|Lian-Li PC60 Cabinet review|
We just got the chance to check out the PC60 cabinet from the Taiwan-based company Lian-Li, courtesy of Valberg Data in Norway. With aluminum as the main material, you get both a solid and stable product, as well as something even your girlfriend might accept having in the livingroom. (At least mine did...:)
In the box you'll find two paper-sheets, one showing Lian-Li's excellent range of aluminum-products, and the other showing how to assemble the PC60, including details on the four USB-connectors in front.
The first thing that hit me while disassembling the cabinet for the first time was the quality of the material. Although I suspected the cardboard-box was empty when I got it, there was indeed a complete PC60 inside. It weighs absolutely nothing, at least compared to my standard Addtronics 7896A...
Just about everything you can loosen inside the cabinet uses thumbscrews, even the cardholders (see above). In fact, the only time you need the standard screwdriver is when mounting the drives. The external 3,5" units are mounted in a bay which is easily removable. That goes for the 5x3,5" internalharddrive bay as well, which by the way is mounted on the inside of the standard dual 80x80 fan-rack at the bottom of the cabinet. Another fun thing about the fans is that they have adjustable speed through a button under the front panel, giving the options of Low - Medium and High. These choices differs noticeably when it comes to noise.
It's clear that Lian-Li have gone over all the aspects of the cabinet, in order to make it as easy as possible. Mounting the PSU is a dream. Of course one might prefer the case being shipped with PSU, but the again, it's nice to get a choice. Anyway: When mounting the PSU, you simply remove the frame covering the PSU opening from the outside, mount the PSU on the frame, and put it in from the back. Be aware though: The opening isn't bigger than it has to be, so if you have one of those power supplies with a fan grill underneath, I suspect you might be out of luck. No worries, though, you can always mount it from the inside, although you'll probably swear a couple of times... Personally, I'd prefer a bit more room inside the cabinet. Although most parts are mounted outside, it's always nice to have room inside.
This isn't big enough in my opinion. My two top drives (the cd and dvd) are almost completely covered by the aluminum wall going from the PSU all the way to the front. This can be quite annoying when trying to mount the audio-cables, scsi-cables and power cables to the drives. Of course, when mounting the cables for the zillionth time, you get a pretty good idea on where to put'em...
Mounting the mainboard is a dream, thanks to two features from Lian-Li. The first is found on several cases today; pulling out the back wall in order to mount the mainboard outside. The other feature is not quite as frequent, a snap-on connection cable for the LEDs and switches. How many can honestly say they've never shed a tear standing with two sore hands, ten way too large fingers, trying to connect the HDD Led to the two tiny pins at the bottom of the mainboard, only to realize it's the wrong way after turning on the power? Well, Lian-Li has the answer:
See the cable coming out on the left? That's all the connectors for the leds and switches. In the end of that cable, there's a sort of ISO connector, fitting nice in the plug inside the cabinet, and voila: all done...:) Notice also the 80x80 fan just upside the CPU. Nice.
When completing the job, I noticed som slack in the side panel. One might not expect that from a $200 case, but it's easily fixed. Just squeeze the small clamps inside the panel a bit (easily done by hand), and the slack is gone. (see picture)
If you use a standard Intel CPU (generates less heat than the T-Birds), go for a quiet CPU-fan, and turn the two front fans down to "Low", you'll have yourself one quiet computer...
Conclusion: The PC60 case from Lian-Li is a beautiful case. The aluminum chassis beats the standard off-white crap by miles. The four 5,25" and three 3,5" external bays combined with the 5 internal 3,5" bays is sufficient for most of us, and the optional four USB-ports in front is a bonus. I'd prefer a bigger case myself. It gets a bit crowded inside, especially if you're combining IDE Raid with SCSI. Three IDE cables, two scsi-cables, a floppy cable and 8 power-cables creates quite a mess. In fact, I didn't even bother to try... The u2w-disk and zip-drive were never connected. So if you have a lot of drives, you might want to take a look at the PC70 instead. If not, the PC60 will do just fine. Now if only the pricetag had been more tempting...
The Lian-Li PC60 can be ordered from Valberg Data
Thanks to Valberg Data for providing the case for this review.