S4 Mini - An ULTRA-SFF Chassis shipping this December!

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by NFC, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. NFC

    NFC Limp Gawd

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    S4 Mini is in stock and shipping (I just don't know how to change the thread title) :)


    Hello guys and gals. Some of you might remember my last mods and side projects (S3 Elite and Mini). While I never got them retail ready in the end the project was a success and drove me forward to combine everything I learned into the S4 Mini. While I have been quiet on the internet, it is because I have been busy trying to make my dream a reality, and I am proud to announce that I believe I have!

    Announcement Video

    HARDFORUM Q&A VIDEO

    S4 MINI ASSEMBLY GUIDE

    My S4 Mini combines the luxury aesthetics of the S3 Elite with the ruggedness of the S3 Mini and at a price point that is down-to-earth for a small-run niche chassis.

    The S4 Mini is one of the smallest (if not the smallest) Mini-ITX chassis that support double-slot expansion cards (up to 8" in length) and comes at an exciting time for small form factor hardware:

    [​IMG]

    The chassis achieves this by embracing minimalism in the form of DC-DC power supplies, like the Mini-Box Pico or HD-Plex. Power supplies like the Pico 160XT allow for builds that are simple to install and elegant from reduction of wires.

    [​IMG]

    The S4 Mini is built with thick, premium, aluminum alloys that are anodized and dyed a deep black--even the pressed in hardware is anodized.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My favorite aesthetic feature is the wrap-around 5mm thick aluminum bezel. The difficulty of the bend combined with the brushed, anodized, and dyed finish help contribute to the uniqueness of the S4.

    [​IMG]

    While not included, the S4 Mini has two mounting points for 120mm fans. A removable bracket is positioned over the motherboard and allows for a 12mm thick Scythe fan to be installed over the recommended heat sink. The bottom mount can accommodate a standard 25mm thick fan with a single slot expansion card installed, or even some closed loop coolers with short, thin tubes if the user plans to use APU/CPU graphics:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    For storage, there is a removable steel bracket that is powder-coated black that accommodates two, 2.5" drives up to 10mm thick with an expansion card installed:

    [​IMG]

    To install an expansion card you will need a PCIE slot extender (ribbon cable). I have had some custom made for this chassis for an ultra-tight fit and no wasted space:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The exterior panels are painted with a custom powdercoat and are scratch resistant. The black texture is soft, but varied and adds some dynamism to the S4 Mini's uniqueness:

    [​IMG]

    As always I offer custom powder coating options. Pictured here for my Demo unit is my Prismatic Basalt on the black exterior panels, and a green candy over a silver artery:

    [​IMG]

    Thank you so much for all your support over the years, and for letting me announce my excitement on this forum! If there is any questions I can answer, feel free to email me at josh@nfc-systems.com for the fastest response, or post here!

    THANK YOU!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
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  2. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    First of all, please use miniature photos or photos with resolutions that fit 1000px width or something like that. It's not a neat thing to look through pile of photos with some notes in between them especially when you don't fit the whole photos on the screen.

    I like the machining and the green colour accent is really cool.

    Other than that I see a few problems here:
    - hard drives directly over the gpu means you're going to limit the gpu wattage really low and going for ITX GTX 970 mini isn't an option
    - will oversized PCB ITX GTX 970 even fit with that HD-plex connector?
    - you're showing the bottom pcb of gpu and drives to the outside in horizontal position - it might not be safe if something falls through the holes.
    - there's no feet on the bottom so the ventilation is blocked in horizontal position.

    Also you can't advertise selling here - it's against the rules, I think. Moderator did a sweep and sent message on that some time ago.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  3. superblockio

    superblockio [H]Lite

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    Well holy crap this looks amazingly sexy. How many liters is it? And what's the max wattage you can get out of those tiny power supplies?

    Edit: whoops nevermind, didn't see your link at first.
     
  4. ZombiPL

    ZombiPL Limp Gawd

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    I have to say that i like this case. It looks really compact and i think it could be carried in some laptop bags.

