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Lian-Li Q33 quiet PC

by nameees



Date Published

May 12, 2018

Date Built

May 5, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3 GHz

CPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

68.0° C


Update 2018-09: (New pictures uploaded)

Got an Arctic Accelero Mono PLUS. The fit is very dangerous, touching the side panel, but it does fit into the case. The cooling performance is so much better, now that I can really consider this a quiet machine.

The installation took quite some time and patience. But the bigger problem was the arctic fan which is not very compatible with Nvidia's fan controller on this 1060 card. The GPU BIOS has the 0 rpm setting, which will make the arctic fan blow at full speed of 1600rpm. Following it, the fan is likely to go unresponsive to fan % changes and keep running at full speed. The fix is to first manually turn the fan to 100%, then gradually turn down to ~20%, which is a reasonable speed. This happens way too often when restarting the PC, and having to use Afterburner to fix it is really a lot of trouble.

So I turned to not using PWM, and use the adaptor that comes with the cooler to run the fan off my PSU. The 7V adaptor will make the fan run ~1150rpm, and by modifying the adaptor to use the 5V pin (picture attached), the fan speed is down to ~850rpm. I found a constant 850rpm quite acceptable in terms of noise. (The rpm approximation is by recording with my phone the noise of the fan at different rpms when PWM is working, then record the DC-driven fan's noise, and compare the pitch by ear. Not the most accurate method.)

Final result is 68°C at 850rpm. SSD is still hot at 70°C though. But the noise level under load is much better. I'm mostly satisfied with the cooler, and it's fit in the case. But it took too much time to figure out how I want to set up the fan.

Update 2018-07:

Added a 360w UPS. The UPS software shows that the power draw of this system (with 24 inch 4K screen at low brightness) is about 250w at stress test (furmark + prime95). The UPS is shared by my other devices as well, so the cost is not added here.

I've been satisfied with the cooling/noise performance of this system. I tuned the fan curve using MB BIOS and Afterburner some more. At idle CPU fan runs at 300rpm, case fan at 600rpm, GPU fan stops. At stress test, GPU fan runs 1500rpm at 80°C, the two other fans are about 800-900rpm, CPU at 70°C.

The only problem is that the SSD is pretty hot even with a heatsink. It idles at near 50°C, and at gaming load it's about 67°C. I assume if I copy large files and game at the same time, it will go above 70°C easily. Probably b/c airflow is really bad at that spot between CPU and GPU. And the heat of GPU at 80°C is conducted onto the SSD.

I've thought about getting an arctic Accelero Mono PLUS for the GPU. But my research shows it's a very tight fit in Q33, so it probably won't work.


The PC is mainly for gaming. For the past two weeks it worked pretty well.

Q33 is a nice aluminum ITX case with compatibility for tall cooler. What's more of a trouble is the location of the CPU socket on the motherboard. Because of my motherboard has its socket really close to the top, I could not choose a cooler like Noctua U12. D9L is good enough for an i5 CPU, but I really could have chosen a better motherboard and switch to U12 for even better cooling/noise.

SSD only means no noise.

The graphic card is the major source of noise under gaming load. In this build, the card can do 1500rpm at around 80°C when running furmark and prime95 at the same time. It's a bit lower in real gaming loads.

The PSU fan turns off under low load (30%) and stays flat under 50% load, according to Seasonics marking material. I never noticed any sound from it.

The case fan is a model that's optimized for air flow without pressure. With fan curve tuned, it's very quiet.

The dust filter is pretty thick and reduces airflow by a lot. Initially I had the left panel all covered with this dust filter, but the GPU temp/noise was suffering. So the upper half is cut off for the GPU to take in air.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Height is a bit misleading. The fan does not go down so much as their picture shows (without bending/breaking the fan clip), and the final installation is bound to be a bit taller than their height figure. It is better not to rely on this number.

Otherwise quiet and powerful cooler.


The CPU socket location limits cooler choice.


Works well at advertised speed.


Had to buy a heatsink for this. Otherwise it's really good.

Video Card

Good card. I wish cooling was even better. DVI port really just blocks air (for most users), b/c no modern device is using this port.


I like the structure. Has good cooling in ITX cases.

In theory it's not very dust proof, b/c there is no intake fan. I used dust filters, but maybe it will not help too much.

The screws on the side were not fully screwed in when it arrived. So the side panels were scratched by them.

Case Fan

Feels high quality. There is a low noise adapter, and motherboard fan curve works on it.


More GPU manufactures should make 3 slot cards and use coolers taller than the PCB, like this one. With this much volume of heatsink, cooling performance is very good.

See my build for how the fan PWM can be an issue.


Pretty thick foam filter. Sticks to case surface very securely. Not as breathable as I wanted.


Works well and good looking. Installation is easy as well.

Comments Sorted by:

MrThreePik 11 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

Nice build. You are right about the dust filter though, looks more like sound dampening material to me, lol! +1

nameees submitter 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

Thanks. Yeah, looks it won't block any dust at all, because of the opening.

wurpy 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago


Dark-Ice 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

That's not a dust filter at all! You should spend a couple of bucks getting proper magnetic dust filters.

faasjonathan 1 point 7 months ago

Nice build.

Any reason why you didn’t go for 2666?

nameees submitter 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Thank you.

There wasn't a reason really. I just chose the cheapest RAM at the time, b/c I thought RAM frequency won't affect performance much.

Smanci 2 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

I'd like to see this with the mono plus, if it fits. It should extend exactly 52mm above the GPU die.

nameees submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks for the reply.

It's a coincidence that I decided to give it a try a few days ago, but haven't received it yet. I'm still not sure if the cooler will fit into the case. I measured the distance from PCB to side panel, and it's around 53mm.

Smanci 2 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

We must take risks for science. I'd imagine you can find ~2mm of play or so somewhere that allows it to just fit. Very similar fit to my case...

Once it's installed you'll be very happy with the cooling and noise.

nameees submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

I suppose you are right. Your build with the cooler has really impressive rpm and temps.

Smanci 2 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

Just don't expect exactly the same. 970 chip has twice the die size which means 0,36W of heat/mm2 opposed to 1060's 0,6W/mm2 . It's a bit harder to keep a 1060 as cool.

nameees submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

I got the cooler today and installed it. The GPU temp is 60 degrees at 1600rpm, which is good improvement.

It seems there is a problem with the fan, that it is always running at 1600rpm and Afterburner won't change the fan speed. I did use the 4 pin fan head and directly plug it into the GPU. Do you have any idea why this might happen?

(Sorry for asking too early. I read about it on arctic website and now it seems to work. I have yet to play with it.)

NRiyo3 2 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

Where did you find a Q33? I am thinking of building this:


nameees submitter 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

It was available on Newegg at the time. It might be harder to find one now. I did a quick search and the Chinese site Taobao has some available. But shipping can be an issue.

NRiyo3 2 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

Ahh. Okay. Thank you. I have heard of Lian Li but the more I look into this Q-33 the more I like it. I really like the PSU below the MoBo and the aluminum construction. Is it wirth it?

nameees submitter 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

You are welcome. I love this case as well. The cooling is really good b/c of vents on side panels. And it's very good looking.

I would say it's definitely worth it for around $100. Maybe I would pay more now knowing that it fits the GPU cooler I am using.