Prototype: Give us your feedback – PC-A51

Post 21 of 38

We would like to introduce our new prototype aluminum case – PC-A51 – before it goes into production. Let us know what you like and dislike, as well as reasonable changes you would make to this case, so that we can provide the best chassis possible.

As a short overview, the PC-A51, comes from the same line as the popular PC-A05N. Looking at the many mods of this case as well as customer feedback, we have updated the design for today’s users. The PC-A51 supports 240/280mm radiators, has increased cable management with 30mm (1.2″) of space behind the motherboard tray, and a new tool-less HDD bay system that allows for either 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives.

As in the PC-A05N, the PSU is front mounted which allows the chassis to be smaller, and lets you can take full advantage of all space available.

The windowed version of the PC-A51 has a anodized black and red exterior and interior making it one of our more aggressive looking towers, special edition chassis aside.

Check out the photos below. We invite your comments.

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141 comments:

GizNovember 28, 2013 at 1:30 pmReply

Really nice case, a lot of potential for modders and Watercooling. I however would also like a M-atx variant of it. lower profile same depth just less HDD bays!

GerbenNovember 28, 2013 at 1:31 pmReply

Looks realy cool. I like the red, black and the window is perfect.

Only thing is de optical drive slot. It should have the same look as the rest of the case.

Make sure to set a good price and this is gonna be a succes.

Aleksandar KocovskiNovember 28, 2013 at 3:37 pmReply

Another GEM from Lian Li -> fantastic case!
But I’d personally like to see in the final version of this case:

1. FILTER/MESH for easy cleaning on TOP of the case (like on PC-A79)
2. bottom of the case -> 2x 3,5″ HDD mounting spots like on PC-V700 (for those that don’t use last two PCIe slots, or use mATX motherboards, and instead would like to have 7x HDDs)
OR
3. HDD bracket on the bottom of the case similar to PC-Q25/PC-Q18 (if it’s possible due to case lenght)
4. PCI-bracket tool-less locking mechanism (that one is still unsurpased on the case market till this day)
5. tool-less side panels (PC-V700, …)

COLOR COMBINATION WITH WINDOWED SIDE PANEL IS GREAT!!!

Best regards,
Alex_K

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 3:06 amReply

Thanks for your feedback. We can look into adding more HDD configurations. Also, the tool-less side panels

One thing to point out, the top panel does indeed have a removable filter for easy cleaning. :)

MichelDecember 2, 2013 at 8:04 pmReply

2 x 5,25″ for DVD and HDD-RACK and so less HDD: I not understand to have a little case and five HDD’s, it’s a non-sence, but a HDD-Rack for BacUps is pretty smart (If you consider that the Datas of 5 HDD needs to be saved sometimes). You can also fix two HDD on the top of the case, behind the external 5,25″…and reduce the space between each saving the place for a fourth one.
Dear people of Lian-Li: you make good case, but every time you made so silly “mistakes”, some details -technical or design – that reduce your efforts.
One of those details: VERY IMPORTANT: a ON/OFF switch for the PSU!! If this case had one, I would buy it…the last model also have not a switch, a non-sense too, and I had buy another case.

That case is a technical non-sens: one way you want build a smal one but with the equipment inside like a server: Water-cooling, 5 HDD’s and so on… if I need such equipment, I buy a bigger case.

HarmenNovember 28, 2013 at 4:35 pmReply

This would be great for my build (external water cooling)
Pro’s:
- lots of space behing mobo
- relatively low height
- smart PSU placement and
- black interior and aluminium build
- When HDD and optical bays are removed, there is room for a reservoir. Lots of other modding options as well.

Cons:
- Top rad space (only a con for me personally)
- Red items in the interior (just make them black)
- Max PSU length? (my CM 1000W is 180mm)
- Max VGA length? (my HD7950′s are about 280mm)
- I/O op top could be cleaner (maybe a cover over the entire I/O)
- Optical bay is pretty much redundant. Would be nice if you offer a front panel without the cutout.

Tips:
- Make everything inside removable (use screws)
Considering possible issues with PSU and VGA length, it might be smart to invert the motherboard, like on the A05.

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 3:13 amReply

Thanks for your feedback.

I/O op top could be cleaner (maybe a cover over the entire I/O) -> Do you mean cover the power and reset buttons too?

HarmenNovember 29, 2013 at 5:15 pmReply

Yes, that is what I was thinking. It might be good to leave the power button free, though. But a nice aluminium cover over all the ports and the reset switch would be good.

Sven van MeygaardNovember 28, 2013 at 4:36 pmReply

Dear people at Lian Li,

I like the case a lot, the subtle red accents would match ASUS ROG motherboards very well. Personally i’d advise a few changes.

-Make it possible for the powersupply to be mounted on it’s current location or underneath the DVD player to make room for SLI/Xfire setups with bigger VGA cards.

-Or place the powersupply with the rear facing down on a slightly raised platform. The raised platform makes sure the powercable still fits, there’s an exhaust on the botom making sure there is no dust underneath the PC and this setup allows for longer powersupplies and bigger VGA cards. There’s less space for HDD’s, but most people have an SSD and an HDD in their high end pc, so i’d say 3 hdd brackets in their normal position and 2 SSD mounting options behind the motherboard tray. When using only one VGA card, you even have space for a watercooling reservoir/pump right of the motherboard.

I hope my suggestions are valuable.

Kind Regards,

Sven van Meygaard

MijnieNovember 28, 2013 at 4:42 pmReply

If the price is right! I’m a fan!! What an awsome case!!
For the next time, put in a reddish MoBo in it to display it…

caymanNovember 28, 2013 at 5:35 pmReply

could you lose the 5.25″ drive bay, very few still using ODD nowadays. made it 6x 3.5″ HDD bays plus one 2.5″ SSD bay will be very useful. more importantly, isn’t the front 14cm fan will suck in the heat waste produced by the PSU? any method to seperate these two air flows?

pitbullNovember 28, 2013 at 6:29 pmReply

In this Video there are 10 needed case improvements you should apply to that maybe great case
In hope for a good case :)
Pitbull

pitbullNovember 28, 2013 at 6:30 pmReply

watch?v=iKXsZGxqt9c&feature=youtube_gdata_player

mkruNovember 28, 2013 at 7:21 pmReply

i like the angles on the front but the drive cover doesn’t look very nice, at least a slim slot in drive would be nice and maybe move it to the top or to the side?

stevenNovember 28, 2013 at 7:45 pmReply

very beautiful case! some comments are below…

will there be other color variants for the interior? i would assume the typical red/blue/green/white/black would be good alternatives, but would you consider gold (asus’ new boards) pink, yellow and/or orange as other options? (i’m building a black & gold rig with the asus board… so I’d really love for that to be a special edition)

i don’t think the SSD look as good in the 3.5 bay, is it possible to make 2.5 bays (which could potentially provide more space for longer GPUs). or alternate SSD locations would also easily solve this.

i do think that 5 HDD bays is a lot, and would prefer another 5.25 or 3.5 external bay. also, i’m hoping that the covers will be the typical matching brushed aluminum… the plastic looks terrible.

when are these expected to retail? i’m pretty sure i’ll be getting one.

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 3:29 amReply

HI Steven,

Thanks for your feedback.

We are looking into more places to mount SSDs. One thing we focused one with the new HDD bay system is the customization options. With this design builders can either put a 3.5″ drive, 2.5″ drive, or just completely move remove the bay if not in use.

The 5.25″ bay does indeed have a aluminum cover. We are averse to using plastic. :)

The retail price has not been set yet, as we are still in the design stages.

Rob ScheuermannNovember 28, 2013 at 7:48 pmReply

Dear Lian Li,

I’ve used several Lian Li cases in the past. Casemodding and (watercooled) overclocking have been my hobbies for several years. I currently use the PC-A05N, which I modified to have a compact watercooled system. Below a list of changes to the displayed PC-A51 that I would define as improvements:
- Remove some/many 5″ and 3″ trays.
- Rotate the PSU 90 degrees so that the low voltage cables are leaving the PSU at the bottom side and air is leaving on the top side (intake fan should be directed to motherboard).
- Move the PSU upwards to create a free area where excess PSU cables can be stored and a watercooling pump/reservoir can be placed. This way the cooling fluid can be exchanged/filled without the risk of leaking on electronic parts.
- The motherboard mounting plate should be provided with holes for vertical HDD/SSD mounting as often seen in modern casings.
- Additionally a side-vertical mounting slot can be created at the side of the PSU.
- An additional air intake should be created in the bottom of the case to blow fresh air right up towards the VGA card.

