I'm looking at getting the PC-C60B to serve as my primary PC for gaming, browsing, streaming, music, DVR, blueray. I'm looking for opinions and reviews in terms of quality, cooling, build specs. Mines going to be using either an I5 2500k or 3750K haven't decided.
Whats the best cpu cooler that'll fit? Is the odd tray an issue for height? I dont need two drives, does LIAN LI offer a single tray? Anyone liquid cooled?
Whats the max GPU length if you remove one of the hdd racks? I only need 3 hdd's anyway (2 2tb's and a SSD), does each rack only fit one 2.5" or can I use some type of 2.5 converter? Is there room for a fan between the rack?
first let me state this: you are asking questions which are rather critical about fit with this part removed or this part added. in small cases such as this you might want to see if you can find an actual specifications sheet from lian-li which gives you some dimensions to work with.
i bought a lian-li case back in the early 2000's for my first pc build and one thing i can say is that although they are expensive they are top notch. on the model quite a few of the internal non-support structures can be removed. i had to remove the bottom bays out of a tower to make room for a psu and cables. as a company i do have respect for lian-li products.
as far as solving your needs, the lianli case you picked out looks like a media center style case. from what i can tell it has two fan inlets on the right side and two fan outlets on the left. if they are 120mm fan slots then this is probably sufficient for cooling purposes.
as far as space inside the case, things do look cramped. you might have a hard time fitting a large air cooler inside the case but a long video card might work out. since you are only getting an i5 not an i7 my guess would be that you wouldnt be using the top of the line video card either so the size would most likely be a bit smaller as well.
on my lian-li the racks fit multiple hard drives in slide in slots once you add the pegs to the drives. they lock in with a lever. you will most likely need an adapter plate for your ssd drive but most seem to come with them now. one my model there is not any room for a fan in the area without custom work being done.
decent air cooling would be preferred in a smaller case as watercooling equipment will take up quite a bit more room. factor in the radiators you will need (3x to 4x 120mm radiator at minimum. maybe larger. now realize you only have two fan outlets. can you watercool? why sure you can but its going to cost much more and may require some custom work on your part to make everything work right.
my general advice:
why do you find the need to overclock an i5? go with an i7 stock and use the stock cooler or in this case a small aftermarket cooler which goes with the flow of the case (airflow direction that is..). the money you save by not having to buy special cooling equipment can easily pay for the upgrade to a higher end part and then some. especially if you were thinking about water cooling. kits can easily cost $300+ unless you buy junk.
if you really want to overclock and watercool and are worried about space the best advice i can offer is to look at a highres image and using some dimensions from the spec sheet lay out where you want to put what. you can find some nice components at dangerden, frozencpu and xoxide.
what you ask requires quite a bit of thought and planning on your part if you want to get it right. at this point in time you need to be browsing watercooling forums and reading EVERYTHING you can. it may sound harsh but if you dont then you will definitely regret it.
also remember that watercooling certain parts such as the video card might void the warranties unless you buy watercooling models which cost more. also remember that just because you watercool does not mean you dont need ambient airflow. if you do not still have decent airflow for the other components in your case which are not liquid cooled you will still have overheating.
quite alot to take in. its more complicated than one would think but if you spend some time to do a little research it isnt all that bad.
Thanks for the informative reply . As for water cooling, I doubt I'll do it, I just figured I'd ask. If somebody had a how to specific to the PC-C60 then I might consider but I'm not going to be the first lol. I had a closer look, and it does have a fan between the hdd racks. Otherwise it has 2 140mm fans on the right side and a 140mm PSU vent. Its hard to see but it also has a 140mm vent on top in the back right corner, that looks like it could serve as a vent for the CPU fan/cooler.
Why do you say the I5 isn't sufficient enough to support a highend GPU? If I can remove one of the hdd racks, I had planned on either a GTX 680 (11") or HD7970 (12"). The 2500 could support either in SLI/XFX. I was told the I7 isn't necessary unless your doing some serious video editing/rendering or 3D modeling. The I7 2600 only has 100mhz over the I5 2500, and the extra $100 would buy an adequate cooler to safely clock the 2500 to 4.2-4.4.
I'm just wondering if the racks are separable and whats the best cooler.
i am no watercooling guru by far but i did more than my fair share of digging up information on this back a few years when i was thinking about watercooling my own system. the end decision was to stick to air (and stock air at that!) because the gains were minimal. i might have made things sound more complicated then they are but you really do need to give a little thought to the matter before you go purchasing items. most any pc case can be watercooled and if you want we could definitely look at options. i'm just not sure how smart it is in a price per performance rating.
140mm fans are defintely a better idea than 120mm fans. i would definitely think about installing a fan in the empty 140mm vent location.
why overclock at all? i still have my older i7-920 at stock speeds and it runs like a champ. good temperatures, great performance. stock cooler too.
sure an i7 is not required but if you dont overclock you can save the money on the cooler and upgrade. one would think that the i7 will definitely be more "future proof" than the i5. towards the end of its shelf life you can also overclock the i7 to performance levels higher than the i5 (or so i would think, but i'd have to look at charts to be sure). completely up to you of course.
in general overclocking really isn't neccessary. system reliability goes down, system heat goes up, cooling component costs go up for a boost in performance that isn't required. do what you want but i've looked at it time and time again and the risks and costs never equal what you gain.
no idea if the racks come apart. mine did on my v2000b tower. look at some close up photos and see if you can locate screws.
as far as coolers, look at tomshardware.com charts, cpu coolers.
I have no experience w/ OCing, I'd just like to get the most from this pc in terms of years. If in 5-6 yrs I have to OC 4.4hz to get another 2-3 yrs of use then I should build a 4.4 stable system now. Maybe I7 would be worth it to be future "proofed". My purpose for WCing was noise, I've read the stock fans are quite audible, so I think (for a HTPC) an aftermarket (AC) is necessary.
