Concept MK-2 (Sub 6L Watercooled SFF)

Zackmd1

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Ok so I have two different design layouts I am looking into. The first is an updated version of the concept 2 posted before. This case has dimensions of 270mm x 220mm x 100mm for a volume just under 6L. Max GPU length will be about 212mm which means it should be able to fit up to the GTX 1080Ti Mini. The downside is that it can only support custom waterloops with a dual 80mm rad.

6L Layout:



The second layout requires no PCIE riser and has support for the Cooler Master MasterLiquid Maker 92 AIO or a standard 120mm AIO mounted to the side panel. It also can support the dual 80mm rad and a traditional pump/res combo. Its dimensions are 215mm x 215mm x 145mm for a volume of 6.7L. The downside to this design is that GPU height becomes a concern (although it should fit the Gigabyte 1070) and has a max GPU length of only about 195mm.

6.7L Layout:





The second layout to me seems to be much more compact even though it has a larger volume but has compromises to GPU length in order to keep it under 7L. If I wanted to fit the GTX 1080Ti Mini in this case layout it would likely increase in volume to about 7.7L.
 

Zackmd1

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So doing a bit more research on available radiators, it looks as though 6.7L can support thick 120mm radiators (in the 60mm range). These have been proven in some builds to match thin 240mm radiators in cooling potential which would be perfect for cooling a GPU and CPU.
 

Zackmd1

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What pump/block height can the 6L model support?

About the same as prototype one at about 30-35mm.

Would something like this be useful at all if you were to stick with your original layout? https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103165

Unfortunately with the original layout the pump would be too tall to fit.

So I am considering splitting development into two different cases with the same general look and feel. The first case to be designed and hopefully sold will be the 6.5-6.9L variant posted above. This case will support both decent air and water-cooling and GPUs with a max PCB length of 180mm. It will support at least one 2.5" drive and can support a pump/res combo as well as off the shelf AIOs.

The second case would be a modification of my original vision and will hopefully come in at around 4.5L and with a footprint smaller then an Xbox One S. It will only support single slot GPUs and will not support an off the self res. I am considering either integrating a res into the case or at least offering a 3D printed res. This case would be for the hardcore SFF builder who would want the absolute smallest case and isn't afraid of doing a bit of modification to components (making GTX cards single slot) and can accept minimal compatibility with off the self coolers.

The sub 7L variant will be developed first and available first in order to hopefully fund development of the second case as I simply do not have the funds at the moment to develop both concurrently.
 

Zackmd1

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Ok so I finally have an update and I believe I have nailed down exactly how I will be proceeding.

I plan to develop 2 cases as above but one case will be air-cooling only while the other will support the dual 80mm radiator. I also plan on offering a custom 3D printed res for the water-cooled variant.

Case 1: Air Cooled 4.1L ( 195mm x 195mm x 109mm )
Materials: 4.5mm Acrylic, Nylon SLS
GPU: Max length 180mm





Case 2 will be the water-cooled variant and will come in at 6L (260mm x 215mm x 109mm). Case 2 will support GPU PCB lengths up to 205mm which should be enough for the GTX 1080Ti liquid cooled variant but more research will have to be done to confirm the PCB length. I should be completing the design work of case 1 soon and ordering a prototype within the next week or 2.
 
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Zackmd1

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I went ahead and created a new thread for the air cooled 4.1L variant of this case. I have names now too! The air cooled variant will be called the MK-1 while the water-cooled variant will be the MK-2. MK-1 prototype has been ordered and development of the MK-2 variant has started. As stated before, MK-2 will be just under the 6L mark and support the alphacool dual 80mm rad and I will be creating a custom res for use with MK-2. I am also considering an MK-3 variant which will only support single slot GPUs but will have a volume under 5L but if possible, under 4L.
 
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Zackmd1

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Some interesting information on the Alphacool radiators.

http://www.watercooled.ch/alphacool-nexxxos-xt45-full-copper-40mm-radiator-review/

I am considering moving down to a dual 60mm radiator for MK-2 after seeing this article. If I went this way I could potentially get MK-2 at or around the 5L mark while still supporting a dual slot GPU. The 60mm radiator should be enough for a CPU or GPU only water loop. The 80mm radiator would be better but not quite enough for a CPU plus GPU loop. So sticking with a CPU only or GPU only loop would be more beneficial in terms of cooling and a dual 60mm should be enough to provide that cooling performance.
 

