. This is what the AZZA could have provided for the better airflow with more air intake on the front and maybe at-least one 120mm fan.

Now, let’s see what were the temperatures on the MSI RX 5700 XT MECH OC? In our first configuration, there are no fans on the front. The tests were made with the front panel on and then removed. 82°C was the maximum temperature that the graphics hit. Wow! With the front panel removed the temperature dropped to 77°C, a drop by 5°C.

In our next testing, two 120mm fans were put on the front and the tests were repeated with and without the front panel. Even with the front panel installed, those two 120mm fans brought the temperature down to 77°C as compared to 82°C which shows the lack of airflow on the front playing its role in high temperatures of the graphics card. Next, we removed the front panels and tested again, the temps were further downed to 72°C which is again in the margin of 5°C.

Based on this testing, I wanted to see what the temperature would be if use AIO cooler instead of an air cooler. The air cooler was replaced with the CORSAIR H100i RGB Platinum. Here are the results.

There is not much of a difference in the CPU’s temperature under gaming load with and without the front panels. Please, note that I did not use 120mm fans on the front for AIO testing.

The introduction of an AIO cooler actually helped in lowering the temperature of the graphics card and there was again no difference with and without the front panels.

So, based on the testing, we can conclude that the airflow is restricted thanks to the blocked front side. Using air cooler leaves more hot air trapped inside the chassis than it exhausts and it impacts the graphics card’s thermal performance as well. This was further confirmed when we tested the thermals using the AIO cooler. Your best bang here is to use at least two fans in exhaust with good pressure and airflow rating than the stock one. The stock fan does not have good airflow or pressure. How did I know? A simple, paper test is enough to show it. The CORSAIR ML fans in their balanced mode were generating enough airflow through the radiator, up the top grill of the chassis and its magnetic dust filter that it was throwing the paper away. Whereas the stock rear fan was not generating enough airflow even at full speed to wave off the paper. Another observation was during the gaming session the tempered glass was heated up quite a bit. I am not sure if it could survive in a long run.

RGB Lighting

ARGB lighting is the strongest and monumental strength of The AZZA Apollo 430 White. We have a 120mm ARGB fan on the rear and an ARGB lighting strip on the front panel placed inside white diffuser cover. To make the case more compelling, they have provided a lighting control hub that can be synced to the motherboard’s digital lighting header (5V). The user can press the Reset button on the top I/O panel to switch between the lighting modes.

Here are some pics for your eye pleasure.

 

Conclusion

The Apollo 430 is a sleek and gorgeous design from AZZA. It is a mid-tower chassis available in two colors and 4 models depending upon the fan provision on the rear. When they asked which variant I would like to take a look at, I was eager for the white edition and got to say, I love this white edition with orange accent befitting to my 100%. This is a mid-tower category chassis with support for up to ATX size motherboard. It has a dimension of 480x205x420mm. It has a weight of 7.9Kg. The chassis is made up of steel and tempered glass. The White edition has an outer side and the inner side finished in the white color. The chassis supports bottom-mounted ATX standard PSU.

The storage department has a provision for up to 2x 3.5” drives inside the HDD cage. The same caddies can hold 2.5” drives alternatively. The HDD cage is removable and its position can be adjusted as well to my liking. AZZA has provided two2.5” drive brackets and there are a total of 4 areas where these brackets can be mounted. In addition, two 2.5” drives can also be installed on the backside of the area located right next to the motherboard tray. The chassis can hold a CPU cooler of a maximum height of 155mm. The graphics card of maximum length 370mm can be installed. In the cooling department, this chassis can accommodate up to 3x 120mm or 2x 140mm fans on the front, 1x 120mm fan on the rear and 2x 120mm/140mm fans on the top. The radiator of up to 240mm is supported on the top and front though you can use a 360mm radiator on the front as well that is subject to the clearance from the HDD cage. In its default configuration, there is a room for up to 206mm for the PSU and its cables in the bottom chamber. This can be relaxed further if we move the HDD cage further towards the front. On a side note, the PSU can only be installed with fan side down as there is no vented area on PSU shroud and seems like they would want their users to install the PSU so that the fan could draw fresh air from the bottom.

The dust filtration is another strongest area of this chassis. The front and the top panels have magnetic dust filters. The bottom side under the PSU area has an iron net which is removable and washable as well. The pointer for the front side is that you would need to remove the two panels to access the magnetic dust filter. While the front is completely blocked and closed design, this filter may of little to no use at all. AZZA has not provided any fan on the front side either. The front side is where the magic of beauty lies. We have two panels overlapped. The sandwiched panel is done in the Orange color and it speaks for itself. A certain portion of it extends and bends over the white color panel. The white panel is installed on the orange color panel. This white and orange color scheme is out of the world and I am digging it more than I could.

The chassis is living up to the current industry’s trend as it packs some stunning and vivid lighting show. The rear 120mm fan packs digital RGB LEDs and the front white panel has a digital RGB LED strip underneath. This is not all as AZZA has included an ARGB hub or control board on the backside of the motherboard tray. It is SATA powered and up to 6 ARGB devices can be connected to it. This hub can be connected to the digital RGB header of the motherboard as well. To cherish the beauty of this chassis and its build, AZZA has included a tempered glass panel which is installed using 4 bulk-head screws. The panel sits on the rubber inserts to avoid scratching.

The chassis has a rock-solid build quality and this very aspect raises my praise for the manufacturer. In terms of possible Cons, here are my observations. All PCIe slot covers could have been reusable! Second, only 4 cable tie points have been provided on the backside so cable management would be challenging. The last and the most important of all is the lack of proper airflow which is largely due to the blocked front side. Read our testing section for more details.

The AZZA Apollo 430 White is listed at USD 99.90 on Amazon though the MSRP is USD 84 as informed by the manufacturer. At MSRP of USD 84 this chassis, has everything a user would need particularly the gorgeous design offering modding potentials, ARGB lighting backed by a hub, a dual-chamber design, plenty of cooling and storage options. I wish they had done a good job with the airflow! To say that I am in love with this chassis would be an understatement and I am doing a build in this beautiful chassis for my wife.

We are thankful to AZZA for giving us the opportunity to review their Apollo 430 White edition.

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