S4 MINI Classic (S4M-C)

Josh | NFC

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Thank you for the compliments! Now to y'alls questions:

Rawr, Meanwell makes an adjustable voltage PSU that can deliver over 300 watts safely at 12v. I shot some video of me wiring one up but have not got around to finishing editing it. I am sorry for the delay! I used a Geforce 750ti in that build. I was not expecting it to perform as well as it did, but I can say that I am very impressed and is a fantastic option for a low power 1080p system. It rocked Crysis 3 at my demo for a certain Seattle football team (out of respect for the players please understand these pictures can't be used elsewhere, and don't name them ;) )



Of course you could put in a much more powerful GPU with the powersupply options I am testing, but I am a minimalist at heart :)

iFrielicht, I hear what you are saying man and I would be wary myself, but that is what prototypes are for! Luckily the hottest GPU I have smushed in their (R9 285 ITX) wasn't enough to push the SSD past its recommended operating temperature of 70C.

The 750ti BARELY gets hot under full load anyways being such a low power chip, and luckily that is a glimpse of our glorious future! I don't know if I would put a platter drive in those slots, but only because I hate them and would only run SSDs anyways! Haha XD

BTW....

S4 P.O. is official! Manufacturing will be starting very soon so now is the time to tell me you guys hate the chassis and to give up! XD
 
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MJVR1

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Jun 10, 2015
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You must have quite a few contacts to demo your case to the team. Can't wait to see what the final product looks like. Any ETA for when we can order the case on your site? Don't want to be pushy but... My q8200 system is on its last leg.
 

QinX

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Mar 2, 2015
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Your S3 together with the Neutronium V4 were part of my inspiration to build a small compact system. Because my product is going to serve a niche market I am a bit curious to know what the limits are of your S4.
What kind of TDP CPU can be used in this? How about max GPU length?
Information is very sparse to find.

It's not that I'm not impressed, on the contrary you've put so much time and effort in it. But I'd like to know if I'd be better of canceling my project now because of this ;)
 

Phuncz

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Nice to hear back from you, keep up the good work ! Really impressive stuff !
 

Josh | NFC

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You must have quite a few contacts to demo your case to the team. Can't wait to see what the final product looks like. Any ETA for when we can order the case on your site? Don't want to be pushy but... My q8200 system is on its last leg.

Everytime I put an ETA out something bad happens...but I am really super hoping Nov 1st is my date.

Your S3 together with the Neutronium V4 were part of my inspiration to build a small compact system. Because my product is going to serve a niche market I am a bit curious to know what the limits are of your S4.
What kind of TDP CPU can be used in this? How about max GPU length?
Information is very sparse to find.

It's not that I'm not impressed, on the contrary you've put so much time and effort in it. But I'd like to know if I'd be better of canceling my project now because of this ;)


It is a super niche market, and I see more and more MNFs with their own (very similar) takes on the S-Series. Now my concern is overcrowding. I'm not doing this for the $$, but I do need to be able to sell the boxes or I will be in trouble. :)

As for an overview with information, I have this video. It is a bit quiet and maybe too long, but you can learn more about it. This video is a tiny bit outdated but 95% of the information is relevant.


As for hardware loadout...you can't have everything. The good news is you can have a really nice machine in this formfactor. That green S4 is a nice system despite using some older hardware:

Intel i7 4970s
EVGA Z97 Stinger
16GB Kingston HyperX FURY
EVGA Geforce 750 ti 2GB or Sapphire R7 260x
Samsung Evo 850 - 500GB
Zalman CNPS2X (the absolute best cooler in this size bracket I have found out of 30mm options)

Running off a stock Mini-Box Pico PSU 160XT combo and using our custom ribbon cable.

I am working on a list of compatible and new hardware that I can put on my site and would love to have a thread made on this website with customer's tested configurations. For alot of my work Skylake's video processing is more than enough for me, so I will probably just run off the Intel graphics and put a very strong CPU with a closed loop liquid cooler.

