This system replaces Mummy's old Packard Bell laptop which sucked in every way but one: it was very reliable. This, and extraordinary patience, explains how a computer that worked at a glacial pace the day it was bought managed to celebrate its sixth birthday. Only very recently did the fan develop a grinding noise, and on Mummy's birthday I talked her into letting me build something nice for her.
The case is not the easiest to work with, and assembly was somewhat laboured, but never too difficult or outright frustrating. The PSU obscures most of the space in front of the motherboard, and the board attaches directly to the opposite side panel, so it's impossible to reach some of the sockets and pinouts without moving the PSU. Cable management was simple enough once everything was plugged in, mainly because only a bare minimum number of components are installed.
The CPU cooler was somewhat unnerving to mount, but it also appears to achieve very good contact with the heatspreader; mounting pressure seems higher than my own Noctua NH-C14 - one edge of the motherboard is visibly bent.
A PicoPSU would have made assembly utterly trivial, but I couldn't find a retailer where I would be comfortable spending another person's money.
Lian Li have a reputation for high quality and I have no reason to question that. Everything fits well together, the side panel screws are perfectly countersunk, all screw holes line up, the power and reset buttons are very nice, and the brushed aluminium finish is impeccable.
This machine is every bit as quiet as my own system, but with a different noise character. Close up, my system sounds smoother, but its low-frequency whoosh also reaches further; at a distance, Mummy's machine has the edge. With my ear near the PSU vents I hear a very high-pitched squeal; this becomes inaudible at any practical distance, or if anything is placed in the way. From the other side of the case, no squealing can be heard. The sound of airflow is similarly weak, but more omnidirectional. The PSU fan has a hint of wobble, with some bearing noise up close. The CPU fan is inaudible, and neither fan ever runs above its minimum speed.
Mummy mostly surfs the web, so she easily gets away with a very modest CPU and only a single SSD for storage.
Performance is very good. Cold boots are very fast at less than 20 seconds, and while the CPU won't set the world on fire, it never becomes a bottleneck. The 35 W TDP seems very pessimistic; I can't push the CPU past 50 ° C at full tilt. A Scythe Kozuti would have sufficed.
Desktop audio comes courtesy of a tiny integrated DAC/amp and a lovely pair of vintage B&O bookshelf speakers that I am rather envious of.
Kindly excuse the dearth of pictures, this case does not lend itself well to having its innards photographed...
Specs after the gallery. Click to enlarge.This setup is temporary.
Right is up. I'd show you more, but then I'd have to pull out the PSU...
Drive cage removed; screw holes for one HDD in case floor.
Mummy's DAC/amp on top, mine below.
You're not very tall, are you...
- Case: Lian Li PC-Q07A
- PSU: Seasonic G-360
- Motherboard: Intel DH77DF
- CPU & GPU: Intel Celeron G550T
- CPU cooler: Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B
- RAM: Kingston Value 2x4 GB 1066 MHz
- SSD: Samsung 830 Series 128 GB
- Monitor: Dell U2212HM
- Keyboard: Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad
- Mouse: Logitech M500
- OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
- Amplifier/DAC: Argon DA1
Rated power: 2x20 W, 4/8 Ω, 10% THD
- Speakers: 2 Bang & Olufsen Beovox C75
Frequency response: 50-20,000 Hz, +4/-8 dB
Impedance: 6 Ω