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Lian Li Lancool II Mesh Performance Review: What a Winner Looks Like

A great chassis for continuously changing builds

Lian Li Lancool II Mesh
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

System Configuration

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We are using the following system for our case test bed: 

CPU (opens in new tab)Intel Core i9-9900K
Motherboard (opens in new tab)Asus Maximus XI Hero WiFi
Memory (opens in new tab)Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000 MHz, 16 GB (2x 8GB)
Graphics (opens in new tab)Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super Founder's Edition
CPU Cooling (opens in new tab)Noctua NH-U12S Chromax Black
Thermal Paste (opens in new tab)Noctua NT-H2 Thermal Paste
Storage (opens in new tab)Corsair Force Series MP510 NVMe SSD, 480GB
Power Supply (opens in new tab)Corsair HX750i

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

With the space offered by the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh, installation of the motherboard was as easy as can be. The central standoff anchors the board, allowing you to place it in and secure it without needing to lay the case on its side. (Yes, that’s a silly detail, but as a case reviewer I like every tiny thing that saves me time and makes my life easier). 

The PSU also fit nicely, but there was a catch: The hard drive tray initially got in the way, which in most cases would mean I’d have to sacrificially remove it. That wasn’t the case in the Lancool II Mesh, where the HDD tray sits on a rail, allowing me to slide it either closer to the PSU to make room for thicker radiators at the front of the chassis, or towards the front to make room for oversized PSUs. Guess which direction I pushed it. 

The HDD installation was also simple -- not entirely toolless, but toolless installation of hard drives is always kind of a mixed bag. Yes, it saves you time, but it often leads to rattly drives, so we’re pleased to see that Lian Li’s system works with good old fashioned vibration-damping grommets and screws.

Cable Management

In so many cases, cable management is an afterthought in the design process, but Lian Li has its priorities straight. Normally, we’re not a big fan of seeing tempered glass on both sides of the chassis, but Lian Li has done such a phenomenal job of cable management that the Lancool II Mesh left me wondering why more cases don’t do it like this. 

In the main motherboard compartment, there is a metal cover above the holes where the cables come from the rear of the chassis, which helps things look tidy. At the cable clutter side, Lian Li has opted to place two more covers over the clutter, completely alleviating the messy cables behind glass issue. Seriously, look at that! Isn’t that the tidiest cable management you’ve ever seen? (Don’t peek behind the covers, though.)

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The PSU compartment also has plenty of space to store the excess cables, and HDD connectors are very easy to get to. The magnets in the downwards-opening latch over the PSU cover are strong enough to stay closed, even with excess cables pressing against it from inside. 

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

  • Phaaze88
    Magnets, how do they work?
  • GeekyOne
    No external drive bays for a DVD/CD recorder? That is a big con that rules out the case for me!
  • dkw7703
    @Admin FYI, Newegg's listing says a limited number include a free USBC cable.
  • dkw7703
    Phaaze88 said:
    Magnets, how do they work?
  • DSzymborski
    The 5.25" bay has largely been phased out on many of the newest and top performers as these are being used less and less often. It may make sense to, at some point, move to an external enclosure with your optical drive. You may find that you really don't use it as often as you think; I moved my BD-R to an external enclosure and I rarely use it, much to my surprise.

    I'm a fan of tempered glass on the cable side. At least then you know the case doesn't have one of those horrid cable-side cases that you need to have four arms to align to get on properly. I've been inside computers for 35 of my 42 years and I still hate those types of panels with a passion.
  • GeekyOne
    I noticed that quite a few cases these days don't have the 5.25" drive bay or any drive bays at all. I understand doing that for a compact case, but not for a regular tower. I burn CDs quite often and would not want the clutter or even finding space and expense of an external drive.
    Easy open side panels is a nice feature as I've found myself pulling the left panel quite often to upgrade, swap, or test components quite often - at times even running mine with the cover off for a while.
  • markbanang
    GeekyOne said:
    I noticed that quite a few cases these days don't have the 5.25" drive bay or any drive bays at all.
    The problem is that for optimal air flow through the CPU cooler, you want an unobstructed path between a front intake fan and the rear exhaust fan. Even a single drive bay will offset the top front fan from the CPU/rear fan and cause turbulence which reduces the effectiveness of the CPU cooler.

    Better flow means more cooling for the same fan speed, or the same cooling with a lower fan speed. In fact, just having an minmally impeded flow can push mesh fronted cases into a region where they are quieter than heavily baffled acoustic 'optimised' cases which have to run their fans faster to for enough air through their more restricted vents. A mesh fronted case means you never have to do the 'take the front off to keep it cool' trick.

    One of the things I like about the Lancool 2 mesh is that even though it doesn't have external 5.25" drive bays, it does have three 3.5" (hot swap, if you buy the backplane) drive bays behind a flip down side door. This is a great compromise.

    Incidentally, I can't remember the last time I actually needed to use an optical drive. Even if I did, I would be better off with an external drive on my desk, which is easy to get to, than an integrated drive hidden away under my desk.
  • Coastalhiker
    I just bought this thing based on this review and one other. am Replacing a NZXT H510 because it doesn't have a bay for my 5.25" floppy drive. I figure cutting the mesh with a peanut grinder and printing a bracket should be a cinch!.....


    There isn't enough airflow with 2 graphic cards in the NZXT to keep one card from maxing out. Fingers crossed. ALTHOUGH...

    I like the first story better to be honest.