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Lian Li PC-X1000

Five Gaming Enclosures, Rounded Up
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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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