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".
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.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 18, 2015 - 12:26 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Lian Li, ASUS ROG, mini-itx, enclosure, case, gaming
Lian Li has announced a new mini-ITX enclosure featuring ASUS ROG branding, and this compact gaming case supports full size power supplies and larger liquid coolers, though not everything will fit inside this tiny enclosure.
There are more than a couple of similarities to the NCASE M1, that crowdfunded mini-ITX enclosure that Lian Li built for NCASE, but the PC-Q17 doesn’t support dual-width liquid coolers the same way. Part of this has to do with the side window in this new case, essential to show off your diminutive gaming rig. So where does that 240mm radiator fit?
Not everyone will like having the cooler outside of the enclosure, but it’s nice that the case offers this functionality without having to modify it should you desire this level of CPU (or in the case of an AMD Fury X, GPU) cooling. For many a smaller air cooler could suffice, and as we can see from this build photo it does look very nice housing a complete system.
As usual no pricing or availability information accompanies this announcement.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2015 - 09:07 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: PC-O8, Lian Li, enclosures, dual-compartment enclosure, DK-02, desk chassis, computex 2015, computex, cases
Lian Li is showing two new versions of their massive desk system chassis at Computex, as well as a new dual-compartment enclosure.
The DK-Q2 Desk Chassis
From Lian Li:
"Like the previous desk chassis, the aluminum body and tempered glass surface highlight the minimalism of this practical fusion of desk and chassis. The updates on these new models add simplicity to system building, more refined aesthetics and ergonomics. New thinner body and stronger adjustable legs add to the look and workplace efficiency of this growing line of computer desks."
PC-O8 dual-compartment enclosure
From Lian Li:
"The PC-O8 dual-compartment chassis combines aluminum and tempered glass to show off DIY builders high-end, intricate setups, while hiding cables and less eye catching components in the large compartment behind the motherboard tray."
Pricing and availability for these new enclosures has not been announced.