Production S401: Salvo Studios <8L mITX Steel Unibody Chassis w/ GPU & CPU fans in same direction

Linero

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Feb 9, 2017
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I'm not sure about making white this time around as multiple colors increases costs. That said, I think I would be interested in producing them all in white, black, or even a light or dark gray. Provide some feedback if you would prefer one of those colors or if you would detest one. Right now, I'm probably only going to produce 40 S402 units and with that low a quantity I'll need to make them all the same color without a significant price increase.
It really depends on the shade of each colour. Broadly speaking though, white is the best then grey. Black is too bland and overused for me.

Also, while I do prefer circles over anything else and I am not sure how they can be "notorious for bad airflow". In fact, I think they are the best middle ground for airflow and rigidity. Rounded squares are actually rectangular shaped and they are definitely not as rigid (napkin physics: the longer the distance between two connected points, the weaker the middle point becomes). We could always go back to the honeycomb pattern as long as they are appropriately sized and don't show the build's guts.
 

grsychckn

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It really depends on the shade of each colour. Broadly speaking though, white is the best then grey. Black is too bland and overused for me.

Also, while I do prefer circles over anything else and I am not sure how they can be "notorious for bad airflow". In fact, I think they are the best middle ground for airflow and rigidity. Rounded squares are actually rectangular shaped and they are definitely not as rigid (napkin physics: the longer the distance between two connected points, the weaker the middle point becomes). We could always go back to the honeycomb pattern as long as they are appropriately sized and don't show the build's guts.
Yes, I need to get a few more patterns to compare side-by-side. A smaller (3/8") hex pattern would definitely be less "noisy" from an aesthetics perspective and would continue to be good for airflow. I get your point on the rectangular/slotted rigidity. Unfortunately, I'm not super creative so I have to rely on simple patterns. The good news is that mocking up a few samples takes much less time than coming up with some asymmetrical design that no one likes anyway. Simple is sometimes best.
 
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Piewalker

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Jul 3, 2018
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It really depends on the shade of each colour. Broadly speaking though, white is the best then grey. Black is too bland and overused for me.

Also, while I do prefer circles over anything else and I am not sure how they can be "notorious for bad airflow". In fact, I think they are the best middle ground for airflow and rigidity. Rounded squares are actually rectangular shaped and they are definitely not as rigid (napkin physics: the longer the distance between two connected points, the weaker the middle point becomes). We could always go back to the honeycomb pattern as long as they are appropriately sized and don't show the build's guts.
I said "notorious for bad airflow" because of this fantastic study comparing different venting patterns: "Effects of Grill Patterns on Fan Performance/Noise" - see https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Effects-of-Grill-Patterns-on-Fan-Performance-Noise-107/. I posted this study for discussion right here on this thread back in April (post #915 on p.46). The test grills:



The study's conclusion considered both noise and airflow (remember, both greater noise and impaired airflow are factors that are directly caused by more TURBULENT airflow). The closest to the circles we're talking about is the metal mesh, which ranked 6th. See their ranking below, from best to worst:
  1. Wire
  2. Swirl
  3. Loose Swirl
  4. Stamped Circles
  5. Honeycomb
  6. Mesh
  7. Concentric Circles
  8. Angled Slats
  9. Turbine
In that discussion back in April, SFF Forum's own @Thehack made what I thought was a very good point regarding circles:
 
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Piewalker

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Jul 3, 2018
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wow what a marvel. I just wonder how loud those triple 60m fans on that radiator get...
The Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 60mm Triple radiator has 12 fins per inch (FPI), so it's relatively less restrictive to airflow than most other radiators and therefore requires less fan speed to sufficiently exchange heat off the rad. I've found you can have the 60mm fans at 25%-40% speed and still be on top of cooling, even with heavier workloads. True, 60mm fans at high RPMs are definitely loud, but -- this is just a guess -- I think gaming would only demand a PWM signal of 50%-75% duty. Plus, this guy put the fans inside the case blowing out instead of outside blowing in. Being inside the case certainly decreases noise. But a triple 60 for just the CPU (even though it's a Threadripper) is, in my opinion, overkill. He could've gotten away with a Double 60, a Double 50 or a Triple 40.



Alphacool's product description also touts the fin design leading to less noise:

"Fin spacing is always an important factor in radiator design. The new series from Alphacool has a fin design which allows it to perform extremely well even with slow-spinning and medium-speed fans. This is not only pleasant thanks to the fact that it avoids unnecessary noise; it also means that the choice of fans that can be used with these radiators is not restricted."
 
