New iPad rumors in Apple's Octob…

iPad announcement com…

CES 2015 Spider woman? new spide…

Intel wants to make sure …

Crucial CT16G3ERSLD4160B vs EDGE…

You feel like you just bo…

How Windows 10 devices will be i…

Microsoft's big commitmen…

Mushkin 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE M…

Hi Everyone, Thanks …

New convenient On-Body Unlock fe…

What if I say there's a n…

«
»
TwitterFacebookPinterest

Lian Li PC-8FI Case Review

If you’re going to spend the time and money to build your own computer then why not house it in a case that’s well made and stylish like the one from Lian Li. Today for review I’ve got the Lian Li PC-8FI Aluminum case, and I’ve got to say that it’s very much true what they say about cases from Lian Li, they truly are of high quality and top notch design. This case features a tool less design and an all aluminum construction that’s lightweight yet durable and good looking.

 

PC-8FI

Features:

User Friendly Design

Multi-media port connectors follow international specification standards, with one connector for easy installation.

New USB3.0 ports, e-SATA, Audio supports HD Audio. The dual design is for better compatibility options.

All I/O ports on the top cover, allow for easy access, there is also a dust-free cover to protect these connectors.

All new tool-less design from Lian Li aluminum chassis. To do this required a great many innovative patents to be filed worldwide. The ideas will make installing and maintenance much easier. For example when installing the 5.25” optical drive, just slide the drive into the 5.25” bay, and close the mounting bar to secure the optical drive, as simple as that.

There is a modular HDD cage, simple un-do the thumb screw, and silde the HDD cage out, mount the HDD with anti-vibration kit.

To install PCI add-on cards require no tools at all. Simply open the aluminum arm of the tool-less PCI add-on card holder, insert the add-on card to the motherboard slots, and close the aluminum arm to hold the add-on card in position. The additional rubber padding on the aluminum arm assists in gripping the card bracket and securing it firmly.

To install PSU require no tools. Simply open the aluminum PSU holder, insert the PSU in position, also can turn PSU’s fans up or down to suit your need, then close the aluminum PSU holder.

There is a patented cable management clamp for cables to pass through, allow uesr convenient manage the cables.

Aluminum M/B Thumb Screw, user can easily screwed motherboard without tools.

There are openings on the panel, allow user to manage the cables.

There is an air filter at the base of the case to stop dust from entering the case. The filter is washable. The vents are specially designed to retard heat and fire crossover should a short circuit cause sparks and excessive heat within your system. This feature is designed to prevent the problem from spreading outside your case should the unlikely event occur with your components.

Anti-vibration thumb screw for HDD, using special thumb screws with rubber suspension. no tool required, simply secure the anti-vibration rubber ring to the HDD.

There is a fan hole on the top, user can easily remove the screws, put an intake 140mm fan on it for better thermal performance.

There is a PCI Bracket allow user to connect USB3.0 cable to Motherboard.

Specs:

Model: PC-8FI

Case Type: Mid Tower

Dimensions : (W) 210mm x (H) 460mm x (D) 490mm

Front bezel Material: Aluminum

Color: Black

Side Panel: Black

Body Material: Aluminum

Net Weight : 5.85KG

5.25″ drive bay (External): 3

3.5″ drive bay (External): 1(use one 5.25 to 3.5 converter)

3.5″ drive bay (Internal): 6

Expansion Slot: 8

Motherboard: ATX / M-ATX

System Fan (Front): 120mm Blue LED Fan x 2 (1200RPM)

Red (Spider Edition) / 120mm Red LED Fan x 2 (1200RPM)

System Fan (Top): 140mm Fan Hole x 1

System Fan (Rear): 120mm Fan x 1 (1200RPM)

Silver / 120mm Fan x 1 (1200RPM)

I/O Ports: USB3.0 x 2 / e-SATA x1 / HD Audio

Maximum Video Card Size: 285mm

Price: $173.08

 

 

First things first, let’s take a look at the outside. The case comes in a nice looking box and is well protected.

lian1 

lian2 lian3 

I got the black version for review, but you can also get it in red or silver. On the front you’ll see two 5.25” bays and a 3.5” bay, below those are several ventilation holes behind which are two fans pre-installed that have blue LEDs in them.

lian4 lian5 lian6 lian7 

On the top of the case you’ll find two buttons for power and reset along with two USB 3.0 ports, one eSATA port and audio jacks. Behind the controls is a panel that can be removed so you can install a top fan if you wish.

lian8 lian9 lian10

The left and right side of the case are plain, just brushed aluminum side panels. Overall the case seems very well made, the looks might be plain but it’s a stylish kind of plain.

lian11 lian12

When you move to the back of the case you’ll be struck by how bright it is, the inside chassis is all bright aluminum. On the back you’ll see familiar stuff, with the addition of two holes for liquid cooling tubes. The side panels are held on with thumbscrews, you can see them from the back view of course.

lian13 lian14 lian15 lian16 

Moving to the bottom of the case you’ll see an air filter where the PSU will be mounted and four rubber feet.

lian17 lian18

 

 

