Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 19, 2016 - 10:43 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: steel, matx case, Lian Li, enclosure, case, atx case
Lian Li is now producing steel enclosures (gasp), which translates into some more affordable options on the market from this venerable brand that typically produces products from aluminum and glass.
(left to right) Lian Li PC-K5, PC-K6, and PC-K6S
“Lian Li has been known for its signature brushed aluminum aesthetic for decades. For many years, a number of customers have requested more affordable alternatives. The Ebonsteel series is intended to provide this option for those who seek the best value in PC cases. While these chassis are built with steel rather than aluminum, they are still very much Lian Li cases – tool-less building features, grommeted panel cutouts for cable management, vibration-dampened PSU mounts and drive cages, removable mesh filters on fan mounts – they include many of the bells and whistles of a typical Lian Li case!”
The three new enclosures Lian Li is featuring in their news release include the mid-tower PC-K5 and PC-K6, and a silent version of the latter named PC-K6S. Of these the PC-K5 is a budget-minded option, with an MSRP of $56 for the standard version, and $60 if you'd like a side panel window. The PC-K6 is a more premium offering, with an MSRP of $93, with the silent version at $109.
As to availability, I'll quote the press release here: "The Ebonsteel cases will be available in mid June for K5, and late June for K6, K6S."
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 20, 2016 - 10:20 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: standing desk, Lian Li, enclosure, DK-04, desk enclosure, case, aluminum
Lian Li has officially announced their standing desk shown at CES 2016, and the DK-04 offers variable (powered) height adjustment.
The DK-04 in standing position
"Standing desks aren’t just fashionable, they’re proven to be beneficial and healthy in multiple ways. Lian Li sought to design a new computer desk chassis in this spirit. Users can configure up to four different height settings, from 67.5cm to 116cm, for the desk to automatically adjust to at the press of a button. The DK-04 can serve as a standing desk for work and switch to a sit-down gaming desk in an instant!"
The DK-04 lowered to sitting position
I had a chance to check out the DK-04 in person at this year's CES, and it was an impressive piece of hardware. My first question? How much will it cost, of course! Lian Li didn't have an answer for me back in January, but official pricing was included in today's annoucement.
The cost? MSRP is $1499, and the DK-04 will be available on May 10, 2016.
If you've priced ergonomic office furniture the $1499 price tag won't seem quite so shocking, especially for a powered sit/stand design made entirely from aluminum (don't forget this is also a PC enclosure).
The DK-04 is also a full-sized PC enclosure under the glass top
Of course, in the world of PC components it's obviously going to require a specific use-case to justify an enclosure that costs as much as a fairly high-end gaming PC.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 8, 2016 - 07:23 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form factor, SFX-L, SFX, PSU, power supply, Lian Li
Lian Li has (rather unexpectedly) announced a pair of SFX-L power supplies, with the PE-550 and PE-750 small form-factor PSUs.
Lian Li PE-750 SFX-L power supply
SFX-L is the slightly longer (hence the "L") version of SFX, and permits more powerful designs and larger, quieter fans than standard SFX. Of the two new models from Lian Li the PE-550 is an 80 Plus Gold PSU rated at 550W, and the PE-750 is an 80 Plus Platinum model boasting a whopping 750W from this tiny form-factor.
Lian Li has doubtless contracted the manufacture of these PSUs, as the post on SFF Network has concluded: "The 550W at least is from Enhance according to the UL number and the possibly the 750W based on the heatsink design."
Lian Li PE-550 SFX-L power supply
The 750W model now bests SilverStone in the SFX power category, eclipsing their 700W SFX-L model shown at CES this year (and which is still not listed on their site). Just why anyone would need 750W for what would presumably be a mini-ITX system (limited as mITX motherboards are, with only one PCI Express x16 slot); but the benefits of SFX are certainly appreciated the moment one begins working inside of an enclosure such as the NCASE M1.
The PSUs are fully modular with flat, ribbon style cables (PE-750 pictured)
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 17, 2016 - 04:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PC-7N, Lian Li, atx
The new Lian Li PC-7N will appeal to those who prefer a case exterior with a simple clean design and modern conveniences inside. The case has four tool-less drive trays for 3.5: or 2.5" drives as well as a pair of tool-less 5.25" trays, which some of us still like to have. The case is 210x473x500mm (8.3x18.6x19.7") and can support CPU heatsinks up to 170mm as well as GPUs of up to 370mm (14.6") if you do not populate all the drive bays, 250mm (9.8") if you do.
It can support a pair of 120mm fans in the front and a single one in the rear, or a radiator of 120x240x60mm in the front if you prefer watercooling. The power and reset buttons are located on the top of the case, next to a pair of USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks which are protected by a hinged cover to help keep gunge out of your ports. You will be able to pick it up by the end of this month for around $100
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 9, 2016 - 01:33 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form-factor, SFF, PC-M25, micro tower, mATX, Lian Li, hot-swap, enclosure, case, aluminum case
The PC-M25 is Lian Li’s latest enclosure; a small micro-ATX tower with an emphasis on storage.
“The PC-M25 includes a hot-swap HDD rack where users can conveniently install and remove up to five 3.5” drives with rubber suspension and without needing tools. The bottom HDD tray can mount an additional three 2.5” or two 3.5” drives. This makes a total of as many as seven 3.5” hard drives for advanced RAID storage applications.”
While a small form-factor design (all aluminum, of course), there is still room for a full system including long graphics cards and power supplies; though you’ll want a lower-profile CPU cooler as there is only 80 mm of clearance above the processor. Fans are included, with 140 mm intake and 120 mm exhaust pre-installed, though there is only a screen filter on the bottom intake (below the PSU).
