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Prototyping cirrus7 incus - fanless case for ASRock DeskMini A300 and other popular STX sized boards.

cirrus7

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Cirrus7
Mar 13, 2019
18
21
www.cirrus7.com
Introduction:
We have been working on a passivly cooled STX design lately. This form factor has gained quite some interest since ASRock has launched its DeskMini A300. The DeskMini A300 is a nice SFF Barebone system based on the AMD Ryzen CPUs with a powerful Vega 11 GPU integrated. The idea behind the cirrus7 incus is to provide a fanless, passively cooled option for that platform and also for other popular STX mainboards (Intel Gemini-Lake / Intel Coffee Lake). There will be case only options as well as fully-equipped and preinstalled PCs to order.

Principal of the design:
Like our other fanless models the whole case is built out of individual CNC cut aluminium plates which are connected by common copper cores to distribute heat evenly. The main cooling plates are perforated which increases natural convection by approx. 40%. Due to the modular design it is possible to adjust cooling performance by simply adding more plates. Therefore there will be different case options for 10W / 35W / 65W CPUs. We do mill our cases on our own CNC machines inhouse. This way we are able to do fast prototyping and fast design-to-market times.

Case Details - Different Options:

Incus-ASRock-A300-35W - For ASRock DeskMini A300 with 35W TDP Ryzen CPU
Dimensions: 195mm x 169mm x 92mm
Material: Aluminum, Copper

via Sketchfab


Incus-ASRock-A300-65W - for ASRock DeskMini A300 with 65W TDP RyzenCPU
Dimensions: 195mm x 169mm x 124mm
Material: Aluminum, Copper

via Sketchfab


To Be updated soon:

Incus-Fujitsu-Gemini - For Fujitsu D3544-S industrial mainboard
Dimensions: 195mm x 169mm x 52

Incus-Fujistu-CL-35W - For Fujitsu D3654-B mainboard 35W
Dimensions: 195mm x 169mm x

Incus-Fujistu-CL-65W For Fujitsu D3654-B mainboard 65W
Dimensions: 195mm x 169mm x

Let me know what you think. Feedback is highly appreciated.
 

Donut

Trash Compacter
Mar 15, 2019
36
25
That's a very elegant design! Do you have a prototype that you've used for temperature testing? If so, and if you don't mind, I have some questions:

  • It appears that the primary design difference between 35W and 65W is the number of aluminum fins. On the consumer end of things, would we have the option to have more fins than what you show here (if we want to over-do it on the cooling)?
  • On a related note, what's the maximum reasonable number of fins that could be used? I'd imagine that at some point, more fins doesn't do much because the heat can't travel to them through the copper cores quickly enough.
  • How well can the 65W case handle a combined CPU and GPU load with the 2200G or 2400G? My 2400G draws a lot of power and produces quite a bit of heat in some scenarios.
  • I dug around in your site a bit after reading this and noticed that you also have a case for coffee lake/thin min-itx. Have you compared the cooling of that case with this new case, using the same processor (e.g., an I5 8400)? I'm wondering how much thermal performance we'd have to give up by moving to the smaller case.
  • Because these seem to be tailor-made to specific motherboards, is it possible to have the case act as a heatsink for mainboard components (like the VRM) as well? This may be useful for the 65W processors.
 

cirrus7

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Cirrus7
Mar 13, 2019
18
21
www.cirrus7.com
That's a very elegant design! Do you have a prototype that you've used for temperature testing? If so, and if you don't mind, I have some questions:

