Extremely cheap and simple Tiny LP case (3.9L)

buLL

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Mar 11, 2017
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Hello guys.

After having some design ideas for my new personal build, I came up with this extremely cheap and simple one.

The case size would be about 25.4 x 8.5 x 18.5cm = 3.9L

It would be able to hold these hardware:

- Mini-ITX motherboard
- Any CPU
- Any RAM
- CPU cooler <7cm height
- Flex ATX PSU
- Low profile double-slot GPU (<18.2cm). Ex: GTX 1050Ti LP
- One (maybe 2 is possible) 2.5" HDD

So, why I consider it being a so cheap and simple build idea? Basically, there are no limitations for CPU tdp and RAM height, it doesn't use expensive or modded PSUs, and there are much more option for CPU cooler height. And the most important: the case doesn't use any kind of adaptations: no PCIe riser cables, no support for lying down GPU needed, and the list goes on.

So this case would be basically a small aluminum box with mounting holes on the sides and the bottom, and that's what would make it so cheap. And it could even be used in multiple positions! (lying down, standing up with GPU on the bottom, or standing up with PSU on the bottom).

About the cooling, I think it would be great too: fresh air from one side for the GPU, fresh air from the opposite side for the PSU, fresh air from the top for the CPU, more option for CPU coolers, and the HDD stays far from all heating hardware (GPU and PSU mainly).

Here is a raw 3D model I just did:

* Green is FlexATX PSU (~ 15 x 8 x 4cm)
Yellow is Mini-ITX MB (17 x 17cm)
Red is Low Profile double-slot GPU (~ 18 x 7 x 4cm)
Blue is 2.5" HDD (~ 10 x 7 x 0.7cm)
Pink is front IO Panel - 2 USB, Audio and Mic connectors, and Power Button (unknow size)
Purple is MB IO Shield (~ 15.5 x 4.5cm)
Brown is LP Double Slot GPU IO Shield (~ 8 x 4cm)

So, what do you guys think? If you consider a good idea, I might buy the hardware next week, and start a build log for the case.

Cheers!
 
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buLL

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Mar 11, 2017
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Yeah, I saw this thread before. But if you pay attention, my design is very different. No PCIe-riser and support for the laying down GPU needed, better cooling, more option of hardware, much less expensive PSU, no modding needed for the PSU, etc.

At the end, I am pretty sure my case would be much simpler and cheaper than the one you sent me, despite being a little bigger. But I have nothing against his design, it looks very cool and tiny too.

Cheers
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Nov 1, 2015
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Following this project since I caught wind of it from my project thread :p

Your new sketchup render really is a big departure from your original idea. It's really like the Geeek A10 turned on its side. But I'll still say, go for it, since that case is no longer in production.
 

buLL

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Mar 11, 2017
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Following this project since I caught wind of it from my project thread :p

Your new sketchup render really is a big departure from your original idea. It's really like the Geeek A10 turned on its side. But I'll still say, go for it, since that case is no longer in production.

Thanks a lot CC Ricers! I've been following your thread for a long time. I just wanted to make something different from your design, so it didn't seen like a "copy" XD. Again, nothing against it, it looks super cool and tiny too. Cheers!
 

buLL

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Mar 11, 2017
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Following this project since I caught wind of it from my project thread :p

Your new sketchup render really is a big departure from your original idea. It's really like the Geeek A10 turned on its side. But I'll still say, go for it, since that case is no longer in production.

Wow, I just checked the Geeek A10. I wasn't aware of its existence, it seems like the exact same design as mine :(. I am sad now, maybe it's not worth doing it, as there is an existing similar design available. I'm gonna think about it...
 

BeerNsoup

Cable-Tie Ninja
Mar 12, 2017
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Well he did say it's not available anymore :).

Can I ask why you think this layout would have better cooling? Support for a taller cooler?

I like that you included front usb+audio jacks. Seems most of the cases I'm interested in on here dont have that, and part of the appeal of these small cases (to me anyway) is console replacement. Having headphone, mic, and usb to charge controllers/swap m+k on the front of the case is a big plus imo.
 

buLL

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Mar 11, 2017
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Well he did say it's not available anymore :).

Can I ask why you think this layout would have better cooling? Support for a taller cooler?

I like that you included front usb+audio jacks. Seems most of the cases I'm interested in on here dont have that, and part of the appeal of these small cases (to me anyway) is console replacement. Having headphone, mic, and usb to charge controllers/swap m+k on the front of the case is a big plus imo.

Thanks for the reply. Well, as I mentioned in the post, I think it would have a good cooling because: fresh air for the GPU from one side, fresh air for the PSU from the other side, fresh air for the CPU from the top, better and taller CPU cooler options, and the HDD stays far from the heating hardware (GPU and PSU mostly).

