DAN C4-SFX - Update 04.02.2021

Fitchew

Average Stuffer
Feb 2, 2019
66
36
Furthermore I am unsure if in the current state the product generates enough interest. If I look on the request rate on this thread it is ok but if I look on the numbers of comments to my post it is very low and only a feew members are active in this thread.
It seems to me that you in vain doubt the demand for your product. Personally, I am very interested in the appearance of this case. And although I did not write anything in this thread, I have been actively following it for a very long time. Simply, there are much more experienced people who leave sensible comments. I think that there are a lot of people like me.
 

Hoarst

Efficiency Noob
Apr 15, 2020
6
10
7. Final Thought:

After testing is done I have mixed feelings with this product. Don’t get me wrong this product is on very high level and there would be no problem selling it like it is.

But while I love the flexibility of this product a pure sandwich based AIO case is better for the normal user. And a well-designed sandwich case with flexible riser could be even better because there would be no blocking of one fan on the radiator with the hard riser. Furthermore, with a flex riser and the motherboard attached to the center both side panels will be used for intake.

On the other hand, the hard riser is much cheaper and the classic layout offers also air cooling and no future gen5 gen6 PCIe problems. It is still very small and have a very nice look with the clean front and the power button on the top. The last two weeks, I did further research on layout optimizations so even in 11.2L it could be possible to support 280AIO, 3 Slot sandwich and classic layout. Also, the fan duct bars are a nice feature to improve GPU thermals on the classic layout.

I think I will take a break for 2 weeks to go on with further testing und playing with layouts. Than I decide if I will move back to an flexible riser sandwich case or move on with an optimized classic/sandwich layout that include 3Slot and 280AIO support. While I know this will result in bad feedback if I change product again I like to create a product that is worth to call the second product of DAN Cases. Keep in mind this thread is not about advertising a product that is available soon it is development process with all the back and forth.

As much as I want the case to be out yet, I would really love a Sandwich style case as the dan A4. So take your time and look into it, if you could consider space for a watercooler on a custom loop graphics card and space for tubes to be routed through the case would be really awesome. I really loved my Dan A4's until my hardware needs grew and the case got to hot/loud to be on my desk.

I think the extra costs for a pci-e riser cable won't make the "braten fett" either you get a cheap coolermaster sff case, or you pay 200+ dollars and get a Dan Case. I don't care if it's 200 or 230 anymore... It's not like you're in a ultra cheap segment where every dollar counts. So take your time to evaluate those thoughts.
 

judokamak

Caliper Novice
Sep 25, 2019
27
16
If I go with 280 AIO support for this the case will be only 10mm longer. 148mm*235mm*325mm (W*H*L). Furthermore I will imrpove the height space using so in the same height it will be possible to have 3 Slot GPU or a 2 Slot GPU with 25mm bottom fans. The outer look will be the same.


This is the difference maker and it would set this case even more apart from the Ncase. Support for the 280 AIO .
 

Ghillie

Chassis Packer
Feb 25, 2020
17
42
It's sad that he's worried if there will actually be an interest for the product. Imo this is the upcoming sff case that has the highest potential, and I would suggest that the number of people on this thread are in no way indicative of the number of buyers it would have. I kinda stumbled onto this thread by chance, but if I hadn't like a lot of other people haven't and I saw a new case from the makers of the dancase a4 with similar compatibilities of the ncase I'd be sold. I'd imagine this case would be similarly popular to the a4
 

Daemos

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 3, 2017
101
44
While this is valid for a normal company that need returns I am in the great position that I do this next to my daily work so I have the time to tweak as long as it takes.
Furthermore I am unsure if in the current state the product generates enough interest. If I look on the request rate on this thread it is ok but if I look on the numbers of comments to my post it is very low and only a feew members are active in this thread.

This is the big question. Do I made a sandwich case like the T1 with support for 240 AIO and normal height fans ~10L (132*235*320) or a case like the current one with two layouts and 280 AIO support ~11.3L (148mm*235mm*325mm).

Hi Dondan

As a current user of the A4 v3, I can say, I think trying to compete with the T1 in the similar category will be very difficult without some other advantage as the T1s biggest advantage IMO is not just the fact it can house a 240 AIO but the also mesh side panels which allow maximum airflow. To me that is my ideal sandwich layout case.

Personally I think the current iterration of the case is amazing, the biggest advantage to me over the T1 is the fact it does not require a riser and still looks sleek and allows watercooling with less restrictions. However, one downside is that it seems the GPU would be difficult to find fittings that will not hit the side of the case in the normal layout (based on the photos).

