Lian Li Aluminium Modular Cube Case

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The ultimate enthusiast case? – Joe

SUMMARY: The ultimate enthusiast case?

LL

Size: 460mm/18.1″ cube; 18 5¼” Bays; Pic courtesy of Microplex

The good guys at Microplex Norge were nice enough to send a sample of their Lian Li Aluminium Modular Cube Case to check out. This case is made by Lian Li to Microplex’s specs. Let me say at the outset that this is the LARGEST shipment I have ever received – after unpacking, this is what was included:

All

What arrived at my door was a package larger than the typical dorm fridge! The interior volume is almost 3½ cubic feet – enough space to house any conceivable PC/cooling configuration I can think of – especially for aggressive water cooling. Think of two mid-tower cases side by side and you get an idea of the size.

Obviously this case needs a host of accessory products to make it fly – the 18 5¼” bays show the server lineage of this case. To accommodate 3½” hard drives, radiators, etc, you must purchase separate components to mix amd match to you needs.

Outside Views

The front center panel includes the usual On/Off, reset and activity LEDs:

Case Top Front

The bottom features firewire, two USB and audio ports:

Front Bottom

One option is for a window for the case’s side:

Side Window

The back shows the venting possibilities – three 120mm fans, two 80mm and space for a power supply:

Case Back

Top Plates

There is a removable top plate for this case

Top

that is held in place with 12 screws. Once removed there is a radiator plate option:

Top Rad Plate

A clear plate option:

Top Clear Plate

and a plate for another two 120mm fans:

Top Fan Plate

Lots of flexibility!

Case Interior

The interior is all space – the front left with 9 5¼” bays:

Case Inside Left

The back with the usual mobo slots, one 120mm fan and two 80mm fan ports:

Case Left back

The other side – an additional 9 5¼” bays:

Case Right Front

The back with two 120mm ports and space for the power supply:

Case Right Back

Filters

With all these fans, there is an option to add filters to the case front:

Filter Cover
Filter Back

Floppy Drive Tray

Floppies require a separate drive cage:

Drive Converter Tray

Each adapter fits into one 5¼” bay:

Drive Converter Tray Back
Hard Drive Cages

Hard drives are housed in cages – this one is for mounting hard drives at the REAR of the case:

HD Cage
HD Cage Back

This one with an integrated for front mounting – the whole unit slips into three 5¼” bays:

HD Cage + Fan

This cage holds four drives – if you were to populate the front just with hard drives, you could house 24 of them.

The fan features a good size filter:

HD Cage Side

A view from the rear shows the cooling potential for those hot 10,000 rpm drives:

HD Cage + Fan

Note also that the drives are mounted with rubber grommets to reduct noise and vibration:

HD Grommets

Power Supply

There is also a filter for the power supply:

PS Filter

In addition there is a plate that allows fitting two power supplies:

PS x 2
PS x 2 Back

Great for redundancy.

Blanks, Brackets and Bezels

There are a host of miscellaneous fittings – blanks for ports not used:

Blanks

Brackets to mount a radiator inside the case:

Rad Brackets

and various bezels to finish the case:

Bezels

Radiator Installation

The Lian Li is large enough to easily accommodate a 3 x 120 mm fan size radiator. I installed the radiator with the fans on the radiator, as opposed to installing the fans in the case itself. I did it this way to avoid any problems with masking off the voids between the case and radiator to make it air-tight.

There are radiator brackets available for the Lian Li which install at the radiator’s top…

Pic

and bottom:

Pic

The easiest way I found to do this is install the base bracket first, then slip the radiator in place, figure out where the top bracket will line up, remove the radiator and install the top bracket – there is enough play in the front mounting slots so that you don’t have to have a precise initial fit.

Pic

With the top bracket in place and secure, mount the radiator in place using the screws that hold the fan to the radiator. Once secured in place, then slip in screw in place the front screens:

Pic

These screens accommodate a fan, but in this case it was not necessary. By mounting the fans on the radiator, they are also further back into the case and will be quieter than directly mounted to the front screens. For extreme cooling, it certainly is possible to mount an additional radiator at the top of the case.

CONCLUSIONS

The fit and finish of this case is top rate – no sharp edges to cut your fingers. The interior volume is big enough to accommodate two motherboards, assuming some enterprising soul did the right mods. As is, this case can easily hold a large 3 x 120 mm fan radiator easily for watercooling and all associated gear no problem. The accessories available are well built and will blend in to the case’s black finish nicely.

Overall, the Lian Li is a case that can meet just about any cooling solution you might want to install, with accessories to make it very pleasing to the eye.

Email Joe

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Discussion
  1. No problem, I just started the discussion thread. It's an old article from '06 by Joe... A lot of people wouldn't want a big cube case like this, but I know a few people who have them and like them. Lots of room for water cooling stuff and hard drives. With that amount of space, you can do different things like use squirrel cage blowers or other more custom stuff too. I'd say it would be most attractive to people wanting an extreme amount of flexibility... It would be hard to run out of space, regardless of what you may plan to do with a case like this.
    I really don't understand what this case could offer that other cases don't, other than... overkill. It's certainly not visually appealing, the last thing I want is a giant cube sitting next to my desk, at least the tower only adds a slight bit of horizontal real estate. And even water cooling enthusiasts can fit massive setups in full towers, I'm just not sure what all the extra space could even be used for effectively.

    Sorry imog, I don't mean to like, tear at your post, it's definitely interesting, I just don't see any productive use to it?
    man_utd
    Only first page works, what about the rest of the article?


    There is only one page, not multiple! This article has underwent various conversions due to site upgrades over the past few years, so anything that was previously multi-page is now a single page.

    By the way, the discussion of this article was created automatically when I fixed some of the HTML which pointed to other pages that no longer exist.