Thursday, September 28th 2017

Lian Li Announces PC-Q38 Compact ITX Case

Lian Li Industrial Co. Ltd is proud to announce the new small form factor PC-Q38 Mini-ITX chassis, a new case that focuses on performance per liter and offers liquid-cooling potential for those that find the PC-Q37 too big for their needs. The PC-Q38 has a windowed side panel, with Lian Li's patented rivet locking system, this allows for a great look inside the PC-Q38 and easy access when needed. The PC-Q38 comes with double USB 3.0 and HD Audio jacks on the front panel connector, the location of the ports make it easy to hide them from normal view when the PC-Q38 is placed on its side, or sued as a regular desktop.

The PC-Q38 features Lian Li's famous Aluminium materials, where the straight lines of the brushed Aluminium are combined with the rounded corners of Lian Li's new style direction. The panels are kept at 2-millimeter thickness for good rigidity and light weight, while the internal Aluminium structure can handle any load that can be placed inside it. Visually, the PC-Q38 looks gorgeous and little details, such as the diamond-cut line in the front panel enhance that feeling.
Versatility
The PC-Q38 is extremely flexible despite its diminutive size. First, the rubber-padded Aluminium fit can easily convert the PC-Q38 from a tower to a desktop, which is more suitable for Home Theater PC use. An optional bracket can be used to allow a choice between SFX and ATX PSU's in the PC-Q38. This means anyone looking to switch to Mini-ITX doesn't require a new PSU, or if your build is extremely powerful, an equally potent ATX PSU is easier to find. This versatility is what makes building a powerful PC-Q38 a rewarding accomplisment.

Cooling capacity
The The PC-Q38 can house a 240 mm radiator (260 x 50 mm clearance) , graphics cards and CPU tower coolers up to 145 mm wide, while graphics cards can be up to 315 mm long. This allows for great versatility and the use of the latest graphics cards and potent liquid cooling solutions.

Price and Availability
The Lian Li PC-Q38 is available at Newsegg.com, for US$109.99
The Lian LI PC-Q38-1 PSU kit will be available soon.

For more information, visit the product page.
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8 Comments on Lian Li Announces PC-Q38 Compact ITX Case

#1
Octavean
Looks like a 3D printer to me,....
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#2
azdesign
Poor layout management. Lot of wasted space. NCase M1 is little bit bigger but can fit wonders. Even Sugo SG13B has better layout (and atx psu support). The most critical flaw is that big wasted space on the center between motherboard and power supply. SFF case enthusiasts are very picky about this stuff.

You also can't install 240mm radiator with push-pull fans due to that (permanent?) bracket where you attach PSU and drives.
Also (subjective) that power button in the middle throw me off. It look so much better with plain front panel but somehow they put god damn circle button on the center.

That button also took space inside the case quite a lot. If I were the designer, I would put the power button on top along with usb ports, then I will create drive mount that can fit 3x2.5 or a 3.5 drive on the other side of front panel.
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#3
Th3pwn3r
I wonder how their profits are. I always remember how decades ago they were some of the best you could get. Seems like they've gotten lazy and stale.
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#4
Valantar
azdesign, post: 3731700, member: 143165"
Poor layout management. Lot of wasted space. NCase M1 is little bit bigger but can fit wonders. Even Sugo SG13B has better layout (and atx psu support). The most critical flaw is that big wasted space on the center between motherboard and power supply. SFF case enthusiasts are very picky about this stuff.

You also can't install 240mm radiator with push-pull fans due to that (permanent?) bracket where you attach PSU and drives.
Also (subjective) that power button in the middle throw me off. It look so much better with plain front panel but somehow they put god damn circle button on the center.

That button also took space inside the case quite a lot. If I were the designer, I would put the power button on top along with usb ports, then I will create drive mount that can fit 3x2.5 or a 3.5 drive on the other side of front panel.
"Lot of wasted space." Well, not for those of us wanting to water cool, for example. The M1 can fit an AIO, but not a pump/res (except for that fugly custom res someone came up with that mounts on the outside). This is far smaller than, say, a Fractal Define Nano S, but has nearly the same hardware + water cooling capabilities. That's impressive. Not to mention that that "wasted space" between the motherboard and the SFX PSU mount allows you to mount an ATX PSU ...

