Today for your reading pleasure, a product that’s hot off the assembly line from Lian Li! This is their brand new PC-O8 ATX cube case. A completely new design to the Lian Li lineup, this case is set for the top-end of the market. Kick back, grab your reading glasses, and see what sets this apart from other cube cases out there.
First up, here’s a look at the product specifications straight from the Lian Li website:
|Case Type||Mid Chassis|
|Front Panel||Tempered Glass|
|Side Panel||Tempered Glass|
|5.25″ Drive Bays||None|
|Drive Bays||3.5″ HDD x6
2.5″ HDD x2
|System Fan||Front: 120mm fan x3
Rear: 120mm fan x1
HDD Rack: 120mm fan x2
Top: 120mm fan x2(Optional)
|I/O Ports||USB3.0 x 4
|Maximum Compatibility||VGA length: 370mm
PSU length: 298mm
Cooler height: 170mm
|Space of Radiator||Top: 120 x 240 x 54 mm
Front: 120 x 360 x 70 mm
|PSU Type||ATX PSU|
|LED||LED RGB Color Changing Kit (LED50RGB-2)|
And next is a feature list from Lian Li:
- Two Compartments
Through the front glass panel, the PC-O8 is divided into two zones. Zone 1 allows DIY enthusiasts to show off their motherboard and graphics cards through the edge-to-edge side panel windows. On the other side of the motherboard tray, Zone 2 gives plenty of room for cables and less eye-catching components such as hard drives and the power supply.
- Adjustable RGB Interior Lighting
DIY enthusiasts can adjust the interior lighting through the included RGB lighting kit complete with LED strips, cord clip, dimmer and controller. The back mounted controller allows instant analog color selection.
- Tremendous Water Cooling Support
With plenty of room to work with, installing elaborate water cooling setups is simplified in the PC-O8. In Zone 1 the top panel can support a 240mm radiator, while in Zone 2 the front intake can house a 360mm radiator in a push/pull configuration.
- Modular Hard Drive Cage
The PC-O8 chassis supports up to six 3.5″ drives and two 2.5″ drives in the removable drive cage in Zone 2. This HDD cage is actively cooled via two mounted 120mm fans.
- Tool-Less Installations and Features
The PC-O8 has many tool-less features allowing for simple setups and installations. This aluminum and tempered glass chassis features easily-removable panels, tool-less mounting for hard drives as well as slide-in dust filters.
- Versatile Cable Management Design
Clamps on the reverse side of the motherboard tray can be adjusted and positioned for optimal cable management setups.
- Hardware Capability
The PC-O8 does not restrict hardware capability. Graphics cards up to 370mm (14.5”) and CPU coolers up to 170mm (6.7”) are supported. Additionally, PSUs of all sizes are supported with clearance of 298mm (11.7”).
The top I/O panel includes four USB 3.0 ports and HD audio connections.
This is going to be a very critical portion to the market success of this case. More so than other cases, as the PC-O8 has two tempered glass panels. As you’d expect from a quality company like Lian Li, this case showed up safely at my door even though it shipped straight from their manufacturing location in Taiwan. And I live in North Carolina. If it can survive that trip, the ones shipped in bulk and then going for a short trip after purchase will be plenty safe!
Enough talking, pictures speak a thousand words! Below you can see the shipping box and Styrofoam packaging around the case itself.
And next up is the packaging for the tempered glass panels. They’re nestled safely in Styrofoam lined cardboard, separate from the case itself. Each piece of glass has Styrofoam on all sides to keep it safe from any other components (even from the other pieces of glass).
Accessories and Spare Parts
The accessory package for this case is quite impressive, it includes the following:
- (5) 3-pin to Molex Fan Adapters
- Case Speaker
- USB3.0 to 2.0 Converter (for front ports)
- (2) Cable Management Clamps
- (3) Cable Ties
- (8) Rubber Dampers for 2.5″ HDD’s
- (4) PSU Mounting Screws
- (12) Motherboard Mounting Screws
- (3) Extra Motherboard Standoff Screws
- (25) Thumb Screws for 3.5″ HDD’s
- (8) Screws for 2.5″ HDD’s
- (8) Thumb Screws for Glass Panels
- (2) Spare Side Panel Clips
- (3) RGB LED Strip
A few things that are great to see here are the USB3.0 to 2.0 converter, which lets you still use all four USB ports on the front if your motherboard only has one header, the Molex fan adapters, as a lot of motherboards don’t have enough headers for six fans, and the spare clips for the side panels. I’m not sure what else Lian Li could include with this case in the way of accessories or spare parts, this is very all inclusive.
An Outside Look
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, a look at the PC-O8 itself. This case has a very sleek design that stems from being simple, clean, and classy. The construction of the case is all brushed black aluminum, most likely anodized, and is very sturdy despite the light weight. The only parts that aren’t aluminum are the front and side panels, which are made of tinted, tempered glass. On top is a removable aluminum plate that allows you to use a 240 mm radiator, more on that and the AIO mount that’s there later.
And turning the case around to see the back shows more of the same. Simple, functional, classy, but wait… what are those three knobs there by the PSU cutout? Those are the built-in RGB LED strip controller that Lian Li put in this case. The strip itself isn’t installed when you get the case, but the controller is, making it a plug-and-play system.
