What can you do with 20lts?

theGryphon

Airflow Optimizer
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Jun 15, 2015
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That's the motto of this proof-of-concept project! :D

It's not finished, but I think I'm close.
I'll share a few pics for the talks to get going. :)

Pictured: 280mm rad (312mm actual). 10.5" GPUs. 190mm PSU.







So, what can it do? Can it run Crysis? :p

Here are some specs:
Height: 333 mm
Depth: 343 mm
Width: 175 mm
Volume: 19.988 lt


Maximum motherboard size: 12 x 13"
(Yup, this thing can handle 2P boards!)

PCI slots: 8
(Ooh yeah!)

ATX PSU with virtually any length. 200mm or less would be recommended. 190mm pictured.

Here are a few builds possible in this case:

Build 1: EATX Multi-GPU Monster
Motherboard: EATX sized, single CPU
GPU Cards: (GPU cooling is helped with 2 x 120mm fans on the side)
Option a) 4 x SLI or Crossfire, in which case, CPU can be cooled with a 280mm AIO cooler on the front. Drives: 4 x 2.5" (up to 9.5mm), or 2 x 2.5" and a slim ODD.
Option b) 2 x each 120mm AIO cooled (on the front), in which case, CPU can be cooled with a 240mm AIO cooler on the top. Drives: 4 x 2.5" (up to 9.5mm), or 2 x 2.5" and a slim ODD.
Option c) 3 x SLI or Crossfire. CPU can be cooled with a 140mm AIO cooler on the front (bottom). Drives at bottom: 4 x 2.5" (up to 9.5mm), or 2 x 2.5" and a slim ODD. Drives on top: 2 x 3.5", or 4 x 2.5", or 1 x 3.5" and 2 x 2.5".


Build 2: 2P Workhorse/Cruncher
Motherboard: 2P LGA 2011, Xeon CPUs
CPU Cooling: Each with a 120mm AIO on the front
GPU Cards: (GPU cooling is helped with 2 x 120mm fans on the side)
Option a) 4 x SLI or Crossfire (with supporting 2P motherboards). Drives: 4 x 2.5" (up to 9.5mm), or 2 x 2.5" and a slim ODD.
Option b) 1 x 120mm AIO cooled on top. Drives at the bottom: 4 x 2.5" (up to 9.5mm), or 2 x 2.5" and a slim ODD. Plus 2 x 2.5" on top. Opens up 3 PCI slots for other cards.
Option c) Experimental. 2 x 120mm AIO, one on top, second one on an additional bracket. Possible only with short enough cards. Fury X can be doable.


What's left to do? From easy to hard, I think.
  1. Top bracket. Hole pattern for component attachment, etc.
  2. Perforations on the top and sides. Pattern needs to be decided.
  3. Front IO. Challenge is space. Duh. Should be doable with appropriately selected components. Need a supply chain study for what's available.
  4. Front + top panels with be single piece. Front is tough. Challenge is aesthetics. There is about 6mm opening on the sides for air traffic. May not enough, so it may need perforations.
  5. Side panels, how they attach... Industrial design with thumbscrews? Or, magnets on sides with screws on the back?


So, what do you guys think? ;)
 
Last edited:

Phuncz

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May 9, 2015
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It seems like a beast with four GPU's, be sure to budget space for a pump and reservoir (including mounting) as this seems to be a regular oversight.
Is this a case for yourself or do you want to bring it to the world ? Because this might end up making a lot of difference for the choices you still have to make.
 

iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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I like it, but the concern about pump and res space is pretty valid. If you factor in the cabling, there's not going to be a lot of space for that.
It also seems that with most GPUs you wouldn't be able to use the side mount for the radiator because that would block the PEG power connectors. If the Fury cards that were shown are the final layouts, that wouldn't be a problem for those, but I guess you don't want to make a case for such a small set of cards, right?
Don't know much about watercooling, but isn't 4x120mm a bit undersized for 4 GPUs and a CPU?
Other than that, I'm very interested to see how it turns out :)
 
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rawr

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Mar 1, 2015
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Don't know much about watercooling, but isn't 4x120mm a bit undersized for 4 GPUs and a CPU?
I don't think you're meant to watercool your cards when you've got four of them:
Option a) 4 x SLI or Crossfire, in which case, CPU can be cooled with a 280mm AIO cooler on the front. Drives: 4 x 2.5" (up to 9.5mm), or 2 x 2.5" and a slim ODD.
Doesn't say anything about watercooling the cards; you're probably meant to just run them on air.
 

iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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I don't think you're meant to watercool your cards when you've got four of them:

Doesn't say anything about watercooling the cards; you're probably meant to just run them on air.

