Log mATX SFF, research / prep work + intermediate build (Mesh-mATX)

hrh_ginsterbusch

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But fear not! After feeling down a bit, and nearly already been ordering a different AIO, we gave it a final try!
Another test fitting of the Artic Liquid Freezer II revealed: SAMA - no, but Meshi - YEAH! ūüėć


Just absolute not in the position we expected. Needs to sit on the upper right corner. Then both tubes and the whole radiator including preinstalled fans is gonna fit snugly inside.

Hah! That means our calculations and mockup fitting tests were indeed correct, just the position wasnt. We are happy - despite having to wait a bit more till we can really build stuff. The Asus Prime AP201 is gonna work as intermediate consolation price, and the actual work on the mesh is gonna continue when we've gotten everything together thats required to rearrange and extend things.

Those are:
- tools, mostly (eg. foldable rechargabel battery-powered (percussion) drill)
- a few brackets to keep the radiator properly in position (mostly from below)
- extension for the radiator brackets
- a small extension for the front, so that the panel still fits onto the case even with the "nudge" in the middle cut out

The bigger front extension is gonna be arranged when I've decided on the GPU, but maybe its still gonna work out as expected, so that the initial extension is enough.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Another update (and still no pictures; this gonna be a massive image dump in the nearby future): I dont want to bother myself with another PSU failure, experiments etc., so I'm going for the Corsair SF 750, and the GPU is, as already mentioned in the initial (updated) post, an RX 6700 XT.

For the GPU, the PowerColor Radeon RX 6700 XT Fighter looks just about perfect, both in size and its potential for a Noctua-/T30/Be Quiet-ification :)

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Just a quickly dashed down note: The Asus Prime AP101 is NOT 33L, but actually measures around 29.9L. Ie. inner measurements vs. outer measurements; ie. the front adds about 2 cm to the 44 in depth, and the legs add about 2cm in height, but the front is not really usable or repurposable, like it is in eg. the SAMA IM01 or the NR 200 (no usable openings).

Was looking at the Metallicgear Neo V2 Micro rn, and was thinking: That one looks nice, but its not as nice as the intermediate case (ie. the Asus Prime). Also doesnt support 360 mm radiators, just 280mm in front (while the Asus Prime supports 360 on top!).

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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So, after a bit more tinkering and pondering, I'm strongly considering using a custom loop over AIO.

Options include using the EK-Quantum Velocity² DDC Pump-CPU Block-Res combo, or maybe more classic with a small Pump Res combo and a separate CPU block (either EKWB or Alphacool). Going with regular tubes and not something clear (probably 13/10 though), because I dont like massive RGB rainbow light pollution. Only RGB is going to be on the fans and some understated accents, eg. underglow effects etc.

Radiator is going to be 240 mm, probably with 35 or 40 mm depth, as the current intermediate build using the Arctic LQ II with 240 mm radiator has proven very solid.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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On further research, the original plan with putting the GPU on the mainboard side, might actually be doable. But for a full custom loop only. The advantage: go for a 280 mm radiator, a 200 x 200, or maybe even 2x 240 mm side-by-sides :)

GPU is either going to be an RTX 3080 (Ti) or RX 7900 XT (if I'm lucky, maybe "just" an 6900 XT).

I also pondered about adding a top hat and using a 360 mm radiator, but I just dont want to make so many excessive changes - the side panel already needs at least 1 cm of spacers.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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New things arriving today:
- 3x P12 Max
- GPU: Gigabyte RX 6800 Gaming OC

Stuff arriving tomorrow:
- another Silent Wings 4 HS 120
- a bunch of fan splitter cables

Going to switch out the A-RGB "0 db" P12s on the Arctic LF II, put them to the bottom as intakes, and then test both P12 and the Silent Wings that are already installed in the case. The A-RGB fans are nice, but seem to lack a bit of oomph when its time to push some serious amount of air.


On a side note: Been reading the "ratings" of the P12 Max on geizhals ..

.. which feel a lot like: Kids cannot be bothered with reading specs, can they?

