The computer case has come a long way since its beige-box inception. Anyone who’s been lucky enough to be around since that time has had the joy of watching it evolve from that mid-sized invisible-by-design box to the incredible array of enclosures we have today. Granted, the hardware is a lot more varied today, but that doesn’t begin to account for the options we have before us as builders.
PC enclosure reviews are not exactly the most exciting things on the internet. In far too many cases (no pun intended… ok well maybe) we find that the differences between one company and another is wholly cosmetic and are not much more than fancy side panels and extra plastic to give the case a different shape. This is not to say that there is no innovation in the market, just that really innovative features and designs are not all that common. One company that has recently stood out is In Win. Over the last few months In Win has released some very novel and innovative cases. These have not been your standard “hey I have more HDD bays and fans” type of innovations, but actually new and innovative designs and even materials (like a glass case). Today we are taking a look at one of them, the In Win 901. This is a very interesting SFF case that just might be one of the coolest enclosure designs we have seen in a very long time.
One of the essential items for a computer build is often the most difficult to pick out. After all when we head to our favorite E-tailer we already know what CPU, GPU, motherboard and most of the other parts we are going to buy. Where things get a little fuzzy is when we start looking to a place to put all of this stuff into. The supply of PC enclosures seems to be limitless, but it is not always easy to choose one out of the crowd. On top of that there is really no way to tell what kind of performance you can get, or how easy a case is to work with just by looking at the images on a web site. That is where we come in. Today we have a very interesting case from RAIDMax called the Blackstorm. This case has a nice look and some promising features. The question is; will they make it worth the money? Let’s find out shall we?
While many of the case manufacturers that we are all familiar with were absent from the showroom at CES this year, I did find my way to the display area for In Win Development. They have had some excellent chassis out in the past that I’d have the privilege of reviewing, and while it had been a couple of years I wanted to see what their lineup looked like now. I have to say I’m glad I did.
CES 2014, Las Vegas, Nevada – During our visit to the Thermaltake suite we had the chance to see some of the new products that will be hitting the market and what we saw was pretty impressive. To kick things off Shannon Rob walked us through two new cases that are tailored to the enthusiast on many levels. The first up on the plate was the Urban T81. This roomy enclosure can be setup for use with air cooling or water (even a massive water rig). I know that many of our modding friends will be drooling over this one and its little brother the V71. Shannon does a great job of walking us through the highlights in our video coverage (if you can get past the background noise).
I’ve had the privilege of watching the PC industry change over the years, especially from an aesthetic standpoint. I’ve seen PC cases go from the beige and boring to the neon and gaudy to the sleek and subtle and back again. Personally I prefer the sleek and subtle, adding in “large” whenever possible. I recently got my hands on an excellent example with the Urban T81 full-tower case from Thermaltake.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lian Li Launches HTPC PC-V353 and Mini-Tower PC-Q25
All-aluminum, High-end, Beautifully designed
16 August 2011, Keelung, Taiwan – Lian Li Industrial Co. Ltd, maker of high-end, all-aluminum computer chassis for over 13 years, is proud to announce the release of two new PC cases: the HTPC PC-V353 and Mini-Tower PC-Q25. A new edition to Lian Li's HTPC chassis series, the PC-V353 features a handsome front mesh design and is available in eye-catching black or silver. The aluminum-front mini-tower PC-Q25 offers a contemporary design that lends itself to any professional or home environment, and is available in black and silver colors. Both of these models offer impressive engineering, the convenience of tool-free installation, and excellent air-flow.
Boasting the ability to accept Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX motherboards, this HTPC chassis also allows energy-saving and quiet, fan-free operation. The entire chassis is geared towards users wanting a noise-free, passively cooling system, but users still have a choice to install their own fans for active airflow, if desired. In addition to four ventilated PCI slots, the front-panel mesh cover forms a clever ventilation system with excellent cool air flow. Hot air also leaves the frame through the top using the chassis's unique “thermal flow” top.
The side panel is screw-less and the sliding motherboard tray is another tool-free convenience, as are the removable HDD racks. Internally, the PC-V353 supports two 3.5” and two 2.5” HDDs, and there is enough room for a 300mm video card.
On the front panel, Lian Li has provided easy access to the power switch along with two USB 3.0 ports, one e-SATA port, as well as HD Audio ports. The PC-V353's dimensions are 288mm x 286 mm x 397mm (W, H, D) and its net weight is 4.13kg.
The PC-Q25 is a compact, mini-tower case that, despite its size, can actually hold up to seven HDDs, allowing users to store a vast amount of data even with a small system. Its future-proof design uses a standard Mini-ITX motherboard, 3.5 or 2.5-inch hard drives, and a standard ATX PS/2 power supply. The PC-Q25's thermal solution is a large 140-mm fan placed at the front panel for intake to push cool air through the HDD cage, and a 120mm exhaust fan at the top of the chassis.
The PC-Q25 has a removable HDD tray at the bottom of the cage that can mount either two 3.5" HDDs or one 3.5" HDD plus two 2.5" HDD, all add up to maximum of 8 hard drives. The chassis supports a video card that is 320mm long. The PC-Q25's dimensions are 199mm x 280mm x 366mm (W, H, D) and it weighs 3.1kg.
The secret of Lian Li's success is the craftsmanship of its engineering. Intrinsic to the workmanship and quality of Lian Li's products is their customization capabilities, which include a whole host of optional extras that can be added to an already feature-rich product.
Product photos and detail specs are available:
About Lian Li
Lian Li Industrial Co. Ltd is an Aluminum Chassis and Chassis peripheral manufacturer and provider of industrial wholesale as well as OEM & ODM services for the PC industry as required. With over 20 years of service excellence, ISO 9001 certification and a team of professional staff willing to do the utmost to deliver durable, superior quality products, all backed by a *2 year guarantee; your satisfaction is guaranteed.(*conditions apply)
Press Releases and Archive: http://globalpr.com.tw/press-room/
|Highlights of PC-V353 and the PC-Q25|
Cooler Master Silencio 652 is a Midi Tower chassis with a total weight of 10.4 kg and dimensions of 220x507x508,6 mm. Inside the enclosure can be installed three 5.25 "devices, as well as nine 3.5" HDD. It is designed for installation of Micro ATX and ATX motherboards.
Anyone who’s been involved with PC building and modding for any length of time has seen their share of oddities when it comes to PC cases. These are the first thing people see after all, and as such they were some of the fist things to start taking different forms as the industry evolved. It was and still is a dynamic market, and as the designers and PR people put out products that they think we the consumer will appreciate and spend our money on, there inevitably come along some examples that are… out of the ordinary.
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