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  • ckryan - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Lian Li either makes the most frustrating cases, with serious flaws in design, looks, and execution. Other times, they're a simple, effective, and aesthetically pleasing enclosure. The weird part is, I can't always tell which category a Lian Li is supposed to go in.

    I think this is perhaps why I like them so much. If they were clearly excellent or clearly abysmal, I don't think they'd interest me as much. There is usually as much to love as to hate, and not very much to be indifferent about.
    Reply
  • cknobman - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I own an old PC-7B I bought way back in 2002 and I still use it to this day.

    It is the highest quality case I have ever owned.

    Lian Li may come up with some weird designs but their quality is unmatched.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Yeah I own a PC G-50 ( which is about 4 inches shorter than this one i think at 15.5 inches if I recall correctly ). As far as other Lian Li cases go it may not be the best, but I love this case, and I also use it to this day. Also the best case I have owned. Reply
  • superccs - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    What CPU cooler are you using, I had a hell of a time getting good airflow with that case and eventually stopped using it.

    I still have the case just don't know what to do with it.
    Reply
  • p05esto - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Yep, I bought 3 of the classic PC-60 cases and still use them and LOVE them. I made a few modifications like stainless grab handles on the top and top/side blowholes with stainless grill covers. In other words the cases are very high quality and stand the test of time in classic look.

    I have to say that I don't like the front grill design. I actually didn't like most of the Lian-Li front designs, they only made a few like the PC-60 that I considered elegant and timeless. The version above has too many holes and looks like swiss cheese, ugly IMO.
    Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    I also have several PC60s and I'd like to see a return to an updated design with similiar features as the review on this case doesn't impress me at all..

    It would be so simple to do to.. move to 120mm fan enclosures, (keep the removable motherboard tray) all they have to do is fatten the case up a bit and perhaps change the drive arangement.. but noooo.. they give these odd designs that just don't work for me.
    Reply
  • Samus - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    Silverstone has some doozies too. Not everyone gets it all perfect, that's the risk of innovation. Reply
  • Stas - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    meh, I disagree. I love their classy, simple designs - look sexy, serious, formidable. but the only 2 times I was blown away with quality of a case were: CM Cosmos (OG), and SilverStone FT01. Not a sharp edge, not a single useless cutout for the sake of saving material. Lian Li cases are high end, no doubt, but they never exceeded my expectations with 10 or 15 cases I got from them. Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    How could they have both "serious flaws in...looks" and be an "aesthetically pleasing enclosure"?

    This seems to be contradictory
    Reply
  • pc_void - Saturday, March 03, 2012 - link

    Just the same as when two people say something completely different about the same thing and both are true? Reply
  • jjj - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    too bad you aren't actually testing it with at least 2 GPUs Reply
  • jjj - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    lol got to add some more because this review just bugs me.
    Sure you got your standard testing for the sake of consistency but why just stick to it when it's not appropriate for the product? With 2 sockets and/or more than one GPU you don't only have more heat but the location of the hotspots changes and that does make a difference.Ofc you also got a very different scenario for SB-E where if you push the air back from the CPU you got some RAM in the way and you don't get any air over the VRM and that's far from ideal.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I agree here, a 10-slot case should be tested with an extended ATX mainboard and at least 2 graphics cards.

    Better yet, slam one of those EVGA dual-CPU bad boys in and load it up with all the GPU it can handle. If I were buying this case, it would be for that kind of setup. (Probably not dual CPU, but definitely 3 graphics cards. Overclocked CPU.) How well does everything fit, and does it stay cool in that king of setup?

    I don't understand why adding pieces of plastic to support heavy graphics cards means there is too much there. Now, if they throw in a bunch of odd-looking things and don't explain what they are for, I'd sure gripe about a poor manual, but not that they supplied extra parts I didn't happen to need.

    Nice article really, just would like to have seen a more stressful test.

    ;)
    Reply
  • 1ceTr0n - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Lian Li makes ANOTHER boring, ugly ass case and claims it to be "UNIQUE" and "DIFFERENT".

