Production Lazer3D LZ7 - Quiet Gaming Cube PC Case

Mango

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I'm personally okay with adhesive rubber feet. I don't expect to move the case much so it shouldn't cause much mechanical deterioration of the adhesive.

Maybe leave a hole that users can use if they source their own screw-on feet? Give the option to exclude the adhesive feet from their order to save a little bit of money.
 
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K888D

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Maybe leave a hole that users can use if they source their own screw-on feet? Give the option to exclude the adhesive feet from their order to save a little bit of money.
I think this would be a sensible compromise, it doesn't cost anything to put screw holes in the base.

It may be that I end up going the screw on feet direction, just have to find some that are readily available at a low price.
 

Mango

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Will the full height version of the case be able to fit a 140mm fan like the prototypes? And if so, will there be support for both 140mm and 120mm mounting holes?
 

K888D

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Will the full height version of the case be able to fit a 140mm fan like the prototypes? And if so, will there be support for both 140mm and 120mm mounting holes?
At the moment the design can only fit a 120mm side fan, this is because the chamfered edges reduce the internal clearance height along the side.

But I would like support for 140mm fans, so I will see what I can do, it may mean that a flat section needs adding along the bottom edge.

If support for 140mm is added, then yes it would also support 120mm fans. I am thinking the side fan area will be covered by a 140mm dust filter meaning smaller fans won't look odd with big gaps around them.

There is also the dilemma that do I add an extra 10mm to the width to support full 25mm thick fans? or stick to the current space saving design that supports up to 15mm thick fans? The extra 10mm case width would add 0.3litres to the volume.
 
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iFreilicht

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It should be fine either way. IIRC, the side fan is supposed to be an intake and you've got the PSU and a few vents at the back for exhaust, right? The CPU cooler and GPU won't change the equation, so the 120mm fan only has to be stronger than the PSU fan in order to make sure that you've got positive pressure so neither PSU nor CPU recycle hot air.
With SFX, this is a no-brainer. They often use 10mm thick 80mm from what I know, a decent 120x15 should generate much more airflow. With an SFX-L I'm not so sure anymore, but those fans don't run even close to full tilt, no matter what, so even then it should be possible to balance that out quite well.

The 4L, 5L, 6L and 7L marks are always a psychological barrier for some of us. You don't care whether your case grows from 6.7 to 6.9 litres, but you care very much when it goes from 6.9 to 7.1. It's like you've lost a fight with space itself.
That's why my case is currently 4.957L and @Hahutzy's is something like 3.994 and maybe it will be why yours stays 5.9 ;)
 

K888D

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It should be fine either way. IIRC, the side fan is supposed to be an intake and you've got the PSU and a few vents at the back for exhaust, right? The CPU cooler and GPU won't change the equation, so the 120mm fan only has to be stronger than the PSU fan in order to make sure that you've got positive pressure so neither PSU nor CPU recycle hot air.
The way I positioned the PSU in the prototype was with the PSU intake fan facing upward against the top vent opening, this seemed to work particularly well for keeping the PSU cool and the fan off, it also takes it out the heat circulation equation.

The positive pressure is then forced to exhaust mainly around the GPU vents, which also helped to keep the graphics card cooler/quieter.

I will have a play around with trying to fit a 140mm fan without adding any/much volume. Can't promise it will be possible though.

The 4L, 5L, 6L and 7L marks are always a psychological barrier for some of us. You don't care whether your case grows from 6.7 to 6.9 litres, but you care very much when it goes from 6.9 to 7.1. It's like you've lost a fight with space itself.
That's why my case is currently 4.957L and @Hahutzy's is something like 3.994 and maybe it will be why yours stays 5.9 ;)
Ha, yes this is very true. Something that costs 99p sound cheaper than 1 pound.

The lower profile case is 5.9litres (for GPUs without upward facing PEG connectors), whereas the full height version is just under 7 litres. See that sounds much bigger than 6.9litres!

There are some good slim 120 and 140mm fans. So maybe it is best to stick to 15mm thickness compatibility and save those precious ml.
 

Mango

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The lower profile case is 5.9litres (for GPUs without upward facing PEG connectors), whereas the full height version is just under 7 litres. See that sounds much bigger than 6.9litres!

There are some good slim 120 and 140mm fans. So maybe it is best to stick to 15mm thickness compatibility and save those precious ml.
Save those millilitres! There are some decent slim 140mm case fans like the Prolimatech Ultra Slim Vortex
http://www.prolimatech.com/en/products/detail.asp?id=1906&page=1
 

Thehack

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I think it is more important to use real world testing to decide the usefulness of the 25mm. It makes a big difference when you are pulling through a restrictive filter or vents. If one of the core component of this case is noise then if there is a tangible difference between the two then we should support it. If not, then no need to support. Also, having good static pressure will help push out air in a very confined case.
 
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K888D

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When I get back off holiday next week I will get the prototype setup and do some noise and temperature testing with different combinations to see how much of a difference fan size/thickness and grill type makes.

Bare in mind that the purpose of this case isn't enthusiast level performance, but more like mid to high end gaming performance, in an SFF case whilst remaining quiet and affordable.

The latest 65W Intel processors provide excellent gaming performance and are easily cooled, the biggest challenge is keeping the GPU cool. I think the positive pressure design and majority of venting being around the GPU will help with this.

