Concept SENTRY 3.0: Development and Suggestions

Mosskovskaia

Trash Compacter
Mar 15, 2019
48
16
I wanted to ask if a GPU with the measurements of 300x120x50mm would fit into the new case.

The discussion about how much power a GPU takes and can fit is to complicated. In the end people will do custom adjustments when they fell the need for it. Pauls hardware dremelt a cut our to fit a bigger cooler. But I think the majority, like myself, is using the case as it's intended to and won't mod it this extreme. There are people that will do this but like with everything you can't satisfy everybody.
 

Bob_Lobla

What's an ITX?
New User
Sep 26, 2022
1
0
While I largely tend to agree with this statement, I would also like to point out that you are already catering to the SFF community, which is in and of itself a niche community full of people that tinker with their builds far more than any other PC building group that I know of.

We aren't ever satisfied until we have cables that are the perfect length for basically every single component, and try to best utilize every available cubic millimeter of volume.

I personally am one of those people that has a Sentry 2.0 with a 12600K (looking to upgrade to a 13700K when Raptor Lake launches) and a 3090 XC3 in my build. Is it overkill? Sure. Is it noisy? No louder than a PS4 Pro, that's for sure. But I wanted a basically no compromises, air cooled build that I can throw in a backpack and take anywhere I want, and I think this case has managed to do that for me.

That's not to say that I disagree with your opinion about designing a case that anyone can just build in vs someone needing a vast amount of experience in SFF builds, but I think the hardcore SFF guys that aren't afraid to tweak system settings and have ducts and such 3D printed are your main audience.

Either way, super excited to see where this goes. Would love to get another Sentry to do another build in. Keep up the good work!
While I largely tend to agree with this statement, I would also like to point out that you are already catering to the SFF community, which is in and of itself a niche community full of people that tinker with their builds far more than any other PC building group that I know of.

We aren't ever satisfied until we have cables that are the perfect length for basically every single component, and try to best utilize every available cubic millimeter of volume.

I personally am one of those people that has a Sentry 2.0 with a 12600K (looking to upgrade to a 13700K when Raptor Lake launches) and a 3090 XC3 in my build. Is it overkill? Sure. Is it noisy? No louder than a PS4 Pro, that's for sure. But I wanted a basically no compromises, air cooled build that I can throw in a backpack and take anywhere I want, and I think this case has managed to do that for me.

That's not to say that I disagree with your opinion about designing a case that anyone can just build in vs someone needing a vast amount of experience in SFF builds, but I think the hardcore SFF guys that aren't afraid to tweak system settings and have ducts and such 3D printed are your main audience.

Either way, super excited to see where this goes. Would love to get another Sentry to do another build in. Keep up the good work!
I think the majority would just like to be able to pop components in as is without tinkering. I don’t own a 3D printer nor have interest in trying to 3D print components in the first place, and I think it’s safe to assume most people buying this don’t either. Making your product have to fit two niches is a huge gamble. Also, I have tweaked system settings extensively on multiple systems, it’s not like I’m afraid to do it, but I would much rather not have to if it isn’t necessary. With that said though, I think it’s safe to assume that people who would custom 3D print components and voluntarily throw themselves into long setting tweaking sessions, would be the type of people to figure out how to make a high power GPU fit into a small case like the sentry no matter what. So I think it’s the better bet to keep the size the exact same and just forego support for bigger cards for the sake of retaining the real majority of the audience, the people here for the form factor. It’s at least a safer bet than increasing the size of the case to fit bigger GPUs, losing clientele that wanted a small case, and having unhappy buyers that purchased a brand new big form factor card but had no idea about the cooling issues in the sentry.
 

SaperPL

Master of Cramming
DR ZĄBER
Oct 17, 2017
464
851
While I largely tend to agree with this statement, I would also like to point out that you are already catering to the SFF community, which is in and of itself a niche community full of people that tinker with their builds far more than any other PC building group that I know of.

We aren't ever satisfied until we have cables that are the perfect length for basically every single component, and try to best utilize every available cubic millimeter of volume.

