Prototype [Pictures of Prototype] Densium APU, 3L, HDPLEX 250, 47mm cooler, Hardwood frontpanel

Densium.net

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Oct 28, 2021
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Densium APU
HDPLEX 250W PSU - 47mm CPU cooler height - 3 Liters - Signature Densium Design

------> [VIEW IN AR] <------

Updates/Info/Changes/Discussion below pictures





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Updates

October 26th 2022 Update

Haven't updated you in a while, because I've been busy re-designing, making renders and a webpage! It's now available for Pre-order! I've now added some updated pictures to this thread, but there are tons more on the product page. I've also updated the AR link at the top of the thread!

Regarding the features discussed here on the website - I just went ahead and added everything, lol. The case now got Flex-ATX support, HDplex 250 support, 67mm cooler support, LP PCIe support (hdplex PSU only).

Some additional features are: Magnetically attached frontpanel, ventilated back-panel and the beloved USB-C!

Prototype is being manufactured now, but this will be the final iteration - no major changes beyond this point. I'll make 50 units first, unless it sells unexpectedly well, so the production time will be short.

When the prototype arrives I'll firstly validate the design (in all configurations) and test the tolerances ETC.
After validation, I'll take some photographs and more importantly: make an assembly video.
The 67mm CPU cooler support means we'll fit an ID-Cooling IS-55, but with a full thickness fan (25mm), and this is what I'll be using during the assembly!

Also I'll be sourcing an 1-slot LP RX6400 which I'll also be looking to fit inside!

October 4th 2022 Update

Yesterday I recieved the first prototype, and oh my - it's beautiful.

This 1st prototype will be nothing like the final product, as I've decided to increase the size of the case, in return of Flex-ATX PSU and taller CPU coolers.
I've been hard at work in my CAD-program, and have added a lot of new features and improvements. Will post another update with updated renders once it's completely finished.

The prototype pictures shows off the beatiful silver sandblast+anodize finish.
It's hard to capture the true beauty of this finish with a camera, but trust me - It looks better IRL!

After seeing the finish, I'm pretty much sold - we need to go for the anodized finish. Photo NO.4 show the difference between black anodizing and black powdercoating. The anodizing will have a price premium over the powdercoating, but IMO it's definetly worth it.


September 18th 2022 (First Update)

Hello everyone, after improving upon the Densium 4/4+ by releasing the V2, I was happy with the design, and don't feel like there aren't any urgent needs for another iteration. (Doesn't mean minor changes can't be added between batches, I'm still open to suggestions from everyone!)

At the time of ordering the V2, I had designed an APU version of the case, but sadly I did not have the means (money) to follow through at the time. I still really wanted to release an APU case though, but reality is that Densium 4 isn't a very cost effective or user friendly design for an APU case. I was certain there was improvements to be made - and this is what I came up with.

With the release of the long awaited HDPLEX GaN 250W PSU and announcement of Ryzen 7000-Series (All with integrated RDNA2 graphics) - Tiny, powerful and silent APU-builds have never been as easy, viable or relevant as right now. Here are the specs:

Length*Width*Height (Millimetres)193*67.5*235
Volume (Liters3.06
MotherboardMini-ITX
CPU Cooler Height47mm
PSUHDPLEX GaN 250W [LINK TO PRODUCT]
StorageM.2 SSD only
MaterialWood, Aluminum, SGCC*
Extra features:"2-part" Design, Screwless on 5 sides, Dual-Orientation front panel, Use upright or down flat, multiple color options, hole-spacing compatible with common furniture handles.
*SGCC if the case is powdercoated

For those of you who aren't familiar with the HDPLEX 250W GaN - It's an incredibly small, incredibly efficient, fully modular and fanless PSU. This opens up a whole world of possibilities for SFF. I've recently recieved mine, and oh boy, it's compact - can't wait to try it out.

Current Status:
As I have anticipated the arrival of the HDPLEX 250W, I've got a prototype in production.
The prototype is by no means the absolute final, and I'm still taking suggestions. There are still some key elements still not decided on, and where feedback is appreciated:


Before discussing, I'll name the parts for you so it'll be easier to follow:
The part inside the case, which holds the motherboard and PSU, I'll call for
SPINE.
The part that covers the spine (with the holes in) will be called
COVER.
The part behind the spine and cover I'll just call the
PLATE.
Additionally there are 2 viable orientation for this case, which I will call VERTICAL (Longest side vertical) or HORIZONTAL (Longest side horizontal)

The exterior finish:
Have ordered prototypes for the following: Black powdercoated Aluminum, Black sandblasted+anodized aluminum, Silver sandblast+black aluminum. Additionally I have ordered samples for bright-dip anodized black/silver anodizing (Bright-dipping is supposed to give more glossy and vibrant colors, as well as deeper blacks). I've always wondered if the anodized silver will look as good as I imagine it, looking forward to find out.