I think support for a 280AIO support will also be popular espically for people who want to liquid cool both their GPU and CPU and at 11.3L it's still smaller than the M1 and IMO looks much better.

It would also be nice if you could do dual radiators but I am mindful that with 280AIO support the case will become larger in size compared to what it originaly started out as, and having dual radiator support may put it in a position where it now competes with the M1.
 
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McPhee

Caliper Novice
Feb 19, 2020
31
57
Biggest takeaway for me from the thermal testing is that air cooling has problems. This calls in to question the point of having a dual layout, given its primary advantage is air cooling support.
  • Is it possible to fix air cooling performance? Maybe by adding 2x 120mm fan mounts above the motherboard?
  • Is potential 280mm radiator support in Classic layout only? Or is it in both layouts? If the latter, then Classic layout seems redundant, essentially only catering to mid-range air-cooler builds (with limited GPU support). If the former, then I guess this is the new purpose for Classic layout.
  • If the case needs to be inverted to improve performance, wouldn't it be better to have this as the default layout?
Personally, I'd buy the case as-is. But my cooling needs are fairly limited (Ryzen 2600 & 5700 XT Reference).
 

aa1931

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Jun 28, 2020
4
2
Please allow me to add or suggest: That have enough room to allow for an easy/comfortable build. It could be a very bad experience if you got a case designed under this apsect and you realise that you have to buy a custom cable kit for $100+ to use it. It is one thing to see some crazy build from other members that include many custom stuff vs doing it by yourself :)

Yes, that is also a reasonable constraint.

I must say I switch my vote to be in favor of supporting the two layouts and 280mm AIO. I believe this option would make the C4 the most successful out of the two options and would fill a void that is currently empty in the SFF case community (unless there is already a case that does this that I am unaware of).

Either way I am very much looking forward to seeing this case come to fruition and I know many others are as well!
 
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ignsvn

By Toutatis!
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
1,283
1,086
@dondan For the classic layout non flipped - can I check if the GPU heatsink are all covered by the side vents? Having the vent holes going lower to reach all the way to the GPU heatsink fins will allow hot air to exit faster. A side intake fan will also probably help to bring cool air in.

On a separate yet similar note, I believe many top-down coolers will perform better compared to U9S, such as: C14 (if layout permits), NH-L12/s, Thermalright AXP90, Raven Ridge, ID Cooling IS-60, and so on. Not because they have more mass, but because they take cool air straight from the side panel vent holes.

In short, by default the classic layout is probably the weakest, but with small adjustments, I believe it should do relatively well.

My 2c :)
 
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dondan

SFF Guru
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
1,315
4,947
Hi Dondan

As a current user of the A4 v3, I can say, I think trying to compete with the T1 in the similar category will be very difficult without some other advantage as the T1s biggest advantage IMO is not just the fact it can house a 240 AIO but the also mesh side panels which allow maximum airflow. To me that is my ideal sandwich layout case.

Personally I think the current iterration of the case is amazing, the biggest advantage to me over the T1 is the fact it does not require a riser and still looks sleek and allows watercooling with less restrictions. However, one downside is that it seems the GPU would be difficult to find fittings that will not hit the side of the case in the normal layout (based on the photos).

I think support for a 280AIO support will also be popular espically for people who want to liquid cool both their GPU and CPU and at 11.3L it's still smaller than the M1 and IMO looks much better.

It would also be nice if you could do dual radiators but I am mindful that with 280AIO support the case will become larger in size compared to what it originaly started out as, and having dual radiator support may put it in a position where it now competes with the M1.

Sorry this isn't 100% true. A mesh panel is more airflow restricted as a classic vent hole patter like on the C4 even it is done over a smaller area (https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Effects-of-Grill-Patterns-on-Fan-Performance-Noise-107/). See the GPU thermals on T1 vs A4. Yes the thermals are the same level, but the A4 has a much smaller vent hole area. The big advantage for mesh is noise reduction (because of its restrict level), cheap manufacturing and it work like a budget dust filter. I personal does not like the look.

For the GPU water block you are right. It requires a narrow one like the Watercool Heatkiller or a special one with fitting port under the GPU like the new EKWB slim one.

The final version will have the same capabilities for the radiator and GPU as the M1 + extra 280 radiator support on the side attached AIO bracket. So on max out you can fit a 240 radiator on the bottom + 280 radiator on the side.



