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 Post subject: Opinions about Lian-Li PC-Q09FN?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:55 am
Posts: 2
Hi,

I'm on the hunt for a new HTPC case, and PC-Q09FN seems to fit my requirements. Below 15 cm in height and place for one 2.5" and 3.5 device.
But it seems really hard to find any good reviews. I'm mostly curios about the PSU, and it's noise level. (Seems to be FSP300-60GHS, but cant find any good information about that one neither.)

Has anyone tried it?


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 Post subject: Re: Opinions about Lian-Li PC-Q09FN?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:42 am
Posts: 5
Hi jaqob,

I'm afraid I can't comment on the PSU specifically as I removed it from the case for my build but I can give you my general thoughts on the case.

I've built a really basic music server using this case, consisting of:

Mobo - Intel DN2800MT - low profile using SODIMM RAM.
HDD - 3.5" Western Digital for media
SSD - 2.5" OCZ for OS

I ordered the case online and it arrived in just its retail packaging with a few layers of black parcel plastic wrapped around it. I was a bit concerned that the case was going to have rough journey from the vendor to my doorstep but I needn't have worried as the box was pretty tough. Opening the box, everything was well packed and padded and, for anyone else thinking of ordering online, I think the case should withstand handling from even the roughest couriers. I examined the case with a critical eye and it was in perfect condition. I ordered the black one which has a smooth brushed finish. I think it'll show up fingerprints fairly easily but they should wipe off okay.

My first observation was that the PSU power cord had a two pin European mains plug on it, however, this wasn't a problem from my point of view as the DN2800MT has a built-in PSU, which I was going to use instead.

The case lid isn't screwed on but rather held on by plastic studs which clip into the main body of the case. These seem pretty tough and I can't envisage they will snap off unless you're really rough with them or have a tendency to keep opening the case up once your system is up and running. The base of the case also comes off in the same way. I'm glad the base came off as it made replacing the stock fan much easier than it otherwise could have been. The case comes with a spare case clip should you happen to snap one.

I found installing the I/O plate to be a slightly frustrating experience. It was a really snug fit - a good thing on reflection - but I got it to snap in eventually - this was before I remembered that the base of the case was removable, which would have made things a lot easier. The mobo slid in nicely. I had to apply a little bit of sideways pressure to the board to get it to line up with the standoffs but nothing major and once located, all the screws went in easily without binding. Out of interest I took everything apart again after this and removed the I/O plate before replacing the mobo without it in place. This time, the board lined up perfectly with the standoffs, leading me to think that either Intel's I/O plate is not quite as perfect as it could be or that the cut out on the case is a millimetre or so out - I would favour the latter hypothesis. Not a problem worthy of further investigation but something to be aware of as I was a bit concerned that it could be putting a bit of sideways stress on the sockets.

Next, I installed the 2.5" SSD in the 2.5" bay in the front left of the case. This had to go in with the power and data sockets facing upwards. I really wanted to mount it with them facing downwards, however, I didn't feel there was going to be enough clearance to plug in the cables, even using right angled connectors. I could possibly have got round this by plugging the cables in first and then slid the drive bay onto its mount, however, this would have caused them to kink very sharply. Facing upwards, there was just enough clearance with the lid to use straight connectors, however, I opted for right angled ones as I'm not a fan of having sharp bends in cables.

The 3.5" HDD was next. This screws into the underside of the slimline optical drive tray. It's attached with thumbscrews and rubber grommets which presented no difficulty. The only thing I did notice is that the blanking plate for the optical drive is made of aluminium (black in my case) and could scratch easily against the inside of the case if you're not careful when positioning it. At the moment, I have straight SATA power and data cables connected to the drive. These are generally fine, however, I will be getting a right angled data cable as there isn't much room between the HDD and the back of the case meaning that it currently has quite a sharp bend in it. The same is true for the power cable, however, I haven't found a 30cm right angled braided cable to replace the straight one yet. As I'm using the low profile DN2800MT mobo I have about 30-40mm of clearance between the top of the heatsink and the underside of the HDD. All the other boards I looked at probably would have had just a couple of mms clearance, which worried me a little bit as I didn't want to cook the HDD and risk losing its hundreds of hours of content.

As I said above, I've removed the stock PSU from the case as I'm using the DN2800MT's on board PSU. All I can really say about it for Jaqob's benefit is that he is right in thinking it is an FSP300-60GHS. It's got all the usual connectors on the wiring loom, including 1x female molex and 4x SATA power. Jaqob, if you want I will see if I can find something to hook it up to so that I can give you an idea (albeit subjective) of how quiet it is/isn't.

Removing the PSU obviously freed up a lot of room for my build which made cable routing a lot easier. I'm hoping it will also generally increase the airflow in the case. I haven't got round to making a blanking plate for the hole left behind by the PSU, however, this won't be difficult, especially as the instruction sheet provides the exact dimensions for it.

On firing the thing up for the first time I noticed that the stock fan was pretty noisy (in my opinion) and made a fast clicking/grating noise. It wasn't really loud but audible enough as to be irritating. The fan has a Lian Li sticker on it but I don't know who it's really made by. I replaced it with a 120mm Noctua NF-F12 PWM fan, which is super quiet and in a different league to the stock fan. Mounting it was pretty easy. I was thankful that the base of the case comes off in the same way as the lid. The Noctua fan has the option of being mounted on some rubber "pegs" which push through the screw holes in the case from the outside and are then pulled from the inside through the mounting holes on the fan. It would have been virtually impossible to pull the bottom pegs through had the base of the case not been removable. In reality I could have probably got away without using a fan at all, however, I'm planning on having this setup for a good few years yet so want to give it every chance of survival.

The power button lights up in a fairly bright blue which might irritate some - I quite like it. It also doubles as a HDD activity light and changes to a reddy/pink when there's something going on.

The base of the case has little hemi-spherical aluminium feet. Before buying this case, I'd read a review of its predecessor which mentioned that these feet can be quite scratchy. With this in mind I laid down a few sheets of paper on the table before I started the build. True to that review, the feet did some damage to the paper and I was glad that I hadn't put it straight down on my wooden table as it would have done irreparable damage and I wouuld have been in trouble. I'm trying to find some discreet felt/rubber pads to stick on the aluminium feet to alleviate this problem although their shape means that whatever I use will have to be pretty small.

In summary, the case is great looking and generally well made. The only thing I was a little disappointed with quality-wise was that I think the I/O cutout was a bit off where it should have been, which made installing the mobo a little tricky at first. I felt the stock fan was too noisy for a music server, however, that was easily - if a little expensively - sorted out. I got the case for about £95, so it's not a cheap bit of aluminium but it looks nice and does what I want it to.

Cheers
Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Opinions about Lian-Li PC-Q09FN?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:27 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:28 pm
Posts: 17
Thank you for the review, it's appreciated.


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