LanCool Metal Boned K6 (PC-K6)Mar 4th, 2009 | By Nivedh
LanCool (Lian Li) Metal Boned K6 (PC-K6)
: 03/4/09 – 01:31:57 AM
Page 1 : Index
: LanCool PC
LanCool is related to the popular Lian Li Industrial Co., a world famous producer of computer cases, among other things. From what I understand, LanCool rebrands Lian Li cases and as any enthusiast would tell you, Lian Li cases are top class. With high quality aluminum based designs, Lian Li cases are known to be both elegant and highly functional.
The case we'll be looking at in this review is the
LanCool Metal Boned K6
which is an ATX mid-tower style case.
Page 2 : Package & Contents
The LanCool Metal Boned K6, which I will abbreviate as MB K6 for the rest of the review, comes in a large box with a reddish-brown theme. The box has carrying handles along the sides, which definitely help. The MB K6 is touted as a ‘hybrid aluminum case’ which means that we can expect it to not be as heavy as all-steel cases.
The front features a picture of the case along with a list of some features. The corresponding side of the box on the other side is an exact replica of this one.
The two other sides of the box are also identical and feature specifications in six different languages.
Opening the package, we see the case cradled within two Styrofoam blocks. It is also protected by a plastic cover.
A fairly detailed yet concise manual, complete with illustrations, is also included.
Before going further, let's take a look at the features and specifications of the LanCool Metal Boned K6.
Page 3 : Features & Specifications
LanCool's website for the Metal Boned K6 is where I got the following information. There are several tabs showcasing different features of the case. I will include the text from each of them. They have accompanying images that you can look at using the above link.
For external finishing, LanCool used the high quality Taiwan made aluminum alloy panel on the K6. With hair-line brush and anodized treatment on the surface, to keep the external in metallic finishing. The sharp edges have been removed, or covered up with protection for maximum safety.
Metal Boned K6 has a minimalist theme, simple lines, with intake vent holes – all design with purpose. Nothing is un-necessary.
LAN party users need a solid chassis which can be maintained in good shape to house their hardware during travel. The housing is 0.8mm thick SECC, 40% tougher in strength; external is aluminum, easy to cut and modify.
K6 features new HDD cage with anti-vibration function. HDD cage has rubber suspension, mounted on patented HDD rail, to reduce vibration noise. It is easy to install the HDD, place the HDD into the cage, close the clip to hold the HDD into position, and place the HDD and the cage into the rail; there are spaces between each HDD cage, allowing cool air to pass through, to keep HDD at low working temperature.
There is a noise dimmer panel in front panel, in front of the intake fan, to cut the noise down, to make the system run silent.
There are anti-vibration springs on the chassis, to reduce the noise which cause by the vibration.
The rear 120mm exhaust fan at the rear, at 1000RPM, to remove the hot system air out, to keep the system cool.
For more cooling performance, K6 supports liquid cooling system, there are two openings at the rear allow water tubes to pass through.
There are vents on the PCI bracket, to allow the better airflow; there are vent holes next to the PCI slots for optional PCI / Graphics Card Cooler.
The installation of optical drive on the Metal Boned K6 is easy – simply slide in the drive into the 5.25′ rack, and the plastic mounting kit will secure it in position; to remove it, simple pull the mounting kit to release the drive.
It is easy to install a motherboard due to the removable motherboard tray; the user can install the motherboard on the tray outside the case – no more working in small spaces.
There are two cable clips behind the motherboard tray, using which the user can tidy up the cables by hiding them behind the motherboard.
Huge internal space, over 285mm deep, allows the user to use a high end graphics card.
Power supply bracket supports today's power supply units which are heavy, and the bracket will hold the power supply in position while traveling.
The top cover is removable, allowing the user to service or upgrade the system easier, and there is an optional top cover for liquid cooling system.
The multi-media I/O ports are on the top cover for easy access; there is also a dust-free cover to protect those I/O ports.
So far, my favorite features are the 140mm intake fan and compact size of the case.
Page 4 : Exterior
Starting with the front of the case, we are greeted by copious amounts of brushed metal. The case has an extremely elegant and minimalistic look which I absolutely love. There is room for four optical drives and a floppy drive. Below those is a massive grill for the 140mm intake fan. LanCool's logo can be seen all the way at the bottom, almost as if it were an afterthought. Power and HDD LEDs can be found at the top right – they're so small you probably won't see them unless they're on.
The top of the case has the power and reset buttons along with the I/O panel which is covered by a metal flap/panel. The flap feels very sturdy and when opened, reveals labels for each port. We have a FireWire 1394 port, two USB ports, and headphone and microphone jacks.
