Log "Zen of Chonk" watercooled ITX vertical PC (<=9.5L)

SFFMunkee

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jul 7, 2021
229
205
Current Competitors
Current competitors (thanks to CaseEnd) are listed below. The most readily-available of these alternatives are probably the SSUPD Meshlicious and ZS ST v1. Other 240mm-supporting cases include the Geeek A70 Pro, Sliger SV540 and Winter One. The latter 2 obviously being boutique designs, so harder to source (and more expensive). The Geeek A70 Pro is new to me, looks like some sort of Meshlicious clone attempt?

To SFF makers/vendors: Are you producing/selling/designing a vertical case that I haven't listed? Please let me know ! :)
Relevant tag-spam (sorry!): @REVOCCASES @Wahaha360 @SammyXXM @dondan @TaylorChiller @AlexTzone @VELKASE Michael @riba2233 @Shatrod @FXPC @Joonst @COOJ @WinterCharm @WH-team @VALKPC @ZombiPL @ZS-Cases @Nouvolo @Lone
  • Have I missed any others currently on the market (or prototyping)?
  • Are there other cases that are regularly modded to fit in with this lot? (Vertical orientation / 240mm rad / full length GPU / SFX power supply)
  • What does the competition offer that you'd like to see? What are the most important differentiators in these cases?
Zen of Chonk (S) (This SFFn thread)
Size163 W x 195 D x 298 H (mm)
PriceTBD - no prototype created, pricing yet to be evaluated
WeightEst. ~3kg with 1.5 - 2.0mm aluminium (5005-H34 / 6061-T5)
Volume9.5L
Type-CYes
PCI-E Slots1
MotherboardITX
Power SupplySFX
Liquid Cooling240mm
CPU Max Height67mm (46mm rad + 25mm fans) - 79mm (30mm rad + 25mm fans)
GPU Max Length295mm

<= 10L volume

VELKASE VELKA 7ZS ST
Size111 W x 177 D x 303 H (mm)134 W x 228 D x 326 H (mm)
Price200$175$
Weight2.1KG2.7KG
Volume6.0L10.0L
Type-CNoYes
PCI-E Slots22
MotherboardITXITX
Power SupplySFXSFX
Liquid CoolingNo240mm
CPU Max Height47mm48mm
GPU Max Length289mm322mm

10L - 14L volume

AKLLA A5 MAXLOUQE RAW S1GEEEK A70 PRONZXT H1
Size155 W x 190 D x 410 H (mm)172 W x 191 D x 379 H (mm)155 W x 253 D x 331 H (mm)188 W x 188 D x 388 H (mm)
Price150$329$90$350$
Weight3.8KG3.2KG-6.5KG
Volume12.1L12.5L13.0L13.7L
Type-CNoYesNoYes
PCI-E Slots2322
MotherboardITXITXITXITX
Power SupplyATX 12VSFX-LSFX-LSFX-L
Liquid Cooling120mmNo240mm120mm
CPU Max Height74mm75mm69mm-
GPU Max Length360mm320mm305mm305mm

14L - 16L volume

SSUPD MESHLICIOUSSLIGER SV540TOTORO MONSTER-01WINTER ONE
Size167 W x 245 D x 360 H (mm)154 W x 247 D x 401 H (mm)200 W x 200 D x 388 H (mm)160 W x 322 D x 302 H (mm)
Price119$249$285$380$
Weight3.7KG-5.2KG1.9KG
Volume14.7L15.3L15.5L15.6L
Type-CYesNoNoNo
PCI-E Slots3323
MotherboardITXITXITXITX
Power SupplyATX 12VSFX-LSFXSFX-L
Liquid Cooling240mm240mmNo240mm
CPU Max Height72mm55mm47mm70mm
GPU Max Length320mm310mm286mm315mm

> 16L volume

AIGODIY YOGA S1WARHEAD DUAL COOL MK IIISLIGER SV590 V2SLATE-CASE AQ
Size175 W x 239 D x 412 H (mm)145 W x 275 D x 445 H (mm)154 W x 247 D x 472 H (mm)179 W x 294 D x 373 H (mm)
Price80$230$259$295$
Weight-1.8KG1.8KG-
Volume17.2L17.7L18.0L19.6L
Type-CYesNoNoYes
PCI-E Slots2233
MotherboardITXITXITXITX
Power SupplySFX-LSFXSFX-LSFX-L
Liquid Cooling240mmNo360mm240mm
CPU Max Height134mm60mm55mm80mm
GPU Max Length320mm380mm390mm325mm
 

WinterCharm

Master of Cramming
Jan 19, 2019
427
1,930
Current Competitors
Current competitors (thanks to CaseEnd) are listed below. The most readily-available of these alternatives are probably the SSUPD Meshlicious and ZS ST v1. Other 240mm-supporting cases include the Geeek A70 Pro, Sliger SV540 and Winter One. The latter 2 obviously being boutique designs, so harder to source (and more expensive). The Geeek A70 Pro is new to me, looks like some sort of Meshlicious clone attempt?

