Lian Li's PC-A05FN Turns the Case World Topsy Turvy, Exhausts Hot Air Out the Front



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Had a bit of extra cash lying around, decided to try this for myself.

PC Specs: 
- i7 2600 oc 4.2GHz
- 8GB DDR3 2000MHz TEAM xtreem
- 2 x 120GB Mach SSD Drives - Stripe
- 2 x WD VelociRaptor 600GB - Stripe
- 2 x WD Caviar Blue - Stripe
- Corsair H100 CPU Cooler
- Gainward GTX 580 Phantom VGA
- NZXT Phantom black 7 fans

When switching to the new Lian-Li, had to change my cooler... had a spare Antec Kuhler 620 lying around.

One heck of a surprise, this case actually runs incredibly cool ...

NZXT - 30 C
Lain - 34 C

NZXT - 24C idle 60C load
Lian - 26C idle 65C load

Well done, this case gets my vote, my NZXT is now safely packed away in it's box, this Lian-Li is just awesome, small - quiet - sleek looking. Maybe I can now start building the water cooled system I have so long been itching to. 



I am thinking this is so that the computer can also act as a heater keeping the fleshware warm.



Load up a current nVidia GPU and you've got your very own expensive space heater!



The back-to-front airflow paradigm only works in a server farm or data center, when you've properly configured the airflow for it.  In the home market, this results in

1) hot air blowing toward the user

2) recirculation of exhaust from such components as the GPU

3) higher temperatures in the more heat sensative front-mounted components.

4) see 1.

a much better alternative is cases using top-venting, such as the FT0{2,3}.



So it's an A-05N with front USB+Audio and mobo on the right instead of the left?


I have the A-05N and cooling isn't a problem. Heck, I ran a PSU with a dead fan for a year and heat wasn't bad at all. Wish mine had a top fan, though...



i can make any pc case intake through the back and exhaust through the front... much more important is heat having the ability to exit the top... physics is on my side with this one... Congrats lian li, you found a screw driver...?



its all about the flow. simply turning the fans around will not produce the proper flow. Top-vents can be worse if they aren't designed properly.




I always build my PCs to have their intake at the front (lowest point possible) and exhaust out the top rear.



Why do I get the feeling that this case is a direct copy of Corsair's Obsidian series?



I think the biggest advantage is a possible slight reduction in case size, because the mobo doesn't have to sit on top of or underneath a PSU, they can drop the height a bit. I agree with Caboose's point though, a number of tower CPU coolers and graphic cards blow out the back.

While you may be able to reverse some CPU coolers, GPU fan ducts blow hot air rearwards which this case will suck back in. No good. :p Plus, I'd much rather not let my HDDs get exposed to the warmer exhaust gasses. Once HDDs let go, well you know how it is...

I like LianLi cases for their lightweight and simple, minimalist looks. But this really needs a re-think.




I wonder what makes Lian Li feel that this will provide improved cooling over the traditional "In the front, out the back" method. Sure the front of the case can have a larger area to vent out, but there are also fewer components in the front.

I'd rather have my HDDs cooled with cold air from the front, and only warming the air slightly before it passes to the GPUs, CPU and other expansion cards before being expelled out the rear and top rear of my case, than having the air heated a lot by the CPU and GPUs before being expelled out the front and not provide as much cooling to the HDDs.

I just thought of something else. Most components are designed to exhaust out the back. How will that affect cooling? You'll have components expelling hot air out the back, only to be sucked in again by the "intake" fan.

MPC should test the same rig in this case, and a traditional layout case to see how things look. And use that fancy thermal camera you guys used a few years back for the one story on PC cooling!



In an ATX setup the CPU and GPU are actually closer to the back. Having the cool air pull in there, and they are getting the coolest air to them first. (BTX de ja vu) In many cases, all of the 'best' cool air is passing over the hard drives and RAM first (getting warmed along the way) before it reaches the CPU and GPU. Granted, good cases have better flow, but usually cost more and/or are huge.

The other major advantage I can see is for PCs that are enclose by being tucked under a desk or in a 'PC tower shelf' built into a desk. If you put the PC there, all of the hot air being forced out the back gets trapped around the PC, and it can overheat. Force the hot air out the front, and you might be able to avoid the 'heat trap'.

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