Production Winter One -- 15.6L SFF case, 3090 Support, 3-slot GPUs, dual 280mm radiators, CFD Optimized Design

srekal34

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 1, 2019
132
126
If your 3090 is 60 degrees, then your coolant is around 45 degrees, you are running into territory that is unhealthy for the ddc pump + it's definitely too high for hard tubing - fortunately you are using soft one. But keep an eye out for the pump. My ddc failed after 6 months of running the coolant around 50 degrees.
 

ChorizoNinja

Average Stuffer
Jan 12, 2020
76
98
If your 3090 is 60 degrees, then your coolant is around 45 degrees, you are running into territory that is unhealthy for the ddc pump + it's definitely too high for hard tubing - fortunately you are using soft one. But keep an eye out for the pump. My ddc failed after 6 months of running the coolant around 50 degrees.

I dont know about your case, but we have workstation and racks in the office running with Lainijg DDC-1T 10W pumps that run heatloads of 1200W and water temps on some of them at a constant 55 - 58 degrees on the hotest part of the loop (after GPU) , with ZMT tubing and distilled water without problems for years. The only thing to be sure is that the ddc pumps will clog unless your loop is extremely clean, and wont start up correctly (and that is a common issue).

I stopped using petg tubing years ago because of multiple factors. Temperatures in hot climates can reach levels of 45 degrees liquid temp without an issue...
 

shioume

Chassis Packer
Oct 21, 2019
13
29
It's still the only SFF case with dual-radiator support out there so 🤷‍♂️

Also seems like the issues are entirely due to the manufacturing process. Given that this is an entirely new supply chain I'm honestly surprised more people haven't mentioned similar issues (in fact, has anybody mentioned similar issues yet?).
I received my case late April, and unfortunately, mine also had many imperfections that Optimum Tech mentioned in his review video.
I didn't mention it here because I was too lazy to write feedback, and I also don't like writing negative things.

But here are some of my complaints:

・Unstable GPU mounting
As Ali mentioned in his video, the current GPU mounting method is very unreliable. I much prefer the orthodox screw mounts (like the ones you see in ATX cases).

・GPU not parallel with the case spine
Not a major issue but really triggers my OCD.

・Lack of GPU backplate clearance
I believe this has been mentioned in this thread, but a lot of newer cards and waterblocks have really thick backplates. even 10mm clearance wouldn't be overkill in my opinion.
My Alphacool 3080 WB is being pushed against the riser cable, it's uncomfortable to say the least.

・Lack of clearance in general
This is personal preference, but I wish there were like 3mm extra clearance in all directions. Current design seems to require the smallest specific parts, like Koolance LP fittings. The generic 90 degree fittings That I used on the GPU side touches the side panel, and causes the panels to bulge out and rattle.
With the amount of cables that need to run above the bottom fan (for the pump, RGB cables, PCIE cables etc), enough clearance for a fan grill for bottom fans would also be a godsend in my opinion.

・Pump bracket design
For this maybe I'm just stupid, but I seriously don't understand what sort of pump/res this bracket was designed for.
It's way too small to hold any pump/res reliably, and the cutouts seem meaningless (I bought two pumps and neither fit the pattern).
In the end I went with the ghetto method and double sticky taped the pump to the case front and bracket...
If there is a "correct" way of using this thing, an explanation in the manual would be appreciated.

Now, all in all I'm not too upset.
I joined the Kickstarter acknowledging that the case wasn't going to be perfect, and I think Fouzan did a really good job for his first batch of the company's first product. I mean, at the end of the day the case is usable, despite its imperfections.
I also know how much care and responsibility he took during this project from following this thread/Kickstarter updates. That alone makes me think the $350~ was worth it haha.
If my feedback helps even in the slightest to make future iterations better, that'd be more than great.

(Sorry if the grammar was weird, English is not my first language.)
 

zk2004mb

Trash Compacter
May 23, 2020
53
22
I dont know about your case, but we have workstation and racks in the office running with Lainijg DDC-1T 10W pumps that run heatloads of 1200W and water temps on some of them at a constant 55 - 58 degrees on the hotest part of the loop (after GPU) , with ZMT tubing and distilled water without problems for years. The only thing to be sure is that the ddc pumps will clog unless your loop is extremely clean, and wont start up correctly (and that is a common issue).

