Lian-Li's new PC-9N chassis is built using almost all aluminum parts. The outside is brushed aluminum, and comes in two colors, silver in the PC-9NA and black in the PC-9NB.
Lian Li has also opted for a number of interesting features. For starters, it has a rather new and innovative motherboard mounting system. Rather than a giant motherboard tray with a cutout behind the CPU socket, Lian Li has opted to go for a rail based mounting system. This rail mounting system should offer better thermals and more practical cable management. The rail system also uses fewer resources, thus making the chassis lighter and ever so slightly cheaper to build.
The enclosure can house up to three 5.25" optical drives, three 3.5" hard drives and a has a single mounting spot for a 2.5" SSD. The drive cage for the hard drives and the SSD is modular, so it can be rotated for airflow optimization or accessibility. Moreover, the mounting system is done with quick access thumb screws, and it has a system that should reduce noise and vibration. The optical drive bays are also of tool-less design.
An interesting bit is that the chassis has a massive amount of internal space for graphics cards and power supplies. First of all, the case features a grand total of 8 expansion slots, and as a result users could fit up to four graphics cards in the enclosure. Moreover, because there is nothing obstructing the length of the graphics cards, users can mount graphics cards that are up to 430 mm long. The only thing blocking the length of the power supply is the hard drive and SSD bay, so as a result PSUs can be up to a staggering 300 mm long. CPU coolers can be up to 170 mm tall.
The case also comes with two fans: a front 140 mm fan, and a rear 120 mm fan. As a result, the chassis will have a nice positive pressure, preventing the system from sucking in dust through spots other than the air filter in front of the front fan. The front panel of the chassis can also be removed without tools, making for easy access to the air filter.
The top I/O of the case is built using a small door, underneath which hide two USB 3.0 ports and s pair of HD audio ports.
Availability is set for end of February in the U.S. with a MSRP of $109.99.
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Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.
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A Lian Li case that has both style, function, and a low price tag... that's pretty nice. It certainly looks sleek, and hopefully other manufacturers start to use the modular/rail design for the mobo tray area. This really is a nice case if you're looking for a spacious and cheap air cooled case. I suspect the lack of top fans or bottom fans may be a bit discouraging even for the air cooling option, but all but scuttles any water cooling ideas without some modding or creative implementation.Reply
Interesting design. I would definitely want to install the memory, CPU, and heatsink in/on the mobo before mounting to the case to minimize flexing the mobo.Reply
Maybe its just me but I never really like aluminum finish.Reply
Bought my first -of several- case from Lian Li several years ago; they maybe a bit more expensive than others but top quality. No regrets !Reply
And this at $110 MSRP seems to be a rather good deal.
That case looks sweet but it would be even better with a clear window!Reply
g-unit1111That case looks sweet but it would be even better with a clear window!Knowing Lian-Li there's probably gonna be a seperate loose side panel with a window for sale at some point. At least, Lian-Li did that a few years ago, not sure if they still do that.Reply
Don't know why everyone says their cases are good, is it because of the aluminum or something else.Reply
I find their cases to be over rated and over price. If you where to spend the same amount on another case, you may get a lot more features, than what they have.
I remember working on a Lian Li itx case or something and the side panel was hold on with like 10 screws. After removing the side panel, I spend like over 15 minutes try to get that panel back on as the holes will not line up properly. Also those screws are cheap, they strip easily.
I think Lian-Li cases are great - I've built four computers using different sized cases and the quality and subtle features are second to none. The hard drive mounting system is the best on the planet for isolating vibration and everything fits perfectly with no squeaks or rattles.Reply
lp231. I think you may have gotten duped by an immitator. I've built over 20 custom rigs all with Lian Li cases, and not 1 issue. I still have, and use my original Lian Li PC-60 case my wife bought for me over a decade ago. I did manage to strip 1 screw, but that was my own fault. That 1 case has survived, and flourished through countless hardware refreshes. Athlon XP up to my current Intel 980x, and every single one of them have been Watercooled.Reply
I once had this issue, and it allows me to say that all products are terrible. I thought, hey, why not spend the extra few dollars, and get this thing, over that other thing. What a mistake! Turns out that the thing I got was horrible, and I would have been better off with the other thing what was cheaper even!Reply
Lesson learned I say...