Stalled RSC - Really Small Case

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 12, 2016
1,373
1,772
Is the codename that this project will be going by for now.

Inspiration
Ever since owning a laptop, I have coveted the idea of having a small form factor system. Problem was that money and time were usually quite limited. As time went on, I found inspiration in the Neutronium Version 4, Little Mac, S4 Mini, The Slim Machine, Stratos 3, Frame, and SENTRY. I also took inspiration from the previous and current generations of video game consoles and Schiit Audio's Magni 2 and Modi 2.

Motivation
To gain experience in Industrial Design (which I have always wanted to get into), get a handle on my depression, and improve my health and well-being. A bout with veritgo, which I alluded to here and here, was what pushed me to start this. Also as with K'NNECTED, I needed an upgradeable computer that is portable.

Features

  • Separate motherboard and video card chambers
  • Passive cooling of (under motherboard) m.2 SSDs
  • Active cooling of the motherboard VRMs and the DC-DC PSU
  • Effective ventilation for the video card
  • Space in front of the video card for various dongles or tiny microcontollers

Scope

  • Up to two drives: One m.2 and one 2.5" (DC-DC PSU cooling will be passive however.)
  • Video cards up to 240 mm in length
  • It is preferable for the video card to have a heatsink with the fins arrays length-wise instead of width-wise
  • Only case fans up to 15 mm thick with fit above the motherboard and PSU
  • Must allow wireless signals into and out of the front of the case
  • Designed solely for DC-DC PSUs
  • Made from aluminum and acrylic

Style

  • Derived from L-Shape enclosures
  • Opposing air intake for the motherboard and video card
  • Exhaust vents at the front, side, and top for the video card chamber

Table of Contents


Possible upcoming chapters
Modelling the bottom case (Part Workbench and Sheet Metal Workbench)
Adding features (Part Design Workbench and Fasteners Workbench)
Checking and modifying (Sheet Metal Workbench, Part Design Workbench, and Fasteners Workbench)
 
Last edited:

Hahutzy

Airflow Optimizer
Sep 9, 2015
252
186
I started to work on something similar few weeks ago, and my concern for what you may run into is that 27.25mm above the pcie flange might not be enough space.

Considering gpus nowadays are taller than the flange height by ~10mm at least (some even taller by up to 30mm), and the 8-pin connector needs around 20mm

It's a tight squeeze. It's possible there's enough room, but it will depend on your gpu selection.

Good luck!

Edit: I removed my sketch. This isn't the place to post my work; it's the place to look forward to yours! :)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Soul_Est

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 12, 2016
1,373
1,772
I started to work on something similar few weeks ago, and my concern for what you may run into is that 27.25mm above the pcie flange might not be enough space.

Considering gpus nowadays are taller than the flange height by ~10mm at least (some even taller by up to 30mm), and the 8-pin connector needs around 20mm

It's a tight squeeze. It's possible there's enough room, but it will depend on your gpu selection.

Good luck!

--snip--
Thanks for the advice. The issues with these cards not following the "standard" is going to be a recurring theme for me. *sighs*

 
  • Like
Reactions: MJVR1

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Bronze Supporter
Feb 1, 2016
3,348
5,808
Case looks great. With respect to your vertigo, wondering what level of physician has diagnosed it to date (GP vs. Neuro specialist). A very common type of vertigo is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and can be easily cured with the correct assessment and application of what is known as the Epley manoevre. One of the hallmarks of BPPV is that you get increased vertigo with specific directionality of movement (ie. getting out of the right side of the bed versus the left). Depending on where you are in the world, there are also physiotherapists that are specialty trained in the identification and treatment of vestibular disorders. If you want to PM me, I'd be happy to help you get into contact with one of these professionals.
 