A lot of complaining and whining about the "loud fan noise" / "loud bearings" - no shit sherlock, but the spec sheet shows clearly: YES, its a different bearing, because how else do you thing the P12 Max would be able to "bear" the 3000 rpm without instant exploding of the fan blades?!?

And apparently its still not clear that P12 are not meant as regular case fans, but are better placed on radiators and CPU coolers.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Things tested in the other build:

1. The new GPU - it got really toasty inside, but seems to work flawlessy :D
2. P12 Max - added on top, works as an "outbound" exhaust fan; kept temps at max load below 50 C (hovering around 48 - 49 C)

Finally decided to order the Meshroom S, because there is quite a bit of work thats already "done"; but also because I measured the width of the new GPU, and found out its just 100 mm wide! That allows easily for a 280 mm AIO, and with the Meshroom S being slightly wider than the original Meshi, it should work out much better (may still need a bit of a side extension, but thats whats Etsy / Thingiverse is for).

Thus, I'm going to apply ALL the knowledge I collected so far, to turn it into a true Mesh-mATX v2.0 :)

Actual build might not happen before I move (planning to either go "single", ie. taking a break from living in shared flats for a year or two, or going for a "shared house" instead of the classic shared flat), so roughly in September or October 2023.

Before that, I'm going to rebuild the current system with the knowledge I've been accumulating while reading r/sffpc and r/mffpc - the AP201 seems to be the total hype case currently; there are multiple builds depicting SFF build techniques in essentially an MFFPC case, including insane things like 2x 360 mm radiator (top + bottom) with an SFX PSU + ITX mainboard, 360 AIO + SFX PSU etc.

There is a particular build that really looks impressive, where they moved the SFX PSU to the side and do all the cable routing there, so nothing is cluttered inside the case, and also are using a 3d-printed, 90 degrees rotated PSU cage. Certainly going into this direction, although I'm going to try and see if I might be able to repurpose one of the PSU cages available for the SAMA / NR200 (ordered the ATX PSU bracket / cage for the NR200 recently, originally to use within the other build).

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Meshroom S has arrived. Its interesting comparing it to the Meshlicious - it feels like the case dimensions by itself are identical, just the case panels have been slightly enhanced, so that mATX / ATX boards may fit (very snug, but they fit). Did a test fit with my regular "test" mATX board (an ancient Asrock B75), and after closing the side panel it stuck to the position even without using screws XD (obviously it clanged hard down to the bottom when I opened the side panel again to test fit my GPU).

Also, for the intermediate build, I'm going to try and find a decently priced local 3D printing service, and just help myself to the "AP201 SFX-L PSU Bracket" (STL on Thingiverse), that allows for installing an SFX / SFX-L PSU in 90¬į rotated position, instead of fumbling around with PSU brackets / cages that are not meant for this particular case (I still could go with just simple steel angle brackets, but .. meh). Additionally, it enables you to let the PSU sit nearly at the bottom of the case, and also, thanks to the rotated position, improves cable management massively (plus very effectively hiding the cables away from view).

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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For those interested: Next build is "rebuilding" the streaming system into the Meshlicious thats been sitting around empty and waiting since nearly a year.

Essentially I'm going to build a mid-tier ITX system and then just move both the RTX 3050 and the SSD over to the new system.
All the important parts are already ordered and should arrive at the begin of next week. Going to open a new thread as soon as everything is around.

Current parts list: https://de.pcpartpicker.com/user/fwolf/saved/mw8vRB

Also for other things: Preparing a deshroud of my old MSI GTX 1660 NON-super - it ran for 2 1/2 years, and swallowed more dust than my whole other system that I've used between 2006 and 2012 (before I quit regular PCs and went full notebook till .. 2021 or so). Want to de-sand (because it really looks like as if the whole system took a nose dive into the Sahara) the rest of the system and eventually move it into the second SAMA IM01 aka Inter-Tech Pocket IM-I. And then either give it to a friend / family member or sell it, we'll see.

cu, w0lf.
 

ThatEV

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Aug 21, 2023
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Hi ginster! I just joined the forum to check in on how your build is going. I already have the parts for a very similar build (b550 mortar, LF II 240, a different sfx psu, and a gigabyte vision 3070). The parts are currently running well in a very old, giant, ugly tower case. I am searching for the smallest reasonably priced case to put them in.