One concern with anodizing VS powdercoating is the hole cutouts in the cover, as the powdercoating gives the holes a smooth bevel, and anodizing does not. The sandblasting may help in this regard, but this will have to be validated. One additional plus for powdercoating, is the plate can be made of SGCC and mounted with magnets, but anodized aluminum will require screw mounting, adding visible screws in the plate (if using case Vertical).


Front-panel USB: This can always be added, and doesn't require a prototype as the mounting have been tested with the D4. During designing I felt like there wasn't any place the port did not look obstructive. I'm also afraid having the same placement as the D4 (Port vertical, opposite side of power button) will interfere with the power button. Also, this requires the case depth to be increased by 5mm roughly. Personally I don't count it as an essential, but if you disagree, please let me know.

Case feet mounting: If you want support for proper case feet (not adhesive mount) when using the case Horizontally, additional cuts will have to be made, which will be visible when using the case Vertically. Alternatively, I could try to find some case feet with threads, that can be screwed into the Cover mounting holes. A third option is to manufacture an extra part.

Big thanks for your attention, feedback and suggestions are welcome.
 
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Aguda33

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jul 20, 2018
102
179
Another beautiful design from you, Audun ! I should get my second Densium 4+ tomorrow, and now you are tempting me with this fantastic looking APU design. I must be strong and resist.
 

ondert

Airflow Optimizer
Apr 16, 2017
295
138
would be perfect match with Ryzen 7000 series APUs.

edit: changed my mind, would be even better with rx6400 and hdplex GaN
 
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judokamak

Caliper Novice
Sep 25, 2019
33
22
Next year is going to be big for APU builds. Love the look.

2 things:

1. Is this HDPLEX 250W GaN exclusive or would it be possible to use standard flex type psu?

2. I would prefer bigger CPU cooler size option. For 65 W cpu-s 47 mm is fine, but the way things are going it would be sensible to leave space for bigger W options.
 
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Densium.net

Cable-Tie Ninja
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I'd be really interested in this, can I ask why you don't have mesh to the reverse (back) side of the motherboard?
Didn't think of it as a necessity, as you'd just be viewing the back of the motherboard - this could always be added though
 

Densium.net

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Oct 28, 2021
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would be perfect match with Ryzen 7000 series APUs.
My exact thinking, considering all the 7000 cpus will have integrated RDNA2, only consideration is having a bigger cooler for the most powerful CPUs
 

Densium.net

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Densium
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Oct 28, 2021
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Next year is going to be big for APU builds. Love the look.

2 things:

1. Is this HDPLEX 250W GaN exclusive or would it be possible to use standard flex type psu?

2. I would prefer bigger CPU cooler size option. For 65 W cpu-s 47 mm is fine, but the way things are going it would be sensible to leave space for bigger W options.
Yes, the prototype will be GaN exclusive, but if community would like flex-atx too, then this can always be added, though it would increase the size quite a bit.
 

0verflow

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Jun 8, 2022
4
3
Yes, the prototype will be GaN exclusive, but if community would like flex-atx too, then this can always be added, though it would increase the size quite a bit.
Yes
we want Flex psu also,
Hdplex hard to get and out of stock most of the time
 

biggchinoxxl

Case Bender
New User
Jun 16, 2019
2
1
Man, this APU case looks so nice. Relative to the Densium 4 V2, where do you think the price will come in at? Also any thoughts of matching keyboard wrist rest of the front panel as an accessory?
 
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L91

Cable Smoosher
Dec 21, 2021
12
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I very much like the slim design, vented panels on both sides would help with heat dissipation but also aesthetics. Larger cooler support would definitely be great addition, however it's current design is also pretty great too. Great work as always. Very nice pairing for HDPLEX GaN 250.
 

judokamak

Caliper Novice
Sep 25, 2019
33
22
Yes, the prototype will be GaN exclusive, but if community would like flex-atx too, then this can always be added, though it would increase the size quite a bit.
Personally i'm more than fine with GaN, but from business standpoint it's a good idea to provide more options.Same goes for cooling (higher cpu/CPU cooler compatibility)
 
