DAN C4-SFX

Arboreal

King of Cable Management
Silver Supporter
Oct 11, 2015
669
698
Please do literally nothing to the case, just release it as is

As I understand the intention behind the C4 was to accommodate the most powerful components. And since the GPUs are getting bigger, it is natural to increase the case size to accommodate the new top end GPUs. This is my opinion, but not everybody will agree of course.

This is a tricky call, both these points of view have merit, and I can see that @dondan is in a potentially difficult position again.

The C4 has been evolving for the last 5 years and is nearly ready to go.

The pressure to develop it yet again is a bit like holding out for the next generation of CPU or GPU, there's always going to be a new one soonish.

In either situation you have to draw a line in the sand and commit to buying something.

Personally, I am not worried about the latest/greatest kit as I don't want to spend out large amounts for disproportionately small gains.
I am mostly buying used kit these days, and am happy with 2nd tier performance and be left with money available to put into other interests.
I am not convinced that sub 20L, let alone sum 15L cases can and should be expected to be able to cope with the most powerful and hottest running components, with ITX rigs, something has to give.
There is always a compromise with conflicting requirements of small size / power / quiet running

I personally think the RTX 4xxx huge power requirements are madness, especially with energy supply problems that are with us. If anything, I want something more efficient and lower powered, not a kW guzzling setup that is overpowered.
 

ironwilly

Cable Smoosher
Mar 15, 2020
10
17
As I understand the intention behind the C4 was to accommodate the most powerful components. And since the GPUs are getting bigger, it is natural to increase the case size to accommodate the new top end GPUs. This is my opinion, but not everybody will agree of course.

But it already fits certain 4080 and 4090 models. Even something as big as NR200 fits up to 330mm so it wont fit everything from that list. A lot of these cards dont make sense for ssf.
 

Mitohondri

Cable Smoosher
Dec 14, 2021
11
14
Leave it as it is.

There are 4080 and 4090 cards that fit in case as it is. So for customers that want top of the line, with default air cooling, there is something to buy.

The majority of customers that have money to buy top of the line, will most likely do custom water cooling anyways, for all the benefits of quiet, cool and high performance computer.

I am sure that the 4070 and 4060Ti will all fit in the case.

So i vote, leave and and get ready for shipment in few months
 

Cheerio

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Apr 5, 2019
4
2
IMO, if you're providing support for 450W+ 4-slot GPUs, there's not much point supporting SFX PSUs, and you might as well design around SFX-L only. (A3-ATX?)
The current design seems perfect for 300-350W GPU with SFX PSU. Please release it as is!
 

dPunisher

Cable Smoosher
Aug 20, 2021
11
28
As you well say, what is happening with the graphics card is a madness. We'll end up with 2 SFF cases, one for PC and another one for graphics card only. 😅

The leet size (13.37 L) is ideal for this awesome SFF case. As long as there are any 4080 (and optionally 4090) that can be installed, that's enough.

Dan, finish the pending steps, and we buy it as soon as possible. <3
 

hmnzr

Chassis Packer
Oct 10, 2019
19
11
C4 is a perfect case, please just release it already and let us buy it :)

As for the GPU madness, we still have to see what AMD offers with RX7000. Hopefully, better FPS per Watt also means that those cards are not ridiculous in size as NVIDIA 4xxx series. IF that would be the case I'm switching to team red this generation.
 
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dondan

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
1,734
7,270
Some thoughts:

I 100% agree with you that the case is good as it is. The 4080 FE and 4090 FE cards will fit and for me that is enough. I already put a lot of money in the C4-SFX to be ready for production.


BUT what happens if this GPU release is similar to the last one and nearly no one is able to buy a founder’s card because they are sold out all the time? Then there is no way around these 3.5 slot cars with an average length of 336mm? I learned that the combination of size and compatibility is the key for a good SFF case. This is why the A4-SFX sold very well until we good 105W+ midrange CPUs and 250W midrange GPUs. You can still make a very good system in the A4-SFX with a Ryzen 5600 or Intel 12400 and a RTX 3070 but many customers buying SFF premium cases needs to fit high tier hardware.


