Concept 3.69L Smol X1 Mini. Smallest case in the world to house a Flex ATX PSU and175mm dual slot GPU. Everything's internal, no external powerbrick.

Joonst

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Dec 26, 2020
20
33
smolsff.com
Smol X1 mini:
-3.69L (working to get it to 3.6L) I believe this is the world record currently for housing a non-lowprofile dual slot gpu with completely internal powersupply;
-dual slot GPU up to 175mm;
-39mm cpu cooler room
I am also working on one with a radiator. This means a 3.69L watercooled pc
-flex atx psu;
-everything is internal, so no external powerbrick.
- For more frequent updates, you could follow our Instagram (SmolSFF), join our Discord server (https://discord.gg/uBXKXgM6V8), or visit our site SmolSFF.com (Mobile version is not very unusable at the moment. We are completely rebuilding it from the ground up, should be done in a few weeks).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The power button, which is a Kailh Choc white with low-profile keycap, has been moved to the back of the case, above the motherboard. This is the only place where there is enough room. For that same place, I am also designing a box to hide the leftover cables (sata and molex) from the psu. This case will be very easy to build in, and it will look very clean as the leftover cables can be hidden. It utilizes a sandwhich layout, with the Motherboard on one side (with the cable box above it), and the GPU (bottom) and Flex Atx psu (top) on the other.


Our prototypes right now are made of powdercoated steel. We're considering switching to anodized aluminium that will be sandblasted with a very high grid sand. This will make the case feel way more premium, but it will be more expensive. The screws will be countersunk on all three versions. We are also working on our very own riser cable, as the connectors on others are too bulky. A custom modular Flex ATX psu is also in the making, but it will probably never turn to reality. It would be nice though, as we'd be able to sell it at much lower prices than regular. This would allow us to release a version of the case with the psu and riser preinstalled, and the cables pre-routed (just like the NZXT H1). This can be done for around €200. Building in the case would be extremely easy and fast, which is very different than what I am used to with cases under 5L. You would just need to slot in your gpu, screw in your motherboard, and connect about 5 cables. The regular version with PCIE 4.0 riser preinstalled is will be going for between €100 and €150. Depends on the amount of orders we'd get, as the cables in small orders are quite expensive. This is why we might give buyers the option to get a PCIE 3.0 riser instead of a 4.0 one.


Here is a size comparison next to the two other cases:
- Smol X1: 6.9L, dual slot 183mm gpu, aircooler up to 126mm (with Flex Atx psu only), 120mm AIO (with both sfx and Flex Atx), SFX or Flex Atx psu;
- Smol Big X1: 10L, 2.5 slot 297mm gpu (3090 xc3), 126mm cooler room or 240mm aio, SFX psu.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next prototypes and availability:
We are probably gonna buy the next prototypes soon. These will be very similar to the production units. There will be a custom designed product box, and the cables and powerbutton will be preinstalled. There will be a little booklet and more accesoires in the box. The next prototypes will also be made of more premium materials (aluminium) and will be anodized. At least, that's the plan. We are planning on letting in a couple interested people also buy a prototype in the next round, as this will provide early acces to some users and more feedback for us. If you are interested, let me know. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know too.

Kind regards,
Joost Wagelaar

Edit 1: Our manufacturer recommended to continue using powder coated steel, as less manufacturing issues will exist, and the cases will feel more sturdy. This is most likely what we will do then. Probably will still order a prototype in anodized aluminium just to test.

The idea of the power supply turned out to be a bit more troublesome than it seemed. If you guys have any suggestions on some good flex psu's from companies that might be willing to work together and let me customize their product, let me know.
 
Last edited:

Irish Os1r1s

Average Stuffer
Sep 28, 2019
68
35
Ooh nice, I like it a lot, but I really dislike the cutout design. It's a bit loud for me.
Otherwise excellent.
 

Irish Os1r1s

Average Stuffer
Sep 28, 2019
68
35
I think honeycomb, but not too large looks excellent, also those angled slots on S4 Mini/Tiny would look good too I reckon, scaled down obviously. Its good there will be options. Definitely keeping an eye on this thread.
 
