Prototyping Lazer3D - LZ XTD - Alternative Designs

Venemo

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Apr 23, 2018
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This is something I thought about but decided against, reason being is if there are any delays then it will just lead to disappointed customers. With being such a small company, launching a new product is a massive undertaking and things tend to take longer than expected. We are currently targeting the end of September kind of timeframe and I'll update you with a more firm date nearer to the time.
This is a very responsible approach, and I can respect that.

But on a positive note, I don't think you need to worry about stock issues as Overclockers UK placed quite a big stock order for the XTD. However, if you order direct through Lazer3D and we see a large volume of orders in the first few weeks it may take us a little longer than usual to make and dispatch them.
That's good to know, I'll stay tuned.

Just asking because my ITX hardware has just arrived, and I searched around what other chassis options are available, and found that most of your competitors are either big and bulky (despite being marketed as ITX), or just plain ugly. There is a lot which are basically clones of the Dan case but those feel like putting the hardware into an expensive frying pan. There are very few nice ones and those all cut one corner or another which I would prefer not to cut.

On the other hand the LZ7 XTD looks like it is still small but can fit basically any hardware as long as the user sticks to an ITX board and an SFX PSU, without the need to specifically look for "SFF" components like low profile or short graphics cards or thin fans or CPU coolers. I believe it will be a very popular choice, and it looks like Overclockers agree with me on that one. 😊
 
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rfarmer

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Jul 7, 2017
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@K888D case looks great and I wish you success. One question, did you compare the Big Shuriken 3 with the slim fan and the 25mm one? Just curious how much better it cools with the 25mm fan.
 
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masteraleph

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May 28, 2017
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Possible suggestion- for those with motherboards with a bottom mounted m.2 drive- maybe a bottom piece with more venting under the motherboard? Particularly for people who are going to use the stand and thus the bottom will actually be in open air.
 
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Legion

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Nov 22, 2017
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@K888D case looks great and I wish you success. One question, did you compare the Big Shuriken 3 with the slim fan and the 25mm one? Just curious how much better it cools with the 25mm fan.
That's one for me I guess seeing as that build is my daily driver.
Since then I've replaced the 3600 with a 3700x (3600 was a placeholder waiting for the 3700x to be delivered) Anyone tinkering with Zen 2 knows they run hot. That tiny 7nm chiplet can pump out some serious heat per mm2.
What cooling solution you use affects the boost behaviour, needless to say using dinky coolers does not give big clock speed boosts with Ryzen 3xxx.
But, that isn't why I wanted it. a 65w (88 watt is actual power draw without resorting to limiting it) 8 core is a very appealing prospect when you consider a 9900k draws 160w out the box. (more with MCE enabled)

I've had a few weeks of playing now and I can tell you that using the supplied fan on the BS3 with a 3600, 3600x and 3700x is more than enough for stock CPU boosting behaviour.
Tbh we only used that Corsair ML-120 RGB for the photo shoot and I couldn't get it to play nice in the XTD because there are 2 controllers to use with Corsairs utterly garbage RGB implementations and I couldn't get them into the case in the 20 minutes of build time we had before we had to photoshoot the case and removed it entirely and used an Akasa fan we could just plug into and RGB header lol.
So, in all honesty that cheap, crap Akasa fan 'probably' was very comparable to the BS3 stock fan.

That aside with the Corsair on my test bench at home I can easily run my 3700x at an all core 4.2ghz with very little noise. Best I can muster the with default fan is 4.1ghz (self boosting) (would probably be less in a small badly ventilated hotbox (be warned)
Seeing as 'most' Zen 2 silicon seems to top out around 4.3ghz on water, 4.2ghz on what is still a dinky cooler is pretty impressive, but I can also say this can easily be replicated with a NH-12S as well, I just like the BS3 because you don't have to worry about ram compatibility, you'd still have issues on some motherboards with overly big VRM coolers though, so that's still a minefield.

