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 Post subject: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:25 am 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/Lian_Li_PC-Q18


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Looks like a solid evolution. Though if they're going more specialized towards a file server, why not toss the Optical drive slot? =P. Will they be updating the PC-Q25 as well?


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Enzo_FX wrote:
Looks like a solid evolution. Though if they're going more specialized towards a file server, why not toss the Optical drive slot? =P.


You can actually bottom-mount another 3.5" drive in the 5.25" bay IRC.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:16 pm 
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I like the construction of the case and the review of it. I just have a question because of the location of the power supply unit. Will it obstruct the use of peripheral cards since most mini ITX boards out do not support 6 or more hard drives? It appears it would obstruct the installation of sata cards or the like.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:53 pm 
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sleepygenius wrote:
It appears it would obstruct the installation of sata cards or the like.

I don't know where you got that from, look at the pic.

Wouldn't it make sense (for once) to turn the CPU fan upside down when the PSU is that close?
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 11:23 am
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Good job!

Could you please run some tests with a vga card suitable for 1080p gaming?

Or even retest this sweet little case in a potential gamers setup?


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Pappnaas wrote:
Good job!

Could you please run some tests with a vga card suitable for 1080p gaming?

Or even retest this sweet little case in a potential gamers setup?

Perhaps you didn't pay enough attention to Larry's comments? This is not meant to house a gaming PC. You could install a big video card and lose the bottom HDD mounts, and it would probably work OK, but there are better cases for gaming. But a gaming rig should have more room for CPU cooling and better ventilation overall, esp around the CPU/PSU intake area. Bottom line: Use it for what it's intended and it will work great. If you want a small gamer, previously reviewed MITX cases from Silverstone make more sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:38 pm 
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Location: Germany
Mike, i can fully understand the point your making.

The predecessor of this case wasn't meant to be a gaming case too. But some people didn't care and packed it with an seasonic x and samuel 17, picked a reasonable quiet 6870, chipped in a ssd for boot an a 5400 hdd for storage. 1080p gaming with (modest) settings.

This time the challenge would be to build the smallest silent gaming rig according to spcr standards. Could this case be superior to a Sugo, even if it isn't meant to?


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:06 pm 
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Quote:
Mike, i can fully understand the point your making.

The predecessor of this case wasn't meant to be a gaming case too. But some people didn't care and packed it with an seasonic x and samuel 17, picked a reasonable quiet 6870, chipped in a ssd for boot an a 5400 hdd for storage. 1080p gaming with (modest) settings.

This time the challenge would be to build the smallest silent gaming rig according to spcr standards. Could this case be superior to a Sugo, even if it isn't meant to?


You could do that in loads of other cases, why pick this one (or the predecessor), it doesn't make sense for such lousy hardware as you have specced that will work in such a case. Either spec a better case for gaming, or pick another case to put 4x 3.5"+ HDD's into and use as a server.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:29 pm 
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Didn't SPCR do a gaming/file server build guide using the PC-Q08? I believe so, so the same should apply in this case (pun intended).


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:49 pm 
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My beef with this case is the same as I expressed about one of it's cousins (the Q25 IIRC), it seems like a missed opportunity to make a perfect mini-server case with six hot-swap drives. All the faffing around with the drive mounting on the base of the case is silly, the drive cage should be extended to the case floor and configured to fit six drives.

I guess Lian Li feel like they need to compromise and accommodate long PCI-E cards in order to increase the number of potential customers.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:37 am 
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andyb wrote:
You could do that in loads of other cases, why pick this one (or the predecessor)


Because the games i play are not top of the notch and i'm willing to drill down on some quality features to get smooth gameplay at 1080p. No multi monitors no nothing, just a Dell P2311 with IPS-Panel and 1920x1080.

Because size matters to me. If it weren't for my personal size requirements, there would be a lot of more suited cases. But, as i can't afford a bigger appartment, i wish for a small case that could be tucked away on a mobile stand including the monitor on top and moved to some corner in case mother-in-law comes for a visit.

Also, please don't forget the WAF such a "cute" case posseses.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:51 am 
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andyb wrote:
You could do that in loads of other cases, why pick this one (or the predecessor), it doesn't make sense for such lousy hardware as you have specced that will work in such a case. Either spec a better case for gaming, or pick another case to put 4x 3.5"+ HDD's into and use as a server.


