LIAN LI PC-90 The Hammer Review

Up Close: Exterior

 LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer

 

Up Close:  Exterior

Although not massive in comparison to some full size towers on the market, the PC-90 (sorry, I refuse to call it "The Hammer") is still pretty monolithic in it's appearance.  The brushed Aluminium is finished in a black somewhere between satin and Matte.  Light seems to fall into it, in fact so much so that it was actually a bit of a pain to photograph as my camera could not pick up a light reading from many angles.  I wonder if Lian Li have been working with Lockheed Martin? 

 LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer     LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer

 

Both the sides and roof are devoid of any windows or fan grills, however the roof does have a removable section allowing the addition of a roof mounted fan should you so desire.  The side panels are secured by means of knurled thumb screws, but also have small metal loop brackets allowing for them to be padlocked if theft of the internal hardware is a concern.

 LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer     LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer

 

The front of the case is a simple affair, dominated by the large mesh grill protecting the two 140mm fans feeding air in the front of the case.  Above the grill is a a simple line of I/Os in the form of 2xUSB3, a single eSATA and a set of audio jacks.  The power switch is a thin strip of rubber, back lit with a blue LED, to double up as a power on light, so subtle and stealthy is it's appearance that it actually took me a few moments to work out that this was in fact the power switch.  The PC-90 offers just 2 external 5.25" bays, with one already pre plumbed with a sleek optical drive bay cover and switch.  Just a personal opinion, but I think drive bay covers such as this ought to be mandatory as nothing ruins the looks of a case more than the sight of an ugly optical drive.

LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer     LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer  

 

Moving to the rear of the case we see that as with most Lian Li cases the brushed black has given way to naked Aluminium.  The PSU is mounted at the top of the case old school style with Lian Li offering the ability to fit the PSU from the outside as well as the inside by virtue of having a removable mount secured by 4 thumb screws.

LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer     LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer  

 

Beneath the PSU area we find the 120mm extract fan protected by a classic circular wire guard.  To the left of this lies the rear I/O slot.  Under the rear fan are 2 water-cooling tube ports each protected with a rubber grommet.  The lower section of the rear of the case houses the 10 expansion card slots.  each one having a removable vented slot protector.  

LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer     LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer  

 

I often think that it's round the back end of a case that we get an idea of the manufacturers Quality standards and attention to detail.  What I mean is if they can be bothered to make the bit that's not seen as high a quality as the bits that are then things usually bode well.  for that reason I've included a few close ups of the PCI slot protectors and would urge you also to re examine the picture of the  PSU mounting plate and screws above left. 

LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer     LIAN LI PC-90  The Hammer  

 

«Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next»

Most Recent Comments

24-04-2012, 07:19:46

tinytomlogan


Let's take a look at one of the latest offerings from LIAN LI. The PC-90. AKA "The Hammer"

Continue Reading

24-04-2012, 09:04:51

sheroo
I think you've been more than generous giving it a silver. I wouldn't pay that kind of money for a case, knowing that no matter how much effort I went to that the cabling is still gonna look like a dogs breakfast. Lian-Li need to take their quality and get more innovative the way Silverstone have.

24-04-2012, 09:07:50

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheroo View Post

I think you've been more than generous giving it a silver. I wouldn't pay that kind of money for a case, knowing that no matter how much effort I went to that the cabling is still gonna look like a dogs breakfast. Lian-Li need to take their quality and get more innovative the way Silverstone have.
Think you are missing the point of this case though fella, its deffo not a show off case, more a compact but still get a huge rig inside kinda case.

It fits HTPX and EBB boards (dual socket) and yet its still midtower!

24-04-2012, 10:43:47

sheroo
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

Think you are missing the point of this case though fella, its deffo not a show off case, more a compact but still get a huge rig inside kinda case.

It fits HTPX and EBB boards (dual socket) and yet its still midtower!
Ok, but would you use this for your possible future dual socket setup? Or would that top mounted PSU and the cable spaghetti drive you nuts?

If they had left sufficient space behind the motherboard tray, and even mounted the hard drives behind it as well - then it'd be a different story.

24-04-2012, 11:24:22

CrissTM
Agree with u sheroo,

but if u can look at the results u will see that exactly the price range take the all thing down, ok the performance also.

And yeah, ill still buy the Silverstone Raven 02 (wich i have) 100x more.

Tom u r right with motherboard sizes, the raven does not suport this ones... but hey, for Ivy Bridge its TOP.

10x for a super review again !

24-04-2012, 15:27:53

tinytomlogan
F*#$ sake boys its a case for proffessional use!!

How can you not see that FFS?

24-04-2012, 15:36:11

I Hunta x
If the "professional" cared enough to build a tower as apposed to buy one from say dell then they would more than likely want it to be at least semi tidy. or are you implying most professionals who TAKE THE TIME to build there own tower dont care about the inside aslong as it looks sleek on the outside??