Most of these comments are based on my current casemod. If desired I can send pictures to clarify them.

Best Regards,
Rob Scheuermann.

H. PietronNovember 28, 2013 at 8:07 pmReply

The case looks fine. I would like to know what is the benefit of that kind of cooling. Blowing hot air out through front. I had a MS-Tech HTPC case, which had the same kind of cooling and I made a really bad experience. This would be for me the reason, not to buy this good looking case.

Production quality mus much more better then PC-7HB black ATX= The fitting of side panels or front panel not tight enough etc.

e.f. van SonsbeekNovember 28, 2013 at 8:56 pmReply

Like: color settings and hard disc mountings, integrated water cooling. Modern, want to have design.

Dislike: small vents, please use 20 cm vents, less noise more airflow.

Additional comment:
External hot swapable hard disc possibility, makes the exchange of hard disc‘s and ssd‘s more simple no need to open case when changing disc.

Andreas P.November 28, 2013 at 9:18 pmReply

I would like, if you could integrate your PCI Tool-Less-Card-Holder PCI-03. I have this system in my Lian Li X2000FN – and it is one of the best systems I have ever seen.

Annother thing is the cable management. It would be nice if you could open the mainboard tray at the bottom of the mainboard. Perfect would be, if you could integrate this cable holes for Standard and Micro-ATX Mainboards, so that it is possible to wire the USB, the Audio and the Case Cables directly.

Greetings from Germany, Andreas

Roger WNovember 28, 2013 at 9:48 pmReply

It seems very tight between PSU and motherboard… This seem to restrict PSU length quite a bit, and also makes SLI/CF virtually impossible.

The space behind the motherboard almost seem needlessly big! (some might prefer this, but for me it seems like a bit of wasted space) If you are going to have all that space, perhaps you could have some optional SSD mounts there or similar?

The front grille seems quite restrictive. Will the PSU exhaust properly, and will the harddrives get decent airflow? (I assume it exhausts out the front?)

When the rear is intake and you use a GPU that exhausts out back (like in your pics), wont much of the heat recirculate back to the CPU?

JohnathonNovember 28, 2013 at 10:21 pmReply

Hi Lian Li!

I really love the concept of this case and what you did.
But there are some things you could improve:

-First of all add 1 more opening for cables above the motherboard and 2 more under it.
The one on the left side above the Motherboard is definetley not enough.

-Also add the option to install 2×140/120mm Fans at the bottom.
This will greatly improve the cooling of expansion Cards

And there are some cosmetical things that could be changed:

-the Top looks quite ugly with that Mesh standing out, I hope you will make it flat.
-the Ventilation holes above the PCI Slots, are just useless dust intakes and look bad. I can’t understand why so much manufacters do this.

I hope you Guys will think about my Feedback.

And will there be a fully silver or black version WITHOUT a Window?
If yes I will buy 10 of these Cases.

Thanks for reading,
Johnathon.

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 3:33 amReply

Hi Johnathon,

Thanks for your feedback.

Yes, there will be silver and black versions without the window as well. :)

SduNovember 28, 2013 at 11:16 pmReply

I’d say: make the window optional and make the standard livery a plain door with added cooling. Like the design and how compact the whole system is without the use of mATX or tiny powersupplies. Ditching the 5.25″ bay might be an option to create 2 extra 3.5″ bays (me <3 extra 3.5" bays (<3 PC-V2000b plus II and PC-D8000 :D ))

NicoNovember 28, 2013 at 11:56 pmReply

dunno about the one you ask, but if you could rework one of your mITX cases to resemble what I show you here it would be swell: https://imageshack.com/a/Of4b/1

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 3:38 amReply

What certain designs of the case in the above link do you like?

NobiNovember 29, 2013 at 4:59 amReply

This chassis roughly resembles the PC-V360 to me. I still wish i could mount a full size ATX board in it. This prototype does exactly that with the modified PSU placement, but it’s lacking touches that make the V360 iconically elegant.

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 8:41 amReply

The 360 is truly a very elegant case. It is actual one of the favorite cases of the owner of Lian Li.

The major aesthetic difference in this case and the PC-V360 is that the V360 is extremely narrow, while the PC-A51 is intentionally wider. If you are not a fan of the A51 color scheme, we will also offer non-window options in silver and black. :)

MichaelNovember 29, 2013 at 5:26 amReply

The case looks absolutely gorgeous! I would just like to see a version all black instead of having bits of red, I love the fact that everything is no minimalistic and its made out of aluminum which really gives it that premium feel. I would definitely buy that case if I had the money. Great looking case! can’t wait to see what the future holds! Good work! :)

SonuNovember 29, 2013 at 5:30 amReply

Mini-ITX version please dethrone the Prodigy! :D

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 8:48 amReply

We may not go mini-ITX with this version, but we might go micro-ATX.

Have you seen our last mini-ITX prototype? – http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-q33/

ChrisNovember 29, 2013 at 5:36 amReply

Swap the HDD and PSU positions. Having the removable drive bays below the psu will allow people to put longer cards in there without the psu being in the way. It also gives the graphics card(s) a more direct air flow path from the front fan, especially when the cages are removed. Air efficiency for the psu should not be a concern with it rigged that way either. Most power supplies are rated to deliver power efficiently up to 50C ambient temps. I very highly doubt the inside of this case will even remotely get hot enough to pass that temperature.

Rotate the psu so that the cables are facing the left side of the case (motherboard tray). It’ll help out with cable management and cleanliness. If you rotate the psu this way, it will make the case a bit wider, so you could also incorporate a 140mm front fan.

It also looks like you guys can put an ssd bracket or two on the back of the motherboard tray.

You can also incorporate that tool-less pci slot thing. I love the one on my lian-li pc-a70f.

Offset the top fan mounts so that they’re farther away from the motherboard (look at the silverstone TJ04 for reference). That will allow thicker rads up there without having the slim clearance that the case has in its current state.

Make it an 8 slot case. There are motherboards out there with a 90 degree rotated molex connector, and it would be impossible to hook it up with the clearance down there. Plus, it’ll allow room for four graphics cards (for those who are mad enough to do such a thing in this case), or just an extra slot to put something else on there.

Use more flexible grommets at the back of the case. Those things feel like needles then you put your finger in it :p The people I know usually take them out when going liquid cooling because they bend the tubing a bit. It would also be nice to have a grommet where the CPU power goes through too.

Make the case an inch or so longer so it can incorporate e-atx motherboards.

I can’t tell from the pics, but make the front fan dust-filtered.

That’s all I can think of right now.

chenNovember 29, 2013 at 6:05 amReply

Please release quickly,i just bought a crossair H100i………

SagaraNovember 29, 2013 at 6:08 amReply

Inverted aiflow – from back to front, up to down. Graphix card in the dead zone of airflow. CPU cooler will be attaked by dust and need service quite often. HDD’s in hot airflow after CPU&GFX.
On the top there wil be nice to see grille in some recess with salient relief stiffening plates over, to place some heavy weight, like UPS. Or similar to the front panel – sideholes, just in case of top airflow blocking.
I’d prefer do not recommend this case.

NagonkaNovember 29, 2013 at 6:13 amReply

Really nice Case! I loved the PC-A05N! A inverted-ATX version would be perfekt! There is currently no good i-ATX case on the market :(

NickNovember 29, 2013 at 6:15 amReply

The HDD mounting system looks awesome. I love the rethinking of the traditional hard drive cage and sleds. It must not have any problems securely mounting to the case wall or introducing vibrations that could otherwise be mitigated by a traditional HDD cage setup. If it cannot do this, it is worthless.

I love the cable routing and mounting design for the hard drives, and all the room for cable management behind the motherboard tray. The water cooling grommets in the rear of the case seem a bit unnecessary just because I’ve never seen anyone actually use external water cooling. I would also like to see a radiator mount on the bottom of the case.

Overall, I love the flare this case has, and your willingness to do something different. This is one of the strongest cases I have seen from this company and I would most definitely buy a few of these regardless of price point. Just don’t skip on quality or modularity please!

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 12:33 pmReply

HI Nick,

The new HDD sleds are very secure and have anti-vibration rubber to make sure that there is no vibrations. Also, the HDDs don’t actually touch the bottom of the sled, so there is no worry of vibration there. We have so tests that we plan to show, to prove to the community the strength of the new HDDs.

Modular-ability is something we really focus on, on all our cases. Especially this one. Thanks to some feedback so far we plan to add a couple more options.

Thanks for your feedback.

