The Assembly and Modding of the Lian-Li
Date Written: May 11, 2002
Written By: Rabiddog22
aka David Rhea
It's called a change over...
One day while I was spamming the Overclockers
Forum, er, I mean I was posting
relevant news, when I got a PM from Shenlon, aka John. He had heard that I
modded cases for "a living". Well not exactly, but it helps pay the
bills. He told me he currently used an Antec SX830 case, and had just bought a Lian-Li case,
but thought it was still too plain. So basically he needed everything swapped
from the old case to the new one, with some mods thrown into the mix, and he
thought I was the guy for the job. Smart fellow that John.
John said he wanted
a window with a certain famous symbol on it, (You'll see later) and a few more
mods. After much deliberation, and about 10,000 PM's, we decided on the
basic look we wanted. John and I live about an hour from each other, so we arranged to
meet at Monarch Computer in Atlanta for the exchange. We met, had a few
and later I took both of his cases with me and headed home to the workshop.
First things first, I had to remove the guts from John's Antec rig and put
them in his new sleek Lian-Li. Upon cracking open John's Antec, I found an
amazing rat's nest of wires and cables. Ever heard of cable loom John? zip ties?
eh, never mind.
I carefully removed everything, making sure to write down the locations of
the PCI cards and cable positions for later. Next, I laid out all the
cards/parts in my work area and began to install the Motherboard. I don't like
the mobo clips that come with the Lian-Li. They can really make a fella bleed
easy. It just takes to much effort to install them versus a brass standoff. Next
come the PCI and AGP cards. This was easy, as like I mentioned above, I wrote
their locations down. Now this feature I love, thumbscrews! Lian-Li uses
thumbscrews to hold down their PCI cards, and It's very easy to remove and swap
cards till you pass out. (If that's what you're into anyway) It took about a
minute to install all 5 cards, sweet.
Yep! you guessed it. Next in line to be installed are all the drives. I
installed the CD-ROM drives first. It was then that I discovered another thing
bout this case I don't like, no drive rails! WTF?!? The case requires you to
mount the drives directly to the case's frame. Not too big of a deal, but I like
the ease that drive rails provide, as I am always swapping stuff in and out of
my Antec. I just think for the $300 John paid for this case, they should be a
standard feature. *shrugs*
Now it was time to mount the hard drives, this was a bit awkward. This case
is set-up for the smaller SCSI drives. And if you run SCSI you won't be disappointed.
The drives mount to a levered slide in/out tray that connects to a SCSI
backplane. You can have up to 4 drives in this enclosure, also very sweet. Even
comes with 4 amber LED activity light on the front of the case. All this is
cooled by a Sunon 120MM fan. But John, like most of us uses the IDE form factor
for his drives. This is where the awkward part kicks in. The circuit board has
to be removed to allow the drives to slide in. So, I had to take the 120MM fan
off and remove the circuit board completely, what a waste.
With all the hardware installed, it was time for the cabling. Don't want to
go into too much detail about it, but I do know Cable-Fu. So I'll let the pics
speak for themselves tidy, huh? And don't ask me the "Why yellow
cables?" question. It's all I had to use from John's system to work with,
and he isn't getting mine!;)
It's test boot time! Everything went great. The new rig booted up without a
hitch. Next, I did a wide range of tests to see if I had done everything
properly. That rascal John had taken the time to hide all his juicy files, so no
luck there. Although, I did find a "odd" .MP3 list, Hehe. I find it
odd that he would take the time to do this, but leave not only a floppy disc in
the drive, but a CD in each drive as well. One being Everquest,
which he has supposedly stopped playing!
I kid but he's a great guy. With the boring stuff out of the way it's time for
On To Page 2 For All The Mods