EDIT: i like the drive mounting personally but how hard would it be to put in some space behind the mobo tray so you can keep the wires for the mobo and stuff AWAY from the cables for the HDD's with them being in that position to make things easyer to swap in/out if something dies.

24-04-2012, 17:00:38

ionicle
i think that is a stunning case, full of features, and lian li's usual attention to detail, its smart, but understated, its sleak, but not flashy, its, in my eyes, damn-neer perfect.

24-04-2012, 18:47:08

badtaylorx
instead of naming it "the hammer",,,, maybe they should'of given it "the axe"

24-04-2012, 19:24:50

Ghosthud1
Functionality is what this case aims for guys.

This is obviously 100% driven towards the workstation side of computing, the big hdd columns are a dead giveaway lmao.

If lian li intend to release a case what should look good then they would include a nice side window with pre drilled cable routing holes.

It's a practical workstation case that is actually executed fairly well.

25-04-2012, 04:24:25

sheroo
Professional use or not it still could have been executed better. If you were to take the Lian Li name off it and it was made out of steel we wouldn't even be having this conversation - as you wouldn't even bother to review it - because it'd just look like any other oem carcass out there that by chance happened to fit a dual socket board.

25-04-2012, 05:22:48

YogevSkill
Solid ready to mod case, fits crazy big form factors out of the box.

overall 6.5/10 pre modded.

could be cheaper though...

25-04-2012, 06:09:36

King Damager
Lian Li cases are expensive. It's well known. But you buy quality. It's not like other Aluminium cases are particularly cheap...

I agree the cable management is a bit of a pain, however it's not the end of the world having to cut out some cable management holes, especially if you're going to spray the internals anyway (which I know plenty will)....

HDD storage is novel, and frankly it's a huge improvement for them to get so much into so little space.

Review says it scrapes a Silver, which I think is fair. It's probably at the bottom of the silver category, but probably deserves that position.

kd

25-04-2012, 07:21:47

Rastalovich
@Gary, does that mobo tray come out ?

25-04-2012, 17:08:21

jamdox
I just got this case's "little brother," the PC-100. Don't have the CPU yet, so I don't know about noise etc, but the rest of the build is in, and cable management was not a problem at all. And I don't have a modular PS.

The PC-100 has a "reversed" motherboard design, where the motherboard IO and the PCI slots lead out the front, then there's a grommeted track for passing the cables out the back, which is mostly a couple of 140mm fans.

This actually makes cable management very easy, since the 24-pin and video card cables get passed around the back of the mobo tray. All the unused cables fit behind the mobo tray, and there's a hole on the bottom where I routed all the cables for the case lights and switches, and the floor-mount SSDs.

The downside of the reversed motherboard is that centrifugal fan graphics cards blow out air that gets sucked back in. But my card has the down-fan style heat sink, so I expect it's not an issue.

The real brilliant aspect of this design is that I will never have an obsolete front IO panel. When I upgrade my motherboard, e.g. to a board with Thunderbolt, my "front" panel will have it.

I could go on. Basically, I think I got the better of the "Hammer Bros," especially on sale for $130.

Attachment 3592

Attachment 3591

Attachment 3590

Attachment 3589

27-04-2012, 15:06:29

G-Dubs
@Rastalovich

No the Mobo tray isn't removable. Not without a Dremel any way

28-04-2012, 06:16:10

equk
cool review

I think it looks ok, the only weird thing is the drive mounting.

The 2x140mm radiator in front support is brilliant tho & the case looks nice from the outside.

it looks very much to me like it would be an easy job to mount a 2x140mm rad and fans in this area. enough room perhaps even for a push pull set up



Looks like there's loads of room in the bottom also for pump etc if you wanted to go watercooling.

The only problem I have had with lian-li brushed aluminium cases is vibration

28-04-2012, 08:29:51

Jujumonkey
Good review as usual mr Logan......... the build quality is lovely, and being a craftsman myself it makes my heart happy to see the pride they display in their quality of craftsmanship, it's a rare thing these days. The hard drive placement seems counter productive to the purpose of the case though, am i right in thinking that there's only room for 3 hard drives? A 3 drive raid system in a case that can hold a dual cpu board seems a little bit pointless

(edit) my mistake, it's 6 hard drives......... then yes i would say the case is fit for purpose and deserves its score

29-04-2012, 07:15:52

yassarikhan786
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jujumonkey View Post

Good review as usual mr Logan......... the build quality is lovely, and being a craftsman myself it makes my heart happy to see the pride they display in their quality of craftsmanship, it's a rare thing these days. The hard drive placement seems counter productive to the purpose of the case though, am i right in thinking that there's only room for 3 hard drives? A 3 drive raid system in a case that can hold a dual cpu board seems a little bit pointless

(edit) my mistake, it's 6 hard drives......... then yes i would say the case is fit for purpose and deserves its score
The review was by Gary

29-04-2012, 12:48:10

G-Dubs
Yup
Reply
x

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.