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Lian Li PC-O11 WX Oversized ATX Case Review

Lian Li’s latest side-by-side tower includes glass panels and the physical space for EATX motherboards. We take a closer look.

Our Verdict

The PC-O11 WX could be the perfect chassis for custom PC builders who want to show off their liquid-cooling rigid tube bending skills.

For

  • Supports up to three 3x 120mm radiators
  • Empty space to hold a wide range of cooling components and oversized cards
  • Supports oversized motherboards
  • Modular components available from Lian Li

Against

  • No included fans
  • Front radiator mount is internal on both intake and exhaust sides
  • No mechanical support for full-EATX motherboards, in spite of EATX label

Introducing Lian Li’s PC-O11 WX

Lian Li's PC-011 WX is available exclusively in this glass-paneled, black (W, X) version. Removing a space from the product name gives us the model designator PC-O11WX. We'll refer to it simply as PC-011 throughout.

Like many of its competitors, Lian Li has found that ridding a case of drive bays in front of the motherboard makes room for longer cards, various liquid cooling components, and even larger motherboards. Unlike those competitors, Lian Li calls its case EATX. This creates a small problem for us, since EATX is a designation for 13”-deep by 12”-tall motherboards that require the mechanical support of three extra standoffs, compared to the 9.6”-deep ATX form-factor. Like the cases of its competitors, the PC-O11 doesn’t have these extra standoffs. Like the cases of its competitors, it supports 10.6”-deep EATX-labeled enthusiast motherboards, but only because those boards are closer to ATX than to EATX size. To be fair, we’ll call the cases “oversized ATX,” at least until someone comes up with a new form factor for 10.6”-deep boards. Of course you could just leave the front of your full-EATX server motherboard flapping around the inside of your case, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

With that little discussion out of the way, the PC-O11 is actually large enough to support XL-ATX motherboards, owing to its inclusion of eight slots and the extra inches of empty space it provides above and below such boards. The eighth slot also gives ATX motherboard owners the needed space to put a double-slot graphics card in the motherboard’s bottom slot. Although eight-slot cases have been around a long time, the fact that most manufacturers have recently forgotten about this minor detail allows us to call this a design win.

The PC-O11’s dual-chamber design hides the power supply and drives behind the motherboard tray while leaving the motherboard area visually exposed to show off your cooling devices and graphics cards. Wires are also hidden behind the motherboard tray, and several of these lead to a pair of front-panel USB 3.0 ports, a pair of audio jacks, a power button, and a power LED. Behind that black-anodized aluminum front panel, a mix of aluminum caps and rubber grommets cover cable access holes.

The snap-off right side panel is made of the same black anodized brushed aluminum sheet as the top panel and front section. Featuring a side vent for the power supply’s air intake, magnetic strips glued to both the inside of the panel and an internal nylon filter ease cleaning.

Lian Li says that its rear panel supports two 80mm fans, but we instead find four mounts. Perhaps the reason the company doesn’t list all four is that only two of them are in the motherboard chamber, or perhaps it’s because the motherboard chamber’s rear fan grills are also drilled to hold a 2.5” drive. A mounted drive would cover both grills on that side of the case.

Snapping off the top and right side panels, we find a recessed 3x 120mm radiator mount and two 3.5” drive cages. A foam-covered stand protruding from the bottom panel helps support the weight of heavy power supplies.

Each of the two hard drive bays can hold two 3.5” drives and a single 2.5” drive. The larger drives are mounted upon vibration-damping grommets via included shoulder screws, while the smaller drives mount directly to the bay’s lower tray. Both bays are secured with a single thumb screw and three hook tabs.

A fourth 2.5” drive can be mounted directly to the bottom of the power supply chamber.

Under the aluminum and glass shell, the PC-O11 chassis is made of thin sheet steel. This allows top-panel and bottom-panel dust filter sheets to be attached directly with magnetic strips glued to the filters. Both the top and bottom have space for 3x 120mm radiators, though the top fan mounts are wide open and the bottom mounts are slotted. The bottom fans draw air through mesh-filled slots on the sides of the base.

Just as the front of its power supply chamber floor can hold a 2.5” drive, the front of the PC-O11’s motherboard chamber floor is factory equipped with a single water pump mount.


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  • 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. :-)
    Reply
  • JonVincent
    The case had nice idea's, however is extremely ugly.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • OneMan Army
    I think it looks fabulous as EFF. Honestly better looking than nzxt 480 elite. Just gorgeous.
    Reply
  • Kip69
    As this is a watercooling case, why not show what it can hold there? Testing it with air is a good start, but.....
    Reply
  • gavinfairbanks
    @JONVINCENT Proof that beauty is totally subjective. I am infatuated with how this case looks! HAHA
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply