Having reviewed dozens of cases spanning all sizes and budgets over the years, you'd think we would have seen it all, but Lian Li has taken us by surprise offering what is possibly the largest desktop chassis available today -- no easy task with titans like the Cubitek HPTX-ICE and Lian Li's own PC-V2120 on the market.
Known as the D8000, Lian Li's latest enclosure is also built on the HPTX form factor, which was created by EVGA in 2010 amid growing enthusiast demand for boards even larger than EATX or EEATX -- extended versions of the ATX standard, which maxes out at seven expansion slots and dimensions of 12 x 9.6" (305 x 244mm).
EVGA's 'Super Record 2' HPTX motherboard measured 13.6 x 15" (345 x 381mm) and could accommodate two Dual QPI LGA1366 socket CPUs (e.g. Intel Xeon), seven PCIe slots as well as a dozen DDR3 DIMM slots. To house such hardware, HPTX cases are obviously very large, typically supporting at least 10 expansion slots.
As a point of reference, a standard ATX mid-tower supporting seven expansion slots generally has a 60L capacity while the Cubitek HPTX-ICE and Lian Li PC-V2120 tout capacities of 79L and 88L, suggesting that we should expect about a 33% increase in space when jumping from a typical midsized ATX chassis to an HPTX enclosure.
With a capacity of 145L, the D8000 shatters that paradigm, offering 140% more room than a standard ATX case, which makes sense since the D8000 is essentially two full tower cases fused together, as you'll likely notice when you look through our review pictures (this shot provides a fine example of the D8000's massive size).
Speaking as someone with 33TB worth of storage, the D8000 ($330) is particularly relevant for folks with an extensive array of hard drives, offering enough space for 20 3.5" devices (80TB with 4TB drives), which is unique as far as we know. Even Cooler Master's Cosmos II "only" supports 13 drives, while most full towers are limited to 10.
Lian Li D8000 External Design
Although its design could be considered boring, we tend to fall for classy minimalist aesthetics and the D8000's clean lines are no exception. As previously noted, the D8000 features an internal capacity of 145L, measures 24.7" (628mm) tall, 22.5" (572mm) long and 15.9" (405mm) wide, and weighs 30.8lbs (14kg) when empty, which is surprisingly light given its dimensions.
In front, it has a sleek brushed black aluminum bezel with six 5.25" drive bays, one acting as the front I/O panel, which is removable without any tools and allows access to the D8000's 20 drive bays. The I/O panel occupies a 5.25" bay -- though it can be moved if necessary -- and it isn't particularly impressive with four USB 3.0 ports as well as power and reset buttons.
The 5.25" drive bay covers look great and lock into place firmly despite being tool-less, making it difficult to accidently push them in or pull them out.
Both side doors are removable and feature ventilation adjacent to the hard drive bays to let air flow over the 20 drive bays. The huge brushed aluminum panels are secured via three thumbscrews and lock into place very well. The only problem we had here was because of their massive size it was quite difficult to slide them into place correctly and this was much easier with an extra set of hands.
The top of the D8000 is again quite bland, though you will notice a pair of rectangular panels that are secured via four hex screws. These panels can be removed and replaced with either the D8000-1 (120mm dual fan panel) or D8000-2 (140mm dual fan panel), which is an attractive upgrade option for those who want to install dual fan radiators for liquid cooling, though the panels aren't cheap at around $30 each!
At the base of the D8000 are two 140mm fan grills complete with removable dust filters to keep your power supply -- or supplies for that matter -- dust free. There are also four caster wheels that can be individually locked and make transportation a little less back breaking.
Spinning the D8000 around gives an even better sense of just how much gear it can hold. There are 11 expansion slots, three 140mm fan grills and a 120mm fan grill with two liquid cooling rubber grommets. Unfortunately, the rear of the case isn't painted, though the shiny silver aluminum looks kind of nice anyway.