INARI - Cerberus in sand

Ankacat

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Mar 11, 2016
41
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First thread, first proper build log, yay! (I hope I don't mess this up)

After over a year of stalking this project, I'm glad to say that I'm the happy owner of a Kimera Cerberus mATX case! As my setup is only as old as Black Friday 2015, this was a relatively simple component transplant of a modest system but lacks the pretty pile of boxes of an all new build.

Setup:
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4590
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte H97M-D3H
  • GPU: Zotac - Nvidia Geforce GTX 960
  • Storage: 250 GB Samsung 850 EVO | 1 TB Seagate Barracuda
  • Old Case: Cooler Master N200
  • New Case: KI Cerberus - beige
** 12/29 - Additional color shots **

Overall impression
:

Cerberus is everything I'd hoped it'd be! Its pop-off panels made access extremely simple from all directions, the Infinite Vents allowed easy micromanaging of fan and hard drive placement, and the carrying handle is easily attached and removed from the outside. This was also my first SFF build so I can now fully appreciate part layout and cable routing gymnastics; I didn't run into much of a personal learning curve due to having small and thin fingers/hands which made things significantly easier to navigate.

The washi tape decoration was a fun tangent to explore, as it's easily removable and there's a ton of color and pattern options available.

The pre-production status of this case also meant that official instruction manual documentation does not yet exist, which posed a little bit of a challenge for a novice builder such as myself due to being spoiled with the excessively detailed documentation included with the Cooler Master. Figuring out the 3.5" hard drive bracket was the most difficult task but with a bit of trial and error I think I managed to arrive at the correct (or an incorrect but functional) solution. Not really knowing each type of screw and its typical use case(s) made for a lot of counting and magnified thread examination.

TL;DR - It was so easy, even a clueless beginner with a few critical thinking skills could succeed!

As can be seen in the slideshow, I accidentally installed one of the two bottom intake fans upside-down; this did (of course) have an effect on internal temperatures. Correcting the problem reverted temperatures to similar but slightly higher numbers than in the old case, which was what I expected to find.

Future plans for this case include more decorating shenanigans and mounting a slim ODD on the front panel for either convenient storage until called into action, or outright disk access via the side openings.

*** Update 2017/06/24 ***
Optical drive proof of concept test was a success, with just enough room to hit the eject button by hand. Now I just need to decide how I'd like to securely mount it.

*** Update 2017/06/30 ***
Borrowed one of the sides of the 2.5" bracket to use as a bottom support and rubber coated twist ties do the rest. I wanted something that would be stable but easily removable, and I think I've succeeded enough for my own purposes.
Designing a more elegant solution like a 3-D printed custom bracket might be fun to try as a side project!

*** Update 2017/12/29 - Cable Management (sort of) **
Finally! Also featuring right-side-out ODD, rearranged hard drives, and robot ears while flexing the top panel in the other direction for a while.

*** Update 2018/06/19 ***
I wound up getting a good price on a new GPU, secondhand unopened. It's comically big compared to the trusty GTX 960; there's also completely unnecessary but admittedly pretty lights and it's now one less thing to be concerned about for quite a while! There's also one more fan in the case, added in a moment of "eh why not?" after retrieving it from a resurrected Dell headed back to closet retirement.
 
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Kwirek

Cable-Tie Ninja
Nov 19, 2016
186
198
Nice colours! Perhaps an extension for that sata power-cable could solve the bulge-problem?

Future plans for this case include more decorating shenanigans and mounting a slim ODD on the front panel for either convenient storage until called into action, or outright disk access via the side openings.

Clever, I wonder how that would work out. Personally I have to admit that I caved and bought an external which I taped to the underside of my desk.
 
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Aibohphobia

aka James
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,723
Looks fantastic!

Its pop-off panels made access extremely simple from all directions

It's great to hear you find the panels easy to remove since that's one of the big issues with the prototypes. I dreaded having to work in it
because it was a struggle each time to pry the panels off :p

Figuring out the 3.5" hard drive bracket was the most difficult task but with a bit of trial and error I think I managed to arrive at the correct (or an incorrect but functional) solution.

Looks correct to me from what I can see in the picture.

Not really knowing each type of screw and its typical use case(s) made for a lot of counting and magnified thread examination.

The screws for the 2.5" drive mounted to the motherboard tray would ideally be countersunk M3 but I'm not actually sure offhand if these cases came with any. Sorry about that.
 

Ankacat

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Mar 11, 2016
41
107
Nice colours!



Clever, I wonder how that would work out. Personally I have to admit that I caved and bought an external which I taped to the underside of my desk.