    Lian Li hasn't made a single case that looked halfway decent IMO since the PC-68 back late 2001. The one and only Lian Li i've ever owned.
    Reply
  • alufan - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    rubbish i got a A70 a while back and its perfect tbh choice of top or bottom psu mount, up to 10 HDs all with fan cooling built inspace and support for the largest GPU cards available and it looks so simple and fuss free and minimalist, it also has factory made top panel with rad and fan mounts built in, look back in the DNA of silverstone et al and Lian Lis ideas will all be looking back at you Reply
  • CloudFire - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Agreed, Lian Li makes horrible cases. There are a few exceptions but like this one, the majority of them are horrid. Money can be spent way better elsewhere. Seriously, look at the wiring done in the assembled case. No thank you. The only thing I give Lian Li is their finesse when it comes to minimalist design and elegance; case design/layout is terrible. Reply
  • aznofazns - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    And what do you consider to be an aesthetically pleasing case? Antec 900? BARF932?

    Take a look at the PC-P80, PC-V2120X, and basically all of the mini-ITX/micro-ATX cases they've put out in the past 5 years. If you think those are "boring, ugly ass" cases then you must be 12 years old.
    Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    BARF932... I laughed. Gonna use that if you don't mind.

    Yes, it's aesthetically pleasing... so are the other cases you linked. But why are the prices so high? So I can feel good making pretentious statements about being 'minimalist'? A high price for this case, and the ones you linked ($309, $469 on newegg), without knowing where my money is gonig leads me to think it's a marketing stunt and i'm paying for the priviledge of owning a Lian Li case.

    Thanks, but i'll pass.
    Reply
  • tecknurd - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I have a Lian Li case and it is probably model PC-68, but I do not remember. Besides that, Lian Li case does make plain cases, but Lian Li puts the work on the DIY for making their case their own unique case. Depending on the model, can add extras to Lian Li cases.

    I will own another Lian Li case because they are easy to build a computer compared to other brands. Lian Li has tight tolerances, so drive bays and expansions are with in spec. Do not have to use a rubber headed hammer to pound the drives in place or a screw driver to leverage the expansion slots in place while screwing them down. The motherboard tray from Lian Li moves out smoothly compared to their competitors.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Respectfully disagree with your point that Lian Li cases are easy to build compared to other brands. The Lian Li cases I've tested have consistently been the most time-consuming and frustrating ones to build in. The PC-90 was the least offensive that way.

    If you want something well made and easy to build in, Corsair remains for me the gold standard for ease of assembly.
    Reply
  • ckryan - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Lian Li's are difficult to build in for the most part. Especially the smaller ones. The PC V351 is a total bitch. Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    The older cases were a joy to work with.. Still never had a better case then the Lian-Li PC60.. for it's era it was remarkable. I still have two in use today and I to work with alot of the new designs that come out so it's not like there isn't something to compare to.

    Todays' Lian-Li needs to get back to the basics and understand what we want rather then throwing weird our way and hoping we will buy..... and I hope their execs read this!!! I'd really like to pull the trigger on new lian-li's but for now i'll pass and keep buying from corsair and cooler master, with the odd nod to antec.
    Reply
  • pandemonium - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    I, for one, enjoy the simplistic look of Lian-Li's cases. Reply
  • Robalov - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Nice results, but for that price, it looks a mess.

    I would like to see cheaper iterations based around that design in the future however.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I love Lian li for much the same reason I love Silverstone cases, they dare to be different. There is a real attempt to rethink case design, unlike most case manufacturers whose idea of innovation is to stick a fancy front on the case and change the fans from 120mm to 140mm.

    Sadly like Silverstone sometimes the quality of construction does not match the originality of the original concept.

    Mking the case 25mm wider and allowing for cables to be routed round the back would have been simple to achieve and immeasurably improved the case. Alternatively why not mound the drives behind the motherboard but with some channels for cable routing.

    Fundamentally a nice try by Lian Li but not really convincing
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    To make that work with the giant mobo form factors they're supporting they'd also need to make it an inch taller to have space for cable holes on the bottom. Not sure if they'd also need to mess with anything on the front end since it's hard to visualize how a massive HP-TX board actually would sit in it. Reply
  • cjs150 - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Maybe - although running cable holes down side of MB tray makes a lot of sense too.

    As a case I think it probably has real potential for watercooling but for a standard ATX board - radiators on front and bottom look rather obvious locations
    Reply
  • Luay - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    For a single GPU build, any two or three 120mm fan equipped case from CM, Rosewill or Antec for less than $60 will do the job.
    For SLI/CF, any mid tower 140mm fan equipped case for less than $100 such as the Rosewill Blackhawk will do.
    For Tri-SLI/CF, I'll start looking for the 230mm big boys, HAFX or the $150 Rosewill Thor.
    For Quad SLI-CF, I'll need a case with two PSU mounts and a minimum of four 230mm fans such as the $200 Rosewill Blackhawk Ultra.

    as for this case, no side fan means the two 140mm front fans won't push the air all the way to the exhaust fan at the back, if more than one GPU or any obstructive device is installed on the motherboard. The roof intake fan is already feeding most of the air to the CPU and the cooler if it's there. I don't think it's safe to install more than one non-vapor chamber custom cooled (inside-case heat dissipating) video card in this case!