TLDR: It's better but wouldn't be a deal breaker for me if I couldn't squeeze a BS3 with a bigger fan into my case of choice, I'd still happily run it on the stock fan supplied !!!

It's all kind of moot in this thread anyway, in the XTD you can use much better coolers with the height available in the case. I just used that as it was already installed ;)
 
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Reldey

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Feb 14, 2017
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But on a positive note, I don't think you need to worry about stock issues as Overclockers UK placed quite a big stock order for the XTD. However, if you order direct through Lazer3D and we see a large volume of orders in the first few weeks it may take us a little longer than usual to make and dispatch them.
That's awesome, glad they put in a sizable order for this. Looking forward to release.
 
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K888D

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Thanks for the BS3 explanation @Legion

maybe a bottom piece with more venting under the motherboard? Particularly for people who are going to use the stand and thus the bottom will actually be in open air.
Thank you for the suggestion, this was actually something I experimented with when originally developing the LZ7. At the time M.2 NVMe drives were starting to increase in popularity, but one of the main concerns was how hot they run even under idle conditions.

Here is an early prototype with under motherboard ventilation:


You may be surprised at the results, but I what I found was that the M.2 drives ran 5C - 10C cooler without ventilation slots directly under the motherboard.


Full write up post can be found HERE.

In the LZ7 the 140mm fan is positioned next to the motherboard and the tips of the fan blades reach below the motherboard, meaning when the fan is active it pushes some air under the motherboard providing active cooling to the underside of the motherboard including any M.2 drives.

As you can see from the testing above it has quite a significant effect on M.2 temps both idle and stressed. Covering up the underside vents reduced M.2 drive temps further, I have never managed to fully understand the reasoning for this, but basically those vents affect how the airflow behaves under the motherboard in a negative way.

I hope that helps answer your question!
 
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Reldey

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Thanks for the BS3 explanation @Legion



Thank you for the suggestion, this was actually something I experimented with when originally developing the LZ7. At the time M.2 NVMe drives were starting to increase in popularity, but one of the main concerns was how hot they run even under idle conditions.

Here is an early prototype with under motherboard ventilation:


You may be surprised at the results, but I what I found was that the M.2 drives ran 5C - 10C cooler without ventilation slots directly under the motherboard.


Full write up post can be found HERE.

In the LZ7 the 140mm fan is positioned next to the motherboard and the tips of the fan blades reach below the motherboard, meaning when the fan is active it pushes some air under the motherboard providing active cooling to the underside of the motherboard including any M.2 drives.

As you can see from the testing above it has quite a significant effect on M.2 temps both idle and stressed. Covering up the underside vents reduced M.2 drive temps further, I have never managed to fully understand the reasoning for this, but basically those vents affect how the airflow behaves under the motherboard in a negative way.

I hope that helps answer your question!
I imagine it works similar to ducting. Where if there are vents that allow air to escape before it reaches the M.2 drive, heat isn't being "wicked" away as effectively.
 
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Reldey

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Now that we are getting possibly closer to release, would you mind updating the OP with the final design and information about the case (liters, dimensions, build shots)? Might help those browsing through... just a thought. Hope all is going well.
 
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K888D

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Now that we are getting possibly closer to release, would you mind updating the OP with the final design and information about the case (liters, dimensions, build shots)? Might help those browsing through... just a thought. Hope all is going well.
Thank you, yes I need to get that done!
 

krotork

What's an ITX?
Aug 11, 2019
1
1
Long time lurker, first time poster, here. I appreciate the great work you've done, K888D -- building in the LZ7 was a pleasure.

I love the idea of having a bit more room for a longer graphics card and superior cooling for the CPU while maintaining a similar desktop footprint. The vertical stand you've proposed is a great solution for this. My question is, are you planning on offering any wood panel options for the left, right, or top of the XTD? If I were to use the XTD in a vertical orientation, the lovely walnut front panel on my LZ7 (seen in my avatar) would be situated at the top of the system, a lower-visibility location where it would no longer be the visual centerpiece of the case.

Count me in as a willing early adopter of the XTD upgrade kit and the prototype stand!
 
