Lian Li V1010 Aluminium PC Case Page: 1

Lian Li V1010Lian Li are a well-known manufacturer of high quality cases and is a name often passed around by enthusiasts. Not only do they build great looking and innovative cases, but they also use high quality materials, such as aluminium, rather than plastic.  A bit about Lian Li:

Lian Li Industrial Co., LTD was founded in 1983. We are the one of the largest and most reputable manufacturer of aluminium PC case in Taiwan . With over twenty years of experience in the computer products field, our dedicated team of engineers, production specialists and administrative staff provide the finest quality accessories available on the market.

Today we will be looking at the v1010, which is one of the smaller cases that Lian Li makes. It is the smaller brother to the v2010, which is a favourite among water coolers and enthusiasts alike. Here are the full specifications taken from the Lian Li site:

Model: PC-V1010A/B
Case Type: Super Mid Tower
Dimensions: 210 x 543 x 560 mm ( W, H, D)
Front bezel Material: Aluminium
Color: Silver / Black
Side Panel: Plain
Body Material: Aluminium
5.25" drive bay (External): 5
3.5" drive bay (Internal): 6
Expansion Slot: 7
Motherboard: E-ATX, ATX, M-ATX
System Fan (Front): 14cm Ball Bearing Fan (800~980~1180RPM)Factory setting to mid [email protected]
System Fan (Rear): 12cm Ball Bearing Fanx2 ( 1020~1240~1500RPM)Factory setting to mid [email protected]I/O Ports: USB 2.0 x 4, IEEE1394 x 1, E-SATA x 1, HD+AC97 Audio

As you can see, for a small case it could house a fairly impressive PC, with room for 6 Hard disks and an E-ATX motherboard. The cooling system isn't as impressive on paper as others we have seen, but then lots of fans doesn't always mean cool components.

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Packaging & Up Close

A luxurious case certainly wouldn't be great if it arrived bent or scratched. Lian-Li have taken care with packaging in the past, so we were confident of its safe arrival.

Lian-Li v1010 Box Lian-Li v1010 box Damage

Although the box came a bit battered, it didn't look like it would affect the case inside. The box also looks quite nice, with a big image of the case on the front and a list of features down the right hand side.

v1010 internal packaging v1010 bag packaging

As you can see, Lian-Li have followed the trend of many other manufacturers by wedging the case in-between two foam pieces and placing it inside a plastic bag. This ensures a bit of 'air space' on either side of the case to absorb shocks and the plastic bag stops scratches and other irritating marks.
v1010 front v1010 side
 v1010 drive bays v1010 back

As you can see, the v1010 is a very clean and professional looking case. The front uses a lot of meshed panelling to encourage airflow, and the side features no window whatsoever. Round the back we have the PSU mount at the bottom and a 120mm fan up top. On the bottom we have 2 sets of wheels for moving the case around. A little lever at the back enables you to lock them for when the case is stationary.

v1010 power button v1010 fan controller
v1010 water holes v1010 front panel ports

The main external features of the v1010 are shown above. The power and reset buttons are both of extremely high quality and are very nice to use. Then on the back of the case we have a small switch, which is a fan controller for the pre-installed fans. Then we have 2 holes up top; these plugs can be unscrewed to allow water cooling tubes to be passed through. Finally we have the front panel ports (which are actually up top) that hide behind a nice little flap.

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The internal of the v1010 are very nicely laid out, with quite a few genuinely useful features. All of these should help to make installation a lot easier and pain free...

v1010 Internals v1010 HDD caddies
v1010 Cable Management v1010 mobo tray

As you can see, the v1010 has a sensible layout. The hard disks are stored down on the bottom along with the PSU and everything else is kept up top. The central pillar gives extra support for expansion cards whilst also providing a nice 'alley' for channeling wires up. The motherboard tray is removable, which will aid installation significantly. As you can see, Lian-Li have taken the liberty to cut cable holes in the tray, which should give a very neat final set up.

Installation in the v1010 was an absolute joy. Not only is it very simple, but it is incredibly easy to build a nice looking pc.

v1010 installation v1010 HDD installation

First of all we prepped all the hardware outside of the case. We installed the motherboard on the tray with CPU and cooler attached, whilst also adding the grommets to our hard disk.

v1010 installation v1010 installation

With that done, we put all the gear into the case. We slotted in our PSU, a Silver Power model. There is a gap under the PSU, which seemed perfect for shoving all the unneeded leads under. The rest snake under the motherboard tray and through to the motherboard.
v1010 installed
Finally add all the PCI cards, and you end up with something that looks like a fully functioning PC. As we didnt have any particularly long graphics cards to test, we weren't able to test out the central stabilisation bar. As you can see, it is incredibly neat. There are only a few cables visible, and this should definitely help airflow.

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Test Setup

We decided to change the hardware for the testing phase to make sure the case got a thorough work-out and was pushed to its limits.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 4.0ghz (1.40v)
Graphics Card: ASUS HD 4870X2
Motherboard: Asus P5K3 Deluxe
Hard Drive: 1x Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM
CPU Heatsink: OCZ Vendetta II

The following setup was used, which is a fairly high-end system by today's standards. To make sure the cooling was representative of how it would arrive to you, no extra fans were added to improve cooling at all.

Temperature readings for the CPU were taken using OCCT, GPU via ATITool and System / Hard Disk via digital thermal probe. While we fully understand that the results taken using software applications may not be entirely accurate, they serve only to display the comparative differences between the two cases when tested under the same conditions.

The Results

To give you some comparison on results, we compared the v1010 to the Cooler Master ATCS 840, which we reviewed recently. This too had its 'stock' cooling configuration to keep things fair.

Unfortunately, the v1010 was beaten across the board by the ATCS 840. It wasn't by much however, and the v1010 still put in a valiant effort.

As the load increased, the results were similar. The ATCS outperformed the v1010 by around 3-6 degrees, which isn't a massive margin. The cases are quite different, so the slightly higher temperatures aren't terribly worrying. The system was still perfectly stable.

Lian Li V1010 Aluminium PC Case Page: 5

If you base a buying decision purely on cooling, then this case probably isn't for you. However, if you are the sort of person that doesn't mind paying a little bit more for quality and ease of use, then this case should certainly be on your short list. Installation inside the v1010 was a breeze, and all the included extras certainly go the extra mile.

Available for £125.24 inc Vat from Yoyotech you are paying that bit more. However, it's not horrendous, and there are far more expensive cases out there. At the end of the day, we loved having a play with the v1010, but understand it may not be to everyone's taste. It is fairly understated and plain looking, but offers a uniqueness no others do.

The Good:
+ High quality construction
+ Lots of innovative features
+ All metal construction
+ Included bundle is very satisfying

The Mediocre:

* Price is a bit high, but it isn't outrageous for a case of this quality

The Bad:
- Zilch

Our thanks to A One Distribution and Lian Li for providing us with this case for review.
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