Status: 04/03/2019 - Out of stock. New batch estimated arrival: May.
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Thank you to everyone in this thread for helping make this case a reality.
An 11L Mini-ITX case with 240mm liquid cooling, standard. CNC machined out of billets of aluminium. Tempered glass magnetically attached side panels. Supports mini-itx graphic cards up to 213mm long. Two radiator fans and two case fans with two separate dust filters. The entire case assembles with magnetic 3mm Philips screws (screwdriver supplied). 2-5 day worldwide express shipping.
Original post below.
I’m super excited to be starting a new project and would love to collaborate with you all to make something great.
I’ve learnt a lot from my last project, Circle One, which you can check out the results from in the HardForum thread HERE or in a photo album HERE.
I’m using this case as my main workstation right now, and it’s fantastic, but there is one thing that really bothers me about it: fan noise under load.
Because SFF cases sit right in front of you on the desk, noise is a critical factor. The limited TDP capacity of slimline coolers like the NH-9Li means that when I do serious work on the Circle One using an i7-7700, the CPU fan ramps up to an annoyingly noticeable level. This isn’t such an issue for gaming, as headphones are in use, but for day-to-day work it is a significant annoyance.
My pitch is this: noise is a problem in this form factor and I think a lot of us struggle with it. I’d like to have a go at solving this in a high performance SFF system, whilst at the same time delivering a beautifully engineered, premium case.
The first part of the solution is obviously to increase cooling performance and to reduce and/or control fan speeds. To that end, the defining component of this design is a 240mm AIO. Everything is defined by this part, including the width and depth of the case. Keeping the fans at a low RPM is important, so choosing an appropriate TDP CPU to maintain steady, low speeds is preferable.
I’ve considered going completely fanless and making the case a passive heatsink with custom heatpipes, but I think that could be a fairly intimidating project. I might consider that for next time. For now, I want to focus on off-the-shelf components.
A focus of this case will be high end manufacturing materials and techniques. Think sand blasted aluminium, rubber mounting grommets, dust filters, CNC machined modular frame parts (instead of sheet metal) and a minimal aesthetic.
Here’s a screenshot of my first pass at a design. One of my friends mentioned that it looks a little similar to the Jonsbo UMX1.
I think the UMX1 is a beautiful case - but I think we can take the concept further and concentrate it into something even better. Below is a mockup of the new concept compared to the UMX1.
- SFX and SFX-L compatible
- MINI-ITX gpu (maximum card length TBD)
- 240mm AIO
- Optional tempered glass side panel
- Multiple 2.5” drive mounting options
- More to come
Here is “Project Two” in a lineup with other community developed cases (and a few bigger names as well). I think this helps give perspective on where this concept fits in the family of cases.
Every case has design priorities. This case emphasises:
- Low noise
- Premium industrial design
- Small form factor
Below are some concept renders. Please note that these renders don’t include important details yet, such as PSU venting holes, case panel parting lines, etc. These renders are just for general concept validation before I go into more detail with the CAD.
What do you guys think? Can anything be clarified or better defined? What would you change in the design brief or in the component choice or layout? Any and all feedback welcome.
Ps. This is my first post on these forums, super glad to be here.