|Lian Li PC-B25B Black Aluminum Mid-Tower ATX Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 23 October 2007|
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Detailed Exterior Features
Lian Li usually maintains design focus around interior system cooling, but this PC-B25B black aluminum mid-tower ATX case strays a little into the waters of silent computing. As we dig into the detailed exterior features, expect discover a moderate blend of function, fashion, and convenience built into Lian Li's premium case.
One convenience item is the front bezel door hinge configuration. By default the hinge is located on the left-hand side, allowing for a clockwise opening. With very minor adjustment, the door can be fitted to open counter-clockwise with a right-hand hinge. The wiring for the front illuminated circle can be run through to the other side, too. Additionally, Lian Li has fit the PC-B25B with locks on both sides of the door; allowing you to lock-down the system regardless of the doors direction, or double-lock both for added protection.
Lian Li designed the PC-B25B black aluminum mid-tower ATX case with a few refinement twists. Unlike most cases, which often use an intake port at the underside of the front bezel, the PC-A58 series keeps the intake air coming from the front grill. Some of you might be thinking that this is no big deal, which would be somewhat correct, but what the design really does is allow less lint and dust into the system chassis. If you set your computer on the floor, it's the first four inches of air that carries the most debris from the ground.
One convenience to having the I/O port on the right side of the case is that anything plugged into one of these ports will be less likely to cause an obstruction. I remember when Lian Li included this I/O panel at the top of their PC-B20A, I knew I would never use them and simply never connected the cables.
At the rear of the PC-B25B Black Aluminum Mid-Tower ATX Case is the power supply mounting plate. Lian Li has included this component in nearly all of their chassis designs for some time now. While it may add some level of convenience for the tiny number of users who swap out power supply units often (like me), I still feel the PSU mounting plate is a bit unnecessary.
After all, this plate essentially replaces four screws with another four thumbscrews. With Lian Li's design, you still have to screw the PSU to the mounting plate, and use thumb-screws to mount the plate to the chassis. In the long run, you could just have easily used thumbscrews to mount the PSU to the chassis; I do it all of the time on other cases because it's more convenient and saves a step during installation. I think that if I was a price-conscious consumer, I would certainly prefer that Lian Li leave the PSU mounting area alone and instead reduce product cost by streamlining production.
Conversely, Lian Li made a great choice when it joined the function of double-wall panels with the fashion of a raised square design. These side panels make a difference in the noise level, and add a very unique shape to the PC-B25B side panels when everyone else offers flat. I removed more than a dozen screws and still I could not separate the two parts, but I was able to see inside and learn that the inner cavity is hollow (no additional sound dampening material).
At first glance you might not even notice one the newest features from Lian Li, introduced in this PC-B25B Lian Li PC-B25B black aluminum mid-tower ATX case. Look closely at the expansion card filler blanks, and you see that they offer excellent ventilation. Previously I have only seen this in the set included with the Arctic Cooling Silencer products, and have reused them on every case because of the additional cooling performance they offer.
To the right of the expansion card slots, there is a ventilation grill for any one of the three the add-on patent cooling slot kits. The BS-03 kit came with the PC-B20A Aluminum ATX Case, but it doesnt come with the PC-B25B.
Lian Li has decided to use the premium circular screw-in pad with a round foam rubber cushion at each corner of the PC-B25B. Additionally, there are four screws which are exposed from the underside of the chassis used for the drive cage. These four screws allow you to alter the direction of the hard drive cage; which is discussed more into the next section covering the interior features.