Lian-Li PC-05S Wall Mountable Mini-ITX Chassis Review

by - 8 years ago




Lian-Li is a master of aluminium chassis design. Time and time again they’ve created incredible chassis that are works of art as much as they are practical, high-performance juggernauts. Today is a pretty special day for Lian-Li as it marks the launch of their latest fanciful chassis, the PC-05S, which is rather unique in the sense that it can be used as a horizontal HTPC style chassis, mounted vertically on a special stand for desktop use, or even more special than that, you can mount it on a wall!

The chassis modding scene has seen wall mounted chassis already, as there are a lot of people out there who love to show off their rigs and what better way than putting it right up on display where everyone can see it. Of course, this is a pretty specialist product, which isn’t going to appeal to everyone out there, but for those that want to take a break from the standard chassis form factors that sit under your desk, the PC-05S is certainly a breath of fresh air.

The PC-O5S is one of four chassis in the wall-mountable range from Lian-Li, of which there will support for different hardware, including water cooling support with the 05S, 06S and 07S models. The chassis I have at my disposal today is the mini-ITX model, which comes with support for a slim optical drive, removable hard drive bays, room for many of the largest graphics cards on the market, an SFX power supply and more.

Included in the box, you will find everything you need to get your rig put together. There’s a bundle of high-quality screws and fittings, an adaptor bracket, a high-quality aluminium vertical mount and four screw on feet for horizontal mounting.


First impressions of the PC-05 are very good; this is without a doubt a great looking combination of black brushed aluminium and tempered glass.


The top of the chassis is a thick piece of real glass, held in place by four large thumb screws; giving you an uncompromised view of the chassis interior. Down the right side of the chassis you’ll find a 240mm fan vent, behind that you’ll also find a slide out filter and a pair of 120mm fans.


The front panel is a nice mixture of funky shapes. There’s a lot of ventilation on the top half, while the lower section features the HD audio jacks, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, the power switch and further over from that, the slim optical drive bay.


The rear panel design is very similar to the front, but the top ventilation part is now the motherboard I/O cut-out and the rear exhaust for any expansion cards. In the bottom right corner you’ll find two cut-outs, these are used for routing any cables to the interior of the chassis; such as the PSU power cable.


On the bottom of the chassis, you’ll find a couple of screws on the left side, allowing you to take off the side panel and access the fan mounts. Then there’s four more screws for removing the large base panel, this gives you access to the area behind the motherboard, as well as an optional rear 120/140mm fan mount; which also comes fitted with a dust filter.




With the top panel removed we get a much clearer view of the interior, which has a pretty unique layout overall.


On the left rear corner, you’ll find a bunch of key-hole slots that can be used from mounting some hard drives on the rear of the chassis, as well as four expansion slots for mounting expansion cards. I’m curious why there are four though, given that the PCIe riser cable is only for a single device, as are mini-ITX motheboards, but I’m sure someone could find a use for them.


The expansion slots are each fitted with ventilated covers and long thumb screws that allow you to quickly install/remove your components.


Towards the front you’ll find a removable hard drive bracket; we will be removing this to make room for our massive Sapphire R9 270X graphics card, but you could always use a short graphics card if you need the extra storage space.


Next to the storage bays you’ll find the SFX power supply bracket. For those of you who don’t know, SFX power supplies are much smaller than ATX power supplies; perfect for a compact chassis design such as this.


On the right side, you can see there’s a pair of 120mm fans, each setup as an exhaust and fitted with fan guards to prevent cables jamming in the blades. These two fans are perfectly located to pull heat away from your motherboard and CPU cooler, but you could also swap them out for a slim water cooling radiator if you wanted.


Behind the motherboard you’ll find a lot of space for cable management and there are plenty of cut-outs around each of the major components mounts to allow for cable pass through.


The slim ODD mount is removable and features a few screw holes for mounting an extra 2.5″ drive; handy if you’ve removed the front hard drive caddy.