I personally am one of those people that has a Sentry 2.0 with a 12600K (looking to upgrade to a 13700K when Raptor Lake launches) and a 3090 XC3 in my build. Is it overkill? Sure. Is it noisy? No louder than a PS4 Pro, that's for sure. But I wanted a basically no compromises, air cooled build that I can throw in a backpack and take anywhere I want, and I think this case has managed to do that for me.

That's not to say that I disagree with your opinion about designing a case that anyone can just build in vs someone needing a vast amount of experience in SFF builds, but I think the hardcore SFF guys that aren't afraid to tweak system settings and have ducts and such 3D printed are your main audience.

Either way, super excited to see where this goes. Would love to get another Sentry to do another build in. Keep up the good work!
The thing with mass production tooling is that we need to assume we'll keep selling those cases to get back the investment. When we'll have cases available off-shelf, we'll go through potential enthusiast/niche buyers fairly quickly and then we'll have to keep selling cases to more causal audience.

What suggests even more that we should aim for something that doesn't assume a tinkering user, is that we had some stores and pre-built makers reach out to us about cooperation (but we weren't ready then), so there seems to be some potential to reach a wider market than just selling directly to the community of this niche.

I wanted to ask if a GPU with the measurements of 300x120x50mm would fit into the new case.

The discussion about how much power a GPU takes and can fit is to complicated. In the end people will do custom adjustments when they fell the need for it. Pauls hardware dremelt a cut our to fit a bigger cooler. But I think the majority, like myself, is using the case as it's intended to and won't mod it this extreme. There are people that will do this but like with everything you can't satisfy everybody.

The question is whether we want the case to have a fairly standard riser in 2U rack form factor which would mean sticking to 2-slot GPUs, or whether we go with something custom or maybe something flexible. We'd like to go with a riser format that is common because we want the case to last with available industry standard replacement parts.

Apart from this, if you go with a 50mm thick card, the fans will be right against the perforation which will be loud, unless we did shift the card location way up with a custom riser or a flexible one.

For the record, there is a third option to go with the same standardised riser, but raise the motherboard, but it means lower CPU coolers...

I'm hoping that we'll see 2-slot cards again when 4070/4060 launches, and we should aim for some normal reasonable power draw with them. And the whole plan with standardised pci-e riser and power limitation is also about making a bit more room for the GPU so we won't be constantly on the edge of compatibility with "better half" of the cards.
I think the majority would just like to be able to pop components in as is without tinkering. I don’t own a 3D printer nor have interest in trying to 3D print components in the first place, and I think it’s safe to assume most people buying this don’t either. Making your product have to fit two niches is a huge gamble. Also, I have tweaked system settings extensively on multiple systems, it’s not like I’m afraid to do it, but I would much rather not have to if it isn’t necessary. With that said though, I think it’s safe to assume that people who would custom 3D print components and voluntarily throw themselves into long setting tweaking sessions, would be the type of people to figure out how to make a high power GPU fit into a small case like the sentry no matter what. So I think it’s the better bet to keep the size the exact same and just forego support for bigger cards for the sake of retaining the real majority of the audience, the people here for the form factor. It’s at least a safer bet than increasing the size of the case to fit bigger GPUs, losing clientele that wanted a small case, and having unhappy buyers that purchased a brand new big form factor card but had no idea about the cooling issues in the sentry.
I think you may have misunderstood where that discussion was going. It wasn't about going for bigger volume of the case, but to aim to support thicker cards, which is possible with custom or flexible riser, but at the same time means fitting cards with higher power draw. We initially wanted to aim at 2.5 slot cards, but seeing what happened, as it's not a standard and board partners are just forced to go yolo with over 2.5 slot, it doesn't really make sense to think of it as a standard.

And like Mosskovskaia said, the power draw discussion gets confusing for casuals and we'd see people showing off their systems with cards that fit, but are undervolted, have tweaked fan profiles, liquid metal applied etc. The worst situation is where someone puts something inside that doesn't make sense and don't realise it because of his specific use case like some game that simply can't utilise the card or due to CPU bottleneck, and he advertises this setup as viable to other people in the online community.
 

Octagoncow

Efficiency Noob
Mar 21, 2019
6
16
...

