DAN C4-SFX

hrh_ginsterbusch

Master of Cramming
Silver Supporter
Nov 18, 2021
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IMO, once a case exceeds ~12L it may as well be sized to fit mATX.
Yeah, 12L is totally feasible. Even allows for AIO support if done right.

I've actually contemplated a concept with a case thats just 11ish L but allows for mATX (eg. LC-Power LC-1400mi with 11.4L). The medium-sized "combine smaller packages" box by Amazon has nearly the same dimensions, so I did a test fit with an mATX board, 280 AIO, my deshroud GTX 1660 and the SF 750. That gives you kind of a semi-console / side-mounted style. Perfect sleeper build, too.

The Silverstone Milo ML11 allows for mATX and even a 90 mm height CPU cooler, while being only 10.35L - for which I also hyperfixated on a concept with a 240 AIO / custom loop + HDPlex GaN 500 for a long time; another option that kinda didnt fly is the Jiushark JK13, cause 90 mm is max, but the height of the cooler is 93 mm.

cu, w0lf.
 

Facteur

Caliper Novice
Feb 6, 2024
21
24
In my current drawing I am back to top io and classic vent holes. But I plan to test mesh panels. I also have the idea to make front IO as a kit seperate (that includes a front panel and the io part).
Yes please.
It would make most people happy : those who want a top I/O, and those like me who prefer a front I/O.
I don't care if I end up having to pay more for a front I/O, as long as I have the option to get it.


As always before a new GPU release I am unsure if the C4v2 should be 13.37L (ITX + 3Slot GPU up to 330mm) or 15.4L (ITX/mATX + 4.5 Slot GPU up to 340mm). It looks like NVIDIA pushes smaller sizes GPUs with "Nvidia SFF specs" and RTX 5090 FE rumors to be 2 Slot GPU.
That's indeed a tricky situation. Perhaps monster GPUs were only a fad ?
3 slot compatibility sounds about right, given that true 2 slot GPUs are still hard to come by... there needs to be some leeway, to improve compatibility.

Most comments on Reddit said that want mATX because boards are $60 cheaper. But does someone how want to save $60 on a board buy a $220 case?
The case will outlast the internals. So if you change the mobo three or four times during the lifetime of the case, the savings will add up and become substantial (i.e. you could buy a second case, just with the money you saved by using mATX mobos).

***

Finally, what I'm currently thinking is : if the C4 v2 is going to be restricted to ITX, and nVidia is going to seriously push for 2 slot GPUs again... why would anyone consider the C4 v2 instead of the A4-SFX ?
Sure, the C4 v2 will fit a taller CPU cooler, and slightly bigger GPUs. But it will be almost twice as big as the A4-SFX... that's a huge counter-argument.

Regardless of your choices (which are certainly difficult to make), I'll continue to follow the development of this case with interest.

You might also want to take a look at the just announced M2 Evo (15,5L / mATX mobo / ATX PSU / 4 slot GPU / 144,6mm cooler) as a point of comparison with the options you're currently weighing.
 
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hrh_ginsterbusch

Master of Cramming
Silver Supporter
Nov 18, 2021
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Finally, what I'm currently thinking is : if the C4 v2 is going to be restricted to ITX, and nVidia is going to seriously push for 2 slot GPUs again... why would anyone consider the C4 v2 instead of the A4-SFX ?
Sure, the C4 v2 will fit a taller CPU cooler, and slightly bigger GPUs. But it will be almost twice as big as the A4-SFX... that's a huge counter-argument.

Regardless of your choices (which are certainly difficult to make), I'll continue to follow the development of this case with interest.

You might also want to take a look at the just announced M2 Evo (15,5L / mATX mobo / ATX PSU / 4 slot GPU / 144,6mm cooler) as a point of comparison with the options you're currently weighing.

Well, why not go for both?

1. An A4-H2O V2 with slight enhancements: for one I'd totally be happy if there was at least one removable side of the AIO compartment, and maybe native support for 280 AIOs, even if it was just as side mount, like I'm currently building.

Or go for native support, which could be simply achieved by enlarging the case a tiny bit, eg. 15 x 34 (W x L). That'd automatically both allow for 280 + longer / thicker GPUs, while staying true to the original.

