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Lian Li PC-Q33B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Chassis
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggs Great size, great design, great case. 11/02/2014

This review is from: Lian Li PC-Q33B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Chassis

Pros: I have owned this case for about six months now. I'm really happy to see this case come to Newegg.

This case has some major draws. First and foremost, the hinged design is fantastic. It's the best innovation I've seen in an ITX case. The whole front of the case flips down to allow total access to all the internal mounting surfaces. I've had ATX mid tower cases that were more difficult to work in than this case. This is the main reason I bought this case.

The internal organization of the components is great. The case is kind of zonal in terms of heat, allowing you to keep your hard drives a bit cooler than they might otherwise be. Also, the way hard drives mount directly to the back of the front panel is a nice space saving feature.

The case allows for a good number of full sized ATX components. It will support a full sized ATX power supply. It also supports very tall CPU coolers, which is great if you're into that kind of thing. I personally don't have a tall CPU cooler installed, but it's good to know I can have that if I want it. The case supports ITX-length graphics cards, so your choices are a little limited as far as that goes, but there are several very decent gaming cards you can put in this case. I personally have a GTX 760 installed and it plays all the games I want with ease.

The aesthetics of this case are awesome. I think it's really beautiful, elegant even. The brushed aluminium is really nice. The design is minimalist and kind of industrial, which I really like. The thumb screws have little rubber grommets on them which help to prevent you from marking up the aluminum as you screw in the screws. These features give the case a very high level of apparent fit and finish. Lian Li clearly spent a lot of time designing this case, getting these little details right.

One other nice thing about the design are the dimensions. Many ITX cases are very short and deep. This case, in contrast, is taller than it is deep and has a nearly square footprint. I like this design choice a lot.

As is the case with many aluminum cases, this case is very light even with all the components installed. It's much lighter than steel cases I've owned in the past.

The power button is cool because it has two build in LEDs, one for power and one for HDD activity. This goes along with the minimalist design.

The way the side panels pop on and off of the side of the case is very convenient. It's a big improvement over the myriad screws you would need to remove from previous Lian Li cases in order to take off the side panels.

Cons: This case isn't all fantastic. There are a few things I've noticed about it that are not so greatl. None of these are deal breakers and I'm mostly just nitpicking. Still, I would like to mention a few things.

First, this case has only a single fan in the pack for ventilation. With a good fan at a high RPM you could probably have some decent cooling in this case, but I would look elsewhere if you're in need of high levels of heat dissipation.

Second, this case has no dust filters at all. I feel like this is something all cases should have. As long as you're diligent about cleaning the dust out of the interior this isn't a big deal, but I thought I would mention this.

Third, given the way that hard drives can mount directly to the back of the front panel, you have to use SATA cables that plug straight into your drive. You can't use angled plugs with this case. Also, since drives mount totally flush with the mounting surface, you'll need pretty slim SATA connectors. I myself had to wedge a couple of fairly fat SATA connectors into my SSD, which is less than ideal.

Forth, the blue power LED in the power button was WAY WAY too bright when I first got my case. In order to not have this thing illuminate my entire bedroom at night, I had to open it up and use some special shaded stickers I bought to reduce the brightness of the blue LED. I'm kind of picky about this kind of thing, as I often cover all my electronics' LED lights with electrical tape. Maybe you wouldn't mind about the brightness of the blue LED as much as I did.

On a related note, the power button doesn't sit totally flush with the outside surface of the case. It's a little recessed, at least on my case. If you push in the power button at too much of an angle, it can actually get kind of stuck behind the front aluminum panel. It's easy to pop back into the correct position, though.

The next thing deals with the way the side panels attach to the sides of the case. The way the side panels attach is they have little aluminum pegs on them, which pop into little plastic retainer clips in the case. I'm concerned about the longevity/durability of these little clips. When I got my case, one of the little clips was already broken. Thankfully, Lian Li included a spare plastic clip, which was easy to replace the broken one with. I haven't had any more issues for the six months I've had this case, but I'm still going to try to refrain from removing/replacing the side panels excessively.

Finally, this thing is a finger print magnet. The brushed aluminum soaks up finger oils like nothing I've ever seen before.

Other Thoughts: In looking at my list of pros and cons, you might think that I'm not really happy with this case. But I really am! I like it a lot. To me, the materials, size, and the innovative, intelligent design far outweigh ALL of the cons I listed. Overall, this is by far the best case I've ever owned.

With the increasing amount of gaming-grade hardware available for ITX sized cases, I hope to never have to get another ATX case again. If you're considering an ITX case, I believe this is one of the best choices on the market right now. Lian Li have done a good job of minimizing the sacrifices you need to make to switch to the smaller ITX form factor.

READ FULL REVIEW
NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Excellent build quality and sturdiness for the price. This case really impressed me. I was expecting some flimsy thing but instead I got a perfectly good, solid case with parts that fit very well together. The paint job is really good. The front panel and buttons on the panel all look and feel really good. The interior is intelligently laid out. No sharp edges. Lots of room for expansion. Easy to work in this case. Lots of room for fans.

Cons: No fan filters. The case magnifies the sound of components inside which vibrate, i.e. hard drives. I mounted two hard drives in this case and the hard drive access sounds were clearly audible. I installed the same two drives in a different, more expensive case and they were dead quiet. Don't get this case if you're looking for something that deadens sound. This case won't do that.

Another small con is that the texture/color of the plastic bezel doesn't exactly match the texture/color of the paint of the case. Just a small nitpick.

Other Thoughts: For the price this case is fantastic. It's not a premium offering, it's very spartan, no-nonsense, no-frills, just straight forward and to the point. But for the price, that's okay. This case fulfills its purpose very well for the asking price. If you're looking for a cheap, basic case but also want something that isn't going to let you down, this is a great choice.

READ FULL REVIEW
Corsair Force Series CSSD-F60GB2-BRKT 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: This drive is very fast. HD Tune puts it at about 170MB/s average read/write for benchmarking and about 260/250MB/s read/write for the file benchmark. Random access times are pretty much instant of course. Installation was simple and painless, no problems with stability like other people seem to be having. No crashing and it wakes from sleep with no trouble. Lightning quick Windows startup and shut down.

Cons: None. A little pricey but it's to be expected for a solid state drive. You get what you pay for. Also you have to be moderately mindful of your space usage, can't go crazy. I have the bare minimum software installed (Windows 7, MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, one game) and I only have 19GB free. I recommend a separate drive for storage.

Other Thoughts: Running Windows 7 Pro 64 bit, Intel i7 920, Gigabyte EX58-UD3R with latest BIOS revision. Running Intel storage matrix drivers, you should definitely get these if you have this drive and you plug it into an Intel SATA port! I read that there might be stability issues without the Intel drivers. Also make sure your BIOS is set to AHCI or RAID mode, not IDE.

Final thought, my BIOS reports the drive not responding to SMART commands but it doesn't seem to be having any problems otherwise so I think it might just be an incompatibility between the Sandforce 1200 and my BIOS.

READ FULL REVIEW

John S.'s Profile

Display Name: John S.

Date Joined: 04/03/05

  • Reviews: 9
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 01/10/09
  • Last Review: 11/02/14
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