Hutzy XS — Ultra Compact Gaming Case (<4L)

Hahutzy

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
169
Current status: Sorting out prototype v2 manufacturing

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Introduction
Hutzy XS is a response to one challenge: To pack an enthusiast gaming rig into as small of a form factor as possible.
The result is a case that is under 4 Litres, making it an Ultra Compact Form Factor (UCFF) case — the smallest class of computer cases.

Poll: Which one do you prefer? Black? Silver? White? (Multiple Choice)





Technical Specifications
  • Material: Anodized Aluminum
  • Color: Black, Silver, White (powdercoated)
  • Volume: 3.99L
  • Dimensions: 181mm [L] x 99.9mm [W] x 221mm [H]
  • Dimensions: ..7.126" [L] x ...3.933" [W] x ..8.701" [H]
  • Motherboard: Mini-ITX
  • PSU: FlexATX
  • GPU Length: Up to 177.8mm (7.0")
  • GPU Height: Up to 131.0mm (Gigabyte 1070 Mini compatible)
  • CPU HSF: Up to 40mm
  • RAM: TWO, Up to 40mm
  • Storage: ONE 2.5" Drive up to 9.5mm thickness
  • _______ ONE M.2 drive for compatible motherboards
 
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Hahutzy

Limp Gawd
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Sep 4, 2015
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169
Prototypes
Phase 1: Functional prototyping with entirely 3D printed parts


Note: Prototyping was done on a now-obsolete exterior design. However the internal design remained more or less the same.





Phase 2: Production prototype v1



Layout



Note: the Middleboard is made from aluminum in the newest model, with 3d printed fasteners to the case. This allows the Middleboard to:

- Secure the Motherboard inside the case
- Secure the PCI-E riser cable on both the Motherboard end, and the GPU end
- Secure the GPU through the riser
- Adds rigidity to the case overall by taking advantage of using the power button as a fastener


Thermals

Synthetic Stress Test @ 22.5 degrees Celsius ambient

Testing procedure:
1) Start Prime95 in Large FFT mode. Run 30 minutes
2) At 30th minute, Start Furmark to run in conjunction with Prime95 for 30 minutes
3) At 60th minute, take a snapshot

Test #1 tested using:
Hutzy XS Plastic prototype
i5-4440S
Gigabyte GTX 970 mini
Samsung 840 Pro 120GB
FSP 400W

CPU: 70 degrees Celsius
GPU: 71 degrees Celsius
SSD: 54 degrees Celsius



Test #2 tested using:
Hutzy XS Aluminum prototype v1, no filters
i5-6400
Gigabyte GTX 970 mini
Samsung 840 Pro 120GB
Seasonic 300W

CPU: 70 degrees Celsius
GPU: 71 degrees Celsius
SSD: 53 degrees Celsius




Background Story
The idea for Hutzy XS came about when I was working on my previous project: the HASSIUM (now named Hutzy HS).

It was a 5-Litre case capable of housing a GTX 980 Ti., but it required major rework after the initial design due to multiple challenges, including:

- GTX 980 Ti in a tiny box generated too much heat, especially with the minimal ventilation HASSIUM provided

- The use of a PSU extender cable added a lot of cable bulk that took up precious space.

To avoid these issues, I shifted my focus and went down another path, all the while keeping the minimalist style core to the design.

Thus, the Hutzy XS was born.
 
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kooki

Weaksauce
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
98
Really like how small it is!
Also very nice for being able to 3d print and test the thermals!
If the case ever gets built on metallic material the temps should also get reduced by some small amount, right? (1 degree lower perhaps? :v)
 
Joined
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This is the perfect sweet point! Way over than Dan A4.

Also I prefer a complete black or silver design. The two tones color makes its looking weird. And what is the best Flex ATX PSU available on a market?
 
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SaperPL

[H]ard|Gawd
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Messages
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Thermals
Summary: No thermal throttles ever

CPU:
Idles at around 39 degrees Celsius
Goes up to around 59 degrees Celsius at gaming load
3-degrees delta comparing open-air build to assembled build

GPU:
Idles at around 36 degrees Celsius
Goes up to around 73 degrees Celsius at gaming load
4-degrees delta comparing open-air build to assembled build
Peaks at 79 degrees Celsius after 1-hour Unigine Heaven run
On what settings were those temps measured? was vsync on? What games were played?

