Lian Li PC-7 Plus Aluminum case
Posted by: Rack on: 29.01.2006 01:00:00 [ Print | 0 comment(s) ]
Removing the case from the box and it’s accompanying foam and plastic, I was pleased to revealed a very nice case. The build quality is excellent, and the only part of the unit not brushed aluminium is the graphite-like strip along the top of the front.
Both sides are free of unnecessary clutter, but also useful things like handles for removing the side panel. Of course most people don’t open their computers every day like I tend to… Even the drive-bay fillers are made of aluminium and blend in flawlessly.
The fan grill at the front is in fact perfectly machined holes in the aluminium.
The buttons are also aluminium – no plastic here. They are also firm with a reassuring click when used. Nothing but class so far.
The I/O panel at the front is right at the bottom, behind a simple Aluminium door with a catch. There are the most typical I/O options – mic, headphones, 2 x USB and a Firewire. Personally the best I/O position I have seen is either along the side or top corners in a rotating piece – as some times I have the front of a PC in a walkway, I like to keep USB-keys out of traffic. But this solution is handy and nicely done.
At the top there is room for a 92mm fan. Really it is a pity that it could not have been a 120mm slot, as it is a great place for a radiator for a H2O system… as we’ll see later.
The rear of the case does not disappoint either. The PCI-Slot covers are polished chrome, the fan guard is a fin chromed mesh, and the PSU comes with a removable plate for easy installation (more later).
The screws for the side panels are thumbscrews and the others are nicely finished low profile round-headed screws… all the finer details are just right.
I particularly like the look of the fan cover, however it is going to collect dust on the inside (some always gets in) and will not be easy to clean…
Removing the side panel was curiously complicated – I’m used to having a large handle on my case doors, you can tell – you need to take out the thumb-screws, slide backwards, tilt out and then pull up. Replacing is actually more complicated as you have to line the bottom up just right – it’s possible to get it on at the bottom and have it wrong. It’s not a real problem, but I want it to be simple and just work.
Inside, more clean aluminium. All the edges have a plastic cover or have been rolled or are thick enough to have just been sanded smooth. There was no chance of any damage to fingers on this case. There are no crudely riveted bits of steel in this case. All the separate pieces hold together nicely, and are typically one piece of pressed aluminium attached with a couple of those chromed round-head screws. As you can see above, both fans included with this case are the optional blue-LED ones.
The 3 x 3½” internal drive bay unit is easily removed for more floor space in the case, or to make for easier installation of both drives and motherboard. The mechanical design is one that is not going to fail – no levers involved. However the drive mounting is a little too simple, with no vibration dampening for drives – just screw straight in.
The cables for the I/O port are all pre-assembled, but also come with individual pins tied to the main cable. This would be for non-standard headers – I find this highly unlikely for USB or Firewire, but possible for audio.
Included are the standard screws and mounts. More unusual is the screw-driver for the motherboard mounts. Considering most people already have the other screwdrivers for PC installation, this is a useful extra to make sure your motherboard is securely in place.
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