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Review: Lian-Li PC9300 -- Budget Friendly HTPC Case
July 9, 2006
Author: Geno Manufacturer: Lian-Li
Department: HTPC-SFF Model: PC-9300
Article Type: Review Time Spent: 1 month
 
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Introduction




My Dad is... what's the word I'm looking for...? Well, as there is a chance he might read this, I can't use the term "One Cheap Bastard", but let's just say, he makes our resident tech shopping expert (and KING of the cheapskates), Mr Slacker, look like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He chose the cheapest case with a PSU that he could find when he built his HTPC a while back and, as you can imagine, it was an exceptionally unattractive little tower that was an eyesore in the living room. Of course, my Mom was thrilled with its ugliness and praised him constantly for his keen eye for aesthetics. Translation: she bitched non stop till he finally caved in and asked me to find “one of those living room cases” for a reasonable price.

I am an enthusiast and a modder and my wife was once an interior designer so, of course, I seldom glance at “cheap” cases. That meant research--so, I sicced Mr Slacker on the project with these instructions--“find me a few nice HTPC cases that are budget priced”. When I was looking over the list he sent me three minutes later (yes, he is that good), my eye was drawn to the Lian-Li PC-9300 for $115 USD. A Lian-Li at that price piqued my curiosity, so I looked for a few reviews without finding much info. Not a new design/model, so it may have just missed a press buzz I thought. Time to get one on the bench and see what the deal is.

I shot an email off to my favorite Lian-Li store, SilverPC's, and ordered the case and a 235 watt Channel well mATX PSU.


Specifications
 
Color Options
Silver
Dimension
360 x 132 x 460mm (wxhxd)
Drive bays
5.25 x 2; 3.5 internal hard disk bay x 1; 3.5 external disk bay x 1
Expansion Slots
PCI Slot x 4 (2 x 5.25", 2 x 3.5" internal)
Fan
60mm dual ball bearing fan x 2
Motherboard Type
Micro ATX (max size
Front Ports
USB 2.0 x 2
Material
1.2~2 mm aluminum with brushed anodized finishing
Lights
Blue LED lights up the front panel
Extras
3.5" mounting kit for FDD x 1; FDD Bezel
PSU
Micro ATX 235 PSU type (PSU not included but www.silverpcs.com has combo special)
 
 
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For me, an HTPC case should be:
A stylish mid tower is fine.
It has to look like other home electronics equipment.
Looks? Big deal, it is all about performance.
Small, unobtrusive.
 
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