I chose the Lancool PC-K58W Dragonlord case for my new desktop computer because of the extreme ease of working inside the case. The tool-less design is well done and there’s plenty of room, too. The inexpensive price was a nice surprise.
LIAN LI Lancool PC-K58W Black Computer Case With Side Panel Window
There’s lots of room in this case, both for your hands while assembling it and, more imporantly, for additional drives, cards and even fans to be added later. It has an almost a tool-less installation, not even screws for hard drives or for two optical drives.
I did use 4 screws (included) to mount the power supply — but there’s also a mounting strap that holds the power supply into place. The power supply can be mounted with the large intake fan either facing up towards the motherboard or down towards the floor. In other words, you can either use warm air from inside the case to cool your power supply, or you can pull fresh air from outside the case. Your choice.
For my desktop, the case is going to be sitting on carpet, so the ventilation opening on the bottom of the case would be blocked by the carpet. I elected to mount the power supply with the large intake fan pointed into the case. Fortunately, the back of the case has screw positions for mounting the power supply in either orientation. Of course, the heavy mounting strap doesn’t care either way.
The motherboard mounts into place using included thumbscrews. The hard drives mount into removable trays using nicely-designed plastic clips.
The optical drives (up to 2 will mount this way) use a side lever that simply unclips, swings to the left, you line up the drive, swing the lever back towards the front, and click into place. PCI and PCI-E cards are held into place by a metal lever-based system (not screws and not the typical easily-breakable plastic card mounting system).
The two images below show the complete inside of the case, with the back of the case on the left side and the front on the right. In the left image, notice the 120mm exhaust fan at the top, the card retention system for 7 PCI-e or PCI cards, and the power supply on the bottom left. Also notice the DVD drive at the top right, with the black power and gold data SATA cables running to it.
The right-hand image is a little shift to the right, in order ot give a better view of the five internal 5.25 inch bays and four 3.5 inch hard drive bays. There’s lots of room to tuck cables to make the case a little neater.
The picture on the lower left shows one of the hard drive trays partially extracted. The front left frame for the hard drive cages has a sliding metal bar with a silver thumbscrew. At this point, it is in the lower "locked" position, although I haven’t tightened the thumbscrew. Lift on the thumbscrew and the locking bar slides upwards so that the drive trays can be inserted or removed.
The right image above shows a closeup of the PCI/PCI-E retention mechanism. With this case, we don’t have to mess with screws, nor with a cheap breakable plastic retention system. The silver pieces pointing down are the locking levers. Pull them up to unlock, so you can insert or remove a card. Push them down to latch the cards into place. This is the same mechanism as on the Lian Li case I used for my home theater PC.
The picture on the lower left is a rear view of the case’s 5.25 inch drive bay, which will hold up to five 5.25 inch devices.
The image on the above right is one of the removable hard drive trays. If you look carefully, you can see that there’s a black plastic bracket on one side of the tray, but not on the other (the side at the bottom). I’ve removed one of the plastic brackets, and it’s laying to the right of the tray.
Below, you can see a different view, to give you a better view of the bracket. By the way, notice the black bump on the top right edge of the bracket? The bracket has rubber grommets already mounted to the removable brackets. These are part of the retention mechanism and also help prevent case noise from hard drive vibrations. There are also some small rubber pieces you can mount to the inside of the case.
The hard drive is retained in the case by inserting the drive and then clipping the plastic bracket back onto the case. The plastic bracket has little bumps to line up with the screw holes on the hard drives.
At the lower right, we have a hard drive tray with the hard drive inserted.
I bought a Lian Li case for my home theater PC that has a lot more room, and is all aluminum, but it was over 100% higher in price. There is an aluminum version of this case, with a different exterior, marketed under the Lian Li name, rather than under the Lancool name, which was about 50% more.
Did I like the case? YES! I’m tempted to buy another just to replace the case in my wife’s new desktop — this is a much better case. That one is OK, though, so I’m resisting the temptation…