Hey, I received my Velka 7 (i think v2.1) with new pcie4 cable yesterday and I have it running now.
EVGA RTX 3080 XC3
Since I did not order the A6-A8Q yet (still tempted to get it) I am using it with the included HDMI extender cable.
I could only get 1024x768 for a while until I realized I can get up to 1920x1080 120hz only once I knock bitdepth down to 8 bit. I am also able to get 2560x1600 60hz. Those are the limits for 4:4:4 it seems. I am able to get 4:2:0 at 4k 120Hz, as well, so this is potentially workable until a solution is found for HDMI 2.1.
Edit: After a bit I was able to get 4k60 8-bit working after all. I swear I tried this before and it didn't work before! Hm. Surprisingly, 4:2:0 isn't really a problem even for text. Wonder whether this is some kind of LG TV magic.
did you ever, or could you, do a test with that cable without a bend in it, without fully installing into the case (requiring lots of bending)? I guess you're testing with a cable that is known to work when used directly...
Actually the main reason I have right now that stops me from cutting a hole for the HDMI is that I don't want to compromise the structural integrity of the top panel since I've got the handle installed. The handle is great by the way. Super solid. Slightly hard to install though.
Anyway this HDMI 2.1 cable issue was expected. As for the overall experience building in the case and overall impression of the case, it is FANTASTIC. I have not built in many other modern ultra SFF cases (e.g. Formd T1) but the space optimization and overall design is mindblowingly good. Not a millimeter wasted anywhere. Really phenomenal design. While I have them fresh in mind, I can offer a few suggestions and notes on what I encountered. These are mainly nitpicks.
- The struts had several not-quite-fully-tapped M3 holes. They were stripping these included zinc screws to varying degrees. It's easy to tell because there is resistance and it clearly scrapes off the material, stripping the black surface finish of the screws. Pretty sure the struts are made of a nice strong stainless steel, so when theyre not completely tapped they gouge up the soft screws no matter how many screws you force into them to try to smooth them out. What I did to address this completely adequately was I happen to have an M3 tap handy and I just carefully went and tapped them, it didnt offer much resistance at all, so very little material was removed, and the screw holes became perfectly good after that. So I would suggest some sort of QA to make sure they get fully tapped (btw it ONLY affected the struts, and not all holes in the struts), and I would also suggest the use of steel or brass screws.
- While the overall unit is unbelievably solid, there is a little bit of flex in the middle. There is nothing really holding the front side of the motherboard tray in place. It is held in place from the back. So there is some flex there. I am not sure how best to deal with this though without ugly stuff like adding a visible screw on the right side panel, so this nitpick is maybe not actually actionable. Maybe some kind of standoff thing. There is a standoff with the 2.5" drive tray (also btw HOLY CRAP there's a way to fit a 2.5" drive in this case and I couldn't even do that with the ZX-1...) but it's not buttressed against anything.
- Relatedly due to the flex in the middle there is a tendency for the motherboard tray to kind of slide off the edge of the PSU. Not really a problem and once I assembled everything this is not a concern. It's a bit finicky because this happens during assembly. A possible fix is to add a slight bit of material to the tray and a small 90 degree bend and lip to push against the PSU instead of just the bare edge pushing against the PSU.
- Incredibly tight fit meant that when I went to plug the 8-pin CPU EPS power space was so tight that it was not going in *because the clip of the power plug needed to push into the PSU in order to clip onto its latch*!!! The workaround was to just apply pressure to the panel of the PSU there and force it in. Wasn't too bad. Boy what a tight fit. Another 0.2mm and I might've needed to loosen the mobo to attach that cable.
- Might be nice to have a ventilated front panel option because I think the GPU needs more help getting cooled
The hot air in that pocket of space has nowhere to go other than being mostly recycled.
I don't believe there exist any more drawbacks. A new version with direct GPU port accessibility would be welcome.
PCIe 4.0 x16 confirmed working with 3DMark bandwidth test.
I'm trying to devise a way to connect my Mellanox network card to the mobo backside M.2 slot. It's going to be a serious challenge to do so, and I'm certain (even though volume actually does exist inside the case... there is clearly no way to provide any sort of port for the fiber to go) I'll have to come up with some setup for that where it's dangling out of the case. It looks like I should be able to use one of the video output port holes to run a pcie ribbon cable through for this use case. Yes it's ugly, but i'll come up with something removable for when the machine is being transported.
I have had to deshroud the XC3 to make it fit. Havent noctua'd it up yet. Temps are high. Note the XC3 card's RGB light plug is impossible to remove because although it is (barely, with tools) accessible, there's no way to remove it because the heatsink blocks it. I ended up detaching the light module from the shroud and just leaving it inside the case buried in the PSU cable nest area.
Initially the GPU fans rubbed against the left side panel, even at their outermost mount position. The solution I used for this was to take i think they're 5mm M2 standoffs and screw them onto the 4 shroud mount posts on that XC3 card. This pushes on the side panel, it still stays flush, and it clears the fans by 1.5mm or so which is quite good. Basically, some light pressure is needed to make the GPU not sag out toward the panel due to internal PSU cable pressure.
When I noctua it up I'm sure the chromax rubber pads would do the same job as here.
Will want to make some sort of duct solution for the GPU cooling. GPU core and memory get quite hot. Will also look into copper shim stuff to replace the thermal pads. Yes, kind of asking for it running GDDR6X in something this small.
Using IS-60 Evo cooler with 120mm fan removed and noctua NF-A9x14 Chromax HS PWM as intake. Cinebench pegs to 90 pretty much instantly on the 5800X3D but that was also expected. I also didn't even do a proper clean paste application. I'm going to switch this out for AXP-90 Copper, and use liquid metal. That combo should yield a measurable improvement. Yeah I don't think I can even get a copper version of the AXP-90 47mm with a nickel-plated coldplate anymore. But I kind of don't care because this needs all the help it can get so I'm planning to go all out.
Adding 40mm fans in places (not sure where yet) seems like could help as well.
The IS-60 bends itself slightly by about 2mm because it doesn't quite clear the primary M.2 tower on my ASUS X570 Strix-I board. So my primary m.2 SSD is literally applying pressure on the HSF bending it upwards. This right side panel still fits on in the lowest position though!
Overall phenomenal case. I'm curious Michael if there is a revision of the case with direct GPU attachment would we be able to order just the panel component? I would probably do that even if it was $50. since it costs $50 to get that cable with redriver (and I worry that that product might not even work since we already have a report here that it does not work).