Alongside the likes of CaseLabs and MountainMods, we often associate another rather special manufacturer when it comes to the art of top of the range enthusiast PC cases. The company in question is of course Lian Li. Founded way back in 1983, the Taiwanese giants have established themselves as ‘THE’ brand to choose when considering a full aluminium chassis of any size.
Of course when we think of Lian Li we often have an image in our heads involving incredibly expensive, full tower cases, with a high level of quality and workmanship, large enough to house not only the latest EATX motherboard and multiple GPUs, but a full custom water cooling loop as well (then even have spare room for the family cat!). Yet it’s worth taking note that Lian Li also sport a rather substantial range of SFF (Small Form Factor) cases with no less than 28 MITX cases in their current line-up. Today we take a look at what is perhaps the smallest case in their range and perhaps the smallest case currently available that could home a powerful little gaming rig.
So here we have the Lian Li PC-Q21. A case entirely composed of aluminium, which not only makes it lightweight at just 1.47kg, but the majority of the visible external areas also give us the spectacle and elegance of brushed aluminium. Along with great aesthetics offering a timeless quality to suit even the living room, the PC-Q21 offers a compact cuboid design measuring just 149mm(W) x 257mm(H) x 224mm(D), giving it the flexibility to do so as well. On the all important hardware front, the interior of the PC-Q21 may be tiny, but within its brushed aluminium walls we find enough space for not only your basic MITX set-up, but room for a Slimline ODD (Optical Disc Drive), 2 x 3.5″ or 3 x 2.5″ storage drives, a single 120mm fan (optional) and even a graphics card of up to 170mm! In fact you’d be entirely forgiven for thinking ‘Lian Li + aluminium + compact + gaming = mega expensive!’, yet with an average price of less than £60 it proves surprisingly affordable too.
Can Lian Li really deliver us what could possibly be the home of a compact powerhouse of a gaming rig? Let’s take a closer look!
|Case Type||mini Tower Chassis|
|Front bezel Material||Aluminium|
|5.25″ drive bay (External)||1 Slim ODD (Slot-In)
or 2.5″ HDD x1
|3.5″ drive bay (External)||None|
|HDD bay||3.5″ HDD x2
or 2.5 HDD x3
|System Fan(Base)||120mm x1 (Optional)|
|I/O Ports||USB 3.0 x2|
|PSU Type||SFX or SFX-L|
|Maximum Compatibility||VGA Card length: 170mm
CPU cooler height: 60mm
PSU length: 170mm
|Features||– 3.5″ or 2.5″ drive mountable in the front.
– Tool-less screws for easy HDD mounting.
– Removable HDD tray – Up to two 2.5″ drives HDD tray can be removed to make more room for 3.5″ drive or 120mm fan.
– Maximum Compatibility – CPU cooler height:60mm / PSU length:170mm / Expansion Card length:170mm
– Front I/O Ports – USB 3.0 x2