Prototype SFFtime presents: MNLT - elegant vertical air tunnel case with excellent air cooling support and no riser

riba2233

SFF Guru
Original poster
SFF Time
Bronze Supporter
Jan 2, 2019
1,035
1,456
www.sfftime.com
I am very excited to show you my new design that is completely different than my previous cases. I was dabbling with a few variants of this case for a long time now (first version was with all 4 sides closed and extruded shell) and I think that the current design is the best of them all.










So basically, it is a vertical riser less case with very focused and guided airflow, optimized for air cooling and supporting large GPU's and large CPU air coolers (even Noctua NH-D15S as you'll see) with aid of smartly placed case fans. It has IO on the bottom and bottom to top airflow. It also has enough space (60 mm) for all your cable connectors so no need for any angle adapters. It will allow for extremely tidy cable management on your desk and a small footprint (23x21 cm) so you place it next to your monitor and it won't stick out.



Regarding dimensions, they are 231 x 209 x 408 mm or 19.7 L which is very near that famous 20L cut off point for SFF, but we need to consider some things first before saying it is to big. First of all, that volume is complete volume including all your cable ends which are never counted with standard cases and almost 3 L for this case. So that volume is total volume on your desk. Second point is small footprint, which is actually smaller than the footprint of the N-ATX if we include cables. And it's largest dimension is height, which is almost never a problem while desk space is. And lastly, it is basically the smallest size that permits long and tall 3-slot GPU's with large and tall CPU coolers such as NH-D15S. And not to mention riser less design, so you won't have any problems with gen4 and upcoming gen5 platforms.



Constructions is mostly 1.5 mm thick aluminum sheet metal, with rear panel and top fan holder made out of 0.8 mm steel since they need to be magnetic. Top mesh is 0.4 mm steel since it has to be very flexible and will be attached magnetically (think of top meshes on standard cases).






For airflow it uses one 140 mm intake fan on the bottom for CPU, one 200 mm fan on top for GPU/CPU/PSU exhaust and GPU intakes air naturally from the perforated rear side. Here is an airflow diagram:






Build process is very easy since you can work on open chassis and then just slide it into the shell and attach other panels after that. Also there is space next to PSU for tucking extra cables and a few cable tie points.


Here are specifications and compatibility list which is very simple this time:

- 19.7 L volume with 231 x 209 x 408 mm outer dimensions
- vertical riser less tower case with bottom IO
- support for ITX motherboards
- support for 3 slot GPU's up to 345 mm long (315/320 mm with 200 mm top fan)
- CPU air coolers up to 182 mm (max allowed overhang from the motherboard is 5 mm)
- mount for 120 mm AIO or radiator on the bottom
- SFX power supplies up to 100 mm long
- support for two 2.5" hard drives
- case fans: 140 or 120 mm bottom | 200, 140 or 120 mm top | 2 x 120 mm side
- 60 mm clearance for cable connectors on bottom
- invisible power switch on top


Of course I only post new designs after I already have the prototype:









And of course I also did a test build with a 5800X with NH-D15S and 6700XT Hellhound, a really long and tall GPU to validate the thermals compared to open bench:















As you can see it makes for a really neat desk:





No wires, yaaaay! 😊


Now let's talk temperatures. CPU is simple, it gets same temperatures as on open bench so that is a win in my book. GPU is a bit more complicated and it basically depends mostly on the exhaust. Without the top mesh it is 1-2 degrees cooler than open bench, and with it it can get up to 10 degrees warmer. But don't worry, I will redesign it to have more open area than the current version, but it takes literally one second to remove and reattach (magnets) if you wish to get max performance. But in any case not a bad result compared to most cases.


So, I would like to hear your opinions, do you like the design, are you ok with the dimensions and compatibility etc, I am still considering whether I will do a batch and have this in my regular production. Also I am not sure about the price yet but it should be lower than my current cases. And of course I need to paint the prototypes (I was thinking about a rougher texture and matte black of course) :)
 

Stinkybear

Trash Compacter
Apr 7, 2020
50
42
I mean if you're going to do it, might as well do it with a D15 and 200mm fan and it's clearly air build. I wonder if slim 120s will fit a 2 slot gpu to push in air. How's the PSU temps? I assume it's going to get CPU and GPU pass through exhaust. Where are you thinking the power button goes? I wonder if a side fan in exhaust might help the GPU but means putting more holes. I can see this working with the H1 crowd minus hoping for glass/putting a screen in there.
 
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REVOCCASES

SFF Guru
REVOCCASES
Silver Supporter
Apr 2, 2020
1,434
1,612
www.revoccases.com
I am very excited to show you my new design that is completely different than my previous cases. I was dabbling with a few variants of this case for a long time now (first version was with all 4 sides closed and extruded shell) and I think that the current design is the best of them all.










