Engineering School Project: <5.5L Gaming Case W/ Full Sized ATX

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by jpsulisz, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. jpsulisz

    jpsulisz n00b

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    Hello [H]ardForum,

    I'm a senior in High school and as a first semester final in my engineering class, I will be designing a small form factor case for me to take overseas for my years in university. The goal of this project, for me, is to create a mix between the CoolerMaster Elite 110 and the LZ7. Issues that have come up is that I've ran a sketchy test bench with a Intel stock cooler on a i3-4160 while running Prime 95; long story short, the i3 overheated.

    Please don't be upset, but here was that sketchy setup that did not work: Here is a picture.

    1. What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming, Schoolwork, Video Editing, and Traveling.

    2. Will you be overclocking? Nope

    3. What's your budget? Case: <$30 (Materials already on hand) Components: <$500 (Many components on hand)

    4. Where do you live?
    Chicagoland: Microcenter (Farthest), Frys (Far), and BestBuy (Close)

    5. What exact parts do you need for that budget?
    Cooler: Noctua NH-9Li
    GPU: 1070 or 1060 in Mini itx form (Preferable the 1070 by Gigabyte)(*Currently running a 970)
    6. If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing?

    CPU: i7-4790k (For testing purposes I already own a i3-4160)
    Ram: 8 gigs total
    Motherboard: MSI H81i (Will upgrade if this goes well)
    Power Supply: EVGA 750 G2 (Powerman 300 for testing size)
    Already have tons of screws and motherboard standoffs on hand

    7. What specific features do you need in a motherboard? RAID? Thunderbolt? Crossfire or SLI support? How many USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s? etc. If all goes to well, I'll be looking for a new LGA 1150 motherboard that has support for WiFi and 6 USBs. Since the Intel Retail Edge program is coming soon I may hit on that i7-6700k.
    8. What resolution output do you need? Dual monitors at 1200p each.


    9. Does this system need to fit into a particular space and do you need an optical drive? On a cramped college desk, no DVD drive for me.

    10. How comfortable are you with custom case design/modification and electrical wiring? What tools do you have (Screwdrivers/Leatherman, Drill, Dremel, Metal snips, Soldering Iron, Bending Brake, CNC/Welding machines/Plasma cutter, etc...)? In my engineering class at school we have soldering irons, drills, Dremels, a Mini Mill CNC, Laser Cutter, and a 3D printer.

    11. How important is the noise/silence of this sytem? This thing has to be dead quiet on idle/browsing the web, but when games turn on I wear headphones to drown out any other noise.

    12. How mobile does this system need to be? Need a carrying handle or carrying straps? Is weight important (carry-on bag, etc)? I will be traveling to school with this overseas and need this to be as compact as possible. A carrying handle would be cool, but not required.

    13. Do you already have a legit and reusable/transferable OS key/license? If yes, what OS? Is it 32bit or 64bit? Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    14. When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Modeling will begin, and hopefully end by the end of November, and all parts along with assemble with be done in December.

    I will be coming back with 3D models and will post pictures of any progress.

    Thanks, JP

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    UPDATE 1 (11-28-2016):
    Finished modeling the part for the base. Tomorrow it will be cut on acrylic through the laser cutter, if anything goes wrong I have tons of these sheets for redoes.

    Capture 1
    Capture 2

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    UPDATE 2 (11-30-2016)

    Finished a prototype of the base plate, pictures are attached at the bottom. I am pleased to say that the acrylic, although burned, almost was perfect the first attempt! The only issue is that the holes for the screws are a tad big, which means I can't tap the 6-32 size for the motherboard standoffs. Since I knew this was a test piece, I cut an Overwatch logo just to see how it would come out.

    Sorry for the not best quality pictures, the finish product will have much better pictures.
    Picture of base itself.
    Picture of Base with a motherboard and graphics card.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  2. Hahutzy

    Hahutzy Limp Gawd

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    I believe it's doable. You will need a low profile CPU cooler.
    My concern is how quiet you can keep this setup with something like an i7-4790k.
    Between the PSU and the CPU cooler, you'll only have 10-15mm of clearance with the lowest profile coolers.
     
  3. dominathan

    dominathan [H]Lite

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    You're going to need something to get that heat out from under that power supply. I don't know of anything outside of watercooling that would work. That power supply is going to be hot. This would be perfect https://www.amazon.com/Bitspower-Co...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EVJBD1SNVQ6SQRTT2MY1
    but it's pretty expensive.

    https://www.amazon.com/Dynatron-Act...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=JGDK46X4FHXW6HYYGY6W
    You may be able to use something like this. It won't have fresh air, though. If you put a fan blowing between the PSU and the cpu, it may work.
     
  4. jpsulisz

    jpsulisz n00b

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    My plan was to use a Noctua NH-9Li and have a fan on the right hand side serve as a intake, very similar to the LZ7 case, the goal with this design was to have the power supply basically on top of the IO shield.
     
  5. dominathan

    dominathan [H]Lite

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    The air sucked in from the cpu cooler will have to disperse somewhere, and in the Noctua's case, is everywhere. I don't think your airflow is going to work how you think it will, but I could be wrong. If you're planning on running an i7-4790k, you're going to have to underclock it. The Dan A-4 case can have a Cryorig C-7 right up against the fresh outside air, but still gets fairly high temps.
     
