!nverse: A Highly Versatile Steam-Box Design

zovc

King of Cable Management
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
Hey! When I was starting to dip into the SFF line of thinking, I was trying to build a portable primary gaming rig. The !nverse was by far the most aesthetically attractive consideration. (IMO, of course.) Seriously, congratulations on your elegant and clean design.

The main turn off on the case was that I couldn't get one 'now', and I know that's not exactly fair. The other was the size and I don't think you should change or accommodate that--I think that's just a different niche I was gunning for at the time. Regarding the campaign, I can't offer much advice but I wish I could. The best suggestions I can give are ones it sound like have already been given or considered: try to generate more hype and try to set the most reasonably low and actionable goals as possible. You've got an exciting idea and design, and I can sincerely say I'd love to own an !nverse myself. That's meaningful, I think.

Gunning for media/personalities/reviewers is definitely a wise avenue to pursue. I'm fairly surprised to hear that Linus and company didn't respond... Jay with @Tek Everything is pretty active here and maybe you two could help each other out?

Do you know if Galax's (or Palit, I believe they go by outside of the US) fanless 1050 would fit in the !nverse? It's beginning to dawn on me that I'll be needing to build a new HTPC soon (as I'm about to turn my current HTPC into my gaming rig and... it's a long story), and I think the !nverse would be a really aesthetically pleasing enclosure for it.
 
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D_McG

Trash Compacter
Dec 17, 2016
41
75
need a steambox with 3.5" HDD support for sure!

Honest question here, as I'm working on a SFF case as well, do you need more than 10 TB in a steambox? I only have support for two 2.5" HDDs, but Seagate makes 5 TB drives in that form factor that are affordable, IMHO. Anything more than that, I'd want it on the network for sharing; as it must be video and audio.
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
People have their own specific use cases. 2.5" (hard disk) drives are definitely an overlooked consideration, so it's fair to ask if they're good enough but I'm under the impression (which could be a mistaken assumption) that 2.5" HDDs are pretty slow compared to 3.5" drives. This isn't to fault your case for only having 2.5" drive bays--it sounds like an efficient and pragmatic decision--but it does rule out an entire realm of consumer-grade hardware or even perhaps "NAS-grade" or other sorts of products.

Besides that, there's nothing stopping one from sharing audio/video stored a "steambox." All of my information is currently stored on my daily driver which is running on a bunch of server hardware. I'm trying to migrate to having a NAS, but just haven't gotten around to it and it doesn't make sense to me in my personal situation to throw money at a NAS while I'm kind of desperately needing to update my gaming rig and my HTPC.
 

danger

Average Stuffer
Jan 7, 2017
66
47
The only reason I backed !nverse was because of the 3.5" drive support. If you are going to forego 3.5" drive support, then your case must be much smaller - like under 7L - to compete with the likes of Sentry and the S4 Mini... jmo
 

SumGhai

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 14, 2016
147
175
Have you considered sending a prototype to Kyle of Bitwit? He expressed interest in !nverse and its kickstarter on his stream and was a fan of the components compatability.

Edit: Indiegogo, not Kickstarter. Sorry. Here's the timestamp from his stream. He did back the campaign.
 
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esplin2966

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Mar 2, 2015
169
113
My suggestion would be to hire more hype men. Well. Not really. Just have to prep all the forums you're on for it first, announce a date ahead of time. Hell, you were so quiet here I thought someone was running a fake campaign with your product!

The professional review by SPRC will help, getting as many reviews as possible is clutch. I hope you get it next time, need a steambox with 3.5" HDD support for sure!

Yeah, we'll definitely send out lots of news before the launch of our next campaign. That was definitely a misstep on our part. I'm looking forward to the review by SPCR too!

Hey! When I was starting to dip into the SFF line of thinking, I was trying to build a portable primary gaming rig. The !nverse was by far the most aesthetically attractive consideration. (IMO, of course.) Seriously, congratulations on your elegant and clean design.

The main turn off on the case was that I couldn't get one 'now', and I know that's not exactly fair. The other was the size and I don't think you should change or accommodate that--I think that's just a different niche I was gunning for at the time. Regarding the campaign, I can't offer much advice but I wish I could. The best suggestions I can give are ones it sound like have already been given or considered: try to generate more hype and try to set the most reasonably low and actionable goals as possible. You've got an exciting idea and design, and I can sincerely say I'd love to own an !nverse myself. That's meaningful, I think.

Gunning for media/personalities/reviewers is definitely a wise avenue to pursue. I'm fairly surprised to hear that Linus and company didn't respond... Jay with @Tek Everything is pretty active here and maybe you two could help each other out?

Do you know if Galax's (or Palit, I believe they go by outside of the US) fanless 1050 would fit in the !nverse? It's beginning to dawn on me that I'll be needing to build a new HTPC soon (as I'm about to turn my current HTPC into my gaming rig and... it's a long story), and I think the !nverse would be a really aesthetically pleasing enclosure for it.

Thanks for the support man :) I'm very proud of our designer. She never did any industrial design before, but managed to make !nverse look great. And thanks for the suggestion! I will contact Jay and hopefully work something out with him.

