Lian Li's PC-Q30 Is Small, Special, And Stylish (But Also Practical)
I like the PC-Q30's unique style and well-executed design so much that I just had to go the extra mile and include a guide to building your own system with it. The case’s shape is undoubtedly going to be loved by some and hated by others, but there's no question in my mind that Lian Li deserves a call-out for designing something unique, far-removed from the mainstream, and still executed perfectly. Really, my only complaint is that the stock 140 mm rear case fan is way too loud and needs to either be slowed down with a 5 V adapter or replaced altogether. Otherwise, my always-critical eye couldn't find anything wrong. The build quality is top notch, Lian Li's design is great, and the case is as practical as I could have hoped.
The company managed to design a case that allows a low-profile heat sink like Thermalright's AXP-100 to keep a hot APU like AMD's A10-6800K nice and cool. As long as you research the components more than you otherwise would to avoid compatibility issues, you get a really nice entry-level gaming box.
If you legitimately enjoy the PC-Q30's aesthetic angle, then you really can't go wrong with it. Go the AMD route and drop in an APU, or take an Intel CPU for a spin (with discrete graphics, we'd recommend). The chassis performs equally well in both applications. Whatever you put in it, the case shows that equipment off, which is going to be worth the price of admission for many hardware enthusiasts. And if you're like me, you'll even add some lighting to make the effect even more eye-catching.
Lian Li's PC-Q30 doesn’t just get the looks right, though; it’s also very practical. I’d like to thank Lian Li for having the courage to design and produce a product like this. The company shows, yet again, that you don't always need a slightly different take on the same old mini-tower to be successful.
For demonstrating creativity, pulling it off expertly, and offering the PC-Q30 at a reasonable price, the case earns our Smart Buy award. We don't have a problem replacing the case fan that's too loud and overlooking this one shortcoming.