Lian Li PC-60F
A midi-tower case with easy component installation
- Near-silent operation, modular hard drive cage, optical drive retention clips
- Poor cable management measures, front-mounted fan isn't easily removable
The PC-60F is a case with an attractive design, near-silent operation and some handy features to make component installation easy. Cable management could be improved though.
Price$ 219.00 (AUD)
Lian Li's PC-60F is a midi-tower case with a number of features which make for easy installation and maintenance. Not all of these are implemented well, but overall the case is a good option if you're after a minimalist design and near-silent operation.
The PC-60F has an understated design that largely bucks the trend of loud and gaudy PC cases (Thermaltake's SwordM springs to mind). The aluminium enclosure features a black brushed metal texture than makes for a quite attractive look. However, we weren't keen on the flashy blue LEDs built into the front-mounted air intake fan. The fan is not easily replaceable without first removing the hard drive cage, so users who don't want the light may have their work cut out for them.
The front connection panel is mounted on top of the case (so it's really a 'top panel') for easy reach when placed on the floor. Lian Li doesn't provide power or hard drive status LEDs, but otherwise the panel is a standard configuration. The power and reset switches are accompanied by the usual assortment of connections, including two USB ports, a single FireWire 400 connection, and 3.5mm headphone and microphone input jacks.
Inside, the PC-60F is compact but provides enough room for conventional configurations. The case supports ATX motherboards without any issues. Lian Li provides four 5.25in drive bays in the PC-60F along with a single 3.5in bay and four hard drive trays. We were able to fit ASUS' ENGTX295 (2DI/1792MD3) into the case, so even the largest of graphics cards will fit into the case without too much trouble.
Cooling is a major aspect of any well-designed case, and the PC-60F pulls it off without sounding like a jet engine. The front-mounted 140mm fan is the primary cool air intake. It is situated in front of the hard drive cage; this means the air flow will cool storage devices before flowing upwards over the motherboard. The majority of the hot air is extracted through a rear-mounted 120mm fan, as well as perforations in unoccupied PCI slot covers.
The fans aren't the fastest or highest pressure, with the 140mm fan running at 900 revolutions per minute and the 120mm at 100rpm. As a result, the system runs almost silently during operation, even under pressure. With our test PC running at full power, the only evident noise came from the hard drive while seeking (we used a Seagate Barracuda ES2). Users wishing to implement liquid cooling might be able to use the two holes at the rear of the case, which have been provided to accommodate cooling pipes.
The PC-60F's innards are well laid out and will suit most configurations. The case supports up to four hard drives in separately mounted hard drive trays, with an easy sliding operation that clicks each mount into place. Though Lian Li offers standard screw mounts for the hard drives, installation is tool-less thanks to a clamp that secures the hard drive to the mount. The clamp also features a small foam separator which prevents any vibration during use. The only drawback we could find with this method was that SATA and power cables need to be run behind the cage rather than on top, as the cage faces outwards and there is minimal clearing space between the hard drives and the side panel.
Optical drive installation is also a tool-less thanks to plastic retention clips which secure the drives. The PC-60F only provides two of these clips so users will have to screw in extra drives. The power supply is mounted at the bottom of the case. This isn't unique but it is a non-standard design that offers thermal benefits by keeping hot air generated by the power supply at a greater distance from the CPU than more conventional ATX cases. The case isn't bundled with a power supply, so we used a Seasonic SS-430HB. The power supply is installed upside down, so the fan will face upwards, allowing hot air to be easily extracted via the perforated PCI slot covers and the rear-mounted fan.
The bottom-mount power supply makes cable management an awkward task. Even if the user's power supply has cables long enough to reach standard motherboard power connections, cable management remains haphazard. In our installation, the standard 8-pin motherboard power cable had to be extended across the video card, causing a tenuous and unwieldy connection. It also makes the idea of picking up PC-60F's windowed variant, the PC-60FW, less appealing.
Lian Li provides two cable clips in the PC-60F — a heavy duty clip for thicker cables, and a smaller clip for lighter ones — but they are awkwardly placed. The heavy duty clip, which would suit the mass of unused cables protruding from non-modular power supplies, is attached to the roof of the case, while the lighter duty clip is placed on the bottom near the power supply. Even if the lighter duty clip served a different purpose — housing the front panel connections, for example — the front panel wiring provided in the PC-60F is too short to feed through the clip and then connect to the motherboard. Unfortunately, neat cable management in the PC-60F is unlikely without the use of cable ties.
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