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K888D

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Long time lurker, first time poster, here. I appreciate the great work you've done, K888D -- building in the LZ7 was a pleasure.

I love the idea of having a bit more room for a longer graphics card and superior cooling for the CPU while maintaining a similar desktop footprint. The vertical stand you've proposed is a great solution for this. My question is, are you planning on offering any wood panel options for the left, right, or top of the XTD? If I were to use the XTD in a vertical orientation, the lovely walnut front panel on my LZ7 (seen in my avatar) would be situated at the top of the system, a lower-visibility location where it would no longer be the visual centerpiece of the case.

Count me in as a willing early adopter of the XTD upgrade kit and the prototype stand!
Welcome to the forum and thank you for the kind comments.

Regarding wood panels for the top and sides - there aren't currently any plans for this at the moment, the problem is that the wood is ridiculously expensive and the raw material is only available in certain sheet sizes which makes it difficult to efficiently nest the panels increasing panel prices further, also the top panel is alot bigger than the front panel. I've searched high and low to find alternative materials / suppliers, but nothing meets the specification or quality I am looking for. So for now I have to work with what's available.

However, that doesn't mean the top panel could be made from the same wood, this is something we could provide on request but it won't be cheap unfortunately. With increased panel sizes there is also increased chance of panel warpage over time.

For the side panels, these are a different thickness, there is Walnut available in 3mm and it's quite a bit cheaper, but it's veneered instead of solid Walnut and the finish is slightly different than the solid stuff.

Regarding the stands - these will be available when the XTD launches to purchase standalone or with the case. 4 variants will be available:
  • All Black
  • All White
  • All Grey
  • Walnut and Black
 

Reldey

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In anticipation, ripped out my system out of the Dan Case, and got the NH U9S. Putting it in a Thermaltake Core V1 for now, anxiously waiting for this case so I can move it in there instead. Think it will be neat cooling a 3800X on air in such a small space.
 
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K888D

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In anticipation, ripped out my system out of the Dan Case, and got the NH U9S. Putting it in a Thermaltake Core V1 for now, anxiously waiting for this case so I can move it in there instead. Think it will be neat cooling a 3800X on air in such a small space.
I look forward to seeing that when its complete!
 

Venemo

Cable Smoosher
Apr 23, 2018
11
7
What is the most optimal way to cool the LZ7 XTD? I've got a Ryzen 7 3700X. I'm looking at various CPU coolers and case fans. I couldn't find a definitive answer yet, but AFAIU it will have:
  • 135mm clearance for the CPU cooler - am I better off with a "tower" cooler or a "top-down" cooler?
  • One fan on the side - is it 140mm or 120mm? Does it have to be a thin fan?
  • One fan at the back - 120mm or 90mm? Can it fit a normal fan or just a thin fan?
  • One 140mm fan at the top if I pick the XL Vent panel - is this useful even if I have a tower cooler?
And the bonus question: which direction should each fan face?
 

K888D

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What is the most optimal way to cool the LZ7 XTD? I've got a Ryzen 7 3700X. I'm looking at various CPU coolers and case fans. I couldn't find a definitive answer yet, but AFAIU it will have:
  • 135mm clearance for the CPU cooler - am I better off with a "tower" cooler or a "top-down" cooler?
  • One fan on the side - is it 140mm or 120mm? Does it have to be a thin fan?
  • One fan at the back - 120mm or 90mm? Can it fit a normal fan or just a thin fan?
  • One 140mm fan at the top if I pick the XL Vent panel - is this useful even if I have a tower cooler?
And the bonus question: which direction should each fan face?
  • I haven't been able to carry out extended testing with all the different options, but I would imagine that a 140mm AIO would give the best cooling performance for the CPU out of all the options available, closely followed by a tower cooler.
  • The side panel can accept 1x 140mm or 120mm fan that is up to 15mm thick. Best options are Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 14, Cryorig XT140, or Noctua 120x15mm
  • Rear fan is 80mm or 90mm. Thickness depends on the CPU cooler being used and its position. I've used the Noctua U9S tower cooler on a few different Intel boards and the second fan supplied mounts fine to the rear panel with reasonable gap.
  • If you use a tower cooler such as the Noctua U9S then there won't be enough room above it to mount a fan to the top panel. But the XL vents extend to the front of the case so you may be able to mount a slim fan to the top panel in another area of the case.
 
