Introducing Lian Li's PC-90

The majority of the enclosures from Lian Li that we've tested so far have been designed for mini-ITX and micro-ATX builds, but today we have on offer one of their premium full ATX cases, and it's a promising one indeed. Lian Li's PC-90, which they dub "The Hammer," is designed to support HPTX and XL-ATX motherboards while being smaller and lighter than most other enthusiast cases in its class. And while we'd hesitate to call it diminutive, it's definitely smaller than you'd expect.

Lian Li aims to offer a lighter, more austere shell for high performance systems in the PC-90, and we can tell you they've been very successful. Without giving too much away, Lian Li's traditional brushed aluminum shell and accompanying aesthetics meet an old school ATX enclosure design complete with top-mounted power supply in a way that offers an intriguing alternative to the larger, bulkier enclosures we're used to reviewing for this bracket. Here's the brief overview.

Lian Li PC-90 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor HPTX, E-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Drive Bays External 2x 5.25"
Internal 6x 3.5", 6x 2.5"
Cooling Front 2x 140mm intake fan
Rear 1x 120mm exhaust fan
Top 1x 140mm fan mount
Right -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 10
Front I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, headphone and mic jacks, eSATA
Top I/O Port -
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 15.5"/400mm (Expansion Cards), 170mm (CPU HSF), 300mm (PSU)
Weight 14.7 lbs (6.7 kg)
Dimensions 9.1" x 19.9" x 19.3" (230mm x 505mm x 489mm)
Price $200

The PC-90 certainly isn't cheap, but it's most definitely an intriguing design. At just 14.7 pounds it's positively svelte compared to other enthusiast-class enclosures like Cooler Master's Cosmos II or SilverStone's FT02. That light weight owes to the largely aluminum shell and minimal use of steel in the framework. There's also a respectable amount of depth to the case, but as you'll see, that depth is needed.

In and Around the Lian Li PC-90
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  • dj christian - Thursday, March 01, 2012 - link

    I hate my Lian Li PC-71 to death!!

    Worst case i ever owned. Well it's upsides is it's roomy and the components in it's turn get's quite cool but other than that the build quality is just plain horrid! Vibrations reproduces easily from the drives and fans and things break easily because of the weak aluminium. And the screws, too many of them to keep track on. The manual is misspelled in a lot of places, well it's made in China so it doesn't suprise me a bit.
    Reply
  • FungYW - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    This PC-90 case is amazing, judging by the thermal performance with just 2x 14cm intake fans and 1x 12cm exhaust fans. If temperature rised up and just add the option fan on top. I may get this case for my home theater build.

    Regarding to the cable management, just AnandTech builder didn't take time to tidy up cables.

    Look at this page you guys will see how good this case can be done:
    http://www.coolenjoy.net/bbs/cboard.php?id=system&...

    Personally I own a Lian Li PC-A05 (oldest verison without top mount fan hole), I just upgraded it to Lian Li PC-P80N! The idle and load CPU and GPU temperature drop 6-10C. The reason A05 is no good for hot air exhausted because 50% hot air trapped inside the case, cannot exhaust it out directly, because of the front panel only has side exhausted holes. The upper part of the case is like dead zone. No direct air flow to GPU.

    For PC-P80N is build like a tank, which has 3x 14cm front intake fan, which gives direct air flow to all parts. (This is crucial for good thermal performace). Exhausted the hot air by 2x 14cm fan from top and 1x 12cm fan from rear. I don't even notice the fan is on from 3 feet away.

    Regarding to the price, I think it's very reasonable for a pure Alumunum case and built by Lian Li. For those who complain it is explain you better suit for the heavy steel case with plastic front panel :)
    Reply
  • shlomo nixon - Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - link

    hello gay mer's i have the lian li pc90 ayear ago and it is the best i allso useing the top fan hole and it help me to Lower the temperature of the gpu .As for the price. Do not forget the cabinet is built from aluminum, never rust and the chassis is much easier than other chassis and much more compact on the outside and big on the inside anyway. Thank lian li you are the best. Reply
  • Lonerski - Monday, April 08, 2013 - link

    Interesting review but... can someone explain me why noise level with an idle system can be between 36 and 38 db (yay, even if measured at 1') ? It appears pratically impossible to me. Maybe you used a flawed regulation stuff that always send high power ? Reply

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