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Lian-Li V1100 Review
April 26, 2005
Author: Geno Manufacturer: Lian-Li
Department: Hardware Model: V1100
Article Type: Review Time Spent: 2 weeks
 
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Introduction




My first experience with a Lian-Li case was over five years ago. It was a PC-60 in black if memory serves. Case modding had just found its legs and was running like a colt. Cliff Anderson was making history with his fan buses; and Eric, our site admin, was a whopping 14 years old. Lian-Li had just burst onto the case scene, and was THE case to own. They were all aluminum with a fit and finish that would be right at home on a BMW. The day it arrived, all my modding buddies gathered around it in silent awe, and it took all of my courage to cut into that wonderful case for a window and blow hole.

Fast forward to today, a dozen or so Lian-Li’s later, and we arrive at the subject of today’s review, the Lian-Li V1100. I have spent the last few years building completely custom PC’s from scratch, so I haven’t spent much time with store bought cases in a while. It was quite the flash back, with most of the same faces once again gathered around, in awe. My first impressions of the freshly de-boxed V1100, were very positive


Specifications
 
Model Number
V1100
Form Factor
ATX
Fans
2 X 120mm
Expansion Slots
7
External 5.25" Drive Bays
5
Internal 3.5" Drive Bays
6
Front Ports
2USB, Audio, IEEE1394
Side Window
NO
Dimensions
8.3" x 19.3" x 21.7"
NewEgg Item Number
N82E16811112052
Price
$220.00 US
 
The Door and Front


The first thing you notice is that massive slab of extruded aluminum that serves as a front cover/door. It is gasketed with top quality rubber gaskets that serve two purposes. They isolate vibration that leads to noise, and they prevent the air infiltration that leads to a dirty interior. Most noticeably, they contribute to a very satisfying “kachunk” when you swing the door closed. The ridged vertical lines running top to bottom add a very classy aesthetic touch, and dramatically reduce the fingerprints doors always seem to collect.

Behind the door we find five 5 ¼” bays, with one of them used alternatively for a floppy if you wish. The top bay has a very cleverly designed stealth drive cover out of the same brushed aluminum as the rest of the case. This is nice as it eliminates the beige or even black optical drive face from ruining the look. Only the one bay has this hidden drive cover, so if you run more than one device, you might want to purchase additional units. Better yet, just buy one of the all-in-one combo drives that are so inexpensive these days, and eliminate some of the weight and cable clutter. The dual purpose bay located on the bottom of the stack also has an aluminum stealth style cover. Who runs a legacy floppy anymore?

That leads to my only minor gripe. If you choose to forgo a floppy, there is no extra cover to replace that one in the case. Of course, if you add a second optical drive, you will have a spare, but you then have a non-stealthed CD ROM drive showing. At this price point, there isn’t any excuse for its omission.

Moving on, below the drive bays, we find a Bulgin style vandal switch in chrome and brushed stainless. It is very elegant and the perfect choice for this case. Below the switch are two very tiny LED’s for power and HDD activity. Again, very elegant and understated. Rounding out the area behind the door, near the bottom, we find the Lian-Li case badge. Above and below the door there are two black trim pieces that serve as door hinge point fasteners. They are constructed of a very heavy duty cast aluminum, and will last through many years of service. Contained within these trim parts are spring loaded ball bearings that hold the door closed. Also we find a spring loaded lever that allows the installation and removal of the door simply and smoothly.

The bottom black trim piece is also home to the front mounted external ports and includes 2 USB 2.0 ports, a single firewire port, and an audio line out and MIC port. I found them very easy to get to without any of those little cheapy plastic doors to get broken, or in the way. The last item on the front area is the door lock. Made of chrome plate and stainless, it is located on the right side of the door. It is of high quality construction and operates smoothly.


 
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