Introducing the Lian Li PC-TU200

More and more lately, mini-ITX boards are becoming very feature rich and users are needing fewer expansion cards in their desktop systems. Where once upon a time we'd need a wireless card, a video card, maybe an eSATA card and/or a sound card, now modern mini-ITX boards can cover just about all of these bases short of the GPU. TV tuner cards aren't even what they used to be with vendor lock-in by cable companies. All of that means that in many cases (no pun intended), all the end user is really going to need is the single PCI Express x16 the board provides.

Addressing this segment of users, Lian Li sent us their PC-TU200 enclosure, a mini-ITX case that offers two expansion slots just for those double-wide video cards that have become de rigeur. The TU200 includes a carrying handle at the top that makes its purpose abundantly clear: producing a case perfect for LAN warriors.

When we were first contacted by Lian Li's PR team, we were posed a question: what do we want to see? Our coverage of full- and mid-towers so far has been pretty good, but smaller enclosures have oftentimes gone by the wayside. So while we do have a couple of larger cases from Lian Li on the bench waiting for review, the TU200 is both one of their newer releases and also one of their most compelling. Cursory examination of the enclosure suggests that for both thermals and performance, it should be a big winner similar to (one of my personal favorites) SilverStone's Temjin TJ-08E, using a similar single-fan wind tunnel design.

Lian Li PC-TU200 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX, Mini-DTX
Drive Bays External 1x 5.25"
Internal 4x 3.5" (3x 3.5" if the top 2.5" is occupied) and 2x 2.5"
Cooling Front 1x 140mm intake fan
Rear -
Top -
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 4
Front 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), 80mm (CPU HSF), 140-160mm (PSU)
Weight 6.9 lbs. (3.15 kg)
Dimensions 13.35" x 8.7" x 11.42" (360mm x 210mm x 320mm)
Price $179

There's really no getting around it: the TU200 is tiny. At just a touch under seven pounds, this enclosure is substantially lighter than my cat (who isn't stunningly overweight for an indoor cat if you can believe it), and frankly smaller to boot. Between the diminutive dimensions and the surprisingly rich internal design, one has to wonder if there isn't some kind of strange witchcraft at work to get all of these parts to fit into this tiny enclosure. As it turns out, a little bit may be involved.

In and Around the Lian Li PC-TU200
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  • ronmccord - Sunday, February 2, 2014 - link

    What a shame this review. Anyone serious about this case will do research first. "I'll admit I don't think our testbed represents a particularly good combination of components for a unique specimen like the TU200, " No one will try and run this case in the style of the author. If you read new egg reviews no one uses the drive cage and will find the right power supply and combinations of components. This review is certainly good info of what not to do. I am confident with the right power supply, drive cage removed and modern gpu installed this case will perform as well in general as other itx machines out there with a unique look and quality unmatched. This is one of the few cases you could have at home and then bring to work easily. Ditch the dvd drive and add a fan controller for example from Lian Li, they have one with one fan control know and adds a 2.5 cage! In aluminum or black color. Or an aluminum ventilation screen and other options. Get longer case feet, a sff modular power supply. In other words do everything right instead of wrong like in this review and you could have one special case!
  • NA1NSXR - Friday, April 24, 2015 - link

    You are right, I just did a paper build of this case and did all the research. You can kill two birds with one stone by using a SFX PSU and adapter bracket, which will free up space for air/cables and also get you some additional CPU heatsink clearance. In fact, you get enough additional clearance to go one step up on Noctua's offerings, to a L12, which definitely means extra clockspeed from OC headroom - maybe not up to 1.3V but definitely 1.2V in the 80C range. Also, a powerful 140mm like Noctua Industrial PPC 3000rpm can really be quite sufficient, even if GPU placement is somewhat cramped for breathing room.

    It's definitely a workable case. In fact I am pretty tempted by my paper build since I live overseas for work. This thing would work as a carryon easily.
  • n13L5 - Sunday, October 18, 2015 - link

    I could actually make this thing smaller and achieve the goal of a portable Lan party box.

    Lian Li's problem here is not the size but the layout. Fortunately, their recent PC-Q10 is a good indicator that they have finally understood - after leaving the field pretty much to Silverstone & Co uncontested.

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