Lian Li PC-Q06 ITX Test Bench in Red

Posted by on Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 3:06am

lian li pc-q06We have a brand new tech bench here at Pro-Clocks that is solely for testing ITX motherboards, and it comes in the form of the PC-Q06 from Lian Li. The Q06 is a semi-open test bench that right out of the box is meant for ITX motherboards, but it can also be expanded to larger ATX format with an optional tray. The Q06 has all the wow  factor like many of the other cases we've seen from Lian Li, and that is thanks to their high quality aluminum structures and superior styling.

Introduction to the Lian Li PC-Q06 ITX Test Bench

As you our keen readers have undoubtedly noticed, lately there has been a multitude of high performance ITX motherboards hitting the market. Zotac pretty much started the trend, but Gigabyte has taken it to another level with the H55N-USB3, which turned out to be an overclocking monster! Yet when it came down to installing it in either my Microcool or Sunbeamtech test benches, their large size seemed to just swallow up that ITX platform.

We have a brand new tech bench here at Pro-Clocks that is solely for testing ITX motherboards, and it comes in the form of the PC-Q06 from Lian Li. The Q06 is a semi-open test bench that right out of the box is meant for ITX motherboards, but it can also be expanded to larger ATX format with an optional tray. The Q06 has all the wow  factor like many of the other cases we've seen from Lian Li, and that is thanks to their high quality aluminum structures and superior styling.

Lian Li's take on the PC-Q06

“The dimensions of PC-Q06 series stand at 205 x 210 x 250mm (W.H.D) at only 1.2kg weight.  The hairline-brushed, all aluminum mini-tower chassis supports mini-ITX motherboards on the top, with optional ATX or mini-ATX motherboard tray.  It includes holders for two PCI brackets to support heavy graphic cards mounted.  The PC-Q06 case body has place for one standard 5.25” optical drive, one standard 3.5” hard drive, one standard ATX PS/2 power supply unit, and features two USB3.0 and HDA audio ports on the front.  The PC-Q06 series is available in red, black and silver colors.”


Specifications

Model

PC-Q06 

Case Type

Mini Tower Chassis 

Dimensions 

(W) 205mm x (H) 210mm x (D) 250mm 

Packaging Dimensions (W) 287mm x (H) 234mm x (D) 253mm

Front bezel Material

Aluminum 

Color

Black / Silver / Red 

Side Panel

Aluminum 

Body Material

Aluminum 

Net Weight 

1.2KG 

5.25" drive bay (External)

3.5" drive bay (External)

None 

3.5" drive bay (Internal)

Expansion Slot

Motherboard

Mini-ITX (Option: ATX / M-ATX) 

System Fan (Front)

None 

System Fan (Top)

None 

System Fan (Rear)

None 

I/O Ports

USB2.0 x 2 / HD Audio 

Maximum Video Card Length 300mm

Closer look

To begin I have to say that the PC-Q06 is super light in weight. According to Lian Li it weighs in at 2.2 pounds but after getting it out of the box, to be honest, I think its lighter. They are able to achieve that because of the lightweight aluminum they used for it's construction, but we know that will change once we slap some hardware on it.

You can get this super lightweight Q06 in three color variations: silver, black and red like our review sample. This is my first time with a red PC enclosure and I had my doubts in the beginning. Once out of the box I realized just how brilliant a red case is, and keep in mind that due to the flash it's color tone is slightly pinkish

We begin our tour of the Q06 starting at the front of the enclosure. It consists of a single 5.25 external bay utilizing a stealth door. Lian Li was one of the first companies who made stealth doors a standard for their cases and I am glad they continued with it here.  Just below the optical drive bay is the power and reset buttons, with the two USB 2.0 ports and dual audio connections along the bottom.

As we pass by the side you may notice that there are no windows on the Q06, but there is good reason for that. Due to it's small foot print there is no cable management and once you have all the components installed it may look a tad cluttered. Function over form as they say, and we agree.