Were you able to fit the m-atx, gpu, and 240 aio into the Meshroom S? The documentation on the ssupd website hinted that this might not be possible, but I wasn't completely convinced.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Hi ginster! I just joined the forum to check in on how your build is going. I already have the parts for a very similar build (b550 mortar, LF II 240, a different sfx psu, and a gigabyte vision 3070). The parts are currently running well in a very old, giant, ugly tower case. I am searching for the smallest reasonably priced case to put them in.

Were you able to fit the m-atx, gpu, and 240 aio into the Meshroom S? The documentation on the ssupd website hinted that this might not be possible, but I wasn't completely convinced.
I've did various test fits with my spare mATX board, and it should be doable, if your GPU is not too wide. I explicitely searched for a decently sized RX 6800 (XT), and the one I got, the Asus RX 6800, is only 100 mm wide, so in theory it might even work with a 280 mm radiator (did a test fit with be quiet Silent Loop 2 280 + said RX inside the Meshlicious). For the LF II the only tube routing option was above the top, and an almost perfect fit, so putting the MB tray into the "4 slot gpu" position is highly advisable, just so that there is still a bit breathing room for the fans, else there is only 1 - 2 mm distance between tray and the rad + fans.

Of corpse all of this only works when putting the radiator on the GPU side - for the "front", its not gonna fit INSIDE the case. But an outbound radiator would be totally feasable (just a wee bit loud, but thats what fan curves are for) ;)

When I find time during the weekend, I'm going to do drop a few pictures that show the spacing and test fits.

cu, w0lf.
 

ThatEV

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Aug 21, 2023
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Awesome! I'm glad things fit!

My GPU (gigabyte 3070 vision OC) is 115 mm wide. But I already have the LF 240.

How was the tube routing for the CPU side of the LF ii? Did the tubes fit into the case? If we put the radiator on the GPU side in 4 slot mode, I would have thought that didn't leave enough room for the CPU plate + tubes.

I was leaning towards the meshroom d + extender bracket because it is classic format instead of sandwich. I think this will give a few more mm of tube clearance + breathing room for the LF radiator. But the extender bracket isn't available yet. I could also wait for the streacom/ncase ff1. Either way, I don't think I'll be building in the next month.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Awesome! I'm glad things fit!

My GPU (gigabyte 3070 vision OC) is 115 mm wide. But I already have the LF 240.

How was the tube routing for the CPU side of the LF ii? Did the tubes fit into the case? If we put the radiator on the GPU side in 4 slot mode, I would have thought that didn't leave enough room for the CPU plate + tubes.

I was leaning towards the meshroom d + extender bracket because it is classic format instead of sandwich. I think this will give a few more mm of tube clearance + breathing room for the LF radiator. But the extender bracket isn't available yet. I could also wait for the streacom/ncase ff1. Either way, I don't think I'll be building in the next month.
It seems to depend on your LF II - some have really "bendable" tubes, some dont. But there are people on reddit + co. displaying their builds with LF II "bends" in the meshi, clearly showing it even works with the 4 slot option (alas, ITX board).

My test "bend" over the top spine worked out really well, the cpu block would have fit perfectly on the mb.

In terms of size: The Meshroom S is next to identical, but the panels are slightly "raised" / "bulged out", so they allow for a few more mm to each side. The LF II 240 is actually 138 mm, so you would have a clearing space between them somewhere around 7 - 10 mm.

Re: Meshroom D - the reviews I've seen so far are calling it rather .. mediocre. I'd go for the C4 v2 or just the SAMA IM01 (or a licensed clone). Esp. the last one is such a joy to build in. Not much in terms of cable management, but if you plan out things well, its ultra-versatile, and you can also reuse lots of stuff meant for the NR200P. Eg. I got the Coolermaster ATX bracket for the NR200 sitting around, which relocated the ATX PSU to the middle / mid section of the front, thus allowing for better access to ports on the mainboard and potentially improved wiring / cable management, too.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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New plans appear on the horizon - at least for "actual" SFF. Probably going for a custom case using MakerBeam. Tower-like, either open frame or with some clever air ducts / routing. Approx 18L. The Meshroom S is all cool n stuff, but I had such a hard time building in its predecessor, the Meshilicious, just with SFX parts, that building a workstation mATX system feels .. well, doable, but like a really really painful thing. And if you need to go much more custom than "intended", then things get really complicated or "3d printer only" ASAP.

