Wednesday, February 9th 2022

Lian Li Launches the A4-H2O, a DAN Cases Collaboration

LIAN LI Industrial Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of chassis and PC accessories, announces a new small form factor case made in collaboration with DAN Cases, the A4-H2O. The 11-liter compact case can support a 240 AIO and a triple slot GPU up to 322 mm long. With a minimalistic design featuring anodized and sandblasted aluminium panels, the A4-H20 is available in black and silver and is available with a PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 riser cable.

Based on the design of the A4-SFX, the A4-H2O keeps the same clean aesthetic and minimalistic concept but increases GPU size compatibility and AIO water cooling support. At only 11 liters, the A4-H2O truly encompasses the small form factor spirit with a clever new design by Daniel Hasen from DAN Cases, while being produced through the experienced manufacturing hands of LIAN LI.

If you want to know more about this case, check out our in-depth review of the Lian Li A4-H2O
All-around Removable aluminium Panels
The steel frame of the A4-H20 is flanked with anodized and sandblasted aluminium panels, perforated at the top and side to provide direct airflow to all hardware. All the aluminium side panels are secured to the case with snap pins, making their removal quick and effortless. When removed, the front panel gives way to a wide opening to simplify the installation of large GPUs. At the bottom, a perforated aluminium panel can be removed to mount the SSD out of the case and provides access to the PSU for easier cable management

Compact and Powerful
The A4-H2O achieves its small footprint by organizing the hardware layout in a sandwich layout. The Mini-ITX motherboard tray and removable SFX or SFX-L PSU mounting bracket are located on the left side of the case, the right side offers enough room to vertically mount up to a triple slot and 322 mm long GPU. At the top, a removable bracket can host up to 55 mm thick radiator and fans of a 240 AIO with CPU block up to 55 mm in height. A 1x 2.5" SSD mounting area featuring rubber grommets is located at the bottom of the case.

The A4-H20 is available for pre-order starting February 9th, 2022.

A4-H2O BLACK/SILVER Global MSRP
  • PCIe 3.0 $119.99
  • PCIe 4.0 $154.99
For more information, visit this page.
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20 Comments on Lian Li Launches the A4-H2O, a DAN Cases Collaboration

#1
wolar
This looks so good
Posted on Reply
#2
aktpu
Reading the specs: "cool cool cool" No DTX support -> Fuck right off
Posted on Reply
#3
dgianstefani
aktpuReading the specs: "cool cool cool" No DTX support -> Fuck right off
Yeah, cause its *such* a common form factor:laugh:
Posted on Reply
#4
Chrispy_
Ah good! I was wondering when the Lian-Li collabs would get updated to handle the frankly-ridiculous graphics cards that we seem to be getting these days.

Triple-slot is more common, full-length is more common - yet both the Dan A4 and Ncase M1 aren't really suitable for higher-end Ampere/RDNA2 models unless you find a very specific GPU or waterblock the card.
Posted on Reply
#5
aktpu
dgianstefaniYeah, cause its *such* a common form factor:laugh:
Crosshair VIII Impact was the only X570 ITX board with enough USB ports for me, otherwise I would have preferred Strix-version :|
Posted on Reply
#6
agatong55
Great looking case, hoping to see some reviews on it shortly.
Posted on Reply
#7
mashie
That is a really nice case.
Posted on Reply
#8
dgianstefani
Nah, significant compromises made to get 11L, you can't put custom cooling beyond a simple thin aio and air is out of the question unless you use a 65w part. Larger 13-15L a cases have no such compromises and aren't really noticeably larger.
Posted on Reply
#9
Gungar
Chrispy_Ah good! I was wondering when the Lian-Li collabs would get updated to handle the frankly-ridiculous graphics cards that we seem to be getting these days.

Triple-slot is more common, full-length is more common - yet both the Dan A4 and Ncase M1 aren't really suitable for higher-end Ampere/RDNA2 models unless you find a very specific GPU or waterblock the card.
The Ncase M1 can fit any GPU except the stupidly long ones, you can also fit a 3 slot card no problem.
Posted on Reply
#11
Chrispy_
GungarThe Ncase M1 can fit any GPU except the stupidly long ones, you can also fit a 3 slot card no problem.
The NCase M1 certainly fits some pretty large GPUs these days but the triple-slotters are suffocated by the extremely fine mesh on the bottom and the actual width of the case can interfere with both some of the sillier shrouds and many of the PCIe power connectors. Sure, there are workarounds for both problems by using dremels to the mesh on the bottom or U-turn PCIe adapters but the main issue is that the M1 was conceived when a 12", dual-slot card that protruding 1" above the expansion slot cover was considered insanely large.

Realistically, every major OEM makes a 3060Ti, 3070, 3080, and 3090 that won't fit in an M1, mostly because of the depth of the card rather than the length of the card. The A4-H20 can handle deep cards because it's using a riser cable, so that's at least an option for people when the M1 won't fit. 13" triple-slot cards that protrude 2" above the expansion slot cover are ridiculously common and popular, which is irritating as most of that extra height is typically just decorative shroud for the sake of making the card physically bigger and not actually extra cooling surface.

Let's face it, in the current market you have to choose the case to fit the GPU you can get hold of, not choose the GPU to fit the case....
Posted on Reply
#12
tabascosauz
aktpuCrosshair VIII Impact was the only X570 ITX board with enough USB ports for me, otherwise I would have preferred Strix-version :|
It's a sandwich layout case. They don't support DTX. The whole situation with risers just doesn't work well at all when the riser needs to go around the back but the PCIe slot isn't at the edge of the board. If you get an Impact you are basically locking yourself into M1 layout.