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Reactions: Joonst

Mackan

Airflow Optimizer
Jun 2, 2016
278
153
I participated in the reddit thread, but I can ask some questions here as well.

What is the main reason you position the Flex PSU vertically above the GPU? Is it to make the case smaller in some way? Otherwise the normal position is to have the PSU at the bottom. And if you keep the vertical position, wouldn't it still make more sense to position it under the GPU, so that hot air from the GPU escapes better? It would seem more natural to me. Although, if you flip the case, it becomes like I said. Perhaps it is flippable without problems?

Common for the small ITX GPU:s are also to have the heatsink fins positioned horizontially, i.e. the air is directed backward and forward. I know from reddit that you would order a front panel with holes in front of the GPU, to see how it looks. I actually think it can look quite nice with a smaller voronoi pattern there.

Regarding custom Flex PSU:s. A dream would be to have a fully modular one, made using GaN technology, so that it becomes much smaller. Perhaps GaN can even be fanless up to 300W. Should be good opporunity here, although no one wants to take the first step, due to costs, I guess.

Otherwise I think the case looks very attractive.
 

Alloy Craft

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 25, 2019
114
456
Looks nice, I like it. However if it was me I would probably use countersunk screws on the exterior. Would clean up the lines a bit.
 

Joonst

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Dec 26, 2020
20
33
smolsff.com
I participated in the reddit thread, but I can ask some questions here as well.

What is the main reason you position the Flex PSU vertically above the GPU? Is it to make the case smaller in some way? Otherwise the normal position is to have the PSU at the bottom. And if you keep the vertical position, wouldn't it still make more sense to position it under the GPU, so that hot air from the GPU escapes better? It would seem more natural to me. Although, if you flip the case, it becomes like I said. Perhaps it is flippable without problems?

Common for the small ITX GPU:s are also to have the heatsink fins positioned horizontially, i.e. the air is directed backward and forward. I know from reddit that you would order a front panel with holes in front of the GPU, to see how it looks. I actually think it can look quite nice with a smaller voronoi pattern there.

Regarding custom Flex PSU:s. A dream would be to have a fully modular one, made using GaN technology, so that it becomes much smaller. Perhaps GaN can even be fanless up to 300W. Should be good opporunity here, although no one wants to take the first step, due to costs, I guess.

Otherwise I think the case looks very attractive.
I made the psu vertical because less room would be necessary. This is what allows me to make the case about 10% smaller than others. The 'exhaust' of the psu is pointed at the inside of the case, towards the motherboard. There is still about 10mm of room for the air to vent away though, and I don't think it would be an issue. I did this because I needed to get the point where the cables come out above the motherboard, because otherwise I might run into problems later with assembly.

I think a pattern on the front will ruin the looks, but I will model it out and make some renders very soon. If there is only a small temperature difference, I would rather go with the cleaner option.

By the way, I can't really flip it. Another reason the psu is at the top and gpu is at the bottom, is that the slot of the gpu extends a bit out of the bottom of the case. This is still way within the height of the stand though, so it won't be an issue. If it would be the other way around, the bottom part of the slot will either come out of the top or 'go in to' the power supply. This was the only viable option, and I think cooling would still be more than necessary. However, that needs to be tested.
 

Joonst

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Dec 26, 2020
20
33
smolsff.com
Smol X1 Mini:
- with 3.69L the smallest brickless case in the world to house a full gpu;
- part of the gpu slot and the riser cable is under the case. Case is lifted up by a stand;
- wrap-around sidepanel for ultra clean looks, and mechanical keyboard power switch (which is now flush w/ the panel);
- Super optimized layout, resulting in this crazy small formfactor;
- custom 90 degree gpu power adapter might be used if necessary (we'll need to test if it fits regularly first);
- due to the layout, cables end up from the psu exactly to where they need to be (minimal cable clutter);
- to hide the leftover cable clutter, we're working on a box to put above the motherboard to hide it;
- to test if gpu temps are impacted by the closed fronpanel, we'll also order one with holes to test out;
- X1 Mini, X1 and Big X1 now also come with a second option for the sidepanel pattern: squares;
- target release date: 6 months;
- target price: €100-140 with riser (pcie 4.0 risers are expensive, especially this small).
* we need your suggestions to make this case as good as possible. Let me know if you know something.

