Lian Li PC-B25S Mid-tower Aluminum Case

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Our Phenom II X4 955 ATX case test system was installed without too much difficulty. Hard drive installation was a snap, and cables were easily tucked out of the way. Our standard modular PSU made things even easier.

Finished system with all the covers off. Neat, tidy wiring was relatively easy to achieve. This helps with airflow, cooling and noise.

The single most troublesome aspect of cable management was getting all the cables through the very small access hole in the top back corner of the motherboard tray. This little hole was the only path for too many cables. Making it twice the size would have been much better.

The focused oval shows the small hole through which two thick USB cables, the AUX12V cable and fan cables need to be routed.

The other side, where the cables were routed. More anchors or hooks for cable ties behind the motherboard tray would be useful. A little more space — even just a quarter inch, would also make putting that side cover back on a lot easier. The lower front fan was connected to the speed controller with an 8" extender — not included.

POSTSCRIPT 1, 2011-01-15: After this review was posted, a SPCR forum member pointed out that we had missed a second fan controller located in the top front corner, under the front bezel. This caused a rushed examination.... low & behold, there it was, awaiting our discovery. In our defense, tucked away as it is without any reference in the installation guide, it was easy to miss. This little PCB is identical to the other one in the back, with three fan headers, and it has the same effect on the fans. It is similarly inconvenient to access, as the front bezel has to be removed firs, like to top bezel for the back fans. But it does mean that at least the firing for the front fans don't have to be routed all the way to the back.

Second fan controller in front, near the top, under the front bezel.

The HDD is installed in an unusual way. A specially shaped large head screw is used with a grommet that has a groove around it, much like the fan grommets. Once the grommets and screws are attached, they slide into a pair of rails, sort of like sled blades, in the hard drive cage. It is then soft-mounted; there is no hard contact between the drive and the chassis... although the amount of rubber between chassis and HDD is much smaller than with more conventional grommets.

The animated GIF above shows how all the hard drives in the cage are locked securely in place with a slide-lock and screw-tight mechanism. Again, it is ingenious and works well. (Refresh the browser window if the animation has stopped.)

The PSU was installed conventionally with four screws from the outside.

POSTSCRIPT 2, 2011-01-15: Initially, we tried to use the large L-shaped locking clamp the way show above... but this was the wrong way. The correct way is shown in the pictorial installation guide, as in the photo below.

With PSU bracket in place, this case can be shipped confidently with a system installed within. The clamp should stop the PSU screws from ripping the solft aluminum panel to which it is screwed, even subject to typical UPS drop-kick abuse. This is a common concern for system integrators who try to use alunimum cases.

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