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Lian Li PC-100 "The Hammer" Mid-Tower Chassis Review

By: Chad Sebring | Mid-Tower Cases in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 15, 2012 7:03 am
TweakTown Rating: 82%Manufacturer: Lian Li

Final Thoughts

 

What at first really confused my eyes as they tried to make heads and tails of this design eventually lead to a clean build with an unusual layout that almost totally won me over, except for one downfall in the design that I found with my specific setup.

 

The amount of heat generated from the GPU and exhausting out of the front of the chassis, had a tendency to get drawn back into the chassis from the intake fan just above them. During the testing of the system the issue didn't rear its head, it was only after I ran some 3D applications and monitored the temperatures that I saw the increase to the results I was seeing without the GPUs involved in the equation. While the fans are near silent and don't pack a ton of CFM, it is important to me that the supply is not pre-warmed before the fans draw it into the chassis. I also mentioned that you may need to consider buying longer cables for the video signal, possibly audio and USB as well depending on where this chassis sits along with the arrangement of the rest of your I/O devices.

 

Aside from the minor quirks I found in the PC-100, the layout is different, access to the rear I/O is the easiest I have seen in any case design and let's be honest, it just looks cool. I like a lot of the features inside of the chassis as well. Things like the drive rack and the support bars for both drives and GPUs is a mix of something we have seen and something completely new. The amount of room left inside of the chassis with this drive arrangement is unheard of inside of a mid-tower. It isn't very often that I say this about a Lian Li chassis, but with a dual 140mm radiator and a few blocks and misc. parts, this chassis would be really awesome with custom water cooling inside of it. In that aspect, the issues of reintroducing that GPU heat from the front of the chassis is no longer a consideration to have to ponder.

 

The toughest part I have about what to do with the PC-100 is that fundamentally, the GPU heat should have been something they were finding in the development stages. So for me to recommend this to air cooling builder, especially for the amount of money involved, it's really hard to do. Plus we haven't even added in the cost of longer cables or extension cables if they end up being required for your build.

 

Now if you are looking for something unique and possibly want to add some of your own modifications, including a water loop, then by all means, go for it. The PC-100 is cool enough on its own to almost overlook the airflow issue, but in the end, to fully get behind this chassis, I think the price needs to come down about $30 or so first.

 

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