Ah ok, that makes more sense. So the idea will be to aircool the cards and use an AIO for the CPU. That also alleviates the pump + res concern.
 

WiSK

Water Cooling Optimizer
May 10, 2015
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Don't know much about watercooling, but isn't 4x120mm a bit undersized for 4 GPUs and a CPU?

Can be done. For the GPUs it will be fine. Very likely to keep them 20-30C under what they would be if aircooled in a stack like that.
The trouble comes with the CPU having the heat from 4 GPUs running past it. It won't throttle at stock clocks, though.
 
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Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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That'd be quite a beast of a rig :D

Basic layout looks sound, a few details I noticed:
  • PSU looks too close to the GPUs, so I'd get rid of the raised floor and lower the PSU, you'd lose the ODD but it would give more room for front rads
  • Side bracket jog needs to be deeper to allow for the screws to clear the side panel
  • Try as you may, expect the size to go up a liter or two or three as the realities of manufacturing kick in
SketchUp sucks at vent patterns so I'd either use a placeholder 2D pattern or do that last.
 

theGryphon

Airflow Optimizer
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Jun 15, 2015
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Thanks for the comments guys!

I was referring to All-In-One (AIO) liquid coolers, not full-blown liquid cooling systems with pumps and reservoirs.
That said however, I believe a pump can fit at the bottom between the rad and a moderately sized PSU, and a reservoir can be installed on the outside at the back along the PCI slots.

The case can hold a 280mm and a 240mm rad (both with fans) at the same time while leaving a bunch of PCI slots to be used for GPUs. Depending on the motherboard and the thickness of the rad+fan assembly on top, that can mean 2 to 4 GPUs with waterblocks on them.

For the length of the cards, the total clearance for the card+rad+fan is 332mm. That means 10.5" cards should fit with no problems with regularly sized fan+rad. Longer cards would need slim fans on the rad.

For reference-height GPUs, the clearance on the side (including the shown side bracket) is 40.5 mm. With a 25mm thick fan, that leaves 15.5 mm to fit the power cable in. Tight but doable with slender cables. A slim 120mm fan on that side would help accommodate thicker cables and/or taller cards.

All GPU cards that come with an AIO solution should fit with side fans without any issues.
Aftermarket AIO kits from Corsair and EVGA should also pose no problems.
Only NZXT's Kraken G10 would forfeit the side fans.
 

theGryphon

Airflow Optimizer
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Jun 15, 2015
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That'd be quite a beast of a rig :D

Basic layout looks sound, a few details I noticed:
  • PSU looks too close to the GPUs, so I'd get rid of the raised floor and lower the PSU, you'd lose the ODD but it would give more room for front rads
  • Side bracket jog needs to be deeper to allow for the screws to clear the side panel
  • Try as you may, expect the size to go up a liter or two or three as the realities of manufacturing kick in
SketchUp sucks at vent patterns so I'd either use a placeholder 2D pattern or do that last.

I did my best to consider manufacturing realities by leaving clearances between the panels, at bends, etc. It's not a very simple model where I slap everything flush with each other.

The motto is what you can do with 20lts, so increasing the volume is out of the equation.

Something I realize I never said is that the case is using a 20-gauge steel (1.016mm thickness), just like Nova.

On the side panel, the fans would be installed with fan screws which are flathead. Then, thin, magnetized filters would sit on top. I was thinking about Silverstone's 120mm filters (FF123B), which are 1.5mm thick. Demciflex filters are thicker. I would need to make the jog 1mm deeper to accommodate them.

There is approximately 7.5mm between the bottom GPU and the PSU (not counting any backplates). Considering the side fans, I believe it should be fine. PSU will have it's own large fan to take care of it anyway, so I'm not concerned about PSU overheating. There will be vents at the back so there should be plenty of airflow around the PSU.

