Prototype Knarr: ~12L case with a focus on liquid cooling and aesthetics

Poblopuablo

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Jan 14, 2018
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I measured roughly 109mm

I'll make the next version just that little mm bigger :)
That would be awesome than a nh-d9l would fit and work quite well in this case. With a 240mm on the GPU. (Something like the most common kraken g12+aio, id-cooling's icekimo 240 vga, or even bykski's new aio blocks for the 5700/xt or rtx series!)
 
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Shatrod

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That would be awesome than a nh-d9l would fit and work quite well in this case. With a 240mm on the GPU. (Something like the most common kraken g12+aio, id-cooling's icekimo 240 vga, or even bykski's new aio blocks for the 5700/xt or rtx series!)
I'm also toying with the idea of adding a second 240mm radiator support. Ncase m1 style over the motherboard. Thought you might like that direction too :)
 

JDragon

Average Stuffer
Aug 22, 2018
79
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This looks fantastic! Very pleased to see wood being used in the case, I think all 3 of the prototypes are great color combos.

Was going to ask if anodization was possible but I’m guessing with the switch to steel that it has to be powder coated?

Some thoughts on size + cooler compatibility if you are adjusting the width of the case:

115mm CPU cooler clearance allows the Noctua NH-C14S (if a panel with vents over the CPU is available)

125mm CPU cooler clearance allows the Noctua NH-U9S.

I believe these are the two most popular air coolers with the NCase M1.

Not sure how wide the case is at the moment but widening it slightly may allow for quieter 80mm rear fans and thicker GPUs.

Might be able to buy a lot of compatibility for 15-20mm extra in width and the associated volume increase if you are amenable to that.

A wood inlay on the blank part of the front panel might look good also, but not sure if there is enough metal visible to balance out the look with an inlay.
 
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Poblopuablo

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I
This looks fantastic! Very pleased to see wood being used in the case, I think all 3 of the prototypes are great color combos.

Was going to ask if anodization was possible but I’m guessing with the switch to steel that it has to be powder coated?

Some thoughts on size + cooler compatibility if you are adjusting the width of the case:

115mm CPU cooler clearance allows the Noctua NH-C14S (if a panel with vents over the CPU is available)

125mm CPU cooler clearance allows the Noctua NH-U9S.

I believe these are the two most popular air coolers with the NCase M1.

Not sure how wide the case is at the moment but widening it slightly may allow for quieter 80mm rear fans and thicker GPUs.

Might be able to buy a lot of compatibility for 15-20mm extra in width and the associated volume increase if you are amenable to that.

A wood inlay on the blank part of the front panel might look good also, but not sure if there is enough metal visible to balance out the look with an inlay.
Think the main issue of adding width to the case would be a increase of volume. For every 10mm of thickness it's almost 1L of volume, so 15-20mm is 1.48-1.96L of increased volume. The nh-d9l or any 3u server cooler will work with 115mm clearence. Yes it would be nice if vented panels could be used also because then dual 240aio may be possible, additionally ventilation would allow for more ample cooling for open air cards.

Personally I'd prefer the slimmer aesthetic than the increased volume.
 

Shatrod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Dec 6, 2019
128
151
This looks fantastic! Very pleased to see wood being used in the case, I think all 3 of the prototypes are great color combos.

Was going to ask if anodization was possible but I’m guessing with the switch to steel that it has to be powder coated?

Some thoughts on size + cooler compatibility if you are adjusting the width of the case:

115mm CPU cooler clearance allows the Noctua NH-C14S (if a panel with vents over the CPU is available)

125mm CPU cooler clearance allows the Noctua NH-U9S.

I believe these are the two most popular air coolers with the NCase M1.

Not sure how wide the case is at the moment but widening it slightly may allow for quieter 80mm rear fans and thicker GPUs.

Might be able to buy a lot of compatibility for 15-20mm extra in width and the associated volume increase if you are amenable to that.

A wood inlay on the blank part of the front panel might look good also, but not sure if there is enough metal visible to balance out the look with an inlay.
Thank you!

Anodization was not possible due to the steel pem nuts and standoffs. V2 will likely have steel frame and aluminum side panels however that I would like to anodize.

I agree an extra 10/20 mm width would increase compatibility but I am trying to avoid feature creep. I already made V2 wider by 4mm (in design) to accomodate the nhd9l and that was kind of a hard pill to swallow but it made sense to do. I think now with that increase it strikes a good balance but is definitely on the larger side of sff cases already.

Fully vented side panels are also included in V2.

At the same time I did not abandon work on my existing prototypes. I made them the power buttons this weekend and I will be ordering plexi side panels laser cut today.

@Poblopuablo which 240mm aio do you have? I have been looking at them and most have a pretty chunky pump block...
 

Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
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Thank you!

Anodization was not possible due to the steel pem nuts and standoffs. V2 will likely have steel frame and aluminum side panels however that I would like to anodize.

I agree an extra 10/20 mm width would increase compatibility but I am trying to avoid feature creep. I already made V2 wider by 4mm (in design) to accomodate the nhd9l and that was kind of a hard pill to swallow but it made sense to do. I think now with that increase it strikes a good balance but is definitely on the larger side of sff cases already.