For the record, there is a third option to go with the same standardised riser, but raise the motherboard, but it means lower CPU coolers...

I'm hoping that we'll see 2-slot cards again when 4070/4060 launches, and we should aim for some normal reasonable power draw with them. And the whole plan with standardised pci-e riser and power limitation is also about making a bit more room for the GPU so we won't be constantly on the edge of compatibility with "better half" of the cards.

...

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, but to put in my two cents, I don't think it makes sense to lower the CPU cooler height limit. The amount of options for CPU coolers is already pretty limited and even 'mainstream' CPUs push out a lot of heat. It makes far more sense to wait out the GPU market for lower power consumption cards with maybe going with options 1 or 2 depending on how dramatically it effects the overall case price.

I'm probably overly optimistic, but the rapid power draw increase from both CPU and GPU manufacturers has to go back down at some point, right?
 
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Silentfan

What's an ITX?
New User
Oct 10, 2022
1
1
...
Apart from this, if you go with a 50mm thick card, the fans will be right against the perforation which will be loud, unless we did shift the card location way up with a custom riser or a flexible one.
...

I use a 6900 XT FE with 50mm thickness and the noise is good / pleasant. Ok, I capped the card at 200W and use <=1250rpm, but the 6900XT is still very fast.

I don`t need more room in V3 for more card-thickness. There will always be very fast cards that are no thicker than 50mm, in my opinion.

To be honest, I don't need a V3. It is a perfect case for me. I use the 5800X3D + L9a (<=2000rpm) + FD1.

If I come up with a suggestion for improvement, I'll get back here. :)
 
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Matrixik

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Oct 17, 2022
4
0
Regarding filters: I live in the city center and there is enormous amount of dust. Barely 3 days after cleaning there is already visible dust on any flat surface.
I understand that HEPA filters will block too much air (or need to be too thick) but did you look into pre-filters from air purifiers that could be vacuumed or laundered?
It's basically stretchy material that doesn't block much airflow but at the same time catch a lot of bigger dust particles.

For example I have now Blueair 411 air purifier that have such pre-filters in many colors. Personally I don't vacuum them, just every 2-3 weeks I take one off and put on second one in different color, dirty one is going to laundry. Dust/fur/hair is easily visible on them sometimes even after only one week of air purifier running.
Example how to change them (grey in this video):
I thing if you incorporate something like this into new version you would be able to address two points at once:
1. People that want lower amount of dust inside they builds have something simple to use and it should not increase temperature inside too much.
2. You could cheaply change the color of case (such material is way cheaper than paint job). There could be people making they own versions if you tell what material should they look for.
 

SaperPL

Master of Cramming
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Oct 17, 2017
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It's basically stretchy material that doesn't block much airflow but at the same time catch a lot of bigger dust particles.
It's really vague statement... In essence the problem with our case vs air filters is that we don't have case fans that are right next to those filters. Filters do have to block some airflow, the do reduce the surface through which the air flows/the cross section of the flow, there are fibres/wires blocking the flow. So if you don't have fans right against those filters or ducted against them, the air will flow through the paths of least resistance so instead of pulling or pushing air through the filters, it will recycle it on the inside.

Big tower cases can do this where they have fans either pushing air from the front/bottom/top right through the filters or where they are pumping the air from the outside and the filters are on potential exhausts. All you can do inside Sentry is to duct the NH-L9 to the perforation and put a filter there, put some slim filter over the PSU intake, and maybe duct the GPU to the air inlet and put filters on those ducts. But you will probably keep having the dust problem in such config because there won't be enough positive pressure in the case as with case fans in big tower cases.

I'm not sure what else we could do other than figure out ducting that would perfectly support filters, but it's going to cost and will be limited in compatibility with the coolers.
 
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Matrixik

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Oct 17, 2022
4
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I'm not air flow expert so you are probably right.
I thought that I would mention them because such pre-filters are so thin that when you stretch them you can easily see through them (I could not find any video showing that properly). So I thought that when using this 4 small fans they would be easily able to push air through them.

There are also electrostatic air filters that almost doesn't impede air flow but are still able to catch bigger dust particles. You never need to replace them, only wash under running water.