As for the passively-cooled Palit GTX 1050 card, I'm sure that it'll fit. If you look at the images on this page, you'll see that it's height never protrudes that of a dual-slot GPU bracket. However, I would not recommend a passive GPU with !nverse as the components are mounted in reverse, so the heat would not be able to escape. You should definitely have case fans over the GPU if you're planning to go with a passive card. The good news is, this passive card is thin enough that you should be able to get away with 25mm case fans over it.

The only reason I backed !nverse was because of the 3.5" drive support. If you are going to forego 3.5" drive support, then your case must be much smaller - like under 7L - to compete with the likes of Sentry and the S4 Mini... jmo

Completely agree :)

Have you considered sending a prototype to Kyle of Bitwit? He expressed interest in !nverse and its kickstarter on his stream and was a fan of the components compatability.

Edit: Indiegogo, not Kickstarter. Sorry. Here's the timestamp from his stream. He did back the campaign.

I'm definitely interested in having him do a review! The thing is, prototypes are expensive and currently we only have one. I'm contemplating getting a new one, or just waiting until after the SPCR guys are done and then request that they send it over to Kyle. I think that most reviewers expect to keep the products they review though, so I'm not sure if he'd be willing to do it.
 

Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
746
655
Honest question here, as I'm working on a SFF case as well, do you need more than 10 TB in a steambox? I only have support for two 2.5" HDDs, but Seagate makes 5 TB drives in that form factor that are affordable, IMHO. Anything more than that, I'd want it on the network for sharing; as it must be video and audio.

As others have mentioned, it is all about the use case. For me, I travel for 6 months at a time (I guess you can call a Deployment 'traveling') and I design my portable PCs to fit in a Pelican laptop case - this way it takes up the 'laptop bag' space on an airline and is not a carry on. If I'm bringing the computer and traveling I won't be able to access a networked drive (at least, not from the middle east) but the situation can easily apply to people who don't have internet fast enough to reliably stream while traveling. Personally, I have an 8TB 3.5" that is completely filled and I am looking to purchase another. At $224 each, it is much more economical to purchase (2) 8TB than purchasing (3) 5TB 2.5" ($639 for 15TB vs $448 for 16TB). If I was starting from the ground up I might opt to got 2.5" but I've been using 3.5" drives for 2+ years. Many people will be bringing their own hard drive (and hardware) and many of them may not want to change components to fit your case. I agree with @danger - the main reason I liked this case was a Steambox that supported 3.5" drives. I didn't back it only because it was a little too wide for my situation and wouldn't fit in the case I had purchased already. Sorry for the derail @esplin2966

I'm definitely interested in having him do a review! The thing is, prototypes are expensive and currently we only have one. I'm contemplating getting a new one, or just waiting until after the SPCR guys are done and then request that they send it over to Kyle. I think that most reviewers expect to keep the products they review though, so I'm not sure if he'd be willing to do it.

From what I have seen anyone who reviews a case is not expecting to keep it, especially when a prototype costs $2k. Just following the Sentry kickstarter I know they sent their prototypes around several times. There is nothing wrong with asking them to forward it onward, like, nothing at all. Getting another prototype could never hurt (except financially, lol) but don't expect to gift them to reviewers. If they are a larger reviewer they should definitely understand.

Another question - have you considered supporting DC PSUs like the HDPlex 300W? It should only take including 4 mounting holes and would open up more options for your users (for example, I discovered you COULD fit a 3.5" drive in the Sentry if you replaced the SFX PSU with an HDPlex which would have made me back that case if I'd discovered that fact sooner. Didn't seem a big deal to the Dr. Zaber guys, and obviously it was much too late in the campaign to try and juggle things around so I understand there). For example, in the !nverse you could mount 1-2 3.5" drives where the SFX PSU would be and leave the CPU open to an air cooler while allowing the GPU to be water cooled. Not key, but allows more flexibility.
 
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esplin2966

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Mar 2, 2015
169
113
As others have mentioned, it is all about the use case. For me, I travel for 6 months at a time (I guess you can call a Deployment 'traveling') and I design my portable PCs to fit in a Pelican laptop case - this way it takes up the 'laptop bag' space on an airline and is not a carry on. If I'm bringing the computer and traveling I won't be able to access a networked drive (at least, not from the middle east) but the situation can easily apply to people who don't have internet fast enough to reliably stream while traveling. Personally, I have an 8TB 3.5" that is completely filled and I am looking to purchase another. At $224 each, it is much more economical to purchase (2) 8TB than purchasing (3) 5TB 2.5" ($639 for 15TB vs $448 for 16TB). If I was starting from the ground up I might opt to got 2.5" but I've been using 3.5" drives for 2+ years. Many people will be bringing their own hard drive (and hardware) and many of them may not want to change components to fit your case. I agree with @danger - the main reason I liked this case was a Steambox that supported 3.5" drives. I didn't back it only because it was a little too wide for my situation and wouldn't fit in the case I had purchased already. Sorry for the derail @esplin2966



From what I have seen anyone who reviews a case is not expecting to keep it, especially when a prototype costs $2k. Just following the Sentry kickstarter I know they sent their prototypes around several times. There is nothing wrong with asking them to forward it onward, like, nothing at all. Getting another prototype could never hurt (except financially, lol) but don't expect to gift them to reviewers. If they are a larger reviewer they should definitely understand.

