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

Motherboard And APU: Zotac A75-ITX WiFi And AMD A10-6800K

CPU or APU? Simplicity Triumphs

Going in, we already knew that regardless of whether we used an AMD APU or Intel CPU, the opposing camp would want to see their processor of choice represented as well. Acknowledging that Intel's 22 nm offerings tend to use less power than AMD's 32 nm Richland-based APUs, we went with the A10-6800K to show that even a 100 W model will work in the confines of a mini-ITX enclosure. Moreover, it gives us a good standalone solution, since its on-die graphics engine gives the discrete Radeon HD 6670 a run for its money, depending on your memory selection. It can do things that even the once high-end Radeon HD 4870 can’t tackle.

We then added two different graphics cards to complicate the thermal situation and take worst-case measurements. This should give us a good overview of the components that could conceivably live in this case.

As an addition to our performance benchmarks, I also used Zotac's H77-ITX WiFi motherboard, which sports the same dimensions as the company's A75-ITX WiFi, with a Core i5-2500K on a bench table to explore how the performance of different APU and CPU combinations with discrete graphics stacks up. In the end, I found that it really doesn’t matter which mid-range APU or CPU you choose; all but one of our games is limited by graphics muscle anyway.

The Zotac A75-ITX WiFi

Zotac is well-known for its graphics cards. But its mini-ITX motherboards are also very popular. They were some of the first to expose rich feature sets in this form factor, and there really isn't much competition for the Socket FM2 market. Fortunately, the A75-ITX WiFi is a solid choice anyway; its excellent on-board Intel-based Wi-Fi controller and integrated Bluetooth connectivity are great value-adds we would have wanted to buy anyway.

Accessories include two antennas, four SATA cables, a VGA adapter, an I/O plate, an installation guide, a manual...you know, the usual. 

A Note about Component Selection

Personally, it’s important to make sure that a system like this will work the way it's supposed to for anyone looking to retrace my steps. It's not going to be possible to use all of the parts I did; after all, the power supply isn't even available in the U.S. But the cooler and memory on the next couple of pages should be easy to find. If you already now what you're doing and did a bit of research, you can certainly choose other components. But rest easy knowing my selections work perfectly together.

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    Top Comments
  • 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
  • It's hideous.
    -1
  • 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
  • Doesn't quite do it for me. Good for them for trying something new, but it's not something I'd buy.
    8
  • Yuck....
    -3
  • Ugh. How incredibly gauche.
    -3
  • It makes me want to play donkey kong on the screen.
    4
  • I like it. Then again, everything is better than a laptop.
    3
  • Ugly with a capital UG !!
    -4
  • Does that thing dispense Bitcoins? It looks like it should be dispensing something....
    4
  • Definitely a matter of taste.
    4
  • 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
  • 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
  • Tell your grandpa, it's a new fangled microfiche, he'll get it.
    1
  • It looks like an airport or store kiosk.
    0
  • 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
  • 389923 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
  • 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
  • Any suggestions whats the cooler of choice to replace that case-fan? Something like Noctua NF-A15 ? For that absolutly silent service.. :)
    -1
  • 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
  • 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