So basically, it is a vertical riser less case with very focused and guided airflow, optimized for air cooling and supporting large GPU's and large CPU air coolers (even Noctua NH-D15S as you'll see) with aid of smartly placed case fans. It has IO on the bottom and bottom to top airflow. It also has enough space (60 mm) for all your cable connectors so no need for any angle adapters. It will allow for extremely tidy cable management on your desk and a small footprint (23x21 cm) so you place it next to your monitor and it won't stick out.



Regarding dimensions, they are 231 x 209 x 408 mm or 19.7 L which is very near that famous 20L cut off point for SFF, but we need to consider some things first before saying it is to big. First of all, that volume is complete volume including all your cable ends which are never counted with standard cases and almost 3 L for this case. So that volume is total volume on your desk. Second point is small footprint, which is actually smaller than the footprint of the N-ATX if we include cables. And it's largest dimension is height, which is almost never a problem while desk space is. And lastly, it is basically the smallest size that permits long and tall 3-slot GPU's with large and tall CPU coolers such as NH-D15S. And not to mention riser less design, so you won't have any problems with gen4 and upcoming gen5 platforms.



Constructions is mostly 1.5 mm thick aluminum sheet metal, with rear panel and top fan holder made out of 0.8 mm steel since they need to be magnetic. Top mesh is 0.4 mm steel since it has to be very flexible and will be attached magnetically (think of top meshes on standard cases).






For airflow it uses one 140 mm intake fan on the bottom for CPU, one 200 mm fan on top for GPU/CPU/PSU exhaust and GPU intakes air naturally from the perforated rear side. Here is an airflow diagram:






Build process is very easy since you can work on open chassis and then just slide it into the shell and attach other panels after that. Also there is space next to PSU for tucking extra cables and a few cable tie points.


Here are specifications and compatibility list which is very simple this time:

- 19.7 L volume with 231 x 209 x 408 mm outer dimensions
- vertical riser less tower case with bottom IO
- support for ITX motherboards
- support for 3 slot GPU's up to 345 mm long (315/320 mm with 200 mm top fan)
- CPU air coolers up to 182 mm (max allowed overhang from the motherboard is 5 mm)
- mount for 120 mm AIO or radiator on the bottom
- SFX power supplies up to 100 mm long
- support for two 2.5" hard drives
- case fans: 140 or 120 mm bottom | 200, 140 or 120 mm top | 2 x 120 mm side
- 60 mm clearance for cable connectors on bottom
- invisible power switch on top


Of course I only post new designs after I already have the prototype:









And of course I also did a test build with a 5800X with NH-D15S and 6700XT Hellhound, a really long and tall GPU to validate the thermals compared to open bench:















As you can see it makes for a really neat desk:





No wires, yaaaay! 😊


Now let's talk temperatures. CPU is simple, it gets same temperatures as on open bench so that is a win in my book. GPU is a bit more complicated and it basically depends mostly on the exhaust. Without the top mesh it is 1-2 degrees cooler than open bench, and with it it can get up to 10 degrees warmer. But don't worry, I will redesign it to have more open area than the current version, but it takes literally one second to remove and reattach (magnets) if you wish to get max performance. But in any case not a bad result compared to most cases.


So, I would like to hear your opinions, do you like the design, are you ok with the dimensions and compatibility etc, I am still considering whether I will do a batch and have this in my regular production. Also I am not sure about the price yet but it should be lower than my current cases. And of course I need to paint the prototypes (I was thinking about a rougher texture and matte black of course) :)

Loving it!

Actually I had a very similar idea in the pipeline for my next case, something like a scaled up DSX1 for ITX motherboards but now I have to think again :p

NOTABLE-00076.jpg

As I'm a big fan of vertical cases I whish your new project will be successful 👍
 
Last edited:

Frung

Chassis Packer
Mar 1, 2018
16
7
Why not a ports-up chimney stack case, much more convenient? Like a smaller Silverstone FT03 matx? You can still have a 20 mm fan above all the cables, plus you can fit a regular ATX PSU in. Dont like SFX in these cases, you have the space.
 

Revenant

King of Cable Management
Editorial Staff
Gold Supporter
Apr 21, 2017
880
1,217
Likes: D15 support. Closed sides for noise control. Tower design.

Concerns: The venting looks restrictive especially at the top. Can it support a 200mm radiator / AIO at the top?

I like where you're going with it.
 

riba2233

SFF Guru
Original poster
SFF Time
Bronze Supporter
Jan 2, 2019
1,035
1,456
www.sfftime.com
I mean if you're going to do it, might as well do it with a D15 and 200mm fan and it's clearly air build. I wonder if slim 120s will fit a 2 slot gpu to push in air. How's the PSU temps? I assume it's going to get CPU and GPU pass through exhaust. Where are you thinking the power button goes? I wonder if a side fan in exhaust might help the GPU but means putting more holes. I can see this working with the H1 crowd minus hoping for glass/putting a screen in there.

