Concept Salvo Studios S402: ~9L Steel Console Style Case

grsychckn

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Salvo Studios
Gold Supporter
Oct 11, 2017
700
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I've begun design work for the S402 which will succeed the S401 with plans to have approximately 40 produced by late fall. It is likely that I will contract batches of them to be made rather than make a ton in one round like I did with the S401 (I had 130 made at once). The amount of personal time spent in assembly and packing was insane and I don't want to be stuck spending my weekends and free time doing the same for the S402. So please track this thread as any major milestones will be posted here as well as any pre-ordering information.

Let me get started with the new requirements I've levied on myself for the S402:
1. 3-slot GPU support. Most major name brand GPU manufacturers have a 3-slot GPU as their flagship. I don't understand why suddenly 3-slot GPUs are so popular especially when the "power-hungry" cards like Vega still sport many 2-slot designs. Not owning one myself, I fully believe this has to do more with noise levels than heat dissipation but I'm not sure to be honest. What I do know is that 2.5/3-slot GPUs are popular and I want to open up the ITX market to these cards as well.
2. Taller CPU cooler height. The S401 supported up to 52mm natively with around 57mm maximum when spacers were installed. With the new support for 3-slot GPUs, the S402 will support CPU coolers up to 59mm.
3. Address the polarizing hexagon vent pattern. This will be the first thing I'm seeking feedback for on this thread.
4. Introduce Flex-Slot adapter support and fine-tune the design such that it could be used in more case designs by me.
5. Move the power button back to the middle as on the S400.
6. Find a new front panel USB adapter that is less expensive than the existing Type C adapter on the S401. Mostly is is due to the fact that the current USB adapter is no longer in production and I can't even buy it from my supplier anymore. I may not keep Type C support.
7. Attempt to keep the dimensions of the S402 as close to the S401 as possible.
8. Continue to support the existing accessories (stands/feet will have same mounting design). Ideally side panels will also transfer.
9. Add support for 120mm AIO radiator mount. Larger radiator support might be possible (120mm x 240mm max).
10. Add support for 60mm x 25mm fans near CPU (this is the reason for the 1cm increase in the largest dimension). This support alone addes .3L to the volume and I'm not entirely convinced it is worth it.

Current dimensions: 367mm x 326mm x 78mm = 9.3L
S401 dimensions: 357mm x 326mm x 72mm = 8.3L

Placeholder for renders (will fill in once vent pattern has been chosen)
 

grsychckn

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Salvo Studios
Gold Supporter
Oct 11, 2017
700
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Feedback I need: Please reference by number in a response to keep it simple unless you have suggestions.

1. Vent Patterns - Please ignore the square vent pattern on top.
Rounded Square


Circular


Slots


Smaller Hexagons (these are 3/8" diameter where S401 was 1/2")


Others? Show a picture of what you like. I'm not going to steal any custom design from someone and I would honestly prefer a simple pattern that looks functional/practical.

2. USB Front Panel. Type C support or no?
3. 60x25mm upper fan support worth .3L of volume?
4. 2.5/3-slot GPU support?
5. 59mm CPU cooler support?
6. #4 and #5 not important? then would it make sense to keep the dimensions of the S401 and make this a simple revision?

Any feedback is useful for me as I have no way to get this feeback otherwise.
 

teodoro

Average Stuffer
Oct 8, 2018
69
32
What’re you anticipating gpu length allowance to be? I have one of those stupidly long msi trio cards (327mm) which I’m hoping to eventually house in an itx build, though I fully recognize this card’s dimensions are out of the norm and I may have to opt for a different model.
 

grsychckn

King of Cable Management
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Salvo Studios
Gold Supporter
Oct 11, 2017
700
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What’re you anticipating gpu length allowance to be? I have one of those stupidly long msi trio cards (327mm) which I’m hoping to eventually house in an itx build, though I fully recognize this card’s dimensions are out of the norm and I may have to opt for a different model.
Sorry, but currently I'm expecting length to be restricted to the same as that of the S401 which is around 305mm. Unfortunately, I probably won't change that dimension because doing so would add a great deal of volume to the case. That said, I'm going to look at the 3-slot GPUs and see what restrictions a length of 305mm would impose on those cards. It wouldn't make much sense to support 3-slot GPUs and then restrict the flagships across the board because the required length is not supported.
 

teodoro

Average Stuffer
Oct 8, 2018
69
32
Numbers grabbed from manufacturer’s respective website for 2080 ti:
  • Evga ftw3: 301.925 mm long by 139.3 mm tall by “2.75 slot” width
  • Asus strix: 304.7 mm by 130.4 mm by 54.1 mm
  • Gigabyte aorus xtreme: 290 mm by 134.31 mm by 59.9 mm
  • Zotac amp extreme: 324 mm by 136 mm by 59 mm
  • Msi gaming trio: 327 mm by 140 mm by 55.6 mm
I think 3 slot allowance is the more necessary piece for higher compatibility, as most non-basic models for this generation of nvidia cards run 2.1-2.5 slots from 1660 all the way to 2080 ti. 305mm still gives a ton of options for long cards (including three flagship models). I totally get the volume increase being untenable for most people.
 