So, to argue with "keep it as it is - I like to have it already" is completely understandable but could be "shortsighted" because I like to positioning the C4-SFX for 4+ years on the market like the A4-SFX. For me it is a very unforeseeable time. If we run into an energy crisis or customers do not support this power consumption madness not any longer NVIDIA and AMD have to move back to normal values or if they buy these cards 450W could be the sweet spot for the next years.


Talking about AMD - From the current teasers I would say the new RX 7000 REFERENCE cards will fit in the current C4-SFX but since the power consumption will be also something between 300-400W partner cards will run into the same problem. Just look at the RX 6900 XT partner cards and you already should see the problem (17 cards below 320mm 11 cards above 320mm).


Talking about Power Supplies - There are many new SFX and SFX-L power supplies with GaN technology on the horizon with ratings of 1000, 1200W and more. So, power supply should be not the problem.

----

I also like to talk about required changes for better compatibility.


The current case can fit the following cards:

3.2-3.25(66mm) Slot cards up to 318mm in length & 140mm in height
3 Slot(60mm) cards up to 325mm in length & 140-148mm in height
(The limitation comes from the clips and the power switch pcb)


If I reviewed my new RTX 40x0 spreadsheet I think changing the dimension of the case will make these cards fit:


Already Compatible

  • Asus RTX 4080 12GB TUF
  • KFA2/Galax RTX 4080 12GB Serious Gaming
  • MSI RTX 4080 12GB Ventus X3
  • MSI RTX 4080 Ventus X3
  • Nvidia RTX 4080 FE
  • Nvidia RTX 4090 FE

New Compatible

  • Asus RTX 4080 12GB ROG Strix (3.15Sx336x140)
  • Asus RTX 4080 12GB TUF (3.25Sx305x140)
  • ColorFul RTX 4090 BattleAx (3Sx326x140)
  • INNO3D RTX 4090 X3 OC (3Sx336x145)
  • KFA2/Galax RTX 4080 Serious Gaming (3,5Sx336x138)
  • KFA2/Galax RTX 4090 Serious Gaming (3,5Sx336x138)
  • MSI RTX 4080 Gaming Trio (3,25Sx337x140)
  • Palit RTX 4090 GameRock (3.5Sx329x137.5)
  • PNY RTX 4080 12GB XLR8 (3,5Sx332x137)
  • PNY RTX 4080 XLR8 (3,5Sx332x137)

By adding 12mm to the length and 12mm to height the new GPU compatibility would be:

3.75-3.9(78mm) Slot cards up to 330mm in length & 140mm in height
3.5(72mm) Slot cards up to 337mm in length & 140-148mm in height
(The limitation comes from the clips and the power switch pcb)


Here are the total specs:

241 (H) x 166 (W) x 334.2 mm = 13.37
253 (H) x 166 (W) x 346.2 mm = 14.54


The changes will delay the product 3 month.

Please give me more feedback. I will also reflect this dilemma and will make my decision next week.
 

Slediee

Cable Smoosher
Feb 28, 2022
9
8
I personally think that the current size is ideal. My reasonings bulleted below
  1. Not a lot of people will aim to do a 4090 build
    1. Already very expensive
    2. more workstation than gaming-oriented card.
    3. people buying a 4090 are 7-8/10 will also be doing a water-cooling loop and hence size doesn't matter.
  2. Increase in size is not worth it...
    1. only increases 4090 compatible variants from 1 to 5 - (mostly enthusiast builds and which many will be going WC anyway, so number of variants doesn't really matter in that case)
    2. Only increases 4080 compatible variants from 5 to 7. 5 card variations I think, in my opinion, and I am no expert is a big enough variant pool of 4080s to cater for the consumer base. Mind you, most people will be going for the 4080 rather than the 4090 route.
  3. Opportunity cost of delay
    1. Competitors moving in and establishing foothold before the C4 due to delay
This is my 2 cents on the situation and I respect if you decide to delay eventually. I think most of us have been waiting and watching for such a long time that we developed waiting fatigue at this point. Dilemma it is indeed!
 