Complete System

Before we take a look at all the pretty stuff around the front, let’s have a quick look at the cable management. The Silverstone SFX power supply I’m using isn’t modular, so there are some excess cables showing. It doesn’t look too pretty, but there really is a lot of room here for spare cables, so that’s hardly an issue. One issue I did have is that the 8pin motherboard CPU cable didn’t reach, fortunately I had an extension cable to hand, but it’s worth keeping in mind that many SFX power supplies have shorter cables if and when you make a purchase.


With the rear panel back in place things are looking much better. You’ll also notice the two plastic caps just above the panel, these cover the hook mounts, which can be used to literally hang the chassis on the wall like a picture; just make sure you’re using strong hooks, as this thing could be pretty heavy.


Around the back you can see there’s plenty of room for cables and to access the rear USB ports.


Now for the best bits! The interior of the chassis looks absolutely stunning, with all the major components proudly on display for your viewing pleasure.

DSC_9340The motherboard riser cable allows us to mount the graphics card away from the motherboard, in this case it’s turned 90 degree so that we can see the full face of the card; a welcome break from the usual back-plate only view.


The PSU fan mounts upwards, facing the glass of the chassis. The cables do look a little scruffy on the model I have used today, but you could easily get a modular model with sleeved cables to keep things looking neat and tidy.


There’s plenty of room around the motherboard for airflow, but keep in mind that you will need to use a low profile cooler, or risk conflicts with the glass panel.


As I said before, the chassis can be used laid flat in a HTPC style layout, perfect for slotting into your home AV setup. You can also see that I’ve now installed the vertical mount; as much as I would love mounting it to the wall, I don’t fancy drilling two big holes in the office wall right now (sorry folks).


The vertical mount is superb as it brings the chassis and your internal components into clear view; I could quite happily have this sitting on top of my desk like a trophy!



Final Thoughts


This was never going to be a cheap product, you only have to take one look at it to see why. The PC-05S will set you back £214 and will be available in the UK very soon from CaseKing. No doubt other retailers will follow very soon.


The Lian-Li PC-o5S is one of the most incredible looking chassis I’ve ever reviewed. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone comes along and creates something unique and beautiful; today that someone is Lian Li.

Build quality is as good as it gets. The chassis is cut from ultra high quality black brushed aluminium and there isn’t a rough edge in sight. Everything is finished with absolute precision and attention to detail, from the sleek front panel mesh, to the milled power switch. On top of that (literally) is a stunning tempered glass cover. For those who have perspex side panel windows in their chassis, once you see the quality difference of real glass in your system, you’ll never want a perspex panel ever again. The only downside of all this lovely build quality is that it does make this chassis a little heavy; even more so once you’ve installed all your components (obviously). A heavy chassis isn’t a bad thing, but when you’re wanting to hang it on your wall, you will need to take a few extra precautions to ensure a long-lasting mount is installed.

In terms of aesthetics, it’s up there with the best of the best. The smart move of using a PCIe riser cable to move the graphics card away from the motherboard and putting it on show in the bottom of the case is genius. It looks incredible and I can’t think of a better way of showing off your shiny new graphics card.

I thought the installation process was going to be difficult, but it really wasn’t. Once the top panel was removed, I found lots of room to work with; even our massive Sapphire R9 270X graphics card fit with room to spare. There’s plenty of room behind the motherboard for cable routing, extra hard drives, an optical drive and more. Overall, this is a very competent chassis; it’s not just a pretty showpiece.


  • Unique design
  • Ultra-high build quality
  • Vertical, horizontal and wall mountable
  • Cable management
  • Cool expansion card mounting system
  • Water cooling support
  • Excellent ventilation and two high quality fans pre-installed
  • Dust filters


  • None


  • It’s is expensive, but you get what you pay for

“The Lian Li PC-05S is absolutely stunning, it’s an impressive chassis for showing off your hardware, but it’s sleek enough to have as part of your home AV setup or on your desktop. While I’m not likely to wall-mount my chassis, I love that you have the option of horizontal, vertical and wall mounting the PC-05S, as having more choice is never a bad thing. It’s expensive, but you really do get what you pay for and this may very well be one of my all time favourite chassis'”


Thank you Lian-Li for providing us with this sample.

Article Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Interior
  3. Complete System
  4. Final Thoughts
  5. View All

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