[HELP] Need case with vertically orientated full-length GPU so that it occupies small surface area

MatTKO

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
13
7

NEED RECOMMENDATIONS for cases with vertically orientated GPUs like Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Shift and Chimera MachOne.


Hi everyone!

This is my first post here.

For the last few days I have been looking for small form factor PC cases that have small area footprint while supporting full-length GPUs. I have come to the conclusion that the cases with vertically orientated GPUs are the best fit for my two requirements.

Here are the cases I have found so far and my opinion of them:

CASE (width, depth, height; maximum GPU length; volume) - OPINION

  1. Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Shift (170 x 274 x 470 mm; GPU length up to 350 mm; 22 l) - I don't like vents on top of the case. Quite large with its 22 l of volume.
  2. Jonsbo / Cooltek VR1 (239 x 238 x 387 mm; GPU length up to 320 mm; 22 l) - Probably has poor ventilation (due to motherboard placement it has vents only on the top and bottom of the case, the vents on top actually duct air to the back of the case). Quite large with its 22 l of volume. Discontinued.
  3. SilverStone Fortress FT03 (235 x 284 x 487 mm; GPU length up to 349 mm; 33 l) - A bit too deep for my desk (I would prefer a case with depth around 200 mm). I don't like vents on top and side of the case and its design. Too big to be considered small form factor PC case (33 l).

    The internet has taken me to China so I have discovered:
  4. Sunmilo FS01 (170 x 260 x 320 mm; GPU length up to ?; 14 l) - Has too many vents and openings which I find aestheticly unpleasing and it might lead to higher dust buildup. Also, quite deep (260 mm).
  5. D-A4LH (164 x 246 x 429 mm; GPU length up to 335 mm; 17,5 l) - Too many vents. Dust buildup would be high and it probably can't even dampen fan bearing noise, let alone GPU noise under full load. Depth and volume still above what I would find optimal.
    Both Chinese cases are expensive (probably above $200 with shipping) and difficult to obtain (I would probable need to organize shipping from China through a shipping agent).


    I have also found multiple projects on this site like Breathe and Vertex by @DSE, Chimera MachOne by @PlayfulPhoenix, @Necere's vertical case concept, EVE 01 by @ehqhvm, Projects Skuld and Reality by @Karamazovmm that are in various phases of development from already on the market to seemingly abandoned.


  6. Chimera MachOne (170 x 286 x 380 mm; GPU length up to 315 mm; 18,5 l) - A bit too deep for my desk. Too many vents. Case volume is still above what I would find optimal.
  7. Breathe case (183 x 115 x 347 mm; GPU length up to 322 mm; 7,3 l) - Far too open for my taste.

    Other cases are still far off, abandoned or won't be produced/sold to others.


Please post your recommendations if you know of any other cases with vertically orientated GPUs that would occupy small surface area on a desk and accommodate full-length GPUs at the same time.
 
Last edited:

NateDawg72

Master of Cramming
Aug 11, 2016
393
284
I see you have the full size Silverstone FT03 in your list and said it is too big. What about the FT03 mini?

188.9mm(W)x 397mm(H)x235.1mm(D), 17.6 liters
https://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=333

Edit: What do you consider full length to be? FT03 Mini can fit some reference length founders edition cards, but doesn't have the 300mm+ accommodation of the other cases in your list.
 

Legion

Airflow Optimizer
Nov 22, 2017
287
323
NEED RECOMMENDATIONS for cases with vertically orientated GPUs like Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Shift and Chimera MachOne.

You've just about covered them all there.
As you've noticed, this a is a gap in the market of boutique cases being unfulfilled atm.
There are cases coming as you know but you don't seem to like any of them for your reasons as explained.

There are compromises in the world of boutique cases, most of your dislikes are due to vents and these have to be in place to dissipate heat.
The current trend of enthusiasts who buy boutique cases is to populate them with the highest end components they can fit.
These inevitably produce a lot of heat that has to be removed to enable consistent performance from these high end performing components.

Welcome to the world of SFF !!!
 

