Completed Lone Industries L5 - 4.6L Mini ITX

Lone

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Lone Industries
Feb 25, 2015
702
1,171
loneindustries.com
I'm generally a fan of very streamlined airflow without pressure leaks, mainly for the sake of dust control. For the same reason, I don't like top vents. So I do dig the idea of all sides and top being sealed with just front-to-back airflow.

That being said, I think unless you're using a very low-power build and an L9i which allows for sufficient clearance between the side panel and the fan, you're just going to thermal throttle. If not the CPU, certainly the GPU. I mean a 1050 Ti with its fans right up against a wall and only passive exhaust will overheat very quickly I think. At the very least you need more GPU air clearance, but then you have to make the case taller...

HDPlex 160W is really a 200W continuous PSU if not more than that. You can have a 9700K with a 1050 Ti in this case. It's not so much an issue of being air-starved -- the fans will provide plenty of air. The issue is lack of airflow clearance. Testing the 2200G is a very limited use case, most people would run much more powerful systems in this case. It's an expensive/niche case, people buy these for powerful ultra SFF builds. If someone wanted a tiny 2200G build or equivalent, they'd get the upcoming ASRock DeskMini AM4 or a NUC or something.
Just so nobody gets the wrong idea, by testing the 2200G above, it does not mean that I recommend or endorse that setup. It's just what I had available that wasn't being used. This was my first rudimentary test, and it helped answer the question: "how does this rough L5 concept compare to the L4 using the same hardware". I am limited by what I have available, and can't buy or test every hardware setup. I personally prefer to build as low power system as possible while still having good performance (ie. keep brick as small as possible). Maybe I could send an L5 prototype to a SFF Network staff member for further testing and review? We do have some i7 systems used for video editing and CAD that I can hopefully test after work hours. I would also like to test some older cases like the L3, and see how those compare (the L4 had more restrictive vents than the L3).

I believe the fan height on the NH-L12S is low enough that it should work well, but I'm anxiously waiting to test and confirm. I will be disappointed if it doesn't work.

There's about 9 mm clearance between the wall and the GTX 1050 Ti fans. This will also be interesting to test and see how it cools with a second 80 mm fan blowing onto the end of the GPU heatsink. I've never done this with any of my cases. I believe it will make a positive difference. Unfortunately, the 80 mm fans and front vents will increase noise levels reaching the end user, and more wires.

Who knows, maybe the L5 will turn into something completely different from the concept. If it doesn't work out, there's also the chance that I'll just call it quits... again. ;)
 

QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
501
356
Thanks for the reply, definitely looking forward to the tests!

I hope you won't call it quits, there isn't really another case like this on the market.
 

Lone

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Lone Industries
Feb 25, 2015
702
1,171
loneindustries.com
Well, I received five prototypes today (earlier than expected). Overall, I'm quite happy with the result. My new manufacturer managed to strategically punch the front vent so there's no warping. There are some fit issues with the internal fan mount bracket (ie. it doesn't fit), so I'll have to get replacements with my next order. Next step is finding time to do some testing.

 

jaagdijot

Trash Compacter
Jan 29, 2018
52
10
The prototypes look great!

It would be amazing if you could run two size variants for this batch, one at your current dimensions that already supports the traditional DC board PSUs with external AC-DC adapters and then a slightly larger variant for 1U/Flex ATX PSU support.

Either way I will be ordering a L5 revision! It will make a nice update to my current L3 setup!
 

Michael

Average Stuffer
Jan 3, 2016
57
22
I heard rumor of a hdplex 200w unit coming out soon - you might want to contact lary over at hdplex to make sure that it will fit in your case.
 

QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
501
356
Looks great. Is the front mesh removable for those who want to run straight fans + grill. I wish they made 80mm RGB fans. I would also love to see a window, would be the smallest case with a solid window. Would garner attention for sure.

I heard rumor of a hdplex 200w unit coming out soon - you might want to contact lary over at hdplex to make sure that it will fit in your case.
Interesting, would you care to share a source? The current HDPlex 160W can do 200W continuous with no issue, so I'm guessing they'll just beef up the components a bit, but overall it'll be almost the same unit.
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Feb 1, 2016
3,380
5,908
I heard rumor of a hdplex 200w unit coming out soon - you might want to contact lary over at hdplex to make sure that it will fit in your case.
IF this were true (not saying it is) word on the street is that it would retain the form factor of the 160W (were this a thing, which obviously it's not).
 

Lone

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Lone Industries
Feb 25, 2015
702
1,171
loneindustries.com
It'll probably still be a bit of a wait before these are ready to sell. The front is currently not removable. I have to look into it further, but basically it might not be worth the added complexity. Or in other words, it might not cost much more to just sell the entire internal frame.
 

Michael

Average Stuffer
Jan 3, 2016
57
22
I was more concerned about the barrel plug mounting to the frame of the case as opposed to the size of the unit.
 

winterbladexx

Average Stuffer
Sep 30, 2017
76
34
Well, I received five prototypes today (earlier than expected). Overall, I'm quite happy with the result. My new manufacturer managed to strategically punch the front vent so there's no warping. There are some fit issues with the internal fan mount bracket (ie. it doesn't fit), so I'll have to get replacements with my next order. Next step is finding time to do some testing.

That's ridiculously cute. I'll actually buy two. Can't wait for the release of this little guy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Biowarejak

Lone

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Lone Industries
Feb 25, 2015
702
1,171
loneindustries.com
I had a chance to do some quick tests with an NH-L12S (i5-6500, one case fan, no GPU), and results are looking good at around 64*C (CPU max, Prime95 Small FFTs). Height of the fan on the NH-L12S is about 3 mm lower than a 92x25 mm fan on a NH-L9x. I plan to post full test results sometime in the New Year.
 
Last edited:

QuantumBraced

Master of Cramming
Mar 9, 2017
501
356
Sounds good. Did you mean overall cooler height? The fan is under the heatsink on the L12S vs. over on the L9x.
 

Lone

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Lone Industries
Feb 25, 2015
702
1,171
loneindustries.com
Just the distance of each fan from the inside of the side panel. So the top of the fan on the NH-L12S is slightly lower than the top of a 92x25 mm fan on the NH-L9i. The top of the NH-L12S heatsink fins are about 2.5 mm away from the inside side panel.
 
Last edited: