Chimera Industries Cerberus: The 18L, mATX, USA-made enclosure

tedlas

Average Stuffer
Aug 18, 2015
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This will be my main case for some time and I do expect to do a lot of upgrading over the years, modularity is essential to this.
I agree with this. Because the price was and is expected to be so high, because it looks like this will be a one time thing, people will more likely keep this case for more than one build, instead of getting a new case each time. Having a modular design is important.

If the Cerberus was a $100-180 case, the case would be more "disposable".
 

Anthony

Average Stuffer
Dec 5, 2015
79
36
I agree with this. Because the price was and is expected to be so high, because it looks like this will be a one time thing, people will more likely keep this case for more than one build, instead of getting a new case each time. Having a modular design is important.

If the Cerberus was a $100-180 case, the case would be more "disposable".

Exactly, this is "future proof" purchase. I look at this case as a heavy duty steel design that's meant to endure a decade or two of spills, drops, and rearranged parts. My next case upgrade would preferably be when I'm handing this down to my daughter for her first gaming rig. Unless of course, you are going to start fabbing a cute mini itx version of this case just for the sake of having an evil little mini me by my side. That being said, the price does sound much nicer when followed with: easily modifiable, durable and strong, bright shiny colors (Still hoping for green btw.), and some custom options to boot (such as the rear power and usb option). The fact that it's also heavy is just a bonus; my daughter won't pull it off my desk so easily if she gets curious.
 
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Terse

Cable Smoosher
Mar 12, 2016
10
4
Rear power button I don't care either way, but rear USB ports? Wouldn't your motherboard backplate, literally being two inches to the left, have the exact same thing without the potential crappy shielding / EMI / cable routing / BOM cost increase issues? My motherboards always have free USB slots hanging off the backplate, most motherboards do as well when they are in the price range for people buying these cases.
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
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SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
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Feb 22, 2015
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@Terse
@Aibohphobia already indicated that was a special request on the part of VR developers who want to hook multiple VR devices to the machine at the same time.
This is correct. This would by no means be the default configuration. It might be something we can offer as an option, mostly because it's very simple to make and provide.
 
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jrronimo

Minimal Tinkerer
Apr 5, 2016
4
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Another dimension to consider is the unique place where Cerberus sits, as an enclosure that supports SFX preferably but ATX "if you have to", even as the latter is more popular. A strong argument could be made that, for people who are starting off with their existing ATX power supply, but want to "upgrade" to SFX eventually, that they get a lot of utility from that modularity. And that it realizes a key aspect of our mission, which is to introduce enthusiasts to the benefits of SFF, such as use of miniaturized form factors.

It's easy to imagine that a significant portion of interested buyers would fall into that category, we just haven't really quantified it - and in a sense, it might be hard to, since people might not know what they want a few years from now.
This covers my situation exactly. I have an existing ATX solution that I am very likely to migrate to SFX if/after I can buy this case. I'd be happy to chip in a little extra for a new plate down the line (or, as someone mentioned, if you released CAD files, I would try to have my own made -- work has quite the production shop I can access. :D ).
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
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And here's what I was thinking for the rear tubing cutouts.
Couldn't there be a huge potential for damage to the tubing if people were just braking them off? Or will you make them large enough to use rubber grommets with them?

Also, with the whole discussion about bringing the modular rear back, could it make sense to offer two plates? One would have just Infinite Vents extending to the bottom and one would have the tubing cutouts.

Alternatively, can you extend the outer parts that allow for mounting 92/80mm fans all the way down so the cutouts sit between them? Then you might not even have to cover them up at all, you could just incorporate them into the vents.

Are you planning to make the cutouts compatible with the back reservoir designed for the M1?
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
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Couldn't there be a huge potential for damage to the tubing if people were just braking them off?
They'll have to be cut out, the metal should be thick enough that they can't be punched out (so people don't do it on accident). Then a bit of filing to smooth out the cut and the tubing will be safe.

Also, with the whole discussion about bringing the modular rear back, could it make sense to offer two plates?
We have to keep the number of options to a sane amount so it's not worth having another part for such a small percentage of people.

Alternatively, can you extend the outer parts that allow for mounting 92/80mm fans all the way down so the cutouts sit between them?
It's an idea, but I think it'd look ugly.

Are you planning to make the cutouts compatible with the back reservoir designed for the M1?
Necere had graciously provided me with a drawing of the cutouts on the M1 a while back so the cutouts are compatible with the FrozenQ M1 reservoir.
 
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iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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They'll have to be cut out, the metal should be thick enough that they can't be punched out (so people don't do it on accident). Then a bit of filing to smooth out the cut and the tubing will be safe.

We have to keep the number of options to a sane amount so it's not worth having another part for such a small percentage of people.
That's true. I don't know how few people actually need this, but it seems like it's not many.


