Articles: Cases/PSU

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Lian Li is a brand that doesn’t need a special introduction. I guess there are few people interested in PC hardware who haven’t ever heard that name. In my opinion, Lian Li is actually the only manufacturer who can make aluminum system cases exactly as they should be. The rest of the makers go the easiest way. They use the old designs and just replace the material. As a result, the aluminum version of a system case is considerably lighter, yet somewhat flaccid, the thickness of the metal being the same. You can take any popular aluminum case, especially from a price category of below $80 without a PSU, and remove the side panel. The rigidity of the chassis will deteriorate greatly. In the worst case, you can make the open aluminum case steady only by installing your mainboard with a couple of expansion cards into it. This ingenious solution to use PC components to add rigidity to the structure is not used by first-tier manufacturers, of course. They reinforce the ribs of the chassis and put various crossbars in there, yet these are but half measures.

There is the right way, however. People at Lian Li didn’t go inventing elaborate crossbars or anything, but took the simplest approach. If the traditional thickness of 0.8-1.0 millimeters is not enough to achieve rigidity comparable to the steel version, it must be increased! So, they use 2mm aluminum (and even thicker in critical spots) to avoid any problems with the structure rigidity. Together with the lack of plastic in its products, with the adherence to the conservative trend in design, and with the utter unwillingness to compromise if it may worsen the product quality – all this makes Lian Li the best brand in the sector of top-end system cases.

The company has matured by now. It is a little over 20 years of age. Any respectable company is expected to produce something exceptional for its own anniversary and Lian Li must have even given vacations to its entire marketing department so that their mercantile considerations wouldn’t interfere. Yes, the anniversary product from Lian Li is very dubious from the commercial point of view. It is made by people who develop, not sell. It is a gift that is made for the company’s own self, financial factors being put aside for a while. Not all users will find this technological miracle affordable, system cases from Lian Li have never been affordable (an “affordable Lian Li” sounds just as nonsense to me as an “inexpensive Bentley”, for example). The anniversary product costs about $300 – without a power supply. Well, even if you can’t afford it, it’s good just to know that such perfect things exist.

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