Lian Li Tyr PC-X500 Case Review
By Gabriel Torres on July 11, 2008
Tyr PC-X500 is an all-aluminum mid-tower case that Lian Li will be launching very soon, featuring two 5.25” bays, one external 3.5” bay and four internal 3.5” bays in two hard disk drive cages, plus four 120 mm fans with a speed control circuit. It uses a very unique design, being shorter than traditional tower-style cases. This was accomplished by moving the external bays to the side of the case instead of being located on the front of the case. We had the opportunity of reviewing this case before it reaches the market. Check it out.
By the way, Lian Li will release a full-tower version of Tyr PC-X500, called Tyr PC-X2000.
On Figures 1 and 2 you have an overall look from this case. See how it is shorter than traditional tower cases – which is great to save space on your desktop – and how the external bays are located on the side of the case. You can choose using your external drives (optical drives and floppy disk drive) on either side of the case, as the case provides openings for the installation of external drives on both sides. This solution looks good if you leave your case on your desktop or even on the floor, but if you have a piece of furniture with a place for installing a tower PC this case won’t work.
As you can see in Figure 3 there is nothing on the front panel (activity LEDs can be found on the upper right corner) and it can be removed for you to have access to the available washable dust filter, see Figure 4.
In Figure 5 you see the case without its washable dust filter, where you can see the two front 120 mm fans. The red arrow is pointing the small fan speed controller that this case has. This circuit can control the speed of all four fans of the case (you have to manually install the fans you want to control to this circuit). Only three speed options are available, low, medium and high, and the circuit controls the speed of all fans at the same time (no individual control).
On the top panel you can find a panel containing one eSATA port, four USB ports, one FireWire (IEEE1394) port, mic in and headphones jacks, plus the power and reset switches. The presence of an eSATA port is perfect.
Finally we have the rear panel in Figure 8. Here the design is different from traditional cases. The power supply is located in the middle of the case, and not on the top. You can also see the presence of two rear 120 mm fans and four holes to be used by water cooling systems. These holes use a rubber cover, so you won’t need to break your case to pass hoses. Tyr PC-X500 has seven expansion slots, just like 99% of the cases on the market. See also how the side panels and the power supply are fastened to the case using thumbscrews.
Let’s see how Tyr PC-X500 looks like inside.
Opening Tyr PC-X500 is very easy, all you have to do is unscrew the thumbscrew and pull the mechanism where the screw is attached to. The thumbscrews remain attached to these mechanisms, so there is no chance of losing the screws. Even though you can remove both panels the motherboard tray is permanently attached to the chassis. Both side panels have a thin foam sheet attached in order to absorb noise.
As you know, this case uses a unique design. Internally the case is divided in three separated compartments, which improves airflow and thus one should expect a computer built using this case to run cooler than PCs based on traditional cases.
On the lower section we have the motherboard compartment. This compartment is cooled by three 120 mm fans, two on the front and one on the rear. All fans used on this case use a three-pin connector for motherboards, so you can install them on your motherboard to monitor their speed through your favorite monitoring program (if you want them to rotate at their full speed all the time) or to the small speed controller available. The fans come with adapters installed for you to connect them to the traditional peripheral power connectors from the power supply.
Then we have the power supply compartment (see how the power supply is attached to the case using thumbscrews that remain attached to the case in Figure 11), where you can also find one of the two hard disk drive cages – each cage can hold up to two hard disk drives – and the external 3.5” bay. If you don’t have a floppy disk drive this bay can be used to hold a fifth hard disk drive.
And the third compartment is located on the top of the case and is cooled by a fourth 120 mm fan. On this compartment we have the second hard disk drive cage and the two 5.25” bays.
In Figure 12, you can see the rear side of the motherboard compartment with its rear 120 mm fan. This case doesn’t use a screwless mechanism to fasten daughterboards to the case, but on the other hand it provides thumbscrews, allowing fastening cards without the need of using tools anyway. In fact we personally prefer this approach, as we’ve seen countless times these screwless mechanisms breaking because they are usually manufactured using cheap plastic.
In Figure 13 you can have a better look at the two front 120 mm fans.
This case has two external 5.25” bays, one external 3.5” bay and four internal 3.5” bays for hard disk drives inside two cages. If you won’t be using a floppy disk drive you can use the external 3.5” bay as an internal bay for a fifth hard disk drive.
As you know this case uses a different design where the external bays are located sideways, what allowed this case to be shorter than traditional tower cases. You can chose which side of the case you want the front of the external drives to be located, as the case provides openings on both sides. For installing external drives you need to unscrew and remove the covers located on the side you want their front sides to be located.
The hard disk drive cages are fastened to the case through thumbscrews. They need to be removed from the case for the installation of hard disk drives. The case does not provide any kind of screwless mechanism for the installation of the optical or hard disk drives. Hard drives, however, are installed using thumbscrews that come with the case. This case also uses rubber rings in order to absorb the natural vibration of the hard disk drives and prevent the noise produced by this vibration from propagating to the chassis.
In Figure 16, you can see all accessories that come with the reviewed case. As you can see, it comes with two Serial ATA cables, a feature not common to be seen on cases.
Tyr PC-X500 case main specs include:
Lian Li Tyr PC-X500 is an all-aluminum case targeted to the average user that demands a high-quality case. Here is a summary of what we found about this case.
In summary, this is an excellent case if you want a top-notch all-aluminum case that is shorter than traditional cases to save space on your desktop. High-end users, however, may need more bays. With a suggested retail price of USD 390 in the US, we can’t recommend a case that expensive, even though it has an outstanding quality. According to Lian Li this case should reach the market by the end of July.