I've tested the prototype with an i5-6500 and GTX 960 with a total TDP of around 200W, this ran very cool and quiet.

As with any case, there is a limit of what you can sensibly put inside it without it sounding like an industrial grade air conditioning unit. The goal is to make that thermal ceiling as high as possible within scope of your original goal.
 

Thehack

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When I get back off holiday next week I will get the prototype setup and do some noise and temperature testing with different combinations to see how much of a difference fan size/thickness and grill type makes.

Bare in mind that the purpose of this case isn't enthusiast level performance, but more like mid to high end gaming performance, in an SFF case whilst remaining quiet and affordable.

The latest 65W Intel processors provide excellent gaming performance and are easily cooled, the biggest challenge is keeping the GPU cool. I think the positive pressure design and majority of venting being around the GPU will help with this.

I've tested the prototype with an i5-6500 and GTX 960 with a total TDP of around 200W, this ran very cool and quiet.

As with any case, there is a limit of what you can sensibly put inside it without it sounding like an industrial grade air conditioning unit. The goal is to make that thermal ceiling as high as possible within scope of your original goal.
That is true. If there is negligible difference between the two, then we may be better off save that space. Maybe we need that space anyways for wiring since the 24pin is usually located topside?

In the case of thermal performance I think we will be okay for even higher performance seeing as the new radeon 400 series should see 970/390 performance for 150W thermal. (Let's try not to use TDP since each company defines it differently).
 

K888D

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That is true. If there is negligible difference between the two, then we may be better off save that space. Maybe we need that space anyways for wiring since the 24pin is usually located topside?
Yes some motherboards have the power connector along this side edge, the 15mm compatibility includes a few extra mm for the power connector locking tab.
 

K888D

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I have put the prototype back together and this evening I will begin testing a range of different fan and vent configurations.

I will be using an app on my phone to measure the sound level of each configuration under 3 different test types - Idle, CPU stress and CPU + GPU Stress.

I know that using a phone microphone wont give an accurate dB representation, but what it will give me is a figure which can be compared against other noise sources to give an indication of how loud each configuration is.

For example, here are some measurements I have taken so far throughout the day which should give you an idea of the noise scale, measurements have been taken 20cm from their source (or center of the environment):


The testing will be conducted in my basement which is a spookily quiet room, the app measures it as 12 dB.

Below is my target testing plan for each of the 3 test types, I'm not sure how much of it I will get through, but the resulting data will allow an informed decision to be made on fan and vent compatibility:


Fan speeds will be controlled by the Gigabyte motherboard software provided in the Gigabyte control suite. The CPU cooler is a Noctua LH-9i and it has been set to the 'Quiet' profile. For the system fan I will set each fan to its lowest rpm achievable for up to 35C system temp, with a straight profile up to 100% at 50C system temp - this last bit is subject to change as it requires testing, but all system fans will be setup with the same restraints to keep it fair.

If you have any comments before I commence testing let me know.
 
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Phuncz

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It could be if the app is able to override the dynamic microphone gain and it's noise floor is low enough that it can tell the difference. Also, make sure it is somehow not in contact with the table, so it doesn't pick up vibrations.
 
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Thehack

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You should take note of the sound signature as well. Certain fans are more pleasant to hear when they do make noise. Some fans have annoying whines that you want to avoid.

You should also try to get a scythe 120mm x 12mm. It is a very popular fan.
 
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K888D

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Here are some renders of different vent configurations that I didn't get chance to post before I went on Holiday:

With these renders I tried to get the vent lines flowing from one panel to the next,this resulted in a diamond type arrangement on the GPU side panel. Not sure if it works really:​




A grey version with simpler patterns and extra ventilation on the top panel, a rougher texture has also been added to the 3D printed parts to give a better idea of what these pieces will look like:


I think I will change the front vents back to diagonal stripes and try and line them up so they flow through into vents on the other panels
 
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iFreilicht

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It's certainly a very interesting concept and I think it works decently well with the angled corners of the case. The concern I have is about practicality. Because the vents on the GPU side have this shape, GPUs with a slightly different fan position will cause much more turbulence and thus noise.
 

K888D

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Because the vents on the GPU side have this shape, GPUs with a slightly different fan position will cause much more turbulence and thus noise.
I agree, the diamond vent configuration looks pretty, but it wouldn't offer very good performance, it was just a concept to see what it looks like!
 

Phuncz

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An original design, but I agree with @iFreilicht 's sentiment about turbulence. Maybe consider triangular perforations in hex formation ? This will match your corners nicely I would think.
 
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K888D

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An original design, but I agree with @iFreilicht 's sentiment about turbulence. Maybe consider triangular perforations in hex formation ? This will match your corners nicely I would think.
The hex and triangular formation would be a nice idea to try out, I'll put a render together.

I would need to speak to the laser company, but my concern with having many little holes is the machine time it would take to laser them all out and removing them afterwards, and the impact it will have on panel prices. I imagine that larger slots will take less time.

With a metal stamped part the holes are punched out in a single operation once you've made the tool, so I guess vent pattern prices won't change much.

I have some questions regarding volume calculation:

1) do you have to include the clearance under the case for the feet in the overall volume?

2) As the corners of this case are chamfered/angled, can I detract this volume from the case? Or are you only allowed to use a flat 6 sided bounding box to calculate volume?