Improving airflow in Lian Li PC-A05

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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matt_garman
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Improving airflow in Lian Li PC-A05

Post by matt_garman » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:47 am

I migrated my main workstation (overclocked E6600, 7600GS, see sig for complete details) into the Lian Li PC-A05B (newegg link). I did this mainly to have a smaller case, as well as one without a door (this system used to be in an Antec P180). Plus I like the simple look of the case. :)

Anyway, the unique feature of this case is that the airflow is back-to-front (in contrast to the typical front-to-back). I thought this would be pretty effective, but it's not. My "steady state" temps are CPU: 54 degrees C, MB: 41 deg C, Raptor: 39 deg C, Seagate: 42 deg C. Note that, for me, "steady state" is running two instances of seti@home (one on each core). I think those temps are safe, but not optimal.

Just for kicks, I pulled the front cover off the case. All temps went down a whole 5 degrees Celsius. My theory is that the hot air blows out the front of the case, but "pools" in the small area between the front cover and the chassis. The side of the cover has P150/Solo-style vents, but obviously they are insufficient to evacuate the heat quickly enough.

Any thoughts as to how the airflow can be improved (and temps lowered)?

My best idea so far has been to reverse the air flow through the case (i.e. back to a "typical" configuration). However, the PSU is the tricky beast. I thought I could cut a hole in the bottom of the case, then build a duct around the PSU frame and reverse the direction of the PSU fan. Then, both the PSU and the front case fan would be pulling. But I'd rather not void my warranty on the PSU.

My other idea was to do as above, but not reverse the fan direction on the PSU. I would also add a "divider" to the front of the case, that would isolate the "sucking" of the case fan from the "blowing" of the PSU fan.

Open to suggestions!

Thanks,
Matt

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Post by ryboto » Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:23 am

you could do what I did, make the whole thing positive pressure. I just had both case fans as intakes. Temps went down for me. I'm not sure I agree with the "pooling" of hot air in the front of the case. What you might need to do is tape off the opening under the floppy bay cover. If you notice, when you remove the cover, there's a space under the floppy bay cover that basically lets the hot air back into the case. I taped over it.

look at this

There is enough area for the air to be removed, it just accelerates as it leaves through the smaller diameter vents, assuming your fans can push the air, which I'm certain they can, you'll have no problem.

Even though I have a passive Zen 400W now, which works better with the positive pressure setup, I had been doing the same thing previously with my enermax 2 fan psu. The only thing you'd need to do is duct off the lower portion of the intake...see the link to my system in my sig, and scroll to the bottom. Hope some of this helps.
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Post by matt_garman » Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:53 am

ryboto wrote:you could do what I did, make the whole thing positive pressure. I just had both case fans as intakes. Temps went down for me. I'm not sure I agree with the "pooling" of hot air in the front of the case. What you might need to do is tape off the opening under the floppy bay cover. If you notice, when you remove the cover, there's a space under the floppy bay cover that basically lets the hot air back into the case. I taped over it.
Nice, I didn't notice that before.

However, without changing the fan configuration, taping over those holes didn't have any effect on temperatures. I still think the hot air is pooling. :)
ryboto wrote:Even though I have a passive Zen 400W now, which works better with the positive pressure setup, I had been doing the same thing previously with my enermax 2 fan psu. The only thing you'd need to do is duct off the lower portion of the intake...see the link to my system in my sig, and scroll to the bottom. Hope some of this helps.
I'll try reversing the direction of the front fan (to match your setup), and see if that makes a difference.

What do you mean exactly by "duct the lower portion of the intake"? Are you talking about the area between the bottom "floor" of the case and the PSU's intake? That would also imply that I would have to cut some holes in the bottom of the case (like you did), right? Or am I totally missing your suggestion?

Oh, nevermind, I actually re-read your post... you're talking about a simple duct mounted to the case's front panel. I.e., to separate hot air coming out of the PSU from the (desired) cool air for the intake.

By the way, do you happen to have a Kill-a-Watt? I'm curious what the total AC power draw on your system is. I think we should be fairly close in the amount of heat that we need to evacuate.

Thanks,
Matt

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Post by ryboto » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:07 am

matt_garman wrote: By the way, do you happen to have a Kill-a-Watt? I'm curious what the total AC power draw on your system is. I think we should be fairly close in the amount of heat that we need to evacuate.

