Lian Li PC-V1000b Plus
With the V1000b being designed with the aim of keeping everything cool inside, it's about time we checked out how easy installation of components goes, in preparation for some temperature testing. Another conclusion I'll be drawing from the installation is the general level of thought that has gone into the layout of the case, such as how much attention has been paid to cable management and dimension.
The equipment that will be kitting out the V1000b is as follows:
Processor: Intel Core2Duo E4300 @ 1.8GHz
Memory: Mushkin XP2-8500 2x1GB
Motherboard: Abit AB9 Quad GT
Power Supply: Hiper TypeR Modular 580W
Hard Disk: Seagate Barracuda 250GB SATA/2 72k-rpm
Graphics Card: Leadtek 7800GTX 256mb
CPU Cooling: Intel E4300 Stock HSF
Additional Cooling: 3 x Supplied Case Fans
The first stage of the installation that I took on was the installation of the motherboard. To do so was fairly standard procedure, the motherboard spacers needed to be screwed in using the very handy specialised screwdriver supplied and the motherboard set in place for screws to fasten it in place. One place that I would say the case excelled here is the openness of the motherboard area. The drive bays do not encroach on the fitting space whatsoever and the upside down mounting system made the usually fiddly task of lining up the rear I/O panel with its protector plate far easier.
Obviously there was very little effect on the installation of the CPU, memory, graphics card or sound card. The PCI expansion slots are nice and smooth around the edges (so no more cuts on the hands from there) and the blanking plates were quick and easy to unscrew with the use of the thumbscrews supplied.
HDD installation was a pleasure thanks to the clip in system Lian Li have devised. Wiring the drive up however was slightly concerning due to the distance created between the SATA ports. This is due to both the upside down motherboard mounting and and the direction drives need to be placed. The standard Abit SATA cables reached the top racks at a stretch directly between ports. Luckily I managed to find a longer SATA cable which would route round the back of the motherboard tray for some tidiness - this method however would be unable to reach the lower racks.
Next came PSU installation. The system used to mount the PSU employs and external plate which fits to the normal position on the PSU and then fastens to the outside of the case, allowing for external PSU insertion. This system, while a very good idea, does need further development - simply due to the fact that it's obviously going to have problems with certain power supplies, the one being used is obviously one of them.
As you can see, the external fan guard on the PSU has raised the middle of the plate a fair bit. While not a problem for installation, I fear that over time this will leave the aluminium bent and ensure that the un-flush fit stays exactly that. Next problem I ran into is the position of the screw holes once the PSU and plate were in place.
This did not make fitting impossible but did require some forcing to get the screws to bite. With all that done and it time to wire things up, the final issue is plain to see and that is that this case is not made with friendliness towards modular power supplies in mind....
Luckily the PSU compartment divider and second HDD cage have been screwed in so they can be removed in the case that a PSU is unable to fit but getting them out was a bit of a chore. To remove them both panels needed to be removed so the front fan could come out, allowing enough room to unscrew and move the first HDD cage across, up and out. From there the second HDD cage and plate could be unscrewed and with considerable force, freed up and removed.
While not a great deal of work, this does now leave only 3 HDD slots available.
Lastly to get things running the lot had to be wired up. This was no more difficult than usual (so not very at all) but did expose another advantage of the upside down mounting system over standard systems with the PSU in the lower section of the case in the fact that the P4-12v cable did not need to be run across the full height of the case.
As for cable tidying the options are pretty limited (as you have probably seen from the pictures throughout the review. With some time and effort the front panel connectors could be better hidden but as for the motherboard connectors I'm afraid you will be needing to pluck up the courage to take a dremel to your lovely new cases insides.
Once the lot was wired up I set about installing the CPU flow director and movable extractor fan. The latter of which was very easy, again using thumbscrews. The flow director however ended up as a case of removing the fan, fitting and then installing all as one. This is due to with the CPU cooler on, lining up a screwdriver with the lower left fan screw was impossible.
For the temperature testing readings were taken at various points in the case with the flow director and extractor fan installed. The temperature sensors were taped in place and the side panel locked into place 10 minutes prior to readings being taken.
For the load readings, the stability and stress testing application Orthos was used to stress CPU and Memory. This was left to run for 30 minutes after each side panel re-application to ensure temperatures had stabilised.
Ambient temperature was a constant 19.5 degrees centigrade throughout testing.
And here's the results:
As you can see the temperatures throughout the V1000b stayed within very comfortable distanced from their idle counterparts. The temperature for the PSU area was taken above the PSU, the air feed to the bottom of the PSU remained a constant 20 degrees. Overall I think its safe to say that the airy design of the case is paying off handsomely.