In and Around the Lian Li PC-V353

My first impression of the PC-V353 before I even opened the box was amazement: I couldn't believe just how light the case actually was. In fact I still have some trouble with it. Anyone looking for a LAN build may want to consider short-listing the PC-V353 for that reason alone; I can nearly palm the box, and I am a sad, frail, wisp of a man.

Once you get it out of the box, though, confusion is liable to set in. I'm used to cases that take a little more work to figure out, but Lian Li has gone virtually off the grid with this one. The front of the PC-V353 is entirely perforated, with only the power and reset buttons really breaking it up. Our optical drive bay is actually on the right side of the enclosure; you can opt to use the left side instead, but it would be extremely difficult to use both due to how assembly is handled (more on that later.) The ports are also on the right side, below the optical drive, and the port block can actually be removed and swapped over to the left side as well. That's made crystal clear when you look at the left side and see cutouts for the ports (shielded from behind by a plate) along with a bay shield for the 5.25" bay.

The back of the PC-V353 is home to nine thumbscrews, four of which are used for the power supply mounting bracket while the remaining five hold the removable motherboard tray in place. There are also four vented covers for the expansion slots. At this point I was wondering where the screws were to hold the side panels in place. The answer? There are none!

The side panels actually snap on and off and for what it's worth the mechanism seems pretty sturdy. It would've been easier for Lian Li to simply use screws to hold the panels in place, but I think one too many sacrifices were already made to the fit and finish of the PC-V353 by having the ports swappable between the two sides. Surprisingly, the panels feel like some of the sturdier parts of the case's design; the rest of it is so light, and the motherboard tray can actually bow.

When you do take a look at the interior of the PC-V353, it can actually seem even more puzzling: this is an instance where you're really going to want to go through the instruction manual bit by bit to be sure you know how to assemble a system within the enclosure. There's support for a grand total of five drives: one 5.25", two 3.5", and as a sign of the times, two 2.5". At first glance it also seems like you could fit a fairly long, high end video card in the PC-V353, but when we get to the assembly you'll see it doesn't really work out that way in practice.

I like how the PC-V353 looks for the most part, but I have to be honest and say it feels like they went just a little too far off the beaten path with this one. Assembling it looked frankly daunting, and in my experience smartly arranged ventilation with even a single good, quiet fan has been more effective than just venting everything. I'm also not a fan of being able to swap the optical drive and ports from the right to the left side; the result is that the side you aren't using just looks kind of unattractive and feels like there should really just be a single flat side panel. That's my personal opinion, though; your mileage may vary.

Introducing the Lian Li PC-V353 Assembling the Lian Li PC-V353
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  • wordsworm - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I can see that there is a lot more area for the motherboard, but you just used a very small one. Second, I see a 750 watt power supply is installed. Why exactly was 750 watts required? Are you installing SLI in there or something? I can't even see a video card.

    This review really looks half assed. Which is really lame, because I have a particular interest in small and light cases which can handle a full sized ATX board and maybe even a video card... 10kg and carry-on luggage sized are my requirements for a new machine.

    I just wish you'd made a better effort for this review.
  • TommyAU - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Your kidding me right?
    6 different pages of information and that's not enough for you...
    How about you be greatfull someone went to the trouble to review it in the first place and at least say thanks
  • wordsworm - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Does this configuration of a micro atx without a graphics card and a 750 watt power supply unit at all look like a realistic configuration? This article fails in so many ways. I really hope the author reconsiders this article and considers taking this review a bit more seriously. Maybe actually try to make a decent build for testing rather than this rather thoughtless configuration.

    ie., You could probably throw in an AMD E350 and complementary board, fill up the harddrive bays, and try some home server task related work at it, and then check out temperatures, etc. You know, configure it like it is meant to be configured rather than what was done. Just using the number of pages is not a useful metric to gage the quality of an article.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I'll tell you what. If you want to ship me the hardware you feel would make for an ideal build for this case, I'll happily retest it.

    Until then, may I remind you that we standardize on this testbed for a reason. Because I'm trying to figure out what sort of difference in the end results using a smaller power supply would really have.
  • zerockslol - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link
    What does this look like? GTFO before you flame someone who's spending their time writing reviews of hardware for us, dipshit.
  • lrawrl - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    If he actually read the review he would understand why that exact PSU was used for the review (which is different than their usual reference configuration).

    Also, Dustin explains that there are no results for noise and cooling with a GPU in the case because the GPU from their standard test system uses the stock Nvidia reference design and the power connectors on this model do not line up with the cut-outs on Lian-Li's case.

    If wordsworm actually read the 6 PAGE review, instead of just staring at the pretty pictures and graphs he would understand this.
  • SquattingDog - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    If you read the testing methodology, you will see that this is one of the two standard configurations AT is using in their reviews. Agreed that the part selection seems a bit odd, but it is all to keep it as uniform as possible.
  • Etern205 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    The case supports up to mATX so you can grab a Asus ROG Gene board and a pair
    of GTX 560Ti in SLI.
    I've mentioned the GTX 560Ti because they're short in length which is what these cases are made for.
  • Flagrant - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Just an FYI the height of the vid card is also very important. any heatsink pipes that go even a little higher than rest of the card will screw you up with this case. The height given at the Lian Li website is not conservative. You need to allow for thickness of mobo.
  • Etern205 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Just buy a card without the nonsense and you'll have no problems.
    Looking at one of the pics a standard GTX580 fits.

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