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

Poblopuablo

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jan 14, 2018
206
139
If time/cost allowed, could you/would you be willing to, make an acrylic side with these patterns to see what they look like on the s401?

If it is not cost efficient then maybe not, just a thought. :)
 

grsychckn

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Salvo Studios
Gold Supporter
Oct 11, 2017
690
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If time/cost allowed, could you/would you be willing to, make an acrylic side with these patterns to see what they look like on the s401?

If it is not cost efficient then maybe not, just a thought. :)
Not a bad idea but it would be expensive. What I think I might do is try to find some thicker stock black paper and then I can cut it both quickly and inexpensively. I'll find out tomorrow or Monday what I can do and update you. I should really start a new thread but that alone will take some time that I don't currently have.
 

Linero

Trash Compacter
Feb 9, 2017
34
35
@grsychckn For some odd reason, now that I compare all of them together. I feel like the rounded square design is the best looking one so far (putting circles aside, I guess). I am starting to feel bad for being so indecisive...

As for the size... Well, that is quite the substantial increase. Would you have an idea how well it would fit into a standard backpack with the new dimensions?
 
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jakemagee

Efficiency Noob
May 31, 2019
6
4
Just out of curiosity, what is driving the new 3-slot design? I've seen maybe one 3-slot GPU, but I believe it was due to the shortened card length (which isn't an issue with your designs as far as I can tell). Its really nice having a SFF option that is as narrow as possible while supporting a 2-slot GPU.
 

Linero

Trash Compacter
Feb 9, 2017
34
35
Just out of curiosity, what is driving the new 3-slot design? I've seen maybe one 3-slot GPU, but I believe it was due to the shortened card length (which isn't an issue with your designs as far as I can tell). Its really nice having a SFF option that is as narrow as possible while supporting a 2-slot GPU.
I could not agree more with you here. I think the whole point for the console form factor is how slim and compact it should be. Specially how little of an advantage the size increase brings (unless there is a specific part's support, like a cpu cooler, is targeted here). However, the direction of the case's overall design is not something I have the privilege of having a saying in.
 

grsychckn

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Salvo Studios
Gold Supporter
Oct 11, 2017
690
1,098
@grsychckn For some odd reason, now that I compare all of them together. I feel like the rounded square design is the best looking one so far (putting circles aside, I guess). I am starting to feel bad for being so indecisive...

As for the size... Well, that is quite the substantial increase. Would you have an idea how well it would fit into a standard backpack with the new dimensions?
Indeed it is. A large portion of customers wanted better CPU cooler support and some pointed out that there's only about two non-blower RTX 2080 Ti cards that aren't 3-slot. Increasing the thickness of the case is really an attempt to address both of these concerns at once. I would be open to feedback on not supporting these features but I felt when I started the 402 that this was the evolution to make so even more powerful hardware can be installed. Perhaps I'm wrong - but if you feel so let me know.
 
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grsychckn

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Salvo Studios
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Oct 11, 2017
690
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Just out of curiosity, what is driving the new 3-slot design? I've seen maybe one 3-slot GPU, but I believe it was due to the shortened card length (which isn't an issue with your designs as far as I can tell). Its really nice having a SFF option that is as narrow as possible while supporting a 2-slot GPU.
See my post above. It really comes down to customers wanting to install some high-end GPUs when currently the only two non-blower 2-slot 2080Ti cards are the Zotac and EVGA. If anyone wants to use an MSI or Asus I think they are out of luck. Also, the flex slot will support 2 PCIe devices (2 x 2-slot, 1 x 1-slot) so if the mainboard supports bifurcation it could be possible to stuff two PCIe extenders in there for an additional PCIe device. I see this becoming more important as the PCIe 4.0 gen gains in popularity as IO devices really can use that bandwidth.

All that said though, I'm not totally sold on the 3-slot design but I do think the support will further distinguish my case from the others. It would be a unique feature not found on the popular mainstream cases.
 
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grsychckn

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Salvo Studios
Gold Supporter
Oct 11, 2017
690
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I could not agree more with you here. I think the whole point for the console form factor is how slim and compact it should be. Specially how little of an advantage the size increase brings (unless there is a specific part's support, like a cpu cooler, is targeted here). However, the direction of the case's overall design is not something I have the privilege of having a saying in.
You can have a say - I welcome the feedback but part of the problem is that I don't get general guidance from the community as a whole so I have to take the feedback provided here and weight it heavily. Those engaging me now in conversations about the design will most likely be customers so your thoughts definitely carry weight.
 

grsychckn

King of Cable Management
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Salvo Studios
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Oct 11, 2017
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This week I'm going to try and nail down the basic features and then next week I'm in San Diego for Cisco Live. Since I won't be home and won't have my normal dad responsibilities, I'm going to try to carve out most of the nights to dedicate towards reigning in the details of the design. Major changes need to be completed this week (2 vs 3-slot support, etc.). Minor details like USB support can be finalized later if need be. My hope would be to get something nearly ready for prototyping by the end of June. That's it - I'm doing what I should have and start a new thread for the S402. That's all we're discussing here anyway.
 

