Ten years ago, Lian Li was mostly known for extremely expensive aluminum cases that many dreamed of, but few could actually afford. But in the last few years, Lian Li has pivoted to become the people’s case maker. Gone is the requirement for everything to be aluminum – these days you’ll find plenty of steel, especially in the frames and mesh – but the design brilliance has remained, if not improved.
The company’s latest ITX case, the Q58, is an example of exactly this new way of thinking – it offers a brilliant design, oh-so-premium looks, and – get this – it only costs $130. If you’re familiar with the world of ITX cases, you’ll know that’s not a lot of money for a small, 14.3 liter case, especially with the likes of the NCase M1 costing around $210 and Louqe’s Raw S1 tallying in at a mighty $330.
So, without further ado, let’s dig in and find out if the Q58 is good enough for our Best PC Cases list. It certainly has stiff competition, with both the Hyte Revolt 3 and Cooler Master’s NR200P impressing us on the compact case front in recent weeks.
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||9.8 x 6.7 x 13.5 inches (250 x 170 x 342 mm)|
|Max GPU Length||12.6 inches (320 mm)|
|Internal Bays||SFF PSU: 3x 2.5-inch + 1x 3.5-inch|
|ATX PSU: 2x 2.5-inch|
|Expansion Slots||3x Vertical|
|Front I/O||1x USB 3.0|
|Other||3-Port Fan & RGB Hub|
|Top Fans||Up to 2x 140mm|
|Bottom Fans||Up to 1x 120mm|
Circling around the outside of the chassis, the first thing that stands out about the Q58 is its simple design. You’ll find half-height glass panels at the top, half-height mesh panels at the bottom, and an aluminum front panel that matches the rest of the case, with a finish split right in the middle.
The case’s side panels are made of painted steel with a fine mesh that’s good enough to act as a rough dust filter, but the top panel is made from prettier anodized aluminum and has its mesh milled out. It’s a rougher mesh, but that’s okay as this is the exhaust location, so it doesn’t need to filter any air.
Flip around the back of the chassis, and there’s not much to be seen other than the motherboard’s IO cutout, three vertical expansion slots, a power socket, and a trio of thumbscrews. Front IO consists of a single USB 3.0 Type-A port, a USB Type-C port, and a mic-headphone combo jack.
But don’t be fooled by the tidy, simplistic exterior. Hiding inside the Q58 has a very neat, surprisingly flexible design.
First, lets talk about the panels a little more. The four side panels are all on hinges, and they are exchangeable. The default layout (and the layout I’d recommend), has the glass panels at the top with the mesh at the bottom, but you can opt to swap these around, or have all glass on one side and all mesh on the other. What you can’t do is have glass at the top of one side and the bottom of the other – the panels are mirrored, so their hinges won’t support this.
The one thing we do have to note about the panels is that two of them seemed awfully tough to slip from their hinges, though Lian Li informed us beforehand that this was an issue with our sample and that it would be fixed in retail cases.
On the right side of the case you’ll find the main motherboard area. This fits an ITX motherboard mounted upside-down, and the bracket for the SFF PSU is installed from the factory.
Flip over to the left side, and you’ll spot the GPU area.
But if you look at the top of the chassis, you’ll spot a large cavity. Believe it or not, you can actually fit up to a 280 mm radiator up here, complete with fans. That’s honestly an amazing amount of cooling power for a case this small, and certainly something you should utilize given you don’t need any other layout.
The bottom of the case supports a single 120mm fan as intake underneath the PSU, though it does not ship with any fans. The bottom does have magnetic dust filters included in the accessory pack.
At the back of the case, near the top, you’ll also spot a fan hub. This is a simple PWM & RGB hub with three ports – so it isn’t SATA powered, but it does offer a neat way to run all your fans and RGB devices through a single header. Given that most ITX motherboards only have one RGB header, and the case supports exactly three fans, this is a neat inclusion, especially at this price.
For storage, you can fit up to three 2.5-inch drives in this chassis and one 3.5-inch drive. These are placed at the bottom, along the top radiator mount, behind the power supply; the last 2.5-inch slot is sneakily placed between the frame paneling at the front. It’s too tight there to get cables to, but Lian Li built in a hot-swap bracket. Keep in mind that the bottom drive only fits if you don’t install an intake fan.
The Q58 can support ATX PSUs
However, if you don’t want to invest in a pricey SFF or SFF-L power supply, Lian Li also includes a bracket to convert the chassis to ATX mode. In this mode, the Q58 will still happily swallow 320mm graphics cards, but you will be making a few sacrifices. For one, the biggest supported radiator drops from 280mm to 120mm, and storage options drop to just two 2.5-inch drives. So, for best results, we recommend sticking to an SFF power supply.
PCIe 4.0 support & white paint costs extra
In its base variant, black with a PCIe 3.0 riser cable, the Q58 costs $130. If you want a model that has a PCIe 4.0-capable riser cable because you’re dropping in an RTX 3000 or RX 6000 graphics card, this will run you an extra $30, bringing the price tag to $160. Meanwhile, the Q58 is also available in white – a finish that costs $10 extra on both the PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 variants.