The Bottom Line
- + The mesh front allows for good airflow
- + Three included aRGB fans, two 140mm and one 120mm
- + The price point is fantastic for what you get
- + Ample water cooling support
- - PCI slots have dividers, making any vertical GPU mounting options require modding
- - The dust filter should have been integrated as front intake instead of top exhaust
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
So here we are with yet another Lian Li case, the Lancool 205 Mesh C, which was provided by Micro Center - many thanks to them. Anyways, the Lancool 205 Mech C looks strikingly familiar to the Montech Sky Two I literally just reviewed.
Spec-wise, the Lancool 205 Mesh C has pretty much the standard offering a compact ATX style case would be. There is support for two 280mm radiators depending on GPU length and three included aRGB fans, two of which are of the 140mm variety.
The Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh C pricing comes in at an aggressive price point of $100 for the black model. However, this is an in-store-only version for Micro Center.
The box that the Lancool 205 Mesh C ships in the standard brown cardboard with pictures and the Lian Li logo and name.
And a blown-out image of the Lancool 205 Mesh C.
One side of the packaging shows some specifications of the Lancool 205 Mesh C.
The other side notates the model "LANCOOL 205 MESH CX" in black.
Pulling the Lancool 205 Mesh C from its cardboard box shows the standard packing. Two foam top and bottom pieces with a plastic bag to protect the case from any shipping damage.
Outside the Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh C
Taking off all the shipping materials, the Lancool 205 Mesh C stands with a good high-end look with the two included 140mm aRGB fans clearly visible.
Looking more at the front panel, the mesh is fine enough to catch dust but not impede airflow. The bottom section of the front panel is completely blocked off. Maybe this was done to better direct the airflow towards the main chamber.
The backside, where all the input cabling would be, is clean and simple, with removable PCIe brackets. Also, there is the sliding PCIe bracket retention mechanism that doesn't need to be there.
The underside has four nicely rubber-dampened feet, along with a chintzy PSU filter, which Lian Li is not known for.
Moving to the front I/O, located on the top section of the Lancool 205 Mesh C. We note a single USB Type-C connection, separated microphone and headphone 3.5mm jacks, two Type-A USB 3.0 ports, Color and Mode buttons, and a small rectangular power button.
The roof of the Lancool 205 Mesh C shows a mesh dust filter with support for up to a 280mm radiator or two 140mm fans.
Inside the Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh C
Looking inside, the Lancool 205 Mesh C is pretty wide open. It even has room for an RTX 3090 FE. One thing I did notice right away was the exclusion of any rubber grommets. Such a simple thing that could have been implemented would have cleaned up any cable mess.
The two included aRGB 140mm PWM front fans, which do not have a model number, spin at 1200 RPM. A 280mm radiator is also supported in the front. A single 120mm aRGB fan is also included and pre-installed at the rear.
The PWM/aRGB controller that controls the two included aRGB 140mm fans in the front, as well as the 120mm PWM aRGB fan in the rear, which spins at 1500 RPM.
The backside has the makings for decent cable management. Behind the motherboard tray are two 2.5" SSD/HDD mounts. In the basement towards the front are mounts for two more 3.5" HDDs or two 2.5" HDD/SSDs.
Remember the roof? Well, the Lancool 205 Mesh C does have a trick up its sleeve. This fan/radiator bracket is slid in with four pegs that help align the bracket into perfect placement, which is held in position by a single screw. Up to a 280mm radiator or two 140mm fans are supported.
Another view of the front intake, with two of the included 140mm aRGB fans, which are remarkably quiet.
Lian Li includes a manual, the screw tackle box, and some radiator offset mounting brackets, just in case your motherboard VRM heatsinks get in the way.
If you choose to use the offset brackets, placement is only intended on the front as per the instructions included.
Test System, Installation, and Finished Product
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS PRO (INTEL Z690) - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i5 12600K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: be quiet! Pure Loop 280mm - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: Patriot Viper Venom DDR5 5600 RGB - Buy from Amazon
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA RTX 3090 Founders Edition - Buy from Amazon
- Storage: Corsair MP600 PRO XT Gen4 PCIe x4 NVMe M.2 SSD - Buy from Amazon
- Case: Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh C - Buy from Micro Center
- Software: AIDA64 Engineer 6.32.5600, and CPU-z 1.94.0 x64
- Power Supply: Maingear Ignition 1000w Platinum - Buy from Micro Center
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
- Software: AIDA64 Engineer 6.32.5600, and CPU-z 1.94.0 x64
The build went pretty well, for the most part. The only real snag I ran into was mounting the 280mm AIO in the roof with the provided bracket.
The issue was that the CPU EPS plugs run right into the very bottom of the fan next to the motherboard VRMs. Thankfully Lian Li used Phillips screws, about 14 of them, to secure the roof to the rest of the frame. I was then able to remove the roof to install the 280mm AIO from above, which was a very tight fit.
The system runs quietly, and the aRGB implementation is very nicely done, though not as nice as some of Lian Li's Uni fans, but nice nonetheless. Aesthetically, the Lancool Mesh 205 C looks the part while providing good airflow.
Removing the steel black back panel, which is fairly basic, reveals the cable management. The result is good but not great, with no real defined path for the main cable raceway, so I made it behind the bar with the Lian Li name stamped in the center.
Now, onto temperature testing, which is done with the CPU and GPU fully loaded up via Aida64 Extreme's System Stability Test for about 20 minutes. The Lancool Mesh 205 C did a fantastic job keeping the test hardware cool. Running an Intel Core i5 12600K, hopefully a Core i7 13700K soon, idled around 26C, with an ambient temperature of 18C. Loading up the 16 threaded Alder Lake CPU reached a maximum temperature of 74C, which is pretty awesome.
The test GPU, the NVIDIA RTX 3090 FE, hopefully a RTX 4090 soon, also did fantastic in idle temps and load temps, 31C idle with just a hair above 71C loaded.
I also want to take a second to thank Micro Center for sending not only the Lian Li Lancool 205 Mesh C but they also sent along the Maingear Ignition 1000W Platinum-rated PSU. However, I will not be reviewing the Ignition 1000w PSU since it is a few years old, but FSP is the OEM for this particular unit, so it should be solid for years to come.
A couple of things I noticed while building was that there needed to be a way to mount a GPU vertically. Even the PCI slots are not open at all and would require modding if these were desired by the end user.
The second thing, while nice to include, is having a dust filter on the roof. Most of the time, the roof is designated for exhaust, just like how I built it. The filter should have been installed or integrated into the front intake for better dust management.
I bashed on the Lancool Mesh 205 C a bit, and for all intents and purposes, it's a decent case to build in. The price point that Micro Center has it for, $90, is a steal for a tempered glass case with aRGB three fans.