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

Building With The PC-Q08

Factor- equipped with external USB 3.0 front-panel leads, the PC-Q08 includes a slot adapter for I/O panel pass-through. Lian-Li adds an external USB 3.0 plug to internal USB 2.0 header adapter, along with a replacement drive cage support bracket, cable ties, and mounting screws.

Though we’re sorely disappointed not to find any internal USB 3.0 header support, this particular case predates its introduction. Having said that, we still wish Lian-Li had taken the time to update this model to support newer hardware.

The bracket from the above kit replaces the PC-Q08’s lower drive cage to allow mid-sized and longer cards, such as our GeForce GTX 560 Ti, to be installed. It uses the screws from the original drive cage.

A single thumb screw releases the upper drive cage from the external drive bay, easing access for its mounting screws.

Lian-Li leaves enough space between the optical drive and the bottom of its tray to install a 2.5” drive, adding mounting holes to this unusual location.

Removable motherboard trays often add expense without doing much to reduce build time, but Lian-Li’s “removable tray” is actually an external side panel. The company even makes its front-panel leads long enough to install prior to reattaching this panel.

Lacking any egress holes for the USB 3.0 I/O panel to front-panel extension cables, we routed these through the card holder’s hole. Threaded holes in the card bracket allowed traditional screw-mounting with the hold-down bracket removed.

Note that we ended up plugging the cables into USB 2.0 ports. The manufacturer of our motherboard made the unusual design decision to put its USB 3.0 ports at the top of the I/O section, and the PC-Q08’s cables simply wouldn’t reach that far. Rather than revert to internal ports, we decided to represent a more common build by placing these cables into a typical motherboard’s USB 3.0 port positions.

The finished system is softly lit by its blue LED fan, though the brighter power button can be somewhat distracting in dark rooms. Because of the bright power button, the PC-Q08 is probably better for gamers than it would be for home theater users.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • iam2thecrowe
    the silverstone sg06b is the only one that looks any good (not great though). the rest are just plain ugly.
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    iam2thecrowethe silverstone sg06b is the only one that looks any good (not great though). the rest are just plain ugly.Opinion = Fact?

    Anyway, I actually like Cubitek's case. Sure, it looks like it would be a pain to make changes to when doing upgrades or whatnot, but nothing is perfect. If it had a handle on top or something, Id probably use it for LAN parties and the such.
    Reply
  • hmp_goose
    Pst: Guys! Ya' flip the plexglass vent on the SG07! http://www.maximumpc.com/article/how-tos/how_build_ultimate_small-form-factor_gaming_pc?page=0,1
    Reply
  • Crashman
    hmp_goosePst: Guys! Ya' flip the plexglass vent on the SG07! http://www.maximumpc.com/article/h c?page=0,1Thanks! But if you're building a new system...better still, use a single-fan GPU cooler and the foam air guide! Imagine this beast with a GTX 580!
    Reply
  • gti88
    Nice article. Very informative.
    Reply
  • Oh wow, lets reinvent a box that holds computer parts, accomplishing the exact same thing all other computer cases before it did, only this version will suck a little bit harder.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    m84092Oh wow, lets reinvent a box that holds computer parts, accomplishing the exact same thing all other computer cases before it did, only this version will suck a little bit harder.So, you're saying you'd have preferred an AT desktop case roundup?
    Reply
  • Onus
    I would like to have seen the PC-Q08 tested with the blower-style cooler. I cannot imagine how that could have been omitted.
    Otherwise, it was an interesting read.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    jtt283I would like to have seen the PC-Q08 tested with the blower-style cooler. I cannot imagine how that could have been omitted. Otherwise, it was an interesting read.The PC-Q08 didn't fail.
    Reply
  • and the advantage of any of these over a "lunchbox" style mATX case is?
    Reply