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What Do You Think of Lian-Li's PC-B16 and PC-A61 Cases?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

Lian-Li is looking for your feedback on its PC-B16 and PC-A61 enclosures.

Lian-Li has announced two new enclosures, though they are both remarkably similar. They'll be known as the PC-B16 and the PC-A61.

The cases will both feature the same internals. The PC-B16 will feature a normal front panel, while the PC-A61 will have a door in front of the front panel for extra sound dampening.

The internals of the cases allow for up to ATX size motherboards, full-size ATX power supplies, three optical drives, up to six 2.5”/3.5” drives (more when the optical drive cages are removed), as well as graphics cards up to 280 mm long with hard drives installed and 420 mm long cards when the required hard drive cages are removed.

One of the most notable features of the cases are the hard drive cages – they feature a wildly different design from what other manufacturers use. The cages are individually removable, allowing for all the drives that are in use to remain installed but still making for easy installation. It also allows the user to remove only the required drive cages to make room for longer graphics cards rather than removing the entire cage, or worse, having to deal with a non-removable cage.

Cooling is achieved by dual front 120 mm intakes, dual 140 mm top exhausts, and a single 120 mm rear exhaust.

In line with Lian-Li's recent efforts to be more connected to its customer base, it is taking feedback on its designs from you and me, so be sure to leave your comments below with any suggestions.

There was no word on pricing or a release date yet.

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  • 0 Hide
    vmem , February 12, 2014 2:55 PM
    well, it's clean and looks nice. otherwise there's not much special about it. their cases are honestly starting to look more and more like caselabs builds though...
  • 4 Hide
    mouse24 , February 12, 2014 3:10 PM
    It looks simple. Which is a good thing.

    Would have liked to see the 5.25 bays be optional, with perhaps the option of putting an extra 120mm fan (so you'd have a total of 3) WITHOUT ruining the aesthetic.

    Maybe with a swappable front bezzel that you can buy that doesn't have the open spaces (even if they are filled with blanks it still looks bad IMO) I don't think 99% of people are gonna use more than one 5.25 bay. (perhaps a fan control + optical drive but thats really about it)

    Also would like to see a metal plate for the top fan slots so I can get a good positive pressure build going without having to find fans that like to be place horizontally without dieing.