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Prothea

Average Stuffer
Aug 26, 2018
67
54
I would wait to make any changes until we have concrete knowledge what AMD is doing with their own reference designs, as well as their AIBs. It will end up taking more time, but those answers could push the decision in one direction or another depending on what we are seeing.
 

Navic

Master of Cramming
Jan 6, 2019
586
1,339
but then it won't be 13.37 right?
the most important stat. it must stay this way.

but actually, idk. From a business perspective, going bigger makes sense because the case will remain relevant for longer (possibly). However, other cases like the M1 EVO that directly compete with this case are going bigger to accommodate the bigger GPUs. So you can either compete directly with them, or possibly be the case that stayed smaller for the people who want that. It's a hard choice for sure, but I think I'd stay with the current sizing.
 

ironwilly

Cable Smoosher
Mar 15, 2020
10
17
My personal feedback is that as long as the gpu is above the motherboard and the case does not require a riser card this is my next case. But I am an edge case customer since I am in no hurry, nvidia is not giving me any fomo and I can wait a year no prob, that leather wearing assclown can get bent(yes I couldnt help it,nerdrage).

The problem is this feels like a serious business decision, I am not sure we knew when the expected release was to know what 3 months delay means. And basically the question is does this 3 month delay and the possible lost buyers are more important than the buyers won by increasing the compatibility with more gpus for that mentioned 4 year period. I know I am being captain obvious so far, but what I am getting at is that we dont even know how many cases are being sold yearly from the other models, how a release of new gpu generations affects sales of sff cases, does Christmas affect sales, how about recession? And I am not asking for this data, wont know what to do with it, just rambling I guess.

There's another thing, how would these bigger cards theoretically affect the temps for the case as a whole?
 
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incunabula

Average Stuffer
Jun 14, 2019
83
116
Everybody wants what they want. At some point @dondan, you need to decide what kind of product you want to bring to market instead of constantly changing the goal posts. For me, small form factor has always been about compromise, not maximum compatibility with the highest TDP parts currently available, and that seems to be a sentiment that you share and that has served you well. I expect the proportion of people that will purchase this case once it's released that have the money, or the desire to cram a $1600-$2000 monster in this case is very low. I think many that are vocal about delaying to increase compatibility with these cards don't even have plans to acquire them. They just don't like the idea that they couldn't use them if they someday wanted to.

If it turns out in two years that the market has decided that all GPUs moving forward should be gigantic, then you can revise the product. In the meantime, I believe it serves >95% of potential buyers as it currently exists. No matter what you decide, please don't turn this product into a meme. Just get something out the door.
 

Trusty

What's an ITX?
New User
Sep 24, 2022
1
2
Some thoughts:

I 100% agree with you that the case is good as it is. The 4080 FE and 4090 FE cards will fit and for me that is enough. I already put a lot of money in the C4-SFX to be ready for production.


BUT what happens if this GPU release is similar to the last one and nearly no one is able to buy a founder’s card because they are sold out all the time? Then there is no way around these 3.5 slot cars with an average length of 336mm? I learned that the combination of size and compatibility is the key for a good SFF case. This is why the A4-SFX sold very well until we good 105W+ midrange CPUs and 250W midrange GPUs. You can still make a very good system in the A4-SFX with a Ryzen 5600 or Intel 12400 and a RTX 3070 but many customers buying SFF premium cases needs to fit high tier hardware.


So, to argue with "keep it as it is - I like to have it already" is completely understandable but could be "shortsighted" because I like to positioning the C4-SFX for 4+ years on the market like the A4-SFX. For me it is a very unforeseeable time. If we run into an energy crisis or customers do not support this power consumption madness not any longer NVIDIA and AMD have to move back to normal values or if they buy these cards 450W could be the sweet spot for the next years.


Talking about AMD - From the current teasers I would say the new RX 7000 REFERENCE cards will fit in the current C4-SFX but since the power consumption will be also something between 300-400W partner cards will run into the same problem. Just look at the RX 6900 XT partner cards and you already should see the problem (17 cards below 320mm 11 cards above 320mm).


