Cooperate with Intel?
The case itself is sent in a rather puny box which has large logos telling you that this case has been designed to be used with Intel chips. The case ventilation has been designed around the stock cooler which means that it should run cooler and quieter than a normal case. In fact, the Lian Li site points out that the enclosure has been designed to not require any case ventilation at all, and will still keep your Intel chip below the Intel set temperature of 59C.
The case itself comes with a rather strange bunch of accessories, which include the usual screws and motherboard standoffs, the Lian Li header screw driver, a cable management loop, eight rubber feet, and a random aluminium plate with a square hole in it. It’ll take a read of the manual to find out what this is for and it’s designed to be used if you shy away from using Intel silicon, and instead have an AMD processor.
The case itself is pretty small to say the least measuring a mere 36 x 41cm. The corners are rounded which makes for a more organic shape, rather than the usual standard. I’m a great believer in media PC’s not looking like a computer, as you don’t want the usual beige box underneath your shiny HDTV. The PC-A01 does a good job of not conforming. The case is available in both black and silver and I have the black version today.
The front has a single 5.25” optical drive bay, two 3.5” bays, a grill for an optional 80mm fan, two USB ports, audio I/O, a FireWire port and the power, reset buttons. The grill looks as if it should be popped out rather than being part of the case and it’s a bit of a shame that the front has been broken up by a ventilation grill rather than being clean and flush. There is space for the included Lian Li badge in the bottom right of the facia. This optional 80mm fan slot is for people who are using a high-end graphics card and what to make sure that it’s kept cool.
The rear of the case features four removable PCI holes, the large space for the power supply and the usual backing plate hole. Another thing that I find strange is that every case these days is provided with a generic motherboard plate, which is never used as motherboards are never standard. The power supply area has a vent beneath it which means that cool air can enter the bottom of the power supply and then be blown out the back by the PSU itself.
To open up the case, you’ll have to undo the panel screw at the back, which then allows you to slide out a rail which allows the side panel to hinge out. Once inside you’ll be greeted with an odd layout.
The bottom right has a HDD mounting cage, which allows you to either mount three hard discs, or one hard disc or two 3.5” external drives. I can’t see these spaces being used by anything other than a floppy disc drive, or even a card reader. It would have been better to have another 5.25” bay but there isn’t quite enough space for one of these.