To SFF makers/vendors: Are you producing/selling/designing a vertical case that I haven't listed? Please let me know ! :)
Relevant tag-spam (sorry!): @REVOCCASES @Wahaha360 @SammyXXM @dondan @TaylorChiller @AlexTzone @VELKASE Michael @riba2233 @Shatrod @FXPC @Joonst @COOJ @WinterCharm @WH-team @VALKPC @ZombiPL @ZS-Cases @Nouvolo @Lone
  • Have I missed any others currently on the market (or prototyping)?
  • Are there other cases that are regularly modded to fit in with this lot? (Vertical orientation / 240mm rad / full length GPU / SFX power supply)
  • What does the competition offer that you'd like to see? What are the most important differentiators in these cases?
Zen of Chonk (S) (This SFFn thread)
Size163 W x 195 D x 298 H (mm)
PriceTBD - no prototype created, pricing yet to be evaluated
WeightEst. ~3kg with 1.5 - 2.0mm aluminium (5005-H34 / 6061-T5)
Volume9.5L
Type-CYes
PCI-E Slots1
MotherboardITX
Power SupplySFX
Liquid Cooling240mm
CPU Max Height67mm (46mm rad + 25mm fans) - 79mm (30mm rad + 25mm fans)
GPU Max Length295mm

<= 10L volume

VELKASE VELKA 7ZS ST
Size111 W x 177 D x 303 H (mm)134 W x 228 D x 326 H (mm)
Price200$175$
Weight2.1KG2.7KG
Volume6.0L10.0L
Type-CNoYes
PCI-E Slots22
MotherboardITXITX
Power SupplySFXSFX
Liquid CoolingNo240mm
CPU Max Height47mm48mm
GPU Max Length289mm322mm

10L - 14L volume

AKLLA A5 MAXLOUQE RAW S1GEEEK A70 PRONZXT H1
Size155 W x 190 D x 410 H (mm)172 W x 191 D x 379 H (mm)155 W x 253 D x 331 H (mm)188 W x 188 D x 388 H (mm)
Price150$329$90$350$
Weight3.8KG3.2KG-6.5KG
Volume12.1L12.5L13.0L13.7L
Type-CNoYesNoYes
PCI-E Slots2322
MotherboardITXITXITXITX
Power SupplyATX 12VSFX-LSFX-LSFX-L
Liquid Cooling120mmNo240mm120mm
CPU Max Height74mm75mm69mm-
GPU Max Length360mm320mm305mm305mm

14L - 16L volume

SSUPD MESHLICIOUSSLIGER SV540TOTORO MONSTER-01WINTER ONE
Size167 W x 245 D x 360 H (mm)154 W x 247 D x 401 H (mm)200 W x 200 D x 388 H (mm)160 W x 322 D x 302 H (mm)
Price119$249$285$380$
Weight3.7KG-5.2KG1.9KG
Volume14.7L15.3L15.5L15.6L
Type-CYesNoNoNo
PCI-E Slots3323
MotherboardITXITXITXITX
Power SupplyATX 12VSFX-LSFXSFX-L
Liquid Cooling240mm240mmNo240mm
CPU Max Height72mm55mm47mm70mm
GPU Max Length320mm310mm286mm315mm

> 16L volume

AIGODIY YOGA S1WARHEAD DUAL COOL MK IIISLIGER SV590 V2SLATE-CASE AQ
Size175 W x 239 D x 412 H (mm)145 W x 275 D x 445 H (mm)154 W x 247 D x 472 H (mm)179 W x 294 D x 373 H (mm)
Price80$230$259$295$
Weight-1.8KG1.8KG-
Volume17.2L17.7L18.0L19.6L
Type-CYesNoNoYes
PCI-E Slots2233
MotherboardITXITXITXITX
Power SupplySFX-LSFXSFX-LSFX-L
Liquid Cooling240mmNo360mm240mm
CPU Max Height134mm60mm55mm80mm
GPU Max Length320mm380mm390mm325mm
Quick correction here: Winter One supports 2 x 280mm radiators.