Last for this section, we look at the bottom of the case. Here you can see the feet that are made of aluminum with rubber bottoms on them. Sturdy enough for even the heaviest of water cooled systems, but the rubber is very low profile so it doesn’t show unless you’re looking at the bottom of the case.
Interior and Features
Time to take a look through the innards and niceties of the PC-O8. Here’s a picture of the front of the case with the tinted glass panels removed.
Peeking around to the back with the rear panel removed shows off the HDD cage, one of the dust filters, and the PSU area. The accessories box comes taped into the removable HDD cage. This first dust filter will handle the air coming in to the 3×120 mm fans in front of the PSU. The HDD cage has two 120 mm fans mounted to it as well. The back panel pops off simply by pulling on it. It and the top panel are both completely tool-less in design.
Here’s a picture with this dust filter partially removed. To get to this state you simply pop off the top cover panel (it has no screws, only snaps) and then lift on the filter.
The other dust filter in this case is located in the top 2×120 mm slot, where the 240mm radiator mounting bracket is. Here’s a picture of the 240 mm radiator bracket and the top dust filter partially removed. This bracket is to allow room for the dust filter to be easily used with a radiator and/or fans in place. Alternatively, if you’d rather put the radiator in the rear 360 mm slot, this is possible as well. The grommet on the top right of the motherboard tray allows you to route AIO tubes through it!
The front panel I/O is located on the front edge of the top of the case, this is due to the front itself being tempered glass. There are 4x USB3.0 ports, a 3.5 mm headphone and 3.5 mm microphone port, and the power button. In this picture you can also see the snaps for the top cover panel.
In the PC-O8, the whole HDD cage is removable. It also comes with rubber noise dampers installed for each of the six 3.5″ drives it will hold. Top that off with two 120 mm fans attached to the cage, and a nice, sturdy construction. Here’s a look at the cage.
Here’s a look at the fans that come pre-installed in the case, there’s six of these bad boys throughout the case. They’re quiet and move a decent amount of air, they’ll be sufficient for anyone that isn’t going with radiators everywhere. Lian Li has been known to use this Jamicon KF1225S1LSBR a few times in the past, so they must like these fans as well.
Putting it all Together
Okay, so I took this section’s title a bit literal… but here’s a list of the components I’ll be using in this case:
- Intel i7 4790K @ 4 GHz
- Cooler Master Glacer 240L
- ASRock Z87 OC Formula/ac
- G.SKILL TridentX 2x4GB 2400 9-11-10
- 256GB Samsung 850 Pro
- EVGA SuperNova G2 850W
- EVGA GTX 970 FTW ACX 2.0
- Swiftech PWM Splitter
Assembling components in this case is an absolute breeze. You have plenty of room to get around inside. Like most cases I started off by mounting the CPU, motherboard, RAM, and AIO before doing anything else.
That’s right, even oversize ATX and EATX boards have plenty of room in this beast of a case. After this I installed the GPU, all other components, and did the cable management.
Can you spot all the cables? There’s 2x 8-pin CPU power, 2x PCIe power, 2x USB3.0, front HD audio, power button/LED, and AIO power/signal all run in that last picture. The only one that was even slightly difficult was the 2x 8-pin CPU power, definitely do that before installing the AIO. Other than that, cable management in the PC-O8 is an absolute cake walk, it all goes in the rear compartment with a few zip ties.
Let me talk about my one gripe with this case though, before moving on to the final pictures. The PCIe bracket screws. Once you remove the cover over the PCIe bracket screws, it looks like it’d be easy to get to. I had problems with the screws coming up and hitting the edge of the case, making them hard to fully unscrew. Moving that cutout up a slight bit, using smaller screw heads, or moving the screws a tad would have solved this. Here’s a picture of that section, up close.
Now for some “completed” pictures! The tint on the glass gives a great view of the insides of the case, but can hide little cables from being easily seen. And there’s also a picture of the top of the case with the plate over the 240 mm radiator area removed, revealing a nice metal mesh that hides the dust filter from view.
For a quick temperature comparison we’ll run both Intel Burn Test and Unigine Heaven at the same time. The first picture is from the test being run on my open air test bench and the second is with all the components inside the PC-O8. Both tests were done on the same Windows install and on the exact same hardware. As seen below, the GPU temperatures are very comparable to what I got on the test bench and better on the CPU.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The Lian Li PC-O8 is a perfect example of a high quality case that’s loaded with features. It is a large case, but the dual zone design allows it to be shorter than most mid tower cases. With the new trend toward cube cases it was inevitable that Lian Li designed one, and they did a superb job. Almost every aspect of the PC-O8 is completely tool-less, making assembly an absolute breeze. My only gripe with the case were the PCIe screws, but with a little patience those work fine.
Temperature testing shows that this case has good ventilation, even keeping up with my open air test bench. The included fans produce no more than a low hum which is easily masked by any soft music playing. There shouldn’t be any issues with noise or temperature from this case, whatsoever. Build quality is absolutely top notch, being that all pieces of this case are either a black anodized and brushed aluminum or tempered glass.
Of course with all these features, build quality, and a modern design comes a price tag. Add to this that Lian Li is already a top of the line case brand and you get an MSRP of $395. This puts the PC-O8 as one of the more expensive cases on the market, but I feel the price is justified after having the privilege to work with this case. Microcenter will be the first to see this case, with other retailers to follow shortly after.
Overall, this case is easy to build in, is built with the best materials, and offers superb component and water cooling support. If you have the budget, don’t hesitate to get one.