- For more frequent updates, you could follow our Instagram (SmolSFF), join our Discord server (https://discord.gg/uBXKXgM6V8), or visit our site SmolSFF.com (Mobile version is not very usable at the moment. We are completely rebuilding it from the ground up, should be done in a few weeks).



--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==

Super optimized layout:

instead of having the power supply at the bottom under the motherboard and gpu like most 4L cases have, we decided to make the case a bit higher and put it underneath the gpu. This saves us quite a bit of room, and it allows us to make this case so small. If necessary, we'll also have a 90 degree gpu extender cable so that the cables fit under the psu better. There even is room left above the motherboard that can be used for cable-management. As said earlier, we're working on a cable-box to put in that room. A bit of the riser cable and gpu slot extend under the case, which allows the case to be less high. This saves you room in your backpack, and it might make the difference between fitting in your tv-cabinet and not fitting in it. For the power switch we wanted to do something unique, so we went with a low-profile clicky mechanical keyboard switch with a keycap that matches the color of the case. The max gpu length is 175mm, and there is 40mm of cpu cooling room.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==

Wrap-around sidepanel:

We did this so the X1 Mini can look as clean as possible. That's why we'll also make sure that the screws are flush with the panel (this counts for the X1 and Big X1 too). Unfortunately we weren't able to place the power button on the front, so you'll have to reach to the back off the case to turn the computer on. but because the case is so small, we hope this won't be a big deal for you. Next to the old voronoi pattern, we will also offer a square pattern for the people that would like a more minimalist option.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==

The rest of the lineup:


The rest of the lineup consists of two other cases; the Smol X1 (6.9L) and the Smol Big X1 (10L). The X1 has support for gpu's up to 183mm, and that would mean a 3060 ti or 2070 is the max. X1's cooling room is 126mm if you're using the flex atx psu. This is 55mm with sfx. With both psu's you can use a 120mm, although sfx requires the fan to be slim (15mm). Smol Big X1 can support 300mm gpu's up to 2.5 slot, and also has 126mm of cooler room. A 240mm aio can also be used. Target price for the X1 is €100, and that is €10 higher for the Big X1.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--==-==--==--==--==--==

Next prototypes and availability:
We are probably gonna buy the next prototypes soon. These will be very similar to the production units. There will be a custom designed product box, and the cables (psu extender for example) and powerbutton will be preinstalled. There will be a little booklet and more accesoires in the box. The next prototypes will also be made of more premium materials (aluminium) and will be anodized. At least, that's the plan. We are planning on letting in a couple interested people also buy a prototype in the next round, as this will provide early acces to some users and more feedback for us. If you are interested, let me know. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know too.
 

scatterforce

Airflow Optimizer
May 21, 2018
333
207
I like this case (still) but can the gpu and psu be switched? Right now, the graphics card has very little room for exhaust. You have a solid front panel and the PSU sitting directly above it, limiting options for air to move.

If the GPU was moved to the top, it would be able to exhaust out of the vented top. I think you'll net quite a bit of performance that way. Yes, the case will likely grow a bit to accommodate that, but I think that's a fair trade.
 

Grey Beard

What's an ITX?
New User
Feb 18, 2022
1
1
Smol X1 Mini:
- with 3.69L the smallest brickless case in the world to house a full gpu;
- part of the gpu slot and the riser cable is under the case. Case is lifted up by a stand;
- wrap-around sidepanel for ultra clean looks, and mechanical keyboard power switch (which is now flush w/ the panel);
- Super optimized layout, resulting in this crazy small formfactor;
- custom 90 degree gpu power adapter might be used if necessary (we'll need to test if it fits regularly first);
- due to the layout, cables end up from the psu exactly to where they need to be (minimal cable clutter);
- to hide the leftover cable clutter, we're working on a box to put above the motherboard to hide it;
- to test if gpu temps are impacted by the closed fronpanel, we'll also order one with holes to test out;
- X1 Mini, X1 and Big X1 now also come with a second option for the sidepanel pattern: squares;
- target release date: 6 months;
- target price: €100-140 with riser (pcie 4.0 risers are expensive, especially this small).
* we need your suggestions to make this case as good as possible. Let me know if you know something.

