Lian Li's PC-V33 Lays ATX Board On Its Back; Available With Glass Side Panels

Last time we heard from the PC case maker Lian Li, the company built a case in the shape of a desk. The company is now back with its new PC-V33, an ATX chassis. This case doesn't quite look like any other case on the market, but it does follow the Lian Li way of building things, so it is definitely recognizable as a Lian Li case. The PC-V33 will be available in three different flavors: a black anodized aluminum model, a silver aluminum model, and a black anodized model with two tempered glass side panels.

The inside of the chassis is split into two chambers, and the upper one has room for up to an ATX motherboard. The board lays flat on its back, with the I/O facing to the rear. The CPU cooler can be up to 190 mm tall, and graphics cards can be up to 330 mm long before they run into anything. The top chamber has seven expansion slots, so you'll be able to get up to three dual-slot graphics cards into the case. You won't need the space, but if you're feeling adventurous you'll even be able to squeeze a 300 mm long ATX power supply into the bottom chamber of the case.

The side panels of the case come off quite easily, as they use Lian-Li's snap-clip system -- you can just pull on them and they'll come right off. The front and top of the chassis is actually one piece of aluminum; after you remove two thumb screws, it swivels forward, opening the entire system up for very easy access. Lian Li described it as a test bed level of accessibility.

In the bottom chamber of the case there is also a mounting system for up to four 3.5" or 2.5" hard drives or SSDs. These are mounted on two separate plates, which you place in the case using Lian Li's rubber screws – some simple screws that have male and female threading made of metal, but there is not actually any metal connecting the two ends of the screw, just a rubber bushing.

The front of the case has vents and mounting holes for two 120 mm fans, or a 240 mm radiator, and is covered with a fan filter. The bottom of the case also has an air filter over the PSU area, and the back of the case has two mounting locations for 120 mm fans – one per chamber as exhaust. From the factory, Lian Li includes two case fans mounted in these exhaust locations, leaving the front of the case free for you to install a radiator.

Front I/O on the case is standard, consisting of a pair of HD audio jacks and two USB 3.0 ports. Additionally, Lian Li uses its updated power button on this case, which is no longer made of plastic, but from a small piece of brushed aluminum. With the exception of the fans, the vibration absorption bushings, and the optional tempered glass side panels, everything is indeed made of aluminum – that's the Lian Li way.

All of the variants of the PC-V33 will be available this month, and Lian Li suggested a retail price of $199 for the black or silver models. The black unit with tempered glass side panels will sell for a little bit more, carrying an MSRP of $229.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • DynamoNED
    Reminds me of the Cooler Master HAF xB. Essentially, this appears to be a somewhat classier take on the "open-air bench case."
  • Larry Litmanen
    Very nice.
  • tiagoluz8
    CaseLabs Mercury S8S, anyone?
  • RedJaron
    This isn't a "radically different design." Cases have had the stacked layout for a while. As already mention the HAF xB. A lot of ITX mini towers like the Prodigy also have the mboard flat and the PSU underneath.