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dman15

Chassis Packer
Oct 23, 2021
17
39
Personally i'm more than fine with GaN, but from business standpoint it's a good idea to provide more options.Same goes for cooling (higher cpu/CPU cooler compatibility)
If you do either of these things then it likely bumps volume to 4+ L and there already is a densium 4
 
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Densium.net

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Densium
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Oct 28, 2021
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Man, this APU case looks so nice. Relative to the Densium 4 V2, where do you think the price will come in at? Also any thoughts of matching keyboard wrist rest of the front panel as an accessory?
I was hoping to have it quite a bit lower compared to the D4/4+, maybe around 120 dollars if possible, but if we end up opting for sandblasted aluminum, this price might be a little harder to achieve. For the wrist rest, KBDfans are selling walnut wrist rests which are AFAIK identical to the wood I am using, and their price is pretty good as well.

Was thinking aesthetics, cooling benefits would be minimal but every little helps.
Thinking it might cost more than it tastes, as the perforation does take quite some time on the laser cutter, will increase the price by a tiny bit. I'd imagine most people will place the PC with the 'front' of the motherboard facing their view regardless.

If you do either of these things then it likely bumps volume to 4+ L and there already is a densium 4
I did some simple napkin maths, and this would actually just increase the size to around 3.6L, which is .8L smaller than a D4, but with an option for powerful coolers as well.
 

Bakaban

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Nov 13, 2020
113
105
My suggestion: Increase height for a taller cooler.

1. The worthwhile (for 1080p gaming) rdna2 apu's will only be in the higher end cpu's. AMD will sprinkle some rdn2 cores on all cpu's for basic video output, but only a one or two cpu's will get enough cores to be viable for more than basic media streaming and easy workstation tasks. The higher end cpu's will probably require more cooling than any of the 47mm coolers can provide if used at their full capabilities.

2. We've talked about this before: in pretty much every apu build, the pcie slot on the motherboard is unused. Provide the option (and i/o cutout) to mount a half slot m.2 storage expansion card. That should give ppl the option of at least 4 m.2 nvme storage sticks (2mobo, 2 expansion).
 

Densium.net

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Oct 28, 2021
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My suggestion: Increase height for a taller cooler.

1. The worthwhile (for 1080p gaming) rdna2 apu's will only be in the higher end cpu's. AMD will sprinkle some rdn2 cores on all cpu's for basic video output, but only a one or two cpu's will get enough cores to be viable for more than basic media streaming and easy workstation tasks. The higher end cpu's will probably require more cooling than any of the 47mm coolers can provide if used at their full capabilities.

2. We've talked about this before: in pretty much every apu build, the pcie slot on the motherboard is unused. Provide the option (and i/o cutout) to mount a half slot m.2 storage expansion card. That should give ppl the option of at least 4 m.2 nvme storage sticks (2mobo, 2 expansion).
If we go taller coolers, then might as well add flex atx compatibility as well, though I’d personally opt for the passive, fully modular HDPLEX. Adding flex atx also gives people more budget options.

For the pcie compatibility - many m.2 expansion cards are in reality light enough to be held in place by the PCIe slot without the need for a bracket, so I personally think that a bracket mount isn’t a necessity, as I suspect most users won’t be needing expansion anyway. There are some Mobos with 3 m.2 slots as well, or am I mistaken?
 

Exist50

Caliper Novice
Feb 25, 2021
29
33
So, I really like the dimensions, and I think the HDPLEX is the perfect fit for this class of device. 250W is realistically plenty for whatever you'd fit in there, and since the half decent flex ATX units seem to start at around 350W, they'd be not just a waste of space and fan noise, but outside of their optimal efficiency most of the time too. Price is close enough to be a wash.

That said, I would like to second the supply concerns for the HDPLEX. Unless you can assure supply and/or sell the case and PSU as a bundle, there needs to be some sort of alternative. But overall, very interested.
1. The worthwhile (for 1080p gaming) rdna2 apu's will only be in the higher end cpu's. AMD will sprinkle some rdn2 cores on all cpu's for basic video output, but only a one or two cpu's will get enough cores to be viable for more than basic media streaming and easy workstation tasks. The higher end cpu's will probably require more cooling than any of the 47mm coolers can provide if used at their full capabilities.
I think you've got it backwards. The high end chips are coming with tiny GPUs — just enough to drive a display. The big GPUs are on the mobile derived parts, which should be very reasonable to cool with a 47mm cooler.

That said, there may be a market for a CPU-oriented mini workstation/server, but I imagine that's a much smaller market than HPC or casual home desktops, and also better served by existing options.
 
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