Prototype SLATE AIR & AQ, (15.4L and 19.9L) >>HUGE CHANGES<< modular cooling, Looking for Feedback!

Enamel_32

Efficiency Noob
Jan 1, 2020
6
9
This is actually turning out to be very similar to what I've been idly designing - I like it! Especially:
  • Mesh front/back
  • Simple, clean side and top panels
  • Vertical orientation
  • Unidirectional air flow
Concerns:
  • Does introducing CNC milling increase manufacturing cost by much?
  • That power button is just asking to be accidentally bumped by a cat, I'd probably disable or modify it in some way, or maybe it'll sit behind my monitors and that won't matter?
  • The consolidated IO panel is really cool, I'm just not sure it'd handle all the cables I'd throw at it
 
  • Like
Reactions: TaylorChiller

Vacceo

Average Stuffer
Mar 17, 2020
76
48
If I remember correctly, it is possible to change the power button by a non-keycap. The IO panel being modular is excelent news, as it can be changed once USB 4.0 are avalible or even include options such as front audio connectors, USB type C or whatever suits you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TaylorChiller

kolo721

Case Bender
New User
Aug 14, 2019
2
2
This is amazing. Everything I'm looking for in a case. Really like the new mesh. I really hope you get to production soon. I'd love to purchase one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TaylorChiller

TaylorChiller

Super Magical Detailer
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Oct 10, 2019
57
205
Hey Everyone! Its been a good week. I have been pretty busy and it has been taking a bit longer than expected to work out some design details concerning the more recent feedback. This will be a shorter message since I am still getting some more content ready for the next wave of details and possible changes for you all. I'll just start now by answer some questions.

@NocelCrown , yes the MOQ may be affected by the CNC parts. However, this design direction is overall is even higher quality. This may affect initial price ranges but I'll be fighting to keep my goals the same. Some of you gave some good feedback on what you would be willing to pay for a case like this and I think I can keep within those ranges. I'll let you know as soon as I can when the factories get back to me. I have sourced another place to get this quoted so I have a lot of options.

@Retrias , I am also happy about adding support for mDTX. It will be limited since it naturally takes up more space than mITX. It's good to know there are people in strong aggreement for larger slot gpus (larger than 2.5). For this reason I've deciding to redesign the motherboard and gpu brackets to be modular in both directions. This will be interesting. I've narrowed done some options and the main goal here is to maintain simplicity and leave no room for user error when assembling. This will be the predominant topic for my next content I'll send in a few days.

@Vacceo , I've gone over clearances on the parts you've asked about. Right now mDTX will support one 240/280 (up to 45mm thick, HWlabs only 240: may change depending on what geometric refinement happens), or it will support 2 XSPC TX240/280 radiators with "slim fans" (no thicker than 15mm) with a tight fit. Increasing the length of the case by 2mm would actually do wonders for a layout like this, however I must stay under 20L with the SLATE AQ design.
The FLT and VTX reservoirs from EK could fit but have limitations. FLT must be mounted in the 120/140 spaces in the front and back. If you use a pump combo with this res it will take up space (120) on one of your radiators. It will only work with mDTX if you use it as a standalone res and use a separate DDC pump, (in short, FLT means you would have a max of 3x 120/140 ultra slim rad space). The VTX is an awesome res/pump and with some small tweaks it will fit on the width and length, but the height (at 141mm) will intersect most GPU fitting ports. If I designed a way to move the DDC bracket spot back to take up the space of one of the 120/140 fan areas then it would not intersect (which comes to the same conclusion as the FLT).
(please note that if you use a dual radiator setup it is recommended to use at least one perforated panel and make your rad fans push air outside (this way you won't be recycling air from one rad to the other).
I originally designed this case to use space efficiently with a pump and res separate from each other. Because there are so many products out there it may be impossible for me to accommodate all of them. Right now the most common set is a 50-60mm res tube and a basic DDC pump (62X62 foot). This setup fits very well in this case. If you have any recommendations please let me know.
As for SFX and SFX-L both will fit, I would recommend SFX though since it takes up the least space and thus easier to install. The latest build in the case, which in on my desk, is using an SFX-L from Silverstone. To make it easier for cable management, I trimmed and repinned the GPU cable (not necessary but worth it IMO).
For cable management, there are several anchor tabs I've placed in high traffic areas. The PSU has a unique cable management from other cases in that the routing goes behind the PSU and routes out the bottom. I'm considering designing tabs that follow the columns that support the top and bottom caps. There will be options.

@Tazpr , I'm setting up content in the next few days which will include various ideas for front and back I/O replacements. Included will also be some renders on perforated panels. Two main themes natural alum and dark grey/black.

@thecatar , right now my goal is to provide interchangeable I/O plates. That includes one with space for another DP/HDMI extension. The default I/O plates will depend on popularity

@Enamel_32 , You bring up a good point about the power button. This is included in my process and I think I"ll be offering an optional keycap that sits flush with the panel so it cannot be accidentally pressed. With an alternate I/O plate you could potential choose to have a traditional switch that clicks.

Wow this message turned out longer than expected. Hopefully this helps. Like I saide I'll be releasing more content for this case in the next few days with some more images and renders.

Stay safe everyone!!
 

dapperlilsailor

Caliper Novice
Sep 9, 2018
25
28
I did a quick mock-up in SketchUp of the layout within the rough dimensions and I feel like this is perfect for a dual X-flow (alphacool) 240mm custom loop; it would look super clean with minimal effort.

One of the benefits of the PSU layout relative to the other components is that the GPU connecting would be super straightforward, but the 24 pin might be a bit challenging to do cleanly even with custom cables, I'd likely just route them in front of the PSU intake for aesthetics.

Even though there is support for discrete pumps and a res in this design I'll likely still just use a pump/block for the sake of a minimal look and deal with the difficulty of bleeding without the res. Might use a t-line.

Regardless, I'm really excited for this! I've been eyeballing different options for a couple years now and this is the only one that fits my vision and seems to have a strong chance of follow-through. Keep it up!
 
  • Like
Reactions: TaylorChiller

Retrias

Average Stuffer
Sep 28, 2018
77
38
Hey Everyone! Its been a good week. I have been pretty busy and it has been taking a bit longer than expected to work out some design details concerning the more recent feedback. This will be a shorter message since I am still getting some more content ready for the next wave of details and possible changes for you all. I'll just start now by answer some questions.

@NocelCrown , yes the MOQ may be affected by the CNC parts. However, this design direction is overall is even higher quality. This may affect initial price ranges but I'll be fighting to keep my goals the same. Some of you gave some good feedback on what you would be willing to pay for a case like this and I think I can keep within those ranges. I'll let you know as soon as I can when the factories get back to me. I have sourced another place to get this quoted so I have a lot of options.

@Retrias , I am also happy about adding support for mDTX. It will be limited since it naturally takes up more space than mITX. It's good to know there are people in strong aggreement for larger slot gpus (larger than 2.5). For this reason I've deciding to redesign the motherboard and gpu brackets to be modular in both directions. This will be interesting. I've narrowed done some options and the main goal here is to maintain simplicity and leave no room for user error when assembling. This will be the predominant topic for my next content I'll send in a few days.

@Vacceo , I've gone over clearances on the parts you've asked about. Right now mDTX will support one 240/280 (up to 45mm thick, HWlabs only 240: may change depending on what geometric refinement happens), or it will support 2 XSPC TX240/280 radiators with "slim fans" (no thicker than 15mm) with a tight fit. Increasing the length of the case by 2mm would actually do wonders for a layout like this, however I must stay under 20L with the SLATE AQ design.
The FLT and VTX reservoirs from EK could fit but have limitations. FLT must be mounted in the 120/140 spaces in the front and back. If you use a pump combo with this res it will take up space (120) on one of your radiators. It will only work with mDTX if you use it as a standalone res and use a separate DDC pump, (in short, FLT means you would have a max of 3x 120/140 ultra slim rad space). The VTX is an awesome res/pump and with some small tweaks it will fit on the width and length, but the height (at 141mm) will intersect most GPU fitting ports. If I designed a way to move the DDC bracket spot back to take up the space of one of the 120/140 fan areas then it would not intersect (which comes to the same conclusion as the FLT).
(please note that if you use a dual radiator setup it is recommended to use at least one perforated panel and make your rad fans push air outside (this way you won't be recycling air from one rad to the other).
I originally designed this case to use space efficiently with a pump and res separate from each other. Because there are so many products out there it may be impossible for me to accommodate all of them. Right now the most common set is a 50-60mm res tube and a basic DDC pump (62X62 foot). This setup fits very well in this case. If you have any recommendations please let me know.
As for SFX and SFX-L both will fit, I would recommend SFX though since it takes up the least space and thus easier to install. The latest build in the case, which in on my desk, is using an SFX-L from Silverstone. To make it easier for cable management, I trimmed and repinned the GPU cable (not necessary but worth it IMO).
For cable management, there are several anchor tabs I've placed in high traffic areas. The PSU has a unique cable management from other cases in that the routing goes behind the PSU and routes out the bottom. I'm considering designing tabs that follow the columns that support the top and bottom caps. There will be options.