2. And a C4-SFX v2 with mATX support and all the bells and whistles.

cu, w0lf.
 

amar92

Cable Smoosher
Feb 20, 2024
9
14
Hello everyone! Hello Dan!

I recently, after years of building computers, turned to ITX and, well, I'm totally in love.

Was so fortunate to buy a C4 v1 used here in Germany and I'm like : This is ITX High-end Hardware endgame....

Very impressed with the temps, looks, ease of building, build quality.

I find the size pretty much perfect, although I was very happy for the increased height of the V2 (I just need 1 more cm actually), because it would mean I can use a 3-slot GPU with a 140x25 mm fan for lower fan speed or more static pressure. Currently two Arctic P14 Slims sit on top of a 4080 FE. There is almost zero gap lol.

If you think about it, the size is still great, it's still small even if you add 1-2cm, it's not like we're gonna notice it that much, the footprint doesn't change.

I know everybody will say I'm crazy but imagine it being 1cm wider and 1cm higher, you could basically put a 155mm Cooler and that Market is huge, plus you can use normal fans above a beefy GPU. It would look like a Lego, everything maxed out in terms of hardware but still crammed.

You don't know, maybe these GPUs will be Two-Three slot, what if the Next Gen is 4 or some Custom models... You can't use them in your perfect case..

And it would make it the perfect ITX/MATX case if you made it 1-1,5 cm higher and wider, because all of them have some restrictions, either GPU, or CPU Cooler, or Fans, or whatever, and this one would have it all, while still being incredibly sturdy built.

Anyways,

As for the IO, just make it two USB As and 1-2 Cs. If placing it down would make for a longer GPU that would be nice as well.

MATX is also nice, although doesn't have to be.

If I could make the changes that would be perfect for me in the sense of one case for years to come and the ultimate case under 18-20 Litres I would do this :

1,5 cm more in height und width
Width = 155mm Cooler support/Thicker Rads
Height = GPU 4+ slots/ 3 - Slot +140x25mm
MATX Support
Front IO : 2 USB A + 2 USB C

It would basically be the only case that has the classy looks, sturdy and high quality materials, a HUGE compatibility in both CPU, GPU and Fans at the same time (others always have an area that is like Meh) while still being like 16-17 cm L which is still, let's be real, very much OK, considering how amazingly cool and silent it would be...

I don't know why I wrote so much, although it's basically the same thing I said like 3 times lol.

Dan, I know this is an annoying question but do you have at least an approx time frame? How did that prototype turn out? May we know what's holding you back?

I'm very very much looking forward to the V2.

I wish you all a nice weekend...

:)
 

D90

SFF Lingo Aficionado
May 9, 2017
102
72
To be honest I do not care about other product releases. Talking about the R1 for me its looks like this case is just optimized for flat packed. You will get many open surfaces, that are have lower production costs, untypical decisions how to do sheet metal design (could result in low stiffness), outer screws in 2024 and a design where some parts needs to be mounted while assembly the case around it that you can't easy remove. Also, if you attach a big panel with 4 screws you can have rattle spots at the middle part. This is just my humble opinion.



In my current drawing I am back to top io and classic vent holes. But I plan to test mesh panels. I also have the idea to make front IO as a kit seperate (that includes a front panel and the io part).



Old information. All outer panels will be anodized.


In my current drawing I am back to top io and classic vent holes.


Most community work moved to SSFGurus and now SFFHub on Discord. This is where the core of the cummunity moved to. But I will try to add more content here too.



In Europe the product was available for 1 month including ~ 2000 units. I never thought it would be sold out that quick and it was also regulated what my resellers ordered. Yes, US launch was not that good because I thought bringing the second batch to Newegg. This was before I made the decision to stop making v1 and working on v2. This was also not a smart decision because I thought dev on v2 would be quicker :( But many US customers could buy if from ComputerOrbit & OcUK and this was communicated for first batch.