    I don't believe this is a gamer's rig at all and your recommendation for the PC90 as such worries me.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Anyone who buys Rosewill is wasting money. Anything marked with Rosewill, run the other way as fast as you can.

    As for the rest of your post, you sound like a troll or a genuine retard.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I disagree. The Rosewill Thor v2 has shaky build quality, but it's not terrible. On the flipside, the case is an incredible performer and probably the best bargain for a full tower on the market today. Reply
  • lucky9 - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    The noise and heat figures are compelling. Agreed the price is at least $50 high.
    Personally I have no use for this design but it seems to be a great one for those that need a large motherboard it a smaller space.

    But I wouldn't trade my K-62 for anything I've ever seen in the same size/price range.
    Reply
  • Veroxious - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    It certainly is a matter of personal taste but as previous posters have pointed out at the price tag money can be better spent elsewhere like on a more powerful GPU / additional GPU.

    I for one would not be able to live with the drives hanging on the side and having cables all over the place. Also the PSU arrangement is less than ideal and a step backwards IMO.

    The main reason I would not buy most Lian Li cases is the absence of a side window. I for one like the ability to the see the hard work I put in putting together my rig and the non-standard accessories in it. While not to everyone's liking I simply love my HAF.
    Reply
  • kevith - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Great review. I would say, that I don´t find the looks of this cabinet neither pretty nor the opposite. And I don´t think looks are a big deal, if it is not one of the above.

    But performance wise I find it even very interesting. I think the results points towards very good thermal capabilities with more than one video card and/or a SNB-E processor.

    Do you think the thermal performance has a lot to do with the case being made from aluminum? Does the case itself heat up during load?

    Because if it doesn´t, I´d think this could be a very good platform for a cool and quiet case, if one were to add more fans and sound dampening applications to the panels and internal surfaces.
    Reply
  • cyabud - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I have a PC-9 made of the same materials and it gets slightly warm on the top and side of the case around the CPU. The case has some great features but - like the PC-90 - cable management's a complete joke. Can anyone recommend a stylish and well-designed case that does the job but doesn't look like a spaceship? Reply
  • Observist - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I also have a PC-9F... with 2 GPU's and 4HDD's and a top-mounted ventilation fan, and I think the cable management is fine. There's not a lot of room behind the MB tray, but aside from that it's the same layout as a Corsair 650D and a bunch of other cases. Not sure what non-joke cable management would look like by your criteria. Cables need to go where they need to go.

    What the PC-90 lacks in cable management, it makes up by getting the HDD's out of the way of the front ventilation fans. Cables impede airflow, but not as much a big HDD cage like in the PC-9F.

    That said, most of the nicer, well-designed, non-spaceship cases are included in this comparison - Silverstone FT02, Antec P280, Corsair 650D. Fractal Design and BitFenix also make some clean-looking cases. Maybe a Corsair 600T... looks slightly obese, but that leaves a lot of room for cabling. CoolerMaster CM690 II isn't too bad either, for an older, less expensive case.
    Reply
  • cyabud - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I just find it very difficult to get it looking tidy. That said I have a lot of drives in there and a MB with very awkwardly positioned SATA ports, which clearly doesn't help.

    Thanks for the non-spaceship case suggestions. Currently salivating over the Antec P280.
    Reply
  • TerdFerguson - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    An overly kind review, to be sure. I understand that you want to keep those review samples coming in, but this case isn't worth $50. Reply
  • rscoot - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Hammer Time.

    (can't touch this post)
    Reply
  • burntham77 - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I am so conflicted when it comes to choosing my next case. I love the elegance of a case like the PC-90, and yet I also crave a case with a side-window so I can see all of my hardware (and the neat cabling job). I yearn for understated, but I also year for gaudiness. Reply
  • Observist - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Corsair 650D is your answer! It's basically a Lian-Li with a side window. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    This is absolutely not true. Outside of being two large, black boxes, I've seen nothing that makes these two cases remotely similar in actual design. Reply
  • Observist - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    IMO, the 650D is the most Lian-Li-looking case on the market not made by Lian-Li. This particular Lian-Li (PC-90) is not very similar to the 650D, but the PC-9F and the 650D have nearly identical internal layouts. The Corsair has 1x200mm front fan instead of 2x120mm, includes a fan controller, and a few other nice features, but also costs 50% more than a PC-9F... and weighs 100% more.

