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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Sunday, 23 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Lancool First Knight PC-K63 Computer Case
Closer Look: PC-K63 Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Closer Look: PC-K63 Interior
Detailed Interior Features
System Build and Testing
Lancool PC-K63 Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Lancool PC-K63 Final Thoughts

It seems as though it is hard for case manufacturers to strike the balance between looks and features. For every case there is a whole bunch of people that will call it ugly and there is an equal amount of people that find it attractive, after that we can decide if it has decent features or not. The problem with the Lancool PC-K63 PC case is that it is pretty much a unanimous decision that the looks are not all that appealing, with exception to good old Rodney Reynolds who thinks that the exterior styling is quite nice and of course gave the PC-K63 a kickass rating that it rightly deserves for its features, but not necessarily it's looks.

The Lancool PC-K63 is a weird design but the looks really can grow on you, initial impressions are wiped aside by its exceptional build quality and its innovations and features. The case was an absolute pleasure to work with and the installation of my hardware went ahead without a hitch. There are many quotes I could write here, like "beauty is only skin deep" and "don't judge a book by its cover" but at the end of the day it is you that has to look at the case your hardware is in, and looks really are important.

Lancool_PC-K63_Computer_Case_Box.jpg

Lancool PC-K63 Conclusion

In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the Lancool PC-K63 PC case a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that it is better or worse than a similar PC case that has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score. It is however a good indicator of whether the PC case is good or not. I would strongly urge you to read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.

Performance is really good, the thermal design and high airflow intake keeps temperatures in check and sound levels down. Installation was a breeze, the PC-K63 is an absolute pleasure to work with.

Appearance is where the PC-K63 is going to lose some points, mainly because of the the styling of the front plastic shroud but also because the side window follows and emphasises that curve on the 'head'. If you can battle past this you will really appreciate the interior styling of the PC-K63 that almost makes up for where the exterior lacks. You are of course entitled to your own decision at the end of the day

Construction is where the Lancool PC-K63 really shines, it really is very well put together and the interior is very well thought out. I have nothing bad to say about the construction, even the plastic is made well.

Functionality also sings in favour of the Lancool PC-K63 PC case. Never before have I had a case with so many good features, the only tool free solution that I think was slightly lacking was the 5.25" drive locking mechanism. With that said though it serves its purpose and my optical drive has yet to fall out on its own, so it's not without a use. The PSU clamp, the PCI clamps, the tool free HDD cage and mounting solution and the cable routing solutions are really good innovations and really make the PC-K63 a very good case indeed.

The Lancool PC-K63 has an MSRP of $128 (VAT not included) and I think that is a lot to ask for this case. Even more so when you consider that the PC-K62 is available at Newegg right now for a cool $99. Ok the PC-K62 doesn't have all of the features of the PC-K63 but it looks a shed load better and that counts for a lot.

The Lancool is not the best looking case in the world but once you get past that it is a real brute of a case feature wise, it would be a crime not to recommend this case for all of it's features, but at the same time looks really count for a lot and are the downfall of this case.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval

+ Watercooling friendly
+ Quality tool free innovations
+ Cable routing is excellent
+ Build quality is excellent
+ Airflow is very good
+ Very quiet operation
+ All intake fans have removable filters
+ Big side window to show off your hardware
+ Space for four 2.5" drives, possibly six
+ Painted interior
+ Bottom mounted PSU
+ USB 3.0 on front panel
+ Room for big hardware
+ Hard drive mounting is exceptional

Cons:

- Looks do not do this case any favours
- No external 3.5" bay
- No hot swap
- 5.25" tool free solution feels flimsy

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 7.00
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 8.70 out of 10.

Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.

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Comments 

 
# RE: Lancool First Knight PC-K63 Computer CaseRobert17 2011-01-24 03:21
Good review. Comparing/contrasting with Nate Swetland's review of the Zalman Z9 of Jan.20th, the feature-rich set of these middies really stands out. The battle to win the enthusiasts is reaching a remarkably high level. And in short time. It seems that only in the past five years have cases improved rapidly and dramatically. Beige reigned supreme for far too long.

I studied many reviews and did some tinkering with my top picks over the last 6-8 months, finally settling on an NZXT Phantom black; picked it up locally for $99 on sale. It appears that all the case manufacturers are up to the task of providing excellent "bang for the buck". The future of cases looks bright indeed.
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# Functionrealneil 2011-01-24 07:12
This case isn't so beautiful as you say, but it does have a nice set of features (as you say) inside of it and I can see where it would be a pleasure to build with. The true downside to this case is the price. There are just too many other cases out there that provide excellent cooling, while looking better, and cost far less than this does. The easy to work with interior features don't warrant such a cost.
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# Inside win, outside lose.Enigma 2011-01-24 09:37
The wire channel... Genius. The removable drive bays.. Nice. The inner quality. Great.

