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Lian Li tease a new Mini-ITX case prototype, the PC-Q33

by Mark Tyson on 23 August 2013, 13:30

Tags: Lian Li, PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabz3v

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Lian Li has posted details, and lots of pictures, of a new prototype case design it is working on. The Lian Li PC-Q33 is a prototype Mini-ITX form factor chassis which uses a hinged front panel that pulls down to reveal, and give you access to, the internal components.

The major features of this Mini-ITX case are as follows:

  • a hinged front panel allowing easy access to the internal components
  • support for 120mm radiators
  • support for standard sized PSUs
  • capacity to fit 3x 2.5-inch, 2x 3.5-inch drives but no 5.25-inch drive support

From the pictures it looks like they’ve made prototypes of the case in both standard Lian Li finishes of black and bare aluminium. As you can see from the major features list above the access to the insides of the chassis is through pulling down the top/front panel of the case which hinges at the front desk level. Once opened you should have nice and easy access to most of the components as the Mini-ITX motherboard sits on a shelf above the PSU. Two expansion slot cut-outs are provided on the back of the case.

Full specifications of the Lian Li PC-Q33 prototype:

  • Dimensions: WxHxD 229 x 330 x 248mm
  • Weight: 2.18Kg
  • Drive bays: 3x 2.5-inch, 2x 3.5-inch, 0x 5.25-inch
  • Expansions slots: 2
  • Motherboard support: Mini-ITX & Mini-DTX
  • System fan: 120mm x1 (rear)
  • Front panel I/O: 2x USB 3.0, HD Audio
  • PSU: ATX (optional)
  • Compatibility: VGA cards up to 220mm long, PSUs up to 200mm and CPU coolers up to 180mm high.

Following the reveal of this chassis prototype there’s hasn’t been much feedback given as yet, with just 12 comments on the Lian Li Facebook post and a paltry four on the XtremeSystems forum. However Lian Li has updated the original post, following the little feedback forthcoming, to say that a removable dust filter for the PSU “could definitely happen”.



HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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Dear Lian Li:

1) Remove the HDD mounts from the front panel and just use the 2 bay rack next to the PSU - include 3.5“ to 2.5” mounting plates if needed (or maybe just switch to 2.5" drives completely?). If you want to make a NAS case, make a NAS case - if you want to make a ‘general’ mini PC you don't need > 2 HDD bays IMO.

2) Make the case a little bit deeper and stick an intake fan on it as well - so you get a nice tunnel cooling effect for any tower heatsinks

3) Make the HDD bays a proper rack - so you can just push the HDDs in from the back of the case and don't need to worry about wiring or opening the case up if you want to swap the HDDs around

4) Find a way to mount the side panels that doesn't use screws - they look ugly and from experience with the V300 case the grommets that the screws go into loosen up and fall out after a while. Or better yet, abandon the flip down front and just make a tray that slides out the back, complete with HDDs, PSU and motherboard - basically the top, sides and front should be a ‘cowl’ that mounts on the case (possibly also with a bottom panel so you can keep a nice curved edge on the top and bottom)

5) Provide EASILY REMOVABLE filters for all intakes. You can have a panel that slides out the bottom of the front for the (proposed) front fan, one that slides out of the bottom for the PSU intake and two that slide out the back (out of the side panels) for the side intakes / holes

6) Don't use LED fans (they look cheap and nasty IMO) and stop using LEDs that are brighter than the sun for the power / HDD activity lights.

7) If you're still making your own power supplies (or rather having someone else make them for you) make sure you have a reasonable range of fully modular PSUs that actually fit in the case, and include a custom set of short cables for them so that you don't have to worry about hiding all the cables away.

8) Make a decent mid tower / full tower case - your stuff still looks pretty but the market has moved on. I've just bought a Fractal Design R4 and it has lots of nice features despite looking like a cheap lump of plastic.

Edit:

In fact - just make me a case made of several chambers stacked on top of each other (to segregate the stuff that runs hot from the stuff that runs cools). I'd prefer (top to bottom):

A mini ITX motherboard chamber with enough room for a LARGE tower heatsink with a 120mm/140mm fan on the front and rear of the case (possibly removing the need for a fan on the heatsink itself)

A slim ODD bay underneath the motherboard (no need to be at the top of the case as you wouldn't typically put a mini ITX case on the floor) with interchangeable face plates so you can use a slot or tray load ODD

Two flat 2.5“ bays side by side, e.g. ”–“
An ATX PSU with a 3.5” bay on either side (because I'm a sucker for symmetry) - e.g, "||"

I'm not quite sure how much room you should leave for a graphics card, and cable routing - and I'm crap at using SketchUp - but this sort of ‘stacked’ design would minimise space while still using standard components:

A reference short PCB GTX670 with an aftermarket cooler will fit nicely :)
this looks awesome. might ditch the sg06 for one of these
It's nice, and what I'd expect from a Lian Li case, but the lack of active cooling points is just daft on a premium case. Given it's shape and size they could fit in at least a top mounted fan without sacrificing the hinged design.
Definitely forward those points to Lian-Li Malfunction, all good ideas :)