Allhopeforhumanity

Airflow Optimizer
May 1, 2017
272
290
1.) I'm in favor of the hex pattern, but the rounded squares would be my second choice.
2.) Depends on the price-point and whether its Gen 3.2 or not.
3.) I think that 60mm fans on the bottom as exhaust for the GPU are likely more effective than the CPU if that's a potential option.
4.) I like the idea of 2.5/3 slot GPU performance, keeps the case useful if Nvidia/AMD board partners continue in thickening their top tier cards.
5.) What ever height results from the inclusion of 3-slot compatibility is nice. Better CPU cooling is always a plus and any improvement over the L9i is certainly appreciated.
6.) I think 4 and 5 are an important distinction to improve the utility of the chassis to a larger audience.
 

scub4st3v3

Caliper Novice
May 4, 2017
32
23
59mm CPU cooler height would allow me to reuse my tried but true big shuriken 2!

I like the smaller hexagonal holes - my biggest 'gripe' with them on the s401 was the front panel.
 
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Sahaj

Trash Compacter
Dec 10, 2017
50
50
Woohoo! So glad to see this thread!

My vote would be for the old S400-style rounded punch holes. That said, regardless of the pattern you choose, I think the more you can square off the edges of the pattern the better off you'll be!

Cheers!
 
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Linero

Trash Compacter
Feb 9, 2017
36
38
I had not realised this thread was already created and on-going. Here we go then! My feedback will reflect my attempt to try maximise the performance to the max as possible.

1) Circles. That is If the drawback is marginal over other designs. Otherwise, rounded squares.
2) Yes to USB C support, if the final price tag is reasonable. Otherwise, not worth it.
3) Hell no
4) 3 slots. It's a perfect chance to try and maxmise airflow. If so, people would justify that increased volume if they were to purchase this case while pairing it with a 2 slot GPU. Which is still a lot more common than the 3 slot counterpart.
5) Refer to theHACK feedback on that. If 60mm is possible without further enlarging the size noticeably. Then yeah, it would be great.
6) #4 is important due to the potential additional airflow and more headroom for overclocking. We need to keep dimensions reasonable at the same time though.
 
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Secret-Misthios

Average Stuffer
May 25, 2019
69
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2 slots are more common? I did a little roundup last night for fun, and most 2080 ti [as that's what I was checking] were mostly [as in more than half] for 2.5 or 2.75 slots, so over three. In fact there were almost double as many cards of that sort that used over two slots than those that used only two. If the trend continues, I wouldn't be surprised if sooner or later the real 2 slot card goes the way of the single slot.
 
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Linero

Trash Compacter
Feb 9, 2017
36
38
You are tunnel visioning the the RTX 2000 cards. There are other cards too such as the RX500/400, Vega, Navi, GTX 1000s and even more. These are all potential cards that the end user could be running. With the uprising of AMD power, I wouldn't be surprised if they start dominating the GPU market in the near future just like they did with the Zen CPU lineup.
 
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Secret-Misthios

Average Stuffer
May 25, 2019
69
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That would be good. But I'm of the believe that at a certain point where incremental frequency increases with node shrinks stalls even further, they'll start adding more stuff; like the RT cores now. So rather than shrinking the size [or staying the same] with efficiency it would just get fatter. Hopefully not though. AMD is still making largely 2 slot cards like Nvidia was. But AMD doesnt have raytracing hardware yet. It would be interesting to see if they implement it [t
I thought I read they would], and still manage to keep the size.
 
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Reldey

Master of Cramming
Silver Supporter
Feb 14, 2017
379
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I definitely like the circles better, similar to your 400 series. I was hoping to see the GPU and motherboard position flipped, as I think that saves you a decent amount of internal volume, really don't think we see that orientation enough.

Also I would err on the side of reducing volume in all of your follow up questions. 2 slot GPUs are good, cooler height is w/e to me, I'm just going to use the NH-L9.
 