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 12, 2016
1,373
1,772
Case looks great. With respect to your vertigo, wondering what level of physician has diagnosed it to date (GP vs. Neuro specialist). A very common type of vertigo is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and can be easily cured with the correct assessment and application of what is known as the Epley manoevre. One of the hallmarks of BPPV is that you get increased vertigo with specific directionality of movement (ie. getting out of the right side of the bed versus the left). Depending on where you are in the world, there are also physiotherapists that are specialty trained in the identification and treatment of vestibular disorders. If you want to PM me, I'd be happy to help you get into contact with one of these professionals.
Thank you for the information and support. It probably was BPPV but I have only been diagnosed by a GP and not a specialist. I had severe sensitivity to movement to the right side. I did perform the Epley Manoeuvre a few times a day alongside the prescribed medication. Would seeing a specialist still make sense since the symptoms have mostly vanished?
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Bronze Supporter
Feb 1, 2016
3,348
5,808
Yeah it would make sense. If you're lucky you can do the epley manoevre somewhat correctly and get relief, but if it isn't dealt with completely it may come back. Essentially what happens with BPPV is you have small calcium crystals in the middle of your inner ear. Sometimes they accidentally find their way into the semi-circular canals causing an overstimulus of the receptors in there causing vertigo. Having a proper assessment and the correct treatment would likely get rid of your symptoms for good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Soul_Est

GuilleAcoustic

Chief Procrastination Officer
Moderator
LOSIAS
Jun 29, 2015
1,885
2,827
guilleacoustic.wordpress.com
Yeah it would make sense. If you're lucky you can do the epley manoevre somewhat correctly and get relief, but if it isn't dealt with completely it may come back. Essentially what happens with BPPV is you have small calcium crystals in the middle of your inner ear. Sometimes they accidentally find their way into the semi-circular canals causing an overstimulus of the receptors in there causing vertigo. Having a proper assessment and the correct treatment would likely get rid of your symptoms for good.
My wife got problems with her otolith twice. Never came back with the appropriate treatment. Hope you get this sorted for good soon.
 

Thehack

Shrink Way Wielder
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
2,248
2,691
J-hackcompany.com
Thanks for the advice. The issues with these cards not following the "standard" is going to be a recurring theme for me. *sighs

You just have to pick a limit to what you will support. I would pick about 20-25mm above the flange. Small GPU are usually 7mm above the flange and requires clearance for pcie power. Considering that this is DC-DC you can consider the cards like 1060 or 470 using reference sized coolers your limit.

Also your internal height (inside space) needs to be about 55mm. You need about 10mm for your standoffs to clear the m2 drives and any odd cpu cooler mounts and around 42mm from the bottom of the motherboard for the IO shield cutout.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Soul_Est

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 12, 2016
1,373
1,772
Yeah it would make sense. If you're lucky you can do the epley manoevre somewhat correctly and get relief, but if it isn't dealt with completely it may come back. Essentially what happens with BPPV is you have small calcium crystals in the middle of your inner ear. Sometimes they accidentally find their way into the semi-circular canals causing an overstimulus of the receptors in there causing vertigo. Having a proper assessment and the correct treatment would likely get rid of your symptoms for good.
The Epley manoeuvre did help quite a bit alongside the medicine I was prescribed. Still waiting for my assigned specialist to contact me though.

My wife got problems with her otolith twice. Never came back with the appropriate treatment. Hope you get this sorted for good soon.
Sorry about your wife. I do hope that she can get that treated.

You just have to pick a limit to what you will support. I would pick about 20-25mm above the flange. Small GPU are usually 7mm above the flange and requires clearance for pcie power. Considering that this is DC-DC you can consider the cards like 1060 or 470 using reference sized coolers your limit.

Also your internal height (inside space) needs to be about 55mm. You need about 10mm for your standoffs to clear the m2 drives and any odd cpu cooler mounts and around 42mm from the bottom of the motherboard for the IO shield cutout.
Thank you for the advice and the information. Adding it to my notes.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Nov 1, 2015
1,788
1,900
Interested to see where you take your case idea, also helps that my case was one of your influences :p I have to put my Slim Machine project on hold anyways. Where will the 2.5" SSD going to go inside your case?