The sides of the case are devoid of any unnecessary features (such as windows), and are also have a brushed metal finish.
The back of the case is busier. There are seven expansion slots available below the 120mm exhaust fan. There are also some vents to aid in airflow and cooling. The two circles above the fan can be punched out to be used as watercooling portholes.
Last but not least is the bottom of the case where we have four rubber feet. I would have liked to see some casters included to aid in portability but for a small and light case, their absence is not a major shortcoming.
That covers the exterior. Time to check out the inside.
Page 5 : Interior
Removing the screws from the back panel allows us to get to the spacious inside. There is a box containing some hardware.
The contents of the box include some screws, a case speaker, cable management gear, and adhesive sound deadening material.
In the usual spot, we have space for four hard drives. The hard drive cages system is very unique. Each hard drive is mounted on a sort of removable tray which has rubber wheels that slide back into the case. Here is where we get our first clue as to the fact that this case is a Lian Li product – the trays have ‘Lian Li’ engraved on them.
On the other side, the 120mm exhaust fan has a large grill on it. Above that is the power supply area which seems sturdy enough to hold a heavy PSU.
Included front panel connectors include USB, 1394, and FP audio (HD and AC'97). Also, there are connections for the power and HDD switches and LEDs.
Removing the other side panel allows access to the removable motherboard tray, which is always welcome. The backside of the tray has two clips which be used for cable management.
The front face of the case is easy to remove – in fact it is too easy to remove it as all it takes is a yank near the bottom. This gives access to the optical drive bays as well as to the 140mm intake fan and its filter.
Let's move on to installation.
Page 6 : Installation
A manual is included with the LanCool Metal Boned K6. However, you probably won't need it since it's very easy to install everything.
First, I took the motherboard tray out and installed standoffs on it.
The motherboard was then secured to the tray.
Next up, I installed the power supply.
At this point, I reinstalled the motherboard tray, making sure to use the I/O shield included with my motherboard.
The optical drive was installed next by removing one of the shields at the front and sliding it in until the plastic clip at the side clicked into place.
The hard disk was next. I slid one of the hard drive trays out and secured my drive to it using screws. I then slid it back into the cage. This was extremely simple.
Finally, I installed the video card in the normal fashion of removing one of the expansion slot covers and using a screw to install it. After connecting all the wires and some cable management, installation was done!
Page 7 : Testing & Performance
I will be testing the cooling ability of the LanCool Metal Boned K6 to the NZXT Guardian 921 and to running the system without a case.
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz w/ Noctua NH-U12P
Motherboard: Biostar TF7150U-M7
Memory: Corsair Value DDR2-667 (PC2-5300) 2GB dual channel kit (2x1GB)
Video Card: PNY GeForce 8600GT PCI-E x16
Hard Drive: Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 160GB SATA II 8MB cache
Optical: Samsung DVD±RW
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
LanCool Metal Boned K6
, NZXT Guardian 921, No case
The ambient temperature was approximately 21ºC throughout all the tests.
The CPU temperature measurements show all the idle temperatures to be within 1-2ºC of each other, around 27-29ºC. Under load, running the system outside the case seems to have a slight advantage of 2ºC, with the NZXT Guardian 921 and LanCool Metal Boned K6 with slightly higher temperatures.
In the HDD temperature measurements, however, the cases keep the hard drive cooler than without a case, but not by much. Other than that, the cases seem equally matched.
In terms of noise, the LanCool Metal Boned K6 does not produce too much noise of its own and does a good job at isolating the noise from the CPU heatsink and other components.
Page 8 : Conclusion
The LanCool Metal Boned K6 was a pleasant change from the other gaudy, large cases I have reviewed recently. It does not have a window or any other extraneous aesthetic features which serve no real purpose. It is compact, stylish, minimalistic and elegant while still featuring a vast array of features. With a removable motherboard tray, tool-less optical drive bays, and unique hard drive mounting accoutrements, the Metal Boned K6 is not lacking in any sense, especially when considering that these features are usually found in larger cases.
If there are two things that would make this great case even better, it would be a more secure front panel and if casters were included to allow easy movement of the case.
I have heard great things about Lian Li cases and I must concur with all the hype – the LanCool Metal Boned K6 is almost perfect when it comes to mid-tower cases.
- Minimalistic design which is also elegant
- Compact, yet roomy inside
- Lots of features
- Quiet and sturdy
- Loose front panel
Overclockers Online would like to thank LanCool PC for making this review possible.