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Processor Installation And RAM Selection

Lian Li PC-Q30 Case Review: A Mini-ITX Chassis With Flair
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CPU Installation and Thermal Paste

We see a lot of forum posts about thermal paste, which is why we published Thermal Paste Comparison, Part One: Applying Grease And More and Thermal Paste Comparison, Part Two: 39 Products Get Tested. Consequently, no build recommendation would be complete without addressing this topic. First, install the APU onto your motherboard of choice. There's only way to do it; just like up the little arrow in the corner and don't use any unnecessary force.

Once the APU is in place, any of the compounds recommended in the round-up linked above will do. I used the relatively new Extreme Fusion X1 by Cooler Master, which is soft enough to yield good results using a small blob in the middle of the processor. Generally, how the thermal paste is applied, especially in regard to the amount and location, is more important than its theoretical performance. It’s the skill, and not the tool, that’s important here.

The blob in my picture doesn't look particularly sexy, but it suits our purpose perfectly. It’s the right amount so that you won't have thermal paste leaking out the sides, but it'll still cover the surface of the APU with no air bubbles.

Picking The Memory: 16 GB ADATA DDR3 2133 XPG

Some memory modules employ downright ostentatious heat spreaders, which tend to be too tall and can mess with heat sink clearance. This is especially true for the fast RAM that an APU's graphics engine benefits from most.

The coolers you'd choose from in a mini-ITX-based build like this one should be fairly low-profile (check out Eight Low-Profile CPU Coolers For Your Compact PC, Reviewed if you need some help choosing), so any kit with tall heat spreaders is out. I chose Adata's XPG family since it gives us 2133 MT/s data rates in a fairly low-clearance module.

The two sticks remind me of the legendary Vitesta line, which you might remember from the DDR2 days. I wish I knew why Adata got rid of that very successful memory family.

Clearly, the memory kit employs a very flat heat spreader that should fit under low-profile CPU coolers. Our modules of choice remained stable throughout testing and didn't cause any compatibility issues with Zotac's A75-ITX WiFi.

Some motherboards, including the A75-ITX WiFi included in today's build, require you to active an XMP profile in the BIOS (or enter the corresponding timings and voltages manually) in order to realize the rated data rate ceiling.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    gofasterstripes , November 19, 2013 12:20 AM
    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!
Other Comments
  • -1 Hide
    afrobacon , November 18, 2013 10:54 PM
    It's hideous.
  • 13 Hide
    gofasterstripes , November 19, 2013 12:20 AM
    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!
  • 8 Hide
    jimthenagual , November 19, 2013 12:23 AM
    Doesn't quite do it for me. Good for them for trying something new, but it's not something I'd buy.
  • -3 Hide
    monsta , November 19, 2013 12:49 AM
    Yuck....
  • -3 Hide
    bemused_fred , November 19, 2013 2:20 AM
    Ugh. How incredibly gauche.
  • 4 Hide
    jimthenagual , November 19, 2013 2:23 AM
    It makes me want to play donkey kong on the screen.
  • 3 Hide
    killerclick , November 19, 2013 4:21 AM
    I like it. Then again, everything is better than a laptop.
  • -4 Hide
    JohnMD1022 , November 19, 2013 4:36 AM
    Ugly with a capital UG !!
  • 4 Hide
    vertexx , November 19, 2013 5:45 AM
    Does that thing dispense Bitcoins? It looks like it should be dispensing something....
  • 4 Hide
    rolli59 , November 19, 2013 6:24 AM
    Definitely a matter of taste.
  • -2 Hide
    edmoncu , November 19, 2013 7:39 AM
    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 Hide
    clonazepam , November 19, 2013 9:03 AM
    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?
  • 1 Hide
    warezme , November 19, 2013 9:22 AM
    Tell your grandpa, it's a new fangled microfiche, he'll get it.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , November 19, 2013 9:26 AM
    It looks like an airport or store kiosk.
  • -1 Hide
    ta152h , November 19, 2013 10:11 AM
    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.
  • 2 Hide
    g-unit1111 , November 19, 2013 10:23 AM
    Quote:
    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: 
  • 0 Hide
    cobra5000 , November 19, 2013 10:58 AM
    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..
  • -1 Hide
    nekromobo , November 19, 2013 11:54 AM
    Any suggestions whats the cooler of choice to replace that case-fan? Something like Noctua NF-A15 ? For that absolutly silent service.. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , November 19, 2013 2:17 PM
    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 Hide
    DanglingPointer , November 19, 2013 3:53 PM
    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.
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