Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 11, 2016 - 05:17 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: workstation, standing desk, Lian Li, enclosure, DK-04, desk chassis, CES 2016, CES, aluminum case
Lian Li has introduced a new electronic sit/stand desk chassis, the DK-04, which holds a full system under its tempered glass surface and raises and lowers at the push of a button.
On display at their booth at CES last week, the DK-04 offers a compelling option for someone interested in a standing workstation, with the added benefit of housing a powerful custom rig (and looking really cool in the process).
There is room under the glass desktop (this model does not use a drawer) for up to an ATX motherboard with one dual-slot expansion card, which can be used with a GPU up to 320 mm in length. CPU coolers of up to 120 mm are supported, along with 120 mm width radiators up to 480 mm long.
The front panel offers 4x USB 3.0 ports, RGB lighting controls, and a 5.25-inch optical drive bay; and there is internal storage support for up to 8x 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch hard drives. The entire unit is 47.24 inches wide, 29.53 inches deep, and can be adjusted from approximately 30 - 46 inches in height.
The control panel for the electric height adjustment includes the option for up to 4 presets, allowing the desk to easily adjust to various pre-defined seated and standing positions.
Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but expect this to come in higher than IKEA's popular solution (which doesn't offer a the functionality of a full PC enclosure inside, of course).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 9, 2016 - 12:05 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Yacht, SFX, PC-Y6, mITX, mini-itx, Lian Li, CES 2016, CES, aluminum case
Lian Li was showing a Yacht-themed aluminum chassis at their booth on the CES show floor, and this is certainly among the most unusual designs we've seen for an enclosure.
There is room for a powerful system within the enclosure, as the length of the boat design (just over 30 inches) allows for longer graphics cards (up to 300 mm supported). You will need an SFX power supply for this mini-ITX build, and CPU coolers will need to be of the low-profile variety with a 60 mm clearance available.
Specifications for the PC-Y6:
- Motherboard Type: Mini-ITX
- Body Material: Aluminum
- Colors: Silver, white (pictured)
- Expansion Slot: 2
- Compatibility: VGA Card length: 300 mm; CPU cooler height: 60 mm
- HDD bay: 3.5” HDD x2; 2.5” HDD x2
- PSU Type: SFX
- System Fan: 120mm x1
- I/O Ports: None
- Dimensions (W x H x D) 764 x 293 x 259 mm (30.08 x 11.54 x 10.20 inches)
- Net Weight: 4.9 kg (10.8 lbs)
This is obviously not going to appeal to everyone, but if you've followed Lian Li over the years they release these novel enclosures from time to time. It was very impressive looking in person and feels well constructed with Lian Li's usual high level of fit and finish.
An RGB color changing system in integrated into the enclosure
This will not see a wide release, and no specifics on pricing or availability were released.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 8, 2016 - 07:03 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: PSII, open air case, in win, H-Frame, enclosure, CES 2016, CES, aluminum case
Among the enclosures on display at the In Win booth at CES 2016 was the H-Frame (not to be confused with the H-Tower), a striking, open-air enclosure with tempered glass side panels.
In Win highlights these features for the enclosure:
- Stunning lighting effect with light controller
- Open-air layered aluminium metal plate structure provides excellent thermal performance
- Supports USB 3.1 TYPE-C Super Speed transfer interface
- Convenient water cooling pump holder for versatile cooling option
- Equipped with 2 x 3.5”/2.5” SATA HDD modules and Tool-Free EZ-Swap HDD tray
- Unique In Win logo thumb screws
Every detail of the industrial design was clearly considered with the design of this H-Frame chassis, which has a very high level of fit and finish throughout. I was able to go hands on with the enclosure, which is very large in person at 23.5 inches high, 22.9 inches deep, and 10.6 inches wide. The tempered glass sides are tinted, which helps to reduce visible cable clutter behind the motherboard tray.
Besides the glass side panels, the entire construction is aluminum, and inside there is a full tower, standard ATX layout. No so standard is the external chassis design, which is a collection of aluminum plates that leave the outer walls of the case open to the air. This is not ideal for noise or dust of course, but this is the tradeoff with open-air designs which focus on cooling and ease of installation.
