Lian Li PC-A75 review: Lian Li PC-A75

  • 1

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Elegant design. Much lighter than steel. Clever hard-drive retention mechanism. Plastic box included to hold extra screws and accessories. Much cheaper than previous Lian Li full tower cases. Enough room for modders to go nuts.

The Bad Rubber grommets are cheap, misaligned and don't match the black of the case. Water-cooling grommets at rear are hard plastic. Hole in the top port array where eSATA was likely meant to go. Rear fan could be quieter. USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 adapter has bare pins on the USB 3.0 side. SSD mounting options aren't great. Non-removable hard-drive tray.

The Bottom Line Lian Li still builds the most elegant cases in the market. The PC-A75's biggest problem is that for AU$100 less, you can get a more innovative, refined steel case whose only sin is that it's heavier.

Despite the trend toward cheaper steel construction, Lian Li is still doing the aluminium thing. It does drive up the price markedly, but we appreciate how much lighter its cases are, especially when it comes to transporting them.

Its newest outing, the PC-A75 (and the A76, which is the same thing but with a front door), is a full tower monolith that can take up to HPTX boards. It's a lesson in austerity, and yet it looks incredibly refined. At least, it does at first glance, but upon deeper inspection it's clear that shortcuts have been taken. More on that later.

The top of the case has two 120mm fan mounts, and to get access to them you'll need to unscrew two faceplates first. There are another two 140mm mounts on the side, but Lian Li only supplies grilles for the 120mm holes — to protect your fingers on the 140mm model, you'll need to buy aftermarket.

The two cut-outs at the top for 120mm fans.
(Credit: Craig Simms)

Lian Li provides mounting points for two 140mm fans on the side, but no protective grilles.
(Credit: Craig Simms)

The power and reset buttons are top mounted and open to prying fingers, but the ports are hidden beneath a sliding door. There are two USB 3.0 ports here, two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks and a gaping hole. We're guessing that there was meant to be an eSATA port there, but it's simply missing in our review sample. Lian Li includes a USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 converter, but the pins are exposed on the USB 3.0 side, which is a little cheap for a premium case.

A hole where eSATA most likely should be.
(Credit: Craig Simms)

The front panel comes off easily, and, if anything, this will be the part of the case to rattle, especially if not seated properly. You'll find three filtered, 140mm fans here, which are easily removed by pushing to the right. Lian Li throws in a universal aluminium cover for your optical drive, to help it blend in with the case design better.

The front 140mm fans are easily removed by sliding sideways.
(Credit: Craig Simms)

Lian Li includes a universal optical drive cover.
(Credit: Craig Simms)

Thumbscrews hold in the sides, and these are protected by rubber washers so as not to damage the black aluminium. Lift off the main side panel, and you'll be greeted by a removable bar that runs the height of the case, which is used to help hold expansion cards in place. While there's space for 11 expansion cards (and 11 PCI expansion slots to match, along with mounts for an optional quick-release mechanism), Lian Li only provides four plastic expansion card holders. If you have more, you're expected to buy more from Lian Li. Two plastic stoppers are included, which can be attached to the end of two of the plastic holders, in order to hold wider cards in place.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

Lian Li PC-A75

Part Number: CNETLian Li PC-A75

Typical Price: $279.00

See manufacturer website for availability.