Project Orthrus - Smallest SLI mATX case (V2)

LukeD

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I went through a long process of trying to get a number of manufacturers to make some dual 92mm rads for this project.
Ended up in the too hard basket.
Then i thought, even though I'll be increasing the width I'll be exponentially increasing the capabilities of the case. And in all honest, most industry standard ITX cases are this size anyway so I think this footprint will work. Time will tell :)
 
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It's coming :) I'm going to be building a few variations: Legend:
AIO = All in one
CL = Custom loop

a) AIO CPU + 2 x AIR GPU
b) CL CPU + 1 x CL GPU
c) CL CPU + 1 x CL GPU + 1 x AIR GPU

d) CL CPU + 2 x CL GPU (this one I think I can actually pull off)
Please make it happen! I beg you!:D

Someone mentioned X99 compatibility and when i tried running an X99 in the case it sounded like a jet because there was no good cooling option for X99.
Then I thought to myself, adding around 10mm width will not only allow me to support 240mm rads but also allow me to provide more space in the motherboard chamber for taller heatsinks.
As a side effect to that I can now support tall RAM modules as well :) which is nice because all the LED ones are tall :D bling bling :D
I had requested to support the x99 motherboard, and increasing the width slightly will have support for many more coolers.
 
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Alexreffand

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Zotac recently showed off a 1080 with a short PCB. Now, I realize this is a very specific and unlikely scenario for an already very niche product, and that it relies on a lot of things becoming available that aren't right now, but how feasible would it be (if you do another revision) to cut out the portion of the dividing wall immediately in front of the fans/radiator to allow for a push-pull configuration in the case of two water-cooled short-PCB cards? Would it weaken the structural integrity of the case in any way?
 

LukeD

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I saw those 1080's from Zotac.
The problem with removing that space between the edge of the motherboard and the fan mounting bracket is that it will remove space that's necessary for cable management.
Whilst it is possible to remove it and route the cables above the motherboard it would be limiting the design SEVERLY to one type of graphics card.
As it stands, this case is probably the smallest, water-cooled case for mATX with SLI support for standard length cards.
By removing that space I would be reducing the potential interest in the case and its application.
Also there is no guarantee that water blocks would be created for these mini cards.

Removing that space would not jeopardise the structural integrity of the case.
 

LukeD

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Please make it happen! I beg you!:D
i've come up with another scenario to test ....

e) AIR CPU + CL 2 x GPU :D

I had requested to support the x99 motherboard, and increasing the width slightly will have support for many more coolers.
I think we have about ~ 53mm right now to play with in terms of height. Apart from AIO's what else can we stick in now ?

I've got this cooler laying around (bought it for the original Project Orthrus V1) but it didn't fit by a few mm... now its a different story :) (Could also now fit a 120mm to 92mm fan adapter in there too)

http://www.idcooling.com/Product/detail/id/44/name/IS-VC45
 
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Wow! I loved the idea! Cpu coolers we have a range of models in the market, since for VGAs this does not happen or you buy a VGA with a different cooler or buy the reference model and put a block in it.
Wonderful! The range of coolers expands much more! :D
i've come up with another scenario to test ....

e) AIR CPU + CL 2 x GPU:D [/ QUOTE]

I think we have about ~ 53mm right now to play with in terms of height. Apart from AIO's what else can we stick in now ?

I've got this cooler laying around (bought it for the original Project Orthrus V1) but it didn't fit by a few mm... now its a different story :) (Could also now fit a 120mm to 92mm fan adapter in there too)

http://www.idcooling.com/Product/detail/id/44/name/IS-VC45
 

Alexreffand

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The new width would accommodate a 3.5" drive in theory, so that's a limitation that might possibly be removed. Maybe in the front with all air cooled components? With everything pulling air in from the sides, front fans probably wouldn't be necessary.

I'm not sure I quite understand what you're saying about my other suggestion removing room for cable routing. Wouldn't cutting out some of the divider wall add more space for cable management, not take it away?
 

LukeD

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The new width would accommodate a 3.5" drive in theory, so that's a limitation that might possibly be removed. Maybe in the front with all air cooled components? With everything pulling air in from the sides, front fans probably wouldn't be necessary.

