Over the past 18 months or so, I've been working on a project and it's aim was to create a quiet, extremely powerful and compact computer. Something that can live on a desk as well as a home theatre cabinet.
Typically, when talking about PC's, those three adjectives can't really be used together, as powerful PC's usually draw a lot of power and exert a lot of heat, therefore need a lot of cooling, which is usually loud. This is how project Orthrus was born.
The name, which is only a working title for now, stems from Greek mythology. Its a symbol for a two headed guard dog (symbolizing the use of dual GPU's). Coincidentally enough, Orthrus was Cerberus' brother (My shout out to Kimera Industries guys here)
Principal of the design:
As mentioned previously, high performance computer parts and compact enclosures usually don't go well together. That is unless you move the components in the case around in a way which allows all of them to draw fresh cold air from the outside of the case.
Putting the dual GPU's straight on the back of the motherboard, not only allows the two GPU's and the CPU to breathe their own air, but allows to minimize with width of the chassis, by putting the only 2 perfectly flat parts of the PCB's against each other.
To achieve this, a number of design decisions were made:
- PCIe risers had to be used to place the graphics cards on the opposite side of the case.
- Longer than usual SLI cables had to be used to join the graphics cards together
- Only 2,5" disks would be used (in SLI/Crossfire mode), as 3,5" disks are too big, and with the cost of 1TB SATA SSD's quite low these days, I didn't see a point.
- Only low profile CPU and RAM could be used
- And a long flat highly efficient power supply had to be used
Along with the feedback provided by the community on the SFFForum, HardForum and OCAU I made a number of key changes to the case:
- Case dimensions increased:
Height: 33.00cm (unchanged)
Length: 31.50cm to 34.50cm (3.0cm increase)
Width: 11.50cm to 13.20 cm (1.7cm increase)
This allowed the case to:
- accomodate 240mm radiators and AIO coolers
- accomodate taller CPU heatsinks (up to ~53mm)
- accomodate high profile (tall) RAM
- allow water cooling of CPU and both GPUs (with certain water blocks)
- which also allowed usage of X99 platform in a quiet and cool manner where cpu's are up to 140Watt TDP.
- Change the power button to a capacitative button.
- Added support for 1 x 3,5" HDD and 1 x 2,5 HDD in the 2nd GPU bay (if 2nd GPU is not present)
- On the motherboard side: 2 x 2,5" HDD's are now supported (increase from 1)
- On the front panel: Oriented the USB ports to be vertical to allow usage of all 4 ports concurrently
- On the front panel: Changed the proprietary HDMI passthrough jack to a keystone compatible port. This means if you don't need a HDMI passthrough jack you can change it to an audio, lan, or USB-C port if you like.
- Added a badge
- Changed the ventilation pattern to be more effective in cooling
- Added a drain port near the PSU bracket (for custom water loops)
- Added a 92mm to 120mm bracket when using air cooling on the CPU
- Added a base plate for mounting a water reservoir / pump above the chipset on the mATX motherboard
- Used Li-Heat for the top PCIe riser
- Hid the SLI cables behind the GPU's
- Created a cutout for access to the rear of the motherboard. For easier heatsink / waterblock swap out.
- Added a plastic segregation wall to prevent the PCIe risers from making contact with the back of the motherboard.
- Added a 1U PSU to FlexATX adapter bracket to support FlexATX PSU's.
Height: 33.00 cm
Length: 34.50 cm
Width: 13.20 cm
Volume: < 15.0 Litres
Material: 3mm Aluminium
Side Panels: 3mm Aluminium or 3mm Acrylic
Front Panel I/O:
- 4 x USB 3.0 (vertical orientation)
- 1 x Keystone jack for keystone modules (including HDMI for VR Ready)
- 1 x Power Capacitative Button
Orientation: Horizontal or Vertical
PSU: 1U IPC PSU (in this example: FSP Group: FSP700-80UEPB Link)
PCIe Riser 1: Li-Heat Next Generation (300mm)
PCIe Riser 2: Adexelec PE-FLEX16R (350mm) Optional for SLI/Crossfire setups
Compatibility of components:
CPU Coolers (up to 53mm - verified):
Noctua NH L9i (Recommended)
Thermaltake Gravity i1
ID Cooling IS-VC45 (will be compatible with v2)
mATX and ITX
Dual GPU's supported
- Length: Up to 295 mm
- Height: Up to 112 mm (measured from PCIe connector to top of card)
- Up to 250 Watt TDP (due to PSU restrictions)
Any memory up to 53mm in height will fit.
FlexATX or 1U PSU up to 250mm length. Recommended PSU's:
For Single GPU builds: Modular:
Seasonic SS500L1U (500W - Gold)
For Dual GPU builds: Non-Modular:
FSP FSP700-80UEPB (700W - Platinum)
For Single GPU builds:
FSP500-50FSPT (500W - Platinum)
For Dual GPU builds: Non-Modular:
FSP750-50FGGH1 (750W - Gold)
FSP850-50FGGH1 (850W - Gold)
Motherboard side: 2 x 2,5" disk
GPU side: Replacing the 2nd GPU: 1 x 3,5" disk + 1 x 2,5" disk
240mm Radiators up to 124mm wide, up to 278mm tall.
Thickness of the radiator + fan should not exceed 58mm
CPU Waterblock/pump height limitation is up to ~53mm
GPU Waterblock support:
- Full reference card waterblocks like EK and Bitspower are supported (for top GPU slot)
- If doing DUAL GPU water cooling, for bottom GPU slot, a universal GPU cooler like the EK-VGA Supremacy or Koolance GPU-220 / GPU-230 is supported.
2 x 120x120x25mm
Comparison to other similar sized cases:
Coming soon ...
Benchmarks - Noise / Power Consumption / Temperature:
CPU - Intel 6800K (@3.4GHz)
RAM - Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200MHz 16GB (2x8GB)
MB - EVGA Micro 2 X99
GPU 1 - nVidia GTX 1080
GPU 2 - nVidia GTX 1080
CPU AIR Cooler - ID Cooling IS-VC45
GPU AIR Cooler - Founders Edition Blower
CPU AIO Cooler - Kelvin S24
CPU CL Cooler - Kelvin S24 (cpu block/pump combo)
GPU CL Waterblock 1 - EK-FC1080 GTX - Nickel
GPU CL Waterblock 2 - Koolance GPU 220
Thermal Paste - EK
Thermals corresponding to the tests above:
Photos (Case Only):
Photos (Full build):
Coming soon ...