Hardware Lian Li PC-A04 Preview

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 16 Feb 2011.

  1. arcticstoat

    arcticstoat New Member

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  2. jrs77

    jrs77 theorycrafting

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    I like those minimalistic cases, but I can't stand the buttons and ports being ontop of the case. The HDD-bays are nice, with the possibility to remove the middle one allowing for long graphics cards.

    Aluminum, if it's as thin as in this case is another thing I don't like too much. Either go with proper 2mm thick sheets of aluminum or if that would make the case too expensive then simply use 0.8mm steel. These flimsy aluminum-sheets are just crap.
     
  3. Mankz

    Mankz 5318008

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    I like it, but why not do it AO5 style with the PSU at the front and make it even smaller!

    Any who really needs that many HDD bays?
     
  4. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    You have the measurement comparison with the R3 wrong (third paragraph).

    The R3 is 207.40 (W) x 440 (H) x 521.2mm (D) - without feet
    The PC-A04 is 188 (W) x 386 (H) x 460mm (D) - going by the Lian Li website this includes the case feet (this could be wrong though).

    The R2/R3 is 455mm high with feet so the Lian Li is significantly smaller.

    Edit: £86.99 @ SpecialTech and £76.98 @ OCUK.
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2011
  5. arcticstoat

    arcticstoat New Member

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    Thanks, I've added pricing to the last page, and put the dimensions the right way round.
     
  6. Volund

    Volund Am I supposed to care?

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    mATX fileserver build?

    otherwise, completely agreed
     
  7. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    I agree with jrs77; either make it out of decent-thickness aluminium, or don't make it out of aluminium. It's a computer case - its purpose is to protect components, not be protected...
     
  8. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    Personally despite the size advantage I can't see any point in this case over the Define R3.
     
  9. Adnoctum

    Adnoctum Kill_All_Humans

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    Purchased one of these a month ago, couldn't be happier.

    Last year I went to a LAN event among friends. It was 40oC with no air conditioning. Poor little Sugo just wasn't up to the task of cooling a 65w CPU and 4870. The case was often too hot to touch, but the system soldiered on without a peep pushing out all the frames required of it. I was so proud!
    On a side note: I was quite ashamed at the piles of friend-owned crap I was confronted with at this event. Quite good systems were presented in el Cheapo-brand cases (not a hanging offence) powered by no-brand Chinese PSUs (firing squad at the ready!). And one attendee wondered why his system mysteriously wouldn't boot. Perhaps it was the GTX260 hanging off the Molex to PCIe adapters?

    During my current upgrade urge I was on the lookout for a mATX sized case with decent cooling. I liked the NZXT Vulcan (due in no small measure to the handle) but it was EOL when I ordered it. My only other option was a cheap Coolermaster or this. No contest.

    It is incredibly light, almost shockingly so. However to my mind it doesn't seem flimsy, and has been lugged around without issue. After struggling with my main system's Stacker 830, I like it.

    It has the PSU at the bottom, which helps with tower stability on all surfaces and in busy areas.

    It can take my HD6950 without issues, and with the drive cage/s rotated it allows the front 120mm fans to blow over components without the cages being in the way. In fact, I take issue with the article's comments regarding the lack of side/rear fans. The front 120mm fans and the top blower fan creates a positive pressure air flow that I think would be hindered by a side fan, and a rear fan would be of little use.

    I agree that a modular PSU has been helpful, but I think this is true of any small case.

    It's stylish, it's quiet, it isn't too expensive (considering the cost of the components we stuff into it), it cools brilliantly and it can take decent sized HSFs on CPUs and GPUs.
    I'm starting to wonder why my main system needs to be ATX given it has a GPU, a sound card and two HDDs in it.
     
  10. HourBeforeDawn

    HourBeforeDawn a.k.a KazeModz

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    is me or Lian Li cases even if they are not all that practical seems to just always look gorgeous.
     
  11. robbiek01

    robbiek01 New Member

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    You will also have to buy a Hoover to keep the dust and durt out of them top usb ports
     
  12. Bindibadgi

    Bindibadgi Tired. Forever tired.

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    In honesty I did NOT expect it to be that low! Colour me impressed. I searched for the A04 all week - didn't find either online. Typical luck :/

    Adnoctum - Please re-read! I only said it was a bad thing if you use ALL the hard drive racks. If you remove the top rack and use the front fan to directly cool the graphics card it gives the same effect, which is what I did for the GTX 580 :) Also - you describe any typical LAN event with "PC Gaming" idiots who don't know the first thing about actual "PC Hardware". MASSIVE GRAPHICS CARD, then cheap and shitty mobo, case, PSU etc This is why us PC enthusiasts are clearly better :cooldude: :D:D

    PureSilver - then it ends up the same weight as steel and costs 5x as much: look at older Zalman cases! 5mm alu weighs a LOT and there's no point to it. It's still a soft metal - it'll still scratch more easily than steel. Alu advantage is that it feels nicer and clearly looks nicer brushed.
     
  13. TAG

    TAG New Member

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    I'm looking for a NAS box for 12+ drives and I like this, it's so compact!
    Looks like I could even add another cage between the PSU and the existing bottom cage if I used a Micro PS3 PSU.

    What I don't like:
    - the HDD cages are pretty inconvenient
    - It doesn't look like the front I/O were given much thought. Dumped in the top panel, this one would be prone to scratching.
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2011
  14. Bindibadgi

    Bindibadgi Tired. Forever tired.

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    TAG: You can fit 3 more drives in the 5.25in bays, that'll take you up to 10.

    OR, remove the drive bays altogether and make your own, customised one? :dremel:
     
  15. TAG

    TAG New Member

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    Yeah, one could fit quite a few drives in there!
    I find the Fractal Design cases more elegant though
    The Define Mini and Arc mini would be pretty good solutions, cable management is a lot better in these as well. I can't find them anywhere though, not even in Sweden :(
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2011
  16. Bindibadgi

    Bindibadgi Tired. Forever tired.

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    I never even knew about the Define mini! Interesting. Appears better individual mounting racks, but does it have any space for cable tidy behind the mobo tray? Overall I prefer the Lian honestly - more flexible.

    Addendum to the article: In taking apart the A04 today I realised that you can in fact put the 4x HDD rack in the base. I have updated the article accordingly.

    Also, not mentioned in the article - the top panel is removable by four screws as well.
     
  17. TAG

    TAG New Member

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    Cable management on the mini appears to be the same as on the R3, it's actually 3mm wider than the R3 so I doubt we'd be loosing space behind the motherboard. It also sports the corsair style grommets.

    I've seen the top panel on some Fractal design cases can be pretty flimsy, I'm not sure If they use the same thickness for side panels, but it could be a bit of an issue in terms of perceived quality and durability when compared to the lian-li.
     
  18. Bindibadgi

    Bindibadgi Tired. Forever tired.

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    Aluminium needs to be thin to make it worthwhile otherwise it loses its weight advantages and costs increase hugely. You can't really compare a steel painted case with brushed alu in thickness sense. Alu is always a soft metal so will dent respectively easier than steel, but it won't rust at all (which is more important in non-UK environments - certainly here in TW!) which means it'll last indefinitely if treated well, and it's much better than the painted layer at resisting scratches.
     
  19. Fractal Design

    Fractal Design New Member

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    Richard: There is plenty of space behind the M/B tray in the Define MIni, much more than in R3.

    TAG: The Define MIni is actually of thicker steel than R3, and the top panel will not be perceived as flimsy.
     
  20. Bindibadgi

    Bindibadgi Tired. Forever tired.

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    Good to know! :thumb:

    Do the UK guys have a Define mini to test?
     
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