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Cryo Nano Water-Cooled SFF Gaming PC - Cryo Nano
Opening the Lian Li PC-V351 case up is by no means easy. Though there's a handy slide-out removable motherboard tray, to hook up or detach the necessary cables you'll need to remove a side panel which is far less straightforward. Each of the case's two panels is held on by six low-profile hex-cap screws, which are a pain to remove. There's no clip or slide system for the side panels either, so getting the screws back in is slightly awkward.
Inside, the case is as roomy as any SFF model we've yet encountered, not only allowing for the largest video cards but also for some pretty decent CPU coolers. Of course with the Nano the latter is not a concern, as its processor is cooled with a Corsair H50 watercooling system. The radiator for this setup is housed towards the front of the case, where it's cooled by a 120mm fan on a custom mount.
This setup has allowed Cryo to overclock the living daylights out of the humble Core i7 750 CPU while maintaining low temperatures. Usually running at 2.66GHz as a maximum per core, the 750 in this machine will run at a turbo-clocked 4.05GHz. Considering there's very little that the i5 750 can't handle with ease at its stock speed, in this overclocked state it should fly through anything you throw at it. As such, there really is no reason for the average home user or gamer to go for one of the more expensive CPUs Cryo offers in its Nano.
As is usually the case for gaming PCs under £1,000, the CPU is backed by 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which is adequate for most games and of which a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium takes full advantage. Here Cryo has used two sticks of Mushkin 1600MHz memory, which together with the CPU has been given a voltage boost to accommodate the overclock. You can upgrade to 8GB on Cryo's site, though that will cost you a further £160, so you might be better off just adding more memory yourself at a later date if you need it.
Storage is provided by a 500GB Samsung SpinPoint F3 hard drive naturally running at 7,200rpm. This is pretty much the minimum you can expect on a modern system, but at least HDD upgrade prices are fairly reasonable and upping this to a 1TB drive will only set you back £25 extra. As mentioned there are various options available and you can go all the way to 6TB or get a Corsair Extreme Series SSD as your primary drive instead (though a 64GB SSD model will add a whopping £173).