Thank you for your reply.
 

LeChuck81

SFF Lingo Aficionado
May 6, 2019
122
32
There are also electrostatic air filters that almost doesn't impede air flow but are still able to catch bigger dust particles. You never need to replace them, only wash under running water.

Hmmm, I'm not quite sure I would feel comfortable with electrostatic material so close to electronic components… 😅
 

robbee

King of Cable Management
n3rdware
Bronze Supporter
Sep 24, 2016
730
1,033
The question is whether we want the case to have a fairly standard riser in 2U rack form factor which would mean sticking to 2-slot GPUs, or whether we go with something custom or maybe something flexible. We'd like to go with a riser format that is common because we want the case to last with available industry standard replacement parts.

Apart from this, if you go with a 50mm thick card, the fans will be right against the perforation which will be loud, unless we did shift the card location way up with a custom riser or a flexible one.

For the record, there is a third option to go with the same standardised riser, but raise the motherboard, but it means lower CPU coolers...

You've probably heard of the Silverstone ML07 and FTZ01 as they're quite related to your case albeit less space efficient. They use an interesting solid riser though, that is a little higher than the standard 2U risers. It could probably allow 3 slot cards and also supports PCI 4.0. Perhaps it could be a fourth options to negotiate with them or their supplier about a bulk order?
The riser is called RC06 and is also sold separately.
 
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SaperPL

Master of Cramming
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Oct 17, 2017
464
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You've probably heard of the Silverstone ML07 and FTZ01 as they're quite related to your case albeit less space efficient. They use an interesting solid riser though, that is a little higher than the standard 2U risers. It could probably allow 3 slot cards and also supports PCI 4.0. Perhaps it could be a fourth options to negotiate with them or their supplier about a bulk order?
The riser is called RC06 and is also sold separately.

Interesting idea, but it's not just "little higher" than the 2U, it's actually more than a slot width taller, it's 24mm taller. It doesn't fit the case at all, sticks out on its own for over 8mm and I think that we'd end up with case being like 12-14mm thicker if were to use it. So it's a no-go for us.
 

VFore

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Oct 20, 2022
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I am following the entire sentry 3.0 project with interest, overall how is it going? Are you confident in a release for 2023 or are there major issues hindering its development?

I suppose one of the key factors to consider is the release of future mid-range nvidia GPUs and RDNA3 radeons which will be revealed starting November 3rd.
 

SaperPL

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Oct 17, 2017
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I am following the entire sentry 3.0 project with interest, overall how is it going? Are you confident in a release for 2023 or are there major issues hindering its development?

I suppose one of the key factors to consider is the release of future mid-range nvidia GPUs and RDNA3 radeons which will be revealed starting November 3rd.

We have a concept of how Sentry 3.0 is supposed to look like and we have CAD designs at conceptual stage that are not yet finalised into actual mechanical design. There are various technical details that we are slowly investigating and taking into consideration one by one. It takes time however to push this process forward because there are other projects that are ongoing in the company, that are actually bringing revenue currently, and obviously such R&D project has lesser priority.

The fact that newest GPUs and CPUs take huge amounts of power doesn't really help to put a priority on this project - keep in mind that such product as our chassis will still have a premium price at least at the beginning, and because of that we have to be prepared for reviewers putting components inside that physically fit and match the premium pricing of the case rather than the actual sensible TDPs as it was in the past with our previous launches.

So it'll be either negative reviews about 300W CPUs throttling, 400W GPUs running at lower clocks and overheating pci-e 5.0 SSDs because of the heat dumped into the case, or it will be those components being heavily undervolted to behave in sensible way, and then we get people who buy components to do the same thing but fail at the undervolting and are unsatisfied with the case itself. And we've actually seen it over and over again that people actually tend to replace the case for something bigger than replace the components they already purchased, when they realise the card doesn't fit, the cooler doesn't fit, or something performs worse than in benchmarks in a huge tower case.

So we are slowly improving upon the design, but we're not rushing towards release because there are other priorities in current situation.
 

Matrixik

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Oct 17, 2022
4
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I really like your approach (and as bonus you're from Poland like me).

