|Lian Li PC-A58B Mid-Tower Case: Non-Production Release|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 29 October 2007|
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Detailed Exterior Features
Lian Li has always made cooling one of their key design strengths in every product they make. In past reviews I have seen very sophisticated fan duct system or cowl channels, but in the PC-A58B the aspect of cooling is kept very simple. At the top of the black aluminum alloy mid-tower ATX case is a single 80mm sleeve bearing fan colored in black plastic.
There are no LED's to illuminate this fan, which is really nice in my opinion because a laser light show beaming from the top of the computer would be a little distracting. On the other hand, this design effectively ruins my ability to stack paperwork on top of the computer.
The underside of the PC-A58B is comprised of the aluminum-alloy chassis finished with four black hard-rubber feet at each corner. While they are enough to meet necessity, they are far from anything special. Essentially, they fit the purpose and nothing more, which is all that is ever really needed of these components.
Additionally, there are four screws which are exposed from the underside of the chassis. These four screws allow you to alter the direction of the hard drive cage; which is the focus of the next section.
Lian Li designed the PC-A58B with a few refined 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 that first inch of air that carries the most debris from the ground.
At the rear of the PC-A58B black aluminum alloy 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 users who swap out power supply units often (like me), I still feel it is a bit unnecessary.
Wouldn't it be just as easy to use the same exact thumb-screws to fasten the PSU onto the rear of a one-piece chassis? I do it all of the time on other cases, so I know it works; and it is exactly as convenient, if not more so. 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. I think that if I was a price-conscious consumer, than I certainly would prefer that Lian Li leave the PSU mounting area alone and instead shave off some of the product cost.
At first glance you might not even notice the biggest change in the Lian Li PC-A58 series. Then, once you realize that there is no place for a rear cooling fan, you realize the change: the power supply is rotated 90° and it has been moved close to the service side door.
So what does this mean to you? Well, chances are good that if you are looking at this case for your system that you probably don't use liquid-cooling or some other expensive aftermarket setup. But even if you just use an aftermarket CPU cooler it could mean that your cooler may not fit since the PSU would limit the rise from the motherboard to less than four inches. High-rise coolers like the Ultra ULT33186 Chilltec TEC CPU Cooler are a no-go, but most other low-rise solutions should be fine. Our recently reviewed Thermaltake MaxOrb CL-P0369 CPU Cooler was able to fit, but it was very tight and only advisable with the fan set to lower speeds.