Lian Li PC-S80
- Good noise dampening.
- Non-removable motherboard tray.
The dual-layers of sheet metal do well to keep the system quiet, but the lack of a removable motherboard tray and the resulting tight working environment, detract from this case as a worthwhile proposition.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
This case is billed as Lian-Li's "silent" case and it carries that label because of its design.
The drive and motherboard components reside behind two layers of aluminium, which act as an insulator. This means that noise from the system fans and the drives does not escape easily. Dampening material is also installed on the ceiling of the case, at the front and on the portion of the side panel that sits near the expansion cards. No matter how many layers Lian-Li uses, however, the roar of an ATI Radeon X1900XTX in full flight cannot be muffled.
The silent aspirations of this case do not stifle its cooling capabilities. This case has no fewer than three 12cm case fans installed (two at the front and one at the rear) and one 8cm case fan, and each hard drive bay has a heat sink enclosure that attaches to the hard drive using special mounting screws. These screws allow the drive to easily slide into the side-facing drive bay rails.
The rear of the case is as fascinating as the inside. It has a large plastic shroud that hooks on to the case near the power supply and the rear exhaust fans, its job is to muffle the sound that is emitted from this area as well as to divide the air coming in (to cool the CPU) and leaving the case (via the power supply).
Unfortunately, the case is a little cramped and is not the easiest one to work on. It lacks a removable motherboard tray so you must work on the motherboard while it is mounted on the chassis. The drive bays reside very close to the motherboard and leave little room for manoeuvring, especially if you are attaching cables near the edge of the motherboard. Once everything is installed and the case is closed, the system runs very quietly, apart from when the aforementioned graphics card's fan is running at full speed. We do wonder how the front case fans receive cool air to blow over the hard drives, as there aren't any vents near the front of the case. There are vents on the rear of the side panel that may be the facilitator of external air for these fans.
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