Prototype MT5: 5.4L Expandable case for mini GPUs

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,028
2,175
The 4L will only support builds with power bricks- the 5.5mm walls are pretty thick so they already add up more to make the volume bigger than the Velka's.

And that SFFTEC power supply looks great indeed. I think I'll save up for that one instead of getting a Geeek PSU. But I will confirm that this 500w Flex ATX they have will indeed fit since it is the same dimensions as my own, plus it doesn't have modular connectors taking up extra space. Cable management will be a challenge though with all the extra stuff I won't use :)
 

smitty2k1

King of Cable Management
Dec 3, 2016
909
450
Will try to get at least some renders for a Meanwell setup. Is this for the 5L or 4L case? A meanwell 400W or 500W internal power supply should fit no problem in the 5L. Are you planning on using it with the J-Hack Distro 400?

I guess I still don't know the difference between the 4L and 5L cases
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,028
2,175
I guess I still don't know the difference between the 4L and 5L cases
The main difference is height. The 5L case is tall enough to fit a Flex ATX power supply at the bottom, and the 4L isn't. It's also big enough to accommodate most other brick-less setups.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,028
2,175
I found some time to finally take a picture of my completed build inside the 5L case. Front fans are not here yet so this bare look will have to do.



Also, would most people miss having the front fans? I've realized that the PSU cables could easily get in the way and block some airflow. I could make the case even smaller by omitting the space for fans and also help make the pieces more modular.
 

MassZERO

Caliper Novice
Dec 6, 2019
26
7
I found some time to finally take a picture of my completed build inside the 5L case. Front fans are not here yet so this bare look will have to do.



Also, would most people miss having the front fans? I've realized that the PSU cables could easily get in the way and block some airflow. I could make the case even smaller by omitting the space for fans and also help make the pieces more modular.

Damn that looks so HOT!
How bout the 4L any spoiler pics about it?
 

smitty2k1

King of Cable Management
Dec 3, 2016
909
450
The main difference is height. The 5L case is tall enough to fit a Flex ATX power supply at the bottom, and the 4L isn't. It's also big enough to accommodate most other brick-less setups.
Thanks, I mistakenly though the 4L could do a brickless Meanwell setup. Your 5L prototype looks like a great alternative to the K39 v2 case from Aliexpress/Taobao. I know many other mini-sandwich cases greatly benefit from the top exhaust slim fans, so maybe you could consider adding that if you remove the front fans.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CC Ricers

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,028
2,175
Something like this?
5L:

Quick and dirty "4L" Photoshop:


...though obviously the real deal wouldn't have a butchered SSD and PSU in the bottom ;)

That's a sweet mockup XD Makes the SSD look like an m.2 also. The 4L will look a lot like that, minus the front exhaust vents.

Thanks, I mistakenly though the 4L could do a brickless Meanwell setup. Your 5L prototype looks like a great alternative to the K39 v2 case from Aliexpress/Taobao. I know many other mini-sandwich cases greatly benefit from the top exhaust slim fans, so maybe you could consider adding that if you remove the front fans.
I guess maybe you can do a brickless Meanwell setup in the 4L if your entire system doesn't consume more than 200W and use one of the Pico-style PSUs that plugs in. But beyond that, yeah you'll need a power brick for that one.

I'll consider moving the exhaust fans to the top in the 5L case. This will make the case smaller from front to back but it will make the case taller by the same amount as a result.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valantar

smitty2k1

King of Cable Management
Dec 3, 2016
909
450
That's a sweet mockup XD Makes the SSD look like an m.2 also. The 4L will look a lot like that, minus the front exhaust vents.


I guess maybe you can do a brickless Meanwell setup in the 4L if your entire system doesn't consume more than 200W and use one of the Pico-style PSUs that plugs in. But beyond that, yeah you'll need a power brick for that one.

I'll consider moving the exhaust fans to the top in the 5L case. This will make the case smaller from front to back but it will make the case taller by the same amount as a result.
What about the 400w Meanwell (3"x5" 42mm height) with a Pico PSU plugin unit?
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,028
2,175
What about the 400w Meanwell (3"x5" 42mm height) with a Pico PSU plugin unit?

The 400w Meanwell will only fit in the 5 liter case. I figured out that there's not enough height to fit a 3"x5" Meanwell unit in the 4 liter case.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,028
2,175
Here's an update to the 4 liter design. The pieces fit just like my current prototype, except for the motherboard tray which no longer has slots fitting in from the top. They are screwed to the front for a cleaner look.

