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Reviewed by: Mike Goyette [10.22.01]
Manufactured by: Lian Li 
MSRP: $200


PC Case, or Convection Oven?

Today's gigahertz CPUs, high RPM hard drives, and frame cranking video cards all generate a butt load of heat. Heatsinks and coolers remove the heat from the source, but if you don't get the heat out of the case you won't solve the problem. During the 486 days a power supply with a fan was enough, but now if you haven't added blowholes, side air intakes or some high CFM fans you run the risk of overheating your system. So you add ten fans, giving you well over 500 CFM of airflow and now your system temperature maintains 10F over room temperature. Of course now your neighbors have asked you to stop running your vacuum all day.

How do you balance heat control and noise control? The perfect solution would be to make a case out of a substance that absorbs and then quickly dissipates heat. Maybe something like - aluminum! There is an idea! Aluminum's ability to dissipate heat quickly has made it a choice material for heat syncs, so why not make a case out of it? Well several manufacturers have.

Lian Li was one of the first companies to produce high quality aluminum cases, which they targeted to the hardcore PC user. Making claims of lowering case temperatures without an obscene amount of fans, these cases have become very popular. So, is this the end of the deafening hurricane case? Is aluminum the answer we have all been waiting for, or is it all just smoke and mirrors? We will find out by putting a Lian Li PC-60-USB to the test.

We will be comparing a modified Supermicro SC-760a steel server case (definitely a 'hurricane' case), with a Lian Li PC-60-USB all aluminum case. The 760a won't be a push over, with ten fans and over 500cfm it is the reigning champ. The stock PC-60-USB, with only three 80mm, fans is really going to have to prove itself.

In this corner wearing silver trunks, Lian Li's PC-60-USB

Out of the box the PC-60 is a piece of art. Its clean lines, simple design and industrial look really make it stand out. On styling alone it would win hands down, but this is a fight, not a beauty contest.

Besides it's good looks the PC-60 boasts an impressive list of features.

  • All aluminum construction
  • Every removable part is held on with thumbscrews
  • Removable motherboard tray
  • Four 5.25" bays
  • Three 3.5" visible bays (Removable)
  • Five 3.5" hidden bays (Removable)
  • Rock solid design
  • 80 mm rear exhaust fan
  • Dual front 80mm intake fans
  • Washable intake filter
  • Variable front fan voltage controller
  • Lots of screws and a few tie wraps
  • 3 pin to 4 pin Molex adapter
  • Snap off front bezel
  • Removable power supply holder
  • Front USB ports (PC-60USB only)
  • Removable motherboard wiring bundle
  • Ouch! free design (no sharp edges)
  • Size:492(L)x210(W)x450(H)mm (19.375 x 8.25 x 17.75 inches)

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