Lian Li PC-B25S Mid-tower Aluminum Case

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Working inside the PC-B25S is safe, as panel edges are rolled to prevent cuts and scratches, and the front fan and drive cages can be removed without tools. Cable management is well thought out for the most part. The overall impression is one of high quality materials and good execution... with some odd exceptions, as noted in the photo captions below.

Note liberal use of thumbscrews, adapters for fans to run off different types of power connectors, and lots of holes for hiding cables easily. All the fans have native 3-pin connectors for motherboard fan headers, with adapters to use directly off 4-pin PSU outputs.

The motherboard tray has multiple holes all around the perimeter for cable management, as well as a large hole behind the CPU area for heatsinks that require access to the underside of the motherboard. The motherboard tray extends only to about the top of the PSU, leaving an open gap of about 3" to the bottom panel. This is useful for cable management, too. The PSU does not sit directly on the bottom panel, but on raised and soft-damped sleds, which provides yet more breathing space for the PSU's intake fan.

The case has a pair of front USB 3.0 ports, but as most motherboards still do not have internal USB 3.0 headers, external cables are provided. They need to be routed through and plugged into the back panel ports of the motherboard. An internal USB 2 header adapter is included, but there is no adapter for USB 3 headers, which are now appearing on the latest motherboards. Inexplicably, a stamped metal grill is used on the inside of the 120mm back panel fan, instead of the more common and less restrictive (for airflow) wire grill. There is no grill on the outside of this fan — again, this seems an odd choice. Isn't there more possibility of interruption to the fan blades on the outside of the case? (Yes, we know that wires on the inside of cases sometimes rub against fan blades and make noise or even get cut by them, but this rarely happens with experienced builders — few newbie builders would use a >$200 case.)

Up in the top back corner, tucked between the back and top panel fans, is a speed controller for three fans. The switch is on the top panel, behind the top fan. There is a position on the PCB for a fourth fan header, which would have made sense since the case has four fans, but it has been left empty. There are no Y-adapters for joining two fan leads, and the front fan leads are not long enough to reach this fan controller.

The front bezel pops off easily the same way as the top panel, and it too, is lined with foam on the inside. A 2-conductor cable for the blue ring light feeds through a hole neatly positioned on one side. When this cable is not connected to the power supply (via another 2-pin to 4-pin adapter), the front bezel can be pulled away altogether.

Another oddity is the washer-board style vented cover for the two intake 120mm fans mounted in front. The front bezel already blocks the fans from having a direct sound path out, and it is already lined with foam on the inside. So why further deflect the sound path at the cost of additional airflow restriction? On top of this, remove the vented cover, and we find...

...yet more airflow restriction in the form of two dust filters over the fans. (Bottom dust filer removed.) We chose to keep the dust filers on and leave off the vented cover.

While we are on the topic of fans, note the way the above fan is mounted. There is a special rubber grommet that goes on the bolts. This grommet has a groove that fits the thickness of the aluminum panel. The holes for the fan are set up so that it is a slide-locking mount. Position the fan so that the screws fit into the big holes, then slide the whole fan down a bit so that the rubber grommets fit into the edges of the smaller holes which overlap the bigger holes. It's much easier to show than to tell. Please see the animated GIF below. (If the animation has stopped, just refresh your browser window.)

It's a clever if elaborate way to soft mount a fan. This is the same way that all the fans are mounted... with one exception: The back panel fan. Please see the photo below.

A similar overlapping bigger/smaller hole are used here for the fan screws and grommets... but there are two mirror image pairs, rather than the series pairs needed, which means the insert, slide and lock system cannot work. Did a designer fall asleep at his workstation? Is there some other reason for the above design that we cannot fathom? Whatever. The only way this fan can be installed is to insert the grommets in the panel first, then slide the bolts through grommets and screw it into the holes in the fan. In other words, conventionally. Yet, a still different type of hole was machined in the back panel for the mounting of this fan.

Tool-free clamp mounting for add-in slot cards works very well, providing good support even for heavy video cards. All the slot covers are vented.

The drive cage is quite sturdy, and also secures to the chassis securely, with two thumbscrews on top, one on the bottom and a locking tab behind. 2.5" SSD mount holes are provided on the center platform. It also features a clever rubber-grommet decoupled HDD mounting system we will show you later.

A simple-to-use snap in and lock system is used to secure optical drives. Screws can be used on the other side for extra security.

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