Talking about Power Supplies - There are many new SFX and SFX-L power supplies with GaN technology on the horizon with ratings of 1000, 1200W and more. So, power supply should be not the problem.

----

I also like to talk about required changes for better compatibility.


The current case can fit the following cards:

3.2-3.25(66mm) Slot cards up to 318mm in length & 140mm in height
3 Slot(60mm) cards up to 325mm in length & 140-148mm in height
(The limitation comes from the clips and the power switch pcb)


If I reviewed my new RTX 40x0 spreadsheet I think changing the dimension of the case will make these cards fit:


Already Compatible

  • Asus RTX 4080 12GB TUF
  • KFA2/Galax RTX 4080 12GB Serious Gaming
  • MSI RTX 4080 12GB Ventus X3
  • MSI RTX 4080 Ventus X3
  • Nvidia RTX 4080 FE
  • Nvidia RTX 4090 FE

New Compatible
  • Asus RTX 4080 12GB ROG Strix (3.15Sx336x140)
  • Asus RTX 4080 12GB TUF (3.25Sx305x140)
  • ColorFul RTX 4090 BattleAx (3Sx326x140)
  • INNO3D RTX 4090 X3 OC (3Sx336x145)
  • KFA2/Galax RTX 4080 Serious Gaming (3,5Sx336x138)
  • KFA2/Galax RTX 4090 Serious Gaming (3,5Sx336x138)
  • MSI RTX 4080 Gaming Trio (3,25Sx337x140)
  • Palit RTX 4090 GameRock (3.5Sx329x137.5)
  • PNY RTX 4080 12GB XLR8 (3,5Sx332x137)
  • PNY RTX 4080 XLR8 (3,5Sx332x137)

By adding 12mm to the length and 12mm to height the new GPU compatibility would be:

3.75-3.9(78mm) Slot cards up to 330mm in length & 140mm in height
3.5(72mm) Slot cards up to 337mm in length & 140-148mm in height
(The limitation comes from the clips and the power switch pcb)


Here are the total specs:

241 (H) x 166 (W) x 334.2 mm = 13.37
253 (H) x 166 (W) x 346.2 mm = 14.54


The changes will delay the product 3 month.


Please give me more feedback. I will also reflect this dilemma and will make my decision next week.

Personally, I think the size should get a minor increase in size to account for future hardware capability. As you stated, you have been developing the case to stand in the market for 4+ years, but with the current state of tech who is to say that we won't see another increase in size with the following generation. Likewise, there is the realistic scenario that the limited range of supported cards will cause an issue in relation to the possible availability of certain card models.

While I understand that some users prefer the case to stay the size that is it, however, I also think that some users are overblowing the difference in size that your proposed changes entail. An increase of 1 liter, especially when comparing it to competing cases, is not a horrible trade off for hardware support.
 

aaahaaap

Cable Smoosher
Aug 15, 2017
9
2
It's already pretty big for an ITX case/quiet a bit bigger than an NCASE M1, which is an acceptable sacrifice for hopefully better (air) cooling, which is what I like about this case. But I don't see much point in increasing the size further, the case just becomes too big, I'd be out for buying it as a replacement for my NCASE M1 then. Plus these PSUs are ridiculous anyway, their costs, power requirements and size are all unacceptable. I hope they all flop.
 
Last edited:

xil22

Case Bender
New User
Sep 24, 2022
2
4
I understand what Dan is saying. He's looking beyond 40xx cards since he plans to sell C4-SFX for years to come. He has to answer questions like what if 40xxTi or even 50xx cards will require at minimum 3.5 slot GPUs. Obviously C4-SFX sales will plummet since it turned out not to be future proof.

As someone who has an A4 SFX, the limited GPU options really really sucks. So I'd vote for increasing the size by 1 liter. If you go to comparesffpc.com and compare a C4-SFX and a Lian-Li Q58(14.54L) the size increase isn't that much with the huge upside of fitting bigger GPUs.
 
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