SFF layout ideas

Am I wasting my time?

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    11

NFSxperts

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Aug 7, 2015
112
53
This isn't a case mod or project, just ideas for a layout I have.
I have been looking for a case that's easy to carry around so it has be small and have a handle. That's why I got the Lian-Li TU100. Unfortunately, there are some areas that aren't so good. The lack of long gpu support and gpu cooling, the hdd placements, and I didn't like the side panel mechanism.

I brainstormed around with ideas until I saw Dan's A4. It is very close to what I want in a case. SFF, long gpu support, SFX support, the only things missing were the taller cpu cooler support and the handle.

I played around with the layout and came to the conclusion that his layout has the least wasted blank space and yields the cleanest look.
Would something similar to this be viable? (my first idea on the left and Dan's A4 on the right, with the addition of a bottom intake slim fan)

I don't have the skills or tools to create or mod my own case so I'm waiting for someone or company to release something similar to that.

The case I want should preferably be/have:
  • Small Form Factor, not "slightly smaller than mid towers"
  • <10 Liters
  • <$150
  • Has a handle
  • Supports m-itx formfactor with 2 expansion slots
  • Approx. 10" gpu support
  • Air coolers only
  • Good positive airflow
  • 2.5" hdd only
  • SFX PSU only
  • No optical drive bay, NOT even the slim ones.
 
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Reactions: Phuncz

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,178
4,516
Your idea doesn't seem bad at all. I'm not a layout guru like some here are, but I do feel it is a well balanced design. Maybe have the front fan exhaust to not have it recycle the PSU's air ?

Whoooooop whoop whoop whoop
 

jtd871

SFF Guru
Jun 22, 2015
1,165
847
I, too, am a big fan of the A4. From what Dan has tested, it seems unlikely that adding "case fans" will provide any significant benefit. You'd likely be better off modding an A4 to have a handle, than to tweak the design for a new case, it's so similar.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
I've found that when the components have direct access to fresh that case fans are mostly redundant.
 

NFSxperts

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Aug 7, 2015
112
53
Your idea doesn't seem bad at all. I'm not a layout guru like some here are, but I do feel it is a well balanced design. Maybe have the front fan exhaust to not have it recycle the PSU's air ?
Whoooooop whoop whoop whoop

Dan's design has the cleanest look. Having a fan grill on the front panel really spoils the look. I'm hoping it'd be able to fit a slim fan on the bottom.

I, too, am a big fan of the A4. From what Dan has tested, it seems unlikely that adding "case fans" will provide any significant benefit. You'd likely be better off modding an A4 to have a handle, than to tweak the design for a new case, it's so similar.
I might get it depending on price; but still, the cpu cooler support height isn't ideal. In his tests, one of the cooler fans has to be attached with zipties.

I've found that when the components have direct access to fresh that case fans are mostly redundant.
Not necessary, I've found that while the gpu cores are very cool if the gpu cooler has fresh intake air, the vrms on the back of the gpu gets very hot and could overheat. Plus, if the heat doesn't move quickly, it'll heat up other components.



edit:
Here are some ideas I have to mount a handle to the A4. It'll be supported by the left and right frame of the case.
 
Last edited:

jtd871

SFF Guru
Jun 22, 2015
1,165
847
I'd guess that some enterprising person on Etsy or a similar site would work up a custom bag / harness for the A4. IIRC, somebody did this for the M1.
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,241
2,355
freilite.com
I'd guess that some enterprising person on Etsy or a similar site would work up a custom bag / harness for the A4. IIRC, somebody did this for the M1.

Yeah there was a softshell carry-bag in the works for the M1 by somebody from the community, but I don't know what came of it.

You'd not even need a special harness, you'd just have to find one that can be adjusted far enough. Then just cut the overhang off yourself, done. Maybe there are harnesses like that for NAS cases or something like that, those would be a better fit.

And there's also the option of cutting foam of a Pelican case to fit the A4 plus additional equipment.
 

jtd871

SFF Guru
Jun 22, 2015
1,165
847
Everki made a backpack that you could fit a console in (XB/PS). I don't know if they're still in production, but I got one of their other models for my wife's lappie. Nice.
 

EdZ

Virtual Realist
Gold Supporter
May 11, 2015
1,578
2,107
If you want a padded hardcase for the A4 then the Peli Storm im2100 or Peli 1430 would be some of the smallest, though without much extra room for carrying accessories.
 

NFSxperts

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Aug 7, 2015
112
53
A harness isn't sturdy enough and might move about.
looks like dan-cases.com is up. At $230, I would rather get the ncase instead since I like its aesthetics more.
Looks like I'll be sticking with the TU100 and getting a short pcb gpu instead