@Tazpr , I'm setting up content in the next few days which will include various ideas for front and back I/O replacements. Included will also be some renders on perforated panels. Two main themes natural alum and dark grey/black.

@thecatar , right now my goal is to provide interchangeable I/O plates. That includes one with space for another DP/HDMI extension. The default I/O plates will depend on popularity

@Enamel_32 , You bring up a good point about the power button. This is included in my process and I think I"ll be offering an optional keycap that sits flush with the panel so it cannot be accidentally pressed. With an alternate I/O plate you could potential choose to have a traditional switch that clicks.

Wow this message turned out longer than expected. Hopefully this helps. Like I saide I'll be releasing more content for this case in the next few days with some more images and renders.

Stay safe everyone!!
I am really waiting how you would do the motherboard bracket part, any consideration in making a solid side panel instead of tempered glass ?
 
  • Like
Reactions: TaylorChiller

Vacceo

Average Stuffer
Mar 17, 2020
76
48
Hey Everyone! Its been a good week. I have been pretty busy and it has been taking a bit longer than expected to work out some design details concerning the more recent feedback. This will be a shorter message since I am still getting some more content ready for the next wave of details and possible changes for you all. I'll just start now by answer some questions.

@NocelCrown , yes the MOQ may be affected by the CNC parts. However, this design direction is overall is even higher quality. This may affect initial price ranges but I'll be fighting to keep my goals the same. Some of you gave some good feedback on what you would be willing to pay for a case like this and I think I can keep within those ranges. I'll let you know as soon as I can when the factories get back to me. I have sourced another place to get this quoted so I have a lot of options.

@Retrias , I am also happy about adding support for mDTX. It will be limited since it naturally takes up more space than mITX. It's good to know there are people in strong aggreement for larger slot gpus (larger than 2.5). For this reason I've deciding to redesign the motherboard and gpu brackets to be modular in both directions. This will be interesting. I've narrowed done some options and the main goal here is to maintain simplicity and leave no room for user error when assembling. This will be the predominant topic for my next content I'll send in a few days.

@Vacceo , I've gone over clearances on the parts you've asked about. Right now mDTX will support one 240/280 (up to 45mm thick, HWlabs only 240: may change depending on what geometric refinement happens), or it will support 2 XSPC TX240/280 radiators with "slim fans" (no thicker than 15mm) with a tight fit. Increasing the length of the case by 2mm would actually do wonders for a layout like this, however I must stay under 20L with the SLATE AQ design.
The FLT and VTX reservoirs from EK could fit but have limitations. FLT must be mounted in the 120/140 spaces in the front and back. If you use a pump combo with this res it will take up space (120) on one of your radiators. It will only work with mDTX if you use it as a standalone res and use a separate DDC pump, (in short, FLT means you would have a max of 3x 120/140 ultra slim rad space). The VTX is an awesome res/pump and with some small tweaks it will fit on the width and length, but the height (at 141mm) will intersect most GPU fitting ports. If I designed a way to move the DDC bracket spot back to take up the space of one of the 120/140 fan areas then it would not intersect (which comes to the same conclusion as the FLT).
(please note that if you use a dual radiator setup it is recommended to use at least one perforated panel and make your rad fans push air outside (this way you won't be recycling air from one rad to the other).
I originally designed this case to use space efficiently with a pump and res separate from each other. Because there are so many products out there it may be impossible for me to accommodate all of them. Right now the most common set is a 50-60mm res tube and a basic DDC pump (62X62 foot). This setup fits very well in this case. If you have any recommendations please let me know.
As for SFX and SFX-L both will fit, I would recommend SFX though since it takes up the least space and thus easier to install. The latest build in the case, which in on my desk, is using an SFX-L from Silverstone. To make it easier for cable management, I trimmed and repinned the GPU cable (not necessary but worth it IMO).
For cable management, there are several anchor tabs I've placed in high traffic areas. The PSU has a unique cable management from other cases in that the routing goes behind the PSU and routes out the bottom. I'm considering designing tabs that follow the columns that support the top and bottom caps. There will be options.

@Tazpr , I'm setting up content in the next few days which will include various ideas for front and back I/O replacements. Included will also be some renders on perforated panels. Two main themes natural alum and dark grey/black.

@thecatar , right now my goal is to provide interchangeable I/O plates. That includes one with space for another DP/HDMI extension. The default I/O plates will depend on popularity

@Enamel_32 , You bring up a good point about the power button. This is included in my process and I think I"ll be offering an optional keycap that sits flush with the panel so it cannot be accidentally pressed. With an alternate I/O plate you could potential choose to have a traditional switch that clicks.

Wow this message turned out longer than expected. Hopefully this helps. Like I saide I'll be releasing more content for this case in the next few days with some more images and renders.

Stay safe everyone!!
Thanks for measuring and the detailed answers! So the dual superslim rad with a mDTX is an option, tight but an option. Well, that sounds excelent as those XSPC rads, according to reviews, actually outperform in low speed some of the best 30mm rads (EK, Alphacool...) and even get on par with HWL GTS at low speeds. Speeds here are the key, as for a setup like that, the noctua 15mm fans are mandatory and those reach up to 1800 rpm, so ideally I´d keep them at 1200 rpm (the speed where the XSPC TX series outperforms other 30mm radiators). If the point is cooling both the CPU and GPU, that should be more than enough and even have some headroom for overclocking (no reason to buy an expensive Crosshair VIII Impact if you´re not overclocking).

For the PSU I thought about going for a Corsair 750W, so that should power the whole setup and keep a reasonable headroom for overclocking. There are 1Kw PSU planned, so I see no point on going SFX-L if you trully need that amount of power (cooling off such amount of energy waste in a classy way is a different story, of course). Speaking of the PSU, this case is a great excuse to order some custom cables so the lenght becomes as small as possible thus making the management easier (standard PSU cables will quite long for a case like this).

The key for this arrangement is getting a pump as compact as compact as possible. Fancy reservoirs and pumps like the Heatkiller or the VTX are too big as they are around 70x70, so you are aiming for something smaller, correct? I don´t know if expanding tall should be an issue (from the images posted, it shouldn´t be) so I have considered options to attach the reservoir to the pump and save the reservoir up top.

Well, I can see a couple options from Barrow and Bykski or a combo of Bitspower (here, here, here). On those cases, if EK decides to sell the VTX by itself, it will just need a swap on the pump itself. Same goes in the case of malfunction of the DDC in case you need to swap it. All the linked products are 62x62 in surface, only hight changes. I tried to provide examples with several inlets/outlets so, due to the position of the pump, you could also set a drain port due to the low position.

Last but not least, what are the exterior measures of the case now in its current shape?
 
Last edited:

Terixko

Cable Smoosher
Jul 11, 2020
9
5
this case with no glass and only aluminium panels is my dream case. do you know if an arctic liquid freezer II 240/280mm (in the19.9L)? have enough clearance (because the tubes come straight out of the cpu block, with the thicker radiator, it can be tricky to fit one in an ITX case.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: TaylorChiller

silsil

What's an ITX?
New User
Jul 28, 2020
1
0
Absolutely beautiful case.
My personal dream case is 15-20L case that can fit CPU+GPU custom liquid cooling with a window that can show off the GPU.
Your case is probably the closest thing that I've seen. Am I missing something or is the case designed for CPU+GPU custom loop?
Also if it is, then I would definitely ask for option to have tempered glass for the GPU side, because I really dig the look of custom water block GPUs.
Really hope this case comes to market!
 

Vacceo

Average Stuffer
Mar 17, 2020
76
48
I went back to the answers about the EK reservoirs and pumps and realized I may have not been clear enough. The FLT reservoir I thought would be mounted on the side of a radiator with this bracket. That should be thinner (with a DDC) than the dedicated space for the pump and may even help with filling, bleeding and emptying the loop.
 

TaylorChiller

Super Magical Detailer
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Oct 10, 2019
57
205
Hey Everyone,
Just want to touch base here and let you all know i'm still working on the next set of content and answers for you. Redesigning the bracket to accommodate different slot thicknesses in a bit more interesting to solve than I thought initially. Each direction i've come up with so far as Pros and Cons. In the end I need to make sure the the assembly experience is best as possible at the best manufacturing price. I've started receiving updated quotations from the factory. We will likely need to make some small changes to hit the price target that is acceptable. Hopefully I can get more updates to you all in the next few days.

As always stay safe everyone!
 

Calamari

Case Bender
New User
Jun 25, 2019
2
1
In the latest upcoming design it could :) I am curious though, what do you feel is a motivating factor for someone to go mDTX vs mITX? (I have my ideas but I'd like to hear others too)
I'd be hoping someone will come out with a Mini-DTX MB with two full single slots in future. I know you can buforcate a single slot right now to 8 & 8 lanes but in future it be nice to have fully supported dual slots in a SFF...
 

Calamari

Case Bender
New User
Jun 25, 2019
2
1
Hey Everyone! Its been a good week. I have been pretty busy and it has been taking a bit longer than expected to work out some design details concerning the more recent feedback. This will be a shorter message since I am still getting some more content ready for the next wave of details and possible changes for you all. I'll just start now by answer some questions.

@NocelCrown , yes the MOQ may be affected by the CNC parts. However, this design direction is overall is even higher quality. This may affect initial price ranges but I'll be fighting to keep my goals the same. Some of you gave some good feedback on what you would be willing to pay for a case like this and I think I can keep within those ranges. I'll let you know as soon as I can when the factories get back to me. I have sourced another place to get this quoted so I have a lot of options.

@Retrias , I am also happy about adding support for mDTX. It will be limited since it naturally takes up more space than mITX. It's good to know there are people in strong aggreement for larger slot gpus (larger than 2.5). For this reason I've deciding to redesign the motherboard and gpu brackets to be modular in both directions. This will be interesting. I've narrowed done some options and the main goal here is to maintain simplicity and leave no room for user error when assembling. This will be the predominant topic for my next content I'll send in a few days.

@Vacceo , I've gone over clearances on the parts you've asked about. Right now mDTX will support one 240/280 (up to 45mm thick, HWlabs only 240: may change depending on what geometric refinement happens), or it will support 2 XSPC TX240/280 radiators with "slim fans" (no thicker than 15mm) with a tight fit. Increasing the length of the case by 2mm would actually do wonders for a layout like this, however I must stay under 20L with the SLATE AQ design.
The FLT and VTX reservoirs from EK could fit but have limitations. FLT must be mounted in the 120/140 spaces in the front and back. If you use a pump combo with this res it will take up space (120) on one of your radiators. It will only work with mDTX if you use it as a standalone res and use a separate DDC pump, (in short, FLT means you would have a max of 3x 120/140 ultra slim rad space). The VTX is an awesome res/pump and with some small tweaks it will fit on the width and length, but the height (at 141mm) will intersect most GPU fitting ports. If I designed a way to move the DDC bracket spot back to take up the space of one of the 120/140 fan areas then it would not intersect (which comes to the same conclusion as the FLT).
(please note that if you use a dual radiator setup it is recommended to use at least one perforated panel and make your rad fans push air outside (this way you won't be recycling air from one rad to the other).
I originally designed this case to use space efficiently with a pump and res separate from each other. Because there are so many products out there it may be impossible for me to accommodate all of them. Right now the most common set is a 50-60mm res tube and a basic DDC pump (62X62 foot). This setup fits very well in this case. If you have any recommendations please let me know.
As for SFX and SFX-L both will fit, I would recommend SFX though since it takes up the least space and thus easier to install. The latest build in the case, which in on my desk, is using an SFX-L from Silverstone. To make it easier for cable management, I trimmed and repinned the GPU cable (not necessary but worth it IMO).
For cable management, there are several anchor tabs I've placed in high traffic areas. The PSU has a unique cable management from other cases in that the routing goes behind the PSU and routes out the bottom. I'm considering designing tabs that follow the columns that support the top and bottom caps. There will be options.

