Advice TR-40/XL-ATX Airplane Carry-on Build.

vfe

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Feb 9, 2021
14
8
Greetings. As part of a major lifestyle change, I'm going to be traveling extensively, up to twice a month, and my work/hobbies aren't laptop friendly, even for the beefiest laptops. I was referred to these forums as an excellent place for this particular type of discussion šŸ˜€

Requirements:

  • Fits inside a carry-on case.
  • Is 500mm x 230mm x 400mm or less.
  • Support a XL-ATX/TR-40 Motherboard.
    • Specifically an Asus ROG Zenith Extreme II Alpha with a 3990x.
  • Support multiple 3090s or A6000
  • Because of that heat-load, support maximum radiator surface area.
  • Good mounting/clearance areas for a custom loop. CPU/GPU will be water cooled.
    • I plan to just drain it/refill it between destinations.
  • Support a full ATX power supply. The power draw isn't SFX PSU friendly.
    • Already have a EVA 1600w T2

Non - Requirements:
  • No need for areas for additional storage; will only run NVME.
  • Don't care about front-panel or 5.25 drive bay options

Budget: Flexible. No hard limit. I'd prefer a off-the-shelf case. But if a custom built case is truly my best option I'm open to that cost.


For some of the parts, I already have components in my current system, the Motherboard, CPU, GPU, radiators, blocks, PSU, etc. But I'm open to swapping some out if it's something that makes a particular build possible(like if a 1000w/1200w PSU was just small enough for a case but the T2 is too big).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Sliger Cerberus X seems really close to what I'm looking for, but I don't think it's friendly to
  • Because of that heat-load, support maximum radiator surface area.

I'm interested in basically making the best use of the space available to me in this envelope to build a system that isn't going to be a bottleneck to performance.

Since the Cerberus X is quite a bit smaller than my maximum size, is there any other cases that fit this bill? Smaller is better but maximum heat dissipation is the primary goal.

Appreciate any input as I go on this journey!
 

vfe

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Feb 9, 2021
14
8
Well, it actually can fit 2x280mm radiators already.

I saw some conflicting reports on that. Do you happen to know the thickness supported?

The thermal load of the CPU and GPUS in this build need to dissipate about 1000w~ of heat at full load(300+350+350). Assuming medium thickness and 1800rpm of my existing fans, that'd dissipate roughly 800w~

I'm thinking I might need more surface area to pull it off which is why I'm discounting the Cerberus X at least for the moment.
 

vfe

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Feb 9, 2021
14
8
Just exploring, made some quick sketchups of what would basically be "close" to ideal if such a case in these dimensions existed. This is with 3x280mm radiators.

View1
View2
 

vfe

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Feb 9, 2021
14
8
In something similar to that, I could probably remove the bottom radiator, make one a really thick 360mm radiator, and combine it with a 280mm and that could push it just past the performance I think I need.
 

paulesko

Master of Cramming
Jul 31, 2019
395
300
011 mini almost fit everything but itĀ“s 269 wide, not 230 as you state. I donĀ“t know how important this is... but

it supports e-atx
a thick 280 mm rad on the side and slim 360 on the bottom (slim deppending on how many gpus you want to put there)
only supports sfx-l psu but you can use two silverstone sx-l and have 1600 or 2000 wats

A friend of mine needed something like this small to render, and this is the best smallish case I found.
 

riba2233

SFF Guru
SFF Time
Bronze Supporter
Jan 2, 2019
1,035
1,458
www.sfftime.com
011 mini almost fit everything but itĀ“s 269 wide, not 230 as you state. I donĀ“t know how important this is... but

it supports e-atx
a thick 280 mm rad on the side and slim 360 on the bottom (slim deppending on how many gpus you want to put there)
only supports sfx-l psu but you can use two silverstone sx-l and have 1600 or 2000 wats

A friend of mine needed something like this small to render, and this is the best smallish case I found.