I stopped using petg tubing years ago because of multiple factors. Temperatures in hot climates can reach levels of 45 degrees liquid temp without an issue...
I highly recommend you to test your flow rate. 280gts is a very restrictive rad. Not to mention you only run one DDC at 1700rpm
 

ChorizoNinja

Average Stuffer
Jan 12, 2020
76
98
I highly recommend you to test your flow rate. 280gts is a very restrictive rad. Not to mention you only run one DDC at 1700rpm
After doing this for more than 15 years, to the point of using pumps designed for fish water tanks, let me tell you than something in the realm of 80L/h and above is more than enough flowrate, and after 150L/h you are just creating noise, between them there is only like 2C difference. The ddc at that minimum speed can do it without a problem with 2 blocks and 2 GTS 280, even at 1200 rpm with a MCP50x (swiftech variant with better rpm control).

Again, there is people that like water temps as close to ambient to score the last MHz. I like silence, and my setup is silent, temps are under control, and you cant hear it. I run a louqe s1 the same way for 2 years with an apogee ii (which gets hotter on the pump) just changing the 280gts for 240gts, same pump settings, no problem, and that pump is in the winter one now without the apogee.
 

mxj1

Cable-Tie Ninja
Sep 13, 2020
179
450
couple new trinkets for the case:

Pass through assembly





Bracket to hold the quadro and farbwerk

 

WinterCharm

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Jan 19, 2019
420
1,896

Update #25 - Batch 1 and 2 Updates & a response to the OT Review

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The Optimum Tech Review

First, I want to say thank you to Optimum Tech for reviewing Winter One. Below is a list of issues he identified and how we are addressing them.

1. Side Panel Tolerances
We are re-tolerancing the panels for B2. The tolerances were made looser for easier sliding in, but in some cases they're just a bit too loose.

2. Anodizing Mismatches
We had to swap a damaged panel and GPU bracket on the returned LTT review unit with a pre-production panel and bracket. Because these parts were anodized separately in Pre-Production, the anodization did not match.

3. GPU Mounting
We have made design changes to the GPU tab for better GPU mounting.

4. Rear I/O?
This mismatch was caused by an issue with certain motherboards having holes that are out of tolerance with the Standoffs. (I have the same B550i Aorus board in my build). The angled plate on the back causes 1 of the holes to slide onto a standoff, which misaligns the I/O plate by tilting it out of the way. Nylon Washers are included to resolve this issue in all affected units. We previously discussed this issue in Update #19.

5. Cooling Performance
We hope that Ali will consider doing a dual radiator loop in this case, as its true thermal performance will not be revealed until this takes place. However, we understand time constraints and what his viewers ask for takes precedence. For those of you looking for an independent take on the thermal performance in this case, with a dual 280 custom loop, check out Matique's Review on Reddit.

--------------


Batch 1 Update:

  • The production run has been completed.
  • Batch 1 parts from the missing shipment are in transit.
  • We’re waiting on the parts to get stateside. Only QC and shipping remain.
To those of you who've been patiently waiting for Batch 1, the missing shipment delayed things more than expected. I'm sorry that happened, as getting anything re-done takes a lot longer due to global supply chain constraints.

--------------

Batch 2 Update:

Earlier this year, we responded to the LTT review by lowering the price of Winter One. I understand the case is still out of reach for many. Metal prices are very high right now, leaving us without room to adjust the price further, without a major redesign.

We are still moving forward with Batch 2, delivering later this year. However, as a result of the metal pricing issues, and the lower than expected uptake of the case preventing us from hitting economies of scale needed to offer color varitions and other things, Batch 2 will be the final batch of Winter One.


Additional Batch 2 Parts will be made available (such as extra panels) if you’d like to add them to your order. We've gotten a lot of messages requesting this, and have decided to manage this by opening an accessories section of the store.

--------------

What Happens After Batch 2?

After Batch 2, Winter Design will take a hiatus to work on new ideas. In the future, we'll design our cases around lower prices, while still delivering the quality we are known for.

As always, we’re incredibly thankful to everyone who has supported us. All of your feedback, support, and comments have been awesome, and enabled us to make an incredible SFFPC case.
 

WinterCharm

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Jan 19, 2019
420
1,896
I have yet to receive mine, but this does not bode well. The panel fitment and anodizing issues seem pretty substantial, and the slop in the GPU is surprising. For the first time, I'm second-guessing backing this project.

I agree that the panel fitment and anodising issues are a major no-go. I am sure there will be improvements in B2 thou. Glad I got B2.

The nature of making something is that some issues are hidden until you do a large scale run, and then they surface. We are re-tolerancing the panels for B2 as a result. If an issue shows up 5% of the time, you need to run 20 prototypes, and maybe 1 of them will have it (if you're lucky, as is the nature of statistics). For Winter One, we ran a total of 6 prototypes. And resolved all the issues we could see. However, B1 inevitably surfaced a few more issues, that we are doing our best to resolve. In this case, the side panel tolerance needs adjusting.