What do you mean no thermal throttles ever? If gpu peaked at 79 degrees that means it was just about to hit the throttle or already throttling at this point since throttling target might vary from to chip to chip. What were its clocks? Base clock? Full turbo?

I think you should design your middleboard from metal rather than plastic since it'll require either 3D printing taking a lot time or huge minimum order quantities.

I like how you solved side panels coming together with body problem using that additional black stripe in the middle. It looks nice.

This is the perfect sweet point! Way over than Dan A4.

Also I prefer a complete black or silver design. The two stone color makes its looking weird. And what is the best Flex ATX PSU available on a market?
I wouldn't agree - Dondan's A4-SFX is made this way because Flex ATX is not a good choice for gaming pc unless you're making pre-built pc's and supplying the power supply by yourself. What you can get on the market is mostly server grade PSU's that aren't either quiet nor they can easily handle power draw of high-end gpu's like R9 Nano.
 
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Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
40
Hahutzy,

Just wanted to say what an awesome idea you have! The fact that you managed to fit all this in 4 Liters is astounding. Let me tell you a story: I have the Lone Industries L3. It's made by a guy from Canada. Anyway, the dimensions match very closely with your case, yours is probably a few millimeters bigger. The L3, though, can only fit a gtx 750 ti. Basically low profile single slot, or 1.5 slot, video cards. I find it absolutely amazing that you managed to fit mini itx video cards into such a small volume. It is remarkable. Your design appears to be very similar to Dondan's A4 SFX, except at half the volume. I can't complain. Now I just have to decide between this and Josh's NFC S4 Mini. Both cases are around the same volume, the only difference would be a different style and different type of PSUs. Decisions, decisions. I'll be sure to keep updated to your progress.

By the way, are these two cases, the S4 Mini and this case, the smallest cases that can fit mini itx video cards? Are there any contenders? I would love to see other alternatives.

Edit: Just wanted to comment, the fact that you 3d printed your own prototype case was totally cool. I would love the possibility to do that. Currently, the only 3d printer is available at the college I attend, still so exciting to be able to use it!
 

KarateOC

Weaksauce
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Mar 20, 2016
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I am new around here, but would like to congratulate you on breaking the 4L barrier with this VR hardware spec case. I have been considering the A4 SFX, but this case is very tempting despite a few concerns listed below.

Regarding ventilation. First on the GPU side it might be a worth looking at the possibility of adding more ventilation holes to accommodate some of the dual 80mm sub-180mm GPUs that exist. For example the Galax GTX 970 OC has dual 80mm fans but is still only 179mm and therefore should fit inside this case. Also, I recall photos of Flex ATX PSUs with ventilation holes around the unit, and therefore feel that it might be ideal to at least put ventilation holes on the bottom of the case to allow more ventilation for the PSU. I also wonder if more ventilation holes at the top of the panel might help (ie. like how A4-SFX has hole in the center where you have the black stripe). I am too not a big fan of the multi color design.

Regarding storage, you did not mention M.2 etc. SSDs. Is it safe to assume that the motherboard tray would accommodate for such SSDs?

Also, do you have any recommendations for Flex-ATX PSUs? Did you find the fan on the PSU (assuming a 40mm fan) to be much louder than the rest of the system?
 

Aircoookie

Limp Gawd
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Feb 6, 2015
Messages
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Wow, this is great! I actually had a very similar design in mind :D Would it be a possibility for you to release the prototype .stl-files? Then anyone with a 3D printer could use your design :)
 

ZombiPL

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Oct 26, 2014
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I have to say this is a very nice case. Well done ;)

I also have to say something about my concerns:
In my opinion Your pc-case could be better than Dan A4-SFX, but Your ultra-loud Flex ATX PSU kills the magic. What is more, cables are blocking Your PSU's fan. This power supply probably won't work too long. But You're going in the good direction. Good luck.
 

Hahutzy

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Messages
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Thank you all for the feedback!

Some answers for the questions:

On throttling: When I say it never throttled, I mean I was running GPU-Z and never saw it throttle thermally like I did with my 980 Ti on my other build. I will have more extensive data/graphs as I continue testing.