I am also working on some aggressive builds for fun and to inspire people to go crazy with the chassis. For example I have one working system right now with a Skylake CPU and a 285ITX running off a Plex PSU. I plan on doing a *real* liquid cooled mod with some fun brackets for the chassis to be vertical.

I'm just thankful Intel has some really awesome CPUs that sip power while delivering the goods--and AMD/Nvida have some great chips out that rock 1080p gaming at the moment and run fantastic inside the confined space of the S4.



*EDIT* Changed "30+" to "30mm".
 
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veryrarium

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Jun 6, 2015
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Zalman CNPS2X (the absolute best cooler in this size bracket I have found out of 30+ options)
I don't know the exact CPU cooler height limit of S4, but If you mean as restrictive as less than 30mm tall for instance, then I can't think of 30+ options (unless there are bunch of uncataloged Dynatron or Cooljag skived fin heatsinks that I'm not aware of), and if the case can accommodate, say, up to 40mm, still, I could list only 20+, but already in this range Thermolab ITX30 (30mm) and Noctua L9i/L9a (37mm) beat CNPS2X fair and square in direct comparisons ( here and here, for instance), and I'm pretty sure Jonsbo HP-400 (36mm) and Silverstone AR05 (37mm) do as well (according to esplin2966 and dondan's tests.)

I am also working on some aggressive builds for fun and to inspire people to go crazy with the chassis. For example I have one working system right now with a Skylake CPU and a 285ITX running off a Plex PSU. I plan on doing a *real* liquid cooled mod with some fun brackets for the chassis to be vertical.

Really looking forward to this!
 

Josh | NFC

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I don't know the exact CPU cooler height limit of S4, but If you mean as restrictive as less than 30mm tall for instance, then I can't think of 30+ options (unless there are bunch of uncataloged Dynatron or Cooljag skived fin heatsinks that I'm not aware of), and if the case can accommodate, say, up to 40mm, still, I could list only 20+, but already in this range Thermolab ITX30 (30mm) and Noctua L9i/L9a (37mm) beat CNPS2X fair and square in direct comparisons ( here and here, for instance), and I'm pretty sure Jonsbo HP-400 (36mm) and Silverstone AR05 (37mm) do as well (according to esplin2966 and dondan's tests.) Really looking forward to this!

Thanks for the comments!

I should change 30+ to 30mm. Thank you for pointing that out for me...proofreading would help my cause. ;)

I don't want anyone to read too much into my endorsement of the CNPS2X. I simply want to let people know that it is the best <30mm cooler I have tested inside my S3 variants. The S4 offers 8mm more room than the S3 so there are tons of new coolers I need to test. I am always looking for recommendations when it comes to coolers. :)

That being said, I'm glad you brought up the Noctua NH-L9I. At CES shows over the past several years I had the opportunity to gather quite a few bi-directional coolers for servers and USFF applications, but I found that this style cooler relies heavily on system crossflow or active evacuation to be maximally effective. The S3 is not 1U, but it is close and relies heavily on passive heat evacuation through its massive (in terms of S.A.) cutouts. Other mini-itx systems available during my testing (and even today) had almost double the interior space of the S3 and I think heat had places it could travel before exiting the chassis, unlike the S3.

I would find many 'sinks that outperformed (sometimes significantly) the Zalman on my test bench. What mattered is how they evacuated heat inside the S3. The Zalman is an omni-directional cooler with a low-restriction fin-gap over the actual socket. It blocks the least amount of air over its fins of any cooler I have tested (again, I have not tested everything by any means) and thus "combos" well with the Scythe 12x120mm in the S4. I wouldn't say that the Zalman actually cools components around it, but neither does it dump a focused beam of heat in two directions either. Finally, the Zalman can be had for $25 bucks with free shipping in the U.S., which was also a deciding factor in it being my favorite. Dynatron sent me a cooler similar to the PH-TC90LS that I really liked, but it was almost twice the price of the Zalman. :)

I am not trying to endorse this company or declare the CNPS2x to be the king of mini-itx coolers and I don't want to be misread in that regard. Simply put: I like it. I am always searching for better options.

