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Lian Li Launches PC-A51 Case with Reverse Airflow Design

Lian Li introduced a new brushed aluminum mid-tower chassis, the PC-A51. Supporting ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards, this case was originally previewed to the community in its prototype stage, and now provides, in its final retail form, features that are based on community feedback.

For starters, the new PC-A51 sports a reverse airflow design, allowing cool air to be pulled into the chassis from the rear thanks to a filtered 120 mm fan. An additional 140 mm fan installed above the front-mounted power supply pulls the hot air out of the case. Owners can even mount an optional 120 mm or 140 mm fan on the floor of the chassis.

In addition to the airflow design, Lian Li's new case makes use of all the internal free space, allowing for CPU coolers up to 175 mm (6.8 inches), power supplies up to 160 mm (6.2 inches) and VGA cards up to 400 mm (15.7 inches). There's also a "tool-less" top panel that can be removed for allowing users to install 240/280 mm radiators and AIO liquid cooling kits.

The Lian Li PC-A51 also features a new "versatile" HDD/SSD mounting system that allows system builders to install 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives on the individually removable hard drive bays. If these bays are removed, users can mount up to three 2.5-inch drives directly onto the tray, thus freeing up space and helping to increase the airflow. Another 2.5-inch drive can be mounted in the 30 mm (1.2-inch) space behind the motherboard tray.

Finally, this community-driven case provides an I/O panel packed with four USB 3.0 ports and HD audio connections, which is located on the front bezel. There's also a "stealth" bay on the front for mounting a 5.25 inch optical drive.

The chassis comes in four flavors: the PC-A51A (silver) / PC-A51B (black) for $149 each, the PC-A51WX (internal black w/window) for $189, and the PC-A51WRX (red and black w/window) for $199. The PC-A51A, PC-A51B and PC-A51WX will be available in North America at the end of February, whereas the PC-A51WRX will be available at the end of April.

  • meluvcookies
    My biggest concerns with this airflow design is:1. Though it doesn't preclude the use of a AIO watercooler, it does raise questions about the ability to move enough air through the filtered 120mm fan at the rear of the case along with any rear-mounted radiator.
    Reply
  • icycool_q1
    Just one thing strange about these cases.. no reset button!
    Reply
  • hotroderx
    This seems to me like a foolish design. I like the case don't get me wrong there, but this idea for reverse airflow seems kinda dumb.The first thing that comes to mind is why would you want the case venting hot air towards you? The second thing that comes to mind is the Video card. I have a AMD 7870 and a Nvidia GTX 770 video card and both blow some pretty hot air out of the back of my computer. What keeps that intake fan in the back from sucking up that hot air and blowing it back in to the case raising temps?
    Reply
  • house70
    Since no case is airtight, I would just reverse the rear fan to exhaust, in addition to the top fan. Creating a vacuum-like environment will only draw more cool air in the case through the front vents, creating a relatively laminar flow. Their configuration begs for turbulence, which in turn means less effective air flow.
    Reply
  • house70
    12702629 said:
    Just one thing strange about these cases.. no reset button!
    Got it the first time you said it, buddy, no need for triple post.
    Reply
  • icycool_q1
    12702651 said:
    12702629 said:
    Just one thing strange about these cases.. no reset button!
    Got it the first time you said it, buddy, no need for triple post.

    This interface is seriously screwed.
    I just signed up today, coz I couldn't find how to sign in normally (I made an account a year ago), so I went through gmail.
    Then it posted twice.
    Then I went to account settings to read the welcome mail.
    Somehow, it decides to post again??? Anyway, I have deleted the dupe posts, and really expect a bit better out of Toms, given the traffic this site gets.
    Incidentally, I know it has no reset button, because I downloaded the product manual from Lian-Li.
    Reply
  • house70
    12702692 said:
    12702651 said:
    12702629 said:
    Just one thing strange about these cases.. no reset button!
    Got it the first time you said it, buddy, no need for triple post.

    This interface is seriously screwed.
    I just signed up today, coz I couldn't find how to sign in normally (I made an account a year ago), so I went through gmail.
    Then it posted twice.
    Then I went to account settings to read the welcome mail.
    Somehow, it decides to post again??? Anyway, I have deleted the dupe posts, and really expect a bit better out of Toms, given the traffic this site gets.
    Incidentally, I know it has no reset button, because I downloaded the product manual from Lian-Li.
    Agree with the screwed interface. The site comments section has been destroyed ever since they decided to change it a while ago. During the "feedback" period they only considered cosmetic suggestions, ignoring the more serious functional ones. This is the result.
    Reply
  • icycool_q1
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    Also, I prefer the old way of seeing all comments instead of having to click "show", perhaps it's better for mobile devices with the infinite scroll-through of recent articles, but it doesn't suit me.
    Reply
  • meh another computer case just with the fans flipped over to pull from the back instead of the front.
    Reply
  • finder
    how do you fit PSU inside this case?
    Reply