PC-8N is a new all-aluminum mid-tower case from Lian Li. Using 1.5 mm-thick aluminum panels, this case is very light, weighting only 10.5 lbs (4.8 Kg). Let’s see what to expect from it.
PC8-N has four 5.25” and one 3.5” external bays and they are not meshed. Both side panels are also solid, giving this case a very professional looks. This case comes with only two 120 mm fans, one on the front panel and another on the rear panel. Both rotate at 1,200 rpm and use a three-pin power connector, allowing you to install them directly on the motherboard for you to monitor their speed. The case also comes with two power adapters if you choose to install the fans directly on the power supply.
On the front panel we have two USB ports (too close to each other) and the traditional audio jacks. No eSATA port is provided.
The front fan has a dust filter, which is really easy to access, since the front panel can be easily removed by simply pulling it.
In Figure 5, you can see the rear panel from PC-8N, which uses the traditional ATX configuration, with the power supply on the top. If you pay close attention you will see that this case has a frame for the power supply: you install this frame on the power supply using regular screws and then you can slide the power supply and screw it using the provided thumbscrews. This case has a support for the power supply, as we will show in the next page. The slot covers are meshed and there is a mesh above where expansion cards are installed, improving the PC internal airflow.
Now let’s take a look inside Lian Li PC-8N.
[nextpage title=”Inside PC-8N”]
The two side panels are fastened to the case using thumbscrews, which is great. In Figure 6 you can have an overall look inside PC-8N. There are two unique features that you can spot right away. The first one is the L-shaped plates used on the top part of the case, creating a duct where the power supply is installed. These plates also work as a support for the power supply, helping preventing structural damage to the case. On regular cases (assuming models where the power supply is installed on the top part of the case), the weight of the power supply is completely held by the rear panel, through the four screws that are used. If you use a heavy power supply its weight can deform the rear panel, especially if the case is made of aluminum, a material that is “softer” than steel. On PC-8N, since the power supply is held by these L-shaped plates, its weight is evenly distributed to all the chassis, preventing this from happening. Kudos to Lian Li.
The second unique feature is the presence of plastic protections to prevent you from cutting yourself while building your PC.
The motherboard tray doesn’t have any holes or windows, so you can’t use the left side of the case to route cables, and if you want to replace your CPU cooler with a model that requires the installation of a plate on the back side of the motherboard you will need to remove the entire motherboard in order to perform this upgrade.
As shown before the slot covers are meshed. Daughter boards are fastened to the case using regular screws and a case with this quality deserved thumbscrews here.
Now let’s see the options for disk drives this case has.[nextpage title=”The Disk Drive Bays”]
This case has four external 5.25” bays, one external 3.5” bays and three internal 3.5” bays. You need to use regular screws with the 5.25” and the external 3.5” bays, but the hard disk drive bays come with thumbscrews that use rubber rings to prevent the vibration produced by the hard disk drives from propagating to the chassis, i.e., this case comes with a noise prevention mechanism for the hard disk drives.
After you slide the hard disk drives into their bays, you must lower a small bar that will lock the hard disk drives in place and fasten this bar with a thumbscrew.
The external 3.5” bay may be used for installing a 3.5” or even a 2.5” hard disk drive or SSD unit,
but in this case normal screws must be used.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
Lian Li PC-8N case main specs include:
- Style: Mid-tower
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
- Material: Aluminum.
- Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the product.
- Available colors: black.
- Side panel: Solid.
- Dimensions: 17 ¾” x 8 ¼” x 19 19/64” (45.0 cm x 21.0 cm x 49.0 cm) (H x W x D).
- Net Weight: 10.5 lbs (4.8 Kg)
- Gross Weight: 14.5 lbs (6.6 Kg)
- Bays: Four external 5.25” bays, one external 3.5” bay (can be used as an internal 3.5” or 2.5” bay) and three internal 3.5” bays.
- Expansion slots: Seven.
- Fans: One 120 mm on the front (1,200 rpm) and one 120 mm fan on the rear (1,200 rpm).
- Optional fans: None.
- More Information: https://www.lian-li.com.tw
- MRSP for the US market: USD 109.99
Lian Li PC-8N is a mid-tower case targeted to the user that wants a high-quality all-aluminum mid-tower case and doesn’t want to sell a kidney to buy one. Here is a summary of what we found about this product.
- Top-notch quality.
- Outstanding price for an all-aluminum case.
- Meshed slot covers.
- Anti-vibration mechanisms for the hard disk drives.
- Dust filter for the front fan.
- No sharp edges where you could cut yourself while building your PC.
- No eSATA port.
- The two USB ports are too close to each other.
- Reduced number of hard disk drive bays (three or four) may be a problem for high-end users.
In summary, we think Lian Li PC-8N presents a terrific cost/benefit ratio for users looking for a light all-aluminum case with a conservative looks. Its price is attractive enough for users that never had an aluminum case before to finally have one.