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grsychckn

King of Cable Management
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Salvo Studios
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Oct 11, 2017
700
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I just posted a wall of text on what I thought was this thread, but it was the S401 thread. Basically, I think the direction the AIBs are taking is to support more 2.5+ slot designs. For whatever reason, there are significantly more options on the table for a user's GPU if they are not bound to a 2-slot design. I have no hard numbers but I would posit that the raw GPU options over 2-slots is greater than the number of "ITX / half length" GPUs on the market. This is just my experience but if true, it suggests that the market as a whole wants the larger cards and therefore, an SFF case that supports them would be desirable. Obviously this comes at the cost of the volume of the case (7mm increase in width from the S401). This increase though doesn't just benefit the GPU, but also the CPU cooler choices as well as potential space for AIO / custom loop coolers as well. Not to say I will be able to support all the above, but I think the key here is being wise with the additional space so that it is actually usable space for most customers and not just going to be empty on most builds. I want the S402 to be capable of housing the 3950X with 16-cores and a 3-slot GPU while perhaps adding 2 additional 2.5" drive mounts underneath the PSU. There is a balance though and I wouldn't want to turn people from this community away from the S402 because you all are the target audience. I'll be wracking my brain this next week to ensure I have something I feel is maximizing the new space of the S402 and hopefully you'll agree when I'm done.

@Reldey, I investigated that orientation and I might play around with it for the S402 because I do believe it would maximize the GPU area. My only problem with this great idea is the PCIe extension cable. The only places it could be routed would either be over the top of the mainboard/CPU or underneath. Of those two options, underneath is the clear choice which means though that the PCIe extender cable (and GPU) must be removed whenever maintenance must be done on the CPU cooler or m.2 drive. If I could overcome this problem I would have already drawn up plans for this design, but I think that single problem makes it difficult to implement. I really do like the idea though but I just haven't wrapped my head around a good solution for it.

Also, I created a Discord server and will be trying to be available on it regularly. The best times for me though would be after 8PM EST daily. The rest of my day is booked with family/work responsibilities. If I don't reply to a message immediately, be patient as I promise I will see it and reply when I have time.
 
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Secret-Misthios

Average Stuffer
May 25, 2019
69
18
I just posted a wall of text on what I thought was this thread, but it was the S401 thread. Basically, I think the direction the AIBs are taking is to support more 2.5+ slot designs. For whatever reason, there are significantly more options on the table for a user's GPU if they are not bound to a 2-slot design. I have no hard numbers but I would posit that the raw GPU options over 2-slots is greater than the number of "ITX / half length" GPUs on the market. This is just my experience but if true, it suggests that the market as a whole wants the larger cards and therefore, an SFF case that supports them would be desirable. Obviously this comes at the cost of the volume of the case (7mm increase in width from the S401). This increase though doesn't just benefit the GPU, but also the CPU cooler choices as well as potential space for AIO / custom loop coolers as well. Not to say I will be able to support all the above, but I think the key here is being wise with the additional space so that it is actually usable space for most customers and not just going to be empty on most builds. I want the S402 to be capable of housing the 3950X with 16-cores and a 3-slot GPU while perhaps adding 2 additional 2.5" drive mounts underneath the PSU. There is a balance though and I wouldn't want to turn people from this community away from the S402 because you all are the target audience. I'll be wracking my brain this next week to ensure I have something I feel is maximizing the new space of the S402 and hopefully you'll agree when I'm done.

@Reldey, I investigated that orientation and I might play around with it for the S402 because I do believe it would maximize the GPU area. My only problem with this great idea is the PCIe extension cable. The only places it could be routed would either be over the top of the mainboard/CPU or underneath. Of those two options, underneath is the clear choice which means though that the PCIe extender cable (and GPU) must be removed whenever maintenance must be done on the CPU cooler or m.2 drive. If I could overcome this problem I would have already drawn up plans for this design, but I think that single problem makes it difficult to implement. I really do like the idea though but I just haven't wrapped my head around a good solution for it.

Also, I created a Discord server and will be trying to be available on it regularly. The best times for me though would be after 8PM EST daily. The rest of my day is booked with family/work responsibilities. If I don't reply to a message immediately, be patient as I promise I will see it and reply when I have time.
I couldn't agree more. 2 dual slot GPU designs are already limited as is, today, and I dont see it getting any better. 3 slot GPU availability is a good way to stay semi prepared for whatever theres to come. Or at the very least be in a much better position.
 

vanbeveren

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Mar 21, 2019
130
88
I know this will probably be unpopular but I don’t particularly love any of these visually.