Fully vented side panels are also included in V2.

At the same time I did not abandon work on my existing prototypes. I made them the power buttons this weekend and I will be ordering plexi side panels laser cut today.

@Poblopuablo which 240mm aio do you have? I have been looking at them and most have a pretty chunky pump block...
For my GPU I have an icekimo 240 vga rgb http://www.idcooling.com/Product/detail/id/87/name/ICEKIMO 240VGA

It keeps the card @ 2 slots. But now I'm thinking the issue would be hitting the CPU heatsink since the tube come right out of the GPU @ a 90° angle.


Kraken g12 + h55(or h105 if thick rad can be used) or thermaltake aio's or even aesetek's own non-branded aio's would be good options due to the low profile, no fancy RGB BS pump. :)
 
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Shatrod

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Dec 6, 2019
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For my GPU I have an icekimo 240 vga rgb http://www.idcooling.com/Product/detail/id/87/name/ICEKIMO 240VGA

It keeps the card @ 2 slots. But now I'm thinking the issue would be hitting the CPU heatsink since the tube come right out of the GPU @ a 90° angle.


Kraken g12 + h55(or h105 if thick rad can be used) or thermaltake aio's or even aesetek's own non-branded aio's would be good options due to the low profile, no fancy RGB BS pump. :)
Thanks for clarifying. I checked in the cad model and at present those larger aios would not fit despite clearance for a 2.5 slot gpu. For example the nzxt krakens have a 55mm tall pump block, that would not fit behind the side panel. I could extend the case by another 3mm to make it work.... But then it's only another 4 mm for a noctua c14... And then just another 3mm for something else... It's all going to add up very fast.
 

Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
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Thanks for clarifying. I checked in the cad model and at present those larger aios would not fit despite clearance for a 2.5 slot gpu. For example the nzxt krakens have a 55mm tall pump block, that would not fit behind the side panel. I could extend the case by another 3mm to make it work.... But then it's only another 4 mm for a noctua c14... And then just another 3mm for something else... It's all going to add up very fast.
Yeah the kraken aio line has a tall block. Corsair(especially their 4th and 5th gen pump models), thermaltake, and asetek house brand are much shorter.
 
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Shatrod

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I whipped up some renders of the version two redesign.

Quick highlights of the changes:
  1. introduced a core frame and side panels that bolt on
  2. core frame made out of steel, wood now decorative element only, not structural
  3. aluminum side panels can be anodized
  4. front vents removed for a cleaner look. Relocated to bottom below gpu.
  5. widened the core by 4 mm to support 2.5 slot video cards + give them breathing room. Also now supports 110mm cpu cooler height
  6. rear 60mm fan spacing and position now supports the Alphacool NexXxos XT45 dual 60mm radiator.
  7. new color options. silver/ash and dark grey walnut. Maybe (toying with the idea) of blue/carbon fiber.
  8. new size and thus new volume - with side panels on, not counting how far the screws jot out and no feet yet: L=314.65 H=318.56 W=135.9 which comes out to 13.62L. I find this part amazing because it really only got a handful of mm bigger in every dimension.

Still need to figure out:
  • where to put the power button.
  • how tall to make the feet and how to make them in general actually. Leaning towards 3d printing.
  • find new manufacturing partners that can perforate aluminum. Laser cutting all those holes will definitely not be cost efficient.
  • find a place that can anodize aluminum.
  • try to do all of the above without going bankrupt. This will most certainly raise the price and will need some actual volume to be feasible.
Here are the pics:

 

Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Jan 14, 2018
738
381
I whipped up some renders of the version two redesign.

Quick highlights of the changes:
  1. introduced a core frame and side panels that bolt on
  2. core frame made out of steel, wood now decorative element only, not structural
  3. aluminum side panels can be anodized
  4. front vents removed for a cleaner look. Relocated to bottom below gpu.
  5. widened the core by 4 mm to support 2.5 slot video cards + give them breathing room. Also now supports 110mm cpu cooler height
  6. rear 60mm fan spacing and position now supports the Alphacool NexXxos XT45 dual 60mm radiator.
  7. new color options. silver/ash and dark grey walnut. Maybe (toying with the idea) of blue/carbon fiber.
  8. new size and thus new volume - with side panels on, not counting how far the screws jot out and no feet yet: L=314.65 H=318.56 W=135.9 which comes out to 13.62L. I find this part amazing because it really only got a handful of mm bigger in every dimension.

Still need to figure out:
  • where to put the power button.
  • how tall to make the feet and how to make them in general actually. Leaning towards 3d printing.
  • find new manufacturing partners that can perforate aluminum. Laser cutting all those holes will definitely not be cost efficient.
  • find a place that can anodize aluminum.
  • try to do all of the above without going bankrupt. This will most certainly raise the price and will need some actual volume to be feasible.
Here are the pics:

Dude this is looking seller. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a strong clean front aesthetic, but some kind of accent (if cost prohibitive) may go a long way. Maybe minor venting, maybe power button, maybe nothing and it's fine as is. Just a thought.