Anodization mismatch is a non-issue -- as explained in my response to the OT review, I had to replace one of the panels and the GPU bracket on the case with a pre-production version, because the LTT review unit came back slightly damaged. All the other anodizing matched as a result.

this is just my inference of his comments in the video, also factor in previous videos and builds - he can't be bothered to do a full custom loop because W1 does not make his shortlist of potential housing for his permanent build
  • M1 and T1 were housing his main build for certain time period - multiple videos, multiple loops with different components and upgrades
  • Meshlicious was a main build candidate - couple of videos and 1 bad ass hardline loop
  • C4 is going to get loop only because it's so similar to the M1 that I think that he thinks it can be a replacement/sidegrade, plus the temps in his testing were not really satisfactory so he wants to try dual 280-rad.
  • W1 not even in the list due to various reasons listed out in the video - majority of which you're addressing in B2. But IMO his biggest issue is the visual of the vent holes. The side panel is the first thing you look at when the case is on the desk and if it's not catching your eyes then that's that. And now the price tag comes in again as that set the initial expectation so high that when the case is not perfect the letdown is real.
hopefully you can keep improving the case with later batches and revisions. W1 is on the right track, just need to keep moving forward

Thanks for the feedback and kind words.

Yes. I’d rather have mine shipped in the second batch. I don’t want my gpu hanging off the pci-e slot.

The GPU bracket is being redesigned to address / fix this. OT was made aware of this in our communications. He simply didn't bother mentioning it.

I agree with this. It is unfortunate that there was no solid side panel build tested in this review. One of the major selling points of this case for me was the ability to keep enthusiast parts cool with minimal noise when using the solid panel option.

It would have been nice if he asked us to do that, but he didn't even bother creating a loop in the case.

Think the SPK will change that equation for users of the case but it seems like it will come at a high cost too

SPK is likely not going to happen at this point... not enough sales volume to justify the tooling required. It would be impractically expensive for the fraction of W1 buyers who actually wanted it. The price would turn them off from even considering it. Perhaps when we release a redesigned case in the future, the SPK can become a reality.

I'm hoping Batch 2 has addressed all those concerns. Hopefully their response this week will squash any regards but we shall see.

We have made changes to B2 to address these issues. You can read the specifics of this in Update #25.

It's still the only SFF case with dual-radiator support out there so 🤷‍♂️
Edit: (legitimately) thanks for the corrections people. I should have specified dual 280 rads.

Also seems like the issues are entirely due to the manufacturing process. Given that this is an entirely new supply chain I'm honestly surprised more people haven't mentioned similar issues (in fact, has anybody mentioned similar issues yet?).

With the first run of any product, and the way statistical distributions work on things like tolerances, and rare errors, running 6 prototypes gave us a chance to identify issues with an incidence rate of 15% or more. Rarer issues are usually not uncovered until a larger production run. There have been a few of those, and the ones that were discussed, we have already acknowledged earlier in this thread and/or issued fixes.

Large companies avoid this by doing a "scaled pre production run". A small company like Winter Design, with limited resources is generally not capable of doing something like this, though we did elect to run 6 prototypes (as much as we could afford at the time).

Of course, this case ticks all the boxes I want but if QC is subpar, then it makes it less worth the price it demands. It should be near perfect with the anodizing color match, gpu slot fitting, panel rattle, etc.

Some issues just don't show up until you do a larger run. The nature of manufacturing is that it is inexact. No matter how tight or loose a tolerance, the upper and lower bounds of that measurement sit on a natural distribution curve. Sometimes, the worst tolerances on two parts (both in the bottom 5% range for example) add up to cause panel rattling, or bowing... We do our best to avoid these issues by matching the parts differently.

I’m seriously having buyers regret after seeing the the OT video. So far my experience with this Kickstarter has not been great.

Sold my T1 cause I was told my case would ship 2nd week of April, but that didn’t happen. Then I was told it was going to ship the following week.., well that never happened. Then parts were lost by the courier to complete the rest of batch 1. At this point I have no idea when I will get the case.

The reminder of B1 is en-route, now. The production run has been completed, and we're waiting on those parts to arrive before we can send the case out.

@WinterCharm Is there any plans to gave the improvements for the IO Plate for owners of the 1st batch, even if we need to pay for them?

We plan to make the revised GPU mounting part available as an accessory.
 

optimumtech

Cable Smoosher
Apr 23, 2018
12
95
Anodization mismatch is a non-issue -- as explained in my response to the OT review, I had to replace one of the panels and the GPU bracket on the case with a pre-production version, because the LTT review unit came back slightly damaged. All the other anodizing matched as a result.

