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

Bakaban

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Nov 13, 2020
113
105
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.

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.
Ups, i did have it backwards. My bad
 

Legion

Airflow Optimizer
Nov 22, 2017
331
351
Now if you are happy with basic display capabilities and just care about CPU power, you're covered by both Intel and AMD (with Ryzen 7xxx)

However !!! if you want some extra graphics grunt from the APU, keep reading :)

We need one of the big players in the AIB market soldering 6xxx mobile parts onto ITX boards and offering them with better bios and feature set than Asrock do with the deskmini boards.
The biggest hurdle is ofc volume, we are talking niches of niches for people that actually want these products. It's a tiny, tiny market.

There's still no clear path from AMD if their desktop plans will actually include any APU's moving forward now they have a functional display out on their traditional CPU's. There isn't even a roadmap for any Ryzen 6xxx on desktop currently. We may see something at CES, but I'm actually starting to think they have abandoned APU on desktop !!!
The APU on desktop as we've loved it might just end on the 5600 and 5700g

Cost of entry is going to be another barrier, DDR 5 costs (currently) and 650 /650E chipset ITX boards are highly likey to be above the costs of B450 / B550.
This was one of the attractions of APU builds for people trying to build a cheaper system, that's not going to be there for early adopters of DDR5 (at least till costs meet parity with previous platforms, if ever)

There is the Mini-PC route ofc, it's even just leaked Asus have the PN53 series with Ryzen 6xxx in them and their is a flood of other mini boxes coming with the 6xxx SoC in them coming soon.

But that doesn't give the DIY and enthuiast market what they want. But I sense due to actual volume, none on the big players want to get involved with putting these mobile parts onto ITX boards with premium product in mind, hell they don't even want to do basic..........


Sorry if I'm derailing the thread a bit, but I have to bring in logic here.
I love the case, I love APU builds, I love premium PC kit.
I don't love the lack of support from the industry currently with hardware to fill it at an enthusiast level.

It's looking more likely Intel will stumble into this niche by accident with Meteorlake and beyond. but that's 2024+ leaving us all in limbo for the next couple of years.
 
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Kaji

Doesn't own a caliper
SFFn Staff
Jun 1, 2020
23
30
Hi Audun,

Love the design. I at least speak for myself here, but I’m curious if people would be interested with this case being slightly wider to accommodate low profile single slot PCI devices? The size increase would allow for larger cooling to potentially tame 150W chips on the horizon, and would still result in a noticeably smaller case than the Densium 4.

I feel there may be a niche of people who’d love a GaN powered, riser-less, sub 4L chassis with this design language. And that just maybe other users not planning to use LP PCI cards wouldn’t mind their case being marginally larger to accommodate.

This could make for a sick homelab/pfsense router/whatever setup.
 

Neathdrawls

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jul 28, 2021
217
353
Hi Audun,

Love the design. I at least speak for myself here, but I’m curious if people would be interested with this case being slightly wider to accommodate low profile single slot PCI devices? The size increase would allow for larger cooling to potentially tame 150W chips on the horizon, and would still result in a noticeably smaller case than the Densium 4.

I feel there may be a niche of people who’d love a GaN powered, riser-less, sub 4L chassis with this design language. And that just maybe other users not planning to use LP PCI cards wouldn’t mind their case being marginally larger to accommodate.

This could make for a sick homelab/pfsense router/whatever setup.
Not just yourself here, will second this motion.

Would be good to see the option/increase in size for LP GPU/PCIe Device.
 

Densium.net

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Densium
Gold Supporter
Oct 28, 2021
190
302
Hi Audun,

Love the design. I at least speak for myself here, but I’m curious if people would be interested with this case being slightly wider to accommodate low profile single slot PCI devices? The size increase would allow for larger cooling to potentially tame 150W chips on the horizon, and would still result in a noticeably smaller case than the Densium 4.

I feel there may be a niche of people who’d love a GaN powered, riser-less, sub 4L chassis with this design language. And that just maybe other users not planning to use LP PCI cards wouldn’t mind their case being marginally larger to accommodate.

This could make for a sick homelab/pfsense router/whatever setup.
I think I'll have to make the case a little wider for cooler space, and I'd also like to give the end user some flexibility in choosing their own layout.

Bigger CPU cooler support is inevitable with the new Ryzen CPUs, and from a business perspective I fear Flex-ATX may be inevitable too. I could concievably have support for 2 layouts: No GPU + Flex-ATX or GPU + GaN250 in the same volume.
 

Exist50

Caliper Novice
Feb 25, 2021
29
33
It might be worth running a survey to see what people are interested in the case for. Seems to be a split between people who want a pure APU build for a family computer or HTPC, and those who're looking for a slightly more expandable setup for a server, homelab, etc. But obviously there're some pretty fundamental tradeoffs here if only one device is going to make it to market.

Though my two cents is that any GPU support should be incidental. Doesn't make much sense to try to work it into the design when the Densium 4 exists. Though I do wish we had better PSU options. Caught between scarcity concerns for the HDPLEX GaN and the overkill/size/lack of quality options for FlexATX.
 