Veryrarium, it would be AWESOME if you have access to some coolers I don't that you wouldn't mind testing for me in the S4. If you do send me a P.M.!
 

iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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iFrielicht, I hear what you are saying man and I would be wary myself, but that is what prototypes are for! Luckily the hottest GPU I have smushed in their (R9 285 ITX) wasn't enough to push the SSD past its recommended operating temperature of 70C.

The 750ti BARELY gets hot under full load anyways being such a low power chip, and luckily that is a glimpse of our glorious future! I don't know if I would put a platter drive in those slots, but only because I hate them and would only run SSDs anyways! Haha XD

BTW....

S4 P.O. is official! Manufacturing will be starting very soon so now is the time to tell me you guys hate the chassis and to give up! XD

Yeah I think HDDs could be a rather bad idea in this case, especially when paired with a 970 or R9 Nano. Personally I'd deem it a mistake to not allow the use of at least one HDD. That would be a killer for me, I don't have enough money to buy the space I need for my main rig in the form SSDs. Others have an NAS or use external drives to compensate for that, but I don't and I could imagine a lot of other people passing this case up solely for that reason.
 

Phuncz

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On the other hand, many people have bought equally limited devices from Apple and Google and at a premium. While some might not want it for this reason, I personally would like it that it doesn't waste ANY space.
 
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Josh | NFC

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Yeah I think HDDs could be a rather bad idea in this case, especially when paired with a 970 or R9 Nano. Personally I'd deem it a mistake to not allow the use of at least one HDD. That would be a killer for me, I don't have enough money to buy the space I need for my main rig in the form SSDs. Others have an NAS or use external drives to compensate for that, but I don't and I could imagine a lot of other people passing this case up solely for that reason.


I think it will be fine. WD Specifies their hottest Black drives at 0-60 C for their operating temperature, and there is not near enough heat in that area, even in a hot room with no air circulation and under benchmark stress:


The S4 won't be for everyone. I totally get that! I just wanted to make something that delivered on what I wanted to see in an USFF system. Those of us with NAS and Cloud storage can stick SSDs without having to worry about space, but 2.5" HDDs should be more than happy inside the S4!

Thanks :)
 

iFreilicht

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Huh, I somehow thought HDDs would have trouble operating over 40°C, but at 60 they will probably be fine with as much air circulation as this case offers.
Oh I totally know how you feel :D I don't think we have to design cases that everybody wants, but cases that we want. That's what sets us apart from the large companies that have to sacrifice space saving for maximum component compatibility and need to sell a few thousand units of a case to break even on the tooling.
 
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MJVR1

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jun 10, 2015
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http://nfc-systems.com/shop/s4-mini-chassis

Did you get an email or something? It's certainly up on the website but there's not announcements on his Facebook page or blog so I don't know how long the pre-order page has been up.
I signed up for the newsletters I believe but I haven't received anything from NFC. I checked today and found that the pre orders were up. Got excited and totally forgot to paste the link I had on hand (Woops).
Anyways, glad to see Josh is still alive and kickin. Can't wait to see what people build in this and what they can do with some custom paint jobs.
 
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Phuncz

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Awesome, best of luck in "selling out" (literally, not figuratively), I hope this case becomes a huge success !!
 
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iFreilicht

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Damn those beauty shots are just that. Beautiful! One thing though: It would be very helpful if you could show a build (or different builds) inside the case to make the layout more clear. I was puzzled about the locations of the two fans for a minute before recalling how everything works.

Other than that, good luck with the case, I hope it will sell.

BTW, those mounting holes for the power input: How did you choose them? Are they standardised somehow?
 
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