Lancool First Knight PC-K63 Case Review

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Today we’re looking at the Lancool First Knight PC-K63. Lancool is the steel series of cases produced by Lian Li. On paper it looks to be an air cooled dream, as it boasts two 140mm LED front fans, two 140mm top-mounted fans and a 120mm LED rear-mounted fan. One of the major features of this case is the fact that it is considered completely tool-less. All mounting can be performed WITHOUT using a screw driver. Tool-free 5.25 mounting, HDD mounting, PSU mounting and PCI-e mounting, as well as including thumb screws for the motherboard mounting. It sounds promising to me, lets hope the reality is such. The one aspect that I was really intrigued to see was the inclusion of the Lian Li PCI-01 tool-free PCI-e mounting kit. For someone who swaps video cards in and out quite often, this thing has quite the potential. I would love to incorporate one into my benching station…that’s for another time though.

Specifications, Features and Photo Tour

Lancool PC-K63

Specifications for the First Knight K63

Lancool PC-K63 Specs

Lancool PC-K63 Features

Lancool PC-K63 Card Length

OK let’s open this baby up and have a look at her. Not having looked at the case before receiving it for review, I was wonderfully surprised to discover that the inside is pre-painted black. It provides a nice custom-built look that many enthusiast PC builders are looking for these days. Upon closer inspection I couldn’t find a single flaw in the interior finish, high-quality stuff. Exterior:

Sleek front panel housing two massive 140MM fans

Sculpted windowed side panel

Standard rear panel w/ 8 PCIe slots and 2 grommets for water-cooling tubing

Louvered top panel, hiding 2 more 140mm fans

Bottom mounted PSU can be mounted right-side up or upside down

120mm Rear LED fan and water-cooling grommets

The front panel pops of easily revealing the front fan filters

The front fan filters simply un-clip for easy cleaning

The 2 top mount 140mm exhaust fans

Interior:

3x 5.25" External Bays, along with 2x Hard Drive cages each capable of holding 4x 3.5" Hard Drives and 1x 2.5" Drive

Motherboard tray. Features a cutout for installing/removing a heatsink without having to remove the motherboard from the case.

PSU standoffs with rubber pads to isolate vibration.Along with the louvered and filtered bottom panel to feed a hot PSU with nice cool air. Front panel connectors: HD Audio, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, SATA, along with the typical power, reset, and activity light indicators.

Top mounted 140mm exhaust fans.

Tool-less PCIe retention system (locked)

Tool-less PCIe retention system (unlocked)

Interior view of front 140mm LED fans

Highly adjustable drive cages.

Included wire management molding clips

Wire management molding column

Installation

The first thing that I noticed is that they really mean this case will only fit ATX or smaller form factor. When trying to install the latest enthusiast board the Asus Rampage IV Extreme you’re met with a slight problem, it doesn’t fit.  Evidently I didn’t pay attention when Lian Li clearly labeled the box compatible with ATX form factor, oh well it wouldn’t be the first time. The only thing keeping it from fitting though is the placement of the vertical member that houses the wire molding. If it were to move towards the front of the case, even just ¼”, it would drop into place (maybe a consideration for the next revision). So instead a Gigabyte H55M-USB3 is dropped into place; I know that will fit.

Motherboard Installed

Motherboard Installed

The addition of the motherboard thumbscrews is a nice idea, yet in practical application, not so much. If you’re even slightly “large” fingered, you’ll feel like a contortionist/mechanic trying to use them. And in reality once you get them in, you’ll need to torque them down with a screw driver anyway to prevent them from working loose and potentially falling out and shorting something out. If you do attempt to use them the one thing that should be noted, however, is that you cannot use the thumbscrews in the two screw holes that surround the first PCI-e slot. The PCB of the GPU will make contact with them and not allow it to seat into the slot fully, be forewarned.

Troublesome motherboard thumbscrew areas

Troublesome motherboard thumbscrew areas

Once the right screws are in place, everything else is a dream. The PCI-e tool-less holder is everything that I hoped it would be; amazing, it’s very secure and quick. PSU mounting is straight forward and simple. If you chose not to use the tool-less mount you can use the traditional screw mounts in the back. One thing that I noticed, only after the photo shoot, is that the PSU tool-less mount appears to be slightly too tight as it’s bowing the casing of the PSU ever so slightly. This is definitely not enough to have any adverse effects, but worth noting none-the-less.

Tool-less PSU compression mounting.

HD7970 installed and secure with the Tool-lessPCIe mounting system. Plenty of room as well.

Cable management is a dream with the provided wire molding running up the center of the case. The molding has pre-cut exit holes for easy cable exit at the required location. The 5.25 drives drop in with one snap.

Tool-less 5.25" bay retention system. One snap.

Cable management 1

Cable management 2

The only time you would absolutely be required to get out the screw driver, is to mount the rubber mount grommets to your hard drives. You get two types of grommets for use depending on the size of HDD/SSD you’re trying to mount. Once mounted up they slide effortlessly into place.

SSD rubber grommets

SSD's mount in the top of the HDD cages

Drives installed and ready to go.

 

Adjustable HDD racks is something that is very welcome. I like the latitudinal mounting style yet something that I’ve always struggled with are cases that do not pay mind to the proximity of the exterior of the case, and inadvertently put too much pressure on the very crucial connections to your hard drives. I have had connections break and hard drives fail this way. The flexibility of these racks allows for cable routing on the left or right side and plenty of room to spare, big thumbs up to that. Also worth noting is the addition of slide locks on the HD cages. Just slide your drives in and lock them into place, with a single thumb screw. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Drive cage position 1.Useful when wiring drives from theclosed panel side.

Drive cage position 2.Useful when wiring drives from thewindowed side, for frequent drive swappers.