SagaraNovember 29, 2013 at 6:49 amReply

You need to invert airflow, to standard – front to back, down to up. There is lack of intake holes, so you can add large windoows in bottom and side panels. Also, it would be nice to see a wall between mobo and hdd’s, with windows, of course, to separate airflow and mobo’s cables.

John DoeNovember 29, 2013 at 7:36 amReply

Reposted from Techpowerup.com.

My opinions based on Picture 4 (without the windowed side panel):

- I understand the reasoning behind placing the motherboard lower in the case, so thick radiators can fit at the top, but this placement makes it impossible to use the third PCIe slot impossible AT THE SAME TIME with anything mounted on the fan grill at the bottom of the case. Not a huge issue, I think very few people use 3 graphics cards, but it’s worth mentioning.

- I suggest moving the fan grill as far away from the motherboard tray as possible, towards the windowed side panel (I would even suggest making the case wider to accomplish this), so even if the user decides to use the fan grill (mainly to mount a fan, but a water pump or a reservoir could also be mounted there) he can still access the connectors on the bottom of the motherboard. Motherboards usually have an USB3 connector there, and most importantly, the front panel IO pins. For example, using the motherboard from the picture, with the bottom fan grill used, you would need to remove the fan if you wanted to use the USB3 headers on the board, use the power button or the IO pins. I think a good chassis must be compatible with as many hardware configurations as possible,

- It would be extremely nice if there was a way to cover the holes used for routing the SATA and power cables to the hard drives, if you weren’t using the trays. Above the PSU, behind the bottom two hard drive trays, you can see the SATA and power cables through those openings. Sure, with a lot of effort, you could probably manage to route your cables in such a way that they don’t cross those opening, but that means a. A lot more unnecessary work, and b. You would still have visible holes in the motherboard tray. I suggest a piece of molded plastic that fits in those holes to cover them, it can be black or red.

Picture 11 (back of the motherboard tray):

- I don’t know who does your builds, but that is not the way to route an 8 pin CPU cable. The cable should be routed around the motherboard tray cut-out, because in the position from the picture you won’t be able to install a CPU cooler bracket without unplugging the cable. And plugging the 8 pin after installing a tower cooler is almost impossible. You could plug the 8 pin after you installed the bracket and before you mounted the cooler, but that is too much of a headache and I can guarantee it that a LOT of people won’t think about doing that, resulting in them having the remove the freshly installed CPU cooler to plug in the 8 pin, then reinstalling the cooler, and that means a lot of annoyed customers. For routing the 8 pin around the motherboard cut-out I also suggest adding a few tie points, at the very least one at the bottom right corner of the cut-out.

- Regarding tie points, I see none, maybe you wish to add at least a few for neat cable management. I don’t think that adding those tie points would ruin the aesthetics of the case. Drop me a message if you are interested in what I think about the best location for the tie points, I can make a picture.

- I think there should be a rubber grommet for the 8 pin cut-out too. The cut-out is more visible in this case because it is farther from the top than in a regular case, and I believe it would definitely improve the quality of the chassis for a relatively low investment.

Lian Li TechDecember 2, 2013 at 3:29 amReply

Thanks for your very detailed feedback. We are looking into your points. :)

AndreyNovember 29, 2013 at 8:00 amReply

Great idea to ask your customer !
I like the design. Colors are well connected to together making nice combination. However there is a danger in it. E.g. Asus uses gold instead of red for some of their models – it would be interesting to see how this is played visually together. .
The space between HDDs – I would make them a bit more compact and increase the number up to 6. It would also make sense to place SSDs either on the bottom to the case or behind the MB – the mounting and space should be reserved for them.
My ideal setup would be having at least 2 SSD + 6 HDDs + 2 DVD slots.
Why two 5,25″ (DVD) slots? – this gives either to have two DVD/Blu-ray devices e.g. playback and recording; or for two zones; or alternatively to have additional fan control or different time of card reader + one DVD/Blu-ray device.
All that would add few cm in the case height, and make it very solid.
Adding 2-3 not too bright LEDs inside into the standard packaging with the transparent side wall makes it even more attractive.
Andrey

John Doe TwoNovember 29, 2013 at 10:47 amReply

You recently produced one of the most beautiful Mini-ITX cases ever built. The build quality is top notch.
Thank you for that!

ideas:
- Remove that ‘door’ for the connectors and let them sit flush in the case.
- Make the top fan grill broader and longer
- Remove that ugly 5.25″ bay. (almost) nobody needs a disc drive anymore. If you want to implement one, make it a slim and slot loading one

PeterMacNovember 29, 2013 at 11:31 amReply

Great idea with this feedback from users dear Lian Li, but please make this feedback to another your cases to improve your product too.

For example for case PC-7H, this case is really nice but it’s too low on top, it sholud be enough room to instal fans and radiator inside this case on roof not outside which destroy clean look.

Also front dust filter would be great if will be removable without remove all front panel.

Please Lian Li, improve this model PC-7H.

Thank You. Peter

Zafiris KalantzisNovember 29, 2013 at 11:43 amReply

Hi Lian-Li-Tech,

I like the colorized elements. Maybe you can offer for other Cases some optional Parts in other colors. Existing Lian-Li Users could be pleased.

For the PC-A51:

1. You can give the PSU-Mounting optional SFX-PSU mouting holes. Then there would be more space for cables and graphics-cards.

2. The Drive-Bays are fixed at the side. The PSU are fixed at the front. If you set more fix-points for the drive-bays (at the position of the PSU) and more fix-points for the PSU (at the position of the drive-bays) then the user can decied by his own, where he put the psu and where he put the drives. If the psu can be placed at a heigher front-position and if just one drive-bay would be used, then there would be enough place for SLI/CrossFire-Solutions. Also for Triple-SLI.

3. A close front looks great, but for the intake-front-fan of the case and the outtake-fan of the psu, it could be a pain in the ass. The heat of the psu seems to get taken from the case-fan back to the case.

4. The large Sidepanel-Window looks great on the fotos. But in real-life, you will need a light inside the case, otherwise the reflection of the outside-light would be to strong. Maybe you can exchange the top-fans with some led-fans.

5. The backside fan works to the case-inside without dustfilter. More important, it works against the regular CPU-cooling-direction. You should turn it, to let him work outside.

6. Some fan-mountings at the case-bottom would be nice (just an option for sli/crossfire-users).

7. Remove the reset-button. No one use it anymore.

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 12:39 pmReply

HI Zafiris,

Thanks for your feedback.

Just a couple things I would like to respond to. :)

3. A close front looks great, but for the intake-front-fan of the case and the outtake-fan of the psu, it could be a pain in the ass. The heat of the psu seems to get taken from the case-fan back to the case. -> The default thermal setup is that the rear fan is the intake while the front fan is the outtake. This way air will not be recycled from the PSU. We will be adding a filter to the rear intake fan.

6. Some fan-mountings at the case-bottom would be nice (just an option for sli/crossfire-users). -> We are thinking to do this

VladimirNovember 29, 2013 at 12:01 pmReply

IMHO
1. Swap PSU with a ODD/HDD cage. As result: a shorter path for the wires to the CPU power connectors, more space for videocards.
2. PSU turn upsidedown: fan take cool air from outside case.

KalganiNovember 29, 2013 at 12:05 pmReply

Fans / Radiators:
I would like to see that you can install 200mm Radiators/Fans in the topcover. Maybe the mainboard tray should cutted at the end of the board for better fit in of big radiators. I modded my A05 for a 280mm Radiator in the top cover… was a lot of work for fitting it in inside the case…
Front and Back Fans should be suitable for up to 140mm.

Power Supply:
Like other already mentioned it would be nice to same more space for the power supply.

Drives:
Looking nice, but is there a possibility to install 2,5″ drives with anti-vibration?

PhilipNovember 29, 2013 at 12:17 pmReply

For me, it would be perfect, if you would offer…
- a version with closed cover on top (or at least a separately sold cover, which can replace the mesh). Not everybody needs these fans on top of the case.
- a version with pre-installed sound dampening materials.
- all fans dust-filtered, with easily removable filters.

Thank you very much for giving us (the potential customers) the possibility to give feedback! Super customer service!

AlexNovember 29, 2013 at 12:22 pmReply

Is red interiors the only option as of now for the interiors, or will there be different colors avaiable? I dunno, it kind of looks “wrong” when it’s just the drive bays and the back part being colored. It might go well for a lot of people that go with Asus ROGs and stuff like that, but it looks out of place with “normal” builds. If you look at the photos you posted you’ll have blue, red, yellow, green, orange, etc. both inside and on the back.

