Wednesday, 24 February 2010 12:18

Review: Lian Li PC-Q07B mini-ITX case

The mini-ITX motherboard has made it possible for anyone who so wishes, to have a neat small form-factor PC, instead of the monstrously oversized desktop or tower cases that are the norm.

And the PC-Q07 cases from Lian Li - which appear to be aimed at those needing a little media server  and accommodate these little boards - are second to none when it comes to looks. Internally, however, it could do with a few improvements.

The case measures 193 mm (length) by 208 mm (width) by 280 mm (height). It is made of aluminium and weighs around 1.1 kg. It can take a 5.25 drive; if that is not used then one is supposed to be able to fit in both a 3.5" and a 2.5" HDD. (manual)

There is no PSU in the case, one has to buy a stock standard ATX supply. The manufacturer's site indicates that the case is available in six colours, four on special order; the one I got was black.
Lian Li PC-07B mini-ITX case
The case has two USB ports on the front and the on-off and reset switches are designed very neatly. It has provision for one add-on PCI card. The side panels are removable and the screws that hold them on couldn't be more unobtrusive; as I said, when it comes to looks, this is Miranda Kerr.

Internally, however, there are a few problems. The case offers a cage at the bottom for a 3.5" drive; one has to use four screws with rubber washers - to avoid vibration - and then slide it in. No screwdriver needed.

The fact that the 2.5" drive sits directly on the floor of the case doesn't exactly offer one much comfort (pic below). And you need pretty nimble fingers to attach the SATA cables to the 2.5" drive after it is fitted on the case.

There are other annoyances too. The manufacturer has provided six screws for securing the motherboard and a 2.5" drive. One needs eight.

Where do these additional screws come from? If you are a geek and have a thousand of them lying around, it is of no import. But what about Joe Bloggs?

Given that mini-ITX boards do not have IDE connectors or FDD connectors, it would have been a much better idea for Lian Li to make a power supply for the box - and even sell it separately if they wanted to increase their profit margins.

Using a standard supply just clogs up the entire box as there are wires hanging all over the place. One cannot use anything more than two SATA devices so all the connectors hanging off the standard PSU are a waste.

The case has provision for a CPU fan that is up to 70mm high. There is plenty of ventilation for passive cooling. It cost me $106.70, inclusive of freight from Sydney to Melbourne.

Lian Li
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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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