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

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For thermal and acoustic testing, we assembled a system in the PC-Q18 consisting of an Intel Core i5-2500K cooled by a Scythe Shuriken 2, a Seagate Barracuda 3TB hard drive and a Cooler Master 700W modular power supply. (See full system details on the next page.)

Hard drive mounting requires rubber grommets to be attached with thumbscrews, either on the sides or underneath depending on the mounting location. When mounted in the drive cage, the recess at the center of each grommet rests on the metal rail, creating a decoupling effect.

3.5 inch drives slide into the main cage into the SATA backplane. This is a big improvement as the PC-Q08's entire cage had to be taken out to add/remove drives. A simple locking mechanism controlled by a thumbscrew can be slid downward to keep them in place.

Drives can be mounted on the floor using a bayonet system. Unfortunately, they block off the second expansion slot preventing the use of dual slot graphics cards.

The front fan uses a bayonet mount as well, facilitated by rubber grommets similar to those used for 3.5 inch drive mounting. The PC-Q08 used the same system but the fan was attached to a metal frame first, creating potential vibration issues.

Though the specifications provided by Lian Li state that CPU heatsink clearance is 60 mm, the 58 mm tall Big Shuriken 2 fit with an ~18 mm gap above it. It's probably best to leave some space though so the power supply fan doesn't have to fight for air.

Test system fully installed.

Like most mini-ITX towers, most cables end up shoved behind the hard drive cage.

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