How does the HDD holder work? Maybe I’m just dumb (heh) but I wasn’t able to be sure of it just from the pictures. I guess that you need to unscrew first the two thumbnails on the back first, and then the other 4 on the holder? Assuming that’s right, it looks like a bit of a nuisance: I mean, removing both side panels and 6 thumbscrews just to take out a drive is a bit overkill, and could be really painful if you have the need to switch them often. Besides, are they only secured on the back? I surely don’t know as much as your engineers about case designing, but that looks like a potential source of vibration noise, specially if you have multiple 7200′s or even 10k’s in there. That little grey strip looks like some sort of dampener (possibly?) but the “hooks” on the side are what’s getting me worried.
It looks like there’s a bit of gap between the plate on the left side (where the sata cables are) and the drive’s actual connectors, I’d personally make sure that L connectors also work fine since not everyone uses simple straght ones.
Also, judging from pic 6, you’d have to remove 2 HDD holders to mount an extra-long GPU, but if the second-last was just a littler higher you could mount one by removing only a single holder. Of course I don’t have the case in front of me to see it physically so I can’t say for sure if you’ve thought about it already, but I’ll write it anyway just in case.

One 5.25 is too little for an ATX case imho. Sure, right now is kind of opposite to some years ago when more drive bays was better, but at least 2 should be still mandatory: it opens up support for double ODDs, dual slot watercooling res, and the possibility of having a single ODD together with another accessory such as a card reader, a fan controller, a single-slot reservoir, etc.

The 8-pin cable cut is frankly poor-looking, like “finishing your homework in class a minute before the teacher arrives” poor. If you can’t or don’t want to fit a grommet there, at least give it a pleasing shape instead of just a boring rectangle. Also, do consider making a cutout for the ODD cables, too.

I can’t really understand from the pictures, but is there enough space between the top mesh and the mounting holes to place fans in there? A lot of people like the option of going push/pull with their rads. I’d also make sure you can mount a bigger rad, like a 45mm one, with fans on pull and without having problems with the 8-pin and the motherboard’s heatsinks. Having the possibility of fitting in a 45mm with 2x25mm fans in push/pull would be glorious, but I’m not sure that’d be possible.

Since I’m at it, I’d like to comment about a couple design choices which aren’t really specific of just this case.
- I personally prefer the window on the “inside” rather than the “outside”, it gives a much cleaner look.
- The WC tube grommet cutouts on the back, the ones that extend directly from the fan cutout. I’ve never liked them that way, and it’s a massive PITA if you want to add an aftermarket dust filter. If it was me I’d ditch them since barely anyone uses external rads these days – having the option is nice though, just consider relocating them somewhere else.

I probably missed something, but some people here are talking about reversed airflow (from back to front). If that’s true, then it’s a nonononono. You’d have an insanely negative pressure inside, not to mention how most GPUs expell hot air from the back.

And well, that was just me being picky. Other than that, it’s a great case and I appreciate you guys asking us for an opinion. I’m a proud owner of a X2000F, and I consider you one of the top case producers in the market (not to mention my personal favorite), so keep up the good work!

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 1:01 pmReply

Regarding the colors, we will have black and silver versions.

For the HDD bays, they have been tested for vibration, and there is anti-vibration rubber to prevent any noise. Also, the HDDs don’t actually touch the bottom of the sled, so there is no worry of vibration there. They are secured on the side with rubber washers. Each bay can be taken out individually by removing two thumbscrews behind the MB tray. This means users can choose how many HDD bays they want to use in their system – adding variability.

There is 60mm of space between the top of the case and the MB, so push/pull setups will be difficult in this case. We are trying to make this a compact ATX case, so we are not sure if we will add the extra height for push/pull up top. We might plan to make a bigger version soon capable of push/pull.

Yes, we do plan to make this a reversed airflow design, which is similar to this case’s predecessor, PC-A05N. With the PSU in the front, reversed airflow is more effective otherwise the front air would be recycled from the PSU. With the top fan options, more air can be directed inside the case. But please give us your thoughts on this

AlexNovember 29, 2013 at 11:11 pmReply

Hi there, thanks for the reply.
If there’s just 60mm of space, forget the push/pull. It’s a nice feature to have but it isn’t really mandatory in every case, and considering how vast your range of products is I’m sure you’ll have other chances of adding this option.

As for the reversed airflow, well I sure am not as competent and experienced in the matter as your engineers are, but consider the other components: most GPUs have blower fans sucking air from the inside in the exact opposite way of the case’s airflow, you’ll end up having outtakes on both front (the front fan) and rear (GPU fan); and with two or even more GPUs, you’ll end up having a big mess. If you add a radiator on top you’ll have to set the fans as intake in order to mantain positive pressure inside, they’ll end up blowing warm air in the case and on the components. With an air tower cooler, you’ll have it blowing warm air directly on the HDDs. Not to mention how a lot of people have their computers under their desks, with the rear very close to the wall – I don’t think it would be getting as much fresh air as a standard airflow case in such a situation. Even if you put it on top of the desk, depending on the positioning and orientation, you might even end up having the computer blowing hot air towards you. I’m not really into trying to fix something that already works great, heh. On the contrary, personally I’d like to see more slim and tall cases like the X500/X2000 series from you, the design in those is simply brilliant and they can move tons of air while making barely any noise.

Well I’ve probably written too much for today, but I could go on for days if It’d help you with designing new products. I visit your website every so often and your stuff never ceases to impress me, your team of engineers/designers is not only very good but also very creative and capable of bringing out products that other top companies wouldn’t even see in their dreams in terms of quality, attention to details and originality. I’m also glad to see you more active in PR as of recently!
Anyway, thanks for the chat, greetings to you and the team!

cdoublejjNovember 29, 2013 at 1:11 pmReply

The PC-A51 is GREAT AS IS!!! In fact i’m not sure i would like it any other way.

AlexNovember 29, 2013 at 1:18 pmReply

This case seem like lianli fixed all the issue with the old case, no need to mod this one to do a clean job.

If you guy could make the rear IO panel removable so if someone want a diferent color we can just paint it, instead of removing every rivet in the case.

Last question, can i have one??? i’m so gonna wait for that case to come out to upgrade.

cdoublejjNovember 29, 2013 at 1:19 pmReply

The PC-A51 is GREAT AS IS!!! In fact i’m not sure i would like it any other way.

I say this having a built a quite a few machines. not only do i do it for fun and on side but, also any time a customer orders a refurbished or new computer at the local computer store.

I’ve worked with enthusiast and OEM cases and even modded them both OEM and enthusiast. I’ve seen so many i feel if took the time i could probably design and build my own case.

I understand the intricacies of building the case and how some of the smallest/simplest changes can have profound affect of what works or how well the air flows or what hard ware fits or even how loud it is… or even how sturdy it is.

I have to say so far this likes pretty good case. I’m not even Lian Li fan but, i had to make suggestion or two, i’d like to see an all black and black/blue color combos.

I could seriously talk all day about what you did right and why i like it, like how the HDD mounting is simple AND increases air flow or who how the front lets air flow but, keeps noise down via SIDE vents but, i have to stop some where.

cdoublejjNovember 29, 2013 at 1:21 pmReply

for those saying 1 4.25″ is too little remember you can use slim drives from laptops with sata/ide converters and special slim line mounting brackets, whihc can be had on ebay/newegg/amazon.

cdoublejjNovember 29, 2013 at 1:25 pmReply

Well i was wrong, I spoke too soon. you could put a 120mm hole in the side windows and put some mesh at the bottom of the case so the GPUs can breath more. so maybe it can use a change or two but, other wise perfect.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1446815/vr-zone-lian-li-seeks-customer-feedback-on-the-prototype-pc-a51-chassis

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 3:31 pmReply

Hi cdoublejj,

Currently, there is ventilation with a filter at the bottom of the case so the GPU can breathe.

We can look into the side panel ventilation for the non-windowed versions.

cdoublejjNovember 29, 2013 at 11:48 pmReply

Okay. do you have an plans to produce and sell it yet? any possible rough target dates/times?

