Introducing the Lian Li PC-V353

We've been wanting to get Lian Li enclosures in house for review for a while now, and we're pleased to report we finally have a contender on hand (with more on the way!) in the form of the PC-V353. Lian Li touts this case as having been designed to cool through use of extensive ventilation instead of fans, but surprisingly they don't advertise what may be one of its more interesting aspects: the enclosure is comprised almost entirely of aluminum and is likely to feel surprisingly light. Can an aluminum, well-ventilated enclosure take the place of steel and fans?

We're trying to get more Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX enclosures in for review, so when the Lian Li rep contacted me about reviewing their products and asked me what I was looking for, I had a pretty specific answer in mind: something silent and/or something small. (Well, I had a third answer, too: "...or pretty much anything; I've been dying to get some Lian Li kit in.") Her answer came in the form of the PC-V353: a Micro-ATX enclosure designed to minimize the amount of fan noise by simply not having fans, instead relying on a lot of ventilation  to get the job done.

Lian Li PC-V353 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Drive Bays External 1x 5.25"
Internal 2x 3.5" and 2x 2.5"
Cooling Front 4x 120mm fan mounts
Rear 1x 80mm fan mount
Top -
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 4
Side I/O Port eSATA, 2x USB 3.0, mic and headphone jacks
Top I/O Port -
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 11.5" (Expansion Cards), 100mm (CPU HSF), 200mm (PSU)
Weight 9.1 lbs. (4.13 kg)
Dimensions 11.26" x 11.34" x 15.63" (286mm x 288mm x 397mm)
Price $169

Like many smaller cases, the PC-V353 is going to be fairly limited in the types of peripherals it can hold. While some are more bizarrely spacious than others (SilverStone's Temjin TJ08-E comes to mind) these are generally cases that require some compromise; a tower-style cooler seems like a bad idea in general for the PC-V353, especially when you note that the area above the I/O cluster is one of the few places Lian Li didn't ventilate the chassis. Let's take a closer look and see how this small box performs.

In and Around the Lian Li PC-V353
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  • aznofazns - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    "Don't get me started on their ultra high end chassis, where their exterior paintjob is pretty much the only thing high quality about them."

    My V2120X's interior is superb. Everything about it is superb. Airflow, layout, ease of installation, features, build quality, style.

    "the Mac Pro chassis is pretty much the gold standard of aluminum cases still and if you can't get side panels as rigid as Apple, don't bother with the material."

    Again, try telling that to my V2120X. The side panel is so thick I cannot even bend it when I try.

    Besides, why is it crucial to have side panels built like titanium plates? That ramps up the cost of materials. As long as they're sufficiently thick to not break under normal use, does it really matter?

    "A lot of the design features in their spacesaver mATX cases range from somewhat understandable to downright stupid"

    I absolutely agree with you on this point. A lot of the micro ATX and mini ITX cases have illogical layouts (especially for the PSU), but Lian Li has been improving on this, as seen in the V353.
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Lian li clearly thought about where a computer would be when putting this design together.

    It is, as a concept, perfectly suited for people who have a computer on their desk rather than under it. Having a side ways facing optical drive is a good design choice for those type of people.

    But when it comes to the reality of the design there are lots of fail points here.

    For starters, do people really need lots of HDs in a computer that is on top of desk and presumeably next to the keyboard? I am sure that many people will not agree with me but I would design it to hold a maximum of 2 HDs.

    I am not convinced by the horizontal MB tray either.

    I think on balance I would prefer a 200mm fan up front (with dust cover), one optical drive bay and 2 HD bays would be better airflow and still very quiet. Being a water cooling fan that would allow for a rig with decent airflow to cool everything bar GPU and CPU and a 200x2000 radiator to cool the GPU and CPU which would be very quiet
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    I'm half through the review, nice stuff. But I'm personally not a fan of cubes anymore. I got myself a Lian Li V352, the predecessor. It is a good case, but in my opinion fairly limited. It collects dust like crazy. Because of the cube shape you cannot put anything on the floor of the caes since the motherboard covers that.
    Overall, the Temjin TJ08-E sounds like a much better package for me and I'm going to be buying one next year and mod it a bit for some water cooling.
    Reply
  • don_k - Friday, September 30, 2011 - link

    I'm curious to see what other models you got from them. My A77 is a joy, immense build quality. And yeah, Lian Lis are all aluminum cases and they're not cheap. Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    would have been nice to see you really try and stuff this case as full as you can.

    should have used a bigger board with a big video card and so forth.

    sure, you may have run into problems, but that's really the point, isn't it?
    Reply
  • Whatthetech - Saturday, July 21, 2012 - link

    I'm sorry to say that I have to completely disagree with the review posted here. I'm not meaning to offend, but as a long time case-builder I have found that the PC-V353 case is rather nice, and that the reviewer here really didn't seem to put much effort into the build. For a real review, and pics of this case with a full build with EFFORT, head over to whatthetech.info - it's in the main navigation bar. Reply

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