Update:
As always before a new GPU release I am unsure if the C4v2 should be 13.37L (ITX + 3Slot GPU up to 330mm) or 15.4L (ITX/mATX + 4.5 Slot GPU up to 340mm). It looks like NVIDIA pushes smaller sizes GPUs with "Nvidia SFF specs" and RTX 5090 FE rumors to be 2 Slot GPU. Keep in mind RTX 40x0 series was developed under the estimation it will be 600W. At the end it was 420W and on the Super cards we saw much smaller heatsink because they were made under correct information. I do not think we will see cards in the next 5 years that will outbreak the current 420W limit. So 3 Slot with 330mm length is what is really needed.

mATX vs ITX
It could be the situation if i do the mATX version of the case most customers will use ITX like it was seen on the M1 Evo. In my last survey 58% voted for mATX and 42% for ITX, but is it reprehensive? Most comments on Reddit said that want mATX because boards are $60 cheaper. But does someone how want to save $60 on a board buy a $220 case? Another argument of having more choice in mATX is also not that big because many boards are cheaper made than the few ITX boars we have.

My heart is for the 13.37L version not because of the nice volume but more for its core features that is more representative for what kind of cases DAN Cases does (ITX and good GPU compatibility). The 15.4L version is noticeable higher and only really needed if upcoming GPU generation would be 4 Slot like we saw on RTX 4090 TI prototypes. On the other hand mATX in 15.4L is a banger and would be a great selling point, but is this the approach the community and DAN Cases have? I never used my C4v1 as a daily driver I used my 13.37L prototype.


Regards
Daniel
Ummm Dan can we see some pics for the 13l prototype……..? 🙏
 
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osn

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Aug 5, 2019
3
1
Hi Daniel,

I have similar thoughts like amar92.
I would not make the case smaller than V1, everything below 15 liters would be fine for me.
Some additional mm (<10) in width would be great for easier cable routing to the GPU.

GPU:
3 Slots + space for (slim) fans. This will result in 3.8 slots (slim fans) respectivly 4.3 slots
That would result in greater GPU compatibility.

Mobo:
This case is perfect for ITX, but mATX as an option for the future would be nice. Even if this is a feature that I could most likely do without, because you always have to make compromises for mATX. For example, there would probably be no more space for a 140mm fan on the right side (because of the changed PSU-position).

IO:
I would prefer front-IO over top-IO, but I can live with both. Configuration:
- 1x USB-C with type-E header
- USB-A + USB-C (3.0) with 19-pin header
- and of cause the power button


And one last thought: A ready-made case with a few restrictions is better than an eternal search for the ultimate solution. And no matter what you decide, someone will always complain in the end.

Happy weekend
 

amar92

Cable Smoosher
Feb 20, 2024
9
14
Osn thank you for supporting my thought.

I would also not like it to be too big, but I consider everything around 15-16 L pretty small in comparison to a normal Mid Tower.

Making it a bit larger opens a huge market of compatibility, making it also cheaper in the sense that you might be able to buy a card that is maybe thicker and it's on sale or being able to buy a different cooler as most are above the 145mm so the market for those things, if you're eventually buying used is limited...

It's just a thought as just 1 cm in both directions makes it hugely more customizable. Plus, good point on the GPU cables especially considering the bend of the 12VHPWR Connector...

If that happens to be the case (pun intended), I'll buy two :D

It's so great that we can give our thoughts on this and it might make it into the final version, or not, depends how Dan and other users find it, or maybe they have better ideas, but nonetheless its fun to be a part of the journey.
 

warspitebattleship

Caliper Novice
Mar 25, 2020
29
20
It could be the situation if i do the mATX version of the case most customers will use ITX like it was seen on the M1 Evo.
People who build cheaper mATX-builds just do not post. No time, no beautiful photos. ITX costs more, but what is much worse - arrives significantly later AND are much harder to get (availability is bad). Usually they pop up in sales 6 month after new chipset launch and stay in retail much shorter than mATX with much less models available.
Just because videocards become some enormous there is this space for mATX

And if we speak about cheap mobo vs expensive case: for me one case lasts 3-4 mobos.
And difference itx vs matx is not 60 usd. Its 100-200 USD - because if you need descent power lines for high end cpu on itx mobo - you must buy top itx board with expensive 90-105A drMOS, not just medium mortar-class mobo as with mATX board.

I am with M1 evo now. Not very happy. It is beautiful, but rigidity is not as good as it looks. Its fine for table, but i travel a lot. Hope this time there will be C4-MATX version.
 

elrd5150

Chassis Packer
Nov 26, 2022
19
19
When I looked for mATX board on Z790 one year ago nothing was in stock while ITX were widely available. Prices were something like $190 for mATX vs $300 for ITX, but ITX were higher specs boards, so you get what you paying for. For me, it wasn't worth investing time and compromising on board specs just to save $100-120 given how much the other components cost.

I placed a pre-order for R1, if C4V2 will be ITX only with a wider frame to avoid 12VHPWR sharp bends I'll consider that as well. I'd much prefer a case that doing one thing well, than trying to do everything with compromises.
 
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Viking

Cable Smoosher
Jan 2, 2024
12
4
From TechPowerUp:
“The most popular B650 motherboard form-factor is Micro-ATX, which holds a staggering 88% of the volumes. The 240 mm x 240 mm PCB size has everything buyers of the platform would want, since there aren't too many add-on cards to use these days besides a graphics card. The standard ATX (or larger) demographic is 11%. Mini-ITX remains a novelty, and it only has 1% of the market.”

B650 Chipset and Micro-ATX Form-factor Dominate Socket AM5
 

Quigonjinn

Trash Compacter
May 8, 2023
41
24
From TechPowerUp:
“The most popular B650 motherboard form-factor is Micro-ATX, which holds a staggering 88% of the volumes. The 240 mm x 240 mm PCB size has everything buyers of the platform would want, since there aren't too many add-on cards to use these days besides a graphics card. The standard ATX (or larger) demographic is 11%. Mini-ITX remains a novelty, and it only has 1% of the market.”

B650 Chipset and Micro-ATX Form-factor Dominate Socket AM5
Note: this was done in the Korean market. They claim it can be extrapolated, but I am not sure it’s that simple. ATX is pretty popular in many parts of the world over Matx and per hardware unboxed a lot of Matx b650 are straight trash.
 

konnerbllb

Cable Smoosher
Jun 1, 2022
8
10
Note: this was done in the Korean market. They claim it can be extrapolated, but I am not sure it’s that simple. ATX is pretty popular in many parts of the world over Matx and per hardware unboxed a lot of Matx b650 are straight trash.
Interesting
 
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Quigonjinn

Trash Compacter
May 8, 2023
41
24
Interesting

The article also conveniently "forgets" to mention if any effort was made to figure out if that data included pre-builts or not.
Pre-builts dwarf DIY builds in PCs, like 1000 to 1 or even more, and OEMs will give you a matx board, resulting in skewed data like this that is not properly displayed, and then used to "prove" a non-existing point.
 

boundary-stone

Average Stuffer
Jan 25, 2023
79
54
The A3-SFX is the mATX case option, I'm not sure why anyone would be talking mATX in this thread. The promise of the C4-SFX for me was an NR200 with improved component flexibility and slightly smaller dimensions (15L vs 18L).

Sacrificing a bit of air cooler height relative to the NR200 in exchange for enough additional GPU volume to fit even the largest 4090 cards and mounts for 120mm or 140mm fans was extremely promising.

Since GPU deshrouding typically works best when the fans are exhausting heat out of the case the inverted layout of C4-SFX looked like a perfect fit for those interested in going the GPU deshroud route too.

Honestly, a perfect C4-SFX revision to me would've just been one that was 10mm wider that could accommodate taller air coolers like the P120SE and was less likely to run into issues with 12VHPWR cable fitment when using larger GPUs.
 
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loopaddiction

Caliper Novice
Dec 4, 2018
26
48
Speaking of the M2, it would be great if Dan could incorporate the same premium anodization finish that Ncase is using:


Finally, a super premium silver finish that seems to be on par with Apple computers. I wonder what factory they're using to accomplish this because they even managed to hit a very solid price point. IMO, The C4 could differentiate itself from the M2 (and the C4 V1) if you incorporated this quality of ano, but with stamped-hole aluminum side panels instead of fine mesh.
 
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