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Lian Li PC-A04 Preview

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jrs77 16th February 2011, 17:58 Quote
I like those minimalistic cases, but I can't stand the buttons and ports being ontop of the case. The HDD-bays are nice, with the possibility to remove the middle one allowing for long graphics cards.

Aluminum, if it's as thin as in this case is another thing I don't like too much. Either go with proper 2mm thick sheets of aluminum or if that would make the case too expensive then simply use 0.8mm steel. These flimsy aluminum-sheets are just crap.
Mankz 16th February 2011, 18:02 Quote
I like it, but why not do it AO5 style with the PSU at the front and make it even smaller!

Any who really needs that many HDD bays?
Fingers66 16th February 2011, 18:08 Quote
You have the measurement comparison with the R3 wrong (third paragraph).

The R3 is 207.40 (W) x 440 (H) x 521.2mm (D) - without feet
The PC-A04 is 188 (W) x 386 (H) x 460mm (D) - going by the Lian Li website this includes the case feet (this could be wrong though).

The R2/R3 is 455mm high with feet so the Lian Li is significantly smaller.

Edit: £86.99 @ SpecialTech and £76.98 @ OCUK.
arcticstoat 16th February 2011, 18:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers66
You have the measurement comparison with the R3 wrong (third paragraph).

The R3 is 207.40 (W) x 440 (H) x 521.2mm (D) - without feet
The PC-A04 is 188 (W) x 386 (H) x 460mm (D) - going by the Lian Li website this includes the case feet (this could be wrong though).

The R2/R3 is 455mm high with feet so the Lian Li is significantly smaller.

Edit: £86.99 @ SpecialTech and £76.98 @ OCUK.

Thanks, I've added pricing to the last page, and put the dimensions the right way round.
Volund 16th February 2011, 18:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz
I like it, but why not do it AO5 style with the PSU at the front and make it even smaller!

Any who really needs that many HDD bays?

mATX fileserver build?

otherwise, completely agreed
PureSilver 16th February 2011, 19:31 Quote
I agree with jrs77; either make it out of decent-thickness aluminium, or don't make it out of aluminium. It's a computer case - its purpose is to protect components, not be protected...
xaser04 16th February 2011, 20:07 Quote
Personally despite the size advantage I can't see any point in this case over the Define R3.
Adnoctum 16th February 2011, 20:48 Quote
Purchased one of these a month ago, couldn't be happier.

Last year I went to a LAN event among friends. It was 40oC with no air conditioning. Poor little Sugo just wasn't up to the task of cooling a 65w CPU and 4870. The case was often too hot to touch, but the system soldiered on without a peep pushing out all the frames required of it. I was so proud!
On a side note: I was quite ashamed at the piles of friend-owned crap I was confronted with at this event. Quite good systems were presented in el Cheapo-brand cases (not a hanging offence) powered by no-brand Chinese PSUs (firing squad at the ready!). And one attendee wondered why his system mysteriously wouldn't boot. Perhaps it was the GTX260 hanging off the Molex to PCIe adapters?

During my current upgrade urge I was on the lookout for a mATX sized case with decent cooling. I liked the NZXT Vulcan (due in no small measure to the handle) but it was EOL when I ordered it. My only other option was a cheap Coolermaster or this. No contest.

It is incredibly light, almost shockingly so. However to my mind it doesn't seem flimsy, and has been lugged around without issue. After struggling with my main system's Stacker 830, I like it.

It has the PSU at the bottom, which helps with tower stability on all surfaces and in busy areas.

It can take my HD6950 without issues, and with the drive cage/s rotated it allows the front 120mm fans to blow over components without the cages being in the way. In fact, I take issue with the article's comments regarding the lack of side/rear fans. The front 120mm fans and the top blower fan creates a positive pressure air flow that I think would be hindered by a side fan, and a rear fan would be of little use.

I agree that a modular PSU has been helpful, but I think this is true of any small case.

It's stylish, it's quiet, it isn't too expensive (considering the cost of the components we stuff into it), it cools brilliantly and it can take decent sized HSFs on CPUs and GPUs.
I'm starting to wonder why my main system needs to be ATX given it has a GPU, a sound card and two HDDs in it.
HourBeforeDawn 16th February 2011, 20:57 Quote
is me or Lian Li cases even if they are not all that practical seems to just always look gorgeous.
robbiek01 17th February 2011, 00:20 Quote
You will also have to buy a Hoover to keep the dust and durt out of them top usb ports
Bindibadgi 17th February 2011, 04:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fingers66
You have the measurement comparison with the R3 wrong (third paragraph).

The R3 is 207.40 (W) x 440 (H) x 521.2mm (D) - without feet
The PC-A04 is 188 (W) x 386 (H) x 460mm (D) - going by the Lian Li website this includes the case feet (this could be wrong though).

The R2/R3 is 455mm high with feet so the Lian Li is significantly smaller.

Edit: £86.99 @ SpecialTech and £76.98 @ OCUK.

In honesty I did NOT expect it to be that low! Colour me impressed. I searched for the A04 all week - didn't find either online. Typical luck :/

Adnoctum - Please re-read! I only said it was a bad thing if you use ALL the hard drive racks. If you remove the top rack and use the front fan to directly cool the graphics card it gives the same effect, which is what I did for the GTX 580 :) Also - you describe any typical LAN event with "PC Gaming" idiots who don't know the first thing about actual "PC Hardware". MASSIVE GRAPHICS CARD, then cheap and shitty mobo, case, PSU etc This is why us PC enthusiasts are clearly better B) :D:D

PureSilver - then it ends up the same weight as steel and costs 5x as much: look at older Zalman cases! 5mm alu weighs a LOT and there's no point to it. It's still a soft metal - it'll still scratch more easily than steel. Alu advantage is that it feels nicer and clearly looks nicer brushed.
TAG 17th February 2011, 08:24 Quote
I'm looking for a NAS box for 12+ drives and I like this, it's so compact!
Looks like I could even add another cage between the PSU and the existing bottom cage if I used a Micro PS3 PSU.

