Tall and striking, but not as tall and striking as its price tag
Lian Li has long had a reputation for crafting excellent cases at exorbitant prices, and the Tyr PC-X1000 upholds both standards. Like the PC-X2000 (rebadged as the ABS Canyon 695 and reviewed in December 2008), the PC-X1000 swaps depth for height, measuring more than 26 inches tall but less than 18 inches wide and 9 inches deep. The Tyr PC-X1000 offers a lot of compelling features, from five 14cm fans to thermally isolated compartments to 2.5-inch hard drive mounts. It’s visually striking, packed with amenities, and (of course) expensive. Is it worth it?
Thanks to its height, the Lian Li Tyr PC-X1000 looks much thinner than it actually is. The black brushed-aluminum design is minimalist but attractive, eschewing LED fans and internal lighting altogether—fine by us, especially as the side panels lack windows. The X1000 has plenty of front connectors: four USB 2.0 ports, FireWire, eSATA, and audio.
The Lian Li Tyr PC-X1000 offers a lot of great features and excellent build quality, but the price is obscene.
What it lacks in flash, the PC-X1000 makes up for in features: Like its predecessor, the X1000 is divided into three thermal zones. The bottom zone holds the PSU, a three-slot removable hard drive bay, and a 14cm intake fan. The main compartment has two dust-filtered 14cm intake fans and one 14cm exhaust fan, a removable motherboard tray, two toolless 2.5-inch hard drive brackets, a toolless PCI retention bracket, and the same useless retention bar that we removed from the X2000. The top compartment holds two stealthed 5.25-inch optical drive slots, one 5.25-inch/3.5-inch combo slot, and another three-slot removable hard drive cage, as well as an additional 14cm exhaust fan.
The hard drive bays aren’t hotswap and don’t use rails, unlike the bays in the X2000. Instead, drives are secured with rubber antivibration grommets and thick thumbscrews. The 2.5-inch bays at the bottom of the motherboard compartment are also removable.
We dig the sturdy PCI-card retention latches, which work well to keep your expansion cards secure in lieu of screws, but the plastic cowling on some dual-slot graphics cards can keep the lower slot from latching securely. Fortunately, the whole set is removable, so we were able to use more-standard thumbscrews when we needed to.
The PCI card retention bar is one of the first things we remove from any Lian Li Case.
That’s a lot of stuff to fit into a case that’s only 18 inches from front to back, and Lian Li takes some steps to maximize usability—most notably in that virtually every cage and bay is removable. Both the top and bottom three-slot drive trays are easily removable using a thumbscrew, as is the front fan panel, for easy filter cleaning. Thanks to the removable motherboard tray and drive bays, installation was easy. Still, the closer quarters means there’s not a lot of room to hide cables, so you’ll have to work hard to avoid a cluttered-looking build.
The Lian Li Tyr PC-X1000 is a good-looking, well-constructed case with excellent cooling and a whole host of conveniences. But it’s also a bit cramped inside, with no room for an internal water-cooling reservoir. And we miss the SATA backplanes of the PC-X2000. But the biggest downside to this case is its price. The PC-X1000 retails for $400—twice the price of the Cooler Master ATCS 840, our favorite full-tower. If the PC-X1000 were $200, it would be a compelling alternative to bulky full-towers and shoddy mid-towers. At $400, it’s skippable.
Lian Li Tyr PC-X1000
Pliny the Elder
Good toolless mechanisms; five multi-speed fans; built-in 2.5-inch bays; removable mobo tray.
Way overpriced; no hard drive rails/SATA backplanes; just two optical bays.