I'm not sure I quite understand what you're saying about my other suggestion removing room for cable routing. Wouldn't cutting out some of the divider wall add more space for cable management, not take it away?
Ahhhh sorry I had to re-read your statement before. Now I understand what you mean previously.
Yes I think that's possible to further cut away at the middle mount so that additional fans can be put there for a push/pull configuration.
However it would require further strengthening of the fan bracket. Possibly a small redesign.

A 3,5" + 2,5" hdd is now supported (in one of the GPU brackets)
 

LukeD

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I was just testing the power supply if i cabled it correctly.... and I couldn't help but run a few tests :)
Forgive me about the picture quality ... the photos were taken with a potato :)
P.S. And when i say "With Case" it also obviously means with my makeshift SLI cables and PCI risers :)





 

LukeD

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Small update in the first thread guys :) With some new photos of just the case. Build photos and test results will start flowing in next week as Im still waiting for side panels to come in.
 
D

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My opinion.
Orthrus became too big (15L).
Ceeberus is a little bit larger (18L), but more useful (SFX-L, no risers, higher CPU cooler).
Key advantage was 12L.
I couldn't agree less.

Nobody cares about volume, unless you have to carry it around because you travel with it a lot.
 
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LukeD

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stelsevo, thank you for your feedback.
Unfortunately I'm siding with prava on this one.

My original intent, while it was to make a small case, it wasn't to make it ultra portable. That would have been an additional benefit. And in most part it still is very portable. Cerberus is very portable as well.
While Cerberus has the ease and simplicity of using standard, readily available parts, Orthrus has the benefit of specific hardware placement to improve cooling efficiency and looks.

Initially, after shrinking Orthrus so much I realised that the usage options were very limited.
mATX is already a bit of a niche market. Just look at the boards available for mATX vs ATX or ITX.
By making the changes I did, I hope to increase the applicability of the case as well as larger market appeal.
I hope this also increases the chances this case has to be brought to the market.
 
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stelsevo, thank you for your feedback.
Unfortunately I'm siding with prava on this one.

My original intent, while it was to make a small case, it wasn't to make it ultra portable. That would have been an additional benefit. And in most part it still is very portable. Cerberus is very portable as well.
While Cerberus has the ease and simplicity of using standard, readily available parts, Orthrus has the benefit of specific hardware placement to improve cooling efficiency and looks.

Initially, after shrinking Orthrus so much I realised that the usage options were very limited.
mATX is already a bit of a niche market. Just look at the boards available for mATX vs ATX or ITX.
By making the changes I did, I hope to increase the applicability of the case as well as larger market appeal.
I hope this also increases the chances this case has to be brought to the market.
I completely agree with Luke, Perhaps a smaller case could be made later on but the design purpose of Project Orthrus is different. And I love it.
 
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jjsyht

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I'm siding with stelsevo on this.
I'm not a cooling nazi :D - I use stock HS, so the appeal FOR ME was SLI in such small space.
With the Cerberus so close in size, I'd prefer standard components, availability and probably price (those risers won't come cheap)

To each their own I guess.
 
D

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Looking at this picture I have a few critiques.

a) Why such an obnoxious button? It is imo far, far too big.

b) Why the silver accent on the top I/O? Looks very ugly and gaudy, imo.

c) I think you should add a fan filter as the default option. IMO it is a must because people will buy them regardless so you should just include one. It also raises the overall quality feel of the case.
 

LukeD

Limp Gawd
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a) Hehe, that's so funny, i didn't realise that but it looks like the power button popped up a big because it wasn't secured with the nut. It sits quite well flush against the IO panel normally.

b) I think the silver accent will change to a semi-gloss black. I've already ordered a panel like that from Protocase, its being made as we speak. I thought the silver strip at the top also looked a little out of place (but only due to the HDMI keystone plug)

c) I might add filters as an option but they will be the plastic ones that sit flush against the fan and have mounting holes in them.
 

LukeD

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Yeah guys, I've just been doing some testing tonight with the Kelvin S24, 6800k and 2 x 1080's (no side panels - I'm getting them tomorrow) and the PSU shouldn't be the biggest concern.
The fans on the radiator spin up much quicker before the PSU is anywhere near turning on its fans. And the fans on the radiator spin up only when I overclock the 6800k from 3.4ghz to 4.4ghz.





