Lian Li PC-Q30 Case Review: A Mini-ITX Chassis With Flair

Lian Li's PC-Q30 Is Small, Special, And Stylish (But Also Practical)

I like the PC-Q30's unique style and well-executed design so much that I just had to go the extra mile and include a guide to building your own system with it. The case’s shape is undoubtedly going to be loved by some and hated by others, but there's no question in my mind that Lian Li deserves a call-out for designing something unique, far-removed from the mainstream, and still executed perfectly. Really, my only complaint is that the stock 140 mm rear case fan is way too loud and needs to either be slowed down with a 5 V adapter or replaced altogether. Otherwise, my always-critical eye couldn't find anything wrong. The build quality is top notch, Lian Li's design is great, and the case is as practical as I could have hoped.

The company managed to design a case that allows a low-profile heat sink like Thermalright's AXP-100 to keep a hot APU like AMD's A10-6800K nice and cool. As long as you research the components more than you otherwise would to avoid compatibility issues, you get a really nice entry-level gaming box. 

If you legitimately enjoy the PC-Q30's aesthetic angle, then you really can't go wrong with it. Go the AMD route and drop in an APU, or take an Intel CPU for a spin (with discrete graphics, we'd recommend). The chassis performs equally well in both applications. Whatever you put in it, the case shows that equipment off, which is going to be worth the price of admission for many hardware enthusiasts. And if you're like me, you'll even add some lighting to make the effect even more eye-catching.

Lian Li's PC-Q30 doesn’t just get the looks right, though; it’s also very practical. I’d like to thank Lian Li for having the courage to design and produce a product like this. The company shows, yet again, that you don't always need a slightly different take on the same old mini-tower to be successful.

For demonstrating creativity, pulling it off expertly, and offering the PC-Q30 at a reasonable price, the case earns our Smart Buy award. We don't have a problem replacing the case fan that's too loud and overlooking this one shortcoming.

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  • gofasterstripes
    Lian Li proving, again, that they're a little less sane than everyone else...

    I kinda like it, nice concept. There's too many boring PC cases!
    13
  • Other Comments
  • afrobacon
    It's hideous.
    -1
  • gofasterstripes
    Lian Li proving, again, that they're a little less sane than everyone else...

    I kinda like it, nice concept. There's too many boring PC cases!
    13
  • jimthenagual
    Doesn't quite do it for me. Good for them for trying something new, but it's not something I'd buy.
    8
  • monsta
    Yuck....
    -3
  • bemused_fred
    Ugh. How incredibly gauche.
    -3
  • jimthenagual
    It makes me want to play donkey kong on the screen.
    4
  • killerclick
    I like it. Then again, everything is better than a laptop.
    3
  • JohnMD1022
    Ugly with a capital UG !!
    -4
  • vertexx
    Does that thing dispense Bitcoins? It looks like it should be dispensing something....
    4
  • rolli59
    Definitely a matter of taste.
    4
  • edmoncu
    UGLY! I don't understand the 'uniqueness' of this being a thing of beauty. it's a total opposite! Being different is not just about being different!
    -2
  • clonazepam
    So a designer at Lian Li was sitting around feeling all nostalgic about his Macintosh (1984-1993), and was looking at all the interesting slideshows of said computers that had been turned into fish bowls, or just a hideout for cute cats. Then the idea for this came to him/her.

    It's not something I'd do for myself. I can see how plenty of people would appreciate the design. I know my 8 yr old daughter would absolutely love that fan. Get some software to turn your monitor into a strobe light, and you have a party in the making! lol

    Igor's awesome. Good job. Could a 140mm fan be rigged up to that CPU(APU) cooler?
    2
  • warezme
    Tell your grandpa, it's a new fangled microfiche, he'll get it.
    1
  • g-unit1111
    It looks like an airport or store kiosk.
    0
  • ta152h
    Whoever thought this was an attractive case should not be allowed to do any decorations in the house.

    It's ugly as Hell. Different is easy. Different and attractive is difficult. This is different, sure, because no one else wanted to build something so ugly.

    Their train is different and pretty. They normally miss, that's for sure, but every now and then they get it right. I have the train,and love it. This ugly thing? I'd sledgehammer it. It would look better that way.
    -1
  • g-unit1111
    Anonymous said:
    So a designer at Lian Li was sitting around feeling all nostalgic about his Macintosh (1984-1993), and was looking at all the interesting slideshows of said computers that had been turned into fish bowls, or just a hideout for cute cats. Then the idea for this came to him/her.

    It's not something I'd do for myself. I can see how plenty of people would appreciate the design. I know my 8 yr old daughter would absolutely love that fan. Get some software to turn your monitor into a strobe light, and you have a party in the making! lol

    Igor's awesome. Good job. Could a 140mm fan be rigged up to that CPU(APU) cooler?


    Actually I'm thinking more some designer at Lian Li travels a lot and was thinking "Hmm...... how can I get my PC to have the feel of that machine at the airport that prints out your boarding pass?" :lol:
    2
  • cobra5000
    Lots of negative posts but I think its pretty cool. A case like this, demands a stylish cooler and gpu, if you add one. I have been itching to do a small form factor..
    0
  • nekromobo
    Any suggestions whats the cooler of choice to replace that case-fan? Something like Noctua NF-A15 ? For that absolutly silent service.. :)
    -1
  • RedJaron
    I don't mind the look of this. The cooling solution doesn't make much sense to me, though. The exhaust fan is effectively under the board. That means the flow has to go past the edges, but not across. That seems really inefficient, and possibly eddy inducing right above the board. And I'd forget trying anything but a blower-fan GPU in that case ( though that should work quite well considering the fan intake is right up against the case vent. The passive cooled card's fins are right next to the vent too, but they're not inline with how the air wants to flow.

    It just seems clumsy from a thermal/airflow perspective.
    0
  • DanglingPointer
    Get the most powerful Kaveri and pair it with a 7850 next year! Or whatever the most powerful GCN card that can fit!

    Mantle enabled games that are multi-gcn-gpu aware will be able to take advantage of assymetric AFR (assymetric crossfire rendering)!!!! Then you'll be able to play BF4 on high quality on 1080p!

    But that's only if Mantle lives up to the hype! It is still all theory on slides from AMD and DICE.
    0