Concept Consoled Sandwich SFF Concept :)

Luke NK

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Nov 17, 2019
125
115
Hello everyone. I’m introducing a new build concept to the community, this was mostly thought for custom water cooling but the concept can be expanded and applied into a variety of different configurations.

I’ve been designing this for the last 5 months and this is my dream SFF pc case that I haven’t built yet. I hope by the time you finish reading this thread, you will want to build it too.

I shared this with Josh (NFC) when I thought he had a similar design in a vid he published a few days ago, but mine is different. Wanted to share with Wahaha too but he encouraged me to post it in the forums instead.

This project began with me trying to solve what are, to my belief, the main disadvantages of SFF; these are the problems that I wanted to tackle:

1) Radiators dumping hot air into the case. In big towers this is not a problem since there is plenty of airflow, but in small cases this could be a problem. The ideal “state” of a radiator is the one we find in an open bench table: pulls air from one side, pushes the air right back into the ambient. Cero compromises.
2) The need to pull cool air or dump hot air from/through the bottom of the case. This to my belief is inefficient; personally I want a pc case that doesn’t have to deal with this necessity. Airflow is greatly compromised when recurring to this.
3) Since the next reasonable source of cool air is at the top, I want this source of cool air to be brought into the case, help cool the motherboard and to help extract hot air outside the case. Top panel should help with overall airflow and not be compromised with anything else. Vented side panels will contribute to the airflow generated by top fans.

The layout then consists of placing the radiator horizontally under the motherboard, PSU and GPU with a minor tweak: it will be placed on its “frame” rather than on its entire body:



If going the custom water cooling route, we take advantage of the reduced GPU thickness thanks to its water block, it’s going to be facing inwards and we then push the PSU against the GPU with plenty of space to spare:



Here is the design I’ve been working on (I am not a pro with fusion so I did what I could):








It’s height and the trimmed thickness while still being a sandwich layout is where the name comes from. As stated before this is a concept; building the spine will be challenging, tubes might need some extra work, psu plug might not fit there, not sure about SSD where it's placed atm, etc... but I believe overall measures are in check: 327 x 305 x 100 at 9.9 liters. The good thing is It can be reduced even further. So far the radiator is a Hardware labs GTX 240 (55mm thick rad) with NF-A12x25 + NF-A12x15 in push/pull. The thin fan is not there to incredibly increase performance, this push/pull layout has 3 functions:

1) Run fans at lower rpm achieving same thermals with lower noise.
2) Help exhaust hot air outside the case
3) It’s a sandwich layout, so there’s still some thickness to be “filled”. You can further trim thickness if you wish but obviously there is going to be a limit.

I am really happy with the design; I think all the issues I wanted to tackle are solved: no need to take air from the bottom, no compromises of airflow and a radiator pulling cool air from one side while throwing the resulting hot air completely outside the case. Top fans helps to cool both sides of the motherboard (second NVME will receive cool air too) and to exhaust air from PSU

There is a plethora of layouts to play with: 60 mm rad in push with 25mm fan reduces thickness by 10mm and Alphacool has some good multi ports rads that can further help and add to this type of concept. A GTX + push/pull with both 25mm fans on both sides can add thickness and balance to the case if you want an air cooled GPU (about 110mm). To my belief, going with an air cooled GPU is a waste of rad capacity and cooling performance, buy it would make total sense if you want/need the performance of a 3950x in a small form factor + an air cooled GPU. You can also step up to a 280 thick radiator with the same configuration at less volume than the Louqe or M1

I think this layout is the best and as I said before I hope people start building different designs of this concept.

Lastly...

Motivation is the problem.

To get a project to the finish line is a marathon, and unless I'm interested, I prob give up half way, and I'm just that interested in that layout.

@Wahaha360 hope this sparks your interest.
 

Necere

Shrink Way Wielder
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
1,679
3,172
Yup, it's not a bad concept. Here's my version from 2010:




Could use some space for a small res high in the system though, to keep bubbles out of the pump.
 

Luke NK

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Nov 17, 2019
125
115
Yup, it's not a bad concept. Here's my version from 2010:




Could use some space for a small res high in the system though, to keep bubbles out of the pump.

Nice! I tried too to place a ddc in the same spot at the back of the rad but space increased exponentially. What I ultimately did was remove the fan above the psu, push the psu higher and place it underneath. In paper it fits but it might require custom cables, otherwise it could be a mess.

Why didn't you follow production of your version? Potential is HUGE. I know custom WC is a small market but a lot of folks buy this sff cases and proceed to custom water cool them anyways.

There could be a small run :)
 
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threestripevida

Airflow Optimizer
Gold Supporter
Mar 28, 2017
254
437
Nice design! I like the fact that you can do push/ pull with the rad with the right thickness. I don’t think it would necessarily be bad if you made it slightly bigger for tubing, cables, storage mounting. Looking forward to seeing the progress you make on this!
 

Lakimakromedia

Chassis Packer
Mar 21, 2019
16
17
Here is mine from march :D Havent seen this post...

and few days ago i checked how it will fit, but need to make new top for EK velocity cpu block wich will have integrated gpu connection. Otherwise its too high. Im hitting in 8.7 liter [75x300x390].


x5700 + 3950x with x570i ;)
 

Luke NK

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Nov 17, 2019
125
115
Here is mine from march :D Havent seen this post...

and few days ago i checked how it will fit, but need to make new top for EK velocity cpu block wich will have integrated gpu connection. Otherwise its too high. Im hitting in 8.7 liter [75x300x390].


x5700 + 3950x with x570i ;)


Hey man nice work.

I see you solved the issue of the paralel fittings using an xflow rad, that's clever, I didn't think of that. I do really want to use a GTX tho due to optimal performance. I also like how you went with a flex psu and adding another 120 rad. Nice job!
 

Lakimakromedia

Chassis Packer
Mar 21, 2019
16
17
@ Luke NK Generlly u can use normal rad, but u need to extend case for those 15mm for the tube which will go to inlet from second side. :)
Between case and rad it can be also some DIY reservoir [ Im thinking about it if I will use 2x 360 rad with similar volume :) ].
 

Luke NK

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Nov 17, 2019
125
115
Yes I have considered routing tubings through the bottom of the rad as your drawing, but this adds height and that dimension is already stretched so didn't want to go higher. Adding thickness so the tube can go over the upper fitting is also a no since for consoled style cases, thinnes is its most important advantage. Only solution I have found was using a 240 rad, that leaves space for routing tubings as the design I posted. I also wrote to HWLBS to see if they can custom make a GTX 280 rad with a multiport option which would solve all these issues but haven't heard back from them since. So this wouldn't be a problem with their SR2 version with its multiports, but not the optimal rad IMO.