MatTKO

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
13
7
I see you have the full size Silverstone FT03 in your list and said it is too big. What about the FT03 mini?

188.9mm(W)x 397mm(H)x235.1mm(D), 17.6 liters
https://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=333

Edit: What do you consider full length to be? FT03 Mini can fit some reference length founders edition cards, but doesn't have the 300mm+ accommodation of the other cases in your list.

Silverstone FT03 mini is compatible with GPUs up to 254mm long. I would like a case that accepts slightly longer cards than that (I believe full-length PCI cards are 312mm long) so that I don't have to worry too much about GPU length when I decide to upgrade (it seems like GPU length keeps increasing with every new card generation).

You've just about covered them all there.
As you've noticed, this a is a gap in the market of boutique cases being unfulfilled atm.
There are cases coming as you know but you don't seem to like any of them for your reasons as explained.

There are compromises in the world of boutique cases, most of your dislikes are due to vents and these have to be in place to dissipate heat.
The current trend of enthusiasts who buy boutique cases is to populate them with the highest end components they can fit.
These inevitably produce a lot of heat that has to be removed to enable consistent performance from these high end performing components.

Welcome to the world of SFF !!!

After owning Silverstone RVZ02, I said to myself that I would never buy an open (heavily vented) case, or a case with unfiltered vents at the bottom/sides/back of the case or with vents of any kind on the top of the case. RVZ02 didn't have any noise dampening and dust buildup was terrible although I kept it in vertical orientation. Micro dust did not just stick to the bottom of the case but also on the sides of the case and on every component. I understand these are Silverstone RVZ02 specific problems but I would like to avoid making similar mistakes.

If a case has good airflow, you don't need as many vents as some of these cases have. I can understand that very small cases (under 10 l) have many vents since achieving good airflow is basically impossible so heat will accumulate in corners and other places with no airflow. But most of the cases I listed are fairly big for small form factor (17 to 22 l) so achieving good airflow shouldn't be a problem.

I also find vents aesthetically unpleasing. I guess the problem is that cases with vertically orientated GPU need to look good from all sides so vents are aesthetic design element. One would think that there will be at least one case with vents hidden at the bottom and the back of the case.

Unfortunately, vents are only one of the problems I have with current SFF cases. A lot of SFF cases occupy fairly big surface area on a desk or have large depth/width so placing them on smaller desks can be difficult. The solution to that are old desktop style cases (like Skyreach 4 MINI by @Josh | NFC) and cases with vertically installed GPU. Another problem is that you are quite limited in what components you can buy to put in SFF case. But I am now going off topic ...

Thanks for the suggestion. GPU length is limited to 270mm which is a bit shorter than what I would like. For anyone interested, the Galaxy W1 case is 369mm tall with a 205mm diameter (volume is 12 l).

Any other recommendations?
 
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Necere

Shrink Way Wielder
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
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Just curious, where do you imagine the vents should go? Or what would be acceptable to you? Typically with small cases you either need enough ventilation on the sides for the components to breathe, or the case needs to be larger to allow enough room for airflow inside.
 

cornut

Caliper Novice
Jan 28, 2019
32
23
Please post your recommendations if you know of any other cases with vertically orientated GPUs that would occupy small surface area on a desk and accommodate full-length GPUs at the same time.

I know you mentioned the FT03, but as another poster said, check out the FT03-MINI (it's the ITX version). It isn't the smallest overall, but when it comes to footprint it isn't bad. It's a little larger around than a 120mm AIO radiator, it was designed to fit smaller 120mm AIO's like the H60. It also has a slot load optical drive, it's there if you want it, but it blends/doesn't look bad if you don't. It can also fit 2.5" & 3.5" drives.

With its square(ish) shape it doesn't need a base that's larger/wider than the PC itself, the actual footprint is usable space top to bottom.
 