Kaji

Doesn't own a caliper
SFFn Staff
Jun 1, 2020
23
30
It might be worth running a survey to see what people are interested in the case for. Seems to be a split between people who want a pure APU build for a family computer or HTPC, and those who're looking for a slightly more expandable setup for a server, homelab, etc. But obviously there're some pretty fundamental tradeoffs here if only one device is going to make it to market.

Though my two cents is that any GPU support should be incidental. Doesn't make much sense to try to work it into the design when the Densium 4 exists. Though I do wish we had better PSU options. Caught between scarcity concerns for the HDPLEX GaN and the overkill/size/lack of quality options for FlexATX.
Completely agree with this.

I believe that if expanded to support FlexATX horizontally, it may end up being perfect width to allow support for low profile add-in cards as a result.

The product could be marketed as an APU/HTPC/HomeLab case, leaving GPU compatibility as an unadvertised side option for the adventurous.
 

Densium.net

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Densium
Gold Supporter
Oct 28, 2021
190
302
Completely agree with this.

I believe that if expanded to support FlexATX horizontally, it may end up being perfect width to allow support for low profile add-in cards as a result.

The product could be marketed as an APU/HTPC/HomeLab case, leaving GPU compatibility as an unadvertised side option for the adventurous.

Yes, my only qualm with adding the GPU support is that it does add to the complexity and final price of the product (and will have to reflect on the product price). I'd like to avoid adding a feature only 5 out of a 100 people would actually use, as the other 95 customers will have to pay for the feature too.

I'd like to offer the highest quality solutions, and high quality PCIe mounting does cost a little (such as the CNC aluminum in D4/4+.) But considering it's a very niche feature, I could probably scale down on the quality, for example use a 3D-printed solution.
It would probably be plenty strong enough for a single slot LP card, and would virtually add no cost to the final product, effectively satisfying enthusiast builders, while avoiding the other 95% paying for it.
 
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robbee

King of Cable Management
n3rdware
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Sep 24, 2016
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It would probably be the most sensible to support flex atx. But at the same time, it would be nice to offer some way of using a dual slot low profile GPU instead of the flex atx psu. If this requires some DIY or 3d printing to mount, I'm sure the people who want it are fine with that. They'll probably also find a way to get that HDplex in there.
 
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Densium.net

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Densium
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It would probably be the most sensible to support flex atx. But at the same time, it would be nice to offer some way of using a dual slot low profile GPU instead of the flex atx psu. If this requires some DIY or 3d printing to mount, I'm sure the people who want it are fine with that. They'll probably also find a way to get that HDplex in there.
I've got some ideas, but it'll need some fiddlin' inside Solidworks before I'll find a sensible solution for all of this, will make an update if I get a breakthrough
 

Analogue Blacksheep

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Dec 2, 2018
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If I still had my DE-10 Nano, this would be a very nice case to house a Mister FPGA setup in. There's a few ITX boards/mounts for it right now.
 
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Fueled By Yams

Trash Compacter
Jan 21, 2020
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It would probably be the most sensible to support flex atx. But at the same time, it would be nice to offer some way of using a dual slot low profile GPU instead of the flex atx psu. If this requires some DIY or 3d printing to mount, I'm sure the people who want it are fine with that. They'll probably also find a way to get that HDplex in there.
Yeah. An APU sized case that can support the GaN 250 and a LP GPU is really uncommon, with the Lone L5, J-Hack Pure, etc. being pretty difficult to come by. Another option that supports LP GPUs would be awesome, but I get there's an extremely small market for it.
 

Densium.net

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Densium
Gold Supporter
Oct 28, 2021
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Yeah. An APU sized case that can support the GaN 250 and a LP GPU is really uncommon, with the Lone L5, J-Hack Pure, etc. being pretty difficult to come by. Another option that supports LP GPUs would be awesome, but I get there's an extremely small market for it.
I've got a great idea for modularity though. Instead of fixed motherboard standoffs, we can simply add holes to the 'spine' and use removable screw/spacer combinations. Would allow the user to choose from a series of mounting holes, depending on their PCIe-card and PSU combo. "Worst" part is it might actually be cheaper as well.

Makes the assembly slightly less user-friendly, but nothing people won't manage.
 

kawaisosu

What's an ITX?
New User
Sep 25, 2022
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電源内蔵でBlackRidgeが使えるの最高にいい感じ

MOD EDIT:
"It's a great feeling to be able to use BlackRidge with a built-in power supply"
 

Exist50

Caliper Novice
Feb 25, 2021
29
33
So, I've been giving some thought to this case, and I think it would be quite useful to have a USB port either on the front, or built into the side of the case. The Densium 4 USB-C cutouts look quite unobtrusive, imo, and there's a lot of utility to being about to plug in IO without digging around back.
 
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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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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.
 

Bakaban

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Nov 13, 2020
113
105
On reddit someone dropped something about Astock making another stx platform for ryzen: x600. Maybe compatible with your tiny apu case?