How is a Radeon 6870 "lousy" hardware?
You do realize that games haven't really been all that demanding since the Xbox 360 basically froze hardware requirements 6 years ago? Are you one of those tomshardware forum trolls who delude themselves by thinking you need a Sandy Bridge Quad Core at 4.5 Ghz to be a gamer? Or that an enthusiast must definitely game on a ludicrous triple 30" screen setup.

This case, like some other ITX ones from Lian Li, is very interesting for a small gaming build. Lian Li seems to think so too, why else would they have included space for monster graphics card? Are you aware of many two-slot 12"-long RAID- or network-adapters?

It looks like if you remove the bottom hard disk mounting thing and put a 140mm there, there's still enough room for a video card with an Accelero S1, making for a very quite and powerful machine in a cute tiny case.

Why would anyone want to do this? Hm, why would anyone want to put a server into that case? Don't servers belong in 19" racks?


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:00 pm
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Quote:
How is a Radeon 6870 "lousy" hardware?


Its not, I misread the number somehow and thought it was a ~4/5-year old mid/high range card, rather than the ~2-year old card that it is.

Quote:
Why would anyone want to do this? Hm, why would anyone want to put a server into that case? Don't servers belong in 19" racks?


If I was building a server (and didn't already have one), this case would be on the shortlist, although I would prefer if it didn't have an optical drive and had another 2x 3.5" bays and 2x smaller fans one on to of the other to cover all of the drive bays (2x 120mm fans should fit). With low powered hardware the top fan could be removed altogether and a fanless PSU could be used making for a very quiet server with up to 6x 3.5" drives (+ 2.5" drives) adequately cooled in a 3-fan system.

The thing that gets me is why don't these case makers make different "variants" of these cases, one such as I have detailed above for a server/media machine, and another aimed more towards a mini gaming machine as some people obviously want, this case although much better as a server case than its predecessor is still a "jack-of-all-trades" case, it has tried to tick every box without being modular - in such a small enclosure that is simply impossible.

Making it modular would certainly be possible, but would bring its own problems along.


Andy

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Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Location: England
Mats wrote:
Wouldn't it make sense (for once) to turn the CPU fan upside down when the PSU is that close?


I would very much like to see the performance of this case with a Noctua NH-L12 installed with the underneath fan blowing up through the heatsink towards the PSU.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:19 pm 
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Location: England
Are you sure the power connectors on the backplane aren't running two ports on each? Giving you the option of 4-pin Molex connectors or SATA connectors depending on your PSU.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Location: Norway
Mats wrote:
Wouldn't it make sense (for once) to turn the CPU fan upside down when the PSU is that close?


Possibly - only experimentation will tell. I'd probably just make a hole in the side panel and flip the PSU so neither interferes with each other, and you essentially get separate air chambers for PSU and CPU. With the PSU then getting colder air from the outside, it'll run colder and possibly quieter, depending on what model you get. I'd also switch to rubber grommets for mounting the case fans, since they would become more crucial now that the PSU isn't moving air out of the case. This also lets you pick a bigger HSF combo, though I'm not quite sure what's good and out there that has a height less than 76 mm.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 167
Location: Silicon Valley
I'm sure it's just the pictures and/or my view, but I'm concerned as to which power supplies can even be used in this case. All machines I've build in the past 2 years have used the Seasonic ss-400, so no fan problems (take advantage of all those case fans!). But I can't see if it will fit with power cables attached.

Some additional discussion about what fits and what doesn't (as done with the heatsinks) would sure help me.

-marsha


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:31 am 
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Location: 128.0.0.1
A good site for questions like this is hardforum.com

If you google "[your case] hardforum" you will almost always find a long thread on any case, usually with plenty of user pictures and lots of discussion about which components fit physically and thermically.

SPCR has too small a community for things like this. Not enough people to try out and report. SPCR is good for questions like "how quiet is...", because just about every other place on the web is dominated by people with apparent hearing deficiencies.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Location: Silicon Valley
Thanks for the response; I understand.

I've depended on Mike Chin and the advice here for many years.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:36 am
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Much like the Q25, this chassis suffers from being compromised.

If I'm building a server, I don't need space for a double-width, extra long GPU.

If I'm building a gaming PC, I don't need 6 or 7 HDDs

Eliminate the GPU space, add more hot-swap drives and make a kick-butt server case.

There are plenty of gaming cases out there.

Come on Lian-Li you know it makes sense!

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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:03 am 
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So, I'm very interested in this case. I get that it's totally a jack of all trades thing, but in my case I just don't have very much room for the "file server" I'm building. Yes, this file server will do some light HTPC duty as well.

