DTX Lives! Four Double-Slot Cases For ITX Gaming Machines

Lian-Li PC-Q08

Next up on the list of miniature gaming cases that appear far larger than their “ITX” designation is Lian-Li’s PC-Q08. The idea, once again, is to fit full-sized performance and storage within a reduced-size package by attaching those big parts to a tiny motherboard.

A look around back shows that the PC-Q08 would have been tall enough to hold a microATX board, if not for the fact that critical parts have been shifted lower. That downward shift provides extra space for the optical drive and top fan, where several inches of added depth would have been required in order to make a taller motherboard fit.

Users benefit from a case that’s only 14” deep (including protruding hardware) rather than the more traditional 18”, allowing it to fit atop a smaller desk. A full-sized power supply up to 7” long can be positioned between the rear mounting panel and hard drive cage, with enough room to spare for hard drive mounting hardware and cables.

CPU cooler height restrictions prevent most tower coolers with perpendicularly-oriented fans from being installed, but large parallel-fan units are still supported. Users whose motherboards don’t support wide coolers have a third option, since the 120 mm exhaust fan fits single-fan liquid-coolers such as the older Corsair H50 or the new CoolIt ECO.

Though a total of six 3.5” hard drives are supported in the PC-Q08’s as-delivered configuration, removal of the lower two-bay cage extends maximum card length from 7.1” to 12”. That’s enough for a single Radeon HD 6970 or GeForce GTX 580, though most dual-GPU cards still won’t fit.

Rubber grommets secure a 140 mm fan bracket into key holes behind the PC-Q08’s front panel, and Lian-Li even includes a clip-on dust filter and 3-pin-to-4-pin fan adapter. Unfortunately, opening the case to access the fan and dust filter requires at least six side-panel screws to be removed each time, wearing on the screw’s black finish and potentially reducing the finished system’s pristine appearance.