Thanks,
Matt
Under full full load, Orthos+ 2 videos playing+3dmark+DVD playing, I draw about 186W from the wall. Under CPU load, I draw 120W at my undervolted settings. I'm experimenting with 1.15v and 2200mhz which draws 130W under full load. If my frame times in F@H improve enough I'll keep that setting. At idle, the system draws 83-87W from the wall. Not sure why there's a discrepancy, must be some background task causing something to work a little harder every now and then.
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Post by matt_garman » Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:50 pm

ryboto wrote:Under full full load, Orthos+ 2 videos playing+3dmark+DVD playing, I draw about 186W from the wall. Under CPU load, I draw 120W at my undervolted settings. I'm experimenting with 1.15v and 2200mhz which draws 130W under full load. If my frame times in F@H improve enough I'll keep that setting. At idle, the system draws 83-87W from the wall. Not sure why there's a discrepancy, must be some background task causing something to work a little harder every now and then.
Just out of curiosity, have you ever pulled the side panel off your A05 and seen if there is any difference in temps?

I haven't had a chance to mimic your setup yet...

My electric bill has been out of control the last couple months so I haven't been running the AC as much... now temps are 54 CPU and 65 GPU!

Matt

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Post by ryboto » Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:46 pm

matt_garman wrote: Just out of curiosity, have you ever pulled the side panel off your A05 and seen if there is any difference in temps?

I haven't had a chance to mimic your setup yet...

My electric bill has been out of control the last couple months so I haven't been running the AC as much... now temps are 54 CPU and 65 GPU!

Matt
If I pull the side off, the HDD temps, and 'system' temperatures aren't as high, but the GPU temp idles higher. The CPU doesn't seem to change much.
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Post by Andario » Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:24 pm

I was interested in this case, but most of the users were complaining about a bit too high temperatures, specially with powerful graphic cards. For them, the solutions was opening a hole in the upper side of the case (which is the place where most of the heat tends to build up, due to the special configuration of the case) and installing there an outtake fan: temperatures decreased dramatically.

Some of the users also drilled holes on the base of the case, since the natural air intake of the PSU is blocked by this peculiar design, which probably helped as well.

In any case, even when the PC-A05 is a quite desirable case, it doesn´t seem designed to be a Silent PC system, so I´m quite surprised that you finally went for it.

(I have to say, though, that with a regular flow design and better noise dampening overall, would be THE CASE for me, since the Antecs are too big and too heavy for my requirements)

Hope that helped.

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My PCA05B solution...

Post by fri2219 » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:42 pm

1) Install a mesh bay cover in the top front 5 inch drive bay
2) Install an Antec slot cooler at the top of the case
3) Swap both case fans with Nexus 120mm fans that blow inward
4) Throttle all fans with NMT3 (thermal) controllers.
5) Orient the (Seasonic S12-430) power supply so the fan points downward.

Results:
Air mostly comes out the mesh bay cover.
I can't hear the fans
I can hear seek noise from the Seagate 7200.7 drives I'm using in a RAID5 with stock mounts. There is no whine and the case itself does not reverberate, unlike the other Lian-Li case I have (and am in the process of modding to correct. My worklog is entitled "Tin Drum" to give you an idea of how miserable it is.)
The case has a slight net positive pressure.
The (E2140) processor zone temp hovers around 24C (Zalman CNPS7000-ALCU @ 7V), MCH and ICH around 45C (Intel DG965OT). Prior to modification, the zones were at: 33C, 70C, and 55C respectively.
The power supply fan doesn't seem to affect airflow one way or the other.

I'd posted a topic along these lines about a month ago, and the advice I received, when people actually managed to read the freakin' post, was "get a new case".

I hope these suggestions are more useful than the ones I received. :)
Last edited by fri2219 on Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Andario » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:54 pm

I´m sure they will be... :)

"Tin drum"... LOL

I´m surprised with by the fact that you chose to put both fans as intakes. Did you tried to create an inverted flow? (I mean a traditional one, front to back)

And what about your graphics card? Do you think it would accept an 8800 without problems, considering your actual configuration?

About the panels, that´s thin aluminium what you have in there. So no dampening panels either?

