Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The outside of the PC-100 is clad in black aluminum with a brushed finish to adorn the chassis exterior. The front of the chassis protrudes quite a bit from the frame of the chassis and is mostly drilled with small holes for a way to get airflow through the panel. Since the rear I/O is now behind the front of the chassis, there is an added door on the left side of the front bezel to allow access to said panel. The side panels are just expanses of black, brushed, aluminum without any window or ventilation options added to either side. The rear of the chassis offers a place for the PSU and has a pair of 140mm fans installed here to get a good flow of air into the chassis. The rear as well as the interior components are left in their natural state, but are still brushed for a cleaner appearance.
Once your eyes adjust to the layout of the interior and your brain catches up and makes sense of what you are looking at, the layout seems simple enough to build inside of. There is a pair of 5.25" bays at the top of the chassis and they sit in front of where the PSU installs in the top of the rear of the PC-100. There is also plenty of room for wiring and a removable top, to keep everything tidy. The motherboard tray can hold E-ATX, XL-ATX, ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards and offers eight expansion slots. To mount hard drives, there aren't any "cages" in the traditional sense. In the PC-100, it is the first time I am seeing this design. A two piece system that has been riveted together which allows you to hang a mixture of up to six 3.5" drives, six 2.5" drives or any combination of them. For 2.5" drives there are also two locations on the floor for them to be installed.
There are some limitations to that hard drive layout when it comes to the maximum space left inside the chassis. The 220mm of PSU length is a standard, as is the 1654mm of CPU cooler clearance, but when it comes to the 400mm of lengthy for GPU's, it all depends on how many drives are installed in the system. Drives can be hung both inside and outside of the hard drive bay that goes at the end of the video cards. If you have drives on the inside of this bay, they will block the room where the longer graphics card is supposed to go, just something to keep in mind.
The PC-100 is fresh to the scene, but even so I was still able to locate a few places on this side of the pond currently with stock of this chassis. Low and behold, the company I give most of my spare money to has the best deal right now on the PC-100. At $179.99 from Newegg.com, the pricing is pretty steep for most of those in the mid-tower market. I will say this much for the Lian Li PC-100, you have yet to see another chassis designed like this and likely won't by another manufacturer either. Exclusivity comes at a price, this is something that is just known about PC components and Lian Li's chassis is no exception to that rule.
So let's get down to it and see what $180 in the new PC-100 mid-tower chassis offers.