- For more frequent updates, you could follow our Instagram (SmolSFF), join our Discord server (https://discord.gg/uBXKXgM6V8), or visit our site SmolSFF.com (Mobile version is not very usable at the moment. We are completely rebuilding it from the ground up, should be done in a few weeks).



--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==

Super optimized layout:

instead of having the power supply at the bottom under the motherboard and gpu like most 4L cases have, we decided to make the case a bit higher and put it underneath the gpu. This saves us quite a bit of room, and it allows us to make this case so small. If necessary, we'll also have a 90 degree gpu extender cable so that the cables fit under the psu better. There even is room left above the motherboard that can be used for cable-management. As said earlier, we're working on a cable-box to put in that room. A bit of the riser cable and gpu slot extend under the case, which allows the case to be less high. This saves you room in your backpack, and it might make the difference between fitting in your tv-cabinet and not fitting in it. For the power switch we wanted to do something unique, so we went with a low-profile clicky mechanical keyboard switch with a keycap that matches the color of the case. The max gpu length is 175mm, and there is 40mm of cpu cooling room.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==

Wrap-around sidepanel:

We did this so the X1 Mini can look as clean as possible. That's why we'll also make sure that the screws are flush with the panel (this counts for the X1 and Big X1 too). Unfortunately we weren't able to place the power button on the front, so you'll have to reach to the back off the case to turn the computer on. but because the case is so small, we hope this won't be a big deal for you. Next to the old voronoi pattern, we will also offer a square pattern for the people that would like a more minimalist option.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==

The rest of the lineup:


The rest of the lineup consists of two other cases; the Smol X1 (6.9L) and the Smol Big X1 (10L). The X1 has support for gpu's up to 183mm, and that would mean a 3060 ti or 2070 is the max. X1's cooling room is 126mm if you're using the flex atx psu. This is 55mm with sfx. With both psu's you can use a 120mm, although sfx requires the fan to be slim (15mm). Smol Big X1 can support 300mm gpu's up to 2.5 slot, and also has 126mm of cooler room. A 240mm aio can also be used. Target price for the X1 is €100, and that is €10 higher for the Big X1.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--==-==--==--==--==--==

Next prototypes and availability:
We are probably gonna buy the next prototypes soon. These will be very similar to the production units. There will be a custom designed product box, and the cables (psu extender for example) and powerbutton will be preinstalled. There will be a little booklet and more accesoires in the box. The next prototypes will also be made of more premium materials (aluminium) and will be anodized. At least, that's the plan. We are planning on letting in a couple interested people also buy a prototype in the next round, as this will provide early acces to some users and more feedback for us. If you are interested, let me know. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know too.
I love ITX builds, would be interested in the prototype conversation.
 
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Reactions: Joonst

Joonst

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Dec 26, 2020
20
33
smolsff.com
I like this case (still) but can the gpu and psu be switched? Right now, the graphics card has very little room for exhaust. You have a solid front panel and the PSU sitting directly above it, limiting options for air to move.

If the GPU was moved to the top, it would be able to exhaust out of the vented top. I think you'll net quite a bit of performance that way. Yes, the case will likely grow a bit to accommodate that, but I think that's a fair trade
If I could, I would turn it around. The thing is that if I make the case bigger, it would lose part of it's un uniqueness. The size would get too close to the others. If the results from testing are dissapointing, I would be willing to make the case bigger and turn it around. I will be ordering a panel with an open front to see how it performs compared to the closed one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: scatterforce

Joonst

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Dec 26, 2020
20
33
smolsff.com
Smol X1 Mini:
- with 3.69L the smallest brickless case in the world to house a full gpu;
- part of the gpu slot and the riser cable is under the case. Case is lifted up by a stand;
- wrap-around sidepanel for ultra clean looks, and mechanical keyboard power switch (which is now flush w/ the panel);
- Super optimized layout, resulting in this crazy small formfactor;
- custom 90 degree gpu power adapter might be used if necessary (we'll need to test if it fits regularly first);
- due to the layout, cables end up from the psu exactly to where they need to be (minimal cable clutter);
- to hide the leftover cable clutter, we're working on a box to put above the motherboard to hide it;
- to test if gpu temps are impacted by the closed fronpanel, we'll also order one with holes to test out;
- X1 Mini, X1 and Big X1 now also come with a second option for the sidepanel pattern: squares;
- target release date: 6 months;
- target price: €100-140 with riser (pcie 4.0 risers are expensive, especially this small).
* we need your suggestions to make this case as good as possible. Let me know if you know something.