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Post by fri2219 » Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:07 pm

Andario wrote:I´m sure they will be... :)

"Tin drum"... LOL

I´m surprised with by the fact that you chose to put both fans as intakes. Did you tried to create an inverted flow? (I mean a traditional one, front to back)

And what about your graphics card? Do you think it would accept an 8800 without problems, considering your actual configuration?

About the panels, that´s thin aluminium what you have in there. So no dampening panels either?
1) I'm just pushing air inward, hoping it finds its way out the top. It seems to work.

2) I'm using onboard graphics. This is a Linux box that I use for light duty sever work: web, database, DNS, Domain Controller, version control, syslog, mail, etc... All very low traffic. My only 16x slot is used up by a RAID controller. It is fairly long, and just barely fits. I seem to recall a "I just got my PC-A05!!!" thread on HardForum that mentioned the 8800 series of cards, but I didn't follow it too closely. (My idea of a good game: nethack, a good video card: Matrox Millennium G-Series. In other words, I'm the wrong person to ask)

3) Following the experience of others on this and other sites, I didn't bother with any dampening. I just concentrated on reducing the noise sources instead.
Last edited by fri2219 on Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Andario » Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:11 pm

Well, the 8800 is the biggest difference, obviously. And yes again, I did read that very long post you mention, didn´t remember where it was. Perhaps the OP wants to take a look at it.

As for the dampenings, I agree with the sources, it´s just that thin aluminium doesn´t seem to be helping that much. Although I understand that it can be a perfectly good case for your system.

Enjoy it. :)

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Post by ryboto » Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:29 pm

Andario wrote:I´m sure they will be... :)

"Tin drum"... LOL

I´m surprised with by the fact that you chose to put both fans as intakes. Did you tried to create an inverted flow? (I mean a traditional one, front to back)

About the panels, that´s thin aluminium what you have in there. So no dampening panels either?
I have both fans as intakes. There are metal perforations in the upper rear of the case, the lower rear of the case, and my power supply is fanless. The air is forced through these pathways, as their the only way for the air to leave the case.

As for the panels. In the two A05's I've put systems in, neither has had panels that vibrate. Throughout the entire install of Vista while the optical drive was seeking at full speed, the panels never vibrated, and this wasn't my system, it was a classmates.
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Post by Andario » Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:43 pm

Don´t get me wrong, I really like the case (actually, I prefer its looks and size much more than the ones in the Antec Solo, by a long shot) is just that "noise" is very subjective, but many people in this website do not consider it as a silent enough case (Just check how many posts are there about it). So I guess that there must be reason stronger than the lack of users knowing about the case... Moreover, your card is still way cooler than any of the 8800s.

About the flow, I still haven´t understood why both of you tried the 2 intakes instead of trying a natural flow (front to back). Did you try it Ryboto?

And the "metal perforations", are the ones that came with the case, or you have had to drill holes in it?

(As you can easily devine, I´m still considering the case...

:wink:

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Post by ryboto » Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:39 pm

Andario wrote: About the flow, I still haven´t understood why both of you tried the 2 intakes instead of trying a natural flow (front to back). Did you try it Ryboto?

And the "metal perforations", are the ones that came with the case, or you have had to drill holes in it?

(As you can easily devine, I´m still considering the case...

:wink:
I originally tried front to back airflow, and it wasn't able to effectively cool the case. I find a positive pressure system to be more effective. With the Lian Li suggested back to front airflow the temperatures are decent, but the psu exhaust was typically very hot. I've been able to run the fans slower with the positive pressure setup, I'm even able to run the cpu fanless.

I did drill holes in the case, but that was for when I had a fanned power supply. In addition to the holes I made, there are numerous vents in the upper rear of the case. There are also vents below the rear fan. I can feel air flowing out of all of these vents. See the link in my sig if you want to see pictures/a better explanation.
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Post by Andario » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:24 pm

ryboto wrote:I originally tried front to back airflow, and it wasn't able to effectively cool the case. I find a positive pressure system to be more effective. With the Lian Li suggested back to front airflow the temperatures are decent, but the psu exhaust was typically very hot. I've been able to run the fans slower with the positive pressure setup, I'm even able to run the cpu fanless.