Last edited:

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
2,098
2,049
I think there are some more but I just did a casual search in the Chinese market and come up with these two.

a) aboStudio's Bunker (233 W x 233 D x 446 H)

https://world.taobao.com/item/559202194902.htm

b) Mechanic Master's T12 (129 W x 216 D x 404 H)

https://world.taobao.com/item/572364416299.htm?spm=a21wu.11804641-tw.0.0.528a4651Dvaak2
Install video part 1: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av38398589/
part 2: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av38545074/
part 3: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av38848481/

BTW, Jonsbo VR1 is not totally discontinued. Eg, it is available here:-
https://world.taobao.com/item/536202910101.htm
 
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tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
2,098
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When a display card is installed vertically, it is likely (and perhaps unavoidable) that some of its heat pipes are going to have 'reduced capacity' because of having to work against gravity. This factor should be included for you to consider when you choose a GPU.
 

MatTKO

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
13
7
Just curious, where do you imagine the vents should go? Or what would be acceptable to you? Typically with small cases you either need enough ventilation on the sides for the components to breathe, or the case needs to be larger to allow enough room for airflow inside.

Personally, I would put vents at the bottom and on the back of the case. Not every case needs to look good from all visible sides, and a lot of people will put their cases next to a wall.

I think that increasing case's width to around 200mm (so that it occupies around 200 x 200mm surface area on the desk) would provide enough space for inside airflow.

On top of that, increasing the width should allow for more layout schemes like in MachOne.

I know you mentioned the FT03, but as another poster said, check out the FT03-MINI (it's the ITX version). It isn't the smallest overall, but when it comes to footprint it isn't bad. It's a little larger around than a 120mm AIO radiator, it was designed to fit smaller 120mm AIO's like the H60. It also has a slot load optical drive, it's there if you want it, but it blends/doesn't look bad if you don't. It can also fit 2.5" & 3.5" drives.

With its square(ish) shape it doesn't need a base that's larger/wider than the PC itself, the actual footprint is usable space top to bottom.

As I said:
Silverstone FT03 mini is compatible with GPUs up to 254mm long. I would like a case that accepts slightly longer cards than that (I believe full-length PCI cards are 312mm long) so that I don't have to worry too much about GPU length when I decide to upgrade (it seems like GPU length keeps increasing with every new card generation).

I think there are some more but I just did a casual search in the Chinese market and come up with these two.

a) aboStudio's Bunker (233 W x 233 D x 446 H)

https://world.taobao.com/item/559202194902.htm

b) Mechanic Master's T12 (129 W x 216 D x 404 H)

https://world.taobao.com/item/572364416299.htm?spm=a21wu.11804641-tw.0.0.528a4651Dvaak2
Install video part 1: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av38398589/
part 2: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av38545074/
part 3: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av38848481/

BTW, Jonsbo VR1 is not totally discontinued. Eg, it is available here:-
https://world.taobao.com/item/536202910101.htm

The aboStudio's Bunker case is very similar to Jonsbo VR1. Since it has similar ventilation system like VR1 (vents only on the top and bottom of the case, with the vents on top pushing the air through the back of the case) but without any turning vanes, it probably has even worse airflow than VR1. It is also quite large with its 24 l of volume and absolutely ridiculously priced (over $500 withous shipping, VAT or possible duties).

Mechanic Master's T12 is has too many vents on the sides and on the top for my taste.

I had no idea that Chinese market has so many boutique cases. I tried searching on taobao but didn't come with this many results that are so close to what I am looking.

Not as vented, thin-ish and tall, max 410mm gpu, don't know if the footprint is what you had in mind tho

http://www.lian-li.com/pc-07s/

I had Silverstone RVZ02 and wasn't too happy with it. I think that form factor doesn't really work in vertical orientation.

When a display card is installed vertically, it is likely (and perhaps unavoidable) that some of its heat pipes are going to have 'reduced capacity' because of having to work against gravity. This factor should be included for you to consider when you choose a GPU.

Never really thought of that! Has anyone ever done some tests on this subject? Sounds like an interesting thing to test out.

I don't think that placing the card vertically would affect cooling performance in any meaningful way (maybe a degree or two).


Any other recommendations?


A case with dimensions 200 x 200 x 375 (height) mm, volume around 15 l and no visible vents would be perfect.
 