A GTX 1060 would be a good choice, especially for 1080p gaming. I would go as far to say that even a 160W DC-DC unit would be able to power on the entire system provided you can mod in a custom 6-pin connector from the DC unit. Here are some interesting findings on power efficiency on the 1060.

This comparison of different workloads on this page also shows that it consumes drastically less power in 1080p compared to 1440p and 4k.
 

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 12, 2016
1,373
1,772
Interested to see where you take your case idea, also helps that my case was one of your influences :p I have to put my Slim Machine project on hold anyways. Where will the 2.5" SSD going to go inside your case?

A GTX 1060 would be a good choice, especially for 1080p gaming. I would go as far to say that even a 160W DC-DC unit would be able to power on the entire system provided you can mod in a custom 6-pin connector from the DC unit. Here are some interesting findings on power efficiency on the 1060.

This comparison of different workloads on this page also shows that it consumes drastically less power in 1080p compared to 1440p and 4k.
I would be installing it above the DC-DC PSU if that were the case (pun intended). The whole point of the case is to solely use m.2 drives. The 2.5" SSD idea was an afterthought. Hmmm, so a reversal of the Fiji based cards like the R9 Nano. While I am intrigued about it, I'll wait it out and see how both AMD and NVIDIA fare on the driver side as I primarily use Linux and require Kernel-Mode Switching and OpenCL for much of what I will be using the system for in addition to gaming.

Boy, I wish I had the time and equipment to do testing like that. One day... :)
Some day soon... ;)
 

jØrd

SCSI for life
Digital Seppuku
Moderator
LOSIAS
Gold Supporter
Jul 19, 2015
807
1,297
I primarily use Linux and require Kernel-Mode Switching
The Nvidia blob has kernel mode support, that said i was unable to make it play nice w/ LightDM last time i tried, YMMV i guess
 
  • Like
Reactions: Soul_Est

Thehack

Shrink Way Wielder
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
2,248
2,691
J-hackcompany.com
I would be installing it above the DC-DC PSU if that were the case (pun intended). The whole point of the case is to solely use m.2 drives. The 2.5" SSD idea was an afterthought. Hmmm, so a reversal of the Fiji based cards like the R9 Nano. While I am intrigued about it, I'll wait it out and see how both AMD and NVIDIA fare on the driver side as I primarily use Linux and require Kernel-Mode Switching and OpenCL for much of what I will be using the system for in addition to gaming.


Some day soon... ;)
Assuming you have 55mm of internal height, you should have some height left over on the GPU side to install some 2.5". Though I do agree that 2.5 needs to go away and replaced with a more compact standard. M.2 is nice but it doesn't lend itself to be installed independent of the board well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Soul_Est

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Feb 12, 2016
1,373
1,772
The Nvidia blob has kernel mode support, that said i was unable to make it play nice w/ LightDM last time i tried, YMMV i guess
Quite true. I do not have access to more current NVIDIA hardware, so I cannot test that.

Assuming you have 55mm of internal height, you should have some height left over on the GPU side to install some 2.5". Though I do agree that 2.5 needs to go away and replaced with a more compact standard. M.2 is nice but it doesn't lend itself to be installed independent of the board well.
That is true. Maybe what @Aibohphobia says about 1.8" drives holds some merit?

Maybe the 1.8" form factor needs to make a comeback?
Maybe. They certainly worked for early century ultraportable laptops and for iPod Classics.
 
Last edited:

Colinreay

Cable-Tie Ninja
Aug 28, 2016
162
367
Hand-drawn sketches look awesome! Question - it looks like the flange/bracket that sticks out of the back of the case for the GPU to screw into is wider than the cutout for the rear I/O of the gpu.

May be wrong here, but wouldn't it need to be a little shorter than the I/O cutout to be able to be bent?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Soul_Est