Also, Winter One is being discontinued, but Winter 2 is in the making.
 

SFFMunkee

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jul 7, 2021
229
205
Quick correction here: Winter One supports 2 x 280mm radiators.

Also, Winter One is being discontinued, but Winter 2 is in the making.
Thank you for the correction, I'll provide that as feedback to CaseEnd where I got that data from.
Very exciting to hear another case is coming soon! Look forward to seeing more :)
 

SFFMunkee

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jul 7, 2021
229
205
Trying a new layout using a reversed right-angle riser (GPU over motherboard), imgur album shows the layout if installed horizontally, but would eventually be used vertically (IO down).


This should reduce the minimum depth significantly but sadly doesn’t change the minimum height.

Width will depend on radiator mounting location, ie whether I mount it at the ‘top’ of motherboard or somewhere else.
 
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SFFMunkee

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Jul 7, 2021
229
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Am I crazy, or is there genuine savings to be had from stripping an SFX power supply?


Would obviously require the addition of:
1) safety (+ maybe EMI) shielding, and
2) sufficient airflow due to lack of onboard fan

Plus would involve removal of the modular connections and a desolder-resolder to remounting the C13 to the case.
BUT from quickly eyeballing it we could get from:

Standard SFX: H 63(.5?) mm x L 125 mm x D 100 mm || VOLUME ~0.8L



Naked SFX: H 44 mm x L 125 mm x D 74 mm || VOLUME ~0.41L

 

SFFMunkee

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jul 7, 2021
229
205
( FYI anyone reading on - reported my own thread to mods, so it can be moved to the Build subforum instead, as it's unlikely I'll end up going towards production. Sorry to those few that were interested (but once I settle on a design I'll make it open-source, probably as DXF files for anyone to get cut/folded/made for themselves!) )

I'm considering if I can add a secondary PCIe slot, using CPayne's bifurcated risers (and redriver if necessary).
Could potentially add x8x8 - low Profile Adapter along with a shorter reverse angle riser for the GPU to give me a second x8 PCIe slot slightly offset from the original slot location.

That said, I recall it being incredibly difficult to find my current PCIe reverse-angle 'hard' riser, so may have to settle for a super-short cabled riser (ADT/3M/LINKUP) in its place if the bifurcated riser is too tall.

The one I have now is this (https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/304014306036)


It's frustrating how often I think to myself "I know I have one of those somewhere", only to remember that it was nearly 2 decades and countless relocations ago (and in this instance would have been a 32-bit PCI riser, certainly not PCIe.)
 
Last edited:

SFFMunkee

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jul 7, 2021
229
205
All hooked up now with the 6800XT and dual 240mm XT45 radiators, but it's semi-permanent at the moment because I don't have any quick-coupling fittings yet.

Unfortunately the CPU fan header clashes with the EisbaerLT fittings, and I think I bent a pin trying to squeeze a fan connector in, so I'm not going to try that again for a while. It does mean that right now I've only got 2 (1 for pump, 1 for fans), plus because I've only got a 3-way fan splitter, it's running with 1 fan not operating.

But hey, the riser works at PCIe 3.0 perfectly well. I thought for a moment when I got a display and GPU worked fine that it was working at Gen4, but it's just auto-negotiated down to Gen3, that's fine for now.
 

Valantar

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
2,035
2,003
This is a nice looking design! I think you're doing great work in making this as dense as possible, and that thick radiator should provide plenty of cooling - I ran my previous setup (Ryzen 1600X + Fury X) with just a single EK PE 240, and your rad is noticeably thicker.

One word of warning: 18mm for the connectors on the bottom is ... well, sketchy. You will need angled adapters for literally every connector, which means you'll lose a lot of I/O as connectors are covered up by others. I measured some of the cables currently connected to my PC, and not a single one is below 18mm for the housing itself, let alone housing + bent cable. The shortest USB 2.0 cable protruded by 20mm at the end of the (short, stiff) strain-relief, with USB-C cables at >30mm and other cables ranging from 25-40mm. The only ones that would pass are my sort of internal (routing from the bottom to the back of the Meshlicious) ADT-link angled DP adapter cables, which stick out 9-10mm (a bit difficult to measure).