  • It appears that the primary design difference between 35W and 65W is the number of aluminum fins. On the consumer end of things, would we have the option to have more fins than what you show here (if we want to over-do it on the cooling)?
  • On a related note, what's the maximum reasonable number of fins that could be used? I'd imagine that at some point, more fins doesn't do much because the heat can't travel to them through the copper cores quickly enough.
  • How well can the 65W case handle a combined CPU and GPU load with the 2200G or 2400G? My 2400G draws a lot of power and produces quite a bit of heat in some scenarios.
  • I dug around in your site a bit after reading this and noticed that you also have a case for coffee lake/thin min-itx. Have you compared the cooling of that case with this new case, using the same processor (e.g., an I5 8400)? I'm wondering how much thermal performance we'd have to give up by moving to the smaller case.
  • Because these seem to be tailor-made to specific motherboards, is it possible to have the case act as a heatsink for mainboard components (like the VRM) as well? This may be useful for the 65W processors.
Thanks for your questions Donut. Excellent points. Yes we are entering the prototype status at the moment and doing the actual CNC programming and milling during the next two weeks. So of course we will do temperature testing and provide numbers here. The number of fins are based on calculations and on our current experience with Thin-ITX (Coffee Lake) and NUC based models. Also we did some testing with the fan-equipped DeskMini A300 with a 2400G to see how package power behaves under certain loads. That being said. It is quite possible that there will be more fins on the final product for the 65W version if the current planned number of fins is not sufficient.
  1. That would be possible if requested. We have a similar approach with the cirrus7 nimbus. Here we have three different types of "cooling editions"
  2. The reasonable limit is likely more limited to costs and manufacturing limitations. Of course the heat transfer is limited on the copper cores. But one could easily increase the number and diameter of the cores to increase heat transfer. This is what we have already done with our models now. The Gemini Lake model will need only one copper core. With the 65W model we will go with 5 or maybe even 8 cores.
  3. Goal is to do it without throttling and reasonable temperatures under full load. Same as we did with the cirrus7 nimbini : https://www.cirrus7.com/blog/cirrus7-nimbini-v2.5/ I'm pretty curious to see how the 2400G behaves under combined CPU / GPU load vs. prime95 only load.
  4. The goal is not to sacrifice any thermal performance compared to our Thin-ITX platform (cirrus7 nimbus). First of all will get an update as well. It does not have the perforated fins yet. And perforation is a big factor with natural convection. Here we have done extensive testing and are able to cool 95W TDP CPUs quite well. See images of the prototype for the cooling section below. Secondly: even though the case is smaller compared to the Thin-ITX platform (225 x 225mm vs 195mm x 169mm). The additional area does not translate 1:1 in cooling performance. Efficient fin height is limited and dependent on fin spacing.
  5. Absolutely we will have the VRM area cooled with the DeskMini mainboard. There is a relatively big heatsink on the fan cooled board. So that makes sense. Also the NVMe SSD on the bottom side. The one on the CPU side would be a little be more challenging.



 

cirrus7

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Cirrus7
Mar 13, 2019
18
21
www.cirrus7.com
Short Update. Prototypes for Gemini-Lake (Fujitsu D3544-S) milled and assembled. With only 10W it can be built very slim.


 

Donut

Trash Compacter
Mar 15, 2019
36
25
Thanks for your questions Donut. Excellent points. Yes we are entering the prototype status at the moment and doing the actual CNC programming and milling during the next two weeks. So of course we will do temperature testing and provide numbers here. The number of fins are based on calculations and on our current experience with Thin-ITX (Coffee Lake) and NUC based models. Also we did some testing with the fan-equipped DeskMini A300 with a 2400G to see how package power behaves under certain loads. That being said. It is quite possible that there will be more fins on the final product for the 65W version if the current planned number of fins is not sufficient.
  1. That would be possible if requested. We have a similar approach with the cirrus7 nimbus. Here we have three different types of "cooling editions"
  2. The reasonable limit is likely more limited to costs and manufacturing limitations. Of course the heat transfer is limited on the copper cores. But one could easily increase the number and diameter of the cores to increase heat transfer. This is what we have already done with our models now. The Gemini Lake model will need only one copper core. With the 65W model we will go with 5 or maybe even 8 cores.
  3. Goal is to do it without throttling and reasonable temperatures under full load. Same as we did with the cirrus7 nimbini : https://www.cirrus7.com/blog/cirrus7-nimbini-v2.5/ I'm pretty curious to see how the 2400G behaves under combined CPU / GPU load vs. prime95 only load.
  4. The goal is not to sacrifice any thermal performance compared to our Thin-ITX platform (cirrus7 nimbus). First of all will get an update as well. It does not have the perforated fins yet. And perforation is a big factor with natural convection. Here we have done extensive testing and are able to cool 95W TDP CPUs quite well. See images of the prototype for the cooling section below. Secondly: even though the case is smaller compared to the Thin-ITX platform (225 x 225mm vs 195mm x 169mm). The additional area does not translate 1:1 in cooling performance. Efficient fin height is limited and dependent on fin spacing.
  5. Absolutely we will have the VRM area cooled with the DeskMini mainboard. There is a relatively big heatsink on the fan cooled board. So that makes sense. Also the NVMe SSD on the bottom side. The one on the CPU side would be a little be more challenging.



Thank you so much for the information! I'm excited to see how this develops and looking forward to seeing the results of your testing.

Another question: Do you ship internationally (to the U.S. specifically)?
 

cirrus7

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Cirrus7
Mar 13, 2019
18
21
www.cirrus7.com
Thank you so much for the information! I'm excited to see how this develops and looking forward to seeing the results of your testing.

Another question: Do you ship internationally (to the U.S. specifically)?
Yes. We will ship the Case-only variant to the U.S. as well.
 
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JSItems

Minimal Tinkerer
Apr 28, 2019
3
1
Yes. We will ship the Case-only variant to the U.S. as well.
Hi, just wanted to say that I made an account specifically to post in this thread. I am absolutely planning to buy the 65W version of this once it comes out (I live in the US). Just bought an A300W with a 2400G and it is able to handle pretty much everything I'd need from it.

This is by no means a necessity, but if it were somehow feasible to add a VESA mount for this, that would be even better.

I will be following your progress, good luck!