Introducing the Lian Li PC-V353

We've been wanting to get Lian Li enclosures in house for review for a while now, and we're pleased to report we finally have a contender on hand (with more on the way!) in the form of the PC-V353. Lian Li touts this case as having been designed to cool through use of extensive ventilation instead of fans, but surprisingly they don't advertise what may be one of its more interesting aspects: the enclosure is comprised almost entirely of aluminum and is likely to feel surprisingly light. Can an aluminum, well-ventilated enclosure take the place of steel and fans?

We're trying to get more Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX enclosures in for review, so when the Lian Li rep contacted me about reviewing their products and asked me what I was looking for, I had a pretty specific answer in mind: something silent and/or something small. (Well, I had a third answer, too: "...or pretty much anything; I've been dying to get some Lian Li kit in.") Her answer came in the form of the PC-V353: a Micro-ATX enclosure designed to minimize the amount of fan noise by simply not having fans, instead relying on a lot of ventilation  to get the job done.

Lian Li PC-V353 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Micro ATX, Mini ITX
Drive Bays External 1x 5.25"
Internal 2x 3.5" and 2x 2.5"
Cooling Front 4x 120mm fan mounts
Rear 1x 80mm fan mount
Top -
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 4
Side I/O Port eSATA, 2x USB 3.0, mic and headphone jacks
Top I/O Port -
Power Supply Size ATX
Clearance 11.5" (Expansion Cards), 100mm (CPU HSF), 200mm (PSU)
Weight 9.1 lbs. (4.13 kg)
Dimensions 11.26" x 11.34" x 15.63" (286mm x 288mm x 397mm)
Price $169

Like many smaller cases, the PC-V353 is going to be fairly limited in the types of peripherals it can hold. While some are more bizarrely spacious than others (SilverStone's Temjin TJ08-E comes to mind) these are generally cases that require some compromise; a tower-style cooler seems like a bad idea in general for the PC-V353, especially when you note that the area above the I/O cluster is one of the few places Lian Li didn't ventilate the chassis. Let's take a closer look and see how this small box performs.

In and Around the Lian Li PC-V353
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  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    The perspective in that pic is a little off. A standard GTX 580 does not fit, and in fact I mentioned this in the review.
  • Hargak - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    the new gtx 570 are shorter and would fit, you could run them in SLI although they recycle air with the centered fan (vs venting out the rear) they would fit. That would be quite a power house. I have a PC-Q11R (Red) with a 2600k and a GTX 570 in it. Now that's compact firepower.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Even if they would fit, though, running such a config in this type of case is just asking for problems. I have 5870 CrossFire in a normal size Lian Li case (PC7 I think), and the mobo slots are only separated by a single PCIe x1 slot. The top card gets up to 100C during gaming and ends up overheating and throttling, and often crashing the games. I had to underclock to get things stable. I can't imagine what would happen in a cramped chassis like this running two adjacent high-end GPUs (without doing something like water-cooling).
  • onetwistedsoul - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Dustin, after reading your article I was thinking "Hmmm, well done". At least until I reached this particularly insightful sentence:

    "Like most middle class white males, I fear change and the unknown, ..."

    Really? How stupid a comment can one make and not be edited out by a superior?
  • BPB - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Agreed. What a stupid comment. How about I reply in kind and call it a typical PC (no pun intended) comment by a middle class white wimp. I'm thinking you probably don't swing your legs over a dirt bike at the end of the day and spend a few hours racing in the dirt with a bunch of middle class white guys. Or strapping on some skates and banging bodies with a bunch of middle class white guys hitting a rubber slab with a stick. Me thinks somebody at AT fancies himself more than a tech writer.
  • IlllI - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    you must be a republican
  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Please no.
  • MilwaukeeMike - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Or a Human, since being afraid of the unknown is human nature. It's why kids are afraid of the dark and the eldery prefer a rigid daily routine. We wouldn't want common sense to get in the way of a good jab though, right, Illll?
  • Skott - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Yeah, when I saw that line too my thought was why is a guy like this writing a PC case review? I don't know if it was an attempt at some kind of humor or what but it makes Dustin look bad as a person and a reviewer. Kinda kills his credibility IMO.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Edited sentence. I'm a middle class white male as well, and it didn't offend me, but I was also tired -- our admin section was down for several hours yesterday so my final read of the last two pages was a little later than I wanted. But seriously, to say that a statement like that "kills his credibility"? Please. It might make you not like him I suppose, or think he's completely politically incorrect, but it doesn't change the content of the review.

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