I'm also curious as to the intended airflow paths here. You have the PSU intake + a vent behind the motherboard on one side, and radiator fans on the other, with a PSU exhaust on top. With the radiator fans exhausting air, it seems to me that they will likely suck air in through the PSU exhaust vent, as that is the closest vent to the radiator. You have a shroud surrounding the PSU at the top (I'm assuming that is to avoid air being sucked in here?) but if that is effective then there's not many other places for those fans to get air from. The space behind the motherboard is slim and restrictive, plus the air will have to take a long and crooked path to get to the radiator, adding a lot of restriction. Depending on panel fitment you'll have some air creeping in through the cracks, but likely not a lot. So the fans will not only have to fight the radiator's resistance to airflow, but also fight a very restrictive case layout overall. I would be surprised if this didn't change thermals quite noticeably compared to your open-bench mockup. Have you considered boxing in that setup with cardboard or something similar to emulate the final airflow layout?

If you're crazy confident enough to strip your PSU (I would strongly recommend having a perforated metal casing made for it, as PSU switching might swamp your case with RF noise and might make your PCIe riser unusable), you could drastically improve airflow by adding a top fan - it would fit a 140mm fan there, right? Either as an intake with exhaust rad fans, or the opposite, that would provide a lot of fresh air to your components and radiator both.
 
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SFFMunkee

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
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Jul 7, 2021
229
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This is a nice looking design! I think you're doing great work in making this as dense as possible, and that thick radiator should provide plenty of cooling - I ran my previous setup (Ryzen 1600X + Fury X) with just a single EK PE 240, and your rad is noticeably thicker.
Thanks! Appreciate the reply & feedback :)
One word of warning: 18mm for the connectors on the bottom is ... well, sketchy. You will need angled adapters for literally every connector, which means you'll lose a lot of I/O as connectors are covered up by others. I measured some of the cables currently connected to my PC, and not a single one is below 18mm for the housing itself, let alone housing + bent cable. The shortest USB 2.0 cable protruded by 20mm at the end of the (short, stiff) strain-relief, with USB-C cables at >30mm and other cables ranging from 25-40mm. The only ones that would pass are my sort of internal (routing from the bottom to the back of the Meshlicious) ADT-link angled DP adapter cables, which stick out 9-10mm (a bit difficult to measure).
I do already have 90-degree cables for AC input (C13), DisplayPort 1.4, USB3.0 and USB Type-C, which is likely all I'll ever realistically need to connect. The only exception is the Wifi/BT antenna connections which I plan to relocate using pigtails to a PCB antenna mounted somewhere on the case (somewhere that doesn't have solid metal or mesh covering it!)
I'm also curious as to the intended airflow paths here. You have the PSU intake + a vent behind the motherboard on one side, and radiator fans on the other, with a PSU exhaust on top. With the radiator fans exhausting air, it seems to me that they will likely suck air in through the PSU exhaust vent, as that is the closest vent to the radiator. You have a shroud surrounding the PSU at the top (I'm assuming that is to avoid air being sucked in here?) but if that is effective then there's not many other places for those fans to get air from. The space behind the motherboard is slim and restrictive, plus the air will have to take a long and crooked path to get to the radiator, adding a lot of restriction. Depending on panel fitment you'll have some air creeping in through the cracks, but likely not a lot. So the fans will not only have to fight the radiator's resistance to airflow, but also fight a very restrictive case layout overall. I would be surprised if this didn't change thermals quite noticeably compared to your open-bench mockup. Have you considered boxing in that setup with cardboard or something similar to emulate the final airflow layout?
To be honest, I'm not sure how much performance will be lost, I tried making a mock-up of the case restrictions but before I did much proper testing I moved on to trying a different plan.
If you're crazy confident enough to strip your PSU (I would strongly recommend having a perforated metal casing made for it, as PSU switching might swamp your case with RF noise and might make your PCIe riser unusable), you could drastically improve airflow by adding a top fan - it would fit a 140mm fan there, right? Either as an intake with exhaust rad fans, or the opposite, that would provide a lot of fresh air to your components and radiator both.
It's absolutely a crazy idea, especially given it only saves ~0.4L - but you can blame @petricor for the ever-changing definition of 'small' in 'small form-factor' and @morj for the treatment for my phobia of external radiators :D
 

Valantar

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
2,035
2,003
Thanks! Appreciate the reply & feedback :)