Drive cage slide-lock open

Drive cage slide-lock closed

Drives cage installed for right side wiring

Once the top cage is in place the SSDis quite hidden

Rubber mounted fans and HDD’s is an excellent way to reduce vibration noise, and it is very effective. You can hear nothing more than a low hum from the very large intake and exhaust fans. I heard no unwanted vibration what-so-ever. The LED lights add all the bling that any modern PC Gamer craves. Once the build is complete. Fire it up and turn out the lights.

Blue glow 1

Blue glow 2

Final thoughts

The massive air flow this case provides will keep any setup in optimal air conditions (along with easy access front filters). The tool-less mounting of virtually everything and the built-in wire management are a good recipe for keeping your components safe from the dreaded screwdriver death and keeping the air flow path clear for a nice long life. Adjustable hard drive mounting is a top notch addition. Aside from the few slight snafus with the thumbscrews for the motherboard, this case was virtually perfect. It easily earns the Overclockers.com seal of Approval.

Pros:

  • Tool-less everything
  • Black interior
  • Locking drive cages (novelty yet cool)
  • Great air cooling potential (WC ready)
  • Adjustable HD cages
  • Easy filter cleaning

Cons:

  • Tool-less holder PSU slightly too tight
  • Motherboard thumbscrews will not work around GPU
  • Just shy of EATX form factor. If there is one thing I would change in the construction of this case, I would allow EATX. Move the wire molding rail towards the front of the case to incorporate larger enthusiast motherboards.  It will fit an HD7970 easily, yet it will not fit the latest and greatest motherboards. There is plenty of room to slide it forward to expand the market for this case. Just do it Lian Li!

Editor’s Note: For those interested, this product is available for $99.99 at Newegg.

nzaneb

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Discussion
  1. Great review nzaneb!
    Did they not include shorter thumbscrews for the mounting holes next to the PCIe bracket? That's surprising if so...they did with the two Lian Li cases I reviewed previously. Fail on their part if they stopped that.
    Good looking case though, glad you liked it. :thup:
    Thanks guys. Yes Hokie they did include the two sizes of thumb screws. Changing to the shorter thumbscrews solved the problem in the middle of the board, but not towards the rear panel, I had to switch to the standard flat screws. It could possibly be HD 7970 specific?
    That's strange. I'm physically using the short ones under a 7970 on my RIVE right now. Glad they included them though; it would be a shame if they didn't any longer. It should work for the majority of users. They are on my benching station too in the same position and none of my cards have hit it.
    Not sure about that motherboard thumbscrews thing.. I've built two systems with this case (Both were Gigabyte UD3H/UD3R boards), no issues with anything really (Note; i used long screws ONLY at the top of the board; all others were shorter).. It's a nice case for sure. I'd recommend it to anyone. The fans aren't overly loud either. Between a GTX 560 Ti Hawk and a Hyper TX3 Evo + that case; my friends latest build is fairly quiet lol.
    One thing you didn't negative; was the top panel I/O. Well not sure if its a negative.. But more something to note; that sometimes the 3.5mm jacks are a bit finicky.. You really have to jam them in there.. At least I had to. ><.
    Having the K62, the K63 seems to be very similar excluding cosmetics. The 62 is great case--easy to work with. I have fairly large fingers, so the mobo thumbscrews didn't work for me. I had to use a screwdriver, but I didn't whine about it. It was no big deal and seriously, nit-picking this is kind of over-the-top. I absolutely love the HDD cage. The thickness of the metal greatly reduces HDD resonance, and the pads all but eliminate it. It's a very quiet case that will keep cool.
    It's well built and very much welcomed. I'm sick and tired of flimsy cases. I'll take large and heavy over light and flimsy anyday.
    I've had this case for about 3 months now and can say it's terrific. I was looking for another case that would give me better space to work in, better cable mgmt, would cool more effectively and stay cleaner inside. This case meet all those points and more.
    I transferred all my components from a CM 690 (original version) which I was very unhappy with to the PC-K63 and it was a breeze re-installing all my parts.
    This case has lots of room to install almost anything, has great cooling, is quiet and looks great. The materials and construction are top notch and has tons of features for this price range. I am really impressed with this Lancool case from Lian Li and would high recommend it.
    I was looking at this case previously and choosing between this, te antec p280 and the silverstone tj04-e ant still can't choose! I (very hesitantly) dropped this from my list and was leaning towards the silverstone but I just don't know.
    My favorite LanCool case is the PC-K9WX. The PC-K9WX and the PC-K63 are very similar feature-wise, the PC-K63 has top fans where the PC-K9 doesn't, but the PC-K9 better looks to me. The top vents on the PC-K63 could be useful for a radiator if there's room.
    I like the TJ04B-EW better than the PC-K63 too, but it would be a tough decision between the TJ04 and PC-K9. TJ04 also has top fans, but isn't as "tool-less" as the PC-K9.
    Nice written review of the PC-K63! After reading many online reviews I ordered this case last night from Newegg.
    After not overclocking for the past 6 yrs I've decided to jump back in and migrate my current build over to this case and learn from this site the latest tips and tricks to OC my rig.
    i7 860/GA-P55M-UD2/HD5850/Seasonic X-650/Lancool PC-K63/CM TX3/8 Gb DDR3
    Hi,I've mounted an Asus H110M on this case.After using all the 2 pins cables,I'm left with the usb and the 4pin cable. I have no idea where to use these as there is no slot left on the motherboard.Thus I'm not able to use the front usb 3.0.Can anyone enlighten me please? Thanks in advance.
    Whoa! Major necro here.
    Jazzinova you'll get much better results if you start a new thread in the general hardware section. I would list your system specs i.e. case, mobo, cooling etc.
    Welcome to the Forums too!