Hi, yeah 2x120 fans should with 2slot gpu no problem! Psu temps should be fine, it has forced exhaust thanks to top fan and non restrictive intake. Power button is top front left hidden under the top mesh.

Loving it!

Actually I had a very similar idea in the pipeline for my next case, something like a scaled up DSX1 for ITX motherboards but now I have to think again :p



As I'm a big fan of vertical cases I whish your new project will be successful 👍

Thanks 😊 Yeah lot of potential in vertical cases, yours is also really interesting but another size class haha

Why not a ports-up chimney stack case, much more convenient? Like a smaller Silverstone FT03 matx? You can still have a 20 mm fan above all the cables, plus you can fit a regular ATX PSU in. Dont like SFX in these cases, you have the space.

Ports up or top IO should be heavily avoided, it has a few issues. 1. gpu temps will me much worse, even up to 20C. 2. cable management is much worse, it is sleeker to have them exit at the bottom 3. less optimal airflow path 4. more complicated construction.
ATX support was out of the question since it would just kill the cpu exhaust part 100%. The way it is now is totally unobstructed.

Likes: D15 support. Closed sides for noise control. Tower design.

Concerns: The venting looks restrictive especially at the top. Can it support a 200mm radiator / AIO at the top?

I like where you're going with it.

Thanks, I will make top panel much less restrictive, I have tested it and it does increase GPU temps. No, AIO cannot fit on top because it would interfere with PSU and it would just intake all the hot air from the GPU.
 

soulesschild

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
May 30, 2021
3
1
This is exactly the case design I wanted to build but supporting ATX and having both 200mm on both top and bottom. Looking forward to this.
 
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AlexKravKing

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Jul 16, 2021
3
0
Nice layout. I'm looking for a compact but efficient air cooling option. Would you be able to add 1 or 2 front or top USB ports? Otherwise hard to access at the bottom.
 

riba2233

SFF Guru
Original poster
SFF Time
Bronze Supporter
Jan 2, 2019
1,035
1,456
www.sfftime.com
Nice layout. I'm looking for a compact but efficient air cooling option. Would you be able to add 1 or 2 front or top USB ports? Otherwise hard to access at the bottom.

Thanks! I was thinking about top usb ports but I'm not sure, I wanted to make the case as elegant and accessible as possible. Also once you put a 200 mm fan on top there is only place for a single USB-C port up there.

I would recommend using some kind of an USB hub, it is always useful with vertical cases.
 

riba2233

SFF Guru
Original poster
SFF Time
Bronze Supporter
Jan 2, 2019
1,035
1,456
www.sfftime.com
Nice to see how it compares to something like the NR200 / Ncase M1. Definitely a lot less desk space taken up.

Thanks, that was one of the goals. It can fit and cool decent hardware, without taking much space. Also not much bigger on desk compared to mechlicious once you count connectors on the back side of it I would say.
 

duynguyenle

Airflow Optimizer
Aug 20, 2019
309
302
I second the idea of having some sort of Front/Side I/O, I think at the very least there should be a couple of USB Type A ports, (bonus if you could fit Type C and/or audio too). Since the case will be elevated and the bottom part is already gonna be used for cables, why not include cutouts there? (like the same approach you did with the USB ports on the P-ATX.

Secondly, it looks like the elevated 'feet' portion is currently totally closed off. Maybe would be a good idea to include some cutouts so you can take in air from the bottom (otherwise the only place for the air to enter is through the hole at the back which is probably going to get pretty restrictive with all the cables coming in/out of there)
 
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teodoro

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 8, 2018
108
76
neat looking case. I'm curious what the thermal impact would be with a 3080/3090 fe or blower card, and if it's significant if it could be mitigated by putting something between the gpu bracket and fan. I know you're already looking at a different venting pattern for the top--are you also looking to change the back (gpu intake)?

would you also expect this case to fall into the <11 pound shipping bracket (same as p-atx v2)?
 

phot3k

What's an ITX?
New User
Sep 19, 2021
1
0
GPU is a bit more complicated and it basically depends mostly on the exhaust. Without the top mesh it is 1-2 degrees cooler than open bench, and with it it can get up to 10 degrees warmer. But don't worry, I will redesign it to have more open area than the current version, but it takes literally one second to remove and reattach (magnets) if you wish to get max performance.

I noticed that with the Ghost S1 I had, the size and pattern of the holes were a lot more restrictive than first glance. But sounds like an easy fix by modifying the vent pattern?

I also think the size is fine given the huge benefit of being able to fit a D15 cooler accompanied by the massive fans. I'm looking for SFF cases that allow for a D15 since a U9 and C14 don't quite match the performance of a 240mm AIO in an Ncase M1, but a D15 would.