Let’s go inside now starting with the back of the motherboard. On the back you’ll see the tray is cut out where the CPU would be making it much easier to swap out cooler if you want to. There are cutout in the tray to run wires through as well, and the bottom is nice and open where the PSU is. From here you can also see the hard drive rack and a glimpse of the front fans.

lian19 lian20

Moving around you can get a nice look where your computer will actually go. It doesn’t look that big in there but you can fit large cards inside with not much of a problem. There are some stand-offs already attached to the motherboard for you.

lian21 lian22

The 5.25” bays use a tool-less clip system that is basically a slide lock of sorts.

lian23 lian24

Here’s a quick look at the top view of the case from the inside so you can see where that fan would go. When you first opened the case you’ll see the case cables hidden up there.

lian25 lian26

Here’s a view of the 5.25” cage, you can see the removable bay covers, they just pop out.

lian27

Next up here’s the hard drive cage and better look at the front fans. The cage can came out, it’s secured with a couple thumbscrews.

lian28 lian29 lian30

One of the unique feature of this case is the PCI slots and how you hold your cards in place. The case with a metal, rather heavy duty locking system that works very well.

lian31 lian32 lian33

The fan grill for the top mounted fan is in a plastic bag attached to the bottom of the case when you open it. The power supply sits on two raised rails with rubber strips on them to help prevent vibrations. Below that is a series of vents to help keep the PSU cool.

lian34 lian35

The front panel just pops off easily and you can get a better look at the two front fans that come with dust filters.

lian36 lian37

If you paid attention to the pictures above, the you may have noticed a box attached to the hard drive cage, in that box you’ll find the accessories or which there are a lot.

lian38 lian39 lian40 lian41

If you don’t have USB 3.0 you can still use the top USB ports as USB 2.0 with the help of the included adapter.

lian42

The PSU gets secured with a locking clip, you can secure the PSU the normal way with screws or you can use the bracket or both.

lian43

Included as well is a plastic cable management system that attached to the bottom of the case and a smaller one that can be attached to the motherboard tray.

lian44

There’s also a PCI slot with a hole in it to run the USB wires through, and a 5.25” to 3.5” adapter.

lian45 lian46

 

 

I’m using this case for my gaming / HTPC system which is hooked up to my 47” HDTV and has a DFI motherboard and an Intel Q9650 CPU with a Noctua cooler on it.

lian47

The motherboard is held with the included thumbscrews making installation that much easier.

lian48

During the installation I found it’s very tight near the top of the case, especially when I tried to runt he wires for the 8pin power connection. I got it done, but it took a bit of work and maneuvering.

lian49

I also found that with my CPU cooler installed vertically I now could not install the top fan for cooling unless I found a very thin one or turned the cooler so it was mounted horizontally.

lian50

To get the hard drives installed you’ll need to use the supplied special screws instead of rails. On the left side of the HDD cage is a rail that slides up and down that locks the hard drives in place.

lian51 lian52

I installed my PSU with the screws and the strap, it just locks into place.

lian53

The rest of my system is a Sparkle Calibre GTX260, and a Sparkle GT240 for PhysX, along with a Bgears sounds card and a USB 3.0 mini-PCIE card. The GTX260 is big, and it fits fine with an inch or so clearance.

lian54 lian55

The hard drives went in easily but they connect from the front unlike most cases now that connect through the back.

lian56

I used the small cable organizer on the side of the motherboard tray and the large organizer on the bottom of the case:

lian57 lian58

Here’s the view from the back side of the case with my wires routed there:

lian59 lian60

I don’t have liquid cooling obviously, but the holes worked very well for running the USB 3.0 cables to my PCIE card.

lian61

I used the included adapter to put my 3.5” card reader in the case.

lian62

Lian Li includes USB protectors and an eSATA protector as well, they just pop in and out of the slots easily.

lian63 lian64

Here’s the front view of the case with my Blu-Ray and card reader installed:

lian65

Then here’s the power and reset buttons in the dark lit up. The power buttons stay lit blue, with the reset button actually blinks red with hard drive activity.

lian66

Then here’s a few more views taken in the dark, the front lights up blue since the fans have blue LEDs in it.

lian67 lian68 lian69 

Installation is fairly easy, you really don’t need a screw driver at all to get your system installed. I needed to use one because I had my CPU cooler installed first and I couldn’t get my hands down there to turn the screw.

Before this I was using an NZXT Lexa S case and even though it had more fans the Lian Li seems to do a similar job at keeping things cool, just a few degrees higher overall, but that’s to be expected with only three fans opposed to the six that I had in the Lexa S.

 

Conclusion:

Lian Li is very much well known case manufacturer that knows how to make a quality product that’s for sure.

The PC-8FI is a great example of quality craftsmanship and well though out design.

I did have a few small issues, but nothing major really or that couldn’t be fixed with some work and or moving things around.

I like the case very much, it’s stylish yet subtle, it just exudes quality truly.

 

Pros:

+Excellent looking

+Lots of room for most any system

+Very well made

+Installation is easy

+Seems to keep everything cool

+USB 3.0 enabled

 

Cons:

-Not much room at the top of case for extra fan

-Tight to run cables on back to top of motherboard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

RSS Reviewthetech

RSS Thinkcomputers

RSS Lanoc

RSS Techwarelabs