An interesting addition to the H-Frame announcement is a matching power supply from In Win, which is specifically designed for this limited edition enclosure. The matching SII-1065W is a very large, fully modular PSU that exceeds the width of standard ATX designs, classified as a PSII size PSU. Offering 1065 watts of power, this PSU has an efficiency equivalent to 80 Plus Platinum according to In Win.
Style matters, of course, so the PSU is color matched and includes internal lighting to match the H-Frame, visible through the clear PSU side panel which is designed to face the windowed side of the enclosure.
H-Frame specifications from In Win:
- Case size: Full Tower
- Material: Aluminum Metal Structure
- Motherboard form-factor: E-ATX / ATX / Micro-ATX / Mini- ITX (max 12” x 13”)
- Expansion slots: PCI-E Slot x8
- Supports High-end Graphic Card up to 440mm (Without HDD Tray)
- Drive bays (internal): 3.5” / 2.5” x6
- (Supports SATA HDD EZ-Swap Module x 2)
- Thermal solution support:
- 120mm Top Fan x3
- 120mm Rear Fan x1
- 360mm Top Radiator (height up to 40mm)
- Supports at least 185mm height CPU heatsink
- Power Supply: Supports ATX12V & EPS12V up to 210mm
- Dimensions: 597 x 271 x 582mm (23.5” x 10.6” x 22.9”)
Pricing and availability were not available for the H-Frame Open-Air Chassis and SII-1065W power supply.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 8, 2016 - 11:32 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: tempered glass, PSU, power supply, in win, enclosure, CES 2016, CES, aluminum case
The centerpiece of the In Win booth at this year’s CES is the massive H-Tower enclosure, a limited edition chassis that transforms from an enclosure to an open platform automatically. The company had a version of this enclosure at Computex, but now a final 6th generation of the concept is set for e-tail availablility.
The transformation is a sight to behold (which in this final version now uses a medical grade arm for smooth operation), and has the practical benefit of providing easy access to your system components. In Win has provided a video to demonstrate the H-Tower, imbedded below:
Beyond the unique mechanical functionality, the H-Tower is about as premium an enclosure as you could imagine, beginning with a brushed aluminum exterior with lighting effects that can be controlled with a mobile app. There is also an integrated laser lighting system which “indicates the safe opening area on the floor around it” – an important point to consider once you see the enclosure in action.
Front I/O includes three USB 3.0 ports and a USB Type-C port
The interior supports motherboards up to E-ATX, graphics cards up to 340 mm, tall CPU coolers up to 200 mm, and there is room for a larger liquid cooling well as well with three 120 mm fan opening supporting up to a 360 x 35 mm radiator. Storage options are limited to a single 3.5-inch HDD with room for four 2.5-inch SSDs. Large power supplies of up to 230 mm are supported as well.
There are two versions of the H-Tower, with the titanium version shown at the booth as well as an official ASUS Republic of Gamers version that is black with red accents.
The enclosure will be available in February in North America, and Newegg already has a pre-order listing for a staggering $2399.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 15, 2015 - 09:46 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: PC-18, mid-tower, Lian Li, enclosure, case, aluminum case
Lian Li has announced a new mid-tower enclosure for the North American market, and the PC-18 has a decidedly retro style.
Dual 5.25-inch external optical drive bays? Boxy styling? Bare metal interior? The hallmarks of a 1990's case are here with Lian Li's new PC-18 mid-tower, but there is an interesting addition to a classic design with a hinged radiator bracket in the center of the enclosure.
The PC-18 uses this bracket to support up to 360 mm long radiators, though for a CPU I can see how the installation process for a self-contained system (depending on hose length) might be a bit tricky considering the hinge is on the right side, and closing the bracket blocks access to the CPU.
No rear exhaust fan opening? Retro.
For a GPU, on the other hand, I could see how the bracket's central positioning and hinged mount would make installing a card like AMD's Fury X really convenient.
