Lian Li PC-A17 Aluminum Mid-Tower Chassis
Author: Rutledge Feman
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 02-24-2008
Provided by: LanCool PC
Discuss: View Comments

The PC-A17 arrives in a very average box with features on the front and specifications on the side. The opposite sides have the same images. Shipped all the way from Taiwan, the box was pretty beat up upon arrival. All of the sides were dented inwards, and there were some cuts in the cardboard. Thankfully, the case arrived undamaged.

The case comes with the usual protection: two fitted Styrofoam bricks and a heavy plastic bag. With the case comes a nice manual with pictures, which describes the basics of installation. Also included are all the screws and rubber grommets necessary for installation of hard-drives, font bay devices, and all other hardware. Lian Li even included a fitted screwdriver for installing motherboard standoffs and some cable ties.

The PC-A17 comes with a flawless brushed aluminum finish that is smooth to the touch. It has a very simple, but classy look to it, and looks to be extremely modifiable. On top, you'll find a 140mm exhaust fan with mesh grill, the IO panel protected by an aluminum flap, and the power/reset buttons. It was nice to see that Lian Li chose not to cut any corners by covering the IO panel with a plastic piece, but the buttons are plastic.

Aluminum grills cover the entirety of the front panel, protecting all nine 5.25” bays. The frame of the front panel easily pops off of the main chassis using plastic inserts. Most mid-tower cases either use screws, or plastic expanders which can snap off against the metal frame of the case. This design is a nice departure from the norm, and does a great job. Each bay cover is individually filtered, though it's not entirely clear if the filters can or should be removed for cleaning.

On the side, we get a heavy dose of the great aluminum finish on this case, but it is otherwise very plain. Unlike most other cases, the side panels of this case do not slide towards the back and come directly out, but rather slide towards the back and then lift out towards the top. There is also not much of note on the bottom of the case, except for its four soft rubber feet which should be great for reducing fan and hard-drive vibrations.

The back of the case is loaded with thumbscrews. For the left panel, there are four thumbscrews: two for the outer side panel, and the other two for the removable motherboard tray. The two on the right side are for the right side panel. The four thumbscrews around the power supply area hold the PSU bracket in place, which is attached to the PSU outside of the case, but more on that later. There are also two screws at the top for top-panel removal.

Lian Li chose not to include a rear IO panel, which seems like a good choice considering case manufacturers can never guess what kind of motherboard you will have. Another very practical choice Lian Li made was to use a separate fan grill in the rear of the case instead of the usual stamped grill. This is great not only for airflow, but also for any kind of case mod you might want in the future. The PCI brackets are vented, but not filtered. Though there are water cooling holes, it would have been nice to see them lined with rubber instead of the included plastic. Finally, there is allowance for a lock on the right side panel.

Continue on as we look at the inside of the PC-A17.

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