It's an idea, but I think it'd look ugly.
It could be integrated somewhat, but yeah, it would be suboptimal. Just thought it would maximise the options of hardware to mount while keeping a single piece.

It's an idea, but I think it'd look ugly.
Necere had graciously provided me with a drawing of the cutouts on the M1 a while back so the cutouts are compatible with the FrozenQ M1 reservoir.[/QUOTE]

That's great! Maybe those dimensions will become the de-facto standard for SFF external reservoirs ;)
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
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Chimera Industries
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Hey folks - so I mentioned this thought to Aiboh, but I wanted to share it with you all and get everyone's opinion.

I'm personally not a big fan of having "partial cutouts" that end users would have to take a dremel and file to, because in my mind that's really inelegant and beyond what most folks would consider reasonable to do. I've mentioned to Aiboh that I'd rather go all the way (cutouts with grommets) or not at all (no cutouts) because an ultra high-end, "luxury" enclosure really shouldn't have this sort of asterisk, IMO. This sort of thing is what reviewers would be hyper-critical of, since it would come across as us being cheap or careless.

Additionally, and for context, I think it's worth re-iterating that a big reason that we're talking about this at all is because the rubber grommets - which we put in to avoid having big uncovered holes in the case - are actually quite costly to buy. Furthermore, polling has pegged the use of the cutouts at 7%, which (as far as I know) means that their inclusion is one of the most niche features of Cerberus as it stands today.

Since including something in Cerberus means that those who don't use it are essentially subsidizing those who do, the "cost" per potential user of these cutouts is literally over $10. That's approaching the unit cost of changing all the exterior panels to aluminum, for reference (something that ostensibly benefits everyone to some degree). That's pretty substantial.

Given that, I'm of the opinion currently that we should just eliminate the cutouts entirely. Or, at least, concentrate our range of options to the following:
  1. Leave the cutouts in and include the grommets. This is expensive, but it means everyone has them, even if only a small fraction of interested buyers have indicated that they'd use the cutouts themselves.
  2. Leave the cutouts in and eliminate the grommets. This saves everyone money and preserves the functionality of the cutouts, but leaves ~93% of owners with some nice-sized holes in the back plate that would be completely open.
  3. Eliminate the cutouts entirely. This would save us the most money, and be the least complicated thing to do - as well as the most ideal thing for ~93% of folks. But it would hamper the 7% who would want the cutouts.
I'd very much like to know what you all think about this. We've not committed to anything but we're fast approaching a point where we're done with any revisions, so our goal is to make a decision pretty soon.
 
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Qrash

Cable-Tie Ninja
Aug 10, 2015
167
138
Is #2 supposed to be "Leave the cutouts in and eliminate the cutouts." or "Leave the cutouts in and eliminate the grommets".?
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
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Personally, I wouldn't care about having those two holes in the back of my case. Those who do care can just buy blanking grommets for themselves. That way everyone wins:

Those who want external reservoirs/watercooling get it.
Those who don't need it and don't care about the holes get the case a little bit cheaper.
Those who don't need it and do care about the holes can close them without a problem.

The only downside of this is the perceived quality of the product. It could be perceived as "cheaping out" when you don't include those grommets, but as you've said, they're not cheap to add at all.
 

Qrash

Cable-Tie Ninja
Aug 10, 2015
167
138
Yes, I found blanking grommets on eBay from a UK company and added them to my M1.
 

Commissariat

Caliper Novice
Jun 20, 2015
22
5
I may be biased (being part of the 7% who would actually use the cutouts), but I say go all out and include both cutouts and grommets - I think that the primary concern should be addressing the perception of Cerberus as anything but a ultra-high-quality premium case, and I'd say the grommets actually help that through their implied link to water-cooling.

That actually reminds me of a suggestion I'd have for the next crowd-funding: get some pictures of a nice dual-gpu water-cooling loop inside a Cerberus! I think that'd really help with the case's visibility, even if most of the customers would stick with air cooling.

But, failing that, I'd say either keep the partial cutouts (and don't go out of your way to advertise compatibility with external reservoirs) or go without cutouts entirely - I think that just cutouts with no grommets would really hurt the general public's perception of Cerberus' quality.

Edit - Actually, just wondering, what if you went with the swappable backplates? Would that allow the general cost for most to be increased by a lower amount, while still allowing those that want the cutouts + grommets to pay a premium for them?
 
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artimaeus

Apprentice
Apr 13, 2016
30
11
Pardon me if this has already been asked, but are there any thoughts about a variant of the Cerberus for a full ATX motherboard? If not, would to have any qualms about 'borrowing' the specs of the Cerberus to manufacture my own variant for personal use?