For me, this is the closest I've found to the ITX case I want. It still isn't perfect - I want to fit my ATX PSU and a 240mm + a 120mm rad - but it's pretty damn close. A shame how Lian-li does manage to make their cases look so ... unfinished, though. And I totally agree about that power button.
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#5
Franzen4Real
azdesign, post: 3731700, member: 143165"
Poor layout management. Lot of wasted space. NCase M1 is little bit bigger but can fit wonders. Even Sugo SG13B has better layout (and atx psu support). The most critical flaw is that big wasted space on the center between motherboard and power supply. SFF case enthusiasts are very picky about this stuff.
I agree from an SFF perspective. Personally, I think they could have struck a balance somewhere between this and a DanCase. Perhaps just went with a 120mm radiator support and shift that PSU closer to the motherboard to fill the void. Also, no matter which configuration, they need a PSU shroud if they are doing that full window. I hate hate hate seeing all of those wires bunched up (referring to the product page link showing a built system).
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#6
Disparia
Cool, kinda like it in desktop orientation, though not enough to move out of my Q25.
Posted on Reply
#7
azdesign
Valantar, post: 3731777, member: 171585"
"Lot of wasted space." Well, not for those of us wanting to water cool, for example. The M1 can fit an AIO, but not a pump/res (except for that fugly custom res someone came up with that mounts on the outside). This is far smaller than, say, a Fractal Define Nano S, but has nearly the same hardware + water cooling capabilities. That's impressive. Not to mention that that "wasted space" between the motherboard and the SFX PSU mount allows you to mount an ATX PSU ...
Using ATX PSU prevents you from using long graphic card (if that bracket is permanent; otherwise you can no longer use 240mm radiator). THIS is the fatal flaw, providing compatibility but sacrificing other things DESPITE having enough spaces for NOT to sacrifice anything. M1 also limit your graphic card when you're using ATX PSU but they just don't have enough space to not to sacrifice something.
This case has the necessary space to mount ATX psu in the middle AND long graphic card but due to poor layout they can't. You cannot fill that gap in the middle effectively without some kind of mod. As reference look at SG13B. They can fit ATX PSU along with long graphic card.

But SG13B isn't for those who want to show the inside or those who need extra space for custom loops (no acrylic/glass panel; also you can't see the motherboard cause it's covered by PSU)
It's hard to find cases that perfect for everyone. I have SG13B, I don't like the layout (again with some wasted space and poor layout) so I mod it to suit my needs. M1 is perfect for me but with combined price, delivery and import fee to my country makes it too overpriced for the perfection I wanted.
Posted on Reply
#8
Valantar
azdesign, post: 3731989, member: 143165"
Using ATX PSU prevents you from using long graphic card (if that bracket is permanent; otherwise you can no longer use 240mm radiator). THIS is the fatal flaw, providing compatibility but sacrificing other things DESPITE having enough spaces for NOT to sacrifice anything. M1 also limit your graphic card when you're using ATX PSU but they just don't have enough space to not to sacrifice something.
This case has the necessary space to mount ATX psu in the middle AND long graphic card but due to poor layout they can't. You cannot fill that gap in the middle effectively without some kind of mod. As reference look at SG13B. They can fit ATX PSU along with long graphic card.

But SG13B isn't for those who want to show the inside or those who need extra space for custom loops (no acrylic/glass panel; also you can't see the motherboard cause it's covered by PSU)
It's hard to find cases that perfect for everyone. I have SG13B, I don't like the layout (again with some wasted space and poor layout) so I mod it to suit my needs. M1 is perfect for me but with combined price, delivery and import fee to my country makes it too overpriced for the perfection I wanted.
The product page says there's an optional ATX PSU bracket, which I take to mean that it replaces the current top bracket. As the PSU is internal, it needs to be offset from the top to fit the power cord, so they can't move it up much anyhow. You're simply mistaken in saying there's enough space to fit an ATX PSU without sacrificing something - while the total volume might make it look that way, it's not practically possible. Using a PSU longer than 120mm will limit your GPU length no matter what, but there are plenty of small, good GPUs out there. Not an issue. I'd bet the water cooled Zotac 1080Ti Mini could squeeze in there nicely.

The SG13 has a horrible internal layout - no room for neither a decent CPU cooler nor an AIO, unless you want to "improve" your cooling by having the CPU fan and the PSU fan fight each other by pulling in opposite directions (burning out fan motors far quicker than normal). It is quite space efficient, but it's not laid out for high performance parts - it simply doesn't have the cooling capacity without some rather significant mods. Plus that it has that gaping empty space in the front, of course, which ends up being stuffed full of cable spaghetti due to there being nowhere else to put it.

While the M1 and Dan A4 are both very nice cases, they make significant tradeoffs to get as small as possible. Look at the Kimera Industries Cerberus - 18L, fits an mATX motherboard, either SFX or ATX PSUs, dual GPUs, and a whole lot of ventilation. If it was in production, I'd get that case in a second, even if it'd be crazy expensive. It too has trade-offs, but far fewer, and more in tune with my desires, at least. CPU cooler height in the ATX edition wouldn't bother me as I could fit my full water loop in there with room to spare.
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