Linero

Trash Compacter
Feb 9, 2017
34
35
You can have a say - I welcome the feedback but part of the problem is that I don't get general guidance from the community as a whole so I have to take the feedback provided here and weight it heavily. Those engaging me now in conversations about the design will most likely be customers so your thoughts definitely carry weight.
Quite the splendid mindset that I fully support and like. I don't know if this would be a good idea or not, but I propose a faster communication method where the community and I could have a more back and forth discussion at a time you are free in. Would you happen to have a discord server for that? What do you think about this idea? Otherwise, I will still try my best to lay out all my feedback here whenever I can.
 

grsychckn

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Salvo Studios
Gold Supporter
Oct 11, 2017
690
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Quite the splendid mindset that I fully support and like. I don't know if this would be a good idea or not, but I propose a faster communication method where the community and I could have a more back and forth discussion at a time you are free in. Would you happen to have a discord server for that? What do you think about this idea? Otherwise, I will still try my best to lay out all my feedback here whenever I can.
I will look into a discord server. I have a discord account but TBH I've only used it a few times. Let me investigate and then I'll post here or on the S402 thread when I figure out what I want to do. Meanwhile I welcome your thoughts if you have the time to share via the keyboard. :)
 

Piewalker

Trash Compacter
Jul 3, 2018
38
55
I don't know if this would be a good idea or not, but I propose a faster communication method where the community and I could have a more back and forth discussion at a time you are free in. Would you happen to have a discord server for that? What do you think about this idea? Otherwise, I will still try my best to lay out all my feedback here whenever I can.
Discord. YES. It's actually a really good idea, @Linero.

@grsychckn Have you used Discord before? I'm active on a few Discord channels, like G-Unique, NFC Systems for the S4Mini, ChessBrah and Moore's Law is Dead, as well as the new SFF Network Forum discord channel (which is pretty empty right now). Discord is very useful to connect communities together. And there is a community of S401 fans. Discord is the perfect venue to bring Salvo people together and help each other in not only text but also voice chat rooms. Both text and voice provide much faster back and forth than here.

Private invitation-only voice rooms could be useful if say you're really split on some design choice and genuinely seeking honest community feedback. Just schedule a teleconference via Discord. I know you'd get terrific feedback. Except from me. I'm a troll. : )
 

jakemagee

Efficiency Noob
May 31, 2019
6
4
Sorry for the ignorant question, but how much history does discord keep? Can new people that join see history from before they joined? Also, I imagine its not something that search engines crawl (which makes it more difficult for people to find). I really find the searchable and easy to navigate history of forums to be very useful.

As for the 3-slot discussion, I didn't realize so many of the 2080 cards were 3-slot... I had really only looked at the reference and EVGA models. Which, much like the limited CPU cooler support (even at the increased size), multiple options do at least exist that would fit the 2-slot dimension.

If nothing else, I think your designs stand out from others based on the minimal width and same side GPU / CPU ventilation. And while I'm sure I can't begin to know the amount of effort involved in producing one product line... maybe a 3-slot size+ product would also allow for additional design changes (such as 92mm front fan support for better / quiet air flow and highest wattage CPUs). Kind of a "here's the smallest available that has some limitations" ... and then "here's the smallest available that supports the very top of the line, anything goes". Heck, maybe this mythical 3-slot+ front fan option could even be 3U rack mountable (which would actually support 120mm fans... but that's a different discussion).
 

Piewalker

Trash Compacter
Jul 3, 2018
38
55
Sorry for the ignorant question, but how much history does discord keep? Can new people that join see history from before they joined? Also, I imagine its not something that search engines crawl (which makes it more difficult for people to find). I really find the searchable and easy to navigate history of forums to be very useful.
Discord wouldn't replace this forum. This forum isn't going anywhere. Discord is great for the reasons I described above.
 