Outside. The pompadore look went out in the 1950s.. Well. How can I describe this.. Have you ever seen a baby that was so ugly that you couldn't look at it for more that a second at a time and you felt like telling the mother the truth but the mother is LIAN LI. The whole front is loser..All the way. I do like the controls and the indented usb panel that is nice but not enough..One E Sata.. One USB3 and one USB2.. are those things that expensive to manufacture. You should have concidered a CoolerMaster style drive bay inside that front Cancerous bump to fill the void you put in the front of that case.

You know if I had an aging Lancool that was scratched and broken on the inside I might consider buying this and putting my old top and front on it.

I will be really surprised if they sell many of these.. remember the Menatour.
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# RE: Lancool First Knight PC-K63 Computer CaseNate Swetland 2011-01-24 09:43
I really like that cable management channel, a lot. I couldn't quite tell, are all the fans 3pin power with a molex adapter, or do some have only molex? Do the PCI or 5.25" covers snap off? If so, can you re-attach them? That is one of my biggest gripes with cases anymore, snap-off parts. I also don't like the I/O panel to be on the top, I prefer the front.

It's too bad this case is not very pleasing on the eyes, because it looks like it has a couple of great features like the removable HDD cage and wire management.

Nice review!
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# RE: RE: Lancool First Knight PC-K63 Computer CaseSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-01-24 12:10
All of the fans are 3 pin and have a molex power adapter, a little bit of an oversight from my end, sorry. The PCI and 5.25" covers do not snap off, I would have definitely made a point of that if they did because I hate them too.

Thanks Nate and everyone else for the postive comments.
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# Really nice reviewEd Hume 2011-01-24 19:39
I love how you explore this case with the water coolers in mind.

I also love how you reported the distances, including the distance behind the mb tray. Thanks for that.

I think that Lian Li have built a thoughtful case. Two 140mm fans up front is a great idea, especially if you ditch the junk that Lian Li usually put in their cases and replace them with blue LED Yate Loon D14SL-124B's.

Another fine feature is the pair of 140mm fan positions at the top with no grills. My preferred arrangement is to block off the rear position and use the forward top position as an intake, to feed fresh air to the heatsink. People who have tried this get 3 - 5c better cpu temps than using the top fans as exhaust.

Thanks again for the fine review. It's an excellent introduction to what looks to be a fine case.
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# Great reviewfinnr 2011-01-29 21:23
I actually like this case. I have a Lian Li PC-A03 and I would upgrade to the K63 any time. It looks very spacious and great airflow.
I like the simple design of Lian Li and the aluminium look, and I never really liked the usual gamer cases (Antec, Cooler Master etc.). The curves on the K63 look great. I am bored with square cases :)
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# come on guys...Enigma 2011-01-29 22:40
Are you getting paid to say that this is a nice looking case.. It's a Lian Li. A pedigree. It's not proper for a Lian Li Mate with a Raid Max or any other Riff raff. It is an ugly Case. It is not a design element that I would continue unless you like eating your inventory.
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# RE: come on guys...Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-01-30 04:57
It also wasn't right for Lian Li to mate a PC case with a snail but they did it anyway.... search google images for "Lian Li PC777" and you will see what I mean.
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# Steven..Enigma 2011-01-30 18:21
I know which one you are talking about ... at least that is a Classic design.. The next one will look like a 57 Chevy with pushbutton automatic I guess.. Get it Right Lian Li.. KISS.. Keep It Simple Stupid.
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# K-63 Vs Nzxt PhantomViv 2011-02-19 03:34
Was looking at getting Phantom, based on positive reviews (here & elsewhere). I originally looked at K-62 but then realised it could only take 4 HDD's.
Question to original reviewer: Taking aesthetics and appearance out of the equation, which one is better?
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# RE: K-63 Vs Nzxt PhantomSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-02-19 04:16
It's really difficult to answer that question because I haven't had my hands on a Phantom but I can say the Phantom looks like it is really functional and has lots of room to play with. Unfortunatel you will have to make that choice for youreslf.
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# About Watercooling @ Lancool PC-k63WanKu Goranov 2011-03-21 07:52
Hi ,
very very interesting review .. full with information & details .. excellent work !!!
My question is .. how thick 280mm radioator can be installed at the top ?! There is very little information @ web about this case (Lancool site is also very very poor on information)
If there is no room for appropriate radiator @ top .. i think the only other way , is modifying the bottom , but dust-filters+thick radiator+2pull 140mm fans .. i think .. the CFM will decrease a lot.. and the radiator can not be chilled appropriately .
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# RE: About Watercooling @ Lancool PC-k63Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-03-21 13:11
If I were to install a rad in this case it would be on top (under the plastic shroud) as there is only 25mm gap above the mobo on the inside, there is a nice 40mm gap under the top plastic shroud. Hope this helps.
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# thnxWanKu Goranov 2011-03-26 15:06
thnx mate :) very usefull info :)
So í'm busy in the summer , eventuelly my build will start Oct-Nov , so if nothing new is commin' out , i guess my choice will be Haf-X .. hopefully the price will be a lil bit lower.. now it's about 160 Euro in my country Bulgaria :)
After your review , i was inlove with this Knight-Case , but 40mm radiator doesnt suits me , i would use smthg lika XSPC or Phobye thicker radiotors (about 60mm) .. So thnx again !! This info was very usefull , because there is nothing so concrete as numbers about this case currently online . You first revelead the truth :))
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# Found My CaseOli DIYer 2011-04-11 00:53
Good evaluation, Steven. I just ordered one after dropped an order on Antec 902 V3. K63 looks just like my old Nokia 8850 cell phone. So the front pancel is acceptable to me. The shape of the side window is worse. Lian Li should allow owner to swap the top/front panels to the K62.

