Prototyping Lazer3D - LZ XTD - Alternative Designs

K888D

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The LZ7 mini cube case is intended to be part of a range of cases that cater for different SFF needs, I have tried to create a design that can easily scale up and down in size.

I was going to work on a smaller case that would be named the LZ5, but there has instead been quite a bit of interest in larger designs that can fit full length cards and also extra tall high end cards that are starting to become the norm. At the moment there are 2 alternative designs that are kicking around:


PROPOSED DESIGN 1
Smallest possible ITX shoebox case to fit oversized GPUs

- Under 10 Litres in size
- Quiet whilst gaming
- No thermal throttling
- CPU Watercooling Support

Preliminary Dimensions - W210mm x D280mm x H170mm (10.0L)



Fit tall GPU's like the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW (267mm x 151mm):




PROPOSED DESIGN 2
Smallest possible M-ATX Shoebox case to fit dual reference sized GPUs

- Under 12 Litres in size
- Quiet whilst gaming
- Watercooling Support

Preliminary Dimensions - W265mm x D280mm x H150mm (11.1L)



Fit GPU cards that are around the same size as reference cards such as the EVGA GTX 1080 SC (267mm x 111mm):



Both of these proposed designs also have the option to move the PSU to the front of the case so that a CPU tower cooler can be installed instead of watercooling.


PROPOSED DESIGN 3
Compact case capable of fitting a watercooled GPU such as the Fury X.

This is a case design I have been working on with @MarcParis, the point of which wsa to take the LZ7 design and see what changes would need to be made to fit an AMD Fury X into it which includes a 120mm radiator.

The height has stayed the same, but the length has increased due to the front mounted radiator, this means that there is now space to fit a 245mm long GPU. Of course the radiator mount could be used for the CPU if you prefered. The end result is an 8.93 Litre case:

Ignore the vent patterns for now:




 
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MarcParis

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As you know I'm already your fan on this lz10-12 version..:)

Lz12 with mini itx, triple slot gpu oversized, top rad 240 in 12l could the real kick ass case..:)

Eager to see the following
 

Thehack

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I have an open case build similar to LZ11. I would suggest having it at 12L and having a 5-slot instead is a better idea. At that point, the increase in size allows you to have a slot in between the GPU for more air.
 

MarcParis

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For cpu air cooling, i would suggest to aim noctua nh-d9l, tower style of 110mm height and 95mm width/length. That means it perfect suitable for itx motherboards for pci e and ram clearance. Tdp can reach 140w..:)
In case of tower cpu, what about airflow?
 

Thehack

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For cpu air cooling, i would suggest to aim noctua nh-d9l, tower style of 110mm height and 95mm width/length. That means it perfect suitable for itx motherboards for pci e and ram clearance. Tdp can reach 140w..:)
In case of tower cpu, what about airflow?
Something like that would cause a large increase in volume for very little return. The only way that would work would be to adopt a node 304 layout. However, that may cause legal issues due to safety regulations.
 

MarcParis

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Why thehack?
Volume increase? Nope, just move power supply in front, bottom
Why legal issues? To have exhaust fan on top of motherboard...almost all cases are doing that. To move power supply in front, bottom, sugo 07 ( the true first itx gaming is doing that) and so many cases are doing that also. That's why I don't understand your remark on legal issue.
 

Thehack

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I replied to both concerns. Adding it to the front will keep the volume under control, albeit still bigger than usual. The main issue is that you must extend the ac power cord to the power supply from the back. Once you involve cables you involve more regulations. The way the cables are added and pinned must meet safety regulations. Not meeting them and then having your case burned up is room for huge liability.

As an add-on, K888D's intention is to make a very affordable case. Moving the PSU up front would increase the cost due to having to add a power cable.
 
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K888D

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I replied to both concerns. Adding it to the front will keep the volume under control, albeit still bigger than usual. The main issue is that you must extend the ac power cord to the power supply from the back. Once you involve cables you involve more regulations. The way the cables are added and pinned must meet safety regulations. Not meeting them and then having your case burned up is room for huge liability.

As an add-on, K888D's intention is to make a very affordable case. Moving the PSU up front would increase the cost due to having to add a power cable.
My understanding of CE regulation is that as soon as you integrate cabling that has to carry above 50V then your product assembly has to comply with with the Low Voltage Directive (LDV).

One way to get round this would be to supply the product flat packed as a kit and assembled by the customer.

Moving the PSU to the front would indeed open up many different enhanced cooling opportunities. Adding a cable would introduce complications, but cost wise you are probably talking £5 at most to source a cable even in low volume.

I don't think moving the PSU to the front would increase volume, as the depth of the case is determined by the length of the GPU, catering for a reference GPU would open up enough space in front of the motherboard to fit an SFX PSU.
 