Necere

Shrink Way Wielder
NCASE
Feb 22, 2015
1,705
3,201
A case with dimensions 200 x 200 x 375 (height) mm, volume around 15 l and no visible vents would be perfect.
200x200 is tough. You can't get there with a conventional layout; just the motherboard and a dual-slot GPU are more than 200mm wide alone, add in some clearance for the GPU intake and you're looking at 220+ for just the components:



An actual case would end up closer to 235mm once chassis structural features and panels are taken into account. Also note the extra height required to cover up the cables at the top puts us well over 375mm tall with a 312mm GPU - and that's before considering any bottom intake fan.


Moving to a sandwich layout can get you to under 200mm wide for the components (we'll ignore the PSU for now):



However, you still need to think about airflow. Bottom intake with this layout would push the height up another 40-50mm (fan+clearance), which I don't think you'd be too keen on.


Best I can come up with is to put both the intake and exhaust fans on the same side, like so:



That pushes it back up over 200mm, but at least it's closer this time. I'm also not that confident that this would perform well thermally - especially once the PSU is added into the equation.


Bottom line, you won't find any cases that meet your exact requirements, which aren't even achievable, realistically (though it may be possible to get close).
 

Mortis Angelus

Airflow Optimizer
Bronze Supporter
Jun 22, 2017
279
275
NEED RECOMMENDATIONS for cases with vertically orientated GPUs like Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Shift and Chimera MachOne.

Hi everyone!

This is my first post here.

For the last few days I have been looking for small form factor PC cases that have small area footprint while supporting full-length GPUs. I have come to the conclusion that the cases with vertically orientated GPUs are the best fit for my two requirements.

Here are the cases I have found so far and my opinion of them:

CASE (width, depth, height; maximum GPU length; volume) - OPINION

  1. Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Shift (170 x 274 x 470 mm; GPU length up to 350 mm; 22 l) - I don't like vents on top of the case. Quite large with its 22 l of volume.
  2. Jonsbo / Cooltek VR1 (239 x 238 x 387 mm; GPU length up to 320 mm; 22 l) - Probably has poor ventilation (due to motherboard placement it has vents only on the top and bottom of the case, the vents on top actually duct air to the back of the case). Quite large with its 22 l of volume. Discontinued.
  3. SilverStone Fortress FT03 (235 x 284 x 487 mm; GPU length up to 349 mm; 33 l) - A bit too deep for my desk (I would prefer a case with depth around 200 mm). I don't like vents on top and side of the case and its design. Too big to be considered small form factor PC case (33 l).

    The internet has taken me to China so I have discovered:
  4. Sunmilo FS01 (170 x 260 x 320 mm; GPU length up to ?; 14 l) - Has too many vents and openings which I find aestheticly unpleasing and it might lead to higher dust buildup. Also, quite deep (260 mm).
  5. D-A4LH (164 x 246 x 429 mm; GPU length up to 335 mm; 17,5 l) - Too many vents. Dust buildup would be high and it probably can't even dampen fan bearing noise, let alone GPU noise under full load. Depth and volume still above what I would find optimal.
    Both Chinese cases are expensive (probably above $200 with shipping) and difficult to obtain (I would probable need to organize shipping from China through a shipping agent).


    I have also found multiple projects on this site like Breathe and Vertex by @DSE, Chimera MachOne by @PlayfulPhoenix, @Necere's vertical case concept, EVE 01 by @ehqhvm, Projects Skuld and Reality by @Karamazovmm that are in various phases of development from already on the market to seemingly abandoned.


  6. Chimera MachOne (170 x 286 x 380 mm; GPU length up to 315 mm; 18,5 l) - A bit too deep for my desk. Too many vents. Case volume is still above what I would find optimal.
  7. Breathe case (183 x 115 x 347 mm; GPU length up to 322 mm; 7,3 l) - Far too open for my taste.

    Other cases are still far off, abandoned or won't be produced/sold to others.


Please post your recommendations if you know of any other cases with vertically orientated GPUs that would occupy small surface area on a desk and accommodate full-length GPUs at the same time.

How about one of the Lian-Li PC-O5/O6/O7 cases? Expensive, but relatively narrow form factor.
 