On PSU: The PSU I'm using in my prototype is the FSP 400W. It is available on Newegg and Amazon. I got mine from Newegg. I had to do some wiring changes though (it is possible to use an adapter instead). It is definitely on my mind that I might make an order for PSUs directly from FSP with only desired connectors. And no, the cables are in fact not blocking the PSU's fan. I made sure to give it clearance when I looped the cables up.

On vents: The current vents are designed this way because they are currently filter-friendly (around 120mm x 120mm). Of the PSUs I tested/intend on testing, none have ventilation holes around the body, so I would rather leave the bottom sealed for the sake of structural strength.

On noise: The system as a whole is not inaudible. I have not isolated which component is louder yet. But at load, I have never had the fan sounds affect my game's ingame sounds (using the speakers from my monitor, not headset). I will be testing this to give some concrete numbers.

On STL: maybe some time in the future ;)
 
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smaller

n00b
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Mar 20, 2016
Messages
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Taking the 2013-conceived DAN A4 and adapting it for the world of 2016 and 2017 (a world of beastly short cards like the R9 Nano and the eventual short version of pascal "1070") was the next logical step, so kudos to you.

But I think a lot of people died a little inside when they saw the flex atx psu with the little fan.

A corsair sf600 has a 100mm x 63mm profile.
There must be some creative way to fit it in an sfx version of the Hutzy, even if a little bigger than 4 liters. It's still a long shot from a 7.25 liters DAN A4 anyway.
 

yoyo55

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Feb 6, 2015
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Case is absolutely badass!!.....The only thing thats a killer for me is the FlexATX PSU.
 
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Hey Hahutzy,

I have a question, do you think your case would be able to fit in a bookbag or some type of backpack? I think that would be so awesome and its something I'm looking for. Also I don't mind the flex atx limitation. Currently they have a 400 Watt by FSP and there's a 500 Watt, but I have no idea on how to get that one. Do I just email FSP directly and purchase it from them? The fan's not a problem. I know it can be replaced with a quieter fan if need be. I believe IFreilicht mentioned that as a possibility. Here's the link to the fan they mentioned:

http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1878733.pdf

The fan's dimensions are 40 x 28mm. I don't know if a 40 x 10mm will fit as I know those are pretty common. I don't know the default fan specifications on FlexATX PSUs. Still it's something I can work around. I'm hoping your idea comes to fruition. Hopefully with the core design still intact. I know Dondan's case initially used an external PSU, but he moved up to an internal SFX PSU. That increased the volume of the case. I would hate for this case to exceed 4 Liters. Keep up the good work!

PS: By all means please feel free to to do whatever makes you happy. These are just my throughts, opinions, and ramblings. Lol. My apologies if it feels like I am telling how you should you design your case. That is your prerogative.
 

KazeoHin

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I would love it if FlexATX PSUs started to become mainstream. It's a good form factor for SFF, and the PSUs occupying the market are just a paintjob and cable-sleeving away from looking boss.

Also, I would like to see some front-panel USB/Audio options.
 

CknSalad

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Messages
442
I would love it if FlexATX PSUs started to become mainstream. It's a good form factor for SFF, and the PSUs occupying the market are just a paintjob and cable-sleeving away from looking boss.
Also, I would like to see some front-panel USB/Audio options.
I think this build is awesome and definitely raises the bar for the mini-itx GPU/UCFF. I still just am not a fan of FlexATX Psus because of the small fan and noise included when under heavier loads. Not to take anything away from this awesome case/project, but the DAN A4 and Sentry were focused on the smallest, but most powerful mini-itx SFF PC case while having support for SFX/SFX-L psus as well as more storage options and support for basically any gpu on the market. I do hope to see more updates to this PC case though.
 

DaHans

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May 21, 2015
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What length do you have for the riser card?
and how do you secure the GTX 970 for safe travels? :)

I like the missing front panel. It would destroy the optic.

Good Job!
 
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Joined
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After a lot of researches, I agree that Flex ATX PSU pretty much kills this art of work. Replaces with SFX (not -L) PSU and this case surely would be sold as a hot cake.
 

CHANG3D

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Flex-ATX haters, I think you are missing the point if you're asking for a SFX PSU in what is trying to be the smallest case possible capable of VR. If you're asking for a DC-DC converter such as the HDPlex 250W to make it even tinier, I would actually understand that.
 
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SaperPL

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Flex-ATX haters, I think you are missing the point of you're asking for a SFX psu in what is trying to be the smallest case possible capable of VR. If you're asking for a DC-DC converter such as the HDPlex 250W to make it even tinier, I would actually understand that.
If this case grew an inch in height it would fit TFX power supply which should be more silent than flex because of it's 80mm fan vs 40mm inside a flex. This could also potentially make room for a second 2.5" drive if both were put vertically.

Other than that I wonder if those flexATX psu's with fan on the inner side next to the cables aren't that loud since it's hidden inside the case.
 

CknSalad

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Doing a quick google search, the highest wattage TFX psu I could find was 400w by Athena Power. I think uploading a YouTube video of the noise of the system especially the Flex-ATX psu would be nice. I am leaning towards a DC-DC converter with external power brick solution for the case, but that would drive up the cost for powering the system.
 

Hahutzy

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RE: M.2 SSD : I have not tried yet, but it will work as there is enough clearance. And I can make adjustments on the middleboard should anything come up.

RE: Fitting it into a bag : Yes it will definitely fit in a bag. It was designed with the intention to be carried in a bag that can carry textbooks.

RE: Front io : I do not plan on adding front io. It would take away from the aesthetics, and take away precious internal space.

RE: Riser length : I'm currently using a 300mm cable.

RE: Securing GPU : The fastening points for the GPU is through the riser socket and it being secured to the middleboard tightly, and the PCI-E backside cutout on top. Together it provides a very secure fit for the GPU.



RE: PSU : The Flex ATX is going to stay. I have tried all other PSU form factors long ago before I settled on this design.

The SFX standard's power outlet orientation is the worst case scenario (along the longest edge) so the case will need to stretch a significant amount width or height-wise. And then there is a lot of dead space length-wise because the SFX is the shortest along that axis.

The TFX standard is actually much looser than Flex ATX, SFX and ATX. Manufacturers often create a bump on TFX's to install a fan, which cannot be designed around.

In addition, the spirit of this case is to be VR-capable, and be small so that you can travel with it, or hang it/place it behind your monitor.

There will always be noise coming from this form factor, because your CPU fan and your GPU fans are going to be spinning too.

In light of all this, I am considering designing a DC-DC mount to go in place of where the Flex ATX PSU goes, so those who are slightly more noise-conscious can choose to use an HDplex and have an external power supply tag along with them.

To be clear:

- Flex ATX PSU stays.

- Option of DC-DC + external brick is being considered.
 
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In light of all this, I am considering designing a DC-DC mount to go in place of where the Flex ATX PSU goes, so those who are slightly more noise-conscious can choose to use an HDplex and have an external power supply tag along with them.

To be clear:

- Flex ATX PSU stays.

- Option of DC-DC + external brick is being considered.
Awesome Hahutzy. A case than can fit both an external and an internal power supply is nice while maintaining the same volume. It would make it very versatile. Keep up the good work. Also M.2 is pretty important for me too so I'll make sure to see what you come up with in that regard. I have noticed they tend to get hot. I'm using one in my Lone Industries L3, and I believe the idle temperature is around 50 degrees Celcius, quite hot.
 
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Hahutzy

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I ran with the question "Can it fit into a bag?" a little bit, and put the Hutzy XS into some bags I found around the house.

Things got a little crazy, and I ended up stuffing the XS into the messenger bag that I carry my ipad mini with.

Snug fit but still slides in and out easy!


 
D

Deleted member 222586

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Are you using a PLASTIC 3d printer or a METAL one?

I'm asking because if you are using a plastic one you might cook your drive once the final case is made of metal. And even with plastic I'm not sure you will not cook it. Try to have the computer on load for some time (at least 60 minutes) nd check temperatures.
 

Hahutzy

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Are you using a PLASTIC 3d printer or a METAL one?

I'm asking because if you are using a plastic one you might cook your drive once the final case is made of metal. And even with plastic I'm not sure you will not cook it. Try to have the computer on load for some time (at least 60 minutes) nd check temperatures.
I have already ran Unigine Heaven nonstop for 60 minutes for the GPU test.

CPU never reached 60 degrees Celsius, GPU was at 77-78, pokes up to 79 and drops back down.

Since Aluminum's thermal conductivity is higher than plastic, I'm pretty sure my current plastic prototype is a worse-case-scenario than the next metal prototype.
 

