Lian Li PC-A58 Casehardnrg - September 6, 2007
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Installing the graphics card and sound card is just a case of removing a blanking plate and securing the cards in place with a screw.
After using several cases incorporating screwless retention systems of the expansion cards, I prefer the standard screw-secured method used on this Lian Li case. Screwless retention on other cases proved to present incompatibility with graphics cards using double-width PCI backplates, and sometimes resulted in adapter plates (e.g. extra audio ports for a soundcard) being pushed into the case and falling on the cards and motherboard within!! So I use screws on all my cases, regardless of a screwless system being offered. It's nice that Lian Li provide all the PCI backplates, and being screw-secured, they are standard so could easily be replaced. For the modders out there, they are also totally flat, so making your own adapter plate for additional ports is easy.
Moving onto the front power/reset buttons, indicator LEDs, and fan, you can see the wires are bundled and secured with a twistable plastic clip.
I decided to remove the Molex-to-3-pin power adapter for the front fan and plug it into one of the motherboard fan headers. The fan cable is quite long and you should be able to reach a fan header on any motherboard. If you don't have one you could always just use the fan power adapter.
The standard button and LED wires are all separate and annoyed me. I braided them together so that they weren't all over the place and connected them to the motherboard. Then, I bundled the cables back into the plastic clip and twisted it back in place to secure them in place.
The odd-looking screws I mentioned earlier are only partially threaded so that they don't screw in all the way to a hard drive. The remaining shaft of the screw allows you to use the supplied vibration-isolating washers as mounting points for the hard drive. You can see the washers themselves have a notch running around them.
This is what it looks like with the screw/washer combo attached to the hard drive.
To install the hard drive you align the notches of the washers with each side of the hard drive cage, and slide the hard drive down to the end. Then you just press the hard drive down in place. If you wanted to transport the system, Lian Li recommends using a screw on the empty middle screw-hole to stop the hard drive moving out of place when the case is being moved around.
The optical and floppy bays use a more traditional screw-secured installation. I find this slightly tedious, but at least you have the option of adjusting the position of drives, fan controllers, or soundcards. With drive rail or other semi tool-less retention designs, you can end up with a problem with fan controllers that only use the front screw position. So you get the maximum compatibility with 5.25" hardware here.
Next, I installed the data cables for the DVD-ROM and hard-drive.