MarcParis

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Oh the hack, i understood completely your point of view. I was thinking of copyrights, but you are right for legislation.

Otherwise, lian li pc-o5s has the same solution, you connect directly psu to external cable...no extension at all.

I'm eager to see new model from k888d..:)
 

Thehack

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It's not necessarily just the cable, you'd need the cable and a receptacle, and then you'll have to add screws and 3d parts to hook it up. We can just allow the customer to route the cable or have just a 1 foot extension, but that's not very eloquent.

However, those are cons aside. The shoebox layout with PSU in front does add a lot of CPU cooling capacity. My preference is that it's not necessary and that often times as enthusiasts we overspec our CPU cooling needs. It's certainly a design worth exploring.

Currently, I do feel a bit unserved by the current market for small form factor chassis. The design thoughtfulness is just not there. I have an ML08 and the thing is not nearly as ventilated as it needs to be. If it was, it would cool my GPU much better. Lian Li despite having great manufacturing can't seem to figure out cooling. Silverstone just always seem to miss the mark slightly. The SG13 for example could've had ventilation for the GPU, but it didn't so you practically have to buy a blower card.
 

MarcParis

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I totally agree with you, current retail mini itx case with passive cooling are mostly designed for blower gpu. The most difficult point is that most people aren't looking to gpu frequencies during load, only temperature whereas most gpu throttles without any warning.

Just imagine lz10 with 2x120 on top and 2x140/120 on right panel...that's super cooling in 10l only...:) Pinnacle of aircooling I would say..:)
 

K888D

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The first post has been updated to include a third proposed design for an 8.93 litre case that supports GPUs up to 245mm long along with watercooling compatibility.
 

MarcParis

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Thanks k888d for this version...:)

For ths 3rd version, here are my remarks :
  1. Tubing of fury x (400mm long) seem difficult to rout, and proximity with psu cable could inceease difficulty of routing. I will look at what is feasible
  2. For power button, why not put it on rear panel, just next the psu and fan? It could save place in front, crowded area
Once again design is really promising especially with all incoming hbm2 gpu where aircooler should struggle to dissipate heat of ram+gpu located at the same place.
As discussed also, if we increased case length we are matching design #1.

Wiser decision will be to wait for hbm2 cards from both amd and nvidia
 

MarcParis

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Good news, I guess I found tuing and cable routing for case #3..:)
Tubing : beneath radiator and and final in front of side fan
Cable : keep all psu cable on top of radiator

That seems close, tight but manageable
 

WadeAK78

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I like the third design. It would allow me to watercool the cpu and use the Zotac 1070 mini.
 

equilni

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K888D

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I am liking the third design as well, as it is almost exact to my set up currently (http://i.imgur.com/DprQiKv.jpg).

What is the estimated CPU cooler height? Also where could drives be mounted?

The cooler I am using is the Noctua NH-L12 which states it has a height of 66mm without the top 120mm fan
http://noctua.at/en/nh-l12/specification
The Elite 130 has a height restriction of 65mm:
http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mini-itx-elite-series/elite130/
http://i.imgur.com/vmze8cI.jpg
Thanks! The CPU cooler height restriction would be around 60mm, but design 3 would be well suited to a watercooling setup.

I'm not sure exactly where the drive would sit, possible side mounted next to the 140mm side fan, or 1 under the radiator on the base of the case.

These designs are still in early development, so if you have any suggestions for improvements or features you would want to see let me know, more feedback the better!
 

equilni

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Thanks! The CPU cooler height restriction would be around 60mm, but design 3 would be well suited to a watercooling setup.

I'm not sure exactly where the drive would sit, possible side mounted next to the 140mm side fan, or 1 under the radiator on the base of the case.

These designs are still in early development, so if you have any suggestions for improvements or features you would want to see let me know, more feedback the better!
Thanks. That makes sense for the CPU cooler height. I may be looking at the LZ7 then.
 
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cadiguno

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I'm really liking the 3rd design. Having the option to watercool the CPU / GPU is a huge plus. I see a lot of SFF enthusiasts aiming to push the most out of their small rig, and I'm sure they'll appreciate the feature. For me though, the limit of 245mm GPU is the greatest addition. No longer would you need to limit yourself to ITX cards as even standard* ones (e.g. Sapphire Nitro 480) rarely exceed the limit.

The only thing I'd like better is to have the ability to put in an ATX PSU. Nothing's wrong with SFXs, but as with standard*-length GPUs, the standard* for PSUs are still ATX. Having the option will really make it a no-compromise case. So far the NCase is the only SFF that has managed this feat, but it's definitely not as small as the LZ.

* I know there's no standard for these, but the majority of things in the market fall not far from certain sizes.