Lian Li is well known for making high quality products and today I’m pleased to say I’ve got one of their newest cases for review, the PC-C352R. The R in the model number stands for the color of the case which is red. The case is a cube style that can hold either a Micro ATX motherboard or Mini ITX. The case is capable of supporting large style videos cards and it can hold a standard ATX power supply, so you won’t need a special one for it. The case itself is very nice, it can hold two optical drives on the left or right side and it comes equipped with two USB 3.0 ports and a card reader.
-Lian Li designers combine modern functionality with simple lines and a classic simple theme. The external parts combine with hair line brushed anodized finishing with a metallic look to create the traditional theme expected from Lian Li.
-Lian Li designer considered end user requirements, like those who need to build systems faster, or swap out components often. The brand new tool-less modules can make Lian Li users’ life much more convenient.
-Motherboard tray can be easy slide out of the chassis, user don’t need to work in a narrow space inside the case.
-PC-V352 is designed for your living room, it can fit a standard Micro ATX system into this tiny chassis and a standard ATX P/S2 power supply, still has good performance of thermal system.
-The fans are mounted with Lian Li’s anti-vibration fan mounting system; the rubber ring grommet absorbs the vibration, keeping the case silent.
-Lian Li designer looks into detail, PC-V352 has equipped anti-vibration kit on the chassis, to absorb the noise. Like the EMI spring, it absorb the vibration, and the motherboard tray still easy to slide out.
-PC-V352 equipped two 120mm intake fans, at the front to bring the cold air into the system. The fans cover the whole motherboard, and they can remove the heat fast.
-In the upper zone, there is a 80mm exhaust fan at the rear to draw the hot air out, and improve the air flow inside the chassis.
-Multi-media port connectors follow international specification standards, with one connector for easy installation.
-New USB3.0 ports x 2, e-SATA, Audio supports HD Audio or AC97 Audio. The dual design is for better compatibility options.
-Depending on your need, all I/O ports can be installed on the right or left side of the case, allow for easy access.
Case Type: Desktop / HTPC
Dimensions : (W) 280mm x (H) 275mm x (D) 400mm
Front bezel Material: Aluminum
Color: Black / Silver / Red
Side Panel: Aluminum
Body Material: Aluminum
Net Weight: 4.43KG
5.25″ drive bay (External): 2
3.5″ drive bay (External): 1 (use one 5.25 inch to 3.5 inch converter)
3.5″ drive bay (Internal): 3
Expansion Slot: 4
Motherboard: Micro ATX / Mini ITX
System Fan (Front): 120mm Fan x 2
System Fan (Rear): 80mm Fan x 1
I/O Ports: USB3.0 x 2 / e-SATA x 1 / HD Audio / SD Card Reader
Maximum Video Card Size: 280mm
Price: $149.99 (From NewEgg at time of review)
The PC-V352R comes packaged well:
The case is very nice looking red aluminum. On the front you’ll see the Lian Li logo along with power and reset buttons and holes for ventilation.
The case comes set up for access from the right side, but it can be switched to the left side. On the right side you’ll see two 5.25” bays but one of them is a 3.25” adapter. There’s two USB 3.0 ports and audio jacks along with a card reader there as well. There’s also ventilation holes here as well.
On the left side you’ll find two regular 5.25” bays and a blank cover corresponding to the one on the right where the USB 3.0 ports are, and there are more ventilation holes here.
On the bottom you’ll find four rubber feet and ventilation slits.
Moving around the back you’ll find the familiar things like PCI slots, I/O space and a place for a power supply. You’ll also notice an 80mm fan there, behind that fan is the hard drive cage.
Below the fan is the fan controller switch with high, medium and low settings.
To get inside of the case you’ll need to remove the screws holding the panels on.
Inside you’ll find the normal motherboard header connections and a couple USB 3.0 ones as well.
There’s a little white box inside that hold the accessories like screws, PCI bracket and USB extension cables.
To get the motherboard tray out you’ll need to remove some thumbscrews, then it just easily slides right out.
You’ll find that the 80mm fan does have a protective grill on it.
On the back side below the fan you’ll see the fan controller module where you can plug in three fans to control their speeds.
Once the tray is out you can get a better look inside.
The front fans can easily pop in and out, they’re held in place with rubber or silicone fasteners. The fans have protective grills on the inside or PC side and then they have filters on the front sides.
Installation, Performance, Comparison
For installation here I used my AMD based micro ATX motherboard, the system is older but it’s a secondary system that is sometimes used for my kids to play games, access the internet or watch things on it. You could call it an HTPC actually. I’m using a small Silenx Effizio Compact Cooler to cool the CPU.
I didn’t want to access the case from the left side, so I had to switch the USB/Audio and card reader over to the right side. It just requires removing some screws and putting them back in on the other side and then switching the plain faceplate over.
The first thing I did was install the hard drives, two of them one is a 1TB the other is a 750gb. Simple to do, just four thumbscrews for each drive, then just slide the cage back into the case and secure it with the thumbscrews.
I was originally going to use an ATI 4870 card but I found it wouldn’t fit in the case because of the heatpipes.
So I had to opt for an EVGA 8600GTS.
I do have USB 3.0 in this system, but I use a PCIE card for it. Here from the back view you can see the USB 3.0 ports and the special PCI bracket that was provided with the case.
Once I switched the vides cards out I ran into another problem, the CPU cooler was just a little too big. So much for being a compact cooler I guess…
There was no way it was going in with the CPU cooler installed, so I took it off, then slid the motherboard tray into the case, then I carefully re-installed the CPU cooler. It was very cramped in there but I got it done.
After I got the cooler re-installed I put the power supply in and started running my wires, a bit challenging yes but no real difficulties here. Patience is the key to installing in a case like this.
The last thing I installed was the DVD drive. This required removing the cage and putting the drive in, then putting it back in the case. Running the cables to and from the DVD drive turned out to be rather difficult as there just isn’t a lot of room at the top of the case where the opening is in the cage.
Since I used the 8600GTS I could use my PCI 802.11N card instead of the 802.11N USB dongle I would have had to use. Here’s the back view of the case with the USB 3.0 cables attached:
Here’s what the case side looks like when it’s closed:
On the front of the case you’ll find the power and reset buttons. The power button lights up blue when powered on, while the reset button is red but blinks with hard drive activity.
So it took me a little over an hour to get everything installed, which is about right with such a small case.
The fans seem to do a good job at keeping things cool. On medium or low they are silent and when on high they’re still barely audible.
Lian Li makes some excellent products, there’s no doubt about that I’m sure now. I’ve never had the chance to review on until now and I’m impressed, overall the case is very well made with a great deal of attention to detail in both aesthetes and the design of it.
Installation can take quite a while, but patience is the key when working with a small style case, yes it’s cramped but that’s the design of it.
You’ll need a small CPU cooler to use with it, or a little bit more work may be involved as I had to do.
My video card had a large cooler on it so it’s not typical of others, but it’s something to keep in mind.
+Very well made and nice looking
+There’s actually a lot of room in the case
+Fans are quiet and cool well
+Mostly tool-less installation
+USB 3.0 and card reader built-in
+Can be used from either right or left side
-Tall videos cards won’t fit
-You’ll need a very small CPU Cooler
-Tight running wires from optical drives