I was able to confirm that an external ODD does fit easily under the front panel, so for just storing the thing I'd only need to settle on a secure mounting method for transit. I'm definitely more amused by the possibility of a slot-load drive shifted to one side or the other since there's enough space left in the opening used by the top panel connectors to put another cable or two through to the motherboard.
 

Ankacat

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Mar 11, 2016
41
107
The screws for the 2.5" drive mounted to the motherboard tray would ideally be countersunk M3 but I'm not actually sure offhand if these cases came with any. Sorry about that.

There might be some that I overlooked, there were certainly a lot of screws that came in the parts box and I didn't even wind up opening all of the sub-packets of them.
 

TheHig

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Oct 13, 2016
941
1,156
Really like the accent with the washi tape. Nice job on the build and thanks for sharing!
 

KSliger

King of Cable Management
Sliger Designs
Gold Supporter
May 8, 2015
846
3,142
We'll change the way screws are kitted with parts, if there were any short please let us know. I'll get feedback from KI on what they'd like for documentation but from a cost & revision perspective lean more towards an online build guide than printed documents.

Interested to see what you do for slim ODD. Tape looks great!
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
1,049
1,960
I've come back to this build a few times, as I really like how it turned out! The washi tape, in particular, is a really nice touch. Takes it full-retro in a really endearingly nostalgic way that I quite appreciate.

Thanks much for sharing :) I'll be curious as to how the front-mounted ODD works out if you ever get it installed.
 
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Ankacat

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Mar 11, 2016
41
107
I've come back to this build a few times, as I really like how it turned out! The washi tape, in particular, is a really nice touch. Takes it full-retro in a really endearingly nostalgic way that I quite appreciate.

Thanks much for sharing :) I'll be curious as to how the front-mounted ODD works out if you ever get it installed.
The best part about the washi tape for me is that it'll be easy to change around and experiment with; the case's color triggers my "this is a blank parchment, I must art it!" instincts. I've got some ideas for more ambitious decoration efforts but it'll require a little more planning than "hey I'm going to stick tape on this thing and hope it doesn't look terrible". In the meanwhile I do need to clean up some of the existing edging.

I'm also happy to report that my ODD experiment was victorious; works fine even with the drive just resting on top of the bottom pegs for now. Photo evidence added to op!
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,243
2,357
freilite.com
*** Update 6/24 ***

Optical drive proof of concept test was a success, with just enough room to hit the eject button by hand. Now I just need to decide how I'd like to securely mount it.

3D-printed brackets would probably work extremely well here. My first idea was double-sided foam tape like 3M VHB, but that might actually be too thick.
 
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Ankacat

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Mar 11, 2016
41
107
3D-printed brackets would probably work extremely well here. My first idea was double-sided foam tape like 3M VHB, but that might actually be too thick.

I considered tape but decided I'd rather not be sticking things directly to the frame; I went with a squishy twist tie sort of solution instead. Learning more about modeling for 3-D printing and coming up with bracket designs for this or other random things might be the next project for me to play with. :thumb:
 

Ankacat

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Mar 11, 2016
41
107
I've got a "travelling with Cerberus" update!

With the occasion being a family wedding in farm country paired with online homework in need of submission during the same time period, I decided to take my Cerberus for a trip test in lieu of the trusty old laptop. While Cerberus has a handle and falls within both carry-on and underseat dimension guidelines for Southwest Airlines, I placed it in a generic sewing machine travel bag for extra protection, wheels, and being able to pack my keyboard and other goodies in the same bag. My usb-powered art tablet served admirably as a travel monitor, allowing me to have a (reasonably) portable full desktop setup requiring only a single power outlet.

Flying U.S. domestic with Cerberus turned out to be about as easy as I could have hoped, aside from it getting a bonus scan and a few funny looks at both airport security gates. While I didn't take pictures of this step, Cerberus fit nicely into the plastic bins at each of the x-ray machines it encountered. Boarding and stowing Cerberus in its bag in the overhead bins was reasonably easy, though with my build weighing in at roughly 17.5 lbs outside of the carrying bag, a fair amount of caution is necessary when placing and removing it from an elevated compartment.

Outside of the airport, battlestation setup in the motel room was nice and simple, though I'd like to look into working out some sort of tablet mount to attach to Cerberus' carry handle to raise the screen closer to eye level. A freestanding tablet stand such as the Ikea Rimforsa also works when just placed on top of the case (I've done this at home), but I'd rather have a side-mounted solution to avoid exhaust heat and blocking use of the handle.
 

Ankacat

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Mar 11, 2016
41
107
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