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

Lian Li's PC-Q30 is not just a PC case, but an enclosure that serves as a showcase for the living room, including a unique shape and a large front window to show off the technology you cram inside. It’s sure to raise eyebrows and start some conversation...

Lian Li's PC-Q30 chassis is specifically designed to show off the guts of your PC in a place where everyone is going to see them. It boasts a unique shape, a large window, and, surprisingly, more space than you would think a small chassis could offer. At the very least, it's a conversation piece.

Because of its unique form factor and purpose, we thought we'd do more with this case than simply list off its pros and cons. With a little bit of effort, you can turn this thing into a striking little example of how proud you are to be a PC gamer.

The Lian Li PC-Q30 is built around the mini-ITX form factor. Of course, this limits the amount of technology you can shove inside. But don't underestimate the enclosure's roominess, either. We approached this build with AMD's most powerful APU, effective cooling, and a mind for aesthetics. We're going through each component and how to get it installed. If you want to build a system like this, you'll be able to walk through with us.

This case will never be the final resting place for all of your gaming gear. But since it does accommodate discrete graphics, we're also looking at some add-in options. At the end of the build, though, I ended up yanking all of the cards I tried and stuck with just the APU. Even still, it was interesting to see how fast this system could go (hint: it's further than you might think after a cursory glance). Fortunately, AMD's processor is quick enough for light gaming, and I wasn't trying to build something high-end. It might even turn out that Lian Li's PC-Q30 is a good foundation for a do-it-yourself Steam Machine.

Packaging

You (and whoever delivers your package) will immediately marvel at how light the PC-Q30 really is. It comes in a familiar brown cardboard box that's thick and sturdy enough to protect the aluminum contents from even the most mean-spirited couriers.

Inside, the PET foam used to hold the case in place is far superior to the Styrofoam we're accustomed to. You don't end up with a bunch of small white chunks to clean out of your carpet. This really should be standard packing material for all cases.

The case’s acrylic window has a sheet of recycled paper in front of it to prevent scratches.

In The Box

Apart from the case, the box contains everything else you need. There's even a piezo speaker included, which is far from expected these days. In addition to the usual screws, cable binders, and manual, Lian Li also includes a USB 3.0-to-USB 2.0 adapter that allows the case to be used with older motherboards.

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    Top Comments
  • 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
    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
  • 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