Biggest takeaway for me from the thermal testing is that air cooling has problems. This calls in to question the point of having a dual layout, given its primary advantage is air cooling support.
  • Is it possible to fix air cooling performance? Maybe by adding 2x 120mm fan mounts above the motherboard?
  • Is potential 280mm radiator support in Classic layout only? Or is it in both layouts? If the latter, then Classic layout seems redundant, essentially only catering to mid-range air-cooler builds (with limited GPU support). If the former, then I guess this is the new purpose for Classic layout.
  • If the case needs to be inverted to improve performance, wouldn't it be better to have this as the default layout?
Personally, I'd buy the case as-is. But my cooling needs are fairly limited (Ryzen 2600 & 5700 XT Reference).

To be fair the U9S is not made/big enough to cool the 3900X proper. On a different motherboard you can mount the C14S that will be a bit better. Yes two 120mm fans on top would result in better air cooled temps but would also add another 0.8L to the case.

The case width is not big enough to support 280 AIO at the bottom + Lian Li clips.

For the possible final version I will make the inverted layout to default and remove the flip feature, because there is no use case where the default orientation is better.

With your hardware it will be like a walk in the park cooling the CPU very silent. For the GPU you have to use a aftermarket heatsink to reduce temps and noise.


280mm AIO in an 11.3 litre case would be pretty massive. Isn't the Streacom DA2 currently the smallest that supports this? And that's 17.6L (IIRC).

Yes you are right - it would be the smallest existing case with this feature.

@dondan For the classic layout non flipped - can you check if the GPU heatsink are all covered by the side vents? Having the vent holes going lower to reach all the way to the GPU heatsink fins will allow hot air to exit faster. A side intake fan will also probably help to bring cool air in.

On a separate yet similar note, I believe many top-down coolers will perform better compared to U9S, such as: C14 (if layout permits), NH-L12/s, Thermalright AXP90, Raven Ridge, ID Cooling IS-60, and so on. Not because they have more mass, but because they take cool air straight from the side panel vent holes.

Nearly yes, some mm are missing. On a possible final version the area above the motherboard will be smaller and the lower bigger. The GPU will have a higher level and will be covered even more. I did also some tests with covering the vent holes in this zone completely and that changed not that much. The GPU does not create enough pressure to move enough air out in these zones. It is easier for the hot air to be sucked in by the radiator. The real advantage of these holes will be achieved by using a deshrouded GPU with outtake fans.

If the C14S would fit on my board in this case I think I would agree, but not for the LP heatsinks on your list.
 

PatRig

What's an ITX?
New User
May 10, 2020
1
24
@ALL: This is for all the silent readers out there... [snip]

Hi Dan,

I am one of the silent readers out there and I wanted to show my appreciation for what you and this community are doing here. Currently, I own a Kickstarter A4 and still think that case absolutely rocks, but what I like even better is the time and effort you and the others have put into making these SFF cases a reality.
I have been following the A4 from the start (2013?) and it's amazing how you've kept improving the design throughout the years. The A4 V.1 is still the best PC case I have ever owned.

Next year I plan to build a new gaming PC and use to A4 solely for work. This time the C4 caught my attention and again I really like what I am seeing here. Personally, I only ever use air-cooling (with ghetto-mods) but the more space for a big Noctua heat-sink and fans the better! Also the combination of Black Ridge + NF-A12x15 and VLP-RAM was a real challenge to instal, but I digress.

The fact that you keep working with the community to make the perfect SFF case(s) is exceptional and I think the different layouts and cooling options would really make this case standout from the competition. That said, if you are not satisfied with the current design, it's a-okay to step back for a bit and just observe the project/case from a distance. I am not suggesting you to vanish into thin air and let the hype fade away (yes, there is hype, also among the lurkers), but at times a different perspective can do one's work good. You might even want to step away from PC cases for a day or so to look at other types of engineering, just to see how those deal with thermals/airflow etcetera. Sometimes inspiration is where you least expect it to be.

As much as we all wanted this case yesterday, it's simply not how the process of designing works, it takes time. The most important thing is not to lose one's self in a project up to a point where it becomes an obsession. So please take your time and once more baffle us with your design (when it's ready)!

Good luck!
 

ososoba

Case Bender
New User
May 25, 2020
2
2
Hey Dan, silent reader here.
Been waiting for this case and following the thread since I first saw it on the SFF subreddit. I'm sure there's quite a number of us out there. I've been holding back on getting a case for my Ryzen 4000 build because I'd hate to buy something then realize this came out shortly after, and I still have a few months before I have to pull the trigger. No pressure or anything, it looks like it'll be a hit already. Certainly prefer the design to everything I've considered so far.
 

ignsvn

By Toutatis!
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
1,283
1,086
For the possible final version I will make the inverted layout to default and remove the flip feature, because there is no use case where the default orientation is better.

