Lian Li PC-O11 WX Oversized ATX Case Review

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Hardware Installation, Evaluation And Conclusion

The PC-O11 includes enough shoulder screws to mount four 3.5” drives upon the factory-installed grommets (plus one spare screw), the motherboard, two SSDs, and the included 3x 120mm front-panel fan bracket. While the bracket can hold a large radiator, installing it requires removing the factory-installed pump bracket. Cable ties, adhesive cable loops, a PC speaker, and even a USB 3.0 header-to-USB 2.0 header adapter are included. Although three extra standoffs are included, the mounting points to support an EATX motherboard are either missing or cut away for cable passages.

Motherboard connections are sparse, since there aren’t any USB 2.0 ports or a reset button. There are USB 3.0, power, HD-Audio, and activity LED leads.

With the power supply and drives mounted behind the motherboard tray, space inside the motherboard compartment is cavernous. Shown is our full ATX case testing configuration.

Unfortunately, our Noctua NH-U12S CPU cooler is about 0.3” too tall to fit beneath the PC-O11’s side panel. We recommend a maximum CPU cooler height of 6.0” (152mm).

Since we had already generated test data using the shorter Noctua NH-U9B SE2 in our Riotoro CR1080 case review, it seemed appropriate to substitute this high-power part in today’s evaluation.

The CR1080 also shares a dual-chamber design with the PC-O11 WX, although it’s far shorter. The Corsair Carbide Air 740 is a more sizable comparison candidate. Apart from the shorter CPU cooler, components are carried over from our standardized configuration.

Comparison Cases

Test Results

Lacking fans of its own, the PC-O11 WX runs quite a bit hotter than even the tiny CR1080. We’re hoping it’s also much quieter.

Lacking fans of its own, the PC-O11 WX is one of the quietest cases we’ve tested with this hardware. It’s actually the quietest case we’ve tested using this dual-fan CPU cooler, which fills in for the taller single-fan unit used in most of our other big-case reviews.

The PC-O11 even has a better cooling-to-noise ratio than the CR1080, with its lower noise more than offsetting its higher temperatures in this overall performance metric. Unfortunately for Lian Li, the Carbide Air 740 sets the standard.

While the Carbide Air 740 is only twice the price of the CR1080, the PC-O11 WX is three times the price of Riotoro’s case. The result is an inverse value scale.

Value scores probably aren’t your top priority if you’re looking for a black-anodized, brushed-aluminum case with a tempered glass wraparound view of the motherboard compartment. Under that fancy skin you’ll still find a light gauge sheet steel chassis, however, so the only way the PC-O11 WX looks like a good value is if you’re building a PC demo unit, such as those used in trade shows. Wealthy buyers seeking to impress their nerdy friends can also count themselves among the PC-O11 WX target market, particularly after considering all of the room it has above, below, and before the motherboard for liquid cooling components. The PC-O11 WX begs for a build filled with multiple radiators, hard lines, and colored coolant.

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • dennphill
    Nice review. Thanks. (You are always very good with your reviews.) The 'kids' after convincing me on my last build that I 'no longer needed' an optical drive on the outside of my case...and falling in love with the white Corsair Air 240 which now houses my most recent build...well, they caused me to immediately buy an external optical drive! I won't soon buy a case without an external optical drive. JOMHO. Reason for writing is that with a new 27" BenQ Monitor 2560x1440 reading a review of a BLACK case is very frustrating! Cannot see any of the detail (well, very little) because it's basically black on black! (With an occasional spot of an LED or back light through a grating. I don't know what the best solution is, but it seems you could (somehow, in this day and age) modify the pictures of such black cases so detail is easier seen. (How's that for a complaint/suggestion?) Good review though. :-)
  • JonVincent
    The case had nice idea's, however is extremely ugly.
  • dstarr3
    19335927 said:
    The case had nice idea's, however is extremely ugly.

    A damn sight better-looking than all the RGB monstrosities flooding the market lately.
  • OneMan Army
    I think it looks fabulous as EFF. Honestly better looking than nzxt 480 elite. Just gorgeous.
  • Kip69
    As this is a watercooling case, why not show what it can hold there? Testing it with air is a good start, but.....
  • gavinfairbanks
    @JONVINCENT Proof that beauty is totally subjective. I am infatuated with how this case looks! HAHA
  • Tesselator
    I've learned the hard way - or should I say the fun way - that computer cases are just a bad idea in general unless your machine is around splashy liquids or something. Firstly whoever thought up the idea of putting our beautiful hardware inside a tin box is just a loon. That given, I find that just by attaching a back-plate to the motherboard and setting it directly on my desktop:

    1) saves the most space,
    2) decreases overall system noise,
    3) decreases system ambient heat dramatically!!!,
    4) affords an unprecedented amount of component and connector access,
    5) looks completely impressive and awesome,
    6) saves at least $100 on every build,
    7) related to #3, increases the efficiency of all coolers,
    8) saves >2 hours of build-time, (you literally just set the stuff in place and turn it on)
    9) potentially saves many hours when/if troubleshooting is needed

    So that's it for me. I'm never using another case again... ever. :D