Lian Li PC-Q10 Mini-ITX 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 5~10 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.

  • SPCR Mini-ITX Test System in Lian Li PC-Q10 - Baseline (idle, CPU fan at 600 RPM, GPU fans at 1040 RPM)
    — system fan off (17 [email protected])
    — system fan at 40% (17~18 [email protected])
    — system fan at 60% (19 [email protected])
    — system fan at 80% (22~23 [email protected])
    — system fan at 100% (26 [email protected])
  • SPCR Mini-ITX Test System in Lian Li PC-Q10 - Operating (CPU fan at 600 RPM, system fan at 40%)
    — idle, GPU fans at 1040 RPM (17 [email protected])
    — Prime95x2 + FurMark, GPU fans at 40% (19 [email protected])

FINAL THOUGHTS

The PC-Q10's heavily ventilated chassis allows air to pass through the case with ease. As a result, our test system was surprisingly easy to cool sufficiently — the single included case fan only needed to run at 40% speed and the CPU fan never had to exceed its minimum speed. Lowering our GPU temperature standard and stressing the CPU more than usual barely made a dent in the overall results. The noise level was phenomenal, staying below 20 [email protected] throughout all our torture tests.

From a objective standpoint, the PC-Q10 is a very quiet case purely due to its impressive performance but the noise quality of its lone fan leaves a lot to be desired; it is a clicky annoyance begging to be replaced. The front drive mount needs some kind of damping as the hard mounting is unforgiving about vibration. It's the only place to install a 3.5 inch drive unless you go forgo a dual slot graphics card.

The placement of the front control panel is unfortunate as it limits GPU length just enough to make some popular high-end cards unusable. With space inside a mini-ITX case being so limited, I wonder why a SFX power option was not offered. An ATX power supply does cover up more cables, but that really should be the motherboard tray's job. The tray is anemic and doesn't extend toward the front of the case so it doesn't hide cabling very well. It should also be noted that there are some mistakes in documentation, the most notable being the maximum CPU cooler height being off by 20 mm, and the Lian Li site touts 240 mm radiator compatibility at the top as a feature despite the fact it would interfere with the power supply.

The Lian Li PC-Q10 is a compact case that perform well while looking elegant. Its striking brush aluminum finish and sizable side window makes it stand out among its shabbier-looking competitors. That being said, the PC-Q10 gives off a vibe that suggests it was designed by engineers focusing on the big picture, rather than PC hobbyists putting extra effort and consideration into the little things. If you had to choose one or the other, it's hard to argue Lian Li didn't make the correct decisions. The PC-Q10's tremendous airflow and attractive aesthetics more than compensates for its deficiencies.

Our thanks to Lian Li for the PC-Q10 case sample.


The Lian Li PC-Q10 is recommended by SPCR

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