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Piewalker

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Jul 3, 2018
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Yes, I need to get a few more patterns to compare side-by-side. A smaller (3/8") hex pattern would definitely be less "noisy" from an aesthetics perspective and would continue to be good for airflow. I get your point on the rectangular/slotted rigidity. Unfortunately, I'm not super creative so I have to rely on simple patterns. The good news is that mocking up a few samples takes much less time than coming up with some asymmetrical design that no one likes anyway. Simple is sometimes best.
Just wanted to show you one example of a unique but simple vent pattern. A couple days ago, Optimum Tech briefly showed this interesting SFF build from MSI at Computex. It's a 10L SFF build aimed at content creators called the Prestige P100:





As an aside, looking on the inside, I thought this was interesting. It appears the GPU has it's own compartment separate from the motherboard/PSU.
 

Poblopuablo

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Jan 14, 2018
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I thought this pattern was cool and unique, but the triangle shape @Piewalker posted is also nice.

.

I like the ql500 mesh design (not their crappy hole pattern, but the design the printed on their magnetic mesh. You could do. Derivative of that. It keeps the hex shape, but it breaks it up a little more. :)
 

Piewalker

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Jul 3, 2018
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I thought this pattern was cool and unique, but the triangle shape @Piewalker posted is also nice.

I like the ql500 mesh design (not their crappy hole pattern, but the design the printed on their magnetic mesh. You could do. Derivative of that. It keeps the hex shape, but it breaks it up a little more. :)
Agreed -- not a bad pattern on that mesh at all. Cheap ass case, though. That's so funny you mention it -- I have one extra of those QL500 sitting in my garage. This is the very case I used to build my dad a Ryzen 1600 build early 2018. He's still using it even though he hates where the ON button is. And you're right, the circle punch job CoolerMaster did on this case was ATROCIOUS. However, fan screws fit those circles perfectly so you can mount a fan literally anywhere.
 
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Piewalker

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Jul 3, 2018
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@grsychckn This is one of the best patterns I've seen -- and it's all metal. It's not a mesh. Those are all metal links, though there is actually a mesh just behind the metal. See the beginning of KitGuru's video from yesterday -- just a gorgeous pattern. Introducing Silverstone's concept case, the FARA V1:



 
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Linero

Trash Compacter
Feb 9, 2017
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Yes, I need to get a few more patterns to compare side-by-side. A smaller (3/8") hex pattern would definitely be less "noisy" from an aesthetics perspective and would continue to be good for airflow. I get your point on the rectangular/slotted rigidity. Unfortunately, I'm not super creative so I have to rely on simple patterns. The good news is that mocking up a few samples takes much less time than coming up with some asymmetrical design that no one likes anyway. Simple is sometimes best.
You don't really need to be creative here. Aesthetics is just one part of the equation. There is also durability and performance of the parts inside that will be influenced by the perforation design. So, sticking with the basics means guaranteed results.
I said "notorious for bad airflow" because of this fantastic study comparing different venting patterns: "Effects of Grill Patterns on Fan Performance/Noise" - see https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Effects-of-Grill-Patterns-on-Fan-Performance-Noise-107/. I posted this study for discussion right here on this thread back in April (post #915 on p.46). The test grills:



The study's conclusion considered both noise and airflow (remember, both greater noise and impaired airflow are factors that are directly caused by more TURBULENT airflow). The closest to the circles we're talking about is the metal mesh, which ranked 6th. See their ranking below, from best to worst:
  1. Wire
  2. Swirl
  3. Loose Swirl
  4. Stamped Circles
  5. Honeycomb
  6. Mesh
  7. Concentric Circles
  8. Angled Slats
  9. Turbine
In that discussion back in April, SFF Forum's own @Thehack made what I thought was a very good point regarding circles:
My apologies for my biased answer then. I am definitely lacking enough knowledge in this department. Thank you for weighing in with the correct input!

If honeycomb design is good enough for airflow and it already looks and feels good. If it worked in the S401, then why not sticking with it further. It is actually growing on me and I quite like it now. Again, with sensible diameters haha.
 

grsychckn

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So a lot to read and consider. I was going to take a few hours today to remote back into my home workstation and make a few more options for us to chew on but it seems my home internet is currently out. Xfinity is reporting the outage will be fixed at 2:06PM today which is oddly specific.

Regardless, I'm going to go back and make the rounded rectangles and either 1/4" or 3/8" hex pattern as a render to compare.