I do already have 90-degree cables for AC input (C13), DisplayPort 1.4, USB3.0 and USB Type-C, which is likely all I'll ever realistically need to connect. The only exception is the Wifi/BT antenna connections which I plan to relocate using pigtails to a PCB antenna mounted somewhere on the case (somewhere that doesn't have solid metal or mesh covering it!)
As long as you're aware of the limitations (and perhaps have an external USB hub? :p ) that sounds good. Just something to be aware of - even many angled connectors protrude more than 18mm from the socket :)
To be honest, I'm not sure how much performance will be lost, I tried making a mock-up of the case restrictions but before I did much proper testing I moved on to trying a different plan.
It might not be a lot, but it might also be a noticeable amount - it's really rather impossible to tell until it's been tested. Not only is guesstimating airflow really complicated in and of itself, but judging just how restrictive a layout is by eye is next to impossible too. I've seen some layouts work that seemed like they would choke entirely, and I've seen some ones that seemed well ventilated end up with very poor thermals. Airflow is a finicky thing. I would recommend testing as much as you can before committing to ordering any sheet metal, as changes after that can become expensive!
It's absolutely a crazy idea, especially given it only saves ~0.4L - but you can blame @petricor for the ever-changing definition of 'small' in 'small form-factor' and @morj for the treatment for my phobia of external radiators :D
Heh, there are enough of us here using industrial 12V PSUs that I don't find it that crazy (many of those are open-frame to begin with), but given that it requires soldering both AC and DC power wiring it's a bit sketchy still. It can no doubt be done though, and while the space savings aren't huge, it's the design oppurtunities spawned by this that really matter ;)
 

SFFMunkee

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Jul 7, 2021
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Lobo is STILL in transit and neither DHL or Australia Post seem to provide tracking for it after it left Frankfurt. I have reached out to seller (from SFFn forum) to chase it up with DHL and potentially claim the shipping insurance as it's now been close to 60 days.

Anyway, while I wait for that to arrive, I may need to test out another setup:
 

SFFMunkee

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So this project hasn't been outright abandoned, but have had a few other things on my plate which has meant I haven't really continued development.
I'm still looking to complete some designs in F360 and get some quotes once I have the STEP files, but not sure when that will be.

I do have updates, however:

- Lobo block finally arrived last month, after being stuck in the vortex for a long time
-- The EK DDC 4.2 pump is a lot noisier than the DC-LT2 or the D5 pump I had previously, @Alloy Craft suggested shifting the pump very slightly on its mount as if pushed hard against the side, the pump rotor might be impacting the block and causing the noise
-- Performance is pretty similar to the other pumps/blocks I tested, but given I'm running a lowly 5600X that's hardly a surprise (I haven't had time/energy/motivation to do any proper testing / documentation, but if I do I'll post it in here and in Lobo thread)

- I've purchased some other components & cases to try out, none of the cases are working out the way I'd like which reinvigorates my desire to finish the designs...

-- CASES --
- DAN A4-SFX (version 1, same from first post) - the ever-present, classic compact sandwich case
- CM NR200 (bought new for $69 aud) - relatively large, pretty easy to build in but as always have to be aware of build-order
- EVGA Hadron (bought used for $50 aud!) - old school cool, comes with a 500W 80Plus Gold FlexATX PSU
- Custom ~12L ITX case (bought used for ~$100) - very very tricky build, couldn't quite jam the 6800XT with the EK Quantum Vector block in as it's too long, removed the cosmetic end-piece and it almost fits but nearly hosed my motherboard/GPU so abandoned this case for now

-- WATERCOOLING COMPONENTS --
- Alphacool Monsta 420mm Radiator - stupendously big, dwarfs the SFF cases to be honest
- 6x EK Furious Vardar EVO 140mm fans - these go all the way from dead-silent around 900rpm to hurricane at almost 2500rpm
- 4x sets of Barrow TZKMF-V2 Quick-Disconnect fittings - needed quick disconnects, Koolance want $120+AUD for shipping alone, I paid around that for these 4 sets including delivery, but gosh are they BIG (at least compared to the QD2 fittings I have now!)
- Bykski frosted flow-indicator with 3xG1/4" fittings - in case I decide I want a mini reservoir
- Various EK fittings (splitters, rotary T-fittings, M-M adapters, etc.) - so I can attach the various components to each other, can never have too many fittings/adapters/splitters, at least until the project/build is complete ;)

Will update more as I get around to it. :)