What I don't like:
- the HDD cages are pretty inconvenient
- It doesn't look like the front I/O were given much thought. Dumped in the top panel, this one would be prone to scratching.
Bindibadgi 17th February 2011, 08:27 Quote
TAG: You can fit 3 more drives in the 5.25in bays, that'll take you up to 10.

OR, remove the drive bays altogether and make your own, customised one?
TAG 17th February 2011, 08:31 Quote
Yeah, one could fit quite a few drives in there!
I find the Fractal Design cases more elegant though
The Define Mini and Arc mini would be pretty good solutions, cable management is a lot better in these as well. I can't find them anywhere though, not even in Sweden :(
Bindibadgi 17th February 2011, 09:20 Quote
I never even knew about the Define mini! Interesting. Appears better individual mounting racks, but does it have any space for cable tidy behind the mobo tray? Overall I prefer the Lian honestly - more flexible.

Addendum to the article: In taking apart the A04 today I realised that you can in fact put the 4x HDD rack in the base. I have updated the article accordingly.

Also, not mentioned in the article - the top panel is removable by four screws as well.
TAG 17th February 2011, 09:26 Quote
Cable management on the mini appears to be the same as on the R3, it's actually 3mm wider than the R3 so I doubt we'd be loosing space behind the motherboard. It also sports the corsair style grommets.

I've seen the top panel on some Fractal design cases can be pretty flimsy, I'm not sure If they use the same thickness for side panels, but it could be a bit of an issue in terms of perceived quality and durability when compared to the lian-li.
Bindibadgi 17th February 2011, 09:41 Quote
Aluminium needs to be thin to make it worthwhile otherwise it loses its weight advantages and costs increase hugely. You can't really compare a steel painted case with brushed alu in thickness sense. Alu is always a soft metal so will dent respectively easier than steel, but it won't rust at all (which is more important in non-UK environments - certainly here in TW!) which means it'll last indefinitely if treated well, and it's much better than the painted layer at resisting scratches.
Fractal Design 17th February 2011, 09:55 Quote
Richard: There is plenty of space behind the M/B tray in the Define MIni, much more than in R3.

TAG: The Define MIni is actually of thicker steel than R3, and the top panel will not be perceived as flimsy.
Bindibadgi 17th February 2011, 10:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fractal Design
Richard: There is plenty of space behind the M/B tray in the Define MIni, much more than in R3.

TAG: The Define MIni is actually of thicker steel than R3, and the top panel will not be perceived as flimsy.

Good to know! ;)

Do the UK guys have a Define mini to test?
[USRF]Obiwan 17th February 2011, 10:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
but it won't rust at all (which is more important in non-UK environments - certainly here in TW!) which means it'll last indefinitely if treated well, and it's much better than the painted layer at resisting scratches.

Lame excuse...

Iron reacts with the oxygen of the air and forms oxides of iron or rust. It happens readily but you do not see it readily with naked eyes. It takes some time for the rust to be thick enough. (like the brown formation we know of as rust) Rust formation slows down because the initial layer prevents the oxygen and iron from getting in contact and reacting. With a good painted case (and most of them are galvanized) however it would take several years before any signs of 'rust' would be noticeable and even ages before your case collapses because of rust, unless you have your case outside in the monsoon 24/7 (I would worry about the hardware inside it more) the case would be fine.
TAG 17th February 2011, 10:20 Quote
It's so nice to have 1st hand feedback from manufacturers in here! Thanks Fractal :)

When are the new cases (Arc series, Define mini and Core 3000) expected to hit the shelves?
The bit-tech Arc preview said "Expected on sale in mid-January, 2011" but I still don't see it anywhere, nor the mini cases.

PS: the news section on the fractal-design website really should have timestamps.
Bindibadgi 17th February 2011, 10:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
Lame excuse...

Iron reacts with the oxygen of the air and forms oxides of iron or rust. It happens readily but you do not see it readily with naked eyes. It takes some time for the rust to be thick enough. (like the brown formation we know of as rust) Rust formation slows down because the initial layer prevents the oxygen and iron from getting in contact and reacting. With a good painted case (and most of them are galvanized) however it would take several years before any signs of 'rust' would be noticeable and even ages before your case collapses because of rust, unless you have your case outside in the monsoon 24/7 (I would worry about the hardware inside it more) the case would be fine.

Actually iron reacts with oxygen in the contact of water. It won't rust in a dry environment.

You've never lived in a humid country then? Rust accelerates here - all my keyrings and bare steel stuff I brought with me front the UK have rusted a lot in just 10 months. Anything touched by hands goes even faster: all my PCI brackets have visible spots of rust on them.

It may not collapse due to rust, but it looks bad. I think you over estimate how many companies would waste money on galvanising when they just spray them grey.
Fractal Design 17th February 2011, 12:38 Quote
TAG: They will all be in UK in April. I'm not sure why we told BT mid Jan for Arc, that was wrong.
TAG 17th February 2011, 12:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fractal Design
TAG: They will all be in UK in April. I'm not sure why we told BT mid Jan for Arc, that was wrong.

Can't wait ! :D
chrismarkham1982 18th February 2011, 11:49 Quote
hhhhhmmmmmmmmm......just bought a silvertone tj08, while im happy wit it i wish id waited, another tenner could have had me this case
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