While at CES this past year I had the chance to tour the Lian-Li booth and check out many unique and stylish cases. Along side of the Lian-Li, Lancool their side company had a collection of their cases being shown off also. Today I have the chance to check out their Dragon Lord K58 case. Being my first experience with Lancool and Lian-Li I am excited to see their quality first hand. Considering the hype from others, I doubt that I will be disappointed.
Product Name: LanCool K58
Review Sample Provided by: LanCool (Lian-Li)
Review by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
|Case Type||Advance Mid Tower|
|Dimensions||214mm x 496mm x 498mm (W,H,D)|
|Front bezel Material||Plastic|
|Side Panel||CECC Steel|
|Body Material||CECC Steel|
|5.25" drive bay (External)||5|
|3.5" drive bay (Internal)||4|
|Motherboard||ATX / M-ATX|
|System Fan (Front)||140mm Fan x 1 (1000RPM)|
|System Fan (Top)||K58 top cover fans require special mounting kit (OF-01) (Optional)|
|System Fan (Rear)||120mm Fan x 1 (1500RPM)|
|I/O Ports||USB 2.0 x 2 / HD+AC97 Audio|
The K58 was packed in a standard cardboard box like every other case (hey one of these days a case is going to come in something different!). With a red and black background the picture of the K58 that covers most of the front really stands out. Along with the case picture Lancool included quite a few small pictures of different notable features including one that shows the length of video card the case can handle. The back of the packaging is exactly the same as the front, but considering how much information they packed onto the front this isn't an issue. Inside Lancool protected the case with Styrofoam to prevent damage during shipping. To keep the case scratch free it is also wrapped up inside of a plastic bag. Even after being shipped internationally the case show up without any scratches or dings and that’s all that really matters.
Black cases with high air flow mesh fronts have become very popular over the past few years, the K58 is a good example of that. The entire front is made of plastic, a major change from what you would see from the Lian-Li side of things; this of course is one way to keep the same great style and lower costs. The plastic front also includes a slick black mesh with its I/O panel placed up top with microphone and headphone ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and reset and power buttons. The now standard eSATA port we are used to is surprisingly missing. The top of the case is also made of plastic with vents most of the way across it. The K58 has steel side panels on each side with no window on ether. If a window is your thing (like me) Lancool includes a side window and a full black interior with their K62 model and just a window with the K58W.
The K58 may have a gray steel interior, but Lancool included enough features to get your attention. Up top under the vents they have included space to mount two fans; unfortunately you can't use that space without purchasing the OF-01 mounting kit. That lack of fans won't affect the cooling too much considering the 120mm fan mounted on the rear and 140mm fan on the front.
On the back the tool-less PCI brackets really caught my eye, in fact I have never seen anything like them on any other case. Their smooth action locks and unlocks easy while holding as secure as screws. The tool-less setup for the power supply is just as creative, they have included a bracket with a latch on it that secures the power supply without having to use screws, and with foam on the inside of it you shouldn’t have any worries about it scratching your high end power supply. In front of the power supply Lancool wanted to help keep the crazy wiring to a minimum and included a wire organizer just in front of the power supply. Other wire management includes 5 holes all around the motherboard including one on the top left for running your p4 or CPU power, a very useful spot that you don’t see on many cases. Along with the wire management holes they also included another wire organizer that can be mounted on any of the predrilled holes on the right side of the motherboard.
Up front the four 3.5 inch hard drive racks are also made of steel but include a rubber grommet mount that prevents hard drive vibration from rattling the case. The racks are held in with an easy to use lock that slides up and down by pulling on a thumbscrew. If you want to hide your wiring you have the option of flipping the racks around without causing any problems also. Two of the four 5.25 inch drive bays include an easy to use latch to secure your disc drives, the other two have to use good old fashion screws.
Our Test RigIntel i7 920 Gigabyte GA-EXS8-UD4P Motherboard Corsair 620 Power supply 1gbx3 Triple channel A-Data Ram 320Gb Seagate Hard Drive CoolIT Domino ALC For cooling EVGA 8800GTS G92 Windows 7
Installing everything into the K58 went smoothly and quickly with all of its tool-less features. The access hole for the back of the CPU gave me perfect access to finish installing the Domino without fussing with the motherboard. With everything installed I was able to get prime95 running to try to heat everything up. Between the Domino and the K58's ventilation I wasn't able to get things warmed up. I did however get a good idea of the fan noise with everything running on high. I found the fans to be a little on the noisy side, but they did push a lot of air. Adding two more fans to the top and converting them all to quieter fans would make a noticeable difference.
I have no doubt in my mind that the K58 has styling and good air flow. The tool-less features were very impressive and useful making installation simple and quick. I was a little disappointed with the fit and finish of the plastic parts, i had a few areas that hung over when they shouldn't have. I also thought the fans were a little on the noisy side. Speaking of the fans, they say you have to buy a mounting kit to install the top fans, judging by the spacing of the holes you should be able to get away without doing that if you are ok with not having any vibration dampening. Overall the K58 was very impressive, even being a budget line I was impressed with their attention to detail, specifically in the wire management area. With it selling for just over $85 bucks it's easy to overlook some of its flaws, just remember with it being a steel case it does have some heft too it.