Symmetry I think is important between the sides and the top…
But I just don’t love the round rectangles as much as some seem too. I’m trying not to be negative but it just reminds me of medical equipment or something.

I really think your hex pattern on the 401 was unique and awesome looking.
 

Linero

Trash Compacter
Feb 9, 2017
36
38
@grsychckn I would suggest if you could try and make it work with the same orientation that you have used in the S401 for one major reason. Which is being actually able to use the case in horizontal mode. Similar shaped cases failed at making that possible because of the failed heat dissipation. Another potential problem would the PCIe extension cable running under the motherboard. That area has almost no airflow whatsoever. I read somewhere a while ago that this is not ideal for these cables on the long run (don't take my word for it). All that being said, If the change will have a noticeable positive outcome. Then I guess we don't have a choice. I believe in the same side orientation though.

Also, I am one the people who are definitely not going to touch any liquid cooling due to my potential traveling in future. Again, this is why I am interested in this case to begin with. I am sure a lot of people are with me on this. Air cooling should be the focus here as you mentioned. Speaking of the case being suitable for traveling, please make sure the PCIe riser is as tough as possible and the steel that holds it is 100% firm and rigid. So it does not snap and break with any movements or bumps along the way. Remember, the GPU cards will be noticeably heavier with the introduction of 3 slot design. The risk is going to be higher as a result.
 

Reldey

Master of Cramming
Silver Supporter
Feb 14, 2017
379
394
@Reldey, I investigated that orientation and I might play around with it for the S402 because I do believe it would maximize the GPU area. My only problem with this great idea is the PCIe extension cable. The only places it could be routed would either be over the top of the mainboard/CPU or underneath. Of those two options, underneath is the clear choice which means though that the PCIe extender cable (and GPU) must be removed whenever maintenance must be done on the CPU cooler or m.2 drive. If I could overcome this problem I would have already drawn up plans for this design, but I think that single problem makes it difficult to implement. I really do like the idea though but I just haven't wrapped my head around a good solution for it.
I personally don't see the routing underneath as an issue. It is basically how the Dan Case works, and it is one of the most successful cases out there.
 
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annasoh323

Master of Cramming
Apr 4, 2018
405
299
I forget: would the flex slot/3-slot card design still accommodate 2.5" drives? I currently am making good use of spots on the S401, maybe wouldn't use them in a future build, so I'm not advocating one way or the other, just curious about their status.

This isn't an original thought but I can't remember where I first saw it (credit where credit is due). Someone once pointed out that there are a few "classes" of air cooler height (and I know there are way more coolers than I can think of on the fly here; these are just a smattering of popular ones). Up to around 40mm covers Intel stock cooler, Noctua NH-L9, and Wraith Stealth (I think?). Up to 50mm covers C7 and Black Ridge (and similar). Not too many coolers come into play at 60mm except the Big Shuriken 2. Then, at 70-80mm, we start getting the Noctua NH-L12 class coolers. So, a proposed cooler height of 59mm is good but still locks down from the highest end down-draft coolers (which is fine - this is just an observation). I would be able to go back to my old RVZ02 configuration of C7 heatsink with NF-A9 (25mm thickness) if memory serves correctly. That could be an effective combo for the proposed S402 width/cooler height.

Thinking of the RVZ02 again reminds me it can only support a 2-slot card and had about the same amount of usable cooler height. I think someone here already established it would be smaller than the Node 202 as well (and much breezier). On a different sort of scale, you could probably knock out both of those cases: smaller than both, matching or better component support (with the proposed 3-slot design), and better ventilation.

I wonder if 3-slot support would also help clarify the difference between the S402 and the Sentry 2.0. I'm cautious here since I don't want to come off as a Sentry-bashing Salvo fan. I am a Salvo fan but I am also extremely pleased to see the dent in mindshare that Sentry has accomplished with respect to premium SFF cases. This is why I think a clarifying difference is helpful - both cases can succeed in their own ways. At present, the S401 has similar component support to the Sentry 2.0 while being slightly larger in most dimensions (correct me if I'm wrong). I think S401 can fit more 2.5" drives and I anticipate the horizontal config is slightly more efficient with air coolers. However, primary component support is similar (~50mm coolers and 2-slot video cards). The S402 will still exist in the same sort of market space. 3-slot support and increased CPU cooler support may increase the S402's desirability when considered in a wider context.

Still, at the end of the day, that number followed by the big L is an absolute measurement. Personally, I come down more on the side of the 3-slot cooler design and resulting increased width. Of course, it will be helpful to see those renders comparing existing S401 dimensions.

Finally, congrats on the sale of the i9 S401 build. I hope it goes to a good home.