Looking at the website (not newegg), it looks like the vent for the HDD's is a filter not a fan, but possibly w/o the filter a really thin will fit. Seems strange they'd filter the exhaust :\. I also see the HDD slots are separable, and the ODD tray itself features a 2.5 slot. I just wish it wasn't so obstructive. I'd like to mod it into a single, but maybe the single from the C50 will work (if I can get just a tray).
so, in essence what you want is a pc to last 7-9 years?
what do you expect of the pc in its latter years?
let me put it this way: my first homebuilt pc was built about 10 years ago and was around the same tier as the one you are building. high end but not bleeding edge. i'll list a few of the specs below..
amd3500+ 2.2ghz single core
60gb hdd 7200rpm
now, think about what you can do on such a pc today. i can play older games of the 90's, surf the web, use office programs and even cad or graphics programs albiet at a slower pace. dont even think about running any new games on it even on ultra low settings as it wont work.
pc hardware, especially when used for gaming, is short lived. at most expect 5 years of solid performance out of a system, after that and you will be having trouble. you can make small upgades to speed it up but in the end doing a total overhaul once every 5 years or so will give you the most bang for your buck. even if you bought bleeding edge technology you will not do much better.
i7 might buy you a little more time but its not easy to quantify. remember that overclocking is harder on your components and increases the risk of parts failing. the higher you overclock the greater the risk.
remember not all fans are push (inlet) oriented. are you sure that one fan is not in a pull configuration (outlet) and that the vent is really an inlet?
as far as stock fans being quite audible...it depends. the loudest fans in any system are most always the northbridge fan and the video card fan. the cpu cooler fan not so much. if you have good case airflow then the northbridge fan and the video card fan do not have to spool up to maximums. the larger the case, the less airflow you need. small cases heat up pretty fast so you want to exhaust all of that air.
also you seem to forget one key point: you need good fans for a watercooling setup. fans mean noise. also remember that the water pump generates a constant low humming noise. unless you have a watercooled northbridge and video card you will still suffer from those fans when your system gets hot and you will have spent quite a bit of money doing it. if you want silent you will want to watercool as much as possible and just have some ambient airflow in the case for parts not covered.
as far as what you would need...
for an i7 system with a decent video card you will need at least a 4x120mm, preferably 5x120mm radiator equivalent. a 2x140 super dense and wide radiator might barely be able to handle this. more than likely this would not quite be enough. you would also need a pump, hose, fill port if not a reservoir which is highly suggested and then the actual coolers. you might be able to fit everything in there but you will most likely end up mounting things by drilling into the case and mounting to the top. you might also end up having to drill a few fan holes into the top of the case as well depending on what the radiator can handle.
if you spend the time researching, buy quality watercooling components, and spend the time making everything right it can turn out very well. however, you will still have spent quite a bit of money that did not need to be spent for your purposes.
this extra cash you saved could then be used to upgrade your system in the future. watercooling and overclocking might make your system stand up to time a little longer, but not enough to warrant the extra cost.
about the trays.... you would have to ask lian-li about that.
The most intensive multitasking would be downloading a large file, while playing a game, and listening to music. Now I realise that at some point (5yrs) I'll need to upgrade the GPU, but for the next 7-8 I'd like the rest of the HW to remain. That might require OCing the CPU to max which is risky, but if it fries so be it. At that point its time to start fresh again anyway. I think my plan is I7 2600k, 16gb ram, 160gb SSD, 2x 2tb hdds, HD 7970, Ceton infini TV 4, 750w modular PSU, Win7 64b pro, and a mobo but thats a topic in itself.
The filtered hdd vent is for exhaust being the other side is intake. I'm not still considering WCing. I appreciate you explaining and weighing the differences but theres no need to go further. I'm looking for the best ambient cooler specific to the PC60. Being as I posted this in HDTV it doesn't surprise me theres no replies since DVR HTPC's dont require anything more than a stock fan nor do the OC. There needs to be a "HTPC Gaming" section.
you dont really need 16gb of ram. 8gb is way more than enough. do what you wish though.
beware certain large hdd's. i know for a fact that the drives larger than 1.5tb seem to have a higher than normal failure rate. i had 3 die on me in less than a year. then i had to PAY to ship it out for a replacement. $40 in the hole for two drives i only paid $120 for each!
what do you mean "best ambient aircooler specific to the pc60"? all you need is a few fans (though you could wait on them as the stock ones should suit your temporarily) and maybe a new heatsink for the cpu (if you want to overclock alot in the future) but thats about it. "ambient aircooling" ie, coolers without fans are meant for devices without much heat generation. unless of course you just meant a normal aircooling setup in which case lets chalk it up to miscommunication.
technically htpc's fall under home theatre and systems. the trouble with getting too many replies (such as in the builds category) is that most are super generic and nobody really spends time to explain things like they should. that and quite a few people post who know nothing yet suggest anyways. you know the type that suggests $50 mousepads because they are "better" (which is a huge lie). you could post your specs there (and it is suggested) just remember to take it all with a grain of salt (yes even what i say).
you'd be suprised how many gaming htpc's are being created nowdays. if anything "non-gaming" htpcs aren't posted on here as often as you might think.
realistically speaking, anything you do besides gaming wont matter worth a ***. the pc should easily be able to handle all of this for 10+ years if the parts last this long. the real time killer is gaming. with games being created that push and push the requirements it is hard to get adequate performance out of a system. if you are already planning on a video card upgrade when that time comes then you should be good for awhile, just not sure if you will get the full 8 years of "good" performance you are looking for. i suppose the key determining factor is how far pc technology increases in the timespan!