Lian Li TechDecember 3, 2013 at 1:53 amReply

No date as of yet. But it shouldn’t be too long from now. :)

michaelNovember 29, 2013 at 1:36 pmReply

i want to start off by saying how much i love the quality of lian li cases. On that note here is a list of possible improvements to the case:
1) The power supply location needs to be changed. If someone wants to add a second video card its going to be very hard since most video cards (performance ones anyways) exceed the length of most motherboards. The case should be made taller and the power supply placed underneath the motherboard.
2) I see in the photos that the top and front fans are placed on the inside of the case. It would be nice to instead place the top and front fans on the outside of the case and surround it with the pop off exterior panels. This way people can fit even thicker radiators in the case if they want.
3) It looks like in the photos if a radiator is mounted in the top of the case its going to block the 5.25 drive bay. i say instead of the 5.25 drive bay you have a slim dvd drive bay. since that is what most people use the 5.25 drive bay for anyways. It would allow for an even thicker radiator.
4) It is nice to see that each 3.5 drive tray are removable. However I rather have the drives rotated 90 degrees and swing towards the outside of the case on some sort of arms. (you had a prototype case not too long ago that was exactly that) That way people could fit large radiators and video cards in the front and still have a few 3.5 drive bays (2-3 would be more than enough for most)
5) This case should be micro atx and mini itx only. People are starting to realize nowadays you dont need a huge case to have an amazing performance computer. There are quite a lot of small form factor motherboards and even power supplies now but very few quality micro atx and mini itx cases. Personally i dont think a case should qualify as micro or mini if the length of the case exceeds 365mm. So overall when it comes to the dimensions I say shorten the length of the case but make it taller and maybe a little wider.

Cant wait to see how this case turns out.

cdoublejjNovember 29, 2013 at 11:52 pmReply

Mike, what if they just made the case an 1 or 2 inches longer? the psu can stay where it’s at AND there would be room for a second video card?

michaelNovember 30, 2013 at 10:48 pmReply

that could work but personally i prefer cases that are shorter in length than longer. height and width dont bother me. Again, this is what i prefer. everyone is different

FreddieNovember 29, 2013 at 1:42 pmReply

That is a blatant rip-off of the NCASE M1 design. I would of though Lian li would have more creativity.

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 3:25 pmReply

Just so I understand where you are coming from, in what ways do you think this is a ripoff of the M1?

To put it in perspective, this is more of an update of the PC-A05N http://goo.gl/bR5OjF

PeterNovember 29, 2013 at 10:48 pmReply

just ignore him ;)

You did a brilliant job in manufacturing the M1. It ended up to be such a high quality product (manufacturing wise as well), that I might consider buying another LIan Li case :)

I would like to see a more steambox like case from lian li (with pcie riser) and an ir port( or at least a hole where one could fit one ;) )

Paul Anthony BernardNovember 29, 2013 at 1:50 pmReply

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Ben WormaldNovember 29, 2013 at 1:50 pmReply

Wow this case is almost perfect… Love small cases that support ATX MB and water cooling!

Things to consider:
- Make the window smaller/smoked/flush mounted like the Fractal Design Arc Midi R2.
- Removable dust filters on all intakes (front, back, PSU, bottom)
- Support for SFX PSU’s
- Rotate the PSU clockwise 90 deg so that the cables come out towards the right side panel and include a shroud to ensure the hot air from the PSU vents out through the left side panel.
- Perhaps instead of a 5.25 bay, provide a location for a vertical slot load drive at the front right of the case (behind MB tray).
- An SSD mount behind MB tray would be great too.

Thank you for listening to your customers.

MarcoNovember 29, 2013 at 3:10 pmReply

1cm longer to give more space to the power supply cables

MarcoNovember 29, 2013 at 3:14 pmReply

…and move power cord cable to the top of the case…

SalvatoreNovember 29, 2013 at 3:59 pmReply

Simply fantastic.

Two questions, there’s compatibility with CPU Cooler Noctua D14??? And with nVidia GTX780 or more big???

Thanks

Lian Li TechNovember 29, 2013 at 4:43 pmReply

Yes, the Noctua D14 will fit as it is under 175mm. The GTX780 will fit if one of the HDD bays is removed.

EzequielNovember 29, 2013 at 5:07 pmReply

My feedback: I suggest you add some fan filters for both front and bottom. There has to be a easy way to clean the front fan filters, like a door or a easy but not flimsy way to remove the front panel quickly.
Besides that great looking case!

JerezxcNovember 29, 2013 at 6:16 pmReply

Those red hdd bays could be black :) AND smoke window! :)

Leo Bien DuranaNovember 29, 2013 at 6:34 pmReply

I love the looks, and appreciated the work that has put into building that case. However, I would like to suggest an option to rotate the PSU, so its cables are facing the motherboard tray side. Maybe it cannot be done with the current width of the case, but would love to see it as an option if the user wishes to use/have a small form factor PSU.

HyttinenNovember 29, 2013 at 6:36 pmReply

Here is my suggestion to do first in the world: Pre-installed wiring and short “jumper cables” to connect all the devices from motherboard / PSU

Scorpion667November 29, 2013 at 6:43 pmReply

WD caviar blacks will rattle those hdd trays and produce all types of annoying vibrations/sounds. One corner being completely unsupported seems like a good idea aesthetics wise, but in terms of acoustics I’m willing to bet large sums of money it will have issues.

Solution? provide an optional crossmember that connects all HDD trays on the unsupported side

Personally, I REALLY like the layout. I’m all for compact cases. Hell, I’m running a RIVE inside a Midi R2. But the fact is, it could use a tad more watercooling support.
My first sugestion, offset the radiator mounting on the top AWAY from the motherboard similar to the midi R2 so that we can fit thick rads. Heck, add a 240mm radiator offset away from mobo on the bottom of the case too, since there is no PSU under the mobo. I suggest making the optical bay, hdd bays completely removable via screws and make the case slightly taller. This way you add two VERY interesting selling points to the case:

1. 60mm thick radiator support up top (240mm rad, offset mounting away from mobo)
2. 60mm thick radiator support up front (240mm and/or 280mm depending on case width)
3. 60mm thick radiator support on the bottom (240mm rad, offset mounting away from mobo)

Add a ssd tray behind the mobo tray since we won’t have any hdd trays if we use 3 rads.
If they can do 3x 60mm thick 240mm radiator support, these things will fly off the shelves.

JohanNovember 29, 2013 at 6:45 pmReply

Looking good, but heres some suggestions to think about:
- Add 1 more opening for cables above the motherboard and 2 more under it.
- Add the option to install 2×140/120mm Fans at the bottom.

There are some cosmetical things that could be changed:
- The top looks quite odd, I hope you will make it flat.
- Also that usb/hd audio cover, just make it top (same line like whole top) without that cover
- The ventilation holes above the PCI Slots, make them away!

This case in microatx whitout window (same, but lower case and less hdd-bay) it would be awesome.

DudewitbowNovember 29, 2013 at 7:45 pmReply

Tis already mentioned, but an optional 2x140m bottom intake would probably work great for those who decide to only have a single GPU setup and want some extra airflow to their gpu. Would also be a very prime spot to install a Pump for water cooling enthusiasts (e.g EK DCP 4.0 X-Res pump/res) as the rest of the case lacks room for pump additions without having to sacrifice HDD bays

twich12November 29, 2013 at 9:25 pmReply

flip or turn the PSU so the cables are not as visible when coming out of the PSU. This would limit the size of a PSU in the build but most PSU’s are finally all normal sized. If I were to get my hands on it the first thing I would do is pull a few HDD trays and stand it up, I only have 2 HDDs and 2 SSDs though.

jeesNovember 29, 2013 at 11:20 pmReply

Edges of the window shouldn’t have those bolt and the window should be same wifht as the rest side panel. And smoke window.

could buy it then.

FyrikNovember 30, 2013 at 1:29 pmReply

1. Different color options for the motherboard tray (which would match the HDD bays and backpanel), and to the case itself.
2. No fans with the case itself at all or very high quality ones. Nobody buys good cases and uses bad fans afterwards. These fans should also be reasonably colormatched to the case.
3. Option to take the Drive bay on top off completely and change it into additional HD bay slots if you don’t need the Drive Bay.

