Lian Li PC-G50B
Lian Li has made a name for themselves with quality parts using aluminum as their main material. While they have started out with computer cases, they now produce other things as well. Instead of trying to tell you what the company is all about, here is their Company profile:
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<td colspan="2"><div align="center">Black</div></td>
<td colspan="2"><div align="center">Silver</div></td>
<td colspan="2"><div align="center">ATX & Pentium 4 (max size: 12"x9.6")</div></td>
<th rowspan="2">Drive Bays</th>
<td><div align="center">5.25” x 4</div></td>
<td><div align="center">3.5” x 3 </div></td>
<td colspan="2"><div align="center">12 cm ball bearing x 1, patent removable cooling kit x 1; fan hole on the top x 1</div></td>
<th>Front I/O Port</th>
<td colspan="2"><div align="center">USB2.0 x 2
IEEE1394 x 1
Audio x 1
Mic x 1</div></td>
<td colspan="2"><p align="center">Standard PS2 (ATX), Redundant PS2</p> </td>
<td colspan="2"><div align="center">4.7 kg </div></td>
<td colspan="2"><div align="center">210x381x490mm (W,H,D)</div></td>
That looks quite impressive already considering the dimensions. The case is just as high as a mini tower, but can take a full size ATX mainboard.
Package & Contents
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The cardboard box is quite massive and there is only a blue writing with the Lian Li logo and slogan on top. The bottom part has a big sticker, which states the model and color in big white writing. That way the case cannot be mistaken for the wrong model. Once opened the case top was revealed. with two sides covered in Styrofoam for protection. The case itself was covered with a transparent, blue plastic bag.
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Besides the case itself, Lian Li has included a white box inside the case. Inside that there are a few cable binders, a cable holder, plenty of screws, mainboard stand-offs and even a hex screw driver to screw the stand-offs in comfortably. Since the Lian Li case uses normal stand-offs, the screwdriver will come in handy with other cases in the future. A very nice touch indeed.
Lian Li also dropped an illustrated manual into the plastic bag. While only one page (Chinese on one side, English on the other), it covers everything you need to know. In addition to that, a similar sheet in color with the Lian Li products was included (Cases on one side, accessories on the other). It should be interesting to note that the PC-G50 case could not be found anywhere on that sheet.
A closer Look
Once the case was unpacked, the first thing that one notices are the missing external 3.5 inch drive bays. While that is not such a big deal, as there are four 5.25 inch drive bays, it would have been nice if at least one were included. As you will see in the following pictures, there should have been enough space, if Lian Li would have moved the front fan down one cm. If you are planning to use a 3.5 inch floppy or card reader with the case, make sure and order the MF-515B converter kit as well. The top of the case houses the two USB ports, one Firewire and microphone/headphone jacks. The middle also has a cutout for a 8 cm fan that remains unused. You can add a fan of your choice into that location.
The right side of the case had two large grills punched into the case. The bottom one is for the PSU while the top one is for the 12 cm case fan. I placed the case next to a Kingwin BK-424 middle tower case to show how small the Lian Li case is.
The back of the case is quite unusual. The mainboard is installed upside down, with the power supply being placed on the bottom left of the back. That may make the use of a high CPU cooler impossible. Nonetheless, considering the size of the case, there had to be some trade-offs. You can still use a large cooler, just make sure it is not higher than a Thermaltake Blue Orb 2, which just fits fine. Each bracket is covered by a mirror finish aluminum cover. A very nice touch. The side panels and the fan construction are secured with thumb screws. The panels themselves have small outward bends toward the top of the back, which makes removing the panels very easy. A loop for a lock is included on the left side of the back.
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The front of the case is held in place by plastic clips, which come off quite easily, but hold the front completely firm. The drive bay covers are quite hard to take out, considering they are not held into place by any screws. The covers themselves are made out of a thinner sheet of aluminum, but are very sturdy. The front fan is covered by a fine wire mesh in black. Note the power and reset button, they are not mechanical, but soldered on a piece of PCB. Once the side panel was taken off, the fan construction came to light. The front I/O cables are way to long for such a case. They could easily fit a normal mid tower, if not a big tower. The power/reset cables were quite short, so I was not able to play around with routing them around, while installing everything.