That might mean I'm going to transfer the NAS system to the Meshroom S. Storage issues remain the same, too. 2x 4 TB HDD + 2x 2 TB NVMe SSD, both as RAID1, properly positioning the hard drives is a hassle no matter if its the SAMA IM01 or the Meshroom S.

Now, for the current MFF situation, I'm hopefully gonna manage to get the SFX PSU + the GPU installed soon, which is also gonna be used to clean up after about 8 months, re-arrange the fans, maybe add a few more, including to the back of the case and covering the back with a bit of dust protection.

If lucky, I may be able to position the PSU rotated and "down", with just some rubber spacers, and either attaching it to the case using one or two thick L-type 90¬į angled brackets, or a SFX PSU cover + magnetic tape.

cu, w0lf.
 
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hrh_ginsterbusch

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On further thought: I'm quite fixated on the Meshlicious / Meshroom S case, so another option would be an external radiator, or that plus adding a bit of things (could even be MakerBeam XL or something similar) to add a proper "mesh" extension to the front.

One thing that comes to mind, recently seen: a case mod / bottom extender with a custom loop with 2x 360 mm radiators.




Although the system specs are a bit nimble - for all the effort involved. Apparently Ryzen 9 5900X + RTX 3070 Ti: https://builds.gg/builds/tweaked-meshlicious-34521

One could go down a similar route, eg. with a 280 + 240 rad, or even similarly insane, with a 200 + 140 mm rad combined (even a 120 mm rad would do, if we go by the formula of 120 mm rad per 100 W). Rougly summed up, my build sits at approx 520 W, if both CPU + GPU would run at 100% (so, next to never).

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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After further research and calculation of the 280 + 240 rad combination, I came up with the following setup:

1. thin 280 mm radiator (eg. 25 / 27 mm depth)
2. thick 240 mm radiator (eg. 45 mm depth)
3. Meshroom S in 4 slot mode

In theory, the 4 slot 'mode' (mainboard in 4 slot position = reduced space for the mb side, enlarged space for the GPU + rad side) should allow for about 84 mm depth (measured in the Meshlicious, so there might be even 1 - 2 mm more in the Meshroom), which could in theory allow even for a thick 240 mm rad with 60 mm depth. Although I'd say take 50 mm at max and use T30s as fans, to add more "oomph" in the upper push range.

Additional option: Add a side extender, eg. 25 mm, so the overall dimensions would increase from 167 x 362 x 247 mm (~= 14.92L) to 192 (+/-1) x 362 x 247 mm (~= 17.26L). This would allow for a thick 60 mm radiator, potentially even in a push pull config.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Because of the short distances, I might go with hard tubes, similar to what is seen in the YT video that started my craze with the Mesh-mATX :)

Although for the first test, I'd go with soft tubes and QDC.

Edit: IDK how I came up with 280 + 240 (120 + 140 width), when there is only 247 mm space .. so this would mean a front panel extender no matter what, of at least 2 cm (better make it 2,5). Overall case dimensions would automatically be: 167 x 362 x 272 ~= 16,44L

Hence Option #3:
Just use TWO thick 240 mm radiators, move the GPU to the other side and be happy ever after. Reservoir + pump could be added on top of the double rads, too (similar to what the Alphacool Eisbaer Extreme 280 does).

cu, w0lf.
 
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hrh_ginsterbusch

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And changes in my life happened, so its all up in the air again. Plans for the custom loop are on ice for now.

Guess I might just build the Mesh-mATX like I originally planned, but in the Meshroom S, and THEN start planning on rebuilding it into the A4-H2O as some sort of "AC4-H2O Vertical Tower", ie. GPU on top, 280 mm AIO on the GPU side, and then rotated by 90¬į so that the front is turned into the bottom...