The hottest part there was the M.2 SSD ~ 48.2 c
Then the VRMs down the bottom (because this picture was taken with the overclock) ~ 47 c
As you can see the power supply at the top is nowhere near problematic.
This shot was taken after running Furmark on the GPU's and CPU Burner for 11 threads.
(Had to leave 1 thread for Furmark to run), cpu utilisation was around 98-100%
Room temp was 24c when testing.

P.S. Also the power supply sitting at the top helps dissipate the heat from the PSU better, because the PSU makes good contact with the top of the case.
 

vipz

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Have you considered moving the PSU to where the drive tray currently sits? How that you have moved to ATX mobo compatibility there should be a good amount of room for it?

Also, the top and front panels look somewhat weak/vulnerable to me due to the lack of support. I know the material is fairly thick but it's hard to imagine it being strong enough without some sort of structure to brace against.
 
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D

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c) I might add filters as an option but they will be the plastic ones that sit flush against the fan and have mounting holes in them.
That solution will never work.

Why?



Observe the picture: for your idea to work you would require the panel that holds the fan to be BEFORE the fans and not AFTER. The way it is mounted you can only put the filter after the fan, which makes it completely useless. The filter needs to be first. And you can't mount it with the system you are showing because you can't put any screws in there.

IMO, you are trying to sell a premium case. Why skip on the details? You should try to experiment with magnetic filters. Maybe they can be attached with the system as shown in this image and, if they could, then that would be enough.

All in all your case will probably be in the $400 region (Because you will have to sell the psu with it). A magnetic filter is what? $20?
 

LukeD

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Why wouldn't you just slide the fan filter between the radiator and the fans then ?

Also I won't be selling the PSU with it. It will be an option. I can't force a really expensive $190 USD power supply onto people, if they might not want to run an SLI setup in this.
 
D

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Why wouldn't you just slide the fan filter between the radiator and the fans then ?
This one is very easy: all the dust would get stuck in the radiator and the filter would only destroy your airflow and not filter anything. Filter needs to be first or not be there in the first place. If you have time to tinker... I suggest you test it. I know that radiators are very good filters, but cleaning them while mounted is a problem.

It is exactly what happened to me when I had a WC system years ago.

Also I won't be selling the PSU with it. It will be an option. I can't force a really expensive $190 USD power supply onto people, if they might not want to run an SLI setup in this.
But where exactly would we buy a psu if not from you? Are they commercially sold?
 

LukeD

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It doesn't matter where you put the fan filters. It will still be hard to clean. You could put them in front before the radiator, just screw them in, theres enough space for screw clearance, however cleaning won't be any easier.

With regards to the PSU, what I will most likely do is get FSP to manufacture a PSU ready for this case and sell it as an option, however not mandatory.
 
D

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Yes, if you screw the filter it is a pain to remove it.

Which is why you can make it so that it doesn't have to be screwed. It is a very important feature IMO that all modern cases of a certain tier offer right now.
 

danger

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I imagine this has already been suggested, but couldn't you have rotated the PSU and put it on the mobo side to cut down on the height of the case? Might lose one of the front fans, but the case would be much smaller.
 

LukeD

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The problem with moving the PSU to the motherboard side is that it would have to sit above the riser cables. Riser cables also need clearance. So if I did that I would need to make the case around 2cm wider. Otherwise the PSU and the riser cables simply would not fit together.
The PSU is 4 cm tall. So if we quickly do the math:

Move PSU to the side, the case dimensions would be:

Height: 29.00 cm
Length: 34.50 cm
Width: 15.20 cm
Volume: ~ 15.2L

Leave PSU as it is, the case dimensions are:
Height: 33.00 cm
Length: 34.50 cm
Width: 13.20 cm
Volume: ~ 15.0 L

Also if i move the PSU to the side I would lose the ability to mount a pump or reservoir above the chipset on the matx motherboard
Also having the PSU at the top - directly opposite the IO panel gives the PSU space to do some excess cable management.
 