Just want to make it clear to readers here that it was my understanding that this was a completely fresh sample. WinterCharm even processed a receipt for the case, which would suggest exactly that. I had no reason to assume that this sample was from LTT - that is not normal practice for a case review.

The GPU bracket is being redesigned to address / fix this. OT was made aware of this in our communications. He simply didn't bother mentioning it.

This I apologise for, as you did mention the GPU bracket fixes for batch 2 in an e-mail attachment. I missed this, and assumed that what I was reviewing was going to be the final product (as is usually the case). Still, the fact that this is what Batch 1 users received is pretty poor imo.

It would have been nice if he asked us to do that, but he didn't even bother creating a loop in the case.
I can only review what you send me, those solid panels were not sent. Also, I'm pretty sure it was clear that I was going to do a review first, then custom loop second. This gives me a chance to first evaluate the case and understand it. Btw, saying that I 'didn't even bother creating a custom loop' comes across as very entitled. Custom loops require significant time and money, and to think that I owe you that just because you sent me a case is insane.

It's unfortunate to see that Winter One will be discontinued after Batch 2, but it is exactly the reason why I have stopped reviewing small run, expensive, group buy cases, and why I didn't want to review this case pre-launch.
 

WinterCharm

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Jan 19, 2019
420
1,896
Just want to make it clear to readers here that it was my understanding that this was a completely fresh sample. WinterCharm even processed a receipt for the case, which would suggest exactly that. I had no reason to assume that this sample was from LTT - that is not normal practice for a case review.

I want to make it clear to everyone that this one is my mistake. I thought I'd mentioned this to him, and after going through our entire email chain, I cannot find it. (we discussed this privately and he re-iterated this is not standard for reviews). So, yes, I want to state that this is NOT normal for a review unit / and just an unexpected byproduct of me being new to the review process with creators. Just for context, I come from the medical device world where this is standard practice (trade show and conference demo units are not implant ready, and are often passed around and refreshed b/w conferences). So this one is a mixup of context on my part.

This I apologise for, as you did mention the GPU bracket fixes for batch 2 in an e-mail attachment. I missed this, and assumed that what I was reviewing was going to be the final product (as is usually the case). Still, the fact that this is what Batch 1 users received is pretty poor imo.

Totally fine, bud. And agreed - the GPU bracket issue is one that was quickly brought up and acknowledged for B1. We'll be making the fixed bracket available for all B1 case users, alongside finishing out the B2 orders.

I can only review what you send me, those solid panels were not sent. Also, I'm pretty sure it was clear that I was going to do a review first, then custom loop second. This gives me a chance to first evaluate the case and understand it. Btw, saying that I 'didn't even bother creating a custom loop' comes across as very entitled. Custom loops require significant time and money, and to think that I owe you that just because you sent me a case is insane.

The way that sounds is not at all how I intended it to come across in my head. Obviously, the custom loop video has to come later if the audience asks for it, and it seemed that reception in the comments was not strong enough to warrant putting the time / effort / money into it, and as a reviewer, the video has to make an ROI.

As for solid panels, that's totally fair, but brings up a question that I have for you

Winter One, as a case, only allows you to buy one panel type. When we run future cases, would it make more sense to send you 1 unit with each configuration as someone would get in a retail package? or would you prefer a reviewer's kit with all the configurations, even if that wasn't available for purchase? Or would you prefer that you get 2 packaged cases in separate configurations?

-----------

It's unfortunate to see that Winter One will be discontinued after Batch 2, but it is exactly the reason why I have stopped reviewing small run, expensive, group buy cases, and why I didn't want to review this case pre-launch.

Totally fair. Thanks again for taking the time to review the case and build in it. As always, it's a pleasure to see you drop into the thread and post something.

Also, your feedback will allow us to make even better cases in the future, and that's something I look forward to :)
 

mxj1

Cable-Tie Ninja
Sep 13, 2020
179
450
What’s your thought on this trinket?
Fine... but using the pci retention bracket in the case willl prove troublesome. i designed this i/o so that it could securely hold the case. I was using the watercool pass through and it worked, but it would slide around (even with metal hard tubing in the loop).



i have 2 extra sets of these pass through plates. pm me if youre interested. you'll be surprised at the cost... in a good way :D
 
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frio

Cable Smoosher
Apr 26, 2021
8
18
Sorry to hear it's the end of the road for a while; happy to hear the GPU brackets should be independently available, and I'm glad I managed to get my order in on Kickstarter when I did. All the best for your next product :). I see another expensive niche product (the Keyboardio Model 01s) are back on Kickstarter (now as the Model 100) after a multi-year hiatus -- and have instantly hit their goal, so, the future is probably pretty bright.
 

WinterCharm

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Jan 19, 2019
420
1,896
It's unfortunate to see that Winter One will be discontinued after Batch 2, but it is exactly the reason why I have stopped reviewing small run, expensive, group buy cases, and why I didn't want to review this case pre-launch.

Glad to hear this! Wishing you better success in the future.

Sorry to hear it's the end of the road for a while; happy to hear the GPU brackets should be independently available, and I'm glad I managed to get my order in on Kickstarter when I did. All the best for your next product :). I see another expensive niche product (the Keyboardio Model 01s) are back on Kickstarter (now as the Model 100) after a multi-year hiatus -- and have instantly hit their goal, so, the future is probably pretty bright.

Winter Design will make more cases in the future. I'd very much like to keep making at least one line of cases designed for water cooling, as it's still not a well-served side of the SFF market. And we will continue to use CFD to design cool and quiet cases... One thing I wish I had been able to demonstrate better is *how* CFD makes the case more quiet and gives you better airflow, but it's very hard to do that unless someone does detailed benchmarking with comparable hardware in a configuration that was actually CFD optimized (Winter One was optimized for purely air cooled and purely water cooled (dual rad builds).

Hopefully, in the future, this case is evaluated in a way that shows off its specific strengths. I may consider sending reviewers a full kit of watercooling parts / fittings / etc to make this possible.

I think it does make sense to put together a reviewer's kit for our future cases, as a way to offset the typical cost of doing a custom loop in a case.

-------------

The hiatus is just for us to re-evalute how we design and make future cases. Between the flaws in Version 1.0-1.2 (as OT rightly pointed out, this is our first case) and the high price due to the CNC methods and machining and larger size / material requirements the price is high.

Most cases that are the "mainstay" of today's SFF market (NCase M1, FormD T1, Dan A4) were not perfect in their first-ever iterations. But the creators stuck to the general design, and continued to improve their cases to make each generation better and better.

I don't see any reason to stop, especially when many of the users of this case have given me so much positive feedback about the case. For many people, this is an Endgame case, and for many others this is the first SFF case they've been satisfied with, despite the flaws.

I think there's something here worth iterating on, so that's what we'll be doing.

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PS: A few people reached out about missing the June deadline. The store is open again for another 24 hours, if *anyone* wants a Winter One case, **now is the time** :)

The store will re-open in a few weeks to sell:
  • Pump Brackets
  • GPU Bracket Revision (for anyone with a B1 case)
  • Some B-stock Black Perf or Solid Side Panels (A few have asked for extras)
  • Some B-stock Black End Plates
  • Extra Foot Washers
  • PCIE Slot Covers
  • Extra Silver Solid / Perf panels​
Later on, we will list a few remaining Winter One cases (Extras and B-stock).
 
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evadne

Trash Compacter
Jan 15, 2020
45
47
@WinterCharm I think there is an antidote to this whole madness. Make your own videos including a full build, and information on airflow & thermals. Provide your own control group, do your own marketing and let the product sell itself. If any reviewer wants a sample, then make them buy it from you at retail prices.

Each custom loop is different, that is why it is called “custom”.

From what I can see the product is very good, but it is 100% a niche product and will not appeal to folks who want to spend the equivalent of a NR200. The manufacturing bottleneck also remains unaddressed. Your target audience is somebody who can drop $5k on a custom loop with a 5950x/3090, it is a small market. The issue with manufacturing delays is unfortunate, but you must persevere… Good luck!
 

WinterCharm

Master of Cramming
Original poster
Jan 19, 2019
420
1,896
@WinterCharm I think there is an antidote to this whole madness. Make your own videos including a full build, and information on airflow & thermals. Provide your own control group, do your own marketing and let the product sell itself. If any reviewer wants a sample, then make them buy it from you at retail prices.

Each custom loop is different, that is why it is called “custom”.

From what I can see the product is very good, but it is 100% a niche product and will not appeal to folks who want to spend the equivalent of a NR200. The manufacturing bottleneck also remains unaddressed. Your target audience is somebody who can drop $5k on a custom loop with a 5950x/3090, it is a small market. The issue with manufacturing delays is unfortunate, but you must persevere… Good luck!

That is the plan, eventually. One issue I have right now Is waiting for water blocks and stuff to arrive, as I plan to water cool my own build for exactly this reason.