JakeNovember 30, 2013 at 3:13 pmReply

1) Remove completely 5.25″ slot. USB devices can do the same thing and can be easily used in multiple computers. 5.25″ belongs to museum.
2) Easily removable dust filters in front of every fan and airhole, including PSU airhole.
3) No fans included. Unnecessary dead weight, as most users put in their own preferred fans anyways, if not going for completely passive cooling or water cooling.
4) 2 or more modular HD cages that can be custom changed into 2.5″ or 3.5″ HDD cages depending on need. 3.5″ cages still should have screw holes for 2.5″ HDD’s.
5) Possibility to remove HDD cages for long GPUs.
6) Possibility to purchase special side-panels, one allowing passive CPU cooler to come partially or completely outside the casing, another one with outside bending allowing larger CPU cooler towers to fit.
7) Possibility to fit two 140mm (preferably double 140mm) closed loop water coolers, one for CPU and one for GPU.
8) Possibility to fit 300mm fan.
9) Sound dampening material on casing would be nice.
10) Easy to configure push-pull fan setting.
11) No sharp corners that cause cuts.
13) USB 3 ports only.
14) mATX/ITX sized version.
15) Possibility to return old Lian Li case to get discount when buying new one.

bwanaNovember 30, 2013 at 5:14 pmReply

make the case an inch longer so bigger ps and longer vid cards fit.
change back vent to a removable 5.25 in drive bay cover with vent holes – leaves option for many things-fan controller, removable 3.5 in sata drives, etc.

dosboxNovember 30, 2013 at 5:43 pmReply

I’ve been looking to downsize from a PC6-B, so was happy to see this. However, there are a number of issues:

a) Those 3.5″ drive mounts don’t look good for vibration damping. It looks like they’re screwed directly to the case at one end, with only a thin strip of hard(?) plastic between the tray and the case. Given how much the PC6-B resonates (using the same rubber drive mounts), I’m sceptical about how this will sound with 3.5 multiple drives installed. If you have to stick with the current layout (i.e fastening one end only), a soft plastic sled in a metal tray might provide greater damping.

b) Definitely need a good dust filter or solid option for the top panel.

c) Front facing I/O would be better for such a short case. Helps reduce the impact of dust, and many of these are going to be sitting on a desk.

d) How long a PSU can this handle? Good quality modular PSU’s like the Seasonic X series need 160mm plus room for the modular connectors.

e) Add another hole in the motherboard tray at the top to provide additional flexibility for cable routing

f) One 5.35 drive is plenty. I may not even use it.

Re: PrototypeNovember 30, 2013 at 7:10 pmReply

its very hard to criticise your design. You know what you’re doing.
I appreciate the practical and professional designs of cases.

Its clear you want to refine this to sort of appeal to gamers a bit more with the big side window and ruby red drive cages and glossy red pci brackets. red and black sheme of colour is quite commonplace.
I like the switch being on the top. My case is positioned towards the side of the desk, so I have to squeeze in between to get to the button. Basically my case is sideways because it is too long to fit properly.

Also support for closed loop water cooling etc, works well in the modern age for anyone avoiding tower heatsinks which can wobble when systems are moved around – also the cooling performance may be better.
Removable drive bays are good idea and contemporary.

Its good to have made sure there is enough room at the back of the motherboard to ensure users dont have to squeeze all the cables in with the side panel. Talking of side panels, pcs need a lot of tinkering and dusting out sometimes and replacing the screws with a clip or something on the main panel would save a lot of sore thumbs!

I know you will never consider this. But my dream solution would have any extra filterred air intake from the sides but lifted a few inches off the ground for that extra intake. Air from the base could extract particles from desk or carpet etc.

You have such a variety. Someday among them I might find the ideal one for me. Clean slick top panel with no vents – if one include a cover; usb hub on top front but not on top panel; fully fabricated shell [no detachable front panel - they get wonky]; fine plastic mesh filters on any intake; sealed base to protect system from dusty floor etc;
Throw out the 5.25 bay as disc drives are going out – if you need one for that infrequent need, there are plenty of external usb disc drives and sd card readers. Talking of fan control, has an external fan controller panel thing been done!

Anyway Good luck with the development

ChrisDecember 1, 2013 at 1:11 amReply

this would be so perfect for an matx server case with 8 hdd’s and a supermicro motherboard.
Please see this quick edit

http://i.imgur.com/n1X5kIu.jpg

Zafiris KalantzisDecember 1, 2013 at 6:14 pmReply

Nice, but too special for classic-consumers.

ChrisDecember 2, 2013 at 4:04 pmReply

True, but the ncase m1 also was for a niche group. And the limited run they had was a huge succes.
I think there is more demand than you think
problem is that consumers already have so much choice. for them it would just be the price as a deciding factor. No offence to lian li but their cases have a higher price point in most cases

ideasDecember 1, 2013 at 1:59 amReply

Rubber cable gromits with mounts on to prevent them from slipping out sometimes.
The plastic on the top front panel looks a tiny bitvuneven with the top panel.

Антон ВалерьевичDecember 1, 2013 at 8:56 amReply

Time would have to abandon optical drives, they just spoil the facade!

Yuriy SamorodovDecember 1, 2013 at 2:39 pmReply

Totally agree!

JamesDecember 1, 2013 at 9:08 amReply

Glass of the window should be mounted from inside the box in such way that glass and box surface are on the same level.
Nothing should bulge out from the left surface.

AndreyDecember 1, 2013 at 11:20 amReply

Back side fan should be higher, because closed one segment water cooling system cannot be installed there.

yurarkDecember 1, 2013 at 1:39 pmReply

That’s a good case, but if it was about 30mm deeper, we would be able to install the longest graphic cards that have 3-slot cooler and also install SSI CEB motherboards (or the ATX ones but with bigger PSUs). By the way, I guess that the front and the rear fan mounts should be 120/140mm for unification. Another 2 mounts of 2.5″ drives at the motherboard tray won’t be useless, though. Meanwhile, do you mind to supply the product without fans at all? And what do you think about black/white or black/blue versions of the case?

Yuriy SamorodovDecember 1, 2013 at 2:37 pmReply

Hi,

First of all, thnk you all at Lian Li for all your hard work. I have been always doing very impressive cases.
This one is no exception!
However, I would have a piece of advice to you:
1) Please make a 5.25″ drive bay removable and exchangeble to 3.5″ bay (no hotswap is fine)
2) Please make a version where there is no external drive bays. That would make a case looking really nicer than it is (IMHO)
3) Make it possible to place liquiq cooling on the front when all drive cages removed.

Thank you again for all your hard work and wonderfull enclosures!

Best regards,
Yuriy

WillemDecember 1, 2013 at 6:18 pmReply

The PSU is getting the air from under the case; longer legs will reduce the speed of the airflow and less dust wil get into the PSU.

JeroenDecember 1, 2013 at 7:08 pmReply

1. The window is to big, you do not have to see the HDDs. Its ugly. You only have to see the motherbord.
2. The red hdd bay needs to be black as the whole case.

Best Regards,

FyXDecember 1, 2013 at 7:19 pmReply

I would like to see less room between the harddisk and more cages for more harddisks. Maybe 8 could fit with smart room management. If you want more cooling for videocards you can just remove a cage and give more room for air to pass. Options are important.

AGE100December 1, 2013 at 7:19 pmReply

we should not forget that ( unfortunately) your product will be perceived primarily as a good design (most just end consumers ), and even if you choose assemblers of computers , most most final buyer will evaluate the outer shell . Temporarily forget about the ” stuffing .” ( Apple has a stuffing from Samsung). And so we have a ” beautiful aluminum case in the style of ” high limit. ” So what? Them there are many on the market. Need ” pearl ” / ” hook ” to the eye, and of course it should be on the front panel . Dining accents here
front – http://yadi.sk/d/qtv8EYCHDdRNA
rear – http://yadi.sk/d/OdCz8fhZDdRSL

GarakDecember 1, 2013 at 7:45 pmReply

My comments,

*No 5,25″ external, less height.
*Power button + 2x USB 3 top front instead.
*No ATX, only m-ATX + mini-ITX.
*Lose 2 HDD racks bottom for longer graphics cards.
*Top ventilation mesh/filter or closed lid magnetic snap-on.

Likes:
Cable management space behind motherboard.
CPU cooler heigth.

Thoughts:
Extra width,
http://www.lian-li.com/lianliblog/files/2013/11/a51-005.jpg
isn’t there a ‘flat pack’ PSU that could go bottom right, sideways?

Lian Li TechDecember 2, 2013 at 3:41 amReply

Hi Garak,

Thanks for your feedback. Every HDD bay is removable, so that if a user wants to remove them or keep them, they can. This gives versatility to the build.

The top mesh does indeed have a filter. However, since are cases are made of aluminum – magnets don’t work. :)

isn’t there a ‘flat pack’ PSU -> The PSU is actually in the front. There is a cable from the PSU to the rear of the case.

КириллDecember 1, 2013 at 8:31 pmReply

Дизайн на уовне гвоздя.Напоминает сейф или электрощит.

SirRobinIIDecember 1, 2013 at 9:07 pmReply

I would prefer
-black instead of red
-front fan on other height, so you can use a 120 rad in the front and 1 hdd cage
-smaller window so you see the mobo
-longer case, you can fit 180 psu

oscarDecember 1, 2013 at 9:39 pmReply

-glue the window on the inside.
-make a blue version.

