Pros: Very good cooling, REMOVEABLE MOBO TRAY!, Massive space behind tray for proper cable management, supports large gpus, Gorgeous Alu near unibody design
Cons: Wheel's are not all that great, could have more fan slots, NO RUBBER GROMMETS for cable management, can't fit higher than EATX
And man the pictures are deceiving, it looks 10x better in real life than in the pictures, and it looked great there too . The Red edition is the most popular thanks to the contrast between the black and red anodized exterior and interior, but I felt it was too flashy. The silver edition looked too much like a mac. This one is just right.
Where to start about this case really? Should I start with the 3.0 usb hub up front? Or the fantastic psu holding bay area seperating the mobo from the psu and cables? Or how about the fan filter? The cleanly designed and anti vibration HDD mounts? Or the subtle blue but good cfm fans? Should I mention there are alot of fans? Because there are. Maybe I should talk about how much care lian li puts.. or the small details they take for builders with a small tool box to hold all the supplied screws.
Well lets start with something:
Design - OH MY GOODNESS THE DESIGN. where to begin. If you like unibody aluminum frames not unlike the way HTC designs their smartphones, you'll feel right at home. THERE IS NOT PLASTIC. Heck it would be truly unibody if it wasn't for the case panels. Other wise it is a fully unibody aluminium design case. It is so sleek, every angle beutifuly curved, every curve very precise and not sharp, every single panel, to wheel design to handle to front panel is one well thought out unibody case. There's very little to fiddle around with in this case. It isn't your usual hunk of garbage from Cm or antec, where every little thing is removable for no good reason and out of some garbage psuedo metal looking plastic that if you touch just bends or falls apart. And unlike those cases, this case is INSANELY light. BTW the aluminum panels with every grain that you see in the panel, just as the light bounes off each part of the panel, you think you're falling in love. I'll explain more later.
Well for interior it is equally well thought out. First, from a cable management persepective, Lian li really shows they care. Now it may look unsightly, but man is it a dream to use when you have tons of cables. See before you'd have to figure out where to put them or ziptie them, begging to have a modular psu everytime you sit down to work on your rig. Here, id doesn't matter, every extra psu cable or any other cable in the build is easily stored at the bottom where Lian Li has a bunch of plastic loops that you just insert you cables into, and it ends up looking as if you ziptied them together without the work involved with ziptying. It looks a bit unslightly, but if you ever need to access those cables, huzzah just pull them out of the loops. Furthermore, since its at the bottom of the case, guess what? NO AIRFLOW RESTRICTION. In addition to this, unlike the azza or the haf 932, this case has mounds of space in the back for cables. If you're like me and aren't too handy with the ziptie, and don't want to spend more than 5 hours on cable management, this is the case for you. It has enough space to comfortable manuever the 24 pin big momma cable and still have clearance for your back panel so you aren't pushing with all your might to get it in and praying those case screws don't pop off. Speaking of case screws, to remove the panel, there's a slightly gimmicky but cool design where its like a drawer, you unscrew the back screw and pull on it and that unlocks the panel so you can lift it out. Just makes the case more of a Lamborghini than a Mustang to me. There is a downside though, for some reason outside of their PC80 case, lian li regualry omits the use of full cover grommets in their cable holes/pass throughs. I'm not sure why they do this, but it's a definite minus in my eyes, makes your hardwork of organizing cables still look ugly. Hey if a friggin Fractal design case can do it for only $100 why can't a $200 case like this do it? Continuing on with the design, as you will see in pictures theres a clear seperation thanks to an alu panel that makes the case look neater and in the mind draws a clear distinction between the psu and the case. Again something that makes this case more high end in its nature, as you see all high end cases do this. That's pretty much it for design
Utility - To start with this is one of the few cases, and the only one I've ever used, to have a removable mobo tray. DEAR GOD, you have no idea what you non removable tray users are missing out on. No more trying to work in a tiny space to screw everything in. NO more fiddling with your magnetic screw driver to pick up one lonesome screw that after hours of working your poor exhausted hands just finally get to. No more screaming in anger if you realize that your mount on the cpu was bad and now your temps are in the 90s when they should be in the 40s. This magical cure all component is the mobo tray, and is one of the real underrated but big selling points of this case. It makes installation and trouble shooting a DREAM. It took me no time to assemble my components, easily plop them onto the tray and bam insert it and DONE. If something goes wrong with a component, no longer do i have to work inside a cramped environment with a flashlight in the middle of the night (admit it guys, it happens to all of us) trying to fiddadle and troubleshoot inside a case. Nope, gone are those days, heck I'd equate the ease of use to this case back to the times when I ran OPEN AIR. So theres that.
The case supports upto EATX which is sort of a down side, but otherwise its fantastic. Has plenty of HDD drives, and has a 3.5" to 5.25" converter with a nice faceplate I may add for your card readers. Sadly, this case will require tools to construct, though from my experience (more like anguish) from the 932, its really not a problem. Also this case has wheels, which if you're moving around in a single story of your house, then its quite useful though its not multidirectional. The break looks nice, but is a bit rusty and hard to use, quite confusing to lock at first and unlocking is even more confusing, I always feel like it needs some WD40. Otherwise very useful
So all in all, and extremely easy to build in case, and easy to cable manage in as well. I mean its a case, theres really not much else I can say about this.
Cooling: well it supports pretty much any sized cooler, and its quite highly rated for its air cooling capabilities. It comes with all fan slots with decent very low noise fans in place, though if you intend on watercooling, I advise you too either get ready to mod or look to another case, this is really made for air coolers. The gpu cooling is alright, I don't have problems with my 6970 cfx, though they are blowerstyle. If you take air from within the case, the proximity to the front fans should provide plenty of air from them.
Well thats about it, if I missed anything comment on it. If you intend on buying this case, ask me, and look at some video reviews on youtube, check out the Lian Li V series owners club here as well and finally look up some good reviews on the interwebs.
My thoughts on the case: Well... when I first saw it I couldn't stop looking at it. It was THAT girl on the street that you try not to stare but you know you're going to. Everything about this case and lian lis craftmanship is stunning. The wheels were a good addition, so is the mobo tray. But this case KILLS in the looks department. If your friends are the ones that look at alienware cases and get wet thinking of how many LEDs they can have, then well... you need new friends. But if your friends like discussing the beauty of an HTC phone, or how gracefully the Audi R8 was designed with its sideblade, then you're going to be drawing many looks from them, looks of jealousy. Corsair, Silverstone, setup aside. Yeah sure your cases are gorgeous, but this, is a cut above the rest.
If you want a case that every passing day you are happy owning and looking at and working with, then you've found your case. I personally pat my case nearly everyday (yeah I'm weird) and just stare at it at times, glad to know its mine. It comforts me as I type essays and consoles me as I get beat in BF3. Its rare girl you meet thats hot, nice and intelligent, and most importantly she really cares about you and has feature you desire.
My friends, if you want a case like that, look no further than the Lian Li V1020B