Lian Li PC-6070 case

Some time back I bought the most beautiful PC case you can imagine: a Lian Li PC-6070.

This thing is elegant, understated, and solid. All brushed aluminium and thumbscrews.

Why this case? Well apart from looking so nice, it was designed to be quiet. To this end it has low-wattage fans, hidden front air intake, sound dampening material inside the side panels, and a hefty front-door. Should make a difference.

I did my homework before buying, and a number of review sites gave it a thumbs up. Most indicated that the sound reduction was not fantastic, but still noticeable.

What followed was two years of heat troubles. I guess the average review site pops a single hard drive in there, a mid-range graphics card and sits it all in an air-conditioned office? Well I can only assume they do. Back in the real world, I popped four hard disks in there, two optical drives, about 4 PCI cards + smokin’ graphics card, topped off with a fuming AMD Thunderbird (later an XP). Oh, and sat it in a room which, in the summer, hits about 35 deg C.

Guess what? Yeah, heat problems. Big, component stressing, PC crashing, call the fire brigade, heat problems.

To cut a long story short, there’s a simple solution to this, but it’s about the last one I tried. Before arriving at it I had tried reverse air-flows, replaced ribbon cables with round cables, removed one hard disk, PCI slot cooler, better CPU heatsink,… the list goes on and on. For some reason it took me an age to realise the simple truth: not enough air was flowing through the box. Given that, all the cooling doodahs inside the box were never going to help. Sounds obvious, I know. But it always does after the event.

Take the two front fans (behind the hard disk tray – buggers to get at) and the rear fan, remove them and drop them in the bin. Yes, they might be silent, but that’s because they shift virtually no air. Go buy three equivalent size Noiseblockers and fit them.

Hey presto, one Lian Li PC-6070 that no longer doubles as an oven. And, the real kicker, it is certainly no noisier than before. In fact it might be even quieter, although it could simply be the lack of sizzling cables that makes it seem so.

All in all, how do I rate the Lian Li PC-6070? Well despite the impeccable ergonomics and truly stunning looks, it’s no bloody good at all in standard fan-spec. Fit new fans? Ah, that’s a different story: great case.

Oh, and it seems that a few weeks ago Lian Li finally acknowledged the problem and stopped selling it. Now it’s replaced by the Lian Li PC-6070 Plus. And guess what the "Plus" provides: same case, same fans but also a separate PCI slot cooling system and a CPU cooling-conduit. Me thinks the changes were long overdue.


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