  6. jpsulisz

    jpsulisz n00b

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    Update: I was scared that if a i3 overheated in my ghetto setup, an i7 would fail as well. Turns out that the stock Intel cooler I used had some pretty bad thermal paste, taking it off was like a hard cream with nothing left behind. Turns out that with the board exposed to the air with no fans, except for the Intel stock cooler, the stress test average was 64 C and the power supply sitting directly on top of the cooler had an average of 68 C! New thermal paste makes so much more difference. I'm glad I will atleast be able to get completely safe temperatures with an i3-4160.
     
  7. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wait, you want to build an LZ7, but with ATX support and almost 2L smaller? I don't see that working out.
     
  8. jpsulisz

    jpsulisz n00b

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    Hey guys, sorry about no updates, working that Thanksgiving and Black Friday :D. The data drive on my computer, a 1 tb Seagate, died yesterday and fortunately I've made a backup of my work files on this case! All my Autodesk programs were unfortunately installed on the drive so that will take a solid day to re download everything I lost. I did finish the floor for the case before my hard drive tapped out.

    That's the plan atleast! I will be using a Noctua 9Li since it's the lowest profile cooler on the market along with a full sized atx power supply right on top of it, along with the power supply sticking out of the back a tad bit. In testing with cardboard box, an i3-4160 with a stock cooler was able to not thermal throttle! That was with no intake or exhaust fan!
     
  9. Hahutzy

    Hahutzy Limp Gawd

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    How is the fan of the NH-L9i going to draw air if the ATX psu is right on top of it? You need some gap between the psu and the top of the fan and the height of this gap will direct affect how efficiently you can cool your CPU.
     
  10. jpsulisz

    jpsulisz n00b

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    The motherboard I have will allow me to place a 15 mm fan to it's right, allowing an exhaust of heat on the fan. Since my new hard drive is not here yet, I believe the actual gap between the top of the Noctua and the cooler is 10mm, also since the H81i has the CPU located near the back of the board this will help the cooling with smaller ATX power supplies.
     
  11. RosaJ

    RosaJ Limp Gawd

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    Two things,

    There's a smaller CPU cooler at 27mm, here's an Amazon link. And here's a newegg link.

    Also why not use a sfx PSU? I highly recommend corsairs SF450 or 600. I purchased the 600 when it was released and love it. Unfortunately I can no longer say I've never heard during gameplay as the fan finally turned on for more than the initial spin on boot when I tried a bench while gaming scenario. Still 10/10 would buy twice!

    Seriously tho, why an ATX PSU? Saves you what, 30 dollars? I'm asking, apologies if I come off like a d.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  12. jpsulisz

    jpsulisz n00b

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    I was thinking hard about that, an SFX PSU would be better in more scenarios. I already however own the power supply I want to use; money may not be an issue for me at the moment, but I'm not looking to spend more money for a schooling engineering project. The idea of this project for my engineering course is to take an already existing product and make it more unique and marketable to a mass audience (Regular ATX power supplies are sold quite a bit more and cheaper, thus making it more marketable for the general consumer. Technically). Also, I can't find anyone within a 20 mile radius of me that won't offer me anything over $20 for used computer components, so I got to keep em!

    It looks like you didn't post an Amazon link I can click on, anyhow the Noctua cooler will be small enough to fit under the size of the motherboard IO shield (~45mm in height) while the Noctua sits at a 37mm.

    If y'all are curious this is my PCPartPicker for the build I will be taking a majority of the components out of.
     
  13. RosaJ

    RosaJ Limp Gawd

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    Gotcha thanks for that explanation.

    Also updated with links.
     
  14. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well I wasn't really worried about thermals, but I'm pretty sure that just the sum of the volumes of all those components is larger than 5L, and you still need to build a box around it. What were the dimensions of your cardboard prototype? Any pictures of it?
    Also, if the PSU sticks out the back, you have to count that towards the total length, everything else would be cheating.
     
  15. jpsulisz

    jpsulisz n00b

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    Yes, I would agree with you on that it will be bigger than 5 litres. The cardboard "prototype" was much more for testing thermals than a mock up of what the actual case is to look like, it was two Chex Mix Muddy Buddies boxes stacked up to give the dimensions about: ~7.5 inches x ~9 inches x ~8 inches. The cardboard setup is essential the same exact setup I had in the picture I posted above, but with a Vampire bat styled cardboard wrapped around it.

    Tomorrow I will be able to use Inventor once again, I will post a 3D model of what the base is to come out as through the cutting of acrylic on a laser cutter.
     
    iFreilicht likes this.
  16. jpsulisz

    jpsulisz n00b

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    Update 2: 11/30/2016

    Finished a prototype of the base plate, pictures are attached at the bottom. I am pleased to say that the acrylic, although burned, almost was perfect the first attempt! The only issue is that the holes for the screws are a tad big, which means I can't tap the 6-32 size for the motherboard standoffs. Since I knew this was a test piece, I cut an Overwatch logo just to see how it would come out.

    Sorry for the not best quality pictures, the finish product will have much better pictures.
    Picture of base itself.
    Picture of Base with a motherboard and graphics card.
     
  17. chx

    chx Gawd

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    I wonder what happened to this project. Also I am surprised noone mentioned the idea of using the PSU intake fan as the CPU cooler fan. (The Silverstone NT-06e did this long ago just as an example) I believe the Big Shuriken would fit in there quite nicely, an SFX-L (or ATX if you must) on top of the CPU as traditionally prescribed in the ATX standard would give good airflow with intake coming from a slim side fan as in the LZ7.