Personally I want to use i7 12700T CPU in my next computer, and it could easily provide a lot of performance IF it have good cooler. On they own they are appearing only in micro computers (like Dell Optiplex 7000 Micro) and there they have shity cooling and start throttling fast. So something small like Sentry looks perfect and in the future I could still add graphic card to it if I want (I'm not gamer).
 

nibiru

What's an ITX?
New User
Oct 29, 2022
1
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thanks for all the work guys, i'm literally waiting for 2 years for your case, sentry 2.0 is perfection, i am looking for a case with the size of a console, the fact that sentry 2.0 fits in the backpack is fantastic, all this because it develops vertically, so that you can have a direct flow of air to all the components with fans, I hope the sentry 3.0 is not bigger, I hope it has the same size maybe the air holes are better studied or enlarged
 

max61

What's an ITX?
New User
Feb 11, 2022
1
2
Hello, thank you for your work, can't wait to see what you have in store for the v3. Fractal just launched their mini-ITX case Ridge, what is your opinion after seeing the reviews?
 
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SaperPL

Master of Cramming
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Oct 17, 2017
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Hello, thank you for your work, can't wait to see what you have in store for the v3. Fractal just launched their mini-ITX case Ridge, what is your opinion after seeing the reviews?
Thanks for noting this one.

It's 12,6 L in volume and it's effectively the same size as Falcon Northwest Tiki. Node 202 is 10,2 L so it's a significant bump in volume here as well.

It looks like a significant improvement from Node 202 which IMO is terrible. This one is a lot better in terms of cooling and amount of plastic you get in the case.

The question is again however - if you're going for this size, are you going to use 3~4 slot beefy GPUs in it? will it perform well and how loud it will be?
It's definitely a response to requests of people who asked to increase the size of Sentry to allow for bigger cards.

By the way, here's a good case for why you shouldn't just assume you can squeeze GPU right against the perforation or other components:



There are cards that have shrouds allowing the (maglev, I think?) fans to slightly slide outside of the shroud. This was our concern whenever someone asked about really tight fit on 2.5 slot cards like 6800XT and now 7800XTX. Luckily AMD seemed to handle this properly in 6800XT so hopefully 7800XTX is the same.

Getting back to the Ridge itself - Fans right away perforation will have the issue of turbulence noise as presented in the video above and here:



The style of perforation on this case is going to be limiting factor in the airflow - just look at how much of the area is actually the holes vs material around. And it's a frame based chassis - they should have gone with some airflow optimised perforation instead of rigidity optimised perforation like it has.

So if you're going for a high end card, you either have to limit the cooling performance by removing those fans or you are okay with the system being noisy while you're playing.

The case looks really well, but there's one thing that seems to be made for idiotproofing - enlarged holes in perforation for the sake of mounding the stand:



We had things like that in Sentry 1.0/1.1 where we did dedicated holes for mounting the 2.5" drives in the GPU compartment, but they were smaller than the perforation itself and even when they were slightly off from the patter, it wasn't that noticeable. In Ridge it just sticks out, especially since there are two layouts/directions you can attach those on the panel, which makes this weird pattern sticking out on the corner. They should have made the holes on the thin sides flush in with the perforation, closely match the perforation holes size there and on big panels they should've either do the same or stuck with just one orientation of that. This may be annoying for those with high levels of OCD :D

Overall this is a great value if you want to build something sized like Northwest Falcon Tiki, but again there are some shortcomings that leave a question does it really make sense to squeeze in the ultra-high-end components in there and not just go for a bigger case?
 

vali

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Nov 17, 2022
3
0
I agree with SaperPL regarding the Fractal Ridge. Personally, I'm trying to fit a 3060ti and i5 12400 in a similar form factor as it's easier to transport and takes less space on the desk. I have the Silvestone RVZ02 and the GPU overheats in this case. An updated Sentry 2.0 with perforations on both sides of the GPU(similar to Ridge) plus a mounting bracket for 40mm fans at the top(see video below) would be ideal. But, since we won't see a Sentry 3.0 any time soon, it looks like Ridge is the only option.