Prototype Lazer3D ST8 - Slim Tower Case

K888D

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Lazer3D
Feb 23, 2016
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First of all I would like to say I hope everyone is staying safe and well in these difficult times. Adhering to social distancing and the #stayathome guidance has meant working from home for many of us, I have tried to use some of my time to explore new concepts for future Lazer3D cases.



INTRODUCING THE LAZER3D ST8
You may recognise the ST8 name from a previous concept I worked on that I won't be taking forward. The ST8 name will instead be applied to this new model, a "Slim Tower" case measuring 8 litres in volume, with a desktop footprint of 125mm x 195mm and a height of 325mm.

The slim shape is achieved through a slightly different take on the popular sandwich style layout, by placing the GPU and PSU next to the motherboard on top of each other. There are 2 main benefits to this layout:

1. CPU COOLING
The motherboard compartment is given the full height of the case for 102mm of CPU cooler clearance. Alternatively the height can be used to install a 120mm AIO cooler, or even in some cases a 140mm AIO if you can find one that has a combined Radiator/Fan/Pump stacked height of under 102mm.

2. SINGLE SIDED INTAKE
With the GPU facing the same side panel as the CPU compartment it gives you a panoramic view of your whole system through a single windowed and ventilated panel. This also has an added airflow benefit if you would like to place the case horizontal as a HTPC for example, giving both the CPU and GPU unrestricted intake ventilation.


SPECIFICATION & PRICE
The ST8 will support Mini-ITX motherboards, ITX length dual slot GPU's, SFX-L power supplies and up to 102mm of CPU cooler height clearance - or 120/140mm AIO coolers. The target price for the ST8 is $135 (ex VAT) including the riser cable. This is based on current exchange rates and a UK price of roughly £135 inc VAT.
  • Size: 125 x 195 x 325mm
  • Volume: 7.9 Litres
  • Motherboard: Mini-ITX
  • Power Supply: SFX and SFX-L
  • GPU: Dual slot up to 182mm in length, extra tall compatible (150mm +)
  • Case Cooling: 1x 140mm x 25mm Case Fan above motherboard
  • CPU Cooler (without case fan): Up to 102mm in height
  • CPU Cooler (with 25mm thick case fan): 72mm in height
  • AIO Compatibility: 120mm AIO, may fit some 140mm AIO's (will require testing)
  • Storage: Minimum 1x 2.5" drive, up to to 5x 2.5" drives (depending on cooling configuration)

PROTOTYPE
The first draft prototype is complete and went together very well, a few minor tweaks have since been made to the design to improve panel fitments. The front panel aesthetics have also been updated as you can see from the CAD renders above.

Prototype v0.1 Photos:


You may notice the PSU vents were missed off this prototype, the design has since been updated to include them.


CUSTOMISATION
I've not got much to show on this aspect yet, but as with all Lazer3D cases customisation will be a central focus with many options to choose from. My current thoughts are that this case will only be available to order direct from us meaning every case can be made to order, therefore opening up the potential for more aggressive forms of customisation.

I am hoping to achieve this through a layered approach, starting with a selection of base materials to choose from including a front panel configurator, you would then select your ventilation pattern and layout, and finally to finish off I am currently experimenting with ways of laminating the panels to give multi surface finish panels for some truly unique looking aesthetical possibilities.

For example, here is some carbon fibre effect applied to the HT5 and LZ7 front panels, the base panel material is smoked gloss. The carbon fibre layer can be cut to reveal patterns for RGB lighting or windowed areas for example:



EXPANSION
I am also working on a slightly deeper 12 Litre version of this case with the same form factor and layout, but can instead fit GPU's up to 295mm in length and in theory will be compatible with dual 240mm AIO's. Yes that's right, 2 seperate 240mm radiators if you are that way inclined!
 

HAshfaq786

Cable Smoosher
Nov 21, 2019
11
2
Love the sound of this! I've had my eye on the LZ7 XTD for sometime as my first ITX build. I'd be really keen on seeing some renders of the 12 Litre version you mention which could support dual 240MM rads.

Just out of curiosity I know you're only in the prototyping phase but when are you hoping to having this ready for shipping etc?

Keep up the great work.
 
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K888D

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Feb 23, 2016
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I'd be really keen on seeing some renders of the 12 Litre version you mention which could support dual 240MM rads.
I'll see what I can do before the end of this week :)

Just out of curiosity I know you're only in the prototyping phase but when are you hoping to having this ready for shipping etc?
I would like to get the ST8 launched in Q3 this year, sorry I can't be more specific, I've learned from experience that hitting target dates can be very diffcult. If I do decide to take the ST12 forward as well, I expect it would be a couple of months after the ST8. But we shall see, maybe I can find a way to get them launched together in a timely manner.

Dual 240´s? Man, you got me interested. That and DTX compatibility would be amazing.
DTX would be possible, but the case would need widening by 33mm which would push the volume from 12 litres up toward 14 litres, I think at that volume the concept starts losing its appeal.
 

Vacceo

Trash Compacter
Mar 17, 2020
48
29
Well, with closer to 14l it´d be a bit easier to build a custom loop, but I see your point trying to get as small as possible fitting all the above components.
 

jirachijirachi

Caliper Novice
Jul 16, 2018
21
9
I would love to see this case being wider by 10mm, upping the CPU cooler limit to 112mm which then includes the humongous Noctua C14S and BQ Dark Rock TF. The 110mm mini dual tower D9L will be able to fit in as well.
 