    Maybe a side window addon? Perhaps? Tall order but if it had all those things I'd buy one.
  • 1 Hide
    kyee7k , February 12, 2014 3:23 PM
    Why not 12/13 inches allowable for the really (instead of the usual 10.5-11 inches) extravagant graphics cards and more space between the top grill and the top of the MB for use with push/pull AIO closed water coolers like H100i? Otherwise, I really like the design (I have the Lancool K7B).
  • 0 Hide
    doomtomb , February 12, 2014 4:30 PM
    Lian Li really can't innovate anymore. Two versions: a version with a door and sound dampening and one for airflow. Good god, that's like every other case manufacturer on the market.
  • 0 Hide
    ohyouknow , February 12, 2014 5:28 PM
    Take a page from NZXT. Power supply cover, modular 5.25 or non-existent. I'd like to see statistics of how many people have more than one ODD.
  • 1 Hide
    southernshark , February 12, 2014 5:48 PM
    Boring and big.
  • 2 Hide
    XGrabMyY , February 12, 2014 5:59 PM
    Lian Li, ditch the classic motherboard layout. Cards are too dang heavy for that, even a backplate won't keep the PCIe from shorting when a giant GPU is slotted. Instead turn the board mounting 90 degrees, so the cards hang vertically. Design around that concept.Stand out, and take the market by storm.
  • 0 Hide
    anonymous_user , February 12, 2014 6:16 PM
    Looks okay although I would have liked to see less 5.25" bays.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , February 12, 2014 10:27 PM
    OMG ITS A BOX.
  • 1 Hide
    bandrei , February 12, 2014 10:32 PM
    why so many 5.25'' ? who is needing these days 3 dvd/cd/bd? also why having in a case only the standard hdd places , what if i want only one SSD , or 2 why not have more space posible?
  • 0 Hide
    cyb34 , February 13, 2014 2:50 AM
    Lian-Li makes the best cases I've ever seen. I own a PC-A16B for 5 years now and it looks almost brand new, especially inside with that shiny aluminium. I upgraded my PC 3 times in this case and I would buy it all over again and recommend it to anyone.
  • 0 Hide
    Zombie615 , February 13, 2014 4:07 AM
    Well I'm more of your newb computer builder kinda guy an I to say simplistic is usually the route I take but this case kinda looks dull an bulky. It does look sturdy though but as many here have said if aiming for a gamers market alone you really don't need all those 5'25"s or whatever most gamers get digital an if they do use a disc that's one drive not 2 or three an there are Blu ray combos for that so one drive or no drive at all would be best.
  • 0 Hide
    cgsample , February 13, 2014 5:14 AM
    Money would be best spent on other components.
  • 1 Hide
    mrmotion , February 13, 2014 5:59 AM
    Its time to do away with the 5.25 slots all together.Take the hard drive setups as is and mount them to the back side of the motherboard tray but mount them vertically. Move the motherboard tray forward another 1'' or so for adequate spacing for wire management and the drives. make sure you can mount a radiator with a push pull configuration to the top exhaust. Optional window panel to show off the newly cleaned up side or not depending on taste.
  • 0 Hide
    firefoxx04 , February 13, 2014 7:13 AM
    It looks great. I would like a side window for my gaming case but if I bought this right now, it would be to replace my current Lian Li case that Im using for a low power server. That case is half the height and can hold 8 3.5" drives and 1 5.25 drive. If It had a side window, I would consider it for my Gaming system but Im looking to buy something with 4 5.25 bays. I need two for my Open Loop reservoir, 1 for DVD drive and 1 for fan controller. My current build has only 3 bays for such things.Also, keep of the great customer service. I emailed LIAN LI because I had a 140mm fan crap out in under 2 months and they sent me a new one no questions asks. I did not get an email back though, I thought they had ignored me haha. Week or two later I received a new oem fan from one of their Asian facilities. I was happy but I had already bought a replacement fan. Great CS, just lacking in the communication.
  • 0 Hide
    archdruid , February 13, 2014 7:23 AM
    Ho hum...... Nothing new to see here, folks. Move along
  • 0 Hide
    Cptbeto , February 13, 2014 12:26 PM
    I like it. Simple is beautiful to me. I love Lian Li's cases. I use many 5.25 slots because I use hard disk backplanes, I have many setups for my computer, one for gaming/Internet and other for Pro Audio/Work.
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , February 13, 2014 12:58 PM
    As others have mentioned, what is the point in having multiple optical drive slots? I'd like a case with none. Getting rid of them should allow for a more innovative design. At the very least you could move the hard drive cages up there and add another cooling fan.
  • 0 Hide
    Zombie615 , February 13, 2014 8:49 PM
    Considering all the external drives you can purchase an hook up via HDMI, USB 3.0 an all that I don't really see a reason for any optical drives or hard drives. Points of focus I would have in mind when designing an innovative case would be...

    + Optimal Heat Dissipation
    + Durability & Light weight
    + Space for up to 4-way GPU's of any size
    + Form Factor Compatibility Mini-ATX up to XL ATX
    + Lower Manufacturing cost thus lowering MSRP
    + Aesthetic Customization options for the Consumer

    Note - Keep in mind as time goes on more an more stuff is become purely digital. Even storage is making it's move in that direction with Skydrive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc... Mac even offers a standalone tower that is purely storage called icloud that you setup in your house. Pretty soon a case will only need to have the functioning parts (motherboard, ram, gpu, psu)

    So if you are releasing cases that you want to stand the length of time ahead of us with all the new digital stuff becoming more of a standard I'd go back to the drawing board an take what I said into consideration. Innovation is what you need to move your parts ahead of the competition.
  • 0 Hide
    truprecht , February 14, 2014 9:44 AM
    More pictures here: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2014/02/11/lian-li-previews-pc-b16-and-pc-161-atx-towe/1I have a PC-9F, and these cases look like updates for it.

    Given my experience with the PC-9F, the biggest improvements are:
    + more space for cable management behind the MB tray - nice grommeted openings
    + modular HDD trays are really great - the 9F has a big 8-slot rack that can't be removed, and which impedes airflow from the front fans.
    + space for two 140mm fans on the top, but it's unclear if a 240/280mm AIO radiator will fit... will it?

    Here's what I don't like:
    - Solid front panels impede airflow. Why have fixed-speed fans trying to suck air through tiny side vents? I have PWM fans in the open-grill front of the 9F and it's virtually silent.
    - Too many 5.25 bays. They take out 2 or 3 of them, add additional modular HHD tray slots, leaving enough room for a 240mm radiator on the front intake.

    Would love to see a shorter mATX version with 1x 5.25 bay.
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