Stalled Mini LP - general-purpose case for low profile cards

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Glad someone is doing this. I've often thought about offering a slimmer model with a 90 degree rotated expansion slot.

Glad you like. I had this layout in my mind last year and then put it aside for a while. It's only because of the release of the low profile 1050 Ti's and MeanWell EPP PSUs that got me to reconsider.

I may be able to support the HD-PLEX 160W AC-DC, but that's a fair bit larger than the Mean Well and will take a good squeeze in to fit.
 
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Shrink Way Wielder
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Right now I'm figuring out up to what height CPU heatsinks the case would support, which would directly influence the width of the case. My current cooler, Scythe Kozuti, is 40mm tall, which would require that the case be at lest 60mm wide. But then I'm thinking if I should just support up to 37mm which would be where the Noctua NH-L9i lies, a more popular cooler.

I expect the common usage will not be for high TDP processors so I could justify narrowing the support for CPU cooler height. There are still a decent amount of coolers to choose from with processors at 65W TDP and below.
 

Curiosity

SFF>Speed
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Maybe support 40mm height so that there's an air gap between the side panel and a L9i? (plus then the kozuti fits)
I've heard some pretty gross turbulence noises from a C7 against the side panel of an A4-SFX.
 
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Shrink Way Wielder
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You've got a point about the turbulance. I haven't been able to test a CPU fan right against the surface of a vented panel.

The measurement I've taken with the bottom of the motherboard standoffs (using ~6.4mm or quarter inch standoffs) to the top of the heatsink is 55.5mm so subtracting the heatsink it would be between 15 and 16mm of allowed space from mobo standoffs to IHS.

Looks pretty close to this diagram




Adding 3mm more for the top and bottom outer walls of the case, we can get to 58-59mm for the total outer width of the case. 188mm for case depth, and 290mm for height, then the case size could be about 3.2L in volume. The case will look a bit more "chunky" compared to the S4 Mini, only because the width won't scale down proportionally as much as the height or depth.
 

K888D

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I think you need about upwards of 20mm gap between a fan and a vent before you totally eliminate turbulence noise for a 92mm fan. Although anything above something like a 5mm - 10mm gap starts to noticeably reduce noise.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Just throwing in some new renders here.

Case standing upright. I chose to make the front black because it contrasts well with the silver. Not sure yet if it's going to be painted black, or be black acrylic faceplate (it would be the only non-metal part of the case)



Again, but without the removable cover



Horizontal orientation



More clearly seen is how the removable cover exposes the end of the case on the GPU side, so the dimensions can be kept as small as possible while still making it easy to fit the tightest cards by sliding them into the bracket mount.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Another quick update. I am very close to finalizing the design for the case's inner frame. For the prototype it will be made out of a single square foot sheet of aluminum, and bends will be done by hand. I sold my GTX 1050 to be "low profile ready" and start buying the sheet aluminum.

After making the frame and making sure the main components fit, I'll move on with the purchase of a EPP-200 PSU and a Pico-style plugin board. For now, enjoy this render of the metal parts of the case.

 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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That looks really good.
Is it going to have external screws like the S4 Mini?

Yes, it looks very much that way for now. I'm still figuring out the exact placements, but it will use pan-head or countersunk flat head screws for the exterior panels and it will make those panels easier to produce.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Very nice. Simple and functional with good form.

Thanks, that's what I was going for. Something that just works and also easy to build.

Tiny update- I started work on the measuring and cuts for the frame. Since I am using only hand tools, expect this to take a few days. I'll try to get more done tomorrow.
 
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It's not without kinks, but the prototype frame is coming along nicely.







Most of the hard work is done. Several of the narrow flanges were tricky to bend just with clamps, and there is just one more major bend to be done for the front side of the case.
 

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More work done thus far. Not a lot of cutting today, but I did get a motherboard to hop onto the case!

I made a shim to fit the I/O bracket edge to the top of the tray. It was weakening around that joint. A better choice would be to add 5mm of additional space near the end of the I/O for the next version of the design.



Here you can see the shim screwed on, and also my 40mm cooler lines up perfectly with the flange of the case! So yes, the max cooler height for this case is 40mm.





I couldn't resist standing it up vertically on the desk. You can see just how small the footprint is when it's vertical.

 

Soul_Est

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More work done thus far. Not a lot of cutting today, but I did get a motherboard to hop onto the case!

I made a shim to fit the I/O bracket edge to the top of the tray. It was weakening around that joint. A better choice would be to add 5mm of additional space near the end of the I/O for the next version of the design.

--snip--

Here you can see the shim screwed on, and also my 40mm cooler lines up perfectly with the flange of the case! So yes, the max cooler height for this case is 40mm.

--snip--

I couldn't resist standing it up vertically on the desk. You can see just how small the footprint is when it's vertical.

--snip--
Looking good! Looks like we used similar bends for our cases. With any luck, the mass-produced version of Mini-LP will not require such reinforcement.
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Just found this! I loved the new format with angled power button. was thinking of something similiar a while ago, but no 90 degree turn.

any updates?

Sad to say, there aren't any. My efforts to use a low-profile card in a build have gone to the 2-liter mini PC case. That one will be made of acrylic and 3D printed materials so it's going to have a different look, but I'm also investigating designs for a larger version for 2-slot cards.