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Lian Li's PC-M25 Can Fit Many Hard Drives In Compact Footprint

Lian Li often takes a step away from the ordinary tower design for its cases, and the PC-M25 that the company announced today is no exception. It’s not too different from a standard tower design, but it has a couple changes to set it apart. The idea behind this chassis is that you can use it to build a compact yet powerful system with more storage space than you need.

For starters, the case can house up to a Micro-ATX motherboard, a 230 mm long ATX PSU, and graphics cards up to 410 mm long.

This case’s highlight is its room for storage. The spec sheet says that the tray at the bottom of the case has room for either three 2.5” drives or two 3.5” drives, although it looks like you may be able to fit two of each with a tight squeeze. Additionally, in the front area of the case, Lian Li built a hot-swap system. This cage has room for five 3.5” drives, and at the rear there is a PCB with the data and power headers already in place. This means that after popping off the side panel, swapping those five drives around should be a snap.

Due to the placement of the power supply, cable management won’t be this case’s strongest point. Of course, the hot-swap plate will keep things a little tidy, but at the end of the day you’ll still cover it all up with the side panel anyway.

Cooling in the case is handled by a 140 mm intake fan that pushes air through the hard drive cage, whereas exhaust is handled by a 120 mm fan that is mounted at the top of the chassis. The power supply will aid with exhaust a bit, too.

Being a Lian Li case, it is built almost entirely out of aluminum. The only parts that aren’t aluminum are the vibration absorption grommets, fans, the foam padding at the bottom of the feet, as well as a couple of minor bits and bobs.

The case measures 199 x 322 x 441 mm (WxHxD). It weighs 3.74 kg when empty.

The case will be available in silver and anodized black, with pricing sitting at $169 for each. Lian Li aims to have the PC-M25 on shelves in the U.S. by mid-February.

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  • dstarr3
    Time to build the little storage server that could.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Funny, the article says it can support micro-ATX, which it certainly looks like it can. But the promotional graphic at the top, which I assume is supplied by Lian Li, says it's for "Mini-ITX" at the bottom.

    I think this would be great w/a mini-ITX server board, like the ones from ASRockRack, to run a small server w/decent storage capability.
    Reply
  • wysir
    Am I the only one thinking that the placement of the PSU over the CPU might cause some heating issues?
    Reply
  • Quixit
    Am I the only one thinking that the placement of the PSU over the CPU might cause some heating issues?

    Not for the usage this is designed for. This would be a good fit for a really low-power CPU.
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    I use a similar older version of this case. Two 120mm fans in the front with the top 140 exhaust provides good airflow. It fits a bunch of drives.

    The only downside is poor cable management. It's doable tho.
    Reply
  • why_wolf
    not a fan of how the PSU is placed but I guess this thing is really meant for people to roll their own servers or NAS not a gaming rig.
    Reply
  • sylentz199
    Funny, the article says it can support micro-ATX, which it certainly looks like it can. But the promotional graphic at the top, which I assume is supplied by Lian Li, says it's for "Mini-ITX" at the bottom.

    I think this would be great w/a mini-ITX server board, like the ones from ASRockRack, to run a small server w/decent storage capability.

    This is the Plex server case I've been waiting for. Already have a mITX Obsidian 250d gaming rig built. Now I need a mITX storage server. I like the future proof 10GbE on this one: http://b2b.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=5761#ov
    But rock racks looks pretty sweet too. Anyone have any suggestions. Looking for a mid range xeon in the event i need to transcode a couple 1080p plex streams. I try to ensure rips are direct play but if i'm remote on phone then it can't be an atom or i3 type cpu
    Reply
  • pasow
    Am I the only one thinking that the placement of the PSU over the CPU might cause some heating issues?
    i have some old computers lying around where the fan for the CPU is the PSU. It never seemed like a safe design personally, especially given the reputation of Pentium 4's to be hot buggers. But some how they are all still running. (TDP is in the 60's)
    Reply
  • mortsmi7
    So It's like a PC-Q25B, but with microATX. Looks like it gives two more inches for the PSU, that's a huge plus. I got a modular PSU for mine, then opted for the extension bracket because it wouldn't fit.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    17440129 said:
    Am I the only one thinking that the placement of the PSU over the CPU might cause some heating issues?
    i have some old computers lying around where the fan for the CPU is the PSU.
    I did the exact opposite, with a i3-based server I built in a similar case: the CPU's 140 mm fan is used to cool the fanless Seasonic PSU. The CPU's TDP is 55 W, and the cooler it's got can handle a 130 W TDP CPU, so there's cooling capacity to spare.

    In a bigger case, the PSU wouldn't need a fan (which is why it has none of its own). But because it's it's mounted sideways, I'm actually glad it can piggyback on the CPU's cooling solution. And when I say sideways, that's relative to the orientation it's supposed to have, in order to receive proper convection cooling (as specified by the manufacturer). Fanless PSUs are designed to be oriented in a specific way.
    Reply