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Venemo

Cable Smoosher
Apr 23, 2018
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  • I haven't been able to carry out extended testing with all the different options, but I would imagine that a 140mm AIO would give the best cooling performance for the CPU out of all the options available, closely followed by a tower cooler.
  • The side panel can accept 1x 140mm or 120mm fan that is up to 15mm thick. Best options are Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 14, Cryorig XT140, or Noctua 120x15mm
  • Rear fan is 80mm or 90mm. Thickness depends on the CPU cooler being used and its position. I've used the Noctua U9S tower cooler on a few different Intel boards and the second fan supplied mounts fine to the rear panel with reasonable gap.
  • If you use a tower cooler such as the Noctua U9S then there won't be enough room above it to mount a fan to the top panel. But the XL vents extend to the front of the case so you may be able to mount a slim fan to the top panel in another area of the case.
Thanks for the very detailed reply!

That really clears up the possible options in my head. I'm not brave enough for an AIO but I will follow your recommendation and get a tower cooler. Sounds like you are really happy with that Noctua U9S so I guess it will work for me as well. (I was also looking at some Be Quiet models but it looks like the better ones don't fit.) Does the U9S fit together with taller RAM?

Also, from what you wrote it sounds to me like the top fan is not worth it then. Or is it?

If I choose to go this way and get the U9S, and use the 140mm Ultra Sleek Vortex on the side and the 90mm Noctua on the back, which orientation should I mount the fans? Which direction should the airflow go?
 
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K888D

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Does the U9S fit together with taller RAM?
Yes it does, however the taller the RAM, the more it will obstruct the airflow into the cooler fan. You can see this in the image below.

Also, from what you wrote it sounds to me like the top fan is not worth it then. Or is it?
It's not something I've tested, it may reduce temps by a few degrees, unsure at this current time. Maybe it is something you can experiment with?

If I choose to go this way and get the U9S, and use the 140mm Ultra Sleek Vortex on the side and the 90mm Noctua on the back, which orientation should I mount the fans? Which direction should the airflow go?
Personally I prefer to run the LZ7 in a positive pressure fan setup, this gives favourable overall system results as it helps to push GPU exhaust straight out the case rather than it circulating back into the CPU chamber. Running the main case fan in negative pressure gives slightly lower GPU temps but higher CPU and system temps.


Below is how I would set the XTD up:


This layout is positive pressure with the CPU pushing air from front to back with the rear fan helping to push the warm CPU air straight out the case. The case fan is also blowing straight onto the CPU heatsink helping to provide extra cooling performance.
 
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Venemo

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Apr 23, 2018
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Yes it does, however the taller the RAM, the more it will obstruct the airflow into the cooler fan. You can see this in the image below.
Yes, I see it. Doesn't the PSU also obstruct the airflow even more than the RAM though?

It's not something I've tested, it may reduce temps by a few degrees, unsure at this current time. Maybe it is something you can experiment with?
Sure, I can try to experiment with it, when I get an LZ7 XTD. Can you let me know what sort of fan still fits on the top panel when the U9S is in there? My assumption is that a top fan would hardly do anything for CPU temps (since the U9S does that job already), but it could possibly help cool the chipset heatsink.

This layout is positive pressure with the CPU pushing air from front to back with the rear fan helping to push the warm CPU air straight out the case. The case fan is also blowing straight onto the CPU heatsink helping to provide extra cooling performance.
Nice, thanks for the pictures, they explain everything! :)
 

Reldey

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Feb 14, 2017
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Sorry to pester, as I'm sure you would post an update in here if you had one, but was late September still the plan for release?