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Written by Servando Silva   
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Lian-Li PC-Q08B Aluminum Mini Tower PC Case
Closer Look: PC-Q08 Exterior
PC-Q08 Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: PC-Q08 Interior
PC-Q08 Detailed Interior Features
Building a Mini Tower System
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Mini Tower Final Thoughts

It's been a pleasure to build a system into the PC-Q08 Aluminum case. For the first time, I feel like my mini-ITX system will have enough space and will be enough ventilated even at overclocked conditions. That's something you can't have with other mini-ITX cases, and it's something to thank for. However, there are some minor things I'd like to note before jumping to the conclusions. There was a little problem with my sample, and I'm not sure if it's particularly related to this chassis or if all of them are being shipped like that. My problem actually was related to the PSU installation. It was very difficult to make the PSU bracket match its holes after installing the PSU. I tried both orientations without success, and my PSU got scratched in the process. Since this is a non-expensive PSU, I don't care that much, but if it were my 800+ watts super-expensive PSU, I would be very mad at Lian-Li's engineers.

My second problem was explained before, where I got USB male adapters instead of female adapters, and so I finished with non-functional frontal USB ports. I think that's all I can complain about, because everything else was a comfortable experience. Right now, I'll probably left my HTPC inside the PC-Q08, because it feels very solid and well ventilated. My CPU temperatures varied between 25 degrees (idle) and up to 40 degrees at full load. I was concerned about the GPU, but temperatures remained below 70 degrees all the time.

Lian-Li_PCQ08B_On.jpg

Lian-Li PC-Q08B Conclusion

The performance of the Lian-Li PC-Q08 is very good. From all the ITX cases I've tested up to this date (December 2010), this one has got the best features like 7 drive bays, full 300mm GPU compatibility and 2 big fans to improve ventilation. If there was something to complain about, it has been already said in the final thoughts section. The PC-Q08 actually had better GPU temperatures than my big Corsair Obsidian 700D full-tower case, thanks to its 140mm front fan and all the holes to increase at the bottom.

Appearance is a very subjective matter. If you like simple and elegant cases, this one is for you. You wouldn't notice the PC-Q08 if it wasn't just because of the LED fan and the LEDs at the power/reset buttons. The rubber feet look good and keep the case in its place. I can't complain about not having a side panel window because the PSU stands right there, covering all the motherboard and making a side panel window un-useful.

Lian-Li's quality is one of the best. I always love to say: you haven't tried a high-quality case until you've tried Lian-Li. The brushed aluminum, the rounded edges, and the overall look are just impressive. Back in the days of 2005, I'd have taken a Lian-Li over any other case. Luckily, for all us buyers and PC enthusiasts there are many other high-quality cases nowadays, but Lian-Li keeps their name high with super-quality products.

Functionality is something you'll thank in this mini case. It's got some unique features you don't see in other ITX cases. First of all, it has space for a 300mm GPU. You can also install six 3.5" drives and a 2.5" drive. It supports standard ATX PS/2 PSUs and it's got very decent ventilation for a mini-ITX system. Compared to other mini-ITX cases, I think the PC-Q08 is a real winner

Available from NewEgg for $119.99 in Black, Silver, and Red, this is an expensive computer case for an ITX system. Other cases cost between $50-$90 USD, but they don't offer the same quality or performance. Given the features included with the product, I think you couldn't expect a lower price at the moment. If you really want to build a powerful HTPC, this case is right for your needs, especially because of the 300mm GPU support. Except for the little bugs explained across the final thoughts, I find this case very interesting, and it's a great choice to build your new HTPC. I'd like to watch it lowering its price to somewhere around $100-$110 USD though.

Pros:goldentachaward.png

+ Elegant and sleek design for great aesthetics
+ LED fan and buttons to give it a nice touch in the night
+ Room for six 3.5" SSDs/HDDs and a 2.5" drive
+ Excellent build quality and quiet 140mm/120mm fans included
+ 300mm GPU compatibility
+ Side panel works as motherboard tray
+ Full ATX PS/2 PSU support
+ Removable hard drive cages to increase space and improve airflow
+ Holes in all the panels to improve air-flow and exhaust heat
+ High-Quality feet to avoid undesired movement
+ Light and easy to carry for LANs

Cons:

- PSU installation is a little bit difficult
- PSU location limits CPU-heat-sink's size
- Price is a little high against other ITX cases
- No side windowed panel
- USB adapters didn't work (particular case for this sample)

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.25
  • Construction: 9.75
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 7.50

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

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Comments 

 
# Lian Li have missed the pointShakey 2010-12-22 02:46
The case is simply too big for Mini-ITX. I don't see the point in paying a premium for Mini-ITX components only to drop them into a box about the same size as a Micro-ATX.

Don't get me wrong, it's great that the modding community started the whole trend of cramming desktop-level components into Mini-ITX builds and now manufacturers are catering to this niche market, but to focus your product range entirely on this?

The Q07 was too big because of the full-sized PSU and optical drive (yet could only fit a single-slot graphics card, so what's the point in a full-sized PSU). Now the Q08 is even bigger, and the Q11 is about the same size.

Oh and it being Lian Li the price is too much - the Q08 on its own is only about £15 less then a Sugo SG05-450, and that comes with a 450W 80Plus Bronze PSU (which is powerful enough to run any graphics card that can actually fit inside).

Silverstone got it right with the SG05/06 and event though the SG07 is pushing it a bit, it's still an obviously Mini-ITX case and about the right size.
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# Need more pics?cbeijer 2010-12-22 14:04
Nice review...but it seems as if a few pics are missing. Where is the pic where the full system is installed, eg PSU and GPU? Also it would be nice to see if/how the bigger GPUs/PSUs fit in the case.
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# RE: Need more pics?Servando Silva 2010-12-22 19:02
Thanks cbeijer.
The GPU goes right below the PSU, so imagine the GTX 460 I showed in the picture with the PSU installed. And as long as the GPU measures 300mm long or less, it will be able to be installed.
I mentioned larger PSUs might have problems with the HDD cage at the middle, but you can remove it and still install 2 x 3.5" HDDs. I don't think many people will install a 1000 watts super-large PSU on this chassis. A 600 watts PSU should be fine for any GPU.
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