One way that Lian Li was able to achieve the aggressive price point with the quality of material and fit and finish we have seen thus far is to offer some less common features as ala carte options. Lian Li provides the Lancool and everything you have seen up to this point for the $89.99 price point, but some additional items can further enhance your build while adding to the cost.
Here are the prices for each Optional item:
- Lancool II 1X (Vertical GPU Kit) $49.99
- Lancool II 2X (Side Diffused LED Strip) $11.99
- Lancool II 3X (Hot-swappable Back Plate) $14.99
- Lancool II 4X (3.1 Type-C Cable) $11.99
- GB-001 (Anti-sag Bracket) $7.99
The vertical GPU bracket we did not receive but the others we did and will image them below.
First up is the hot-swappable backplane PCB. This is made to attach to the bottom HDD cage and gives you hot-swap drive capabilities without the need to unplug or replug cables to swap one of the three drives. Another cool part of this solution is that it includes plastic plates that transfer LED lighting to the front of the tray, allowing it to light up when a drive is powered and even flicker with activity.
Here we have most of the parts sans PCB that would be used to install the backplane. The backplane, while it serves up to three HDD's Lian Li, only includes two SATA data cables, which means you will need to use one from your motherboard for the third port. That I will admit is a bit weird when the PCB is an accessory item made to service three ports. The three plastic pieces with red strips are the plastic which transfers the LED light form the PCB to the front of the HDD tray. The red strips on the plastic are the cover for the adhesive.
Here we have the HDD/SSD connector side of the PCB. These are merely pass-through ports and do not contain any logic, which could cause issues with drive recognition or performance, which is a good thing. To the other side adjacent to the connector, there are SMD LEDs that will fire when a drive is installed and another, which will fire when the drive is accessed.
Here we have the rear side of the PCB, which houses two SATA power connectors, which is more than enough for three drives. And then, there are three termination points for SATA cables to connect. Now you see why we were understandably confused to see only two SATA cables in the kit.
Next up is the GB-001, which is a very crude but effective way to offset GPU sag. Many manufacturers have taken to large brackets and even poles that span from top to bottom of the chassis, with a finger to support the GPU. Lian Li went with a much more subtle and hidden approach by attaching metal strapping to two of the motherboard standoffs and using metal ninety-degree brackets to support GPU's while remaining out of sight.
This is everything in the package. Yes, you might be able to make this yourself out of parts from a hardware store, but for exacting fitment, I think it's worth the eight bucks for this. The great part is, this is not case-specific, so you could buy this for most cases as long as threads match and apply it to your rig.
Now we have something purely for aesthetic, and it's the side lighting strip. This strip can be applied to light the gap below the glass panel between the side flip-down plate and the PSU top tray.
This one is straightforward, as it only has the LED strip and the instructions. The LED strip is a 3-pin ARGB header and can plug into a spare port on the Lian Li chassis, which is left open to expand upon the existing controller or can run directly to the motherboard. If you have the port on the motherboard, it is best to have the internal RGB controller connected to the motherboard then connect this side strip to the internal controller to ensure the front and side are synchronized.
Here you can see a sneak peek of the accessory strip illuminated in our final build.
If you were going to get one accessory, this is likely the one I would recommend, especially if you have a newer motherboard with the internal USB 3.2 Gen 2 header. This fills the hole in the front panel and adds a fully capable Type-C port to the Lancool II.
The installation is minimally invasive with the top I/O needing to come out, which is four screws. Then there are six more screws to remove the I/O PCB so that the Type-C can be added and fixed to the PCB with the included screw. Then it's merely a matter of routing the cable with the rest of the front I/O cables.
Last updated: Nov 21, 2019 at 10:57 am CST