Concept Project Skuld - Vertical Case with loads of capability

Karamazovmm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
91
93
Hey all!

Today I'm going to introduce the Project Skuld!

I kept thinking why no one does a case that values a bit more the horizontal space? With the exception of Corsair they aren't very space efficient and usually rather large cumbersome cases.

We also face the issue that sometimes trying to achieve the magic volume number we forget that we need some leg room for expansion, and sometimes those limitations were put offs to such compelling and amazing cases that our community has and will continue to provide.

Still there is, I believe, a niche of people that value a lot their desk space, and thus I set forth some goals for this project:

- Its design should fit in the office and in the living room and everywhere you want
- Needs to have a small horizontal footprint
- Has to accommodate a larger selection of CPU cooling
- Will accommodate larger 10,5" GPUs
- Will offer the great air cooling capabilities
- Has to have enough storage expansion options
- PSU needs to be commonly available, there are markets that are less serviced than others

And I think, I have met every single goal that I set forth.

So here is Project Skuld.



PSU, is one piece of hardware that we usually maintain for a few years! And this needs to be readily available! So while I really enjoy the space savings that other options offer, TFX for example isn't even available in my country. So SFX was the choice.

While I want faster and better storage in the form of NVMe, there are some drawbacks to that option. I took a peak in several mITX motherboards and saw a common trend 4x SATA ports. I wondered why not provide the storage that some people may need? And thus there are 4x 2,5" slots for you to enjoy some data security on your life, and yes 2x support larger 15mm thick drives!

Cooling is always something that we worry about in our SFF builds, is it going to drown in heat, will I be able to overclock, how will this affect the lifespan of my components? What she offers is indeed great cooling capabilities with its convection based design aided with 3x 92mm slim fans. Not only that there is space for up to 80mm height coolers in there as well. And if you still want a forth fan may be added if you want to forgo SFX!

Larger GPUs have always been an issue with the SFF community, and we struggled for a long time to get something that is reasonably powered in an ITX form factor! While the GTX 1070 almost matches that, we are still out of the enthusiast market with the GTX 1080 upwards not available at less than 10,5". The choice for me was obvious I have to provide that.

I always thought that we lacked more materials in the PC construction, its always metal and plastic. Those handmade cases with different textures and materials is what I think needs to be put forth. So I inserted that, wood and metal working together to bring some minimalist design to you.


One thing that I always kept wondering is how can I improve on the designs that are offered here and elsewhere. Truly its hard. We have Cerberus with its infinity vents, and great design that brought forth the space efficiency, we have the A4 SFX, the Sentry, the S4 mini... Well, as you can see its a daunting task to match those guys.

So what I can make to stand out, to make it easy to work and a joy to fiddle with your components in a 9.8L case?

I bring you Yggdrasil, the structure.



A case needs to have a structure, it can be part of the case, as is in the S4 mini and sentry for example, or it can be a separate component where you attach your panels and components to it, in the case of the A4 SFX, Cerberus and really most of the other cases there.

Both have positive points and drawbacks, specially acute is usually that they are hard to work on smaller frames, and after we are done, we are relieved to not fiddle with it again in some months or years.

I have worked on IT for a long time now, and sincerely, there is one thing that enterprise class hardware usually has... Easy of maintenance.

This was the whole idea. I wanted to provide an easy case to work with, and thus I thought of a very open frame that we build and slide you case afterwards. Simple!





So here are the numbers of Project Skuld:

- Dimensions: 350mm (H) 140mm (W) 200mm (L) (external measumerement, with feet)
- Volume: 9,8L
- Storage: 4x SATA 2,5" disks, 2x up to 15mm
- GPU: up to 10,5" with the lower fan in place 286mm without it
- CPU Cooler height up to 80mm
- Case fan capacity: 3x with SFX PSU, 4x if using external solution or smaller PSU
- Material: Stainless Steel and Wood
- Video out: 2x HDMI and 1x Display Port


I hope you guys like it!

Here are a couple of pics:





Doubts, questions, suggestions, just post away! I want to hear from you!
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
This is a really attractive and pragmatic design. Nice work!

It's both refreshing and interesting to see the additional room, especially that it's put to such good use. This seems like an elegant, space-efficient alternative to a ATX case if you still want to have ~four disk drives and a large GPU. Its a much better use of space than the Node 202 or similar designs which (IIRC) are still larger!
 

Karamazovmm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
91
93
This is a really attractive and pragmatic design. Nice work!

It's both refreshing and interesting to see the additional room, especially that it's put to such good use. This seems like an elegant, space-efficient alternative to a ATX case if you still want to have ~four disk drives and a large GPU. Its a much better use of space than the Node 202 or similar designs which (IIRC) are still larger!

Thanks for your kind words!

One thing that came to my mind that when you a PC in a larger case you usually have those nifty cable management systems, which are, usually, sorely lacking on a constrained space... Until now!



On the sides of the drive cages there is space for cable management! the whole idea is to channel those from the PSU on those 2 corridors and them up till you reach the mobo!

