|Lian Li PC-T60 PitStop ATX Test Bench Chassis|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Thursday, 24 June 2010|
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Closer Look: Lian Li PC-T60
The PITSTOP PC-T60 is delivered unassembled: you receive a box of aluminum pieces. Given the style of the case, the only accessories in the box are a few bags of screws and some self-adhesive rubber feet, along with an instruction sheet showing how to assemble the case. The instruction sheet is printed in small text and the accompanying illustrations are small and somewhat fuzzy. There are dozens of screws that sometimes vary only slightly (there are otherwise identical screws whose only difference is 1mm in length) and this can complicate things: several times I had to disassemble parts I had assembled either incorrectly or with the wrong screws. Still, assembly isn't difficult and took only 20 minutes or so.
Since the PC-T60 is a "test bench" open-air chassis, the distinction between the interior and exterior vanishes. In effect, it's all interior. The basic layout is simple: two horizontal plates supported by two vertical side plates. The bottom horizontal plate contains the power supply and 3.5" hard drive cage. THe top horizontal plate is the motherboard tray, with the motherboard and card slot backplane on top, while mounts for 5.25" and 2.5" devices are suspended from the bottom of the tray. Power and reset buttons are at the left front of the motherboard tray; the power button also houses the power LED (blue) while the smaller reset button contains the hard drive activity LED (red). In either case the entire button glows with the color of the LED. At the right are cutouts for an optional I/O panel with E-SATA, USB 3.0, and microphone and speaker connections.
The hard drive cage holds three 3.5" drives in vibration-isolating rubber mounts. Lian Li supplies thumbscrews to secure the drives in the cage. Removing the two thumbscrews visible at the lower front of the cage allows it to be slid out of the chassis.
The motherboard tray has a large cutout under the CPU area to make installing CPU coolers easier (but you'll probably need to remove the motherboard tray from the rest of the chassis to access the bottom), and although Lian Li says it's only for motherboards up to ATX size, there was plenty of room for the ASUS Rampage II Extreme, which is longer front-to-back than the ATX standard. It will not, however, accomodate XL-ATX motherboards like the 345mm-wide EVGA X58 Classified 4-Way SLI. Lian Li uses normal standoffs and mounting screws to secure the motherboard, rather than the plastic pegs and rubber pads used by some other test-bench style cases. Screw holes at the front of the motherboard tray are for an optional dual-120mm fan bracket.
The motherboard is secured to the vertical supports by two thumbscrews on each side. This makes removal of the motherboard tray a matter of moments (but remember you'll need to disconnect some cables). There are a total of four mounting holes in each side of the motherboard tray, allowing the tray to be mounted in three different positions. I found that the standard position (shown in the photo below) places a lot of weight at the back of the case, making it somewhat "tippy" towards the rear, especially with video cables and the like connected. Moving the board forwards (i.e. using the rearmost two mounting holes) resulted in a much more stable configuration, although it places the CPU cooler directly under the handle at the top of the case. Large CPU coolers would be problematic here.
The power supply mounts on standoffs for ventilation room and secures at the back of the lower panel with four screws, just as in a "normal" case. Lian Li provides rubber strips for the standoffs to absorb any vibrations from the power supply. A 5.25" device mount is directly above the power supply.
Follow me to the next page as I continue to examine this unique case product.