Concept SENTRY 3.0: Development and Suggestions

ZombiPL

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
DR ZĄBER
Apr 13, 2016
238
756
Hello once again,

As you all know, Sentry 2.0 crowdfunding campaign ended almost 2 years ago. In the last few months we received many, many emails, pm’s and tweets from you guys asking if we will make another run of the case.
Because of the pandemic situation last year was very busy for us at our daytime jobs, so we really did not know if and when we would be able to move forward with this project.

Since the time we were designing Sentry 2.0, we have seen AMD’s Zen2 and Zen3 launch as well as 300W+ TDP GPUs becoming more mainstream, so we had to start thinking about catching up to the PC components evolution with our product design.



At this point we are considering making changes/improvements in the below fields:
- improving ventilation,
- analyzing adding support for thicker GPU cards,
- analyzing adding support for full height 120 AIO’s in GPU chamber,
- analyzing adding support for Founders Edition Nvidia GPU cards,
- making changes in the vertical stand, to simplify manufacturing of this component,
- analyzing possible changes in galvanization process of the Sentry,
- changing the manufacturing methods to use molds, which should allow us faster production and even better final quality, while keeping the last revision’s price (or even make it lower),
- redesigning shipping box to make it smaller, which will result in cheaper shipping cost,
- many smaller changes to improve manufacturing time and improving final quality of product.

The most time consuming part of the above changes is designing the molds, which not only improve the quality of the final product, but also will allow us to make it faster in bigger quantities. It also means we will need some time to prepare for it properly.

While we are still gathering your ideas on what we could or should improve, we would like to do so within the SFF community here, so if you have any ideas for the next version of Sentry, make sure to write them here on the forums and also discuss them with others.


With regards
DR ZĄBER Sentry Team
 

loader963

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
656
560
Good god almighty, this thread is gonna explode when people notice it! Id love to see if you could find some more breathable ventilation without sacrificing chassis strength. Maybe add 3-5mm width to make cooler clearance 50mm so 47mm coolers aren't up against the perforations. Also wondering if that would let 2.5 slot gpus fit. I don't really see the need for the 120 aio support personally as I want as much room as possible for the gpu, but that is me.
 

Solo

King of Cable Management
Nov 18, 2017
738
1,225
Second post. 👽

As a longtime user of the original case with a deranged obsession with eliminating wires, I think you guys should remove the dual USB passthrough cable.
 

Snerual

Trash Compacter
Jul 3, 2020
34
34
Whatever changes you decide to make, I hope you manage to keep the size of the case roughly the same.

I personally think it's okay if an RTX3090 with 5950X doesn't fit in the Sentry, there's already stuff like the sliger console cases for those types of builds.

It's okay if not every SKU of every GPU fits in the case, "shopping around" for the right parts is part of the fun. The EVGA 3080 fits in the Sentry 2.0 just fine for instance, if Sentry 3.0 supports the 3 or 4 most compact 3080s, that would give people a few options while at the same time avoiding making the case too big.
 

Idle2824

Average Stuffer
Apr 26, 2018
59
52
I suspect you're going to get a lot of comments about the metal pocket behind the GPU, despite how many times you've already explained it. Honestly, I think the timing of Nvidia's cooler redesign was a bit unfortunate for you, since if you'd known (and added ventilation on both sides of the GPU), the Sentry 2.0 could have been one of the best optimised sff cases for air cooling (accommodating the flow through GPU design much better than the sandwich layout cases). I guess the problem is that we have no way of knowing if Nvidia or any of the 3rd party card makers will stick to that design in future.

I'm running in a Sentry 2.0 with a 3700x cooled by a black ridge with a 120 mm fan, which works really well. My EVGA SC2 GTX 1070 also runs well, not getting too hot or too loud under load. The biggest issue I have is that the GPU seems to dump a lot of its heat over the motherboard (and the black ridge as an intake does as well), which causes some of the motherboard components and my DRAM to get pretty hot. I wonder if compartmentalising a bit more might help things? It might end up just trapping more CPU exhaust heat, however.

