Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?

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The interior of the PC-Q18 is fairly sturdy, particularly the hard drive cage which has very little give; this is notable as the PC-Q08 has a significant vibration problem. The motherboard tray is a little thin with a bit of flex, but it is removable, a big plus in the eyes of many users.

The first thing we noticed about the interior was the presence of four SATA backplanes, making it very convenient for hot swapping hard drives. Airflow is provided by two plain 14 cm fans, one at the front and one on the case ceiling.

The build quality of the drive cage seems superior and being partially secured to the front of the case, is less prone to side-to-side vibration effects. 2.5 inch drives can be mounted to the bottom of the cage and on the separator in the middle.

Three additional drives can be installed on a mounting bracket secured to the case floor but there's only room for a maximum of two 3.5 inch models. There is an extra fan placement underneath, but the bracket has to be removed to use it.

A sliding metal door next to the expansion slots allows users to route the external USB 3.0 cables outside the case so they can be connected to the rear ports. We're not completely against external cables as many motherboards lack an internal USB 3.0 header, but it could've been handled in a more elegant fashion.

The 14 cm exhaust fan affixed to the ceiling.

The motherboard tray lacks heft due to the big hole at the back for mounting third party heatsinks. It's also secured with only four screws to the top and bottom of the case frame. Oddly, two of the four SATA backplanes use 4-pin molex connectors for power rather than standard 5-pin SATA ports.

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