The installation method has changed, too. 3.5-inch devices are fastened in the PC-Q11 using the bottom rather than side mounting holes. Rubber pads are employed for suppressing vibrations.
2.5-inch devices are attached to the other side of the mounting frame, below 3.5-inch ones. This is similar to the PC-Q07 in terms of the position of the drives, but 2.5-inch disks are not fastened to the bottom panel now.
Of course, you have to install 2.5-inch devices first because 3.5-inch ones are going to block their mounting holes.
Nothing prevents you from connecting cables to 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch disks.
One good thing about this system case is that it can accommodate a fast graphics card with a dual-slot cooler. No other product in this review can do that. The Radeon HD 3870 card we use in our tests, being 230 millimeters long, fitted into the chassis easily. We only had to connect the additional power connector to it before fixing it in the expansion slot. Modern graphics cards usually having power connectors at a side rather than back edge, every model up to 240 millimeters long is going to be compatible with this system case.
Thanks to the larger interior, the tangle of cables is not as awful as within the PC-Q07.
You can take the power supply halfway out of its bay when assembling your configuration to make it easier to connect power cables.
Your mainboard is installed right on the side panel but you won’t be able to service your system by simply flipping that panel down, like with the PC-Q07. We mean, you will hardly want to buy such a large system case (it's indeed large for its mini-ITX form-factor) unless you want to put a discrete graphics card into it.
The screwless fastening mechanism of the expansion card is rather dubious. You just can’t fix the card normally with it: you can’t press down hard enough with one hand whereas your other hand has to be turning the fixing screw.
As a result, the fixing thumbscrew doesn’t do any good but only gets in the way of your screwdriver as you are trying to reach to the ordinary screw to normally fix the graphics card with.
The PC-Q11 features active cooling. There is a 140mm fan behind its front panel. You can connect it to your mainboard via a 3-pin cable or to a PATA power connector of your PSU via the included adapter. The fan is labeled as LI121425BE-4-A.
The fan is fastened in the same way as 3.5-inch drives in this chassis: the round rubber vibration-absorbing pads fit into the matching slits. The impeller is protected with a mesh dust filter. On the other side it has a steel wire grid that prevents cables from getting into the fan.
The air flow configuration seems to be optimal. The fan is located in an isolated compartment and pumps the air in through the vent slits in the front part of the side panels. The hot air goes out through the vent openings opposite the drives and in the top back part of the chassis. There are more vents near the drives, though.
The fan speed was 940 RPM irrespective of how the fan was connected (the specified speed is 1000 RPM) as our mainboard cannot regulate the speed of 3-pin fans. Although the speed was quite high, the fan was quiet and didn't resonate.
When assembled, the PC-Q11 looks almost the same as its junior cousin (and its Power indicator doesn’t shine for the same reason with our configuration: it uses a 3-pin connector). However, you have to do about twice the amount of work to assemble the same configuration as with the Lian Li PC-Q07 (there are eight screws in each panel here and it is more difficult to install an optical drive and hard disks).
- Smaller than full-size system cases
- Broad expansion opportunities for such compact dimensions
- Compatible with power supplies and optical drives of the standard desktop form-factors
- USB 3.0 support
- Only 3-pin Power LED connector
- Difficult to assemble