Joined on 09/08/07
A great case - PC-V1000Z
Pros: Lian-Li is a top name case manufacturer. They have years of experience making computer cases, and this one is one of their top-of-the-line models. It is designed similarly after the Apple PowerMAC G5 with a fully perforated front grill and separate component areas for thermal isolation. The case feels really well thought out and designed. Other features include - All aluminum solid construction w/ brushed anodized coating - Great ventilation - Pre plumbed for water cooling - external manual fan control switch (L - M- H) for the front, rear, and expansion card fans. - Side view panel - Hot Swap SATA hard drives - great expansion ports on the top (4 x USB, Firewire, eSATA) -
Cons: There are some complaints. - The price. This is a "designer" case, and as such it carries a heavy premium. You are getting some quality parts and design, but there are many other aluminum cases out there for less. Also consider the Best Buy brand Rocketdog which is made by Lian Li costs a lot less. - The motherboard mounting holes cause the motherboard to not quite line up with the rear panel holes. In my case the motherboard was just a tad low, and could have moved a milimeter or two higher. - There is not a lot of room to route cables behind the motherboard. Especially the 28 wire eATX power cable - which takes up almost the entire pass-thru hole. - The front power / reset buttons feel loose and cheap. - The top expansion port cables have no way to get into the bottom of the case from behind the motherboard once the eATX power cable is where it is. This meant I had to notch a slot behind the 5.25 drive cages for my cable routing scheme. - Power supply sticks out the back
Overall Review: The case is marketed as a top-tier case. Few people can justify spending $200-plus dollars on a case, although it is probably the one component that will get carried on to your next PC build. However, for that kind of price, you expect everything to be A+ grade. While aluminum cases command a premium over their steel counterparts, Al does provide better thermal dissipation and is lighter weight. The side panels are nice and thick and the case feels solid in construction. The only complaints are mostly with the motherboard not lining up properly and lack of space for cable routing. These issues should have been addressed in the manufacturing process. Also, the front power buttons feel cheap and although the picture shows the rear expansion card covers are slotted for ventilation, my case came with solid covers. Slotted covers cost more, and vent better, and I'm surprised that I did not get the covers shown. I would rate this case as a 92% because of these niggles.
Sleeper, or snoozer?
Pros: Well, this drive has its own niche. Its a "green" power drive, which means it has a slower spindle speed (close to 5400rpm) which reduces power consumption, noise and heat. These are ideal in HTPC cases, or in a water cooled desktop where there is little airflow and or you are going for quietness, or in an external USB enclosure. In fact, many of the Phantom and caviar 1TB USB external drives use this particular drive inside their enclosure. They also boast a nice 32MB buffer, and 1TB storage. They don't really compete with "desktop" drives as much as they make great storage bins. This could be an ideal drive for you if your OS is on another drive and you add this to your system for more storage of music/movies/N0rP (Yeah, I said it!)/pictures. These are also cheap - right now they can be had for $85-$90 online. Seems like its an ideal solution. cool 'N quiet : +1 egg huge storage capacity : +1 egg cheap: +1 egg
Cons: Well, not so fast - is it really the ideal solution? I bought two, one has been Ok for a week but the other was DOA. I talked to a friend of mine and he said that many 1TB drives have quality control issues. With the industry pushing into 2TB drives now you'd think they'd have ironed out the bugs in 1TB drives. If you know you'll use it/fill it up, wants to purchase two 500GB drives when you could get just one drive instead? These drives have some sort of firmware on them so they save power by sleeping if they are not in use. This means they are not at all ideal for setting up in a RAID array (even RAID 1). This might not be a negative since they are infact designed this way, but for those people who like redundancy (especially of 1TB of their important files) this means they will have problems. Quality Control: -1 egg Only 1 year warranty : -1 egg
Overall Review: Quality control does not seem to be confined to any one particular vendor, nor to any particular models. As the larger drives push platter density and spindle speed into the stratosphere, it seems that the limitations of the conventional hard drive are perhaps hitting a ceiling? Or else quality control at the factory has been cut in this economic recession? I'd love a solid state drive, but new tech commands a price premium. In the end you take a shot in the dark with what you buy. Newegg gives you a 30 day return policy. WD gives you a 1 year warranty. You can buy a 2 year warranty for $18 and in this case it might be worth it. It wont give you back your data if it dies, so make sure you are backing up! Some other manufacturers give 3 year or even 5 year warranties, but in the end what we care about is not so much the $90 drive, but the priceless memories stored on them.