Lian Li PC-7FW
The first thing I noticed when I removed the case from the box was how light it was–extremely light. It barely felt like that I was picking it up, and compared to some steel behemoths that we’ve seen, this was a very pleasant surprise.
The exterior of the 7FW exhibits some classic Lian Li design aesthetics such as black anodized aluminum finish and clean lines, but it also features a front bezel that is slightly softer-looking. The rounded edges near the fan intake seem to be a mild departure from the traditional Lian Li look, and we think this is a good thing. In this sense, it captures the best of both worlds, the newer and older, and shows a rather updated and contemporary aesthetic in our opinion.
This is even more evident in the windowed side panel, something that would probably be considered rather blasphemous by some people not that long ago. It seems that Lian Li is targeting a slightly more mainstream market with this mid-tower, evident in the choice of a blue LED fan that illuminates the front bezel. This seems to be a wise move by Lian Li, as they can still retain their loyal consumer following, while attracting new ones as well that may have not historically looked at a Lian Li case, whether due to price or a sombre design.
As you can see in the photo above, the exterior finish is easily marked up by fingerprints, so just a word of caution when handling this case: handle with care. The front bezel is removed quite easily with a few small screws to hold it in place. No plastic here! With the front bezel removed, we see the 140mm intake fan shrouded by a dust filter, which is clearly a good feature, especially if you’re putting your case on the floor. The filter is easily removed, and so is the fan since it’s not pushing against the hard drive cage inside. There’s a good bit of room here in the front. We also see that there are 4 – 5.25” drive bays plus 1 – 3.5”/5.25” conversion bay that lets you use either size accessory.
At the rear we see the bottom-mounted power supply bay that has a removable plate, allowing you to slide the PSU in from the rear if you want to install it outside the case first, giving you more room to work with. There are also water cooling grommets at the top, and a typical Lian Li 120mm exhaust fan.
Along the top we see the I/O panel, protected by a small aluminum flap that closes snugly without any noticeable gaps. A small thing, but a nice touch of quality nonetheless, something to expect from Lian Li. There are 2 USB ports, a Firewire, and an audio port, but unfortunately no e-SATA port which is a missed opportunity. The Power and Reset button are located here as well, with the button being slightly more “squishy” than a traditional Lian Li design that normally features a firmer “click”. Trying not to be over the top here, but hey, we notice these things. The bottom of the case has rubberized feet to reduce vibrations and noise. Careful if you try to slide the case along the floor though, it’s not designed for such movement.
Let’s move on to the interior…