Looking for a similar case to DR Zaber Sentry

etonovak

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Apr 18, 2017
3
0
Greetings everyone, I am looking into building my own SFF computer. I have been looking for the case I would like to include in my build. There are a lot of great SFF cases that use Pico PSUs like the S4 Mini or the MC600, but I have yet to find a case other than the DR Zaber Sentry that can accomodate the following requirements:

  • 300mm GPU support
  • SFX/L support
  • Console Style Design
  • Sub 7L
It seems strange to me that out of all the custom cases that are being shown on these forums nobody apart from the Sentry is developing such a case. Anyone know of anyone who is doing something in this space? I would greatly appreciate your comments on where I can find such a case.
 

Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
746
655
That is because it is pretty hard to fit all of that in less than 7L. Two of your components determine the minimum specs - you specif SFX compatible which has a height of 65mm (add in at least 1mm for case sides, probably more realistically 1.5mm), then a GPU length of 300mm which sets another parameter. The ITX motherboard is 170x170 and it will be even larger once you start placing an SFX PSU or GPU alongside.

Here is a case that is closest to the Sentry: https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/c-o-t-s-case.1641/ It is 7.27L (16.85" x 2.67" x 9.84" or 428mm x 68mm x 250mm). It supports GPUs less than 250mm (as that is the depth) - the case would be 8.73L if you changed the depth to 300mm. The only way to get sub-7L in console format would be to drop SFX support and switch to a DC PSU.

https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/nverse-a-highly-versatile-steam-box-design.34/ this case was similar but the kickstarter didn't succeed - 10L.
 
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etonovak

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Apr 18, 2017
3
0
That is because it is pretty hard to fit all of that in less than 7L. Two of your components determine the minimum specs - you specif SFX compatible which has a height of 65mm (add in at least 1mm for case sides, probably more realistically 1.5mm), then a GPU length of 300mm which sets another parameter. The ITX motherboard is 170x170 and it will be even larger once you start placing an SFX PSU or GPU alongside.

Here is a case that is closest to the Sentry: https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/c-o-t-s-case.1641/ It is 7.27L (16.85" x 2.67" x 9.84" or 428mm x 68mm x 250mm). It supports GPUs less than 250mm (as that is the depth) - the case would be 8.73L if you changed the depth to 300mm. The only way to get sub-7L in console format would be to drop SFX support and switch to a DC PSU.

https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/nverse-a-highly-versatile-steam-box-design.34/ this case was similar but the kickstarter didn't succeed - 10L.

Yes you are correct in saying that sub 7L is restricting the amount of parts that can be included. Still I am surprised that nobody is coming up with new designs that take the elements of the sentry, since its been such a popular model and the retail model won't be coming until September. I would really love to see a 7L case that has an aluminum construction, SFX Power Supply, 300mm GPU support and a 100-150 $ price tag. Would be a killer case.
 

jtd871

SFF Guru
Jun 22, 2015
1,166
847
Nobody is doing it because they'd go out of business. There isn't the huge demand for these kinds of cases, the manufacturing methods and materials are relatively expensive and have relatively long lead times, there are packaging and shipping costs that need to be accounted for, and the creators have to make a reasonable profit.

The console makers can charge low prices (and even sell at a loss) because they make money off every licensed game sold (and have subscription services) and they have manufacturing contracts for millions of units, so marginal costs/unit are low.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,082
2,286
You might want to keep an eye out for CircleTect. He has been designing a case like this for weeks, and he finally got a prototype made. He is considering two versions to be made. One is a mini HDPlex tower with the same thermal capacity, and a larger SFX-L / 120mm rad AIO version for maximum performance and modularity.
 
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etonovak

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
Apr 18, 2017
3
0
You might want to keep an eye out for CircleTect. He has been designing a case like this for weeks, and he finally got a prototype made. He is considering two versions to be made. One is a mini HDPlex tower with the same thermal capacity, and a larger SFX-L / 120mm rad AIO version for maximum performance and modularity.[/QUOTE
You might want to keep an eye out for CircleTect. He has been designing a case like this for weeks, and he finally got a prototype made. He is considering two versions to be made. One is a mini HDPlex tower with the same thermal capacity, and a larger SFX-L / 120mm rad AIO version for maximum performance and modularity.

Hey yes I've been keeping an eye on that case. Looks promising
 

Rock Rock Robot999

Efficiency Noob
May 6, 2017
7
10
I'm pretty much like you and I've been looking for a case with the exact same specs you are.

Like @Ceros_X said, 7L is pretty much the minimum if you want a Sentry style layout if you want an SFX/L PSU and 300mm GPU. If you go on the Zaber Sentry page you can see the component lay out tool and there's no real room to shrink. A Sentry with the dimensions of 63mm (SFX PSU height), 300mm (GPU length), and 320mm (mITX board + GPU height) would be ~6L, while the current Sentry is 6.9L. When you take into account stock cooler height and extra mm for fitting things in you get a case volume of about 6.5L, but I still haven't accounted for storage drives.

A DanCase style layout with overlapping MOBO and GPU is probably the best bet in terms of maximizing volume for all the specs you want.

https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/custom_mod-sfx-mini-5-92l.1786/
The CustomMOD case is 5.9L and support GPUs up to 287mm/11" (fits an EVGA 1080ti SC Black) and coolers up to 44mm but if it could accommodate the larger GPU and stock cooler it'd be 6.4L. @sergiiua plans on adding support for a stock cooler or C7 for Rev.4 and he's pretty communicative on the thread so you may be able to get him to bump it up or make a new model with better GPU support.

https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/the-world-most-flexible-sff-case-louqe-ghost-s1.1781/
The Louqe case is about the same size as the Dan A4 with the same compatibilities but it can also fit a 65mm cooler like the NH L9-65, which I think is amazing at this size case. The Kickstarter was cancelled for it but they're working on a V.2 so that may be something to look out for.
 
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