DAN C4-SFX - Update 21.11.2020

dondan

SFF Guru
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
1,246
4,390



Introduction

After a long time of silence I like to introduce the redesigned C4-SFX. The name comes from the German envelope norm for A4 papers so it is the big brother of the A4-SFX.

This case is the fusion of a traditional hardware layout and the sandwich layout. The list of features is long – 280mm radiator support, big air cooler up to 130mm, indirect GPU cooling, ITX, DTX, flip able design, 3 slot full length GPU, two hardware layouts, SFX & SFX-L Power Supply support, PCB based riser s.o. All this is packed in an elegant enclosure under 12L made by Lian Li. In terms of hardware support there are nearly no limits.



Possibilities

In this chapter I like to present the main hardware/cooling configurations.

The traditional hardware layouts allows for 3U sized tower heatsinks like the Noctua U9S or very big top blow heatsinks like the Noctua C14S. For these configurations it is possible to mount the power supply 90° rotated. With the radiator bracket it is possible to install 120, 140, 240 or 280mm radiators with 25mm thick fans for the best cooling results. For the traditional layout you can install 3 slot GPUs with a length up to 320mm. Two 120 or 140mm fan mount points at the bottom of the case allows for indirect GPU cooling if you remove the preinstalled GPU fans.





With the sandwich layout the focus is shifted to GPU cooling. GPUs up to 3 Slot and a length of 320mm can be installed in the PCB based riser. A 240 or 280mm radiator with 25mm height fans installed at the bottom of the case takes care of the CPU.





Just Flip it

It is possible to flip the case 180°. Rotate the front, mount the case feets on the opposite side and flip the side panels. This configuration enables advanced cooling for GPUs in the traditional layout or the radiator in the sandwich layout.




Specification

Case Dimensions (H x W x D):
241 x 151 x 329mm, 11.98L
Overall Dimensions: 257 x 151 x 332 (including case feets)
Weight: ??? Kg


Traditional Layout
Graphic cards support:
3 Slot GPU up to 315mm length
Motherboard support: Mini-ITX, DTX
Power Supply support: SFX, SFX-L
CPU Heatsink support: Up to 130mm in height.
Case Fans: 2x 80mm fan at the back, or 1x92mm at the back, 2x120mm or 2x140mm at the bottom
Water cooling support: up to 280mm radiator with 140x140x25mm fans


Sandwich Layout
Graphic cards support:
3 Slot GPU up to 320mm length (only I/O port at the first and second upper slot are useable)
Motherboard support: Mini-ITX
Power Supply support: SFX, SFX-L
Water cooling support: up to 280mm radiator with 140x140x25mm fans

Watercooling
Max configuration Sandwich: 315x140x30 + 140x140x25 fans
Max configuration Classic: 320x140x40 + 140x140x25 fans

Drives: up to 1 x 2.5" HDD/SSD

Power button: Premium-grade button

Material: 1,5mm aluminum (outer panels), 1.5mm aluminum (inner parts & top panel)
Side panels: Easily clipp able with LianLi Push Pin technology
Colors: Anodized black(maybe dark grey) or silver exterior, matte black painted interior

Risercard: PCIe 16x gen4 pcb based riser

Price tag: 180-225€



Gallery







Updates:

Update 1 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-12#post-191149
Update 2 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-12#post-191794
Update 3 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-18#post-194279
Update 4 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-19#post-196146
Update 5 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-22#post-197797
Update 6 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-26#post-198857
Update 7 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-27#post-199038
Update 8 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-28#post-199246
Update 9 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-29#post-199404
Update 10 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-30#post-199567
Update 11 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-34#post-202725
Update Thermal Results 12 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-37#post-206323
Update 13 - https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dan-c4-sfx.12329/page-37#post-206326


Next Steps

  • Make a Prototype
  • Create the manual
  • Test the prototype
  • Reviews
  • Update media material
  • CE-Validation
  • Release (no release date)


Special Thanks

This case has a feature (aio bracket) first used and invented by Necere in the Ncase M1. I like to honor him for this idea and like for the A4-SFX he will be also named in the special thanks section in the manual.



Thank you for reading and your support. Please let me know what you think!
 
Last edited:

NotAnAnimal

Cable Smoosher
Feb 5, 2020
10
4
I've been waiting for this since forever!!!
Now it's here, and I don't know what to say :D
 

Dapoktan

Cable Smoosher
Sep 18, 2019
12
11
very interested to see where this goes! Seems to me the default position would be the gpu blowing up instead of down as it would perform better.. but a very cool design either way
 
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Navic

Master of Cramming
Jan 6, 2019
413
970
I love that this project is back on track! The design looks nice, but the power button looks out of place in it's current position. That, and the two different types of perforation (slits and then traditional holes) make it looks different (haven't decided if I like them or not). I think if the holes were all aligned that it might look better, but not sure.
Overall, I think you have a great design here!
 
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NotAnAnimal

Cable Smoosher
Feb 5, 2020
10
4
very interested to see where this goes! Seems to me the default position would be the gpu blowing up instead of down as it would perform better.. but a very cool design either way
But the GPU dissipates heat out the sides of the card. Unless you have a blower-style cooler on your GPU.
 

draic

Chassis Packer
Feb 7, 2018
14
15
this is a slightly smaller NCASE with a Ghost S1 front. Compared to the original C4-SFX I am not really sold on this iteration. I do not see much sense in supporting two GPU orientations. This requires different ways to mount both GPU and PSU, while standard layout will have a lot of limitations on gpu size. Also I think the case has gotten too big to not offer more options for disk storage.
 

schn1tt3r

Cable-Tie Ninja
Sep 24, 2018
150
247
Well, glad to see you back on track. Good luck with the project, sadly for me, the old C4 is the best looking case I've seen. Sad that it won't be a reality. I don't even care for layout inside, just that the exterior aesthetics of the C4-old was beautiful. Loved the boxy design and minimal (no power button in front).
 

m-i-c-k-e-y

Caliper Novice
Feb 13, 2018
24
8
FINALLY!!

My thoughts....

1 2.5 HDD might be not enough.

Suggestion:
1. Add an additional PCI-E slot on the vertical position. Instead of only one. (More compatibility)
Why? I'll install a 2 slot GPU on # 2 PCI-E and add this accessory on #1 (more storage)



EDIT: Oh! You have a PCB riser. So it's a bummer then.

2. Can I flip the case? Top mounted radiator/fans have better airflow than bottom mount.

3. Same design for all vents? (side, top, back)

Thank you for time and efforts!
 
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Necere

Shrink Way Wielder
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
1,652
3,137
Looks good man. I see a lot of the M1 in the chassis.

I'll echo @Navic and say that I'm not totally sold on the power button location. I understand you can't move it down or it'll conflict with the 2.5" drive and/or longer GPUs, so maybe on the top panel might be an option?

A heads up on the side panel ventilation: punching that many holes runs the risk of warping the panel, especially on 2mm sheet. This is something LL warned me about when we were looking into it for V6, and one reason we didn't go with it. It can also happen on 1.5mm sheet, but it's less common. Might be worth exploring some alternative vent styles (maybe something to match the top?) to avoid this issue.
 

Metroversal

Cable-Tie Ninja
Dec 5, 2017
213
472
It’s great to finally see the new iteration of C4-SFX!
Seems like it’s going to be a very flexible case but it’s probably not for me, I liked the (very) old one even with its flaws.
Anyhow I wish you the very best @dondan
 
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Vaux

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Mar 12, 2018
95
122
I don't get it, the regular version is a ncase m1 but with a 2slot gpu, and the sandwich version is a sidearmd t1 but bigger with less gpu length and less practicality

I really don't see the point of having a case convertible between regular and sandwich, making it having bastard dimension and flawed in both configuration

Also since the case is 148mm wide, why no 280mm radiator support?

You need to have things that other cases doesn't have, the previous design of the C4 was way better honestly
 
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Necere

Shrink Way Wielder
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
1,652
3,137
Also since the case is 148mm wide, why no 280mm radiator support?
The clips that hold the side panels add about 10mm to each side, which is on top of panel thickness. So you're actually looking at 148 - 24mm = 124mm available for width.

140mm fans don't even fit properly on the floor of the M1 for this reason, and it's 12mm wider than the C4.
 

Vaux

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Mar 12, 2018
95
122
The clips that hold the side panels add about 10mm to each side, which is on top of panel thickness. So you're actually looking at 148 - 24mm = 124mm available for width.

140mm fans don't even fit properly on the floor of the M1 for this reason, and it's 12mm wider than the C4.
Well why not change the fixation of the side panel then? Like screw in corner, clips on the height instead of the length, magnet, ect...
 

Necere

Shrink Way Wielder
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
1,652
3,137
Well why not change the fixation of the side panel then? Like screw in corner, clips on the height instead of the length, magnet, ect...
Speaking for the M1, I didn't want visible screws on the outside. I assume Dan doesn't either, and likewise most people.

There's a couple problems with removing the clips from the bottom flange and putting them on the front/rear flanges instead: 1) limited space on the flanges, and can conflict with taller GPUs/GPU installation (this was a problem in the M1 and why I removed them); 2) a missing clip towards the middle of the bottom flanges could cause the panels to bow out a bit if you've got cables pushing on them, and/or be a little loose; 3) clips behind the motherboard could conflict with surface mount components in the motherboard keepout zone.

As for magnets, consider that the case is all aluminum, so you'd need to incorporate some steel in there for it to work. Also with the side panels being 4mm (2+2) and the chassis being 3mm (1.5+1.5) you're 141mm of clearance on the bottom - barely what would be needed for 140mm fans. Magnets would take up some space, and there's not much available.

Furthermore, even if Dan managed to sort all that out, you run into a problem with the length: 280 rads are 310-320mm long typically, and I'm guessing the internal dimension of the chassis is no more than about 300mm.
 

VegetableStu

Shrink Way Wielder
Aug 18, 2016
1,939
2,590
ooh, the vertical PCI mounting at the vent to avoid having multiple rear plates is pretty smart o_o
 
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Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
790
444
The clips that hold the side panels add about 10mm to each side, which is on top of panel thickness. So you're actually looking at 148 - 24mm = 124mm available for width.

140mm fans don't even fit properly on the floor of the M1 for this reason, and it's 12mm wider than the C4.
Are the middle push pins essential?

I ask because if you remove the middle ones and push the corner ones out to the edges further


Then mount the 140mm fan underneath the radiator I think it might work (granted the internal frame is 140mm wide.) Same argument could be made for your m1.