LanCool PC-K9 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Physical Look - Inside

Removing two thumb screws, we can now slide the side panel out to get a good look at the interior design of the LanCool PC-K9. The first thing you will notice regarding the interior of the case, is that it is not painted black. As aforementioned in the beginning of the review, other versions of this case will feature a black painted interior. I personally prefer a black painted interior, as it gives a cleaner look in contrast to the black side panels and cables. Overall, the layout is quite standard, and it should have no problems fitting some of the longest video cards in the market today.

The LanCool PC-K9 is able to house up to ATX sized motherboards. mATX and mITX motherboards are also compatible. The PC-K9's standoff mounting holes are labeled, and the risers are pre-mounted out of the box. The top does not feature a 120mm exhaust fan, which is not exactly a bad thing in my opinion. The 120mm exhaust fan is seen in the above photo, and features a Molex power connector as an additional option to the 3-pin motherboard power connector. In regards to the motherboard CPU backplate space, users will be able to utilize and install their own aftermarket CPU coolers. However, the space could be a little larger, especially for users who have previous generation motherboards. Between the top of the tray and the roof of the chassis is a very small opening for users to route their CPU power and their audio internal connector. The space, however, is blocked off by the roof of the chassis, which I find to be a huge issue. Since some PSU power cords are relatively short, routing the motherboard power through this top opening is crucial for any user to build a clean system -- more on this later.

Since the case uses a bottom mounted power supply, we can see the angled ventilated grille and two rubber strips to lessen the vibration. To mount a PSU in to the LanCool PC-K9, the company provides a bracket-clamp that allows the user to make a tool-free installation. The clamp is not seen in the above photo, but we will go into more detail of this feature in the next page.

Above the PSU mounted area are eight expansion card slots. All slots use a tool-less design that Lian Li has been using on their cases for many years. This design is quite brilliant, not only because it is a tool-free implementation, but the fact that it also features rubberized padding for vibration dampening qualities.

Two internal 3.5" HDD racks are provided inside the LanCool PC-K9. Either rack can be removed from the case, if one were not to utilize any of the HDD slots in one of them. Each rack can hold up to three 3.5" internal HDDs for a total of six drives. Also, each rack can mount two 2.5" internal HDDs or SSDs for a total of four. Being able to dismount either HDD rack allows more flexibility when setting up multiple graphics cards, while giving the case a better push-pull cooling setup. In order to install a hard drive, the user needs to place rubber washers onto the provided screws, and screw them into the hard drive. The screws act as a rail, and it slides into the hard drive rack slot. This design is somewhat tool-free, in that the provided screws include grooves that can be used by fingers, and the rubber washers provide grip and vibration dampening qualities. In order to install a 2.5" HDD or SSD, the user will install another set of smaller screws and washers onto the bottom of the drive, where the drive will again slide onto a rail-like system at the top and bottom of the hard drive rack.

The case also features a tool-less optical drive mounting system for more convenience. The picture above shows the internal USB 3.0 connector, which is one of a newer feature in modern cases. A USB 2.0 internal converter is included for those who don't have internal USB 3.0.

Here at the backside of the motherboard tray, we can clearly make out what LanCool has done. First off, like the motherboard tray gap seen at the top, the bottom also has a gap. This open design allows more flexibility in terms of cable management and cable routing convenience. The open design, however, does tend to make most systems seem messier, because everything can be seen routed in multiple areas. Lian Li has developed a method that allows this open motherboard design to work, while keeping the system seem really organized. The center cable routing management feature seen on several of their cases has proven to be extremely useful at both keeping the majority of the cables secured, while maintaining good organization. The pillar includes a total of seven flexible plastic clips that can deal with a bloated amount of cables. I find this feature to be the highlight of the internal structure of the LanCool PC-K9, since it is positioned in a centralized area, where users will route front panel cables, power cables and SATA cables through. The seven clips allow the cables to direct away from the pillar at any moment, which goes well with the open motherboard tray design.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Installation and Conclusion