    I think the PC-90 here is very overpriced, even compared to other LL cases.
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the review; I've been eyeballing this case for awhile but the price tag has kept it out impulse buy territory. It cools just as well as I thought it would, though, so it looks like I've found the case for my next build.

    I do have to say I'm a little perplexed as to why the drive shield and extras are a 'negative', though. I can definitely understand complaining about them when they could be better, but wanting Lian Li to skip them altogether seems a little strange. This is especially true of the optical drive cover; I’ve used them before, and they’ve always worked great and made the case look more polished and professional – worst case they don’t work and you use the case without them.
    Reply
  • Observist - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Check out the Lian-Li PC-9F. It's similar to this one (PC-90), slightly smaller, with the following differences:

    - Only $120
    - Bottom-mount PSU
    - Traditional HDD cage (6x)
    - Space behind MB tray for cable mgmt (limited, but enough)
    - 120mm front fans
    - USB/audio ports on top

    (And that's my last cheesy sales clerk post on this thread)
    Reply
  • CloudFire - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    It's more of a concern about airflow getting into your system parts, pretty obvious to think about when you're building a computer. Obviously that is not a concern for you. Myself, and others, even with a windowless case, we like to see a perfect wiring job on a rig done right, but I guess some of us have greater expectations from our custom rigs than others and don't enjoy seeing a rat's nest of a wiring job . Reply
  • rastagor - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I have this case.

    I like the clean lines of it.

    I like that it's relatively small for an ATX-XL case.

    It's hard to work on inside (but see above)

    Wiring inside is a mess, despite my best efforts to route stuff nicely.

    The video cards get very very hot- ventilation and airflow over the PCI slots is not adequate.

    Hope this helps,

    R
    Reply
  • john1970 - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I've had 2 lianli cases in past both were good at the time but with longer vga cards and multiple setups they would not work for modern configurations.This case look very plain and the inside looks just plain lazy.I put together a Level 10 GT case just a few days ago I couldnt be more please with cable routing and cooling .IMO this case might look ok on the outside but fails really hard on the inside.Like others have pointed out ,even if you take your time with the build it will look sloppy.I give this case a 3 out of 10. Reply
  • dacipher - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    We'll take your 3 out of 10 extremely serious, since you obviously own the case. What's with all the hate with Lian-Li? They make top of the line cases with solid construction. I have a PC-B25FWB from '09 and it continues to satisfy me 'till this day. Yea the price is a little steep but once you have a Lian-Li in front of you, that'll be the last thing you'll think about. Don't be an enthusiast if you don't have the money! Just keeping it real and West Coast. Reply
  • Leyawiin - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    I don't think I would like this case, but I love my A05N. Small, clean design, accepts full sized ATX, light weight, easy enough to assemble and with the optional 140mm fan lid, quite cool.

    This one has some good ideas but that lack of cable management is kind of sad. Its worse than my ten year old Antec midtower that had no cable management features at all.
    Reply
  • doppelavatar - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    I happen to own this case too and I've been building dozens of rigs since *486 so I know what I'm talking about. First of all I would like to adress the cable management complaints from people who obviously don't; may I remind all the Lian Li haters trolling this forum that this is a COMPACT HPTX chassis so that if it were to use the usual cable management it wouldn't be compact anymore. On the other hand if you use a regular ATX form factor, cable management is quite a breeze with a bit of patience and a few velcros... now, if you happen to be a nicompoop who can't deal with cables without grommets and a few hundred square feet behind the motherboard you are bound to hate this case because YOU are lazy, not Lian Li since they seem to take for granted that the people buying this case are competent grownups who are neither tool-less nor witless. For those who rightly observe the heat produced in the PCI area by an SLI/Crossfire configuration THAT is the reason why this case has a 14 cm fan mount on the top. I used Lian Li's own CF-1412R on rubber strips and a filter and my two 6950@ 6970 furnace gets most of it's RISING heat efficiently and rather quietly expelled, and my thermal performance is even better than the one tested in this review and THAT is what this is mostly about, isn't it ? Reply
  • 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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