Linero

Trash Compacter
Feb 9, 2017
34
35
I will look into a discord server. I have a discord account but TBH I've only used it a few times. Let me investigate and then I'll post here or on the S402 thread when I figure out what I want to do. Meanwhile I welcome your thoughts if you have the time to share via the keyboard. :)
Excellent. Well, to start things off. What is the most prominent GPU size so far? Don't quote me on this, but it is most likely 2 - 2.5 slot size. I am not saying that 2 slot GPU users will necessary be driven away by a 3 slot capable case. However, I am sure the majority of them will find the extra size unjustified. Specially in this niche market where the whole point is "smaller is better". People here will most likely acquire specific PC parts based on the case as their centre piece for the complete compatibility. Now, is it difficult to make a build aimed at a specific budget and performance level with that 2 slot GPU limitation? To some degree, yes it will be somewhat of a challenge. Albeit, not impossible too.

What I feel like is the best approach would be to create this case with the best performance possible for each part running inside. So, perhaps we stay at the 2 slot size mark (or even 2.5, but I am not very knowledgeable about that) and create a design that would allow the appropriate parts (be it CPU coolers, case fans, etc) that are not overly large of course, and airflow for the best cooling possible. Maybe it could even allow some light overclocking as a result.

I know that my wall of text is probably waste of time because it's, more or less, the standard vision for any case development out there and this all goes without saying. I don't know why I wrote all of this then haha... I am not the best at this, sorry. However, if we can achieve this target. This would set your case aside from most of the others around you who sacrificed performance for size and aesthetics. The key here is balance. Like the perforation design. Circular squares might not be the best looking choice. But it certainly is still is good looking without hampering airflow from entering inside.

Let me know what you think =)
 

grsychckn

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Salvo Studios
Gold Supporter
Oct 11, 2017
690
1,098
Excellent. Well, to start things off. What is the most prominent GPU size so far? Don't quote me on this, but it is most likely 2 - 2.5 slot size. I am not saying that 2 slot GPU users will necessary be driven away by a 3 slot capable case. However, I am sure the majority of them will find the extra size unjustified. Specially in this niche market where the whole point is "smaller is better". People here will most likely acquire specific PC parts based on the case as their centre piece for the complete compatibility. Now, is it difficult to make a build aimed at a specific budget and performance level with that 2 slot GPU limitation? To some degree, yes it will be somewhat of a challenge. Albeit, not impossible too.

What I feel like is the best approach would be to create this case with the best performance possible for each part running inside. So, perhaps we stay at the 2 slot size mark (or even 2.5, but I am not very knowledgeable about that) and create a design that would allow the appropriate parts (be it CPU coolers, case fans, etc) that are not overly large of course, and airflow for the best cooling possible. Maybe it could even allow some light overclocking as a result.

I know that my wall of text is probably waste of time because it's, more or less, the standard vision for any case development out there and this all goes without saying. I don't know why I wrote all of this then haha... I am not the best at this, sorry. However, if we can achieve this target. This would set your case aside from most of the others around you who sacrificed performance for size and aesthetics. The key here is balance. Like the perforation design. Circular squares might not be the best looking choice. But it certainly is still is good looking without hampering airflow from entering inside.

Let me know what you think =)
I like your points and they will give me something to chew on. As for some more options to throw out on the table as a result of increasing the width by 7mm to support 3-slot GPUs:

1. Two PCIe devices could be used (bifurcation and/or USB-to-PCIe adapter would need to be used).
2. 2 x 3.5" HDDs could be installed below a 2-slot GPU.
3. If using a 1-slot GPU with waterblock, 120 x 240 radiator could be used.
4. 2 additional 120mm fans could be installed on the vented panel to blow air directly on the GPU.
5. CPU cooler support would increase by default up to 59mm.

Also, bear in mind that this 7mm width increase is around 1mm more than adding 1 set of panel spacers to the S401. Now I'm in no way saying I've made my mind up on this issue, but I think the items above make it very compelling to seriously consider the additional 7mm.

Even with the additional space, the chassis itself would still be smaller (367mm x 326mm x 78mm = 9.3L) than a Node 202 (377mm x 332mm x 88mm = 11L).

Now, I'm seriously considering removing the 60x25mm fan support up by the CPU. This support alone adds 1/3L of volume and 1cm to the height when vertical. I could remove this additional volume and still suppor the 60x15mm fans that the S401 uses while saving that space. I could even upgrade the 60x15mm to 70x15mm which would drastically increase the CFMs while reducing the noise. This would also save the 1cm of height when vertical. I think I just talked myself into this. Of course, I will still try to support both 60mm and 70mm (up to 25mm depth) fan mounts down by the GPU as well.

Let me know what you think.
 

