LanCool PC-K59 Midtower Case

Cases|Damping
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AUDIO RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product at various states. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The LanCool PC-K59 shares many features with its hoity-toity all-aluminum relatives from the Lian Li branch of the family such as the PC-B25S. Though composed of steel and plastic, it is solidly constructed and has ample clearance for both tall CPU coolers and long graphics cards. Hard drives, optical drives, expansion cards and even the power supply are installed using fairly secure tool-less methods. Cable management in the K59 might actually be superior as we were greatly impressed with the ingenious plastic spine with flexible locking vertebrae.

Like most Lian Li cases, the stock fans have sound acoustics and install using a clever sliding rubber grommet system, but it also shares the same design flaw in the PC-B25S with the rear position requiring a screwdriver to extract the fan. In addition to the one rear 12 cm and two 14 cm front fans, the K59 has four more 14 cm placements that can be populated, two on the side and two at the top. They all require fans with 14 cm holes which is unfortunate as many popular models like the Noctua NF-P14, Thermalright TY-140, and Scythe Kaze Maru series only have 12 cm holes. With the stock fans, its thermal performance was average with a single HD 4870 and struggled a bit with two HD 4870's in CrossFireX, at least compared to the In Win BUC which has a large vent on its side panel. One or more 14 cm side fans would probably help in this regard.

Sadly the K59 also shares many of the deficiencies we've encountered in previous Lian Li cases. The hard drive cages are very loose and rattle against each other unless extra steps are taken to steady them. They have no additional support other than each other and four thumbscrews attaching it to the case. This is the third time we've had to create some extra padding for a Lian Li case to deal with this issue and this time was the probably the worst. We were amazed and unsettled to find that at the connecting point between the cages they could be pulled to the side by an inch. Additionally, though airflow isn't an issue, both the power supply and top fan vents have washboard designs that are more restrictive than necessary.

Priced at about US$100, the PC-K59 makes a fairly good budget enthusiast/gaming case. Its build quality is above average, the tool-less assembly options are solid, cable management is a breeze, and there are plenty of cooling options. Our main beef is the hard drive vibration issue which can be dealt with in a few minutes with some foam; this isn't the most attractive solution but as the case lacks a side window, it would be out of sight, out of mind.

LanCool PC-K59
PROS

* Solid construction
* Secure, tool-less assembly for most components
* Stock fans have good acoustics
* Four extra fan placements
* Excellent cable management
* Good clearance: 17.3 cm for CPU heatsink, 41+ cm for graphics card (without drive cage)
CONS

* Loose, vibration-prone drive cages
* Middling thermal performance on heavy load
* Restrictive power supply and top fan vents
* Fan mounts incompatible with fans with 12 cm holes

Our thanks to LanCool for the PC-K59 case sample.

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