FerryDecember 1, 2013 at 9:59 pmReply

Hi,

Great case, nice and something else then standard.
Maybe opt for a cage around the PSU, with a second option for mounting it. (2nd option being for a large dual GPU setup, PSU will be placed with the intake fan to the front, and the outtake to the bottom) Gamers cases usually dont have much hard-drives. Cables can then be routed upwards and backwards for cleanliness.

Second I would place some SSD mounting options behind the Motherboard.

Third, would be cool to make a pre-cabled harddrive rack for the top 3 or 2 drives, all routed, sort of like with a hotswap-rack :)

Fouth and last I would like to make the window cover the PSU, so cable routing can be done more invisible.

greetz

Queron PanjerDecember 1, 2013 at 10:08 pmReply

Hello Lian Li,

I am pleased to see a great designer asking help from their respected buyers. I have decided to devide my advise into positive and changeble.

Positive:
- The overall design of the case is very clean and stylisch.
- The big window on the side gives a nice view in the case, which causes builders to clean up the wires inside.
- Striking color for the inside, would work perfectly with my motherboard.
- Meshwork on top of the case and the room availleble for installing a large liguid CPU-cooler, like a Corsair H100i.

Changeble:
- Providing more colour options for the internal design.
- Providing a few 2.5″bays for SSD.

Question:
- How will you connect the powercord to the PSU internally?

A few minor remarks but otherwise a fantastic case by Lian Li.

Greetz,

Queron

Lian Li TechDecember 2, 2013 at 3:43 amReply

How will you connect the powercord to the PSU internally? -> There is a cable extension from the PSU in the front to the rear.

Juho MäkinenDecember 2, 2013 at 6:09 amReply

Looks good, but I’m still hoping that the PC industry would take a good look how Apple did their new Mac Pro machine. Sure it looks like a garbage can, but it packs a decent amount of stuff.

I’m a hard core user, but when I’m thinking about my next computer, I’m only looking for the following features: Able to fit at least 32GB ram, one very good processor (at least eight cores), one double width GPU and two SSDs (no more). I don’t need any 5.25″ drivers and I’d like to the box be as small as possible as as I don’t need any extra space and I want that I can carry the case around a few times a year without sweat.

TuomasDecember 2, 2013 at 6:10 amReply

Couple of suggestions:

1) suspend couple of the lowest HDD trays with industrial grade composite belt (http://www.fixacar.net/serpentine-belt.jpg) this will make spinning hdd all but silent (if the belt is flixible enough) – top positions used then for SSD’s

2) Put main power switch to the back panel if possible – so its easy to get full power off

not related to this case but have you investigated the possibility of making the power supply external of the case?

-externalize the power supply (pico PSU or really put ATX supple out of the case)
-remove 5.25″ slot alltogether (with optinal usb 2/3 connected external box)
- turn ssd/hdd trays vertical

-> smallest ATX-size case on the market

LarsDecember 2, 2013 at 11:53 amReply

Pro’s: nice looks, indeed very stylish. Nice compact but still lots of room for HDD’s, instead of a lot of 5,25″ drives.

Tips,
-a sd-cardreader built in the front I/O would be great.
-make also a version without a window.
-Also sell a set of sound insulating accessorizes that you can buy additionally if you want to make the system nice and silent. Such as rubber insulators for the HDD’s and fan mounts and pre-cut sound insulating pads for the outside casing.
-an extra 2,5″ built in spot for a SSD. Since most motherboards support at least 6 sata connectors, you would have the choice to have 5 3,5″HDD’s and an ssd. It could easily be built in at the back-plate of the HDD-case. Just add 4 treated holes, to mount it flat to the back-plate next to PSU at the bottom. The room kept for cable management should be sufficiently wide.

Keep the price reasonable!

Aniello CasilloDecember 2, 2013 at 11:54 amReply

If it were possible a case a little longer, so as to create more space in between the motherboard and the pate is located in the power supply and disk spaces.

PTKDecember 2, 2013 at 12:04 pmReply

Hotswap backplate for the HD’s. It will reduce the power cord cludder a LOT. Its allways a struggle to get those power cords bent so that you get all the HD’s powered up. Or add a extension power cord(s) that is measured to fit perfectly to all of those HD slots. Surely 1 power supply line can handle 3-6 HD’s or SSD’s. That way you can remove 2-3 power cord lines completely from your system ( if you have such power supply ).

MikaelDecember 2, 2013 at 12:15 pmReply

Your prototype is really interesting ! But it would be better for me like this :

- For bigger gpu > remove the two lowest hdd cage, stick one vertically on the motherboard side on its side.

- For more stocking data possibilities, make the hdd cage able to receive two ssd too.

- Put the I/O button and usb and etc… on front panel instead of the top.

- Their is too much color in this box, isn’t it ?

- And what about a version without window but only ventilated side ?

- Opening doors instead of sides removables with screw could be a good idea.

Thank you for your work and asking users what they thinking about.

MaartenDecember 2, 2013 at 12:34 pmReply

I like the case, but I don’t understand the PSU placement? It is sucking up air from underneath the case, and pushing it out at the front right? I would would worry about this:

- There must be a very good dust filter, to prevent the PSU from collecting loads of dust (dus usually is on the floor, where the PSU gets its air from).
- Doesn’t the front fan suck in the hot air from the PSU again, since the PSU blows its air out behind the front panel?

I would worry a lot about the cooling of the GPU’s as well, especially in multi GPU setups. Where are the GPU’s supposed to get cool air from? All air flow is above the GPU’s in this setup.

Lian Li TechDecember 3, 2013 at 1:59 amReply

HI Maarten,

The PSU is our setup is sucking air through ventilation with a filter at the bottom of the case, and then exhausting air out of the front. The front fan is also exhausting air out the front, so the warm air is not being recycled.

The rear fan is the intake fan.

MaartenDecember 3, 2013 at 10:25 amReply

Hi,

I had seen that the rear fan was intake, I couldn’t see it for the front fan however. The setup you describe sound fine, but I would still worry about GPU cooling. There is no airflow underneath the GPU at all at the moment. There seems to be a ventilation hole at the bottom, is it possible to place a fan there?

Lian Li TechDecember 3, 2013 at 10:27 amReply

We are looking into that for our update.

OlivierDecember 2, 2013 at 1:26 pmReply

I like it a lot, but I would like two slots: one 5.25″ for a DVD writer, and one 3.5″ for a card reader.
Internally, I would prefer more 2.5 HD racks and less 3.5, since I have replaced all my 3.5″ disks wit 2.5 ssd and disk, smaller, quieter, and faster.

The combination of black and red aluminium is superb !

Also, there is one particular thing I don’t like on windowed Lian-Li boxes: the windows are too smal, and there are fixed externally with ugly apparent screews. COuld you please take inspiration for the Corsair Obsidian windows ? (large windows, fixed internally on the panel, not externally).

I have an old Lian-Li case, and wait for a new beaufiful high end with a large window to renew it.

Olivier

CLEMENTDecember 2, 2013 at 5:28 pmReply

Beautiful case, good idea for improvement but few changes would be made ​​all the same:

- Increase length of 1 cm or 2 cm. for the possibility of a longer power supply and not be bothered by the sata cables on certain motherboard. As well to put a longer video card.

- Increase the height of 1 cm or 2 cm to shift the motherboard up to eventually put a video card with a radiator on 3 slots that is not bothered by power supply.

- Personally, I prefer the usb ports and buttons on the facade as PC-A05N and the plexiglass on the side should be optional.

Too bad it is not out one month earlier. I bought 2 Cases by lack of choice.

But maybe I’d sell me to take this one if further improves;)

Jean-ClaudeDecember 2, 2013 at 7:41 pmReply

Thank you very much for asking our opinion for a product not yet released. It’s a rare demarche well appreciated.
It’s a successful prototype which is near from what I think is a perfect modern PC case.
Beautiful, simple, compact and still fully fonctional (ATX motherboard support).

For me,
To be perfect, a PC case must completely separates the storage part from the computing part.

I don’t need five 3,5 inches hard drives bays in my polyvalent gaming, multimedia and office computer which will be on only 4 hours a day.

At the time of cloud, it is important to be able to access its data anywhere, from any device, at anytime. So I need five 3,5 inches drives bays in a NAS oriented PC case. Optical drive bay is useless :-) . Really, I use mine once in 3 months (optical drive must be USB and optionnal)

Height 400mm is perfect -> Allows ATX motherboard. Allows 2 fans on the top of the case or a large watercooling kit.
Great. Nothing to change.

Width 230mm is perfect -> Allows Big graphics cards. A support for two 2,5 inches drives bays should (may be) be placed over the motherboard. PSU can be placed above the CPU (like the PC-Q35) at 50mm from rear fan (need to keep the rear fan).