Personally, I am not really interested in watercooling, and for those that are, probably sandwich style cases are more suitable. My opinion then is that you should prioritise air cooling, and not worry so much about aio support or whatever.

Oh, and don't change the size, unless you can make it smaller without any significant loss of compatibility. Making it a few mm shorter I imagine is possible, but probably not worth it.
 
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SaperPL

Master of Cramming
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
425
738
As a longtime user of the original case with a deranged obsession with eliminating wires, I think you guys should remove the dual USB passthrough cable.
Do you mean ditching the front panel completely or you'd want to replace the cable with something that's more manageable? We know that USB 3.0 20-pin plug is terrible, but that's a standard for now.

I suspect you're going to get a lot of comments about the metal pocket behind the GPU, despite how many times you've already explained it. Honestly, I think the timing of Nvidia's cooler redesign was a bit unfortunate for you, since if you'd known (and added ventilation on both sides of the GPU), the Sentry 2.0 could have been one of the best optimised sff cases for air cooling (accommodating the flow through GPU design much better than the sandwich layout cases). I guess the problem is that we have no way of knowing if Nvidia or any of the 3rd party card makers will stick to that design in future.

The issue here is that while "it's free real estate" when it comes to cooling performance to make a pass-through and call it a day, note that a lot of backers wanted the case for the looks as well. Sliger has one side that is almost fully perforated and it looks okay on their console, but the other side having three square vents just dropped almost randomly (from the aesthetic/symmetry point of view) isn't perfect. And we tried various approaches to do the partial vent just for the pass through on that RTX 3080 FE and 120 mm AIO, but it didn't look good.

We would need to make vent that is symmetric to the one over the motherboard and psu to make it look okay similarly to how it's on the Sliger's console, but it's not ideal because part of the perforation would be over 2.5" drive rail, and more importantly the cover would get less rigid and in this kind of construction we want it to be rigid as possible and not flex putting pressure on the GPU and PCB riser.

Iirc there was no real benefit for Sliger's console perforation at the back of the card when it was compared against Sentry 2.0 in Level1Techs review.

Personally, I am not really interested in watercooling, and for those that are, probably sandwich style cases are more suitable. My opinion then is that you should prioritise air cooling, and not worry so much about aio support or whatever.
That's an chicken and egg problem. If we make proper support for it, some people will use it. When it starts happening, we should see Asetek taking interest in making 120 mm AIOs with 90 degree knees on the radiator side so it's not so hardcore of a build anymore.

The issue is that the high end GPUs got so bulky and power hungry, that people buying our case at current price point are not going to chose water cooling over full-sized GPU unless there's huge performance increase, but it's not happening with Zen2, not sure about Zen3 yet.

Oh, and don't change the size, unless you can make it smaller without any significant loss of compatibility. Making it a few mm shorter I imagine is possible, but probably not worth it.

We are not planning to increase the size unless there's some kind of requirement for an improvement that would greatly overweight the volume increase. For example we could see something like let's make the case thicker by 1mm and shave off 1 mm on the standoffs because there's a new and groundbreaking cooler that will fit within 50 mm and magically cut the temps in half, or something like that.

I don't think there's any space to cut from - you still need space between the motherboard and PSU to latch/unlatch the 24-pin cable and also have some space for cables themselves. We could also think about reducing the space for GPU, but that would mean custom cables/adapter required and restricting cards to only reference sized, no oversize ability at all.
 

Idle2824

Average Stuffer
Apr 26, 2018
59
52
Iirc there was no real benefit for Sliger's console perforation at the back of the card when it was compared against Sentry 2.0 in Level1Techs review.
I couldn't find anything about this point for the flow through coolers. I would be surprised though, since there have been tests that show performance is much better for these cards when there is no obstruction behind the GPU (such as the FormD T1 working better when the PSU is offset to give a bit more clearance).

