Introducing the Lian Li PC-TU100

With gaming notebooks proliferating and the PC gaming industry undergoing a bit of a renaissance, it may be difficult to fathom the need for a LAN-style small enclosure. Yet these cases and builds using them are proving popular, with the mini-ITX form factor picking up steam due to continued improved integration in motherboard chipsets.

Despite the odd nomenclature, the Lian Li PC-TU100 is a descendant of their previous PC-TU200, a LAN-oriented enclosure we reviewed a year and a half ago. Common to both boxes are the rounded corners, the handles, and the pop-out side panels. Yet the PC-TU100 demonstrates much more evolution and is a far more forward-thinking case. Miniaturization is becoming increasingly common; 3.5" drives just aren't as important as they used to be, and slimline optical drives have cratered in price to the point where they can be found for roughly the same amount as their full height siblings. Small form factor power supplies are getting more and more robust, too. The PC-TU100 takes all of these things into account in its design, and it's refreshing to see something this smart come through.

Lian Li PC-TU100 Specifications
Motherboard Form Factor Mini-ITX
Drive Bays External 1x Slimline Optical
Internal 2x 2.5"
Cooling Front 1x 120mm intake fan
Rear -
Top -
Side -
Bottom -
Expansion Slots 2
I/O Port 2x USB 3.0, 1x Headphone, 1x Mic
Power Supply Size SFX
Clearances HSF 60mm
GPU 200mm
Dimensions 9.84" x 6.7" x 10.24"
250mm x 170mm x 260mm
Special Features USB 3.0 via internal header
All-aluminum construction
Price $109

You can see that in their effort to get those dimensions down, Lian Li cut the PC-TU100 pretty much down to the bone. Storage options are reduced to a pair of 2.5" drive trays and a single slimline optical drive tray, and space is saved on the power supply by opting for supporting the SFX form factor instead of the much larger ATX form factor. Note, though, that CPU cooler and GPU clearance are also low; you're not going to be able to build a super powerful system in this case, so your component choices should be planned accordingly.

In and Around the Lian Li PC-TU100
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  • Travis² - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    Hey Dustin,
    Great review!
    I would really like to see all the benchmarks re-run with the sides off.
    I could see myself (and other people) bringing it to LAN-party's all buttoned up but taking the sides off once the gaming begins.
    I imagine that the noise would increase but it might the increased airflow might make using a more powerful CPU/GPU combo possible.
  • 1d107 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    Seems very similar to PC-Q11. That one is larger, but it takes full-sized power supply, full-sized optical drive, has 140mm fan and mounts for 2x3.5" and 2x2.5" disk drives.

    Lian-Li has two new cases: PC-Q27 and PC-Q28. Would be nice to get reviews for them.

    Overall though it seems that Lian-Li has a few well-designed modules and then tries to throw them together in different combinations. Unfortunately, the success rate is very low. PC-Q11 was a nice exception, if you disregarded tiny side panel screws and lack of internal USB 3 connector.
  • Alan G - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    "Lian-Li has two new cases: PC-Q27 and PC-Q28. Would be nice to get reviews for them."

    I'm considering the PC-Q27 for an office computer for my wife. I'll use an i3 chip with integrated graphics so it will not have a cumbersome GPU (which she wouldn't need). Concern is about passive cooling since the case doesn't have a fan.
  • Grok42 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Be sure to checkout the PC-Q25 as well. It's $20 off right now and only $99.
  • Chriz - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    I miss the Lian Li of old, when they had nice features like slide out motherboard trays and the cases were made out of stronger aluminum. They are concentrating too much on making their cases lightweight and visually different, which is sacrificing quality and features. Their innovations of late may look "cool" to some people, but hardly have any functional value. They really need to learn from Fractal Design and Silverstone.
  • Memristor - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    They have smaller cases too which are of excellent quality like the PC-Q12 or even smaller PC-Q05.
  • Dentons - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    Too large. Too expensive.

  • PatriciaBau42 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

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  • lwatcdr - Thursday, May 30, 2013 - link

    Dustin it would be cool if you would include links to the cases that you compair it. I assume that all of those have been reviewed here so links to those would be ideal.
  • stlouis1 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    The moment I looked at the pictures and saw where the PSU was mounted I stopped reading and looked at the temp/noise charts. I don't know how Dustin was even bothered to finish reviewing the case from that point. I don't understand how an engineer in the year 2013 re-use a psu mounting design that failed already a decade ago. I thought we had stopped mounting PSU's above the cpu after the Pentium II's?

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