I did drill holes in the case, but that was for when I had a fanned power supply. In addition to the holes I made, there are numerous vents in the upper rear of the case. There are also vents below the rear fan. I can feel air flowing out of all of these vents. See the link in my sig if you want to see pictures/a better explanation.
WOW!! I´ve been reading thirty-something pages about this case on hardforum, and I can promise you that your system is the one that I liked the most! Actually, you almost already convinced me to get this case! :D

Just a few questions, please:

1) The Ultra-120 + HR-03 downwards was my perfect setup, since you free up pci bays. Assuming that I would be using a 8800 in there (with a much higher TDP than your card) ¿do you think that it could be too much for the HR-03 without the fan? (Otherwise, I wouldn´t be able to use it downwards because of the HR-03 fan hitting the Ultra-120)

2) Just linked to that, and please correct me if I´m wrong: is it possible to use a fan on the left side of the Ultra-120, right? If so, why you didn´t try it to help cooling your fanless HR-03?? (Assuming that not the 100% of the flow created by the fan goes actually through the Ultra, part of that "bounces" on the sides, therefore hitting the HR-03) Would it create some turbulence, perhaps? (Left fan pointing 120mm fan on the right, and viceversa)

3) I guess you used the dremel to take out the HD tray (that I think is not removable) so you´re using two discs, one placed in one of the 5 1/4 bays, and the other one the black piece on the floor. Could you please confirm this? (I just edited this, what I initially saw in there was wrong)

4) About the PSU, you´ve used passive, but I already got a Corsair HX-520 with a fan below the PSU. I read in the hardforum thread that people is getting high temperatures in their PSUs precisely because there isn´t much room for the PSU to get fresh air. Do you see any problem in turning the Corsair upside-down, pointing the fan upwards? (And therefore getting fresh air from the 120mm, which would be AWESOME...)

5) Have you considered something like this padding

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php ... 90&page=29

for extra help with the noise?

:oops: Sorry about that many questions man, but I got really excited about this mod of yours... It could be by next case!! :D

Thanks a lot

(I know, I know, I edit a bazillion times, but I´m fighting with my lack of computer knowledge and my lack of the English language knowledge... :oops: :x
Last edited by Andario on Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:53 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Post by Andario » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:29 pm

As for the OP, I´m sorry if I "hijacked" your post a little bit, but I think that thanks to Mr Ryboto here you should be getting a lof of those "ideas" you asked for! (I´m certainly and unexpectedly getting them... :wink:

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Post by ryboto » Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:56 pm

Andario wrote:
1) The Ultra-120 + HR-03 downwards was my perfect setup, since you free up pci bays. Assuming that I would be using a 8800 in there (with a much higher TDP than your card) ¿do you think that it could be too much for the HR-03 without the fan? (Otherwise, I wouldn´t be able to use it downwards because of the HR-03 fan hitting the Ultra-120)
I'm glad you like my setup. As for an 8800, i think it depends on which one you buy. Also, you do know you'd be needing the HR-03 plus, right? The one with more heatpipes. I saw a review, can't remember who it was, where they tested the HR-03 on one of the 8800 cards in a fanless configuration, results were impressive. If you have ample airflow, I think it would work, at least, with the card they tested. Do some searches for HR-03 Plus reviews.
Andario wrote: 2) Just linked to that, and please correct me if I´m wrong, it´s possible to use a fan on the left side of the Ultra-120, right? If so, why you didn´t try it to help cooling your fanless HR-03?? (Assuming that not the 100% of the flow created by the fan goes actually through the Ultra, part of that "bounces" on the sides, therefore hitting the HR-03)
It is possible to use a fan, but it doesn't cause much more air to be directed to the HR-03. If anything, it only helped my NB temps when I had one installed. The only monitored temperature that has changed since I removed the fan on the CPU HSF is the NB, which has gone up, but still well within limits.
Andario wrote: 3) I guess you used the dremel to take out the HD tray (that I think is not removable) so you´re using two discs, one placed in one of the 5 1/4 bays, and the other one the black piece on the floor. Could you please confirm this? (I just edited this, what I initially saw in there was wrong)
I have two drives enclosed in Scythe Quiet Drive enclosures. The drive bay was useless to me, so I took a drill with a small bit, and removed the rivets.
Andario wrote: 4) About the PSU, you´ve used passive, but I already got a Corsair HX-520 with a fan below the PSU. I read in the hardforum thread that people is getting high temperatures in their PSUs precisely because there isn´t much room for the PSU to get fresh air. Do you see any problem in turning the Corsair upside-down, pointing the fan upwards? (And therefore getting fresh air from the 120mm, which would be AWESOME...)