Here are the full specs:
- Model: PC-18 A/B
- Case Type: Mid Tower Chassis
- Color: Black or Silver
- Material: Aluminum
- Expansion Slot: 7
- MB Type: ATX, Micro-ATX
- External drive bays: 2x 5.25"
- Internal drive bays: (HDD bay) 3.5" HDD x3, 2.5" HDD x1; (Remove HDD rack) 3.5" HDD x2 or 3.5"/2.5" HDD x1
- System Fans: (Front) 120mm x2; (Top) 140mm x1; (Side) 120mm x3 or 140mm x2
- I/O Ports: USB 3.0 x2, HD Audio
- PSU Type: ATX PSU
- Maximum VGA Card length: 285 mm (410 mm with HDD bay removed)
- CPU cooler height: 160mm
- PSU length: 160mm
- Dimensions: (W) 210mm (H) 452mm (D )490mm
- Net Weight: 5kg
The Lian Li PC-18 carries an MSRP of $149.99 and availability is listed as "coming soon".
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 17, 2015 - 07:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Lian Li, full tower, enclosure, cases, aluminum case
Looking for a super deluxe way to hold just about any size rig? Lian Li has a sophisticated looking option with the new X510 full-tower enclosure.
An all-aluminum case (of course - it's Lian Li!) with a no-nonsense design aesthetic and very roomy interior, the X510 still keeps a fairly trim profile thanks to the omission of 5.25-inch drive bays.
Here are some of the key features from Lian Li:
- Isolated air chambers for efficient cooling
- Fits huge components – 330mm VGA Card, 180mm CPU cooler, 245mm PSU length
- Eight expansion slots
- Support for eight total drives
- Tempered glass window for showing off hardware
- Included fan speed controller
The glass side window and included fan controller are nice touches, and while the X510 carries a steep MSRP it doesn't seem out of place for an all-alumimum case like this (depending on performance). So what is pricing/availability? The X510 should be available later in September for $399.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 3, 2015 - 01:04 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Test Bench, PC-V33, Lian Li, enclosure, atx case, aluminum case
Lian Li has announced a new enclosure along the lines of the PC-Q33 (a mini-ITX enclosure we reviewed here), but this new PC-V33 houses a full ATX motherboard inside its cube-like, hinged exterior.
If you’ve looked into open test benches at all you’ll really appreciate the design of the PC-V33, which essentially takes that idea and adds a cover that conveniently folds down on a hinge, exposing all components. This is a very unconventional design, and one I really appreciated when reviewing the mini-ITX version. So what’s new besides the larger size and support for ATX motherboards?
Here’s a quick rundown of the enclosure’s features:
- Unique flip-open canopy, opens to test bench style ease of access
- Full ATX size build in compact mid-tower case
- Full sized PSU and GPU card supported
- Up to 240mm internal radiator support
- Redesigned rear vents with increased air flow
- New shock-absorbing drive cage
- Easy-open side doors with no screws and toolless design throughout
- Black or silver full aluminum or add a tempered glass side wall
In addition to supporting full-sized components and 240mm radiators, there is also support for tower air coolers up to 190mm high, and the case also features a rubber-damped hard drive cage (and drives have their own 120mm exhaust fan). How much space will the PC-V33 take up on your desk? Dimensions are (WxHxD) 13.15" x 13.86" x 15.35", which are on par with an open test bench case.
The MSRP of the standard version is $199 and the version with a glass side panel is $229. The PC-V33 will available in early September.
Introduction and First Impressions
The Lian Li PC-Q33 is a mini-ITX enclosure with a cube-like appearance and a hinged construction that makes it easy to access the components within.
When a builder is contemplating a mini-ITX system the primary driver is going to be the size. It’s incredible that we've reached the point where we can have a powerful single-GPU system with minimal (if any) tradeoffs from the tiny mITX form-factor, but the components need to be housed in an appropriately small enclosure or the entire purpose is defeated. However working within small enclosures is often more difficult, unless the enclosure has been specifically designed to account for this. Certainly no slouch in the design department, Lian Li is no stranger to small, lightweight mini-ITX designs like this. The NCASE M1 (a personal favorite) was manufactured by the company after all, and in some ways the PC-Q33 is reminiscent of that design - in build quality and materials if nothing else. The Q33 features aluminum construction and is very light, and while compact the design of the enclosure allows for effortless component installation. The secret? A hinged design that allows the front of the enclosure to swing down providing full access to the interior.
