We always look forward to our visit of the Lian Li stand at Computex, if not just to gaze at their crazy creations for the show. Two years ago we were treated to the remote controlled walking Mini-ITX case, and this year the surprise was a mini-ITX case built into a working model train.
Lian Li's show-piece was a Mini-ITX case and a model train in one. Choo Choo!
Aside from the silliness, Lian Li also had some genuinely great looking chassis, and we were particularly taken with the PC-700 Micro-ATX range, offering a nice range of high-end features in a compact and attractive enclosure.
The PC-700 range of Micro-ATX chassis looked great.
Also present was the ludicrous PC-D8000, taking more than a few design cues from Mountain Mod’s mega cases. The huge chassis has storage for over 20 3.5in drives, as well as space for pretty much any cooling solution you can think of; just don’t count on moving it once it’s all installed; an all-aluminium case can only do so much when it comes to weight.
The D8000 is huge and capable of mounting pretty much any hardware configuration you can think of.
We also spied this great little feature on all of Lian Li’s new cases –water-cooling grommets linked into the rear exhaust fan cut-out. This allows for the external mounting of water-cooling radiators from all-in-one kits, while still having the fan mounted internally.
These cut-through ports on the rear of Lian Li's new cases allow all-in-on liquid cooler radiators to be mounted externally.
Known more for its affordable cases than high-end fanciness, In Win surprised us by showing off a pair of cases that caught the eye. The first, dubbed ‘Edge’ is custom milled from a few dozen aluminium panels, arrayed along four mounting rods. While the result doesn’t offer a solid surface on any side, the resulting look is fantastic. We love the black and orange paint job too.
Aluminium loveliness and a PC boasting a mini-fridge impressed on the In-Win stand.
The second was a chassis, made in partnership with In Win sponsored pro-gaming team Evil Geniuses that particularly ‘cool’. While the exterior is pretty standard, the front-opening hatch most certainly isn’t. Inside is a fully functional mini-fridge to keep your snacks cold while you game. Silly? Yes. Unnecessary? Absolutely. Do you want one? Oh yeah.
Next stop was Antec, where we were treated to a first look at a number of prototype cases, as well as this array of custom-painted P280s looking particularly splendid. Antec wouldn’t be drawn on European availability on these rainbow-licious chassis, but we certainly think they look smart enough to sell in at least limited quantities.
An array of multi-coloured P280s and this huge flippable prototype awaited us at Antec
It’s behind-closed-doors chassis were what we came for though, and Antec didn’t disappoint. The first was an as-yet unnamed huge chassis with support for even dual-socket HPTX motherboards, with the neat trick of being completely flappable. With a pair of PSU mounts and exactly the same cooling top and bottom, it’s certainly a neat trick, although we can’t see too many users with such a setup being too fickle with the orientation of their chassis.
A miniature Micro-ATX version of the P280 also made an appearance, as this did this great looking new design.
A miniature version of P280 also put in an appearance, but it was Antec’s third chassis that cause our eye. Sleek looks, clean lines and a sensible interior bode well, so we’re hoping Antec chooses to bring this one to market sooner rather than later.