Piewalker

Trash Compacter
Jul 3, 2018
38
55
I like your points and they will give me something to chew on. As for some more options to throw out on the table as a result of increasing the width by 7mm to support 3-slot GPUs:

1. Two PCIe devices could be used (bifurcation and/or USB-to-PCIe adapter would need to be used).
2. 2 x 3.5" HDDs could be installed below a 2-slot GPU.
3. If using a 1-slot GPU with waterblock, 120 x 240 radiator could be used.
4. 2 additional 120mm fans could be installed on the vented panel to blow air directly on the GPU.
5. CPU cooler support would increase by default up to 59mm.

Also, bear in mind that this 7mm width increase is around 1mm more than adding 1 set of panel spacers to the S401. Now I'm in no way saying I've made my mind up on this issue, but I think the items above make it very compelling to seriously consider the additional 7mm.

Even with the additional space, the chassis itself would still be smaller (367mm x 326mm x 78mm = 9.3L) than a Node 202 (377mm x 332mm x 88mm = 11L).

Now, I'm seriously considering removing the 60x25mm fan support up by the CPU. This support alone adds 1/3L of volume and 1cm to the height when vertical. I could remove this additional volume and still suppor the 60x15mm fans that the S401 uses while saving that space. I could even upgrade the 60x15mm to 70x15mm which would drastically increase the CFMs while reducing the noise. This would also save the 1cm of height when vertical. I think I just talked myself into this. Of course, I will still try to support both 60mm and 70mm (up to 25mm depth) fan mounts down by the GPU as well.

Let me know what you think.
Yeah. What you said.
 

Linero

Trash Compacter
Feb 9, 2017
34
35
I like your points and they will give me something to chew on. As for some more options to throw out on the table as a result of increasing the width by 7mm to support 3-slot GPUs:

1. Two PCIe devices could be used (bifurcation and/or USB-to-PCIe adapter would need to be used).
2. 2 x 3.5" HDDs could be installed below a 2-slot GPU.
3. If using a 1-slot GPU with waterblock, 120 x 240 radiator could be used.
4. 2 additional 120mm fans could be installed on the vented panel to blow air directly on the GPU.
5. CPU cooler support would increase by default up to 59mm.

Also, bear in mind that this 7mm width increase is around 1mm more than adding 1 set of panel spacers to the S401. Now I'm in no way saying I've made my mind up on this issue, but I think the items above make it very compelling to seriously consider the additional 7mm.

Even with the additional space, the chassis itself would still be smaller (367mm x 326mm x 78mm = 9.3L) than a Node 202 (377mm x 332mm x 88mm = 11L).

Now, I'm seriously considering removing the 60x25mm fan support up by the CPU. This support alone adds 1/3L of volume and 1cm to the height when vertical. I could remove this additional volume and still suppor the 60x15mm fans that the S401 uses while saving that space. I could even upgrade the 60x15mm to 70x15mm which would drastically increase the CFMs while reducing the noise. This would also save the 1cm of height when vertical. I think I just talked myself into this. Of course, I will still try to support both 60mm and 70mm (up to 25mm depth) fan mounts down by the GPU as well.

Let me know what you think.
These are some well thought and laid out points right there. I also do agree with you that these benefits outweigh the former route's I proposed earlier. However, we don't have to abandon my approach. We really can integrate both into one final product. It seems like you are already doing that too.

Since I am not well versed in the little intricacies in designing a chassis, here are my general recommended to do list for you :

1. Try to condense the case and take out as much unneeded space as possible. Once again, it seems like you have already figured one out concerning the 60x25mm fan support. Consider each and every dimension and where it will be spent on and see just how much value and worth it brings to the table.
2. Factor in air circulation inside. There are some cases (no pun intended) where hot pockets of air were being trapped inside or half way despite the well designed perforation. These could also happen in ambiguous spots that will not be reflected in thermals, such as below the motherboard by the riser cable.
3. Consider all the possible layouts you will be offering with the new 3 slot offering and how viable they will be in real life scenarios. A very wild and inaccurate example for the sake of clarification, would be the two HDDs overheating when installed below the GPU.

As you can see from my points, they are quite vague and probably misinformed too. That's the limit of my very inexperienced self with SFF cases though. I hope they were helpful in any way possible.
 

vanbeveren

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Mar 21, 2019
130
86
For me personally, going bigger is moving towards a case I don’t really want.

As I look at my s401, I don’t find it to be that small to begin with honestly.

Are we positive over two slot width is really gonna become the norm or is that just a possible tendency breaker by NVIDIA?

Just seems a shame in the SFF space to be going bigger from where the 401 already was.