|Lian-Li Armorsuit PC-P50R Dragon Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Tuesday, 25 May 2010|
Page 9 of 9
Lian Li Armorsuit PC-P50R Conclusion
Performance in a PC gaming or enthusiast chassis is mostly about cooling, and the noise that usually occurs to achieve it. The Lian Li PC-P50R really surprised me with its cooling capability. I never would have guessed that, with a full load of Crysis on the GPU and CPU, it would run cooler than another capable gaming case that had three 200mm fans running at 100%. The larger fans on the other case were quieter, but not silent. Overall, the sound from the case fans on the PC-P50R was about equal to that generated by the installed CPU cooler and video card. The extra noise is not a deal breaker for me, but without any built-in speed controls, you will notice it. There is a lot of open area for air to pass through on this chassis, and most of these areas have filters built in, which are easy to access and remove for cleaning.
The appearance of this special AMD version of the PC-P50 is fantastic, IMHO. I love the effect of the red anodizing on the interior, and Lian Li has taken full advantage of this lightweight material to make a stunning fashion statement. The dragon motif on the windowed side panel is whimsical, rather than fearful, and totally unique to this product. The full red lighting treatment via four very bright red LED fans adds back a bit of menace to the overall look once the system is fired up. The only possible negative I need to mention is the blue backlighting of the power switch, it just doesn't fit in very well among all the other red lighting accents.
Construction has always been a strong suit at Lian Li and the Armorsuit PC-P50R is no exception. There might be one or two equals in the PC chassis business, but there are none better. Some may take exception with the rigidity and/or ruggedness of this case, comparing it to prior Lian Li efforts, but low weight was a design priority. You have to accept that a 6.6 kg mid tower case isn't going to have the same rock-solid feel as an 8 kg case. It wasn't flimsy, by any stretch of the imagination, but you can tell the difference. Just to put it in perspective, the last gaming case I reviewed was steel, and it weighed 10.6 kg. I appreciate the lightness!
Functionality is also a strong suit for this Lian Li chassis. The flexible mounting of the combined front fan mount and HDD cage means this is one of the few cases that will easily handle an HD 5970 video card. The case also accepts oversized power supplies and holds them in place firmly with a wide toggle clamp and raised support rails. The expansion card clamps are a marvel of design and execution. Easy to use and very secure once locked in place, they are one of the highlights of this, and other recent Lian Li cases. Cable management is good for a case this size, and there is just enough room behind the motherboard tray to run or store cables. I would have liked some additional tie down points on the back surface, but I made do. The tool-less mounting for all of the drives is simple and effective, with vibration dampening features, and all three HDD trays have mounting holes for 2.5" drives.
As of late May in 2010, Newegg is selling the LIAN LI ARMORSUIT PC-P50R Red Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case for $199.99. There is really very little competition for this case, as the design is unique, but for a full aluminum case with this feature set, the price is competitive. Lian Li does offer two other versions: a full black model with blue LED fans and a basic side window, and a simpler one without a side window, a clear anodized interior, and basic black fans. This one sells for $50 less, if you like the basic design, but don't want the high fashion model. For me, I like the red interior and the uniqueness of the side window treatment. It's the closest thing to a full custom case-mod version that's available in the normal retail channel.
It should be obvious that I think this is a very nice case. It may not be everybody's idea of an attractive chassis, but I like it and that's all that matters. It looks great, performs better than I expected, is manufactured to a very high standard, and can handle just about any gaming components I can think of, including that extra-long 5970 video card. The cost is not trivial, but the combination of looks, performance, construction, and functionality is hard to beat.
+ Unique style
- Noisier than some large diameter fan alternatives
Final Score: 9.3 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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