@Tazpr , I'm setting up content in the next few days which will include various ideas for front and back I/O replacements. Included will also be some renders on perforated panels. Two main themes natural alum and dark grey/black.

@thecatar , right now my goal is to provide interchangeable I/O plates. That includes one with space for another DP/HDMI extension. The default I/O plates will depend on popularity

@Enamel_32 , You bring up a good point about the power button. This is included in my process and I think I"ll be offering an optional keycap that sits flush with the panel so it cannot be accidentally pressed. With an alternate I/O plate you could potential choose to have a traditional switch that clicks.

Wow this message turned out longer than expected. Hopefully this helps. Like I saide I'll be releasing more content for this case in the next few days with some more images and renders.

Stay safe everyone!!

Love the molecularity Taylor!

I really like the inclusion of 280mm rad (which roughly equals a 360 for not much more room use).

My $.02 regarding pump / reservoirs. I'm finding lots of builders skipping the res and rather are using a pump block combo (such as the Alphacool Eisbaer LT (Solo) or Swiftech Apogee Drive II) and bleeding it carefully. I'm leaning toward the Apogee which has a stronger pump and needs at least 66mm clearance - so I'd hope the case might support that clearance.

Optimum Tech did a video looking at both pumps / no-reservoir solutions here:
Cheers!

Armando
 
  • Like
Reactions: TaylorChiller

Brude27

Airflow Optimizer
Jun 21, 2018
358
806
I’m a little late to see the major revision changes, but I’m even more impressed than I was before! I’m not a custom loop guy, so the smaller version has me very interested! I’ll be watching this one closely now that there’s a version small enough for my desk! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: TaylorChiller

CarbonPark

What's an ITX?
New User
Aug 22, 2020
1
0
The overall style and front perforated panel looking good. ? But I am curious about how the rear i/o panel will be configured. I am currently connecting 6 usbs, wifi antenna, speaker, microphone, etc. to the back of the main board. How do I connect it when using this case? It would be nice to make a gap or hole to the i/o panel for the cable to pass through.
 

TaylorChiller

Super Magical Detailer
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Oct 10, 2019
57
205
Hey Everyone,
I know this belated. It's because I've been working with a couple different factories with this new design. There are a few hurdles to overcome as this project moves forward. Specifically it's a process of simplifying and refining the design.
I left you guys off at what application I'll be using for accommodating various thickness of gpus. The solution I've decided to go with is to incorporate a slot that can allow the user to move the motherboard bracket side to side by about 10-12mm. This would allow gpu thickness up to 3 slot at the cost of cpu clearance. Especially with the new nvidia gpus this will be very nice.
Also, there will be an optional lower plate swap one can purchase to change the default dual chamber layout to a traditional layout with the gpu connected directly to the motherboard. This will give a lot more options for customization and cooling. After looking at the spacing for this trad layout for the 15.4 L version, it would be possible to use a 280mm rad in the trad layout if you use a pump/block combo. (This is still up for testing and hopefully I can get these benchmarks to all of you soon).
@CarbonPark , as for the rear IO, a lot of people have been asking about this. The end intent is to provide different IO plate options, however the default IO plate will likely have additional through holes for users that need more usb slots and audio etc.
 

thecatar

Efficiency Noob
Apr 30, 2020
5
4
Would the GPU be able to move independent of the motherboard bracket? In other words, is there a way to have more space behind the GPU? Asking because of the new RTX 30 cards obviously.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TaylorChiller