The real question is, which MB? It's kind of odd that such a small case has room for so many drives when very few MB's this size have enough SATA ports. By my count, there seems to be just one Ivy Bridge MB that can fully support this case. The ASUS P8H77-I LGA : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131841

Am I failing at search or is this MB really the only H77/Z77 option?


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:05 pm 
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paulbram wrote:
So, I'm very interested in this case. I get that it's totally a jack of all trades thing, but in my case I just don't have very much room for the "file server" I'm building. Yes, this file server will do some light HTPC duty as well.

The real question is, which MB? It's kind of odd that such a small case has room for so many drives when very few MB's this size have enough SATA ports. By my count, there seems to be just one Ivy Bridge MB that can fully support this case. The ASUS P8H77-I LGA : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131841

Am I failing at search or is this MB really the only H77/Z77 option?


Have you considered the fractal design Array R2? I know it's EOL, but you might get lucky and order one for cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:58 am 
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Pappnaas wrote:
Have you considered the fractal design Array R2? I know it's EOL, but you might get lucky and order one for cheap.


That case looks pretty nice, but it's still only takes a mini MB. I just re-measured my space and I think just barely have enough room for a micro. Although this tiny PC-Q18 would be awesome to make work, I don't know that I want to be so limited with my MB options.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:11 pm 
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I'm a huge fan of Lian-Li, but they do seem to have a fixation with cramming a double-width GPU into cases that don't need it. Whether its the Q25, which is clearly a server case, but sacrifices a potential further two hot-swap bays to take a card, or the Q18, its a shame.

We actually had Lian-Li make us some prototypes based on the Q25, but with 7 hot-swap bays for the ultimate ITX NAS server case. Unfortunately we couldn't take it to production, but it is a real thing of beauty.

Lian Li don't seem to grasp that gamers don't need 5 or 6 hard drives, and high capacity HTPCs or servers don't need double-slot GPUs, so some potentially fantastic cases end up compromised and just short of brilliance.

There may be a few people who want a combo server/gaming PC or an all-in-one high capacity gaming HTPC, but Lian Li seem to have a bit of a fixation with the idea of cases that are reasonably good at everything. Even the larger V354 micro-ATX equivalent makes this compromise, having removable drive bays in order to take a huge GPU. Its not like there's any shortage of gamer-orientated cases on the market!

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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:11 pm 
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I have just bought one of these to replace a Microserver HTPC specifically for its quietness, have an OS SSD & 4 x Seagate 4TB's.

Love the build quality but can't help thinking the solidly mounted hotswap backplane is negating the rubber mounts for the HDD's, and transferring the vibration, will be removing it (easy job) as I don't need it.


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Plan on doing a build with this case using a Scythe Big Shuriken 2 CPU Cooler rev. B and a Silverstone ST55F-G power supply. My only concern is that the cooler sits 58mm high with the stock fan, and about 71mm high if you change to a full size 120mm fan. The listed clearance for the cooler in the PC-Q18 is 80mm. The positioning of the power supply and the cooler creates a situation where they are working against each other.

Has anyone modified the side panel of a PC-Q18 with an additional vent placed where the power supply fan would be positioned if you turned around the power supply? This way the power supply could draw in air from outside the enclosure similar to how the PC-Q08 was designed. Does doing this make sense?

Also, anyone know of a vent cover which would allow the modified case to still look good? I found http://www.mnpctech.com/120mm_Aluminum_ ... rills.html on the internet, but it's kind of expensive. Anyone know of a nice looking, simple and less costly option?


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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:05 pm 
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Larry wrote:
Plan on doing a build with this case using a Scythe Big Shuriken 2 CPU Cooler rev. B and a Silverstone ST55F-G power supply. My only concern is that the cooler sits 58mm high with the stock fan, and about 71mm high if you change to a full size 120mm fan. The listed clearance for the cooler in the PC-Q18 is 80mm. The positioning of the power supply and the cooler creates a situation where they are working against each other.
Why not just flip the fan so it work in favor or the PSU?

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 Post subject: Re: Lian Li PC-Q18: The Perfect Mini Server Case?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:59 am 
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Abula wrote:
Why not just flip the fan so it work in favor or the PSU?


I've read about people doing that, but just haven't seen any data from SPCR on the effectiveness of that approach but it makes sense and should probably try that before doing any mods. The one downside would be less effective cooling of the power supply as you'd be feeding it hotter intake air when you're using more power. Certainly wish Lian Li had put a vent there similar to the PC-08 to give you a choice.


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