AleksandarK

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Some interesting information on the Alphacool radiators.

http://www.watercooled.ch/alphacool-nexxxos-xt45-full-copper-40mm-radiator-review/

I am considering moving down to a dual 60mm radiator for MK-2 after seeing this article. If I went this way I could potentially get MK-2 at or around the 5L mark while still supporting a dual slot GPU. The 60mm radiator should be enough for a CPU or GPU only water loop. The 80mm radiator would be better but not quite enough for a CPU plus GPU loop. So sticking with a CPU only or GPU only loop would be more beneficial in terms of cooling and a dual 60mm should be enough to provide that cooling performance.
Some math. 500W on 295X2 is cooled by 120×120 mm radiator. Half of the size is 120×60mm and in theory it coould cool 250W. But it can inly happen when you put some fans that produce enough airflow and have enough static pressure. So in theory it could be just fine.

Keep going on. I am excited for the result.
 

Zackmd1

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But it can inly happen when you put some fans that produce enough airflow and have enough static pressure. So in theory it could be just fine.

The radiator should be "good enough" but it is the fans that are the issue. My short load test the temperatures were not terrible with about 180 watts on the dual 80mm rad but not something I would call worth it. A dual 60mm cooling only an OC CPU or a GPU might be a realistic goal for a 5L case.

While the 295x2 is cooled by a single 120mm radiator, it is likely running at 80-90C. I want temps for a CPU or GPU to be at or under 60C (CPU) and 70C (GPU).
 

Zackmd1

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Well here it is! Tight fit that is for sure... Dimensions come out to 250mm x 194.5mm x 109mm for a volume of 5.3L.









The rounded corners give the case a nice look but the trade off is increased volume over a strictly rectangular box.
 
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eggDK

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I'm trying to understand this development, but I just can't.. With these new dimensions I would think there was still room for a 2*80 rad(maybe even a 2*92), if laying it down. And the fans at these sizes are way more efficient and quiet.
 

Zackmd1

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I'm trying to understand this development, but I just can't.. With these new dimensions I would think there was still room for a 2*80 rad(maybe even a 2*92), if laying it down. And the fans at these sizes are way more efficient and quiet.

I apologize for the confusion. This case has gone through many iterations. With the current dimensions it is just slightly to small to support a dual 80mm rad. The Alphacool unit is 205mm long where as the width of the case is 194.5 with internal space being even smaller. It could possibly support a single 92mm rad if it was mounted to the parameter panel of the case.

The orientation of the dual 60mm rad allows for air to be pulled in from one side of the case and exhausted out the other without allowing the hot exhausted air to heat up the inside of the case which was an issue with prototype 1. A single 92mm rad would have this issue.
 
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eggDK

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Don't get me wrong, I'm really impressed with your project - first prototype looked amazing. And my sense of size may have been optimistic.. But I just have a gut feeling that the 2*60 will never be an improvement over a standard GPU air cooler, or a box CPU cooler even...
 

Zackmd1

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Don't get me wrong, I'm really impressed with your project - first prototype looked amazing. And my sense of size may have been optimistic.. But I just have a gut feeling that the 2*60 will never be an improvement over a standard GPU air cooler, or a box CPU cooler even...

You are most likely correct that cooling wouldn't be much better then a good air cooler. The saving grace if you will comes in the fact that most air coolers that fit in an SFF case of this size are not all that great in terms of cooling. So my goal really isn't to get very cool temperatures typically associated with water cooling but to be able to provide sufficient cooling to a high wattage CPU that you wouldn't otherwise be able to effectively cool in an SFF case of this size. My thinking based off of my 80mm rad testing and the article posted above is that a dual 60 should be just enough to cool an OC'ed 95 watt processor, something that typically is not possible in a SFF case in the 5L range.
 
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Biowarejak

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Don't get me wrong, I'm really impressed with your project - first prototype looked amazing. And my sense of size may have been optimistic.. But I just have a gut feeling that the 2*60 will never be an improvement over a standard GPU air cooler, or a box CPU cooler even...
Sometimes it's not about temperature, but rather noise, or just for the hell of it. I would do it for the aesthetic if nothing else.
 

eggDK

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Even in the noise dept. I'm sceptical.. But I won't bash other reasons, being aesthetics and "the hell of it" - this I can get behind :)
 
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