The rear of the Q06 you will find a perforated removable plate, whose function is two fold: It allows you access to cables inside which are then passed through that notch  up to the motherboard, and it also acts as additional ventilation for the system. Below that is opening for a standard size power supply, which we will come back to a little later.

 

The underside of the Q06 is also vented with a convenient dust filter that is easy to remove for cleaning. Four aluminum-clad rubber feet help keep the case off the desktop for airflow, but also to help cut down operating noise by dampening any mechanical vibrations.

Looking at the top of the enclosure is a wide opening of which you can see the HDD and optical drive cages. We will comment more on it during the installation part of the review.

 

That concludes our external tour of the Q06, I hope it was enjoyable. Please watch your step while disembarking from the boat as the platform is wet and slippery.


Closer look inside

Next we stripped the Q06 down to its bare framework and this is what we were left with. Lian Li made the little enclosure easy as possible to build up. All the pieces and panels can be individually separated from the case to make the installation of components as easy as possible for the end user.

Here are the rails that the PSU on which the PSU will sit and if you notice they also have rubber strips on them once again in an effort to keep the unit as quiet as possible. Also the reason for the rails is to space the PSU up off the bottom of the case which keeps it from blocking the bottom vent. If you'll notice the previous picture and the PSU mounting holes, you can see that you have the option of mounting the PSU with it's fan either up in the middle of the case, or down facing the vent. If the fan is facing up it will draw out side air into the case and help keep the itself and the other components cooler, otherwise you can also face the fan towards the vent which will keep the PSU cooler as it draws in fresh air.

As stated earlier, each of the pieces that make up the Q06 are removable from the main enclosure. Here is a list of what they are:


HDD brackets


Optical drive holder and Stealth door


Bottom dust filter and expansion card holder


Rear and side panels


Build up images


Power supply installation


HDD installation


Motherboard installation


Completed assembly


Conclusion

If this tech bench was released say, two years ago, I would have said to myself  ‘what is Lian Li thinking’. Two years ago we did not see overclocking mITX motherboard like the ones we have now. Zotac, Gigabyte and DFI are all producing motherboards aimed at the enthusiasts. One of which we reviewed just recently by Gigabyte, the H55N-USB3. As long as the world keeps looking for smaller form factor systems, we will continue to see more of these motherboards produced.

As such, the more systems like that H55N Gigabyte released, the more you will see people benching them and pushing them to their limits. It is because of that in which the PC-Q06 will come in handy. Lian Li made the Q06 easy to work with if you are an enthusiast and always doing benchmarks, as the components like the power supply and hard drive are mounted securely within the enclosure so all you have to do if switch out the motherboard that sits comfortably on the top. Since the CPU, memory, videocard, and occasionally the motherboard being the only things one might have to swap out during one of those benching sessions, they are all conveniently accessible.

And for those that have no need for benching mITX motherboards you will be happy to know that Lian Li also makes an attachment motherboard tray allowing for the fitment of an ATX motherboard. This is an optional piece of course and we will report back as soon as we find a retailer selling them, as we will definitely be picking one up. And for those that may use the PC-Q06 as an everyday case it does offer USB and traditional audio ports up front for easy access

Because this is a hardware testbed that will get continual usage by way of swapping out components, Lian Li did not skimp out on quality. The Q06 uses the same aluminum construction we have come to see from them over the years. They pride themselves on this high level of quality and the Q06 is a prime example.

But the Q06 is not without some minor faults. The first is for those that would need to enter the interior of the chassis frequently will have to remove several tiny screws. This could eat up precious time if in a rush to get on with the next benching session. Also will have to keep the size of the power supply to the ‘standard size’ as anything bigger will interfere with the cabling of the front panel. Like ones built by CWT such as the Corsair HX1000 and a few Thermaltake Toughpower 1000+W units.

The Q06 is offered in three colors: red, black and silver and retails for $79.99 with mail-in rebates offered around the web.

 

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