:oops: Sorry about that many questions man, but I got really excited about this mod of yours... It could be by next case!! :D

Thanks a lot
no problem, questions are what forums are for, discussion and sharing knowledge. As for the PSU, you'd have to experiment. If you use the same airflow that I have set up, it might be advisable with the HX520 to drill some vents in the bottom of the case for the PSU to draw cool air from. Having the fan face upwards, which is possible with the case, might cool the psu, but draw a lot of the cool air from the intake(again, i'm assuming you're mimicking my airflow), so the rest of the system may not be cooled as well. I haven't tested this setup with a fanned power supply, but given that the HX520 is modular, you've already got a good start, as with fewer cables is less resistance for airflow.
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Post by Andario » Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:02 pm

Thanks man, I´m sending you a PM

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Post by matt_garman » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:20 am

ryboto wrote:
matt_garman wrote: Just out of curiosity, have you ever pulled the side panel off your A05 and seen if there is any difference in temps?

I haven't had a chance to mimic your setup yet...

My electric bill has been out of control the last couple months so I haven't been running the AC as much... now temps are 54 CPU and 65 GPU!

Matt
If I pull the side off, the HDD temps, and 'system' temperatures aren't as high, but the GPU temp idles higher. The CPU doesn't seem to change much.
Hehehe, sorry, I actually meant the front cover. I've got mine running with the front cover off now.

I'm trying to decide if I want to hack this case up to keep it cool and quiet, or just swap it for my fiancee's Antec Solo (her system is much lower powered, so it should be as hard to cool).

I'm on vacation this week, so I'll read the rest of this thread and think about it while I'm relaxing by the lake :)

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Post by matt_garman » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:26 am

Andario wrote:Some of the users also drilled holes on the base of the case, since the natural air intake of the PSU is blocked by this peculiar design, which probably helped as well.

In any case, even when the PC-A05 is a quite desirable case, it doesn´t seem designed to be a Silent PC system, so I´m quite surprised that you finally went for it.

(I have to say, though, that with a regular flow design and better noise dampening overall, would be THE CASE for me, since the Antecs are too big and too heavy for my requirements)
Well, my fiancee's computer is in an Antec Solo. Hers is lower powered, so if it comes to it, I can always swap cases.

I did buy some mass-loaded vinyl from McMaster and dampen the sides of the case. Not really sure if it was necessary or not, but I wanted to play with dampening.

I really like the way the case looks, though. The airflow seemed like a good idea in theory. I'm still of the opinion that the warm air "pools" in the front of the case.

If there was an easy way to reverse the direction of my PSU fan, I think it would be easy to convert this case to a "normal" front-to-back airflow design.

Anyway... there are lots of good suggestions on this thread for quieting it down. We've all just been spoiled by the latest Antec cases that give you cool and quiet right out of the box. The PC-A05 is more "old skool" silencing in that it takes some work, but can be done.

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Post by matt_garman » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:30 am

Andario wrote:As for the OP, I´m sorry if I "hijacked" your post a little bit, but I think that thanks to Mr Ryboto here you should be getting a lof of those "ideas" you asked for! (I´m certainly and unexpectedly getting them... :wink:
No apology necessary... 99% of the time I start threads with the hope of getting a general discussion going; I just ask a specific question to get things rolling.

We're still talking about the A05, so I'm happy :)

Thanks!
Matt

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Post by ryboto » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:38 am

matt_garman wrote: I'm still of the opinion that the warm air "pools" in the front of the case.
I still don't agree with this statement. The front fan is forcing air out the vents, how can it pool? there isn't enough room for this to happen. Hot air can definitely pool in the upper rear chamber of the chasis itself, but the small gap between the case and faceplate is too narrow to cause pooling. The airflow is most likely turbulent, and turbulent airflow doesn't develop pooling issues. I would almost agree with you that it could pool above the optical drive, but even if it does, at that particular location, it really doesn't matter.
matt_garman wrote: If there was an easy way to reverse the direction of my PSU fan, I think it would be easy to convert this case to a "normal" front-to-back airflow design.
what are you suggesting here? Do you mean to have the power supply fan draw air into the case?
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Post by matt_garman » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:53 am

