- Aug 22, 2019
I'm testing the appetite of the market for a SFF design which I am considering manufacturing on a small scale. If it interests you, I'd love to hear your comments in the reply section below or by e-mail at: [email protected]
Introducing the G-Design GD47:
(X-box controller and home cinema system not included)
Why is it so great?
Well, it might not be. At 4.72 litres, the GD47 is an ultra-compact SFF case. However, there are plenty of great cases already available at similar, and even smaller sizes.
What makes the GD47 case different is how the case ventilation works with graphics card and CPU coolers. This has enabled an aesthetically clean design not currently seen among similarly sized SFF cases.
The result: a blank canvas, perfect for users to add their own custom designs and colour schemes. With no ventilation holes or front I/O (to fit in with the aesthetics), the GD47 is ideal for spray painting, laser etching, adhesive decals and possibly vinyl wrapping. Such simplicity makes sanding down to apply a new design incredibly straightforward. Alternatively, the size and design of the GD47 means that it can also be highly discrete if needed. With airflow occurring through the front (intake) and rear (exhaust) of the case only, it can be located in a relatively confined space (see example photos).
The case would be sold either unpainted (bare aluminium) or single colour powder coated. Below are a couple of examples:
Iron Man image: hereApex Legends image: here
Specifications of the GD47 prototype (manufactured product may differ slightly) are as follows:
- Dimensions: 230 x 225 x 90 mm
- Volume: 4.72 litres
- Materials: 2 mm aluminium sheet, joined by steel/aluminium rivets
- Finish: aim to sell either powder coated or unpainted
My current system:
- CPU: Intel i7 6700 (65W TDP)
- Graphics card: Gigabyte 1070 mini (150W TDP)
- Motherboard: Asrock Z270-ITX
- RAM: 16Gb DDR4 2400
- PSU: Seasonic Flex ATX 300W modular
- Storage: 1Tb m.2 SSD.
Performance under stress testing (Furmark + Intel Burn Test): CPU max temp: 79 degrees C, GPU max temp: 73 degrees C, Max noise (measured at 30 cm): 49.3 dBA, Max power draw: 216W (270W with 80% efficiency).
I’m not going to market this as “the ultimate, no compromise SFF case!”. It’s not. As with most SFF cases, performance is limited by space. The GD47 is the result of a series of revisions, adopted according to my specific requirements and taste and factors in certain compromises I have been willing to make. It will not be for everyone. However, as indicated by the specifications of my current system (Intel i7 6700 and nVidia GTX 1070), this should still allow for acceptable gaming performance for many users.
Limitations are as follows:
- Power supply: Limited to by space and to Flex ATX PSU or the HDPLEX 400W HiFi DC-ATX converter and therefore maximum of approximately 400W.
- CPU: Limited by power supply and cooler performance.
- CPU cooling: Limited by internal space (height <30 mm). Blower style 1U cooler strongly recommended.
- Graphics card: limited by internal space to short (<190 mm) dual slot graphics cards and PSU wattage.
- GPU cooling: More details to follow - options to be confirmed following further testing.
- Memory: limited by space to low profile RAM modules only.
- Storage: limited by space to 1 x 2.5 inch drive and m.2 drive (if supported by motherboard).
- Cabling: Limited by space. Effective cable management is essential with customised cabling being recommended for certain builds.
This is something I am particularly keen for comment on. This depends on the scale of manufacture along with other current 'unknowns'. I would initially aim to make the case available for between $/£/€ 150-250 (+ shipping).
If there is sufficient interest (and I have no idea what 'sufficient' is at this stage!), the next steps prior to manufacture would be:
- Revise the case in accordance with any requirements (UK trading standards, compliance with General Product Safety Regulations etc.)
- Minor modifications to current design (remove the need for the 4 external screws on the left panel)
- Further components testing (cooling performance for higher TDP CPUs and graphics card)
- Set up sales website (perhaps sell through eBay initially).
- Probably some businessy stuff.
Comments gratefully received!