K888D

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Feb 23, 2016
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Well, with closer to 14l it´d be a bit easier to build a custom loop, but I see your point trying to get as small as possible fitting all the above components.
I like your ambition! would love to see a custom loop fitted in this case, it would be even more satisfying if you could pull it off at 12 litres though!

Now, what I really wanna see is how wood will look like on this one 👀
Perhaps you will see some examples of this in the near future :)

I would love to see this case being wider by 10mm, upping the CPU cooler limit to 112mm which then includes the humongous Noctua C14S and BQ Dark Rock TF. The 110mm mini dual tower D9L will be able to fit in as well.
Thats a difficult one, I see where you are coming from. The case is already a little larger than I would ideally want it to be, adding 10mm to the width would push it toward 9 litres. I agree that it would be nice to fit those coolers, but you should be able to get similar if not better cooling performance from a 120mm or 140mm AIO and keep the case at its current proportions.
 
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miptzi

Average Stuffer
Oct 20, 2017
74
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I would love to see this case being wider by 10mm, upping the CPU cooler limit to 112mm which then includes the humongous Noctua C14S and BQ Dark Rock TF. The 110mm mini dual tower D9L will be able to fit in as well.
I'm with jirach on this one. These 3 options are well known performers, and doubt any "regular" 120AiO would top them. I have a h60 and can't imagine the bends required to the tubing, they are STIFF. I would decrease the height ditching the ssd bracket to keep liters checked.
How is space on the internal front of the PSU, can't fit ssd there?

Another thing, wouldn't the increased width permit EVGA triple slot cards?
 
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K888D

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I'm with jirach on this one. These 3 options are well known performers, and doubt any "regular" 120AiO would top them. I have a h60 and can't imagine the bends required to the tubing, they are STIFF. I would decrease the height ditching the ssd bracket to keep liters checked.
How is space on the internal front of the PSU, can't fit ssd there?
I see both your points, however once the case starts to approach 135mm in width it starts to lose its slim form factor appeal. At 9 litres you are also only 1 litre away from the LZ7 XTD which has 135mm of CPU clearance and can fit full length GPU's, the case starts to lose its uniqueness in my opinion.

The SSD bracket does not affect the height, it sits in the dead space above the expansion slot, there is also another SSD bracket behind the front panel of the case, along with the fan mounting rails across the side of the case that can have multiple SSD's mounted depending on your cooling configuration.

I agree with your point about the stiffness of AIO tubes, this is something I will be testing and will report back.
 

miptzi

Average Stuffer
Oct 20, 2017
74
61
The "dead space" was created for extra high videocards ? Could it be reduced? A quick look seems to show it as unnecessary height. If so, I'd kill the dead space in the center and put it on top for a 120mm slim exhaust...

Not complaining, just asking because Finally SOMEONE is producing something I wanted but couldn't make... Hehhehe
 

K888D

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The "dead space" was created for extra high videocards ? Could it be reduced? A quick look seems to show it as unnecessary height. If so, I'd kill the dead space in the center and put it on top for a 120mm slim exhaust...

Not complaining, just asking because Finally SOMEONE is producing something I wanted but couldn't make... Hehhehe
The layout of the case with the riser cable allows the GPU to overlap the motherboard if needed. The deadspace is the area on the motherboard above the PCIe slot. The PSU is sat right next to the side of the motherboard so it cannot be reduced in height.
 
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miptzi

Average Stuffer
Oct 20, 2017
74
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Nice. Can't wait for the AIO testing... Those AIO without swiveling side barbs will not work I guess....
 
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AP2

Cable-Tie Ninja
Feb 1, 2017
158
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This looks interesting! Any chance there will be a 4 slot version in the deeper version? I would like to put 2 2080tis in it.
 

masteraleph

SFF Lingo Aficionado
May 28, 2017
91
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To me, the biggest issue is the lack of availability of ITX length GPUs. That's been a problem for a while now, and I don't see anything making it better anytime soon.
 

K888D

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Feb 23, 2016
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To me, the biggest issue is the lack of availability of ITX length GPUs. That's been a problem for a while now, and I don't see anything making it better anytime soon.
I agree that there aren't as many ITX length GPU options to choose from, but I don't personally see it as a big problem, every generation releases new ITX models and there is still a market for cases that cater to them specifically.

This may come as a surprise, but the standard LZ7 (ITX length cards) outsells the extended LZ7 XTD (reference length cards) version by about 3 to 1. This tells me that there are people out there looking for a case that has been specifically designed to play to the strengths of short length cards.

This looks interesting! Any chance there will be a 4 slot version in the deeper version? I would like to put 2 2080tis in it.
The idea is to literally just extend the case which means the PSU would remain in the same place mounted to the rear of the case, which would mean the GPU remains 2 slot sorry. The benefits of this layout will mean dual radiators or extra fans or hard drives.
 

Tute

Caliper Novice
Sep 16, 2018
22
6
Conversely you should go in the other direction as well and do an ST4. Think flex ATX PSU, circa 200mm of graphics card and sub 50mm CPU coolers.
 

maxdfw

Smol Form Factor
Aug 21, 2019
53
59
I am SO onboard with this! I've been looking for a S4 Mini style case that was thicker for a larger cooler. The SFX psu is a bonus!
 
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