Nearly yes, some mm are missing. On a possible final version the area above the motherboard will be smaller and the lower bigger. The GPU will have a higher level and will be covered even more. I did also some tests with covering the vent holes in this zone completely and that changed not that much. The GPU does not create enough pressure to move enough air out in these zones. It is easier for the hot air to be sucked in by the radiator. The real advantage of these holes will be achieved by using a deshrouded GPU with outtake fans.

If the C14S would fit on my board in this case I think I would agree, but not for the LP heatsinks on your list.

@dondan personally I'm not exactly comfortable with inverted layout as a default, simply because GPU fan on top + gravity will suck dust in even more.

And yeah I agree that the appeal of this classic layout is because people won't need to worry about PCIe gen4/5/6 etc, as well as the riser cable quality & compatibility.

Regarding the fan & coolers.. there's only one way to find out: send me a prototype & I'll review them for ya ?
 

newzealot

Caliper Novice
Jul 26, 2019
32
34
Furthermore I am unsure if in the current state the product generates enough interest. If I look on the request rate on this thread it is ok but if I look on the numbers of comments to my post it is very low and only a feew members are active in this thread.

@ALL: This is for all the silent readers out there. Please use the like or dislike function to give me a better feeling about the interest rate in this thread.

I totally understand that there are many readers that don't want to write in this thread but by using the like or dislike feature you can help me a lot.

Long time lurker here.

No, i am not going to use the like or dislike function. I have done your surveys in the past but the feedback does not seem to make a difference, so why bother?

There was a time when people are willing to wait for you to perfect a case - that was the old C4 design.

That time is past.

There is a huge amount of people, including myself, that believe you no longer have the commitment to actually manufacture a new product.

Even today, you are making statements similar to "i do not have an ETA for this because i do not want to disappoint". And your last update sounds like you are going for another "lets start from scratch" again.

It is not longer about making a good case, it is all about your shaky reputation now.

If you launch this product today or within this year, you will surely get some sales. Maybe not as much as you liked, but you get to restore your reputation. This is a good product. Not wildly desirable, but still fine. There will still be a chance for you to design and create your "perfect" case as your 3rd product.

If you "start from scratch" again, you will forever be just a vapourware joke.
 

Navic

Master of Cramming
Jan 6, 2019
437
1,029
Long time lurker here.

No, i am not going to use the like or dislike function. I have done your surveys in the past but the feedback does not seem to make a difference, so why bother?

There was a time when people are willing to wait for you to perfect a case - that was the old C4 design.

That time is past.

There is a huge amount of people, including myself, that believe you no longer have the commitment to actually manufacture a new product.

Even today, you are making statements similar to "i do not have an ETA for this because i do not want to disappoint". And your last update sounds like you are going for another "lets start from scratch" again.

It is not longer about making a good case, it is all about your shaky reputation now.

If you launch this product today or within this year, you will surely get some sales. Maybe not as much as you liked, but you get to restore your reputation. This is a good product. Not wildly desirable, but still fine. There will still be a chance for you to design and create your "perfect" case as your 3rd product.

If you "start from scratch" again, you will forever be just a vapourware joke.
He also has another job besides making niche SFF stuff, let the man take his time. I dont want this project or other projects to become vaporware, but with Dan having a child, a job, and who knows what else he has to do, I am sure that SFF isn't always his main priority, but when he focuses on it, he wants it to be as good as possible.
 

gasmeone

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Feb 16, 2020
3
1
hey dan, i am one of those silent readers. To be honest, I found the old design a little better and always hoped for an ssf showcase with water cooling, at best a costum loop. My thought was an SSF case where you can see and show the hardware at least through one side, but unfortunately I think we had slightly different expectations. Of course there is a setup where the graphics card is in the foreground, which would be the only option for me at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I think the current case is super nice, but with the old design you could see more of the hardware. It is clear to me that it will not be easy to build a kind of showcase in size and at the same time to have good temps, I think that you had different goals during development such as keeping the temperature low which is important in any case or that vary the hardware as desired. Now I would like to see my hardware in which I invest a lot of money. But maybe in the future I will be a little more active here or on another forum, so far I am not averse to the case.

And don't get me wrong with the word showcase. As I said, I just want to have a look at the case and that should just look good.

Gruß, justin