|Lian-Li Armorsuit PC-P50R Dragon Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 25 May 2010|
Page 2 of 9
Closer Look: Exterior
One look at this side of the Lian Li PC-P50R and all most people can say is "Wow!" Gradually, they begin to figure out that it references AMD's Dragon platform, though in a completely different way than AMD does, and their expression changes. Instead of just amazement, they begin to appreciate the unique design on its own merits. I'm not sure exactly which school of art it comes from, but it could only be from the part of the world where Manga literature is such a dominant art form.
The front of the PC-P50R presents a more restrained, classical look, compared to the wild side panel. Nine 5.25" sized drive bay covers take up the majority of the real estate, with red aluminum trim running the full length on either side. All this is surrounded by a brush finished black aluminum frame. The outer frame is easily removed, providing access to the drive bay covers, and the ability to load and unload optical drives and the HDD cage, as well. We'll take a more detailed look at this later. Each of the drive bay covers is perforated and has a mesh filter located behind the front surface. Most of the airflow into the case enters through the front panel. There are small vents on the back of the case and louvers below the PSU, but they are minor contributors to the overall airflow.
The right hand side panel is simple and unadorned. Its main purpose is to provide access to the back side of the motherboard tray when removed and to look nice when it's in place. Like every piece of metalwork on this case, it is perfectly finished and fits precisely.
The rear of the case shows off the red and black color scheme better than any other view, I think. It also offers a preview of the finely detailed craftsmanship that is found on the interior of the case. There are eight expansion slot locations, two pass-thru holes with grommets for liquid cooling lines, one 120mm exhaust fan, with a wire cage finger guard, and standard openings for the PSU and motherboard I/O panel. There's nothing unusual about the elements on the rear panel, their locations, design, or quantity, they're just executed better than the majority of examples on the market. Ever hear the phrase, "Me, But Better"? If you haven't, ask your girlfriend, she knows...
The top surface of the Lian Li PC-P50R is primarily taken up with the grille for the two 140mm fans, serving to exhaust heated air from the case. Just like the front, the top panel is easily removed, for cleaning or access to the fans. The top-mounted fans both run at 1000 RPM and have four bright red LEDs integrated into their clear frame. The electrical connection to the LEDs is combined with the fan connection, so it isn't possible to turn the LEDs on or off independently. This is true for all the case fans, and it's a bright little box when they're all lit up. Having the lights controlled separately introduces a lot of additional wiring and increases the difficulty of good cable management, so I'm happy with the trade-off here.
The fans themselves are mounted directly to the case, and remain in place when the top panel is removed. This is much more convenient that having them mounted to the removable panel. They are mounted with rubber grommets for vibration isolation; all the case fans are mounted in this way. It's entirely possible that someone could modify the case to install a top-mounted radiator here, but the chassis is not designed with standard mounting points for a water cooling setup. Most radiators are based on 120mm fan dimensions, and there are only mounting locations supplied for the two 140mm fans.
We've seen all the major overall features now, let's focus in on a few of the exterior details in the next section.