KazeoHin

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I have already ran Unigine Heaven nonstop for 60 minutes for the GPU test.

CPU never reached 60 degrees Celsius, GPU was at 77-78, pokes up to 79 and drops back down.

Since Aluminum's thermal conductivity is higher than plastic, I'm pretty sure my current plastic prototype is a worse-case-scenario than the next metal prototype.
Yes, you're correct.

Plastic is considered an insulator, not a conductor. Not that it matters much, because AIR is even more of an insulator.

However, Unigine is hardly a CPU-heavy benchmark. I always use Prime 95 with all but one thread of the CPU maxxed, and then run Furmark for total PC bake. You'll easily see your system jump by 15 degrees over the unigine test.
 
D

Deleted member 222586

Guest
I have already ran Unigine Heaven nonstop for 60 minutes for the GPU test.

CPU never reached 60 degrees Celsius, GPU was at 77-78, pokes up to 79 and drops back down.

Since Aluminum's thermal conductivity is higher than plastic, I'm pretty sure my current plastic prototype is a worse-case-scenario than the next metal prototype.
I'm not that confident. The problem with small (I own an NCASE M1, for the record, so I'm not blindly speaking) cases is that:

a) Total case mass is very small.

b) They have very little airflow, and none in many areas of the case.

So, for all those parts that have any sort of cooling this isn't a problem, or not a huge one, because they are designed to cope with the heat. But although a hard-drive barely creates any heat on its own... it can't ever get rid of it unless you plan it in advance. In your design there is no way that the drives will ever get to dissipate the heat they catch. They are stuffed between the psu, the gpu and the side pannels. Being plastic the pannels won't get very ward, and thus will not conduct heat towards the case but once you make a metal model, they will.

I'm telling you this because Necere* already had problems with their drive compartment on their LRPC, to the point that such project is currently on hold. Also, I can tell you that the hottest part (to the touch) on my NCASE M1 after gaming for several time is the side panel next to the motherboard. Precisely where you have 0 active cooling. Which might seem a bit strange since I do have a 290X with non-reference cooling (meaning that all the heat gets into case) and the hottest part of the case is on the other side of it.

My point being: do not focus only on cpu or gpu, as those have very high thermal tolerances. Try to look at the weakest chain, which 95% of the time is on the drives, because they do not like to operate above 50ºC, and chances are that they do on your design.

Still, keep it up! I love to see so many projects flourishing in HF.

*Necere is part of the NCASE team, together with wahahahahaha. They both designed, produced, marketed and shipped the NCASE M1 project. It is probably the most successful crowdfunded computer case ever done, and they have done 5 runs of it. I am a proud owner of an NCASE M1 V1.
 

CHANG3D

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It's also still kind of cold... It be nice to know what your ambient temperature is. My ambient temperature for example is between 15-18 degrees Celsius these past few days. So my computers are running excellent... Just illustrating the need to know how you tested everything.

But, otherwise, I don't share that other guy's pessimism... LOL. But in all seriousness, the difference between this and the ncase lrpc is that I think the ncase is designed to lay flat whereas this is designed to be upright with the 2.5" drives, if you so choose to use one, on the bottom along it's side. With heat rising, I think that drive will be fine, assuming your ambient temperature isn't like 40 degrees.

(Corrected some spelling, grammar, and wording errors... writing on the iPhone will be the death of me.)
 
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D

Deleted member 222586

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It's also still kind of cold... It be nice to know what your ambient temperature is. My ambient temperature for example is between 15-18 degrees Celsius these past few days. So my computers are running excellent... Just illustrating the need to know how you tested everything.

But otherwise I don't share that other guy's pessimism... LOL. But in all seriousness, the difference between this and the ncase lrpc is that I think the ncase is designed to lay flat whereas this is designed to be upright where the 2.5" drives if you so choose to use one in on the buttom on it's side. With heat rising, I think that drive will be fine assuming your ambient temperature isn't like 40 degrees.
Heat rising? That isnt a factor unless you design specifically for it.
 

