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Runners 4 Wings

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FanLift - Google Drive

The idea of the boundary layer leads to all kinds of interesting things. It explains why, for example,your car can be dusty and dirty even though it's racing through theair at high speed. Although it's traveling fast, the air right nextto the paintwork isn't moving at all, so particles of dirt aren'tblown away as you might expect them to be. The same applies when youtry to blow the dust off a bookshelf. You can blow really hard, butyou'll never blow all the dust away: at best, you just blow the dust(the upper layers of dust particles) off the dust (the lower layersthat stay stuck to the shelf)! The boundary layer concept alsoexplains why wind turbines have to be so high. The closer to theground you are, the lower the wind speed: at ground level, onsomething like concrete, the wind speed is actually zero. Build awind turbine that's way up in the sky and you're (hopefully) reachingbeyond the boundary layer to the place where the air speed is amaximum and the wind has higher kinetic energy to drive the turbine'srotors.

FanLift - Google Drive

There is a point where you can go too far in this way of thinking. With the original, you could slam in a real powerhouse of a build and easily tote it around with the sturdy handle attached to the top panel of the chassis. With the idea to go smaller, you are definitely cutting into things like CPU cooler height restrictions, overall video card length, as well as the amount of room offered for optical or storage drives, as well as even being able to cool the much smaller design. This, however, did not stop Lian Li from producing something, that while slightly specific to workable components, will easily fit into a backpack or even a carry-on bag for you next long distance trip. We have all heard of some of the horror stories about traveling with larger cases, and maybe some of you have seen the images of the damage as I have, but with a design like this, I can say that will never happen with this newest design.

Speaking of the interior, the offerings may seem pretty slim, but in reality, you can build a pretty decent system still. At the top you have an option to use a Slim ODD, but if you want this as an HTPC to play other media, you can also stash a 2.5" storage drive in here. There is no room assigned to the standard 3.5" hard drives, but there are two more trays on the floor of the chassis that will accept 2.5" drives. In the back of the chassis there are two expansion slots provided for video cards less than 190mm in length, and this is also where you would mount the SFX power supply, no longer than 170mm, over the CPU cooler. This is why there is 60mm of room for CPU cooling on either a Mini-ITX or Mini-DTX motherboard. The chassis also offers a single 140mm fan to cool the chassis and a front I/O with Native USB 3.0.

Under this chassis you have half round aluminium feet, so be careful, as depending on the surface it is setting on, it may scratch or slide around easily, but they will take more abuse than plastic or rubber feet would. You can also see the ends of the screws here holding in the 2.5" drive brackets on the floor of the chassis inside.

Above everything there is the removable tray for the Slim ODD drive if you want to use one. There are holes in the floor of the tray to easily install a 2.5" drive as an option also. You can also see the six strand ribbon cable that connects to the motherboard for the power switch, HDD activity and power LED.

Since there isn't a "tray", we can move right to the bottom of the chassis. Here you have the lower support bar with the other two stand-offs pre-installed to it. On the floor you see a single piece of natural brushed aluminum shaped and cut to allow two 2.5" storage drives into it.

This is part of what you will find in the hardware box. At the top left there is a bag with the PSU and ODD screws. At the top right there is a second bag containing the motherboard screws, the four screws to convert the ODD bay to storage, and a whole mess of screws for the sides of storage drives.

At the bottom is an extra socket for the case rails to hold the panels on, just in case one should break. You are also given nine rubber anti-vibration grommets to use with the screws to slide the drives into the trays on the floor of the chassis.

If you make the choice as I did to not opt to install a slim optical drive into the chassis, you are left with the same exact aesthetics as you got the chassis out of the box. For those on the go with a case such as this, it is also one less thing to be tampered with or broken along the way.

The drives need the screws and grommets, but once they are in place, the drives slide easily onto the aluminum support frame. Make sure to orient the wiring forward, I tried the other way around and the SATA cable extends too far, and won't allow for a correct fit.

That brings me to the things I didn't like or found somewhat lacking. Also keep in mind I am looking at this now as a specific-needs buyer that is in dire need of a small chassis to tote around. The single 140mm fan I don't think is enough to keep much more demanding systems than mine. I did run the Atom with the passive cooler, but I was also running the PSU as a chassis exhaust, and the thermal results were on the high-end of any SFF chassis that I have tested. The limitations are a huge factor when thinking about this chassis, and in this instance, I say you need to plan the build to fit the chassis, and not the other way around. No 3.5" drive bays may stifle some, but there is room for three 2.5" drives. There aren't a lot of great air coolers out there less than 60mm in height, but an AIO cooler is an option, if you don't need a video card added in. That brings me to the last issue, and that is in the quest to make the smallest chassis they could, Lian Li shoehorns themselves into only the smallest of video cards. 041b061a72


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