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Building With The PC-Q08

DTX Lives! Four Double-Slot Cases For ITX Gaming Machines

Factor- equipped with external USB 3.0 front-panel leads, the PC-Q08 includes a slot adapter for I/O panel pass-through. Lian-Li adds an external USB 3.0 plug to internal USB 2.0 header adapter, along with a replacement drive cage support bracket, cable ties, and mounting screws.

Though we’re sorely disappointed not to find any internal USB 3.0 header support, this particular case predates its introduction. Having said that, we still wish Lian-Li had taken the time to update this model to support newer hardware.

The bracket from the above kit replaces the PC-Q08’s lower drive cage to allow mid-sized and longer cards, such as our GeForce GTX 560 Ti, to be installed. It uses the screws from the original drive cage.

A single thumb screw releases the upper drive cage from the external drive bay, easing access for its mounting screws.

Lian-Li leaves enough space between the optical drive and the bottom of its tray to install a 2.5” drive, adding mounting holes to this unusual location.

Removable motherboard trays often add expense without doing much to reduce build time, but Lian-Li’s “removable tray” is actually an external side panel. The company even makes its front-panel leads long enough to install prior to reattaching this panel.

Lacking any egress holes for the USB 3.0 I/O panel to front-panel extension cables, we routed these through the card holder’s hole. Threaded holes in the card bracket allowed traditional screw-mounting with the hold-down bracket removed.

Note that we ended up plugging the cables into USB 2.0 ports. The manufacturer of our motherboard made the unusual design decision to put its USB 3.0 ports at the top of the I/O section, and the PC-Q08’s cables simply wouldn’t reach that far. Rather than revert to internal ports, we decided to represent a more common build by placing these cables into a typical motherboard’s USB 3.0 port positions.

The finished system is softly lit by its blue LED fan, though the brighter power button can be somewhat distracting in dark rooms. Because of the bright power button, the PC-Q08 is probably better for gamers than it would be for home theater users.

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