But that is looking hella clean!!

Do you have concern for color matching? If you plan to anno the side and powder coat the main chassis then this could cause problems. Wow. That size did come up quick. 13.6L. still pretty compact. Maybe go with bumpon feet. 10mm tall bump on? Just an idea. :) (Similar to what the sg13 has)
 
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Shatrod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
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Dec 6, 2019
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Dude this is looking seller. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a strong clean front aesthetic, but some kind of accent (if cost prohibitive) may go a long way. Maybe minor venting, maybe power button, maybe nothing and it's fine as is. Just a thought.

But that is looking hella clean!!

Do you have concern for color matching? If you plan to anno the side and powder coat the main chassis then this could cause problems. Wow. That size did come up quick. 13.6L. still pretty compact. Maybe go with bumpon feet. 10mm tall bump on? Just an idea. :) (Similar to what the sg13 has)
I do not have concerns for color matching as the front panel and rear panel are also made out of aluminum , same as the sides. They bolt on top the core frame and add about 8mm of length and serve no purpose other than to look good (they also hide the rivets). This decision was made specifically so there are no problems with color matching. I can make an exploded render if you want.

Bumpon feet sound like a great idea. I will look into it.

I'm leaning towards power button on the front. Bottom left corner. But I need to render that up to see how it would look.
 

Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
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Jan 14, 2018
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I do not have concerns for color matching as the front panel and rear panel are also made out of aluminum , same as the sides. They bolt on top the core frame and add about 8mm of length and serve no purpose other than to look good (they also hide the rivets). This decision was made specifically so there are no problems with color matching. I can make an exploded render if you want.

Bumpon feet sound like a great idea. I will look into it.

I'm leaning towards power button on the front. Bottom left corner. But I need to render that up to see how it would look.
Gotcha! :) Yeah it's definitely looking good!
On the bottom left, it might interfere with the GPU.

Any idea if you can get dual 240aio yet? I know you mentioned it previously, but had not confirmed. Just wondering :)
 

Shatrod

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Dec 6, 2019
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How do we feel about this power button placement/look?
I have one power button which i can get on amazon canada for a decent price that is not too large but unfortunately it only comes in black, so i rendered all 3 cases with a black button/white led.

 

Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
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Jan 14, 2018
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The black and white led looks nice (on all of them) IMHO. As far as placement, I'm not 100% sold on it. It looks alright... But it just seems a little odd. But it might grow on me. :) Would there be other places it could go?

Probably not at the top, given the possible top rad you depicted the other day. The middle would be a little odd. And you can't really center it on the bottom due to fans/rad....

It's not bad, by any means! It just doesn't quite seem right. Maybe I'm wrong, and i'd love to her other's opinions!! @Shatrod how do you feel about it?
 
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Shatrod

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I am undecided. It isn't bad but you are right it's not perfect.

On the front, it's the only place it could go unfortunately. Like you mentioned, it doesn't really fit anywhere else without conflicting with other components.

I could maybe make it smaller.... That is a 19mm button currently that I could swap for a 16mm button. It might be more visually appealing. Il make a render to see side by side.

I'm also toying with the idea of sinking the button in (there is room) and gluing a color matched aluminum or plastic circle on top of it to maintain that clean uninterrupted front panel look. Nice and flush with the led shining through the thin gap. But that is extra manufacturing that would be nice to avoid.

I could also go back to the original idea and stealth the button into the wood top. It's a cool concept but has its own drawbacks. Like having to design and source a pcb for it, something I've never done before. It would also be non serviceable. If it breaks there is no way to get it out. I also recently implemented the button on the original prototypes and I found that, although it does look nice, it's not particularly pleasant to press.

I too would love to hear more opinions and ideas!
 

Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
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Jan 14, 2018
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381
I'm also toying with the idea of sinking the button in (there is room) and gluing a color matched aluminum or plastic circle on top of it to maintain that clean uninterrupted front panel look. Nice and flush with the led shining through the thin gap. But that is extra manufacturing that would be nice to avoid.
As nice as that might be, I feel the cost of it would outweigh it's practicality. I like the look of the button. Black goes well with everything. Black on silver, black on dark gray, and the black on the blue(with that dark top) all look clean. The placement is the one thing that looks off. Just a little unbalanced is all. But I'm more than willing to hear other's thoughts/opinions. :). Maybe a sideways USB port above would help (although, like mentioned before, I think it would interfere with other component compatiblity)
 

Tabtree

Cable Smoosher
Apr 13, 2020
10
4
Hey man! Been following this thread for a bit, was especially happy when I saw the reddit post! I think that this case is super cool and I can't wait to see where ti goes. For the LED color I think it looks good on the black and blue models. The grey model looks ok; I think the lighting on the render looks a bit weird to me.
 

JDragon

Average Stuffer
Aug 22, 2018
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Tbh I liked the earlier iteration better, the new version just looks like a box with a wooden top. The old version had more flair (classy industrial design flair, not RGB gamer vomit flair).