- For more frequent updates, you could follow our Instagram (SmolSFF), join our Discord server (https://discord.gg/uBXKXgM6V8), or visit our site SmolSFF.com (Mobile version is not very usable at the moment. We are completely rebuilding it from the ground up, should be done in a few weeks).



--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==

Super optimized layout:

instead of having the power supply at the bottom under the motherboard and gpu like most 4L cases have, we decided to make the case a bit higher and put it underneath the gpu. This saves us quite a bit of room, and it allows us to make this case so small. If necessary, we'll also have a 90 degree gpu extender cable so that the cables fit under the psu better. There even is room left above the motherboard that can be used for cable-management. As said earlier, we're working on a cable-box to put in that room. A bit of the riser cable and gpu slot extend under the case, which allows the case to be less high. This saves you room in your backpack, and it might make the difference between fitting in your tv-cabinet and not fitting in it. For the power switch we wanted to do something unique, so we went with a low-profile clicky mechanical keyboard switch with a keycap that matches the color of the case. The max gpu length is 175mm, and there is 40mm of cpu cooling room.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==

Wrap-around sidepanel:

We did this so the X1 Mini can look as clean as possible. That's why we'll also make sure that the screws are flush with the panel (this counts for the X1 and Big X1 too). Unfortunately we weren't able to place the power button on the front, so you'll have to reach to the back off the case to turn the computer on. but because the case is so small, we hope this won't be a big deal for you. Next to the old voronoi pattern, we will also offer a square pattern for the people that would like a more minimalist option.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==--==

The rest of the lineup:


The rest of the lineup consists of two other cases; the Smol X1 (6.9L) and the Smol Big X1 (10L). The X1 has support for gpu's up to 183mm, and that would mean a 3060 ti or 2070 is the max. X1's cooling room is 126mm if you're using the flex atx psu. This is 55mm with sfx. With both psu's you can use a 120mm, although sfx requires the fan to be slim (15mm). Smol Big X1 can support 300mm gpu's up to 2.5 slot, and also has 126mm of cooler room. A 240mm aio can also be used. Target price for the X1 is €100, and that is €10 higher for the Big X1.

--==--==--==--==--==--==--==-==--==--==--==--==

Next prototypes and availability:
We are probably gonna buy the next prototypes soon. These will be very similar to the production units. There will be a custom designed product box, and the cables (psu extender for example) and powerbutton will be preinstalled. There will be a little booklet and more accesoires in the box. The next prototypes will also be made of more premium materials (aluminium) and will be anodized. At least, that's the plan. We are planning on letting in a couple interested people also buy a prototype in the next round, as this will provide early acces to some users and more feedback for us. If you are interested, let me know. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know too.
About to order some itx components so I can finally build in the X1. Build will be transferred to all 3 cases when the new prototypes arrive, and if the prototype works my build would end up in the X1 Mini.
 

scatterforce

Airflow Optimizer
May 21, 2018
333
207
If I could, I would turn it around. The thing is that if I make the case bigger, it would lose part of it's un uniqueness. The size would get too close to the others. If the results from testing are dissapointing, I would be willing to make the case bigger and turn it around. I will be ordering a panel with an open front to see how it performs compared to the closed one.
The open front panel should be enough to keep the current format. Most GPUs less than 180mm exhaust front and rear.

As for CPU coolers, it would be good to list options and comparisons.
 
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motherofass

Caliper Novice
Oct 19, 2019
21
9
Looks slick but PSU and cables blocking most of the exhaust is a little concerning, so would love to see some temps when possible. Also curious if there's fan turbulance with something like L9a. Will keep an eye on this.
 
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