Introducing the Lian Li PC-TU100

With gaming notebooks proliferating and the PC gaming industry undergoing a bit of a renaissance, it may be difficult to fathom the need for a LAN-style small enclosure. Yet these cases and builds using them are proving popular, with the mini-ITX form factor picking up steam due to continued improved integration in motherboard chipsets.

Despite the odd nomenclature, the Lian Li PC-TU100 is a descendant of their previous PC-TU200, a LAN-oriented enclosure we reviewed a year and a half ago. Common to both boxes are the rounded corners, the handles, and the pop-out side panels. Yet the PC-TU100 demonstrates much more evolution and is a far more forward-thinking case. Miniaturization is becoming increasingly common; 3.5" drives just aren't as important as they used to be, and slimline optical drives have cratered in price to the point where they can be found for roughly the same amount as their full height siblings. Small form factor power supplies are getting more and more robust, too. The PC-TU100 takes all of these things into account in its design, and it's refreshing to see something this smart come through.

Lian Li PC-TU100 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External 1x Slimline Optical
Internal 2x 2.5"
Cooling Front 1x 120mm intake fan
Rear -
Top -
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 2
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size SFX
Clearances HSF 60mm
PSU -
GPU 200mm
Dimensions 9.84" x 6.7" x 10.24"
250mm x 170mm x 260mm
Special Features USB 3.0 via internal header
All-aluminum construction
Price $109

You can see that in their effort to get those dimensions down, Lian Li cut the PC-TU100 pretty much down to the bone. Storage options are reduced to a pair of 2.5" drive trays and a single slimline optical drive tray, and space is saved on the power supply by opting for supporting the SFX form factor instead of the much larger ATX form factor. Note, though, that CPU cooler and GPU clearance are also low; you're not going to be able to build a super powerful system in this case, so your component choices should be planned accordingly.

In and Around the Lian Li PC-TU100
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  • ronmccord - Saturday, September 21, 2013 - link

    I think you are being hard on this very small and unique case. First off 50-65 celcius under load is not bad at all considering the case. and 35db not bad at all either. I am coming from laptops that run that and dbs can be higher so I am not as picky. The temps are well under specs and this is a much smaller case the prodigy or sg08 that you speak so highly of. In fact this is one of the smallest itx cases you can buy with a real 450 watt power supply and 760 asus small video card. The prodigy is downright huge and is really an mini atx case. Not only can you pick this up and go easily but it will fit in a backpack or in carry on luggage like a waterproof pelican 1510 which only a couple of other cases will do. The look is quality and unique and you can put it behind a monitor whereas the prodigy and shoebox style cases can take up too much room especially the wobbly plastic prodigy. This is a quality specialist case and My plan is to ditch the optical drive, get a silverstone gold 450 sft modular, one ssd and the new Asus 760 mini. I wll just udate the mini video card every couple of years and be good to go! Would of been nice to have someone really review this with a modular powersupply and getting rid of any excess cables with the new 760. Reply
  • Haravikk - Saturday, April 12, 2014 - link

    The review mentions the 120mm fan mount, but would they take a 140mm fan with 120mm mounting holes? I often use the Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 14 for that purpose; although it's really a CPU cooler it makes a great case fan thanks to being only 15mm thick, provided you're okay with only having a PWM connection.

    Personally I think this case looks pretty sweet, but I can understand the reviewers issues with it. But assuming you have a video card that is single height, perhaps you could use one of those single-slot GPU cooler blower fans to help keep the heat down? Personally I was thinking of maybe cutting a piece of plastic to direct some of the airflow down towards the GPU.

    I'm also hoping Lian-Li may just ditch the optical drive in a future model, as it's a better place to put your 2.5" drive(s), and you could probably do it now if you wanted to keep them away from the GPU. Plus it may open up room for a second 120mm fan on the front; I suppose technically you could even do that yourself on a TU100 right now if you're willing to drill into it, which is one of the hidden benefits of aluminium (it's a lot easier than even thin steel).

    You're right though that the attention to detail is a bit lacking, as this could otherwise be a perfect case for small form factor computer, without sacrificing (much) component choice.
    Reply

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