Friday, October 12, 2012

Chieftec Libra Gaming Midtower PC Case

Chieftec Libra Midtower PC Enclosure user opinion



 This is a personal opinion about the product - Chieftec LF-01B-OP. I am NOT a professional reviewer or any any way affiliate with this. I get no financial or any other kind of compensation for putting this information online. I decided to do it in order to help others seeking information about this product that sorely lacks. At this time (Oct. 12 2012) there is only 1 video in polish and no other independent opinion about this PC case/enclosure. 
Everything below is a personal opinion based on my experience. Yours may be different...
If you spot any error just let me know. If needed I will revise this article - I have also some minor modifications in mind so I will continue with this once I get through them if there's any interest.

I apologize for image quality, I don't own a decent camera at this  time...

Here we go :

Chieftec Libra Mid Tower ATX Gaming Case Overview

First of all, here are some info of the case directly from Chieftec :

You should note that this case is part of a case family dubbed by Chieftec "Libra Series - Performance Gaming edition". I consider this one to be the best amongst them but if your needs are different you should check the link.

At the time of writing the case is selling in EU between 60-100 €. (50-80 £). On a quick search it doesn't seem to be available in US, let me know if different.

Chieftec Libra Mid Tower ATX Gaming Case is classified on many shopping sites as a budget gaming chassis and it cannot compete with the high-end cases out there/ That said id certainly not a cheap one. I had specific needs when I started to look out for  a new PC case
  • It had to be roomier than my previous enclosure - a 4 year old Raidmax
  • Reasonably priced
  • Lower mount PSU
  • Good cooling/airflow - extras welcome
  • External HDD docking 
  • As silent as possible
  • USB 3
  • Preferably not too bad looking, no gimmicks
Those were the key aspects I was interested in and the Chieftec LF-01B-OP covers them all, some better and some good enough. I had looked into many options, including Cooler Master, NOX, Enermax or Thermaltake Dokker but overall this one had stroke the best balance between features and price.

Chieftec LF-01B-OP was available in my area for about €80 including transport. It certainly isn't cheap but if you factor the included HDD dock and 5 120mm fans with 2 fan controllers that can easily count for half of it\s price it appears a very good value.

Chieftec Libra Mid-tower packaging and first impressions

 Packaging  and unboxing

Chieftec Libra Midtower packaging

Chieftec Libra Midtower packagingChieftec LF-01B-OP packaging

Not much  to say here, as you can see the box is clearly labeled and has all the info on the product.

Chieftec Libra Midtower packagingChieftec Libra Midtower case

Chieftec Libra MidtowerChieftec Libra Midtower

Out of the box you can see the unique styling - either you like it or not, it's a personal thing in the end...I rather like it even it is obviously that this case was most likely engineered rather than designed - everything serves a purpose in this case and features are ahead of master design elements. I have nothing against this industrial approach and it works well for me.

Chieftec LF-01B-OP Fisrt look

Chieftec Libra MidtowerChieftec Libra Midtower open

Chieftec Libra MidtowerChieftec Libra Midtower

Chieftec Libra Midtower top fans inside case

Chieftec Libra Midtower accesiories and cables

Chieftec Libra Midtower bottom dust filters
Chieftec Libra Midtower accessories

Chieftec Libra Midtower openChieftec Libra Midtower control board

Chieftec Libra Midtower Main Features and Accessories :

  • Midtower, lower mount PSU
  • Tool less mounting - thumbscrews and quick-locks
  • 2 bottom dust filters - no side filters though, front is grilled so that could count...
  • 5 120mm fans included with 2 fan controllers
  • Top mounted fan controllers, 2X USB3, 2X USB2, headphones and mic jacks
  • Top mounted HDD dock - SATA, 2.5&3.5" HDD|SSD
  • Video Card Cooling system
  • Accessories - video cooling system extras, 3 zip ties, assorted screws(all black) quick install manual and 3 HDD quick mounts
 My system :
  • Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 
  • i7 2600k sandy bridge | Scythe Ninja 3
  • 2X4Gb RAM
  • OCZ Agility 120Gb system
  • 1 Tb Samsung F3
  • 1 Tb WD caviar black
  • Sapphirw ATI 6850 1Gb
  • generic TV tuner
  • DVD writer
  • External eSATA HDD 500Gb*
I'm using my PC mainly for work - lots of Photoshop and other Adobe software, video editing,  web design, audio editing, email and browsing. I have a secondary display used mainly for TV.
Occasionally I play games - RTS, TBS, FPS or RPG, some online, light gaming.
I do have a lot of sensitive info from my clients so until I will need a full-on NAS or server I'm using external drives as backup solution - The 1 Tb drives have synced folders and I make full backups regularly on a 2Tb drive. For me this worked well so far and until I will need/afford a NAS it will do.

The Build:

 My old PC:

Installing Stuff in the Chieftec Libra :

Final Build pics:

The Chieftec Libra Midtower Case is relatively easy to work with and is much roomier than my former case even if it's not much bigger. A clean build will require some planning and I might go back and redo some of the wire management myself also ...The space on top is limited and cable routing options for the extra MB power cables

While it has a few places to hide your extra cables, like in the back of the HDD cage, it has not a lot of space under the right cover so thick PSU cables might be an issue. I managed to squeeze my cables without bending the cover but just barely.

Build Quality was good overall, the 5.2" quick mounting system works but it's a bit fiddly. Once mounted the drive is secured. The HDD mounting system are the usual rails and work OK, drives are safe once mounted.

The cooling is adequate, my temps dropped 3-8C degrees with default cooling at minimum speed but I will explain in another post how can you get even better cooling and less noise from this case. There is even more potential to improve it and I am planning some more light modding to get the most out of this case. At this moment with minor tweaks my idle temps are:

* My eSATA power adapter died about 1 week after getting this case and since then I'm using the HDD in the case's HDD dock. It works perfect but it can be an issue depending where you keep teh case and other hazard factors  - pets, kids...:)

My Evaluation


  • Good Building Quality
  • Good Value, 
  • Good cooling, 5 included 120 mm fans with fan controllers.
  • Many Features, everything works as advertised 
  • Fiddly quick release system for 5.2" drives
  • Limited space for cable routing, could use a little more under the right side cover
  • Noisy fans from mid-high revs 


  1. Thank tou very much for the review its very useful for me, I was searching for some info of this case and here it is.

  2. Thank you for the good review! I have a question: 1 fan controller can control one or two fans? Because there are two fans on top and two in front, and there are only two controllers.