CHANG3D

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Pretty sure that the vent holes on the top of the case is a specific design for heat venting, just like the bottom of the case is designed flat because gravity...
 

yoyo55

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Yes, its absurd to think that heat rises!! We all know heat chooses whatever path it feels like it at the moment...:rolleyes::facepalm:
 
D

Deleted member 222586

Guest
You are missing the point. For starters, heat does not rise. It is air that has been heated. And that only happens when such part has some means of getting air in, and getting it out. There is no magic involved here, if you a component that sits on the bottom of the case with no intakes nearby do not expect to produce any sort of convection unless it is dangerously hot. Also, anybody ever wondered how much does hot air rise? You require a huge Delta in order to get a huge convection, something we do not get in a pc case before we have all the components cooked inside.

Do not be delusional here. Convection is such a small part of a computers cooling that its not important whether intake comes at the bottom or top. In this case air will come in by the sides and go up or to the rear, since those are the only exits. But still, there is nothing to ventilate the middle section of the case and the drive.
 

CHANG3D

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In what way do we make the assumption that this case is an air-free vacuum?
 
D

Deleted member 222586

Guest
Enlighten me:



This is the left side (gpu side).



There are no vents on the bottom.

Care to explain to me how exactly will the drive get any sort of cooling around? It won't. Because there is no possible way of it being cooled by anything. On the contrary, it will be heated by the case itself, the psu and the gpu. And of course it isn't a vacuum, but airflow has two componentes:

a) Air in

b) Air out

If you do not have those, air doesn't move. And since there are no vent holes around the drive to create any sort of airflow whatsoever... then the heat will accumulate at the bottom of the case. For the simple reason that there are no means of going anywhere else. As the gpu fan sucks air in and releases it on the front of the card, and on top of it.

We are talking ~200W of heat into a case that has no active intake or exhaust of any sort. You tell me how do you plan to ventilate the thing.
 

KazeoHin

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Enlighten me:



This is the left side (gpu side).



There are no vents on the bottom.

Care to explain to me how exactly will the drive get any sort of cooling around? It won't. Because there is no possible way of it being cooled by anything. On the contrary, it will be heated by the case itself, the psu and the gpu. And of course it isn't a vacuum, but airflow has two componentes:

a) Air in

b) Air out

If you do not have those, air doesn't move. And since there are no vent holes around the drive to create any sort of airflow whatsoever... then the heat will accumulate at the bottom of the case. For the simple reason that there are no means of going anywhere else. As the gpu fan sucks air in and releases it on the front of the card, and on top of it.

We are talking ~200W of heat into a case that has no active intake or exhaust of any sort. You tell me how do you plan to ventilate the thing.
Dude, that card shown is not a rear-exhaust. Not to mention, SSDs and Notebook HDDs exist in portable devices with NO active cooling, completely covered in highly insulating plastic.

You're worrying about nothing.
 
D

Deleted member 222586

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Dude, that card shown is not a rear-exhaust. Not to mention, SSDs and Notebook HDDs exist in portable devices with NO active cooling, completely covered in highly insulating plastic.

You're worrying about nothing.
Precisely. It is not a rear-exhaust, which means that all the heat gets stuck inside the case.

The difference between portable devices and this is that... well, for starters most portable devices have some sort of forced cooling and, secondly, they do not produce 1/4 the heat this computer produces.
 

KazeoHin

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Precisely. It is not a rear-exhaust, which means that all the heat gets stuck inside the case.

The difference between portable devices and this is that... well, for starters most portable devices have some sort of forced cooling and, secondly, they do not produce 1/4 the heat this computer produces.

While not guided, the intake fan on the GPU will increase the air pressure inside the case, causing the area with the lowest pressure to be the outlet for the system. Hot air naturally is of lower density than colder air, thus as air heats up, it wafts off and cooler air rushes in. This is only helped along by ANY active movement of air inside the case already. Many chips (that generate MUCH more heat than an SSD or HDD can be cooled entirely passively via convection ALONE.

This case is going to be warm. But detrimentally hot? No.
 

CHANG3D

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It's not as if air doesn't get in there because there's no holes in the bottom... Stuck inside the case? And do you not see that the side panels have large vthe too as well as on top of the case? Why aren't all case designed with aluminium mesh panels? That's also easy to DIY BTW, so if you're that concerned about a 2.5" drive on its side in the bottom of a 4L case, you have your options.

But then again why is there need to be fans or vents or anything if this case is in a vacuum... (I do hope you enjoy this humor, bro. All love.)
 
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