ryboto wrote:
matt_garman wrote: I'm still of the opinion that the warm air "pools" in the front of the case.
I still don't agree with this statement. The front fan is forcing air out the vents, how can it pool? there isn't enough room for this to happen. Hot air can definitely pool in the upper rear chamber of the chasis itself, but the small gap between the case and faceplate is too narrow to cause pooling. The airflow is most likely turbulent, and turbulent airflow doesn't develop pooling issues. I would almost agree with you that it could pool above the optical drive, but even if it does, at that particular location, it really doesn't matter.
Hmm, maybe "pool" isn't the correct word.

Basically, I'm trying to explain the phenomenon that all temps (CPU, motherboard, hard drive) fall at least five degrees Celsius when I pull off the front cover. My guess is that there's too much back pressure or the hot air is pooling or there is insufficient room for the hot air to come out of the front panel.
ryboto wrote:
matt_garman wrote: If there was an easy way to reverse the direction of my PSU fan, I think it would be easy to convert this case to a "normal" front-to-back airflow design.
what are you suggesting here? Do you mean to have the power supply fan draw air into the case?
Yeah, I only wrote half of what I was thinking. :) My idea is to have the front 120mm fan (the hard drive fan) blow inward, and the rear case fan blow outward.

As for the PSU, if I could reverse the fan's direction, then it could pull cool air in from the front of the case. From there, it would be easy to create a duct on the bottom of the case for the PSU to vent (i.e. drill holes like you did in the bottom, then build a duct between the PSU body and the bottom of the case).

Before I do that, though, I'm thinking I might do what you originally suggested, but also totally cutting out the "vented" area next to the PCI slots (i.e. give the positive pressure more ways to vent out of the case).

I'm just kinda thinking out loud at this point :)

I don't mind hacking on my case, but I want the mods to look "factory", if you know what I mean. I.e., I want all the mods to be clean, and not look like a hack job (and also not compromise the structural integrity of the case). I mean, I bought this case largely for its looks, so that's the one thing I don't want to ruin! No rational basis for this notion, by the way, just my weird hang ups!

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Post by ryboto » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:10 am

Yea, I understand not wanting to change the aesthetics of the case, that was my only obligation when I made the slight modifications that I did. I never saw any benefit to having the face plate off. None of the temperatures ever changed. Some days when i was testing configurations I would forget to put the faceplate back on, but it was thermally identical to having the faceplate on. Each setup is different, so I can't really say what the difference is.
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Lian-Li A05 vs Antec Solo?

Post by KlaymenDK » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:20 pm

Is it okay to dig up this old thread?
I was wondering how good this Lian Li A05 case really is, especially compared to the popular Antec Solo. This is not a new case, so I'm hoping that some knowledge and experience has been accumulated that I can tap into. :wink:

As I've stated in another thread, I'm looking for a case that will be No fancy rig, no beige box either. Something that will be inconspicuous on the outside and really nice to work with on the inside. By the way, I'm planning three hard drives (one a 2 1/2") and onboard graphics (so no expansion slots in use).

First, I was looking at the Antec P180, which turned into a Mini P180, which turned into a P150/Solo. But, the more I look at the Solo, the more I realize it's really not very far from a beige box, at least on the outside. I mean, I'm growing tired of the look already, and I haven't even ordered the damn thing yet. So I looked around a bit. I really like the outside appearance of the Lian Li A05 case, but I'm wondering how much work it would take to make the airflow and damping equivalent to the Solo?

First I thought, it would be dead simple to replace those hard drive rails with elastic band suspension, basically you just drill out those pop rivets and Bob's your uncle. Replacing the rear stock fan is just about mandatory, as is putting some damping on the case sides.

Then, looking at the airflow of a large-fanned PSUs, I thought it might be a good idea to swap the locations of it and the hard disk cage; this would provide a u-turn airflow for the front of the case: in across the disks and up and out through the PSU. This would be somewhat more work but would definitely be doable with a little sawing and some nuts and bolts.

Then I thought, you could also put in a vertical partition between the front and the back half, and replace some of the topmost card slots with a big slow exhaust fan, and you'd have a very nicely ventilated case (though I'm still not crazy about that low rear intake fan not having an air filter ... those guys must have not seen the back of my desk :roll:).