Depth 489mm is way to big. Really. -> No need for optical bay. No need for hdd bays. PSU moved. You save 140mm. You can put two 140mm front fans. 350mm depth would be perfect.

In the other way. PC-Q35 as a NAS case would be perfect with :
- Micro-ATX support (PCI ports needed for ethernet card, Raid controller)
- Same HDD drives bays orientation than the PC-A51. 50 mm depth saved.
- Up to eight 3,5 inches drives bays with Sata-3 hotswap card (included with the case). No, 5,25 drive bays.
- 2 large front fans.

Thank you.
Good luck.

Sorry for my English. I’m french :-)

ferdiDecember 2, 2013 at 8:57 pmReply

hotswap for ssd’s two is sufficient until the pci cards get cheaper raid 0 is used a lot and many use two systems and to get sure the system will not get messed up by installing ubuntu or android it would be very handy you could rmove your intelraid or use marvell raid can be used for most systems
you could do this for making the transparent window a door so you could access the drives in principle it is easy to make them all hot swap
few case have plastic 2.5 inches swapslots 2 or four

p.s I am not a apple fan but did you see the new mac pro 25 cm cylinder one fan
you should design experimental designs to like that in cooperation with asus or asrock cos you have made very nice cases like that already but not like that cos different harware is needed.

keep up the good work greeting from the netherlands

jasonDecember 3, 2013 at 10:17 amReply

nice looking case…..
+1 on the case for atx and matx
+1 on the mutiple hdd drive
+ 1 on the window

i dont like the red color…may be u can do other color as well
i dont think the 5.25inch bay is need…no one use cd now….and it will make the front look much better

Chris JDecember 3, 2013 at 12:15 pmReply

1)Rubber grommet are the same cheap ones that the LIAN LI PC-A75? The ones that fall off?

2) Are the drives cages modular? Can I move them around and or remove them without having to use a drill?

3)Water cooling grommets in the rear of the case are the made of hard plastic or rubber?
its bad idea to use hard plastic for tubes.

I don’t know if you saw this video review http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9YbR1aMqhM this video says what is Lian Li missed.
Lian Li cases are beautiful but they lack features
1) We need better cable management
2) Better water cooling support Many of us would love to put a radiator in front and let me tell you that is a Buying factor Because many of us do not want to bother using a drill the remove the hard drive cages.

JaPaDecember 3, 2013 at 1:45 pmReply

Im 26 yrs old man from finland. I dunno am i your target group, but heres some:
+++Cool looking
++30mm space for cables
+holes for liguid cooling

—Dust filters for fans!!!
–another 5,25″ spot; one for blu-ray and another for fan controller/temperature screen.
-couple of usb 3.0 to front panel, as well as headphone, mic. These could be with power button under of somekind of slide-cover. Ive got that kind of cover in my coolermasters HAF-X.

randomofamberDecember 3, 2013 at 3:04 pmReply

It shoul be nice to mount/umount HDD without cables manipulating. There where could be some middleware (connectors). HDD could be simple pugged/unplugged without uncover second side of case and unpluging/pluging cables.

HaksuDecember 5, 2013 at 10:03 amReply

Hi, couple suggestions on that case even if its quite good already.

Power should have it´s own air intake from bottom.
back fan slot increased to support 120/140mm fans.
dust filters for front fan and power, should be easily removable for easy cleaning (tool-less)
(bottom fan slot wouldn’t be bad but it seems it wont fit)

windowless model:
sound proofing to sides and roof (straight up or optional version)
top air vent should be blockable either fully or ½. best done from underside so looks stay smooth.

looks:
IMO should be bit smoother, perhaps bit rouder top corners or something, no leds or stuff like that.
And pls don’t add side fan slot, haven’t seen good looking case with one yet.
If you happen to make one, put it in windowed version on bottom corner and use it to push cool air for GPU.

-H

AleksDecember 7, 2013 at 8:42 pmReply

I badly tell English therefore I use the translator.

I think: “Case good. Idea with the Power unit the very good.
But it would be good to make couple of changes:
- to transfer ports to the forward panel over 5,25″ the socket and wires to hide for cable management with 30mm (1.2 ″) of space behind the motherboard tray
- on the forward panel instead of the fan 1*140mm to put 2 it is less
- to establish a door under 5,25″ the socket that there was an access to the Power unit switch (that a wire the extender for the Power unit wasn’t seen instead of a standard format “Г” it it is necessary to make a format “C”) + it is possible to take out fans of the forward panel (between a door and a place for the fan 1*140mm on the forward panel)
- on the top panel instead of 2*120/2*140mm the fan it is better to make 3*120mm/2*140mm that it was possible to establish 240/280/360mm radiators
- to make the folding 5,25″ drive bay (removable bottom part) that there were no problems in time installations 360mm radiators and fan controler at the same time
- to sell separately demountable baskets with fans for horizontal installation 2-3 x2,5″ /3,5″ to HDD or vertical 6×2,5″ SSD/HDD that at the motherboard microATX or miniITX installation it was possible to remove lateral HDD bay.

If there are questions, can draw the drawing.

Jayson DennyDecember 10, 2013 at 11:29 amReply

What size rad can you fit up top and can you mount a rad to the front? I only need space for an ssd so the front hdd area is wasted on me. Would be perfect if you could mount a rad there though. Also, make it to fit at least a 60mm thick rad up top and you have a winner.

Can you please actually distribute these cases to Australia? You guys make so many great cases and barely any make it to Aus, especially the anodised and window versions.

June BugDecember 18, 2013 at 10:54 pmReply

1. Hard drive backplane to deal with the organization of cables and power
2. Extra slot on the bottom to create extra space for the bottom to run cables such as USB headers, audio headers, and power switch headers.
3. Don’t need a cover plate to hide ports. Show it all ports and keep it open. Make it easy to access.
4. Power Supply switch in the back for the internal power supply
5. Latch side panels like those found in the Corsair 600t
6. Offset the top fans placement to be higher (closer to the window) to help with the radiator installation
7.

Ideas +December 19, 2013 at 2:20 pmReply

Agree that the window should be on the inside; possibly made of something scratch proof also.
Mid mounted 2.5 drive mounts. Although if they cool better closer to the side then its alright.
Option of some sort of clip for side panels; maybe as an accessory addon thing.
Plastic or rubber caps on the usb ports to protect them from dust.
A sata cable in accessory pack.
Slot drive addon adaptability – addon pack.
Shorten length, a few drive mounts on backplate, extra points to hold cables in with ties.
Put psu back to usual which would increase height but thats alright.

Ideas +2December 21, 2013 at 6:30 amReply

Leave extra space at the bottom to route cables underneath

Lian Li FanDecember 24, 2013 at 6:49 pmReply

1. Make more holes on top of the motherboard tray to allow for fan wiring to run behind the motherboard (2 holes minimum).
2. Get rid of the USB slot cover on top of the case. Makes it harder to access. Hiding it is pointless.
3. Leave room on the bottom of the motherboard tray to run cables to the USB headers and audio headers. About one more slot should suffice.
4. Top of the case should have 2 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 headers.
5. Latch type system used in the Corsair 600t cases. Those are awesome.
6. Love the PSU location. Makes the case more compact. Maybe you can add an extra inch in length to accomodate the cables.
7. How swappble backplane in the back.

IdeasDecember 31, 2013 at 1:36 amReply

1. The holes where the 8 pin cpu passes doesnt have a black rubber cover, could be nice to have one.
2. Easy removeable fans filters for every fans emplacements
3. Black colored case, not red brackes ruining everything please :)
4. Remove the front 3.5 bay, to maybe have a dual front 120mm?

Lian Li TechDecember 31, 2013 at 3:18 amReply

Hi Ideas,

We added the rubber cover, and the fan filters are removable. We also added a black color case option. ;)

We also just posted the updates. You can check them here – http://www.lian-li.com/lianliblog/pc-a51-updated/

Ideas – 2December 31, 2013 at 1:43 amReply

5. Possibility to mount 2.5 hdd or ssd behind the motherboard (other side of the case), to completely remove hdd brackets for better airflow. Here is an image of it, yellow squares representing possible emplacements for 2,5 drives (my paint skills are amazing…): http://imgur.com/XDmCuTG

Lian Li TechDecember 31, 2013 at 3:22 amReply

Truly amazing paint skills.

We did actually add SSD mounting ability to the rear and front, for more build variablity and better airflow.

Check out the updates here – http://www.lian-li.com/lianliblog/pc-a51-updated/

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