Lian Li has been in the spotlight for the last few years, largely thanks to the O11, which strikes a fine balance between tempered glass and airflow.However, the company has other impressive chassis like the Compact Q58,conversion O11D Evo recently, Rankour III.
But the company’s latest case, the Lian Li Lancool 216, still stands out in the field of its successful siblings, with two 160mm fans, a rotatable PCIe bracket, and a GPU fan mount. With so many unique features, we expected the price to be higher than other cases. However, the base model Lancool 216 is just $100 and the RGB variant is just $15. Although affordable, there are countless other cases in this price range. Let’s dig in and check out the test results to see if Lancool 216 gets his Lian Li. best pc case list. First of all, here’s Lian Li’s complete specs list:
Lian Li Lancool 216 Specifications
|type||ATX Mid Tower|
|motherboard||Mini-ITX, micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||19.4 x 9.25 x 19 inches|
|GPU max length||15.4 inch|
|CPU cooler height||7.1 inch|
|internal bay||6x 2.5 inch or 2x 3.5 inch|
|Front I/O||USB Type-C (10Gbps), 2x USB 3.0 Type A (5Gbps), Power, Reset, Audio|
|other||external fan mount|
|front fan||2x 160mm fan|
|rear fan||120mm fan x 1|
Features of Lian Li Lancool 216
The Lian Li Lancool 216 is a mid-tower chassis inspired by the Lancool III we saw earlier this year. In fact, at first glance, it looks almost identical to that case. But like the front fan, there are big differences. Lancool 216 comes with two big 160mm fans. The only case on the market with these spinners fractal torrentThis is undoubtedly one of the most popular cases in 2021. The Lancool 216’s unconventional cooling approach extends beyond his front fan. That’s because the case comes with a PCIe fan bracket to direct the airflow towards the GPU. about it soon.
Like all airflow-focused cases on the market, the front of the Lancool 2016 is almost entirely mesh. One of the issues I had with the Lancool III was its underwhelming thermal performance. However, as our testing shows, the 216 is nothing like the Lancool III when it comes to cooling, despite being part of the same case family.
The new Lian Li case has proper IO. There’s a power, reset button, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB Type-C port, and an audio combo jack. Also, in line with O11D Evo’s design, the IO can be moved to the bottom left corner of the case, making room for the RGB controller. Well, the only way you can adjust the RGB on a 160mm fan is with an RGB controller. This will incur an additional charge of $15. It’s understandable that Lian Li wanted to reach an attractive $100 price point. But when you ask for an extra $15 for an RGB controller box, it feels like the company is dangling a key feature of the case right in front of you. At least two additional USB-A ports are also available if you choose the controller.
There’s a lot to admire, but one gripe I have with the Lancool 216 is the motherboard installation process. The standoffs are pre-installed like most other cases, but they were unscrewed to allow the motherboard to be positioned high enough to connect the PCIe/GPU fans without wire clearance issues. to move up. To take advantage of the GPU cooling feature, you’ll need to move the standoffs and flip the pieces around the IO shield. It’s a pain to do this, but it’s worth it. Believe please.
I’ve seen case companies dabble in rotatable motherboard trays, but they don’t have rotatable PCIe brackets. Lancool 216’s PCIe bracket can be rotated to accommodate vertical GPU layouts without hitting the glass. Don’t worry; you can still take advantage of the PCIe fan functionality even if your GPU is vertical.
Courtesy of Lian Lee
Now let’s move on to the main event. GPU bracket fan mount. Lancool 216 comes with a 120mm fan mount that screws into the back of the PCIe bracket. The idea of brackets is simple. Smack a fan onto the PCIe bracket under your graphics card to pull hot air out of your GPU. Though rarely hitting the market in 2022, this feature will have a big impact on those using his blower-style GPUs.
The GPU fan mount idea is interesting, but it also blocks access to the PCI card underneath the GPU, as you can see in the image below. This is bad if you have a dedicated sound card or his USB expansion card, but most people (especially those who buy his $100 case) probably have his GPU installed I’m just there.