The Impact isn't all that amazing of a board either, at least at ambient.
Posted on Reply
#13
MxPhenom 216
ASIC Engineer
Sick, going to build a AMD APU rig in this guy
Posted on Reply
#14
aktpu
tabascosauzIt's a sandwich layout case. They don't support DTX. The whole situation with risers just doesn't work well at all when the riser needs to go around the back but the PCIe slot isn't at the edge of the board. If you get an Impact you are basically locking yourself into M1 layout.

The Impact isn't all that amazing of a board either, at least at ambient.
Thanks captain obvious

Like I wrote, Impact was the _only_ option for me due to the USB situation. But saying that risers don't work if slot isn't at the edge board is not based on reality. You do need different length with DTX (compared to ITX) and with manufacturers shipping really specific length risers with cases is a problem (for me)
Posted on Reply
#15
tabascosauz
aktpuLike I wrote, Impact was the _only_ option for me due to the USB situation. But saying that risers don't work if slot isn't at the edge board is not based on reality. You do need different length with DTX (compared to ITX) and with manufacturers shipping really specific length risers with cases is a problem (for me)
I mean...yes, if all the sandwich risers theoretically weren't like that, there would be no problem for the Impact...but that's the "reality", isn't it, with a single DTX board on the market? And no, I'm not arguing with you. There's an Impact sitting on my desk right now not being used because the compatibility and fitment problems outweigh its few benefits.

What's up with the USB situation? You have 7 x 10Gbps devices that can't go on a hub? There's two or three cases on the SFF master list that look to be sandwich + DTX support
Posted on Reply
#16
Valantar
aktpuThanks captain obvious

Like I wrote, Impact was the _only_ option for me due to the USB situation. But saying that risers don't work if slot isn't at the edge board is not based on reality. You do need different length with DTX (compared to ITX) and with manufacturers shipping really specific length risers with cases is a problem (for me)
As @tabascosauz said above, you really ought to consider a hub - there's no way you have that many high bandwidth devices that need continuous and un-shared access to that bandwidth at all times.

As for DTX boards, "shipping really specific length risers" is how product design works: you include parts that fit your needs. If certain niche scenarios differ significantly - such as a niche motherboard form factor necessitating significantly longer risers - accounting for that in a standard design is wasteful and makes no sense. The Meshlicious handles this well: it has room for DTX, but you need to BYO riser cable, as the included one is too short for that scenario. And for most sandwich layouts, like this one, DTX support would necessitate significantly increasing the size of the case to make room for those extra 33mm of PCB, which makes it an obvious no-go. It's a shame for people with those boards, but it's also an inevitable consequence of uncommon in-between form factors.
Posted on Reply
#17
Chrispy_
DTX is still a thing? I thought it was a stillborn standard because even in 2007 when it was introduced, dual-slot GPUs were already the default, wasting the second slot that DTX provided in almost every use case imaginable.

If you need two non-GPU expansion slots in a machine then the A4-H2O isn't the case for you anyway as it's designed specifically for dGPUs in the first place.
Posted on Reply
#18
Valantar
Chrispy_DTX is still a thing? I thought it was a stillborn standard because even in 2007 when it was introduced, dual-slot GPUs were already the default, wasting the second slot that DTX provided in almost every use case imaginable.

If you need two non-GPU expansion slots in a machine then the A4-H2O isn't the case for you anyway as it's designed specifically for dGPUs in the first place.
There's the Asus Crosshair VIII Impact (C8I for short) that uses that extra space for ... uh, some extra audio caps and some other stuff? It's not really clear what it uses the space for given that its featureset is 99% the same as the ITX X570 Strix, but it's supposedly better for LN2 OCing. It does have a couple more USB ports though, including one really weird 2.0-only USB-C (which seems to be intended for audio devices?).
Posted on Reply
#19
tabascosauz
ValantarThere's the Asus Crosshair VIII Impact (C8I for short) that uses that extra space for ... uh, some extra audio caps and some other stuff? It's not really clear what it uses the space for given that its featureset is 99% the same as the ITX X570 Strix, but it's supposedly better for LN2 OCing. It does have a couple more USB ports though, including one really weird 2.0-only USB-C (which seems to be intended for audio devices?).
I think you might be thinking of the B550 Strix with the weird daughterboard USB-C.

Impact is the manifestation of "sounds great, doesn't work". Both B550 ITX boards I've used OC better, on CPU and mem, at half the price. Memory latency performance is all over the place like no other. The Strix/Impact VRM is supposed to be the best, but not actually because the "heatsink" is so sad. The 5 fan headers are great but two are on the SO-DIMM. The SO-DIMM is good for SSD cooling but only with active airflow, and flops around (which isnt a problem for DIMM.2 due to orientation). SO-DIMM is well-known for causing severe bowing on SSDs. SO-DIMM and fan headers are a pest for loop planning if you want aesthetics. etc etc

Perhaps an improved version for AM5, but I think Asus realized that DTX doesn't have much of a future when they can just stack stuff a mile high a la Z690 Strix
Posted on Reply
#20
aktpu
Resurrecting this old thread. Ended up testing (out of desperation) USB-hub on a latest UEFi version. Now the dev boards work as they should in a hub. So I guess now I could get by with the Strix board :|
Posted on Reply
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