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MatTKO

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
13
7
200x200 is tough. You can't get there with a conventional layout; just the motherboard and a dual-slot GPU are more than 200mm wide alone, add in some clearance for the GPU intake and you're looking at 220+ for just the components:



An actual case would end up closer to 235mm once chassis structural features and panels are taken into account. Also note the extra height required to cover up the cables at the top puts us well over 375mm tall with a 312mm GPU - and that's before considering any bottom intake fan.


Moving to a sandwich layout can get you to under 200mm wide for the components (we'll ignore the PSU for now):



However, you still need to think about airflow. Bottom intake with this layout would push the height up another 40-50mm (fan+clearance), which I don't think you'd be too keen on.


Best I can come up with is to put both the intake and exhaust fans on the same side, like so:



That pushes it back up over 200mm, but at least it's closer this time. I'm also not that confident that this would perform well thermally - especially once the PSU is added into the equation.


Bottom line, you won't find any cases that meet your exact requirements, which aren't even achievable, realistically (though it may be possible to get close).

Thanks for layout sketches. A case with 235mm depth would work pretty well for me. I actually set maximum case depth at 280mm because that is half of my desk's depth. Since I sometimes put large files on the desk (350mm), having a case shorter than 280mm would mean that those files would stick out a lot less and I would be able to access the drawers a lot easier.

Jonsbo VR1 and aboStudio's Bunker case are very close to what I am looking for. Unfortunatelly, both cases have the same problems which I already listed:
Jonsbo / Cooltek VR1 (239 x 238 x 387 mm; GPU length up to 320 mm; 22 l) - Probably has poor ventilation (due to motherboard placement it has vents only on the top and bottom of the case, the vents on top actually duct air to the back of the case). Quite large with its 22 l of volume. Discontinued.​

The aboStudio's Bunker case is very similar to Jonsbo VR1. Since it has similar ventilation system like VR1 (vents only on the top and bottom of the case, with the vents on top pushing the air through the back of the case) but without any turning vanes, it probably has even worse airflow than VR1. It is also quite large with its 24 l of volume and absolutely ridiculously priced (over $500 withous shipping, VAT or possible duties).​
If the layout of these two cases was rotated by 90 degrees (looking from the top), so that the motherboard is on the side and not at the back, they would be able to put vents at the back of the case.


How about one of the Lian-Li PC-O5/O6/O7 cases? Expensive, but relatively narrow form factor.

I am limited by case's depth, not width. If this case and especially MachOne in GearTwo layout had the window as the front of the case and all the cable and other openings at the back of the case (behind the motherboard), that layout would work as well provided there was enough room for airflow (vents on the side might be necessesary). Are there any cases like that (with longer width than depth)?
 
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MatTKO

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
13
7
I have found another case on Taobao.

Abee AS Enclosure RS07 (249 x 249 x 429 mm; GPU length up to 280 mm; 26,5 l) - This case is actually Made in Japan although I found it on taobao. It is very similar to Jonsbo VR1 and aboStudio's Bunker case but it seems that the designer of this case finally realized that the vents can be placed at the back of the case. Unfortunately, though it is 429 mm high and has 26,5 l of volume, the case can only accept GPU that is up to 280 mm long.

I am done with searching. If anyone else knows of any other cases with vertically oriented graphics card, please post them here.

Since I haven't found the perfect case, I might spend some time sketching different layouts just to see whether a case with my requirements can be made in a small form factor while at the same time occupying the smallest possible surface area on a desk.
 

MatTKO

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
13
7
A user on this forum recently came up with a vertical modular concept case.
It might be of interest to you.

SFF Tower case gaming PC by svedrum:
https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/sff-tower-case-gaming-pc.9986/

I have completely missed this case. The dimensions are basically perfect (140 x 186 x 379 mm, up to 320 mm long GPU, 10 l) but I don't like that it is heavily vented.

I am now trying to come up with a PC case layout that would be closed at the front, top and on the sides of the case. That would prevent excessive dust buildup and provide at least some noise dampening.