You can fit a single 2.5" SSD on the bottom, OR two slim 80mm fans (10mm thick). The HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX also fits there as well. You'd have to use an external power brick with that one.



For internal dimensions it can fit a GPU up to 178mm long and the internal height is 190mm.
 

MassZERO

Caliper Novice
Dec 6, 2019
26
7
Here's an update to the 4 liter design. The pieces fit just like my current prototype, except for the motherboard tray which no longer has slots fitting in from the top. They are screwed to the front for a cleaner look.

You can fit a single 2.5" SSD on the bottom, OR two slim 80mm fans (10mm thick). The HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX also fits there as well. You'd have to use an external power brick with that one.



For internal dimensions it can fit a GPU up to 178mm long and the internal height is 190mm.

Holycrap wow! now this is what I'm talking about...
I love it man! Thanks for your hard work!
Will it support [SFFTEC] Enhance 600w Flex ATX?
ETA for this?
I would totally toss a coin on this SFF case!
 

Jello

Airflow Optimizer
Bronze Supporter
Nov 15, 2016
369
159
Holycrap wow! now this is what I'm talking about...
I love it man! Thanks for your hard work!
Will it support [SFFTEC] Enhance 600w Flex ATX?
ETA for this?
I would totally toss a coin on this SFF case!

It's mentioned in the first post on page 14 that the 4L build will only support builds with power bricks.
 

Valantar

SFF Guru
Jan 20, 2018
1,544
1,405
Holycrap wow! now this is what I'm talking about...
I love it man! Thanks for your hard work!
Will it support [SFFTEC] Enhance 600w Flex ATX?
ETA for this?
I would totally toss a coin on this SFF case!
It's mentioned in the first post on page 14 that the 4L build will only support builds with power bricks.
Not to mention that it's been discussed extensively over the last few pages that the major difference between 4l and 5l is the room for a FlexATX PSU.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CC Ricers

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,028
2,175
It's mentioned in the first post on page 14 that the 4L build will only support builds with power bricks.
Yep, if you want to use a Flex-ATX power supply with a full height graphics card you must go for the bigger 5L option (it could fit in the 4L alongside a low-profile graphics card though).

I recently bought a FSP 300W Flex-ATX (in black!) to support my mini RX 570 which will replace the 560. Once I have that I'll be able to take better pictures of the case.

Some good news is that I'm able to remove the ~12mm of space below the PSU in the 5L design and reorganize it to fit 10mm fans on the top without making it bigger. But I'm still torn between whether to support dual exhaust fans on the top or the front for the 5L. Would it make a big difference in this type of sandwich case?
 
Last edited:

Makusan

Chassis Packer
Nov 27, 2019
17
4
But I'm still torn between whether to support dual exhaust fans on the top or the front for the 5L. Would it make a big difference in this type of sandwich case?

From all that I have been reading regarding internal cooling of these sandwich designed cases, is that exhaust fans produce the best cooling solution. That is what i plan on doing.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,028
2,175
I have continued further development of the 5 liter prototype in order to come up with the final dimensions of this case. First, since I was able to reduce the height to make the PSU sit flush with the bottom, I have decided to extend the case lengthwise by about 15mm.

This adds support for more short GPUs up to 211mm, including the dual fan mini cards from Zotac and EVGA for instance. If you are using a sub-180mm card you can opt in for dual 92x25mm fans in the front.
 

smitty2k1

King of Cable Management
Dec 3, 2016
909
450
With
I have continued further development of the 5 liter prototype in order to come up with the final dimensions of this case. First, since I was able to reduce the height to make the PSU sit flush with the bottom, I have decided to extend the case lengthwise by about 15mm.

This adds support for more short GPUs up to 211mm, including the dual fan mini cards from Zotac and EVGA for instance. If you are using a sub-180mm card you can opt in for dual 92x25mm fans in the front.
With this rearranging is there still 43mm height in the bottom for a Meanwell 400w psu?
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,028
2,175
A mockup of the new 5L case dimensions, with similar parts installed. Compare with this post. It's 227mm in height by 223mm in length, almost square. 15mm slim fans emphasize the extra room. The motherboard tray is not finished yet.

There is more room for easier PSU installation and cable management. Flex PSUs modded with modular connectors would also fit.