Also, I think as long as I make the holes the right diameter I'll also be able to support standard fan mounts on the large vented panel. I am not sure how feasible support for different sizes will be but my goal would be to support 120mm fan mounting at least.
 

staircase

Trash Compacter
Jan 26, 2018
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Also, I think as long as I make the holes the right diameter I'll also be able to support standard fan mounts on the large vented panel. I am not sure how feasible support for different sizes will be but my goal would be to support 120mm fan mounting at least.
Oh ya, if the fans can use the vent holes as mounting, that'd be great! It would look more aesthetic pleasing. The mounting holes will not look out of place.

are the top fans 40mm? maybe these holes layout will benefit. (can mount as many as space allow)
 

grsychckn

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Oh ya, if the fans can use the vent holes as mounting, that'd be great! It would look more aesthetic pleasing. The mounting holes will not look out of place.

are the top fans 40mm? maybe these holes layout will benefit. (can mount as many as space allow)
The top holes are for 60mm right now but if I don't change the width, I could support 70mm which would be a big upgrade IMO and worth it. The problem is that 70mm is not really that common and doesn't have a whole lot of options as a result.
 

jakemagee

Efficiency Noob
May 31, 2019
6
4
Yes, I'm worried about all the built-in IO shields that are coming out as they do present a problem for the S401. There are two potential solutions I'm aware of but neither are great. First, you can remove the IO shield (Asus Z390i can be installed with the IO shield removed). BTW, this opens up much more space for things like 120mm fan adapters on the CPU cooler. Secondly, you can dremel the rear IO hole to be larger such that the rear IO does not contact the rear of the chassis. This will cause you to be committed to using only built-in IO shields moving forward as boards with separate IO plates can no longer be installed due to the larger hole. I don't like it but that's the situation. I recommend removing the rear IO cover (not the rear IO faceplate) and then addressing things like VRMs with standard heatsinks if the cover also served as a heatsink.
Will the S402 support these newer IO shields?
 

grsychckn

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Will the S402 support these newer IO shields?
Yes, the problem with the S401 is that the reference I used was wrong (or more likely: I mis-interpreted it) and so the standoffs are about 3mm closer to the rear IO cutout than it should be. This problem is not evident when using a traditional rear IO plate as it flexes to allow for a larger tolerance. Also, this is why when IO covers are removed they will fit in the S401 as the rear IO plate will be allowed to flex and make up that additional gap.

Regardless, I have mainboards to test with now and will do so to ensure compatibility as best I can moving forward. I imagine I'm going to get some support requests for the S401 and these types of mainboards as they become more mainstream and I think the only response I can give will be to remove the IO cover.
 

Linero

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Feb 9, 2017
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The top holes are for 60mm right now but if I don't change the width, I could support 70mm which would be a big upgrade IMO and worth it. The problem is that 70mm is not really that common and doesn't have a whole lot of options as a result.
Please please be as careful as possible with adding ANY extra dimension to the case. Portability and fitting it in a bag are crucial here.
 

grsychckn

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Please please be as careful as possible with adding ANY extra dimension to the case. Portability and fitting it in a bag are crucial here.
As of right now, the S402 is larger than the S401 by about 20%. The volume is going up from around 8L to 10L. The reason for this is mostly to support larger CPU coolers and 3-slot PCIe devices.

Dimensions
S401: 357.124mm x 68.2244mm x 324.358mm
S402: 367mm x 78mm x 326mm

I may actually be able to shave off some mm here and there but regardless of where I do it's going to impact hardware support. Overall size will be fluid until I have the targeted hardware support finalized and can tighten tolerances.
 

grsychckn

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Also, here are 2 of the previous renders I made and 2 new ones for comparing/contrasting.

3/8" Hex Pattern - I'm seriously considering going back to the 1/2" pattern and including a magnetic dust filter that would live on the back of the panel. That will require a lot of my time to produce though so I'm not sure the juice is worth the squeeze. Larger holes also means less laser time when making custom panels so I have to consider that right now it takes about an hour to make the vented panel with 1/2" holes and it's going to take a lot longer with more holes.


Square Holes


Circular Holes


Slotted Holes


Things to consider:
All the holes above will have to either be smaller or have specific circular holes between 5mm and 6mm in diameter for fan mounts. Right now, all the holes other than the hexagonal ones are 1/4" in diameter (so they will have to be adjusted slightly smaller). For the hex pattern, I would have to make static fan mounting holes if I used either the 3/8" or 1/2" diameter hex holes.