Here's an idea : <5L cube (Flex ATX, Multiple SSDs, 120mm case fan)

yay or nay ?

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    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • 1

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5

hardcore_gamer

electronbender
Original poster
Aug 10, 2016
149
123
Just a wild idea of an arrangement (3 "vertical columns") to provide good airflow and to support multiple 2.5" drives in a <5L/~5L case:
  • 142mm x 180mm x 195mm mITX cube with FlexATX PSU
  • Good air ventilation for CPU, GPU, PSU and MB
  • 120mm slim front case fan
  • Two 80mmx15mm top case fans
  • upto three 2.5" drives
  • ~250mm PCIe extender cable required
Edit 1: I probably won't get time to make a case any time soon. I've uploaded the skp file of this arrangement here if anybody wants to take this further.
Edit 2: Added two more fans and better renderings

Setup concept images:






With fans removed:








Other thoughts:
  • There's a tiny area above the PSU for a small bit of cable management (see the above image)
  • PCI extender cable may be routed between the SSD cage and the PSU in "┎┛ " shape to avoid blocking the airflow.
  • May be a transparent side window is possible now that GPU chamber has good airflow from the top and the front ?

What do you guys think ?
 
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Aibohphobia

aka James
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,957
4,701
I don't know how to (and probably won't) make cases
Not with that kind of attitude you won't! It can be a tedious and time-consuming process but it's not an insurmountable level of difficulty even if you don't have any formal education or training in CAD and sheet metal design. Here's a good starting point: https://smallformfactor.net/forum/resources/useful-references-for-case-design.4/

And there's several people here with experience that can answer questions.

Or if you have the money, you can just throw cash at a company like Protocase to turn even a napkin sketch into a working product.
 
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hardcore_gamer

electronbender
Original poster
Aug 10, 2016
149
123
Not with that kind of attitude you won't! It can be a tedious and time-consuming process but it's not an insurmountable level of difficulty even if you don't have any formal education or training in CAD and sheet metal design. Here's a good starting point: https://smallformfactor.net/forum/resources/useful-references-for-case-design.4/

And there's several people here with experience that can answer questions.

Or if you have the money, you can just throw cash at a company like Protocase to turn even a napkin sketch into a working product.
Thanks for the input. I'd love to learn mechanical CAD design. However, with my current job (Mixed Signal EE, customer facing), and the frequent travelling because of it , I rarely get any time for personal projects. Looks like throwing cash at a company is the only option that works for me :).
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,222
2,334
freilite.com
Well that's certainly an interesting layout. As a custom build, I could see it happening if you duct the front 120 fan through the PSU. Otherwise, you'll be having issues with thermals on the PSU, and that will lead to a LOT of noise.
 
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alex1577

Chassis Packer
Jun 14, 2016
17
4
That's a very unique layout you designed, but i don't really like that a lot of the volume is stored in the width. Generally i prefer the case to be stacked vertically for less two dimensional volume (length x width). I definitely prefer the layout in your profile picture. It would be possible to get that at ~5l as well, using 270L x 330H x 56W. However the only spot for a single 2.5mm ssd would be resting flat over the chipset and pci-e slot.
 

hardcore_gamer

electronbender
Original poster
Aug 10, 2016
149
123
That's a very unique layout you designed, but i don't really like that a lot of the volume is stored in the width. Generally i prefer the case to be stacked vertically for less two dimensional volume (length x width). I definitely prefer the layout in your profile picture. It would be possible to get that at ~5l as well, using 270L x 330H x 56W. However the only spot for a single 2.5mm ssd would be resting flat over the chipset and pci-e slot.
I made it wide so that it can accommodate multiple 2.5" SSDs and a 120mm fan (FlexATX PSUs are noisy when they only rely on their built-in 40mm fans for airflow). I like thin cases too. However, the layout in my profile pic isn't practical because the PSU won't get good airflow.
Practical, thin Flex ATX designs can be found here:

1. Freilite Brevis S: slim and sexy @4.957 L
2. Hutzy XS : very efficient use of space @3.99L !
 
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iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,222
2,334
freilite.com
However, the layout in my profile pic isn't practical because the PSU won't get good airflow.
Before Brevis S, I actually tried to make that very same layout happen, but it would've required an 80mm fan on the FlexATX PSU, so that's something to take on in the future when FSP trusts me enough to make a somewhat custom PSU for me.

But yeah, the PSU will get a lot of hot air from the GPU (which would make it extremely loud) or need to exhaust hot air towards the GPU (fan will have to fight harder against the pressure, case will probably have to be slightly wider) or require ducting (case will be quite a bit wider). So it's a complicated design challenge.
 

hardcore_gamer

electronbender
Original poster
Aug 10, 2016
149
123
But yeah, the PSU will get a lot of hot air from the GPU (which would make it extremely loud) or need to exhaust hot air towards the GPU (fan will have to fight harder against the pressure, case will probably have to be slightly wider) or require ducting (case will be quite a bit wider). So it's a complicated design challenge.
Agree. This type of layout is better suited for SFX / SFX-L power supplies. Zaber Sentry pretty much nailed it.

Before Brevis S, I actually tried to make that very same layout happen, but it would've required an 80mm fan on the FlexATX PSU, so that's something to take on in the future when FSP trusts me enough to make a somewhat custom PSU for me.
It'd be great if you can convince them to create a Flex ATX PSU with 80mm fan. PSU form-factor is really holding back sub 5L SFF designs.
Flex ATX form factor can easily fit >700W designs if the manufacturers weren't so lazy. I have designed 2KW resonant converters that fit in smaller volume.