I've been looking for cases with features:
- Multiple quiet big fans (at least 4), with easily detachable filters.
- Top fan(s) must not block the big CPU-cooler. Outside-mount is better and safe. I've heard someone's top fan broke and fell down and could hit the CPU.
- USB3.0 & Esata at front.
- Side window so I can measure different area temperatures from outside.
- Good wire management, or side window will make my PC look even uglier.
- Black inside out, or side window is not needed.
- 2.5" SSD mount (at least 2).
- Can fit an 11.5" long graphic card.
Around the same price, can anyone suggest other similar cases like this?
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# Closer LookOli DIYer 2011-04-18 20:16
I've read your review again, word by word, after I assembled my K63.
- Great observation on mounting six 2.5" HDD, with two unside down. If you haven't said so, no one would ever know.
- In your testing, the CPU hot air flows from front to back, then taken out by the 12" rear case fan, because the two CPU fans are oriented horizontally. I wonder that If you orient the CPU fans vertically upward, would the two 14" top case fans do a better job in taking out the heat.
- The clip-hinge for easy cards installation is a good idea, but not practical. First, most of the hinges can not hang on at top after fully lifted up. They simply drop back down by gravity. I had to use Scotch tape to hold them in order to free both my hands. Secondly, the device is bulky and the open gap after a full lift is only 18mm high. I had a hard time to squeeze in my 3-slot wide, 11" long graphics card. I can either take the top 3.5" rack out, or better yet, take the whole clip-hinge device off, for an easier insertion. Either way, the purpose of the hinge device is invalidated.
Still, it is a well-designed high quality case.
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# RE: Lancool First Knight PC-K63 Computer CaseSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-04-19 13:19
Thank you, Oli. I'm glad my review helped you.

The Zalman CPU cooler it a heatpipe tower cooler, so in this orientation it is in its best theoretical position as the fluid in the hat pipe needs somewhere to rise to. Many of Olin's CPU comparison articles on this website have pointed this out. The best thing you could do is a little bit of experimentation of you own, it's all part of the experience. :)

As for your observations with the expansion slot hinges, I feel what you are saying but I myself didn't find it to be a problem. What sort of a monster video card do you have that uses 3 slots? Sounds like a beast lol.
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# RE: Lancool First Knight PC-K63 Computer CaseOli DIYer 2011-04-26 00:35
I have two monsters in my case, the first one is Noctua NH-D14, with 2 fans like the Zalman's. Fluid flow in the heat pipe is another new knowledge I learned from you. I did ask Noctua tech support about the fans orientation. The response is pretty much like yours. Currently I let them sit vertically, so the lower fan can help suck out some heat from the backplane of the VGA card, and let the two case fans do the rest job. Without applying thermal paste, and running Crysis 2 at stock speed, the i7-2600k is kept under 67C.

The second monster is the Asus GTX570 DCII, which occupies 3 slots of the Sabertooth P67 mobo, and wastes me 2 PCI expansion slots. The trade-off is that I get a very quiet and cool card for overclocking.
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# RE: Lancool First Knight PC-K63 Computer CaseJason 2011-12-05 22:57
I really don't think this case is ugly. Actually I like the curvy shape but it does look a tad top heavy but so what. I actually like the idea of placing the LEDs on top so it glows on the MB because if any part is ugly it would be the LEDs showing throught the front of the case.
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