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Hands-On With Five Mini-ITX Cases

Lian Li PC-Q08

The Lian Li PC-Q08 is the largest case in this roundup, and it consequently offers the most space for the installation of our Mini-ITX motherboard and other components. Despite its comparatively gigantic dimensions of 22.7 x 27.2 x 34.5 cm (W x H x D), the PC-Q08 weighs just around 2.7 kg, since it is made of aluminum.

The external design of the case is simple and functional. The only things that draw any attention are the large ventilation slots on each side of the chassis. The controls and connections are neatly arranged on the front panel. The necessary ventilation is performed by a 120 mm fan at the top, and a large 140 mm blue LED fan mounted at the front of the case.

Seven Storage Slots Available

The Lian Li PC-Q08 comes without a power supply, unlike the other test candidates. It does, however, allow for the installation of a regular ATX PSU. This is conveniently done by removing the mounting frame and attaching the PSU to it. Otherwise, even the Lian Li case would have trouble fitting an ATX PSU.

The PC-Q08 turns out to be really roomy. While the other Mini-ITX cases only offer one or two storage bays, the Lian Li case offers seven. It has room for a 5.25” optical drive, as well as six 3.5” hard drives. Installing a graphics card (maximum length 30 cm) forces you to give up two of the 3.5” bays.

Ready for USB 3.0

The Lian Li PC-Q08 offers support for USB 3.0 and comes with two ports placed at the front panel. Lian Li uses conventional USB 3.0 extension cables to provide USB 3.0 support, as there do not yet exist standardized pin connectors for this type of internal USB 3.0 wiring. If the Mini-ITX motherboard does not support USB 3.0, the two USB ports can still be used to connect other peripherals via the included USB 2.0 pin connector adapter.

Conclusion: The All-Arounder

The Lian Li PC-Q08 combines the compact dimensions of a Mini-ITX case with the comfort of a full-blown PC, and with its seven drive bays and USB 3.0 support, it offers great flexibility and connectivity. The case is best for users who need a machine that is as compact as possible, but who will also accept some compromises when it comes to the configuration options.

Lian Li PC-Q08
TypeMini-ITX Case
Form factorMini-ITX
Dimensions (W x H x D)227 x 272 x 345 mm
ColorSilver colored
Connections2 x USB 3.0, Audio in/out
PSUNo PSU included
Support for expansion cardsYes, maximum length 19 cm
Drives6 x 3.5" hard drives, 1 x 5.25" optical drive
Ventilation1 x 140 mm (front), 1 x 120 mm (top)
Weight2.73 kg
PriceAround $110
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