Sound Testing Conclusion
Lian Li PC A76 Full Tower Case ReviewLian Li is a name that is surely known inside enthusiast computer hardware circles. The company has produced cases for desktop computer builds nearly as long as there have been builders. Its new PC A76 is all aluminum, weighing in at 21lbs, and makes you think it should be all that and a bag of chips.
This is the portion of the review where we find out just how loud the Lian Li PC A76 is. With three 140mm intake fans and one 120mm exhaust fan preinstalled from the factory, it’s safe to say we aren’t expecting a complete silent system.
We know throwing numbers like that out there with a dB chart is the way most people do things but unless your hobby is acoustical engineering, that number may not tell you much. Hopefully the video clip below will give you some i mulberry bags dea of the sound levels and sound profile produced by the Lian Li PC A76.
We took sound level readings at four feet from the case with two off the shelf dB meters. The chassis registered a steady 51dB at this distance from two different angles; side and front. As previously mentioned, the PC A76 does not have a fan speed control dial or switch. The ability to control fan speed would definitely help bring the sound levels down a notch or two.
The question of whether or not a case is a good candidate for modding is highly subjective and varies on a case by case basis. As modders ourselves, more often than not, a plain case that offers a “blank slate” to express our creativity is preferable to a case with large pre cut side windows, pre installed 200mm LED fans and so on. It has been our experience that, aside from some very specific projects, most modders prefer not to spend extra money on features they are simply going to cut off and remove anyway.
When it mulberry bags comes to modding, this case is a blank canvas inside and out. The PC A76 would be great for something simple like a water cooled mod project, or a complete top to bottom custom mod project. Modding or removing the drive cage would give you enough room to do just about anything you want and, when it comes to cutting holes etc., aluminum is far easier to work with than steel.
There are more mulberry bags than a few problems with the Lian Li PC A76. Separately these may seem minor but, the sheer amount of issues we have could be a deal breaker for many.
First of all, the aluminum is too thin which allows the side panels to flex and bend easily. This makes the chassis vibrate when in use and gives the case a flimsy feel. The black anodized finish is very easy to scratch and is a magnet for finger and hand prints. Oils from your skin are drawn to the brushed aluminum finish and getting it off is a bit of a pain. The cheap non matching gray rubber “seals” on the front panel sticks out like a sore thumb and could have been remedied by simply using black rubber instead.
The non removable hard drive rack is frustrating and a huge waste of space. The SSD layout and mounting locations gives you the impression that the company didn’t even test the design before sending it off to manufacturing. The non tool less design is a bit of a letdown as well.
No fan hole in the bottom of the case seemed li mulberry bags ke a missed opportunity but the lack of a fan speed control switch of any kind is inexcusable in a high end chassis of this type.
Cable management seemed like an afterthought. The holes were too few and too far between, rendering these mostly useless for an enthusiast build. The absence of any cable tie down / anchor points behind the motherboard is another massive oversight.
The accessory package, while good in most areas, did lack a few essentials like a 12v power extension and fan grills for the two 140mm fan holes in the side panel.
Overall the PC A76 is too narrow for a chassis of its size. The tall narrow design makes the system extremely easy to tip over. Loading the system with hardware seems to make the problem worse. The fan noise is annoying and the noise caused by vibration is obnoxious.
Now that we have our complaints out of the way, there are many things we liked about the Lian Li PC A76 as well.
First of all, this is a very attractive case. The black on black brushed aluminum gives the case a very elegant look and the flush mounted aluminum block off plates were a nice touch. This case would be right at home in a business environment as well as under an enthusiasts’ desk.
Hardware enthusiasts are in and out of their cases more than any other group we know, constantly upgrading hardware, troubleshooting, or just trying different configurations. Working inside the Lian Li PC A76 is a pleasure and it has more than enough room for all your hardware with room to spare.
The case performed well in our temperature tests and its support for a wide range of water cooling solutions makes this a very attractive option for fans of extreme cooling solutions and water cooling aficionados.
Saying Lian Li is popular is a massive understatement. The company has a massive global fan base that eagerly await new chassis designs and product announcements. The Lian Li PC A76 would no doubt be a hit with this crowd. As a testament to the company’s popularity, our forums has a Lian Li Gallery that has been viewed 2.3 million times and has over 5,400 posts. For the Lian Li faithful, this case is no doubt already on their radar as it has been out for several months.
For everyone else, the case is just missing too many features for it to be considered a solid buy. Even if you can overlook this case shortcomings, the high end price tag is sure to give you buyer’s remorse in no time. Overall, it just seems as though the Lian Li PC A76 is a case that is stuck in the past. It lacks features that are considered standard on even the most basic cases on the market today and for that reason we recommend this case only to the most diehard Lian Li fans.
The Lian Li PC A76 is currently available from Amazon for $219.99 (OUCH!) which, depending on what you are looking for in a case, could be the deciding factor on whether you pull the trigger or not. Most likely not.