I strongly believe that the raised floor brings a ton of benefits, supporting 4 x 2.5", or ODD + 2 x 2.5", while using the topside for GPUs and rads.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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I did 20 gauge out of weight considerations. If that's not a big emphasis I'd go with 18 gauge because you won't have to be as careful about reinforcing everything.

The side bracket for instance would be too flexible without flanges along the length of it to stiffen the bracket.
 

theGryphon

Airflow Optimizer
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Jun 15, 2015
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^ Adding flanges is not a problem, but I like the idea of a stronger case. I'll do that. 18 gauge galvanized, it is :)
Considering the coating, I'll use 1.32 mm.
 

theGryphon

Airflow Optimizer
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Jun 15, 2015
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Yeah, I was.
I guess the specific material and its thickness would be decided through discussions with the manufacturer.

About the strength, I wasn't actually concerned with 20 gauge, since the case is quite small.

Even the side bracket... It's not a structural part, and all it has to carry is two 120mm fans. But I'll add those flanges, for sure :)

A prototype would definitely help decide on these...
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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It is small but practically every inch of if will be filled with hardware :p

For the side bracket, once the fans are attached it'll be fine, but it will be fairly easy to bend the bracket with 20 gauge and no flanges since the metal narrows down so much.
 

theGryphon

Airflow Optimizer
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Jun 15, 2015
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It is small but practically every inch of if will be filled with hardware :p

For the side bracket, once the fans are attached it'll be fine, but it will be fairly easy to bend the bracket with 20 gauge and no flanges since the metal narrows down so much.

You're right :D
 

theGryphon

Airflow Optimizer
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Jun 15, 2015
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I have a question:

Currently, the bottom panel/bracket is a separate piece from the main frame (which is consisted of the front, motherboard side and back).
Question is, can it be made a part of the main frame, with a fold under the motherboard?
I mean, you can easily draw it, but I was concerned about manufactureability. Would it be doable?

Current:


Proposed (from an older draft, the whole thing is a single piece folded sheet):
 

KSliger

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May 8, 2015
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Both options are something that could be made, I would need dimensions on the older draft in order to tell you absolutely yes or no.
 

4RTEX

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Feb 24, 2015
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It's by all means doable as long as the top tool on press is tall enough to reach the two bends that you have on first image. It only means that you put one bend on one side of the tool and the other bend on the other side of the tool. If your shop has got fingers (top tool extension) long enough to reach this distance, it should be ok.

 

veryrarium

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 6, 2015
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Nice project theGryphon, at first the layout looked quite simple and not much of a surprise to come up with, but the further I looked into this the more I appreciate the amount of thoughts you have injected. Just a few questions I'd like to ask.
Height: 333 mm
Depth: 343 mm
Width: 175 mm
Maximum motherboard size: 12 x 13"
Build 2: 2P Workhorse/Cruncher
Motherboard: 2P LGA 2011, Xeon CPUs
CPU Cooling: Each with a 120mm AIO on the front
For the length of the cards, the total clearance for the card+rad+fan is 332mm. That means 10.5" cards should fit with no problems with regularly sized fan+rad. Longer cards would need slim fans on the rad.
I suppose you have worked this out already, but I'm curious in which orientation the two 120mm rads (of, say, 27mm in thickness) will be mounted on the front in case of the DP Xeon+SLI setup. I'm guessing the side with inlet/outlet must face up and face down for the upper and the lower rads respectively to avoid colliding with an E-ATX/SSI-EEB board, but how do you route the tubes of the upper rad when you actually use 10.5" GPUs in SLI? Roughly 13mm of space between the GPU and the rad+ fan combo, and I believe you have to consider extra space where the tubes come out of the inlet/outlet shaping a round curve around the 25mm thick fan if they were to go through that space. Or do you visualize the tubes getting tucked away to go by the side of the GPUs right from the inlet/outlet? Or am I wrong on the assumption of the orientation of each of the front rads?
Slightly less concerns are: (2) if the lower rad is cleared of the latches of the DIMM slots that are very close to the front end of the board, and (3) if there is enough space at the top for the upper rad to accommodate the extra length outside of the 120x120 square shaped fin area. Without knowing the exact measurement of the location of those mounting cutouts on the front panel maybe I'm overconcerned about these points.