    I have some additional questions to those which Saper asked:
    - What size are venting holes? I think there is a possibility, that a coin can fall into the case and for example can make a "short circuit" on Your graphics card (we had similar problem with our pc case),
    - In some photos You are showing this case standing in a vertical position. Will there be any stand for it? I think it may fall on its side. You've made a very thick "wall" which is probably heavy, but i think it won't make this stable as it should in vertical position.
    - Only 2 mounting points for a 120mm fan? I think it's not a good idea, because You can even damage it while You will be mounting other elements, or even during a dust cleaning.
    - In a vertical position You've placed GPU under the motherboard and CPU. You know that today GPU is the most power-hungry unit in the PC? It means that, hot air from graphic card because of convection will go up and You'll be using it again for cooling Your CPU. If You'll stay with such big venting holes it won't be a problem, but i think if someone decide to add dust filters, than GPU and CPU temperatures will increase a lot.
    - How thick are S4 walls? I'm asking, because You've decided to use threads instead of standoffs. Aren't You afraid of damaging them (threads)? There are some mechanical "guidelines" saying that material thickness for thread should be at least (0.6-0.8) x screw's diameter. Of course this guidelines are made for a much bigger forces, but sometimes You could damage thread only by using a screwdriver. 1mm material isn't a good idea for a thread for M3 screw. Unless You are using a thermdrill.
    - $150 (pc case) + $35 (riser) + $46.50 (f.ex. picoPSU-160-XT pcb without PSU) = $231.5. This is a real price for S4 mini in a usable condition, similar to other cases. It's a lot. Is there a way to make some manufacturing improvements to make it cheaper, because at this point i think this is a real niche.
    - Is a power botton (with cables for it) included in the case's price?
    - Please remove information about selling. Just like Saper noticed, forum admin won't like You anymore :)

    You did a great work, but Your case still needs some improvements.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
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  5. EdZ

    EdZ Gawd

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    A single 40mm fan in a system is sufficient to overwhelm any air movement due to convection, as the temperature differentials involved (40-60K at most) are miniscule. Only in a completely passive system is it worth considering convective flow.
     
  6. ZombiPL

    ZombiPL Limp Gawd

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    40mm? Nope :) Even 50mm may have problems with hot air in a case with filters. We were trying to put some of 50mm and 60mm in sentry with additional filters, and i'm sure what i'm talking about. Maybe if You wouldn't buy additional filters, than there won't be such problem, but i'm sure there will be an increase of the temperature when You'll add dust filters. It will all depend on how powerfull components will be inside and how good dustfilter (in terms of filtering) You will use. If you have a big pc case, than You don't have to think about such things like convection. But in cases like S4 try adding dust filters and do not use additional fans (which are not included in this case price). I'm pretty sure what will happen, because we've tested it. As i mentioned before, everything depends what will You put inside the case. If You're going for overkill + good dustfilters without additional fans...good luck.

    EDIT:
    I didn't mention one thing. In S4 there aren't so many closed spaces, so maybe the problem won't be so obvious. Just a thing to discuss. Maybe designer will show us some temperature tests with external dust filters.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  7. EdZ

    EdZ Gawd

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    I didn't say a 40mm fan would be sufficient for system cooling, just that the amount of airflow due to convection is so minimal that relative component orientation is not important when it comes to cooling. You still have all the problems with air intake and flow paths, but simply reorienting a system (barring issues like intakes close to a flat surface) will not cause issues due to convection of hot air if there are any active fans in the system.
     
  8. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    In this configuration convection is still a problem unless you somehow enforce the flow over the gpu and it won't happen here since the top cover is perforated completely and cpu cooler won't pull air from over the gpu.

    It might happen with that additional fan over the motherboard if it can push enough air for positive pressure but with so much perforation it doesn't look like it's going to work this way.

    Filters all over the place might make it more possible for positive pressure though but then the whole case cooling performance will drop significantly.
     
  9. EdZ

    EdZ Gawd

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    That only applies if the GPU is passive. A GPU with a fan will move all its own air with no measurable contribution from convection.
     
  10. ZombiPL

    ZombiPL Limp Gawd

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    So You think that putting a hotter element under the colder part in a small closed box (case with filters) is a situation when lower element's temperature won't affect higher element's temperature just because we have some kind of mixing fan in a system? If You don't have a efficient ventilating system, then even mixed air from the hotter area will go up to the other section. If you don't have a place from where You can get some colder air, then after a while a fan is starting to mixing a hot air with "older" hot air, and then what? It has to go up, because of convection. Just because You have a fan in a system, it doesn't mean that convection stopped working. It still exists, but the scale how it affects the upper parts of the box depends on the ventilation area, and the air velocity which is affected by filters (if they exist). Smaller case means You have to think more about such things like convection.

    I'm not going to convince You more. We just tested it with one of our