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The fan construction is made completely out of aluminum as well. The 12 cm fan can be moved to the left or right, letting the user choose where to exhaust the air out of the case. The fan connector has a mainboard header, but comes with a Molex adapter. This was the case for the front fan as well. The fan construction has a thin "tunnel" toward the outside, to guide the hot air out. If you let your imagination play a bit, you could maybe use that side for a 12cm radiator for water cooling, instead of that tunnel. Also a very useful and nice addition.
The expansion slots in the back are screwed in individually by normal screws. More expensive Lian Li cases (especially the PC-V Series) use thumb screws here as well. While that may have been a nice touch, considering the price of the case, this short coming can be overlooked, as these covers are very accessible. The cables are held in place by plastic pieces which can be opened by twisting the two plastic arms out. They can even be easily removed and placed in different locations toward the front of the case.
Installation & Finished Look
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The included screw driver made mounting the stand-offs incredibly easy. Once I inserted the mainboard, I noticed the ample amount of space to work with. That was a bit surprising considering the minuscule appearance of the case. While the hard drive cage can be removed, once it is filled with three drives, it cannot be screwed into place anymore, as the drive end covers the screw holes. So you have to leave the cage in the case and install your drives the old fashioned way.
Once everything was installed, the first thing I noticed, was the amount of screws Lian Li decided to include. I secured every drive with the maximum amount of screws, but still had a few screws left over. The case looks quite full, but the area over and around the CPU fan and the expansion cards is quite free. The modular Tagan power supply has sleeved cables which do not bend very easily. I routed them under the hard drive cage and around the back. You can see the PSU fan clearly with the case closed. Bigger (even 1000W) power supplies will fit the case without any problems. Both fans were connected directly to the mainboard, as Lian Li leaves the user the choice how to power them.
The drives fit quite nicely. Note the afore mentioned MF-515B converter in the bottom drive bay, which houses the black floppy drive. Lian Li also has drive covers for some models, if you are looking to give your case a complete uniform look. The back is now filled as well. If you look closely you can see my hand and camera reflected in the bracket covers. ;)
Once the system was turned on, I was surprised at the clean and quite sound the fans have. The system is running with four 12cm fans and one 8cm fan on the GPU and is still incredibly quiet. Simply stunning!
Value and Conclusion
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The Lian Li PC-G50B may look small, but it packs a punch. After all these years, Lian Li has not lost any of their quality and innovation. I am hard pressed to find anything wrong with this case, especially considering the price tag. There is plenty of room, the paint job is perfect, the engineering that went into the case is awesome. One can overlook the fact that it does not have an external 3.5 inch drive bay as there are four 5.25" ones available. Most cases of that height only have two full 5.25 inch drive bays. If you are looking into getting a small aluminum case, but do not want to give up the advantages of a full ATX board and great cooling, this is definitely the case. You could even install a radiator and water cooling into the case if you tried hard enough. Overall an awesome case in every aspect. Well done Lian Li!
Great review, always love all these Lian Li cases, I have one and I love it... I cant belive they changed there "logo" on this one, although it makes it very appealing, great case, great review~
thanx :) yea I love the case!! its awesome... :)
um the price grabber is broken on this one...it shows the cost as $1213:twitch: :twitch:
LianLi's been a "Big name" in aluminum cases for years
See subject line/title - you probably can't go "too far wrong" using their boxes!
Myself? Well, I only JUST switched from FULL Tower steel cases, to Aluminum this round (No, not a LianLi, but the ANTEC "Super-Lanboy")!
(& am upset w/ myself for not having done so years ago... old habits, die hard).
* They're LIGHT, & easy to move around by comparison is why, AND very strong!
P.S.=> I don't need a "neutronium" strong case (steel), & now like the lightness of aluminum ones (& they probably release heat faster as well, bonus)... apk
Hi, does this case come with the 5.25>3.5 adaptor or do I need to buy that separately (they seem to be hard to find in the UK!)? Thanks!
Both the black and silver versions are $90 shipped at Newegg today. Nice case, may get one.
so cool but the price is not good enough to buy
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