I had several at hand, so I installed one new be quiet! It seemed right at home with a Silent Wings 4 fan in the PCIe slot and a max RPM of his 2,500. With graphics cards getting more powerful (and consuming more power), I like the large fan that helps push GPU-heated air out of the case.
At 19.4 x 9.25 x 19 inches (HWD), the Lancool 216 is fairly large for a mid-tower, but slightly shorter than the Lancool III.
Lancool 216’s top panel can be easily removed thanks to two screws, making connecting the EPS-12V cable much easier.
Behind the motherboard tray is a metal tab for cable alignment and an RGB/fan hub. The hub is nothing special, but I noticed that one of his RGB connectors on the male was bent outwards. The metal tabs to hold the cables are an interesting choice, but they work well enough.
The hard drive is housed where it should be (inside the cage, under the PSU shroud). The cage can accommodate two 2.5 or 3.5 inch drives. When not using hard drives, the case can accommodate a total of six of his 2.5-inch drives with two of his sleds behind the motherboard tray.
If you plan on using a larger air cooler, the Lancool 216 can support up to 180 mm (7.1 inches). This is more than enough for the tallest towers. The same is true for GPUs, as the chassis can accommodate cards up to 392mm (15.4 inches).
The case’s main features are the large front 160mm fan and PCIe fan bracket, but Lian Li has included a more traditionally oriented mount. The front fan can be removed in place of 3x 120 or 2x 140mm spinners to accommodate radiators. The top of the case can accommodate the same configuration. Like the Lancool III, the 216 has space in the PSU shroud for two of his 120 or 140 mm fans. Finally, the rear exhaust can be fitted with a 120 or 140mm fan.
Our test hardware uses Intel’s 12th Generation Alder Lake platform. I have a Core i7-12700KF cooled by a Noctua U12s air cooler. The graphics card is a Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC and the motherboard is an MSI Pro Z690-A WIFI.
Lian Li Lancool 216 Acoustic Results
Our acoustic tests consist of three scenarios. Run the CPU at full load, run the CPU and GPU at full load, and run in optimized mode. The CPU full load test runs the CPU and case fans at maximum speed. For the full CPU and GPU load acoustic test, we also put a load on the Gigabyte RTX 3070 Ti Gaming OC and set the fans to 75% speed. This is because in games, the fan never runs at his 100% and is too loud when it does.
Optimized mode runs the GPU fan speed at 30% and the CPU and accompanying case fans at their lowest spinning speed.
The PCIe fan was not running when running the acoustic test. This is because this fan is not included and the acoustics will vary depending on which fan you install. However, since this is an important feature of the case, I ran a Silent Wings 4 fan in this location for thermal testing. Like its older sibling his Lancool III, the 216 is a loud case. However, I don’t mind because the fan is bigger than usual. Don’t get me wrong, this case isn’t quiet, but the thermals make up for the noise, as we’ll see.
Lian Li Lancool 216 Thermal Results
All case and CPU fan speeds are set to 100% for thermal testing. The Core i7-12700K is set to his 4.7GHz clock of 1.3v across all performance cores to ensure consistent power consumption across test scenarios. Having the GPU running at 75% fan speed allows us to maintain a power target while maintaining one set reasonable fan speed, so temperature becomes the only variable.
image 1 of 2
Since there are only two major brand cases with 160mm fans on the market, we made a head-to-head comparison between the Fractal Design Torrent Compact and the Lian Li Lancool 216. While the CPU temperature difference is within margin of error, the 10 degree GPU temperature difference clearly legitimizes the PCIe fan.
After comparing the Lancool 216 to the best performing cases of the year, it’s safe to say that this case is definitely worth a strong look, especially if you want impressive GPU thermals.
Over the past year or so, the most popular cases on the market have become less focused on glass and RGB, and instead focus on airflow. Many are starting to look alike, so it’s getting a little boring. 216 does not apply.
Don’t forget that the Lancool 216 is also just $100 (or $15 more if you want to add a nice RGB controller).So many expensive cases debuted this year (think Cooler Master increase). It’s great that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a case to get great performance and quality. With that in mind, I’m willing to forgive the subtle issues I had with the 216.
more: Best PC Cases 2022
more: Best Mini-ITX Cases 2022