But this is just my thought, I would have to do the testing to check if I'm correct. But I don't know anymore if it's worth doing it, since I wasn't aware of the Geeek A10 existence XD. Cheers
 

BeerNsoup

Cable-Tie Ninja
Mar 12, 2017
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138
Yours case is significantly smaller though. The geeek a10 is a nice case but a bit big for a sff that doesnt support regular height cards imo (obviously much cheaper but its almost the same volume as the sentry.) Good luck whatever you decide.
 

buLL

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Mar 11, 2017
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Yours case is significantly smaller though. The geeek a10 is a nice case but a bit big for a sff that doesnt support regular height cards imo (obviously much cheaper but its almost the same volume as the sentry.) Good luck whatever you decide.

Yes, I just checked, and the A10 is 6.3L, and I think my measurements are perfectly doable at 3.9L. And the A10 seems to have a big design flaw too: not many holes on the GPU side for GPU cooling (there had to be case holes for the whole length of GPU, as some uses 2 fans, like the MSI GTX1050Ti LP), and not many holes on the top of the case (there had to be holes directly on the top of the CPU cooler). And one more thing: there is no need for 22cm GPU length support like the A10 has, since most LP GPUs dont have all that (the biggest GTX 1050Ti LP for example, has only 18.1cm).

Maybe this 3 things encourage me to go on with my idea, we'll see. Despite the fact that the A10 seems to still be available to buy (I see the option to buy in their website). Cheers!
 
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CC Ricers

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The A10 is also an acrylic case, so your case can stand out on its own if you decide to make it out of metal.
 

buLL

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The A10 is also an acrylic case, so your case can stand out on its own if you decide to make it out of metal.

Yeah, there is that too. Maybe if I make it out of metal, it gets even cheaper, more durable, and atracts more people, because of the "less gamer" look.
One more thing CC. You think these measurements of the case are doable? I mean, I know I have to have the hardware with me to make sure, but since you might already have it for your project, maybe you can give me your opinion.

Cheers
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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I have a low profile card with me and use a riser currently, but I have measured its total height when it's plugged directly to the motherboard. I think that 90mm is a safe minimum for case width if you were to use your layout.

Lone Industries' cases are pretty minimal in design, and they started with a 94mm outer width for the L1. They stayed pretty much around that width for the newer versions. It would be interesting to see you pull off that case design with a smaller volume than the L1. I think it is doable because the length of your case will be shorter which makes up for the taller height to fit the PSU.
 

buLL

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Mar 11, 2017
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I have a low profile card with me and use a riser currently, but I have measured its total height when it's plugged directly to the motherboard. I think that 90mm is a safe minimum for case width if you were to use your layout.

Lone Industries' cases are pretty minimal in design, and they started with a 94mm outer width for the L1. They stayed pretty much around that width for the newer versions. It would be interesting to see you pull off that case design with a smaller volume than the L1. I think it is doable because the length of your case will be shorter which makes up for the taller height to fit the PSU.

Cool man. I calculated the case height at 8,5cm basing that the card itself is only 7cm tall, LowProfile IO Shield is 8cm height, and giving +5mm for the wall thickness and a bit of clearance. You really think 8,5cm is not doable? And why? I mean, I don't care too much if it has to be 9cm, but being a <3L case would be really cool, which is only achievable at 8,5cm height. Thanks
 

CC Ricers

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Yep, you're right, 8.5 cm is a good minimum for the case width if the walls are 1.5mm thick. The only reason you might want it wider is if you wanted to support more CPU cooler sizes.
 

buLL

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Mar 11, 2017
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That's nice! I might be ordering the hardware next week then, and start a build log. Keep up with your LP project, it looks very cool!

And thanks for your patience and all the answers. Cheers!
 

buLL

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What if I want a GTX 1070?

Well, if you want such a powerful GPU, you might want to go with Hutzy XS or NFC S4 Mini. Unless they launch such card in Low Profile standard, it's not possible with this case.

This case would be aimed to Low Profile GPUs only. And the most powerful one we have available right now is GTX 1050Ti. Anyway, this is just an idea for now, I haven't started the build log yet. Cheers!
 

Thehack

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A metal case would require a decent sized order for the price to go down unless you already have a shop.

Laser cut cases have a much lower price for low orders.
 

buLL

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A metal case would require a decent sized order for the price to go down unless you already have a shop.

Laser cut cases have a much lower price for low orders.

Yeah, I know that. I don't think there are companies that do this kind of job where I live (Brazil). I might have to look for resources from USA, or maybe China, to do the metal prototype for me, and send to here. We'll see how that works out.

Can you recommend a company that could make a metal prototype for a reasonable price, and send to Brazil?