Building Blocks Inside the Case
In this case we opted to build pretty much the most powerful system you can put on an ITX motherboard. The system is powered by the fastest Sandy Bridge processor, the Intel Core i7-2700K system, on an ASRock mini-ITX motherboard with two sticks of 4GB memory modules. In order to push the envelope, we are installing an Antec Kuhler CPU liquid cooling as well. The one thing that we will caution anyone building inside of this case is to install the CD/DVD drive first because it will be impossible to get to during any other time in the installation.
After that, you can go ahead and install the motherboard onto the motherboard tray/side panel. As you are doing so, you'll notice that this case actually has the standoffs already built into the tray/side panel so there's no messing around with those or losing them. This is a great thing to have because its a real pain to do such things in such a small case. With Lian Li's quality you don't really have to worry about stripped threads or anything along those lines so you can build with confidence.
We also recommend that you take out the hard drive cage and install all of your SSDs and hard drives into it prior to doing anything else because it will be really hard to do it when it's actually installed inside the case. Note that this case uses Lian Li's own hard drive mounting system which consists of a series of screws and rubber grommets to reduce vibration and sound.
Once we had finished installing the motherboard we proceeded to install the CPU cooler with the radiator and block/pump assembly. This was a little tough, but it did just barely fit inside the case. We removed the already installed 120mm fan and in its place installed the radiator and fan included with it. Following that, we pre-wired all of the front panel headers, USB ports, SATA, etc. because they would be extremely hard to get to once we installed the GPU and RAM.
The USB 3.0 solution in the Lian Li PC-Q08 is kind of odd, but understandable. This is because Lian Li provides you two actual male USB 3.0 ports that connect to the front panel of the case but must be plugged into the back of your motherboard as if they were just standard USB 3.0 ports being routed to the front. This solution is in no way elegant, but considering that there is very little room for USB 3.0 headers on the motherboard, almost no motherboard vendors support USB 3.0 on the board via header. In this case, we simply used the Lian Li provided adapter which converted the USB 3.0 connectors into a single USB 2.0 header so that the cable wouldn't snake outside of the case and remain contained.
Upon wiring everything up, we installed our GTX 275 graphics card and 8GB of RAM. Note, that in order to install the full length card you will have to remove a piece of metal that provides additional hard drives.
The next step was probably one of the most important; we pre-connected all of the power cables to their necessary connectors BEFORE installing the PSU. The reason for that is because the PSU slides into the case and blocks the entire motherboard and effectively rides its way almost into the hard drive cage. We also recommend purchasing a modular PSU so that you can plug everything into where it belongs and as you begin to slide the PSU into the case, you just plug in everything to the PSU and go on your happy way. After you've slid the PSU in and secured it with the screws you're done.
The end result was an extremely small and quiet system which took up half the space of a traditional full tower and provided the exact same level of performance and overclocking. We even put it side by side against our ThermalTake's Level10 GT to illustrate the size difference even though they could effectively fit and cool almost the exact same parts.
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