... On the other hand, I'm kinda fixed on the Shiny Snake S400, which would be perfect in size if not for the fact, that its a bit too low in height (I could install BOTH GPU + Radiator on the GPU side, with my current RX 6800, which is only 100 mm wide, if the top was just about 20 mm taller). Of corpse, that one would ALSO be turned into a vertical tower :)

I was quite happy with how the Vertical Tower mod of the SAMA IM01 mATX NAS turned out, and like to do it again, just on a smaller scale, with a CPU with a bit more "oomph", so my current main workstation with the 13700k is gonna moved. But might change the CPU to a 13900k and PL it to 150 or 180W, as its shown in several tests that its performing at the same level as the 13700k at no PL - when PL'd to 125W.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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How it was planned: mATX mb + 13700k + Meshlicious / Meshroom S + Artic Liquid Freezer II + GPU + SF750.

How its going (mid Oct 2023): Shiny Snake S400 in WHITE (my first white PC case EVER!) + ITX mb + 13700k + LF II / be quiet Pure Loop 2 FX + SF750 + GPU + mods on the case to allow for either side-by-side or "by-row" (Rad on top, GPU on bottom row or so) ... but maybe if liquid cooling fails, PL to 150 W + Thermalright AXP-67 / AXP-100 + P12 Max :D

.. or if all of that fails, just going with DAN Case A4-H2O :D

cu, w0lf.
 
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hrh_ginsterbusch

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Update on my upgrade plans (as in: downsizing): Been nearly giving up, because the dimensions reported do not match up with reality - yes, there is 65 mm "space" on the GPU side, but its bought using the same hack as with the Meshroom S: slightly "bulged out" side panels. The bottom panel itself only got about 140ish mm of working surface, because there is a recessed area to both sides which hold the holes for the hooks of the slide-in panels (those reduce the inner surface size by about 6 - 7 mm). On the GPU side this means, there is only about 50 mm space both on top and bottom to be used for attaching anything, so if the radiator isnt ultra-small, and the GPU is basically single-slot or 1 1/2 slot, there is no chance to eg. hide the GPU behind the fans of the radiator etc.

So I decided putting the case aside for a while.

.. and came right back to it the other day, because I remembered my "raise the top" idea. After a bit of fiddling around with a Silent Wings 3 140 (a leftover from the installation of the Silent Loop 2 in my Meshlicious Streaming System), and a Scythe Kaze Flex 120, plus some other small helpers, I figured out that there is, at best, 28ish mm space from the mb / gpu tray to the top of the case. An extremely small radiator could fit here, eg. the Silverstona Vida 240. And then somehow add fans on top of the case.

The other option would be: Cut open the space where we want the AIO radiator + fans be placed, remove parts of the holding frame which allows for the handle to be attached (and OC remove the handle in the process as well), mount the fans to the pre-existing fan brackets, and put the radiator right on top, with custom drilled holes or just happy friend ziptie to the rescue (or BOTH). Finally, create an additional top with similar color scheme, ie. cream-white, either using steel / aluminium, or 3d printing, with a nice mesh lid, and attach it over the radiator.

Optionally lower the position of the mb by up to 5 mm, and then remove the proud corner of the MB tray, that'd normally also keep the inlet for the mainboard spacer, and drill holes for the spacer attachments at the lowered positions. That'd also mean removing a bit of the IO panel cutout, thats why I'm saying "up to 5 mm", because it might be limited to just 2 - 3 mm of material removal.

I'd be going with an all-white AIO, probably NZXT or Alpenföhn Gletscherwasser, 240 mm radiator, and just reuse my P12 Max or the SW 4 HS that I've got sitting around doing mostly nothing (being used as case fans).

In this, this is also my VERY FIRST WHITE case, and white-themed build! :)

cu, w0lf.

ps: on term of the original topic, ie. Mesh-mATX, I'm considering moving the streaming system to my Meshroom S, and reuse the soon to be vacant MSI Z690M, get another 32 GB DDR5, et voila! And then of corpse use the B760i to build a much smaller NAS, together with the components of the SAMA-IM NAS system, eg. using the Jonsbo N2. .. or sell a few parts, who knows? :D
 
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