SFF Lingo Aficionado
- Feb 8, 2017
Ever since I made the Breathe case, I was always wondering: Would I ever make another case? Could anything new be done with the component layout? Could I ever deliver on the features so many people wanted in the Breathe?
Now I've got my answer: Yes; and its name is Vertex.
The first inklings of the idea for the Vertex formed out of the comments on my thread for the Breathe. People saying things like "I don't like how the cables come out the top, could you make the cables come out the bottom?" "Can you make a cover to conceal the cables?" "I have a 2.5 slot graphics card, will it fit in this case?". To questions like these, I always had to say no, because in my head, the concept for the Breathe's identity always had certain characteristics that I did not want to change. However, those questions, complaints, and suggestions still stuck with me.
So on the night of February 18, 2018, I decided to open SketchUp and play around with component layouts again. A few hours later, I made some layouts that I actually liked and wrote this post to my thread. As I worked on the idea, the two layouts merged into one and thus, the concept for the Vertex was born.
Here were some of the early layouts.
And the design iterations of the Vertex built up through the following weeks.
And about a month later, here we are.
When I was designing the Breathe, I had the idea of a case that would look like an ambiguous piece of art sitting on your desk. I wanted to continue that aesthetic with this case, except do it even sleeker, cleaner, smoother. So the result is another monolithic case with ventilation on all sides but with smoother lines, curves, and less visible fasteners.
Functionally, I wanted the Vertex to accomplish a lot of things. Primarily, I wanted it to serve as a "workstation" case, a vertical case that could house and enable more powerful hardware than the Breathe could. So I gave it a lot more space for bigger CPU coolers, more width to fit thick, long, and tall 2.5 slot graphics cards, and enough spots to hold six 2.5" drives.
I guess the most defining feature of this case is the empty gap at its base.
Since all I/O comes out the bottom, the purpose of this 52mm gap is to provide enough space in the underside of the case to plug stuff in and create enough clearance for all the connectors and for their wires to run out. The large rectangular cutout in the foot of the case is to help with plugging in cables when you have laid the case on its side.
With the exterior appearance of the case, like I said, I wanted to make it clean, so the side panels use no screws and are completely toolless, using the same ball studs and clips that are used in the Cerberus cases.
The side panels overhang the bottom gap of the case a little bit to create a lip to hold on to when pulling the panels off of the case.
If you need to do some major installations in the case, the internal frame can be released from the external frame by unscrewing 8 screws that are camouflaged into the vent pattern.
The right side of the internal frame can also be unscrewed and removed if needed when working in the case.
That circular hole above the cutout for the motherboard's I/O shield in the bottom of the internal frame is for a 16mm vandal switch.
These are the colorways I'd like to offer the case in. Of course with powder coating, we can do other colors but these are just the combinations that I think look clean.
Standard white on silver.
Black on silver (my favorite).
Black on black.
White on black.
I named the case Vertex because it's an inverted vertical format case that's 10 (X) liters in volume.
And it sounds cool. I like it.
Material: 0.95mm steel for internal frame; 2.03mm aluminum for external frame and side panels
Finish: Powder coat and anodize
PSU compatibility: SFX
Motherboard compatibility: Mini-ITX
CPU cooler compatibility: 72mm max height
Graphics card compatibility: 306.7mm max length (from outside face of PCI-E bracket to end), 52.9mm max width, 134.6mm max height (from bottom of PCI-E fingers to top)
And here it is compared with its older, but smaller, brother.