As for aesthetics, I agree with you that the 3 square vents on the sliger looks awful, but you could definitely do better than that. I think a 3rd vent that's the same size as the other two on the sentry would look absolutely fine. As for rigidity, I guess ideally you'd want a bend at the front edge (similar to the one at the back), but that's probably not easy to incorporate into the design. the folds at the top and bottom are surely still going to be enough to avoid any bending or loss of rigidity in the other direction (I hope you know what I mean, I should probably draw a diagram).
 
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Idle2824

Average Stuffer
Apr 26, 2018
59
52
Out of interest, how hard is it to fold metal twice with the bends close together in this shape:
Code:
____
    \____
(basically like the Z/S detail you have on the vents)
where the non parallel section is only 2 mm or so?

If that is possible, perhaps you could make the tab that slots into the front part of the case run the full length of that side?
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Apr 1, 2016
3,405
2,422
Sentry 3.0?!...great news!

Expectations?
  • Compatible with 3 slots GPU like RTX3090 FE (Sentry design should be very suited with passthrough design...be very careful of GDDR6X temperature especially on back plate)
  • Taller CPU cooler approx 75mm? (IS-60 EVO with 25mm fan is pretty capable)
 
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volopasse

Efficiency Noob
Apr 2, 2018
7
6
I’ve got no specific suggestions other than to it’s very exciting to see you guys back for another revision!

Just upgraded my v1.1 to 5600x/RTX3070, absolutely love the case and looking forward to seeing what changes are in store for the update
 

mridontknow

Efficiency Noob
Mar 8, 2019
5
28
I was a huge fan of the 2.0. It was the first case I built in and you made it a breeze with such great instructions and an amazing community backing your products.
Some "nice to haves" for the 3.0 launch would be a PCIE 4.0 riser and an RGB-compatible power switch. Also allowing these components to be ordered separately would make some community members happy.
For hardware, making it compatible with SFX-L power supplies might be nice since the newer GPUs utilize more power draw.

I know the PCIE 4.0 riser isn't "needed" since we are no where near utilizing it in GPUs today, but it is a "nice to have" so we don't need to swap out video cards whenever we do a bios update.
 

loader963

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
656
560
I too forgot about that riser. Seems like people are having success with the link up 4.0 riser cables in these sff cases that users are upgrading.

EDIT: 2/23/21 IGNORE MY COMMENT ON LINK UP RISERS. TRIED THE LINK UP RISER IN A CONSWOLE WITH A 3700, 5600X , AND A MSI B550 GAMING EDGE WIFI WITH BAD RESULTS. WHILE IT BOOTS ANY VIDEOS STUTTER AND MASSIVE AUDIO CRACKLING IN 4.0 BUT WORKS FINE IN 3.O .
 
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Idle2824

Average Stuffer
Apr 26, 2018
59
52
For hardware, making it compatible with SFX-L power supplies might be nice since the newer GPUs utilize more power draw.
Funnily enough, I completely agreed with the decision to drop SFX-L compatibility for the Sentry 2.0 as it seemed like the 600 W that was available in the SFX form factor should be enough for any ITX build. I really don't like hot and power hungry components and this new trend is quite disappointing if you ask me. I hope Nvidia and/or AMD go back to lower TDP parts, as I remember being impressed at how efficient the GTX 10xx series was.

Aside from ITX constraints, I find that high power consumption and TDP parts tend to age much less gracefully. It's not so bad having an old card that doesn't run games at high spec anymore if it's still cool and quiet. A huge, hot and loud card that also can't deliver top performance is just sad, really.
 

SKKN

Case Bender
New User
Apr 14, 2019
2
1
I'd mostly like to see a PCI-E 4.0 riser cable. Other than that, maybe the USB 3.0 on the front dropped altogether for a clean front and less cable - or possibly a single Type-C connector.
 