Now here are some renders of the structure with the components filled.





Talking about the wood!

Well the whole idea is to have things that you want in your life, those things usually either have a purpose or are attached to your personally.

So, why not both?



The idea here is to have the top to be something cool, and that brings you the customization that we want for things to have both a function and an attachment to it.

So, I'm discussing with the manufacturer to have this part with something meaningful to you, that you can either design or just send to me do it.

The treatment to make this long lasting, is to have a coat of varnish after the wood is CNCed.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,720
- PSU needs to be commonly available, there are markets that are less serviced than others

TFX for example isn't even available in my country. So SFX was the choice.

Whew, was worried you were going to go for ATX there :)

What she offers is indeed great cooling capabilities with its convection based design

The effects of convection at the scale of computer cases is extremely overstated unless you're talking completely passive designs, even a single fan at low RPM will very easily overcome it.

I'm not criticizing the current design, but if you decide to make changes with regard to cooling, don't base your decisions completely around convection, the fans are way more important to overall airflow.

And will there be any vents on the side for the PSU/CPU?

Will the case come with low-profile HDMI/DisplayPort extensions?
 

Karamazovmm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
91
93
Whew, was worried you were going to go for ATX there :).


Rest assured I wouldn't do that! While its incredibly and immensely easier for me still to get an ATX PSU here and I bet other countries, about 1 year now we have some stores that sell those here


The effects of convection at the scale of computer cases is extremely overstated unless you're talking completely passive designs, even a single fan at low RPM will very easily overcome it.

I'm not criticizing the current design, but if you decide to make changes with regard to cooling, don't base your decisions completely around convection, the fans are way more important to overall airflow.

I have to agree, the whole idea is to get whatever percentage of cooling possible with everything that is available, even if its a 0.5% its worth if its maintaining the design philosophy.

But as you can see that despite thinking of the convection action, I also thought and applied the tunnel effect that this will have, that's why there are 4x fan mounting holes, with 3x usable with the SFX PSU.

And sincerely, your opinion matters (and the other forumers as well), you have more experience than me and if you have any critique or advice I would be very thankful.

And will there be any vents on the side for the PSU/CPU?

Nope there won't be any venting holes, aside the bottom of the case and the top.

Will the case come with low-profile HDMI/DisplayPort extensions?

Yes! Those will be provided with the case! the plan is for 2x HDMI and 1x Display Port. So you can connect easily on the back of the case.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,720
Nope there won't be any venting holes, aside the bottom of the case and the top.

Hmm, I think that's going to be a problem. You could easily fit 300-500W TDP worth of parts in this case but the only intake is the one slim 92mm fan with a SFX PSU and not even that with a SFX-L.

Slim fans have less static pressure than normal thickness fans, and having a small gap between a surface and the fan reduces the performance for any fan.

So I think at the least taller feet are a must.
 

Karamazovmm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
91
93
Hmm, I think that's going to be a problem. You could easily fit 300-500W TDP worth of parts in this case but the only intake is the one slim 92mm fan with a SFX PSU and not even that with a SFX-L.

Slim fans have less static pressure than normal thickness fans, and having a small gap between a surface and the fan reduces the performance for any fan.

So I think at the least taller feet are a must.

I was very torn on that part of the process, while there is only one entry fan, there are 2x exhaust fans at the top, and the bottom is actually very open, due to it being cut to fit the 4x fan there.

That's why I'm still very confident regarding the cooling solution.

Aside that, If I put vent holes on the case... it would diminish the tunnel wind effect that I want to make it there.

The solution if the need for better cooling arrives, is going to make the feet larger as you suggested

or are there other options?

I saw k88D tests on fans and this is a risk Im taking on the design

my test bed is going to be a R5 1600, with probably my 970 or another more TDP heavy GPU
 
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Boil

SFF Guru
Nov 11, 2015
1,245
1,087
I think swapping the positions of the MB & PSU might help with overall airflow…

The MB down below would allow using dual fans on the intake…

The PSU above would need an internal power cable…
 

Karamazovmm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
91
93
I think swapping the positions of the MB & PSU might help with overall airflow…

The MB down below would allow using dual fans on the intake…

The PSU above would need an internal power cable…

I thought of that and with the layout that I had it would restrict the PSU sizes if not facing the back part of the case, if redirected the exhaust of the PSU to the top, I would gain another exhaust that already exists, but only SFX and not SFX L would be viable

Actually the design itself was going to be for all the cable to come out at the top, as is the traditional in this case.

However I decided against that based on the issue I would need a much longer case. Aside that I hate the cables coming out like that, so I would also make a provision for them to have a channel where they would come out at the bottom.
 

Karamazovmm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
91
93


Hello guys!


It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted this project, in that time I made clear that I want your feedback to know what are your wishes and how this case can fulfill those.


Every comment was taken into consideration and design changes have been made. Yes, I listen and will keep doing so.


Just to make things pretty clear, this case has gone through 384 iterations, on the last week alone 32 iterations have been done on your feedback.


Having said that what are the changes that made to the final stage?