LukeD

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I thought I'd share something interesting with you guys ... that i ran into today as I'm collating my test results:

So I started testing Project Orthrus with Furmark and CPU Burner - running each to put a maximum load on the system.
When I noticed my power supply started to get a little louder than usual.
I touched the back of the case and it felt really hot. I ran a number of tests and CPU (6800k @ 3.4 ghz) temps were off as well. Much higher than i expected (idle: 37c / load: 48c). GPU's were throttling (reporting thermal throttles, i thought something was wrong)

It wasn't until i took the side panel off that i noticed the fans on the radiator weren't spinning at all for some reason. Motherboard bios was set to DC mode for that fan header, i had to change it to PWM. I then also set the fan speed to 70% (which is about 1200rpm) and proceeded to take some more results.

Test results were a lot better but I was still getting a little bit of heat buildup near the power supply and that's when I realised that I forgot to put ventilation holes above the GPU's. Bad oversight. So I had to drill some holes in my new case !!!! PAINFUL to do on such an expensive prototype ! However, I think the results in the picture below speaks for themselves.

(P.S. Keep in mind the middle picture wasn't taken at max temperature (which is reached around the 15 min mark - the time-lapse video i was recording cut off at about the 10 min mark because the battery died on the FLIR camera) but take my word for it, that there was a bit more heat buildup than that.)



Moral of the story ... i know there are a lot of cases out there that don't have airflow going through them. These pictures show just how important it is to move that stagnant air out of a computer case so it doesn't cook itself.

On another interesting note... even though the radiator fans weren't on (in the first picture) the CPU only reached a maximum of 48 c ?!?! .... interesting :) good to know just the water flow was enough to dissipate heat.
 
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Tschus

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Long time follower, first time poster here.
I'd like to concur with prava on the filters. It would be great to have an elegant design on the filters which matches the level of other aspects of this case.
Especially it's an aluminum case which makes using magnetic filters kinda troublesome like the original NCase M1.

Maybe you could add a space for filters just behind the front panel and makes it able to be slid out from the side for easy clearing?
 

LukeD

Limp Gawd
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Hey Tschus, welcome and thank you for the feedback.
I've been thinking how I can incorporate a fan filter.
Due to the design of the case, using solid aluminium panels its hard to come up with mount points for fan filters
You could put a fan filter at the front of the case I believe where there is about 4-5mm of space, just enough to fit one however without it being secured in any way.
The width of the case would mean it wouldn't move much around anyway as there's no place for it to go.
Trying to implement a more defined solution for filter mounting would mean increasing the size of the case.
 
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I thought I'd share something interesting with you guys ... that i ran into today as I'm collating my test results:

Test results were a lot better but I was still getting a little bit of heat buildup near the power supply and that's when I realised that I forgot to put ventilation holes above the GPU's. Bad oversight. So I had to drill some holes in my new case !!!! PAINFUL to do on such an expensive prototype ! However, I think the results in the picture below speaks for themselves.

(P.S. Keep in mind the middle picture wasn't taken at max temperature (which is reached around the 15 min mark - the time-lapse video i was recording cut off at about the 10 min mark because the battery died on the FLIR camera) but take my word for it, that there was a bit more heat buildup than that.)



Moral of the story ... i know there are a lot of cases out there that don't have airflow going through them. These pictures show just how important it is to move that stagnant air out of a computer case so it doesn't cook itself.

On another interesting note... even though the radiator fans weren't on (in the first picture) the CPU only reached a maximum of 48 c ?!?! .... interesting :) good to know just the water flow was enough to dissipate heat.
Going to pretend that I didn't just read that you drilled holes into that beauty of a case! :dead: Maybe I won't share that with the rest of the Protocase team, haha.

All in the name of product testing though, totally worth it!
 
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LukeD

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Hahahahhaa. Welcome to the forum!
I still feel really bad, especially that I literally got perfection from Protocase guys and gals on this one ;)
After I saw what happens on the thermal images, It took me 2 days to work up the courage to even get a drill close to the case.
I even retested twice to make sure the results were consistent. (The heat build up at the back)
I won't show photos of it :p even though I think I did a pretty good job.
I feel so bad! It was such a big design oversight on my part. Somewhere between all the emails of revisions of moving things here and there 1mm, 2mm i totally forgot about the exhaust holes needed on the GPU side. Let's keep this our dirty little secret ;)
 
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