I would never call O11 mini "smallish" since it's larger than average case at 43L.
 

paulesko

Master of Cramming
Jul 31, 2019
395
300
I would never call O11 mini "smallish" since it's larger than average case at 43L.
ItĀ“s quite small for what it is. I couldnĀ“t find anything better if you want to cool a threadripper and 3-4 3090. The only thing that comes to mind is cerberus x, but if a pc like that is going to be used as intended you need to watercool those cards, specially the back memories, and you canĀ“t do that in the cerberus. Anyway, it is another very good option.

Obviously itĀ“s not SFF, but take in mind that the cooling requirements for a pc that has so much power, and that is going to be working at a 100% rate for days or weeks is very high. IMO is either this lian li, or a rack type enclosure, but then, noise becomes an issue on that type of layout. Anyway such a powerfull pc with these requirements are not in my sight normally, so maybe there are better options.
 

riba2233

SFF Guru
SFF Time
Bronze Supporter
Jan 2, 2019
1,035
1,458
www.sfftime.com
ItĀ“s quite small for what it is. I couldnĀ“t find anything better if you want to cool a threadripper and 3-4 3090. The only thing that comes to mind is cerberus x, but if a pc like that is going to be used as intended you need to watercool those cards, specially the back memories, and you canĀ“t do that in the cerberus. Anyway, it is another very good option.

Obviously itĀ“s not SFF, but take in mind that the cooling requirements for a pc that has so much power, and that is going to be working at a 100% rate for days or weeks is very high. IMO is either this lian li, or a rack type enclosure, but then, noise becomes an issue on that type of layout. Anyway such a powerfull pc with these requirements are not in my sight normally, so maybe there are better options.

Yeah I see the point, if you need to have 4 350W tdp gpu's then you can't really aim for real SFF.
 

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
2,037
1,944
ItĀ“s quite small for what it is. I couldnĀ“t find anything better if you want to cool a threadripper and 3-4 3090.

Yeah I see the point, if you need to have 4 350W tdp gpu's then you can't really aim for real SFF.


OP said ''The thermal load of the CPU and GPUS in this build need to dissipate about 1000w~ of heat at full load(300+350+350).''
So, it is going to be just two 3090s, rather than three or four 3090s.
 

Gehringerj

X299 Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 1, 2018
18
4
Hi, when budget is no problem:
with quiet a lot of custom work, you could use a cerberus x with a custom Backplate with the AsrockRack ROMED4ID-2T.
Because its deep ITX you could shift the mainboard one or two slots down in the case.
Now it is possible to mount:
- one 240/ 280 in the top of the case
- one 240 in the front
- one 240/ 280 in the bottom
cpu: up to 64 core EPYC
gpu: two or more 3090s (3090 FEs with short PCBs) via PCIE 8x risers from the Slimline Ports (6 Ports on the board) -> with PCIe Gen4 bandwidth is not a problem
psu: little 12V PSU for mainboard (CPU) + SFX PSU for GPUs or Silversone SFX 1000W
io: via one of the Slimeline 8x ports of the board.
NVME ssd: quad nvme card in the 16x PCIe slot or Optane
ram: up to 256gb sticks...

it would be like this:
Comino Grando Test by LTT
Comino disassembly by LTT

yeah i know its kind of crazy but why not....
 

vfe

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Feb 9, 2021
14
8
Some airlines do weigh carry-on bags.

Water coolers, big air coolers, and high wattage PSUs are heavy


Good note. I'll mostly be flying Delta, but for over-seas flights this is definitely something for me to keep in mind, and see if I can keep the weight down.
I think my backup plan would be to disassemble the heaviest parts of it if I have to.

I want to avoid checked baggage for such an expensive system, but I'd be ok with checking in the PSU if I had to as a hypothetical to stay under weight limits.

011 mini almost fit everything but itĀ“s 269 wide, not 230 as you state. I donĀ“t know how important this is... but

it supports e-atx
a thick 280 mm rad on the side and slim 360 on the bottom (slim deppending on how many gpus you want to put there)
only supports sfx-l psu but you can use two silverstone sx-l and have 1600 or 2000 wats

A friend of mine needed something like this small to render, and this is the best smallish case I found.

That's actually a great recommendation!

I know my limits aren't strictly speaking "SFF", but more "As small a form factor as I can make a TR-40 build and not lose performance".

So that case checks almost all my boxes, except it's off in the one dimension that fits the carry-on case.

However, it's total linear dimensions are still less than carry-on baggage limits, so maybe it makes sense to approach this from the other direction. Get a case like that and create a custom bag for it instead. Will be thinking about this approach heavily!

OP said ''The thermal load of the CPU and GPUS in this build need to dissipate about 1000w~ of heat at full load(300+350+350).''
So, it is going to be just two 3090s, rather than three or four 3090s.

Yeah, sorry for the confusion. Just for clarification I'll be using 2 3090s or A6000s which is where I get 1000w~ from.
 

paulesko

Master of Cramming
Jul 31, 2019
395
300
My bad for not reading the post more carefully.

What do you think about air cool the gpus? It would be easy to fit that into a cerberus.
 

vfe

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Feb 9, 2021
14
8
My bad for not reading the post more carefully.

What do you think about air cool the gpus? It would be easy to fit that into a cerberus.

Not really opposed to it as an option. The thing it'd change is I use the other 2 PCI-E slots for 1 slot USB and 1 slot NVME card, and using 2 air cooled GPUs would block at least one of those slots in a way the water blocks don't.

So I'd need to be able to mount those cards somewhere else with a riser, but that's probably do-able in the Cerberus with a custom bracket. That'd get it to fit(though I think performance then of the GPUs is a mild concern)
 

paulesko

Master of Cramming
Jul 31, 2019
395
300
IĀ“ve been looking at pics of the mobo and if you have to use the 4 pci slots, I donĀ“t think we can use the bottom radiator, because there would be a interfierence there (I guess) IĀ“m rtalking about the cerberus. IĀ“ll look for more cases this night and see what we can find.

Also, canĀ“t you use the onboard nvme slots? they have pci-e lanes for them so they should be fast as hell lol

Last thing. We can try to watercool one card and aircool the other depending on how many rads we can use. Maybe that way there can be an extra free pci-e slot. Not a pretty solution, but practical
 

vfe

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Feb 9, 2021
14
8
IĀ“ve been looking at pics of the mobo and if you have to use the 4 pci slots, I donĀ“t think we can use the bottom radiator, because there would be a interfierence there (I guess) IĀ“m rtalking about the cerberus. IĀ“ll look for more cases this night and see what we can find.

Also, canĀ“t you use the onboard nvme slots? they have pci-e lanes for them so they should be fast as hell lol

Last thing. We can try to watercool one card and aircool the other depending on how many rads we can use. Maybe that way there can be an extra free pci-e slot. Not a pretty solution, but practical

I can use them, but I use all of them. 8 NVME drives in total.

I'm not too concerned with prettyness, I'm even thinking about potential solution for maybe an external radiator on the outside of the Cerb. It's so small I could put a beefy rad on top with little modification and still have it fit in that carry-on.

Appreciate yours and everyone's input immensely, this is an interesting challenge at times.
 

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
2,037
1,944
I'm even thinking about potential solution for maybe an external radiator on the outside of the Cerb. It's so small I could put a beefy rad on top with little modification and still have it fit in that carry-on.
I have also thought of suggesting putting the watercooling portion out of the case. An out-of-the-box thinking.
I was going to suggest something like Watercool MO-RA3, whose shape fits with your carry-on size.
But then, the main issue is:- radiators are 'fragile' and can be easily damaged when bumped against, leading to water leakage which is a hassle to deal with when you are on a trip. That is why I thought it is better for them to sit inside the case.
 

paulesko

Master of Cramming
Jul 31, 2019
395
300
but itĀ“s a good idea. just make two holes in the back of the case, two quick disconnects, and fabricate an auxiliar case for a rad + fans.

This is a bit of a silly idea, but you could also buy a sm 550 just to put two 280? rads inside. I havenĀ“t done the math to see if size wise the two cases fit your need but could be an idea. I say it because if you need to use all the pci-e ports of the motherboard is possible that we can only put one rad inside the cerberus X. and with an auxiliar case (itĀ“s overkill, I know) but you have at least matching looks.... just throwing ideas, take this as that.