This approach to accessibility with a small enclosure is a welcome one, and especially so considering the price of the PC-Q33, which retails for $95 on Newegg and can be found for around $105 on Amazon as well. This is still a high cost for many considering a small build and enters the premium price range for an enclosure, but remember the Q33 features an aluminum construction which typically carries a considerably higher cost than steel and plastic. Of course if the case is frustrating to use or has poor thermals than the materials used are meaningless, so in this review we’ll look at the build process and thermal results with the Q33 to see if it’s a good value. My initial impression is that the price is actually low, but that’s coming from someone who looks at a lot of cases and develops a familiarity with the average retail prices in each category.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 22, 2014 - 08:16 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: wall mount, Steam Machine, PC-05S, mini-itx, Lian Li, enclosure, cases, aluminum case
Techspot posted a review of the unreleased Lian Li PC-05S case over the weekend, and as you can see it’s a lot more interesting than the generic name might suggest.
The case features aluminum construction (of course - it’s a Lian Li!) and a tempered glass side to showcase the build. And what better way to show off a build than hanging it on the wall like a picture? Well, the reviewer didn’t show this but the case is described as a “wall mountable open-air chassis” by Lian Li on their site. Overall, Techspot liked the PC-05S and called it “a beautiful case that is well-designed inside and out”.
Looks great on a desk!
At just over 14 lbs (without components) this will require some planning to mount on a wall. The dimensions (WHD) are 15.1” x 18.3” x 5.8”, and it has a similar layout to Steam Machine cases like the SilverStone RV01 which we reviewed back in January. Like the RV01, the PC-05S requires a mini-ITX motherboard and orients the GPU at a 90° angle (via an included ribbon adapter) to fit in such a slim enclosure. The PC-05S also requires an SFX power supply (such as the SilverStone SX600-G we reviewed recently) and supports 240mm radiators.
Many more photos and full specs are available on the main product page, and the Lian Li PC-05S is slated for a February 2015 release. The cost? $319.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 15, 2014 - 08:36 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form factor, SFF, ncase, mini-itx, m1, enclosure, case, aluminum case
The NCASE M1 once famously posed next to a can of soda, and the rest is (unlicensed) history...
The M1 next to a can of some mystery drink that I've never seen before
Now the M1 is back for another round of pre-orders, with the price set at $185 for the microscopic, all-aluminum enclosure. The catch is that once again the enclosure ships directly from the OEM (Lian Li) in Taiwan, which means that import duty and taxes will be extra. Shipping this writer's abode in the province of the USA known as "Michigan" ranged from $30 for the slowest imaginable ocean freight, to a (comparatively) reasonable $55 for much faster air shipping.
Christmas is coming... Why not order 2? Or 5?
You may have been one of the (approximately) millions who read our review of this fantastic little enclosure, but just for old time's sake you can always read it again! The review features many photos of the case interior and exterior, as well as a some build examples to give readers an idea of what to expect before committing to the case sight-unseen.
Exploded view of the aluminum (or aluminium for our readers in the UK) construction
So what's different with the 3rd version? Here's the official change log from the hardforum page:
- Braces added to bottom corners of chassis for increased rigidity/decreased probability of wobbling
- 0.3mm decrease in side and front panel height
- Extra QC for wobbling & panel uniformity
- Changed model ID plate to read "V3.0" in place of "V2.0"
- SFX bracket raised 2mm and flange trimmed for better SFX-L support
- Additional motherboard standoffs added for compact mATX boards (226x173mm max w/SFX bracket)
- Slightly increased CPU cutout size
The M1's dimensions are just (HxWxD) 240mm x 160mm x 328mm, which translates to 9.45" x 6.30" x 12.91". The pre-order is currently open, but no offical word on when the newest production run will be finished and shipping just yet.