Concept SChoP (sff cherry popper) - Custom 12.9 liter ATX case with ATX PSU

sirGentle

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 24, 2019
5
3
Read the latest update here! -- Draft 3 - 12.9 liter case


Hi! I am looking for advice on this case I am designing.

My first PC build is almost 10 years old and is still good enough for my use case. I have upgraded the gfx card a couple of years ago, but that's it.
My problem is that I built the PC in a huge 52 liter case and it is taking a lot of space in my apartment.
So now I want to go small, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on downsizing.

My current build specs:
  • Cooler Master 690 case
  • evo 212 cpu cooler
  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 CPU
  • GA-790XTA-UD4 Motherboard
  • 12 GB DDR3 Ram
  • GTX 960 (MSI) 4GB
  • Corsair TX 950 W PSU (yes it is way overpowered for my needs, lol)
  • 2.5" 80 GB intel x25-m SSD
  • 3.5" 1 TB WD black 7200 rpm
  • 3.5" 4 TB WD blue 5400 rpm
All my parts are full ATX size. If I wanted to go small I could buy a mini-itx MB.
However it is very hard to find a mini-itx MB with AM3 socket. So I would likely have to buy a new CPU as well which again would lead me to buy DDR4 ram and so on.
Besides that most mini-itx cases only support smaller PSU sizes, so I would likely have to buy that as well.
It would basically mean replacing most of my computer with new parts.

The best solution I have found that would not mean making a custom case is buying a Raijintek Thetis case. However that case is almost 28 liter.
I want to go smaller than that. So I figured I would just design my own case instead...


So here is my design so far. The IO is on the left and the power plug is on top of the case, which might sound like a weird design choice. But right now I am more interested in size than aesthetics. The case will not be covered in hexagon pattern, it's just there as a visual guide.

12.6 liter case. 5 mm walls:


IO on the left and power cable on top. Kinda weird, but necessary to keep it small:


CPU fan up to 80 mm height:


Space for cable management between gfx card and MB:


Space for up to 3 x 3.5 drives:


Parts are from my first PC build that I did in a 52 liter case, 10 years ago.
I bought the GFX card and 4 tb HDD a couple of years ago.
I don't own the noctua CPU fan, but that's the fan I would put in this case:


The cables from the PSU go underneath the gfx card and to the left of the HDDs:



Please give me advice on this case design!

Things I am not sure about:
  • Airflow
    • Where should air holes in the case be?
    • Do I need some kind of additonal case fan?
  • Case material (needs to be laser cutter compatible and relatively cheap)
    • Acrylic?
    • MDF?

Draft 2 - 12.9 liter case

Draft 3 - 12.9 liter case

Thank you for reading!
 
Last edited:

Windfall

I'm a huge fan of SFF
Moderator
Nov 14, 2017
2,109
1,570
Hi! I am looking for advice on this case I am designing.

My first PC build is almost 10 years old and is still good enough for my use case. I have upgraded the gfx card a couple of years ago, but that's it.
My problem is that I built the PC in a huge 52 liter case and it is taking a lot of space in my apartment.
So now I want to go small, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on downsizing.

All my parts are full ATX size. If I wanted to go small I could buy a mini-itx MB.
However it is very hard to find a mini-itx MB with AM3 socket. So I would likely have to buy a new CPU as well which again would lead me to buy DDR4 ram and so on.
Besides that most mini-itx cases only support smaller PSU sizes, so I would likely have to buy that as well.
It would basically mean replacing most of my computer with new parts.

The best solution I have found that would not mean making a custom case is buying a Raijintek Thetis case. However that case is almost 28 liter.
I want to go smaller than that. So I figured I would just design my own case instead...

So here is my design so far. The IO is on the left and the power plug is on top of the case, which might sound like a weird design choice. But right now I am more interested in size than aesthetics. The case will not be covered in hexagon pattern, it's just there as a visual guide.

12.6 liter case. 5 mm walls:


IO on the left and power cable on top. Kinda weird, but necessary to keep it small:


CPU fan up to 80 mm height:


Space for cable management between gfx card and MB:


Space for up to 3 x 3.5 drives:


Parts are from my first PC build that I did in a 52 liter case, 10 years ago.
I bought the GFX card and 4 tb HDD a couple of years ago.
I don't own the noctua CPU fan, but that's the fan I would put in this case:


The cables from the PSU go underneath the gfx card and to the left of the HDDs:


My current build specs:
  • Cooler Master 690 case
  • evo 212 cpu cooler
  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 CPU
  • GA-790XTA-UD4 Motherboard
  • 12 GB DDR3 Ram
  • GTX 960 (MSI) 4GB
  • Corsair TX 950 W PSU (yes it is way overpowered for my needs, lol)
  • 2.5" 80 GB intel x25-m SSD
  • 3.5" 1 TB WD black 7200 rpm
  • 3.5" 4 TB WD blue 5400 rpm

I will probably replace my CPU fan with a Noctua NH-l9x65. Since my old evo 212 is way too high.



Please give me advice on this case design!

Things I am not sure about:
  • Airflow
    • Where should air holes in the case be?
    • Do I need some kind of additonal case fan?
  • Case material (needs to be laser cutter compatible and relatively cheap)
    • Acrylic?
    • MDF?
Thank you for reading!

Check component space clearances, I think that looks a wee bit tight.
You don't want to design and manufacture a case only to either curse your way through the build, or get cut and suffer from blood loss.
I would give at least 5mm, maybe 10 from the edge of the mobo to the PSU.