Then I thought that all in all, this really is quite a bit of work, just to make this outwardly nice case as good as the Solo is on the inside -- hopefully! Would it really be worth the effort? Are you happy with yours? Why / why not? And is it (as) nice to work with?
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Post by Rebellious » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:21 pm

Turn the case upside down and reverse the airflow, even flip the CD burners. I love Lian-Li cases, I have an A17, but I think that the A05 is flawed. Heat rises, and in the A05 it has nowhere to go.

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Post by nici » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:49 pm

Heat rises yes, but in a small confined space like a computer case even a slow fan is enough to move warm air downwards. Every case takes some configuring to get the most out of it, some are easier than others. And different cases suit different systems and configurations. This case is by no means perfect, but "heat rises so this will not work" is not a valid argument. It's not like the air goes directly from one end of the case to the other like a tunnel, completely independent from the rest of the air inside the case. Air mixes inside it and there's usually no huge temperature differences inside a case. It's a compact case that fits full-size components, and probably one of the best at that. Also with the same fans in a smaller case, the air velocity is higher and thus the same amount of airflow cools better.

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Post by Rebellious » Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:30 pm

nici wrote:Heat rises yes, but in a small confined space like a computer case even a slow fan is enough to move warm air downwards. Every case takes some configuring to get the most out of it, some are easier than others. And different cases suit different systems and configurations. This case is by no means perfect, but "heat rises so this will not work" is not a valid argument. It's not like the air goes directly from one end of the case to the other like a tunnel, completely independent from the rest of the air inside the case. Air mixes inside it and there's usually no huge temperature differences inside a case. It's a compact case that fits full-size components, and probably one of the best at that. Also with the same fans in a smaller case, the air velocity is higher and thus the same amount of airflow cools better.



I love small cases, the smaller the better, and they are much easier to cool, but most people don't understand that. What do you think of the Morpho case?


http://www.nexustek.nl/morpho_premium_a ... c_case.htm

Amazing design, there's nothing else like it, tiny size but full ATX mobo. It should work with airflow going either way, too expensive though, and it can still be improved.

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Re: Improving airflow in Lian Li PC-A05

Post by Rasterman » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:04 am

I just built a new sandy system and decided on this case before I knew about the airflow problems, the case is beautiful and I love it, it weighs literally half of my P180 build (19lbs vs 40lbs) and it is much smaller, but it does have a major airflow design problem as can be easily calculated.

Problem
There is one 120mm fan in the front and the PSU exhausts to the front, which is another 120mm fan in my PSU. At about 8500 sq mm of air per 120mm fan that means we need to exhaust 17,000 sq mm of area so we don't have back pressure and an efficient case. If you calculate the size of the side vents on the front panel they come out to a ridiculous 2,400 sq mm, not even enough for 1/3 of one fan! This is very evident when I take the front panel off and temps drop 5-10C immediately. The rear of the case isn't a problem as it is judiciously vented.

Solution
Thankfully the front problem is very easily solved: use two 5.25 vented plates for an additional 3,000 sq mm each, and you can easily mod the bottom of the front cover for another 3,000, or remove it completely for another 5,000. This brings the total up to 11,400 sq mm of the 17,000 needed. For the rest I plan on simply modding the front cover with holes in front of the 120mm fan. To avoid the VGA cooling heat buildup problem I reversed the fan and ducted the exhaust to the front 5.25 bay so it isn't pooled in the case.

I will post details about my build when it is done, it is much quieter than my P180 build was (with a Thermalright Ultra 120 and Nexus and Yate Loon fans), in this system I have 4 Nexus fans at 600RPM, I can't hear it even with the front cover off and door off, which shows an isolated case like the P180 doesn't matter any more unless you have mechanical drives. I had to adjust my LCD monitor brightness because I could hear the back-light transformer buzz when it is was at certain values now that my computer is silent!

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Re: Improving airflow in Lian Li PC-A05

Post by ces » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:02 pm

Has anyone proposed the: Lian Li Replacement Top Panel for PC-A05NB Cases with 140mm Fan Hole and Filter - Black

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10665 ... 14B-2.html
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/ ... s_id=27186
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
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