- Model: PC-M25 A/ B
- Case Type: Mini Tower Chassis
- Color: Silver, Black
- Material: Aluminum
- M/B Type: Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX
- Expansion Slot: 4
- HDD rack: 3.5" HDD x5 (Hot-swap)
- HDD tray: 2.5" HDD x3 or 3.5" HDD x2
- System Fan (Front) 140mm Fan x1; System Fan (Top) 120mm Fan x1
- I/O Ports: None
- Maximum Compatibility
- VGA Card length: 410mm
- PSU length: 230mm
- CPU cooler height:80mm
- PSU Type: ATX
- Dimensions (W x H x D) 199 x 322 x 441 mm (7.83 x 12.68 x 17.36 in)
- Net Weight: 3.74 kg (8.25 lbs)
Storage options for the PC-M25
The PC-M25 will be available this month with an MSRP of $169.
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 | November 5, 2015 - 09:28 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooling, water block, liquid CPU cooler, liquid cooling, Lian Li, CPU Water Block, CB-01
Computer component manufacturers often diversify their offerings to stay competitive, but it's still surprising to see Lian Li enter the CPU cooling market - and with a water block, no less!
The CB-01 is the company's first water block, and it features support for all current sockets from Intel and AMD. Lian Li is emphasizing style and build quality with the new block, which adds support for LED lighting as well.
“The cold plate has a heart of solid copper in a nickel coating and a final layer of tin-cobalt for extra cooling, durability, and corrosion resistance. The top is a translucent acrylic block that visibly guides the cooling waters through the microchannels. The simple yet sturdy mounting fits virtually all modern and past motherboard sockets securely. For a bit of flare, there are holes pre-drilled for 5mm LED lights.”
CB-01 Features (from Lian Li):
- Lian Li style and craftsmanship in a CPU water block
- Copper heat sink with nickel and tin-cobalt plating
- G1/4” thread size
- Cold plate area 60×60mm
- Thinly cut microchannel with area of 32.2×27.3mm
- Supports all Intel sockets: LGA 1366/2011/1155/1156/775
- Supports AMD sockets: AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2
- 5mm LED mounting
Availability is listed as “coming soon”, and no MSRP was announced.
Four High Powered Mini ITX Systems
Thanks to Sebastian for helping me out with some of the editorial for this piece and to Ken for doing the installation and testing on the system builds! -Ryan
Update (1/23/16): Now that that AMD Radeon R9 Nano is priced at just $499, it becomes an even better solution for these builds, dropping prices by $150 each.
While some might wonder where the new Radeon R9 Nano fits in a market that offers the AMD Fury X for the same price, the Nano is a product that defines a new category in the PC enthusiast community. It is a full-scale GPU on an impossibly small 6-inch PCB, containing the same core as the larger liquid-cooled Fury X, but requiring 100 watts less power than Fury X and cooled by a single-fan dual-slot air cooler.
The R9 Nano design screams compatibility. It has the ability to fit into virtually any enclosure (including many of the smallest mini-ITX designs), as long as the case supports a dual-slot (full height) GPU. The total board length of 6 inches is shorter than a mini-ITX motherboard, which is 6.7 inches square! Truly, the Nano has the potential to change everything when it comes to selecting a small form-factor (SFF) enclosure.
Typically, a gaming-friendly enclosure would need at minimum a ~270 mm GPU clearance, as a standard 10.5-inch reference GPU translates into 266.7 mm in length. Even very small mini-ITX enclosures have had to position components specifically to allow for these longer cards – if they wanted to be marketed as compatible with a full-size GPU solution, of course. Now with the R9 Nano, smaller and more powerful than any previous ITX-specific graphics card to date, one of the first questions we had was a pretty basic one: what enclosure should we put this R9 Nano into?
With no shortage of enclosures at our disposal to try out a build with this new card, we quickly discovered that many of them shared a design choice: room for a full-length GPU. So, what’s the advantage of the Nano’s incredibly compact size? It must be pointed out that larger (and faster) Fury X has the same MSRP, and at 7.5 inches the Fury X will fit comfortably in cases that have spacing for the necessary radiator.
Finding a Case for Nano
While even some of the tiniest mini-ITX enclosures (EVGA Hadron, NCASE M1, etc.) offer support for a 10.5-in GPU, there are several compact mini-ITX cases that don’t support a full-length graphics card due to their small footprint. While by no means a complete list, here are some of the options out there (note: there are many more mini-ITX cases that don’t support a full-height or dual-slot expansion card at all, such as slim HTPC enclosures):
|Cooler Master||Elite 110||$47.99, Amazon.com|
|Lian Li||PC-O5||$377, Amazon.com|
|Lian Li||PC-Q01||$59.99, Newegg.com|
|Lian Li||PC-Q03||$74.99, Newegg.com|
|Lian Li||PC-Q07||$71.98, Amazon.com|
|Lian Li||PC-Q30||$139.99, Newegg.com|
|Lian Li||PC-Q33||$134.99, Newegg.com|
|Rosewill||Legacy V3 Plus-B||$59.99, Newegg.com|
The list is dominated by Lian Li, who offers a number of cube-like mini-ITX enclosures that would ordinarily be out of the question for a gaming rig, unless one of the few ITX-specific cards were chosen for the build. Many other fine enclosure makers (Antec, BitFenix, Corsair, Fractal Design, SilverStone, etc.) offer mini-ITX enclosures that support full-length GPUs, as this has pretty much become a requirement for an enthusiast PC case.
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".