Just some tips from a guy who's been there!
 

theGryphon

Airflow Optimizer
Jun 15, 2015
299
237
3.5 drives and PSU are not going to fit as pictured. 3.5 drives with cables, you're looking at at least 170mm. A 140MM modular PSU with cables, at least 200mm with cables and power plug. In total I'd give 390mm, considering the brackets, and that's internal height. Add the case meat, 400mm.

PSU won't fit at that proximity with ATX plug on the mobo. At least 5mm between mobo and PSU, you're looking at a minimum mm case width of 465-470mm.

The 80mm can be cooler height means minimum case depth of 110mm.

I assumed 5mm case walls, like you said. The whole side and top should be ventilated. It would be warm but be fine, depending on the CPU and GPU choices going forward.

At the end, you're looking at at least 20.5 liters. Even then you need a good case design for proper assembly and structural strength. To save volume, you can think about going with SFX PSU and switching to 2.5inch drives.
 

riba2233

King of Cable Management
SFF Time
Bronze Supporter
Jan 2, 2019
961
1,361
www.sfftime.com
So, basically, my case ?

 
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wertigon

Trash Compacter
Sep 13, 2019
54
33
So, basically, my case ?


Yep, though nothing beats some healthy competition, that is how we get new great products! :D

I really love the innovation this forum brings, so many great cases... So little money... ='(
 
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sirGentle

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 24, 2019
5
3
First of all thank you all so much for the feedback!

Check component space clearances, I think that looks a wee bit tight.
You don't want to design and manufacture a case only to either curse your way through the build, or get cut and suffer from blood loss.
I would give at least 5mm, maybe 10 from the edge of the mobo to the PSU.

Just some tips from a guy who's been there!

haha, I just tried to squeeze everything together as tight as I could.
It is probably a good idea to add a bit of clearance. Thanks!


3.5 drives and PSU are not going to fit as pictured. 3.5 drives with cables, you're looking at at least 170mm. A 140MM modular PSU with cables, at least 200mm with cables and power plug. In total I'd give 390mm, considering the brackets, and that's internal height. Add the case meat, 400mm.

PSU won't fit at that proximity with ATX plug on the mobo. At least 5mm between mobo and PSU, you're looking at a minimum mm case width of 465-470mm.

The 80mm can be cooler height means minimum case depth of 110mm.

I assumed 5mm case walls, like you said. The whole side and top should be ventilated. It would be warm but be fine, depending on the CPU and GPU choices going forward.

At the end, you're looking at at least 20.5 liters. Even then you need a good case design for proper assembly and structural strength. To save volume, you can think about going with SFX PSU and switching to 2.5inch drives.

Thanks for the heads up on the drives. I forgot that they take more space with cables. Of course they do!

Fortunately my PSU is not modular so all the cables gush out from a small spot on the bottom left side of the PSU.

Which means it's more space effecient than a modular one. At least it seems so, I don't have any experience with modular PSUs.

Yep like Windfall said, I will add some spacing between the mb and the psu. It's sounds like a good idea!

I won't compromise on the drives and psu, that's the whole point of designing this case in the first place. I want to downsize without buying new parts. If the case ends up a bit bigger it's ok!


So, basically, my case ?


Wow! I knew about your p-atx but not the n-atx. It's exactly what I am looking for!
Have you tried prototyping it yet?

Yep, I wish you all the luck in your project, I will try to follow your progress and help if I can :)
Thank you!
 
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sirGentle

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 24, 2019
5
3
Update!

I have taking into account the feedback and made a lot of adjustments.
As a result the case is now slightly bigger: 12.9 liters instead of 12.6 liters.

Case dimensions (5mm walls): 408 mm x 96 mm x 329 mm
  • I moved the MB so that the fan clearance is now exactly 65 mm.
  • I made most of the case opaque with a mesh over the fans and on top.
  • Added holes to the back of the case for IO.
  • Moved the PSU slightly to the right for a bit of clearance between mb and psu.
  • Added actual space for the HDDs including cables. I measured my right angled sata cables and used that to determine the space needed.
My PSU is not modular, which means a lot of cables. But it also means I have more clearance because all the cables come out from a small spot instead of all over the place like a modular one. So my case is slightly smaller than if I would have been if I had an modular PSU!

I have tried to plan for cable management in the case. Still a lot of cables I haven't figured where should go, but I know there is now space behind the mb for the cables.



I might cover the case in some kind of black marble foil



Here are the cutouts and fan mesh things


Fan clearance is now exactly 65mm. So basically designed for the noctua L9x65



I think there is still space for 3x3.5" drives. But cables make things harder to stack.



Now that there is more space behind the mb I can put all the cables I dont need there.



I'd love to hear more feedback, thank you!
 
Last edited:
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sirGentle

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 24, 2019
5
3
Update! --> Draft 3

Today mostly focus on cable planning and hardware support



Closed some gaps around the psu on the case so that the psu-screws will fit.




Generally been doing more cable planning.





Added a plate that rests on the pci slots so that the gfx card will stand a bit closer to the case opening and also adds insulaton.

Started designing some kind of HDD bracket.




There is not space for 3 x 3.5 drives. But an 2.5 drive fits easily. I will probably use double sided tape to secure it.




standoffs reduced from 18.5 mm to 18mm because it is easier to aquire.
 
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