Five Gaming Enclosures, Rounded Up

Lian Li PC-X1000

Average Online Price: $389

This tall case is just deep enough to fit a large, 11+ inch graphics card or two. Constructed of brushed aluminum, it stands like a monolith, lacking side fans or even openings. 

In front, it bears two external 5.25" drive bays and one 3" drive bay. Beneath those bays is a grill for its front-mounted intake fans. The front includes three 120mm fans, and the rear has two 120mm exhaust fans, one high up (where most of the drives are mounted) and one in the center.

The motherboard tray is removable through the right side. This allows you to mount your board, and to run as many cables behind it as possible. The external ports are much like those of the ABS Canyon 595; they're on top, beneath a door, and include four USB ports, a FireWire port, and eSATA port, and audio jacks.

You can mount three internal 3.5" drives in the top portion of this case, and three in the bottom near the power supply. The drive cages are removable to allow you to mount the hard drives.

The middle portion of the case features a rack that supports large, heavy graphics cards. The eight expansion slot brackets are held fast with finger-releasable pressure switches, making the case tool-free. Its height is considerable, at more than 25," but its all-aluminum design makes it light to lift.

Note that, during our build, one of our two complaints was the need to remove the bottom hard drive cage in order to fit our large, kilowatt power supply in place. One thing we really liked (a tiny inclusion, really) was the plastic screw case that was included with the hardware. Sometimes, it's the little things that matter most.

The other complaint came in having to remove the bezel of our optical drive so that the case's own bezel could take over. We could imagine that not all optical drives would work so well with the case's generic bezel, and the position of the read/write light on our optical drive didn't coincide with that of the case bezel, making it impossible to see when the light fires.

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    Top Comments
  • "The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox."

    err... not according to your own graphs its not.

    The P193 beats the Panzerbox at everything on idle! and the Panzer only beat the P193 on CPU temp by 1 deg.

    The 5870 "might" push me from my P182 to a P193 due to the extra length and me not wanting to loose HDD slots - but will prob just get a 5 and a qtr bay converter and hopefully only have to move one drive.
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  • Other Comments
  • That Lian Li PC-X1000 is my favorite
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  • Haha I was thinking the same thing about the Lian Li PC-X1000
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  • I dont think I would ever need to change my case for an extremely long tile with that Lian Li PC-X1000 case
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  • Thanks, good article. I have a comment and a request:
    You said, "The other complaint came in having to remove the bezel of our optical drive so that the case's own bezel could take over." this was on the Lian Li case.
    I would consider this a feature. Brushed aluminum cases look crappy with flat black optical drives and the only way normally to avoid that is a stealth mod, such as I have done with my TJ09.
    I would like to see a picture of each case with the motherboard in place. This helps provide perspective and gives the less experienced builders a clearer idea of what they are actually getting.
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  • Awesome PanzerBox. Where do the hard drives go?
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  • 400$ cases... WTH? I will never buy that! Where is the Raven one?
    3
  • Panzerbox.........I prefer a M1A1 ABRAMS BOX!!!!!!!
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  • How flimsy/sturdy is the plastic cover for the connectors, and the power button ? looks like they're using the same parts as on my PC-A70 ; and on mine the power button feels as if it isn't big enough for its socket, and the top lid broke off quite easily.
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  • "The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox."

    err... not according to your own graphs its not.

    The P193 beats the Panzerbox at everything on idle! and the Panzer only beat the P193 on CPU temp by 1 deg.

    The 5870 "might" push me from my P182 to a P193 due to the extra length and me not wanting to loose HDD slots - but will prob just get a 5 and a qtr bay converter and hopefully only have to move one drive.
    10
  • Pailin"The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox."err... not according to your own graphs its not.The P193 beats the Panzerbox at everything on idle! and the Panzer only beat the P193 on CPU temp by 1 deg.

    Yeah, what gives? I could understand if we're taking points off for the effort that goes into assembling it and wire routing versus the Panzer, but "performance" would, I think, be measured by how well it cools and how quiet it was. It cools better when idle, almost identically under load, and apparently was the quietest case in the roundup.
    3
  • Pailin and Wheels beat me to it. Unless the numbers on the chart were transposed, the P193 is equal or superior to the Panzerbox on all but one test.
    3
  • I can understand hardcore gamers into serious overclocking getting excited about case cooling but I don't think a difference of a few degrees would matter for the typical user.
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  • is side window going out of phase in these latest cases?

    the cases themselves look great but what if i want to show what components i used to build my gaming rig?
    3
  • I'll also agree with Proximon. Additional data I'd like to see includes a pic of the final build (showing cable routing), decibel measurements at typical distances from floor to a desk, and total weight.
    What power connectors are on the fans? I may have no desire to water-cool, but many do; so what about radiator mounting and pump placement? The article was interesting as far as it went, but could have included a lot more.
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  • mcbowlerAwesome PanzerBox. Where do the hard drives go?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSdJZyrsj1g
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  • interesting review, but my ugly HAF 932 will take em all!!! and i have room to park my car... lol
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  • "The best-performing case, both under load and idle, was the NZXT Panzerbox. The taller, more elegant cases, the ABS Canyon 595 and the Lian Li PC-X1000, were warmer throughout the tests."

    Er......Not according to ya charts dude. The Antec and ABS looked better at idle. 27-81-28 The total (136) is 8% bigger than 24-78-27 (129)

    30-82-39 (141)under load also looks like a virtual w/ 29-82-40 (141)
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  • Thermaltake has much better cases for gaming then the one you showed and you don't need to spend 400 to get a nice roomy case with lots of fans.
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  • This is missing the Corsair 800D. I would have liked to have seen that against these cases since it @ $270 it is in the middle of the price range in this round up.

    I wasn't impressed with the selection of cases for this review one bit.
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  • Panzerbox looked sweet gonna consider it for my next build. Small, open, airy, and tool free.
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