Lian Li PC-M25A Final Thoughts
The Lian Li PC-M25A is an elegant aluminum case with lots of room for up to seven 3.5″ HDDs and three 2.5″ SSDs. This makes it suitable for tight areas thanks to its small ITX sized form factor. The case does support standard ATX power supplies and large graphics cards. I recommend using a graphics card with a blower-style fan for graphic intensive usage. This can prevent the power supply from failing, which is something a server must not have. The front excludes all the standard front I/O ports except the power button. I personally would have liked to see a few USB ports at least. But for what it is, it does make a nice server case with plenty of storage options all inside an elegant enclosure.
Lian Li PC-M25A Conclusion
Airflow is not bad with the PC-M25A case. The pre-installed fans can be replaced and only CPU coolers up to 80mm in height can be installed. A blower-style fan design on a graphics card is recommended especially with GPU intensive applications. This can lower the internal temperature of the case without affecting the nearby components.
The case looks great with its brushed aluminum exterior thanks to the aluminum body. The front of the case is simple with just a brand logo and the power button. No side panel window or fancy LED lighting are present, making the PC-M25A a simple and elegant computer case to look at.
The aluminum body construction promotes durability to prevent any part of the case from bending. I found out that my copy of the PC-M25A had a slightly bent front panel out of the box. I was able to straighten it back without much problem. With the side panels attached, the case is sturdy and does not flex with light to medium force.
When it comes to functionality, the PC-M25A does well in this category. There is enough space for plenty of storage devices and large graphics cards. Even though it is a server case, some USB ports at the front panel would have been nice to see. The exclusion of the front audio ports is a good choice in my opinion.
As of September 2016, the Lian Li PC-M25A is available online for $179.99 (Newegg). This is a pretty hefty price knowing there are other computer cases on the market that can serve the same purpose. The aluminum build quality and the option to install up to seven HDDs is a plus. There is enough interior room for large graphics cards up to 410mm in length as well. This makes the case capable of becoming a gaming PC, just that there is no water cooling support. If you are in the market for an elegant server case, the Lian Li PC-M25A may be what you are looking for.
+ Great build quality
+ Small form factor design
+ Elegant and simple exterior
+ Ability to install up to seven HDDs
+ Hot swappable drive cage for five 3.5″ HDDs
+ Support for standard ATX power supplies and large graphics cards
– Expensive to most users
– No USB ports at the front
– Internal temperature may be warmer with open-design graphics card cooler