Another question - have you considered supporting DC PSUs like the HDPlex 300W? It should only take including 4 mounting holes and would open up more options for your users (for example, I discovered you COULD fit a 3.5" drive in the Sentry if you replaced the SFX PSU with an HDPlex which would have made me back that case if I'd discovered that fact sooner. Didn't seem a big deal to the Dr. Zaber guys, and obviously it was much too late in the campaign to try and juggle things around so I understand there). For example, in the !nverse you could mount 1-2 3.5" drives where the SFX PSU would be and leave the CPU open to an air cooler while allowing the GPU to be water cooled. Not key, but allows more flexibility.

Yeah, I hope the writer at SPCR understands that we're a big company without the financial leeway to give away prototypes. Regardless of the result though, I think we might get a 2nd prototype so that eager reviewers aren't kept waiting.

I'm slightly hesitant to add more compatibility to the case at this point. The reason is that any feature that we advertise needs to be tested or it won't be honest. This requires us to make a new prototype to test it. Truth be told, a few months ago I figured out a way to actually include slim slot-loaded DVD/CD drives in the design, but had to drop it because improvements are endless in design and you have to stop somewhere. There are a lot of improvements that I have in mind for !nverse V2 though (maybe we'll call it !nverse /\5), and your suggestion definitely makes it on the list. There are lots of things we can do if the PSU space is free, including double water cooling (1x240mm radiator + 1x120mm radiator) and extra 3.5" drive space as you mentioned.
 

esplin2966

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Mar 2, 2015
169
113
Has there been any new info about international shipping?

Technically, yes. We actually have some quotes but I'm really not satisfied with them. I know that international shipping is typically high for crowdfunded cases, but I want to see if we can buck that trend.
 

esplin2966

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Mar 2, 2015
169
113
Any updates?

Hey! We have one good news and one bad news to update.

Good news first: We have finalized negotiations with our manufacturer. For our second campaign, we can set the goal to be half the original amount, while increasing per-unit cost by only $10 USD.

Bad news: The reviewer at SPCR had significant damages to his house this winter, causing him to lose his testing space. This means that he is unable to review our prototype, and will be sending it back to us. This sets us back because we now need to find someone else to do the reviews for us.
 
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SumGhai

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 14, 2016
147
175
Bad news: The reviewer at SPCR had significant damages to his house this winter, causing him to lose his testing space. This means that he is unable to review our prototype, and will be sending it back to us. This sets us back because we now need to find someone else to do the reviews for us.
That's unfortunate that SPCR wasn't able to review the case.

Kyle of Bitwit was interested in the case and did back the original campaign, and both he and Paul are in the same town so it might be worth speaking to either of them for a review of the case, if you're still looking for someone.
 

neocmetal

Trash Compacter
Mar 1, 2017
34
32
I'm interested in a third color option. How about white?


 
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esplin2966

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Mar 2, 2015
169
113
That's unfortunate that SPCR wasn't able to review the case.

Kyle of Bitwit was interested in the case and did back the original campaign, and both he and Paul are in the same town so it might be worth speaking to either of them for a review of the case, if you're still looking for someone.

Yeah it was really unlucky. Vancouver had a freak winter this year and it really messed things up.

Kyle was who I had in mind to reach out to. Which Paul are you talking about? The fact that they live in the same town is great for us since it really helps speeds things up.

I'm interested in a third color option. How about white?



I would love to do a white color, but unfortunately it is impossible with anodized aluminum. It's actually a pretty interesting fact I found out while researching colorways for the case: white is the only color that you can't anodize aluminum with. The reason is that the molecules of white dye is actually too big to fit between the aluminum atoms. That's why you never see aluminum in white.
 

HeroXLazer

King of Cable Management
Sep 11, 2016
707
476
Yeah it was really unlucky. Vancouver had a freak winter this year and it really messed things up.

Kyle was who I had in mind to reach out to. Which Paul are you talking about? The fact that they live in the same town is great for us since it really helps speeds things up.



I would love to do a white color, but unfortunately it is impossible with anodized aluminum. It's actually a pretty interesting fact I found out while researching colorways for the case: white is the only color that you can't anodize aluminum with. The reason is that the molecules of white dye is actually too big to fit between the aluminum atoms. That's why you never see aluminum in white.
Paul's Hardware
 

danger

Average Stuffer
Jan 7, 2017
66
47
I agree that sending it to Kyle from BitWit would be a good idea. He was very interested in this case and even funded it.
 
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neocmetal

Trash Compacter
Mar 1, 2017
34
32
I would love to do a white color, but unfortunately it is impossible with anodized aluminum. It's actually a pretty interesting fact I found out while researching colorways for the case: white is the only color that you can't anodize aluminum with. The reason is that the molecules of white dye is actually too big to fit between the aluminum atoms. That's why you never see aluminum in white.
Is there another way of painting the case white? I wonder how phanteks evolv white did theirs.
 
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