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aranel42

Efficiency Noob
Mar 25, 2019
7
7
This might already be part of the redesigned vertical stand, but I'd like to see some other type of feet for the stand as I've had them fall off quite often when packing/unpacking my computer.

I don't really have anything else to say as I'm pretty sure you have a much better grasp of design and manufacturing concerns than I have.
I guess if ditching support for AiO coolers would make air cooling better I personally wouldn't mourn the loss of that option.
Maybe readd SFX-L support now that parts unfortunately are getting more power hungry again.
Keeping dual USB-A 3.1 connectors in the front would be a boon for me as well. At least until USB-C is more widespread and whichever is/becomes the standard connector is available on most motherboards.

And please keep the harsh angular design of the case!
 
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SaperPL

Master of Cramming
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
425
738
Out of interest, how hard is it to fold metal twice with the bends close together in this shape:
Code:
____
    \____
(basically like the Z/S detail you have on the vents)
where the non parallel section is only 2 mm or so?

If that is possible, perhaps you could make the tab that slots into the front part of the case run the full length of that side?
We'll see what we can do with tooling we'll be able to make, but note that when you do it this way, you have one surface with right angle coming together with a surface that is rounded which may not look good at this thickness of steel sheet. The outer radius will be 2mm on that bend. Unless of course I didn't get what you mean, so you could link me to the example of what you are talking about.

Expectations?
  • Compatible with 3 slots GPU like RTX3090 FE (Sentry design should be very suited with passthrough design...be very careful of GDDR6X temperature especially on back plate)
  • Taller CPU cooler approx 75mm? (IS-60 EVO with 25mm fan is pretty capable)

That's not going to happen, sorry. 75mm tall coolers support would be a completely different case, fitting 3 slot GPUs like 3090 are something that could potentially be achieved by dropping support of 2.5" drives or figuring some weird mount for them underneath the riser etc, but it would become combersome to build in such case. On top of that you don't want to use 350W TDP card in a case that doesn't have airflow inducing fans, it'd be worse than running it on open test bench this way and you get diminishing returns for the investment. The 3-slot card is made this way to push the limits of the chip but it also assumes the environment will handle exchanging the air around it properly. Perforation will reduce the amount of air exchanged - It's not magic what we're doing here and you simply can not cheat physics.

About the PCI-E 4.0 riser - that depends on whether we can find subcontractor that will make 4.0 compliant PCB risers. Maybe when we will be ready with new improved designs, our current subcontractor will be ready for 4.0.

About dropping the USB 3.0 cable. For us it's still a main front panel connector that is really important part of the ergonomics of any case. Reaching back to plug in a USB drive or connect cable for the phone at the back is cumbersome. We could simplify things and not include the cable in the package this way, but for those (we thing the majority) who are using the front panel often, this would be reduction in the case value.

We could potentially approach this in a way that we connect the two cutouts for type-A ports and make a metal plug that can be rotated between plugging in the hole and having those two type-A cutouts, and maybe even with third option for single type-C port, but it will not look that great, especially plugging the hole would still have that rectangle cutout, just with a recessed surface inside. And we don't want to make case variants, especially when it comes to base element, at least still at this point in time.

As for SFX-L support - we have dropped it because there are standard SFX PSUs now with 92 mm fans (80 mm fans are terribly loud) that have really high wattage. Fitting 750W in such case is a miracle, not sure what you'd want more. Putting a fully passive SFX-L in such case seems like a mistake though when the case doesn't have fans, I'm not sure if I'd risk running like this with a high wattage GPU and CPU.

As for rubber feet of the stand - we know about this and we will have to figure out how to handle it.

As for the shape - yes, we want to keep the angular shape.

As for ditching AIO support - that will happen if it's preventing mainstream use cases from being improved.
 

loader963

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
656
560
So.... you’re saying if you made the case 1mm thicker, reduced the standoffs 1mm, and deleted the 2.5” drive support.... that we would have room for 50mm cpu coolers and 2.5 slot GPUs 😃