Most of you know this by now, but the Mini-ITX form factor motherboards measure an impressively small ~6.7"x6.7" (as opposed to 12"x12" ATX boards and ~9.6"x~8.5" mATX). Obviously it's not much good to get a mini-ITX board if you can't find an equally-small case to match, so that's where these enclosures come in.
Lian-Li PC-Q30 Specs
|Appearance||Black or Silver
|Expansion Bays/Slots||4x2.5" HDD/SSD
(Must use laptop HDDs)
2 Expansion Slots
|Cooling||1x140mm rear exhaust|
|Size Compatibility||200mm VGA length
125mm PSU length
130mm CPU cooler height
|Release Date||~June, 2013|
Our time spent with the pre-production model of the PC-Q30 was generally favorable, and Lian-Li has stated that it's ramping up for a June launch. Starting with aesthetics (as always), the case has a flared-out bottom and backward-sweeping, angular design. The motherboard tray is revealed by a glass faceplate, with I/O accessible through the top-rear of the case. The power supply appears to be bottom-mounted (rear-accessible), above which is an extruded fan bay that's pre-fitted with a 140mm exhaust fan.
The case is built out of 3mm thick aluminum paneling and Lian-Li's somewhat known brushed/anodized finish. Total size measures out as roughly 223mm W x 357mm H x 300mm D. Surprisingly, Lian-Li has made room for VGAs up to 200mm in length, so nearly all low-end and mid-range video cards should fit (including many models of the 7790 and some 7850 models). A CPU cooler up to 130mm in height can be fitted in the unit, which is also plenty of space for some of the higher-performance SFF coolers out there.
As with most SFF enclosures, the PC-Q30 supports an SFX form factor PSU and is limited in other functionality (maximum of 4x2.5" HDDs/SSDs, no note of 3.5" support), but there's only so much that can be done in that space. You'd need to rely on digital media or acquire an external CD/DVD/BD drive for any physical media needs. The I/O panel offers 2xUSB3.0 ports, 2x3.5mm HD Audio, and a simple power button (LED-equipped).
The case only ships with one fan (140mm exhaust, rear) with no noted support for additional fans, but cooling on an ITX rig shouldn't be too bad.
MSRP is $150, commercial availability starts in June.
- Christopher Greene & Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.