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During CES 2009 Lian Li introduced a concept case, PC-888, shaped like a billowing sail – making it to look like the famous Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai –, made of blue anodized aluminum and costing a fortune – according to the manufacturer since this case is a limited handcraft edition, it should reach the market costing more than USD 500. Let’s take a look at this very different case.
Like it or not, its design is really unique. The material used is top-notch (blue anodized aluminum with laser-cut details – e.g., the silver lines in Figure 3) and that is why this case will be very expensive.
The front panel features meshed aluminum covers with dust filters, providing greater airflow and, at the same time, preventing dust from entering the case. Even though these covers look like 5.25” bay covers, this case has only two 5.25” bays (the top two covers in Figure 3), so you can only have up to two 5.25” devices. PC-888 has two 140 mm fans (1,200 rpm) that glow blue when turned on attached to the front panel.
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On the top part of the case you can find, on the left side, four USB ports, one FireWire port, one eSATA port, microphone input, headphone output and reset button. On the right side it has a memory card reader and another USB port. The “antenna” found on the top of the case was added just for aesthetic value, having no function.
In Figure 7, you can see the rear panel from PC-888. It has seven expansion slots, as usual, using meshed covers for improved airflow. It has a 120 mm fan with a small speed control knob (up to 1,500 rpm). It is important to note that during the show the manufacturer inverted the position of the two top frames (they did this so nobody could steal the blue CCFL light they were using), so the open frame that on the picture is on top actually comes on the place where the meshed frame is installed and vice-versa. Since 5.25” devices are installed on the top part of the case, the power supply goes below them, on the second hole, using the open frame and not the meshed one, of course.
Now let’s take a look inside PC-888.
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The side panels are attached to the chassis using thumbscrews, as you would expect to see on a very high-end case, and the motherboard tray is removable. The panels use a rubber protection in order to isolate noise produced by the PC.
As we mentioned, the two 5.25” bays are located on the top of the case, with the power supply right below these bays. Below the power supply we have the four 3.5” bays for hard disk drives and below them, the motherboard compartment. This is a very unique design.
Very long power supplies can be installed using an external extender provided by Lian Li.
Daughter boards are fastened to the case using good quality thumbscrews, which is expected to be seen on an expensive product.
Now let’s talk more about the disk drive bays.
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You know by now that this case has two external 5.25” bays located on the top of the case and four 3.5” bays for hard disk drives located in the middle of the case. No external 3.5” bay for floppy disk drive is provided and the case doesn’t come with any sort of adapter (you can by a 5.25”-to-3.5” adapter from Lian Li but this adapter does not come in blue).
In Figure 11, you can see a close-up from the two 5.25” bays. No screwless mechanism is provided.
The hard disk drive bays, on the other hand, are very special. Hard disk drives are installed inside individual hot-swap drawers, so you can install and remove hard disk drives without the need of attaching cables to the drives. Hot swap connectors are available in all four bays.
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Lian Li PC-888 case main specs include:
- Style: Full-tower (exotic shape)
- Application: ATX and smaller form factors derived from this one.
- Material: Anodized aluminum.
- Power supply required: Doesn’t come with the pr
- Available colors: blue.
- Side panel: Transparent window.
- Dimensions: 29 9/64” x 11 39/64” x 18 5/32” (74 cm x 29.5 cm x 46.1 cm) (H x W x D).
- Weight: N/A
- Bays: Two external 5.25” bays and four internal 3.5” bays (with hot swap connectors).
- Expansion slots: Seven.
- Fans: Two 140 mm fans on the front (1,200 rpm) and one 120 mm fan on the rear (1,200 rpm) with speed control. All glow blue when turned on.
- Extra features: Memory card reader.
- More Information: https://www.lian-li.com
- Average price in the US: We took a look at this case during CES 2009, before it arrived on the market. It should cost over USD 500.
Lian Li PC-888 uses a different design and top-notch materials, so is not for the average user: it is targeted for the rich user that wants a high-quality case with an exotic design. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.
- Top-notch material.
- Four hard disk drive bays with hot swap connectors.
- Memory card reader.
- Four USB ports, FireWire port and eSATA port.
- Dust filters.
- The number of hard disk drive bays (four) may be not enough for very high-end users.
- Exotic shape may not appeal to all users, naturally.
- Price, price, price.