Size has increased a bit, now its 370mm of height instead of 350mm.

This has been done to accommodate larger feet. As one of the design goals to make this case compatible with enthusiast level hardware and with decent temps to boot, that change was made to give 30mm of intake to all the fans in the case. The top fans already had the necessary height, now the bottom fans have them too.

Aside that I have also implemented a mounting solution for the HDPLEX HiFi 300W DC-ATX! One of the reasons that there is still 4 mounting points for the fans is basically that, to leave space for a DC DC solution.

Those were the 2 major changes that I made to the case due to your feedback, there were some to strengthen the structure and some for the fit and finish to be as exquisite as possible.


So I bring you some pictures of the changes!


Now, the whole idea is to make this case happen.


For that I’m going to show you how is the planning for this project.


January 15th, 2015 – Started the design of the case.

April 22nd, 2017 – Launch of the case in forums, feedback stage, contact suppliers.

May 2nd, 2017 – Show the changes, Feedback 2nd round, order parts, contact suppliers, case prototype.

May 15th, 2017 – Show the changes, contact Suppliers.


This is a very rough sketch on what the time schedule that I’m working on, and the idea is to propel this case as fast as I can.


The first prototype is going to be made of acrylic and wood, this is to explore on the visual of acrylic, LEDs and some other bling orientated features. I have noticed that some would like transparent windows on some cases that I consider to be of a more somber design, I thought why not on this one?

So if anyone wants, I can try to acquire some acrylic panels to showcase the beautiful components that we have.

This prototype should be ready be the end of this week or the mid of the next one. The whole idea is to test the fitments of the parts and how well the cooling system works, because I said before and will say it again, I want you to put the highest performing parts here and not be saddled by very limited CPU coolers, or to avoid some more power hungry cards.

Well, that means I have to test some parts that are actually going to push the envelop, which means the test system will be:


CPU: Ryzen R5 1600 (chose this one specifically for the cooler)

GPU: GTX 970 (for now, this may change in the future, but it would be basically to test the TDP)

PSU: Corsair SF450

RAM: 32GB


Thanks everyone that has commented so far and has shown interest in this project. Your feedback is truly important here! Drop a comment! Send a like! I’m all ears here!
 

owliwar

Master of Cramming
Lazer3D
Silver Supporter
Apr 7, 2017
585
1,081
Are you going to use hdmi/ dp extensions to get the gpu i/o to the back?
the pci riser bends that way? just curious

liking it so far :) keep on

also,
I know you are going for a minimalistic look but why not put the power button on the front?
 

Karamazovmm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
91
93
Are you going to use hdmi/ dp extensions to get the gpu i/o to the back?
the pci riser bends that way? just curious

liking it so far :) keep on

also,
I know you are going for a minimalistic look but why not put the power button on the front?

Can you believe that it was on the front with an IO hub as well?

I dismissed due to design concerns and seeing everyone favoring a more clean look

I did move the power button to the top of the case for 2 reasons, it would be easier to reach and it wouldn't get in the way when you are putting gpus that are taller than the usual, anddddd answering your other questions, it was also the reason that the cable extensions got moved to side as well.

So yes, I'm going to provide 2 HDMI extensions and 1 DP
 
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Karamazovmm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
91
93
So here is a small update

a version that shows your guts, in a great beautiful way (the most beautiful chocolate cake ever)!



I believe that if you want you can put some leds in it and it would be glorious!
 

T_Tank

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Mar 16, 2017
118
80
Looks really cool though how much space is there from the intake of the gpu to the side of the case will it breath ok?
 

Allhopeforhumanity

Master of Cramming
May 1, 2017
520
511
Looks really cool though how much space is there from the intake of the gpu to the side of the case will it breath ok?

Looks pretty tight, by my estimate it looks around 1 cm. I could be wrong, but if that's the case, you may want to move the fan mounts to the "right" in the picture to better force air over the intake fan (if panel vents aren't in the works).
 

Karamazovmm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 15, 2016
91
93
Looks really cool though how much space is there from the intake of the gpu to the side of the case will it breath ok?

It depends on your gpu, but the space there is 50mm

Sorry I quoted your post and forgot tonanswer my bad

Looks pretty tight, by my estimate it looks around 1 cm. I could be wrong, but if that's the case, you may want to move the fan mounts to the "right" in the picture to better force air over the intake fan (if panel vents aren't in the works).

I did think of that to make the fans off centered.

However, I decided against it, due to several issues.

1) is that the fans concentrate the flow to periphery of the circle, and the air expands from there to the form a cone
2) it may make the mounting points weak, given that there would be a large gap
3) I didn't think it would be that efficient

However with all said and done, don't fret! I say, because in the prototype I do intend to make that happen, so far I have ordered 3 different fan brackets

Why 3?

1- centered
2- offset to the side of the component
3- offset to the side of the component with a wide space for the air to come

I will also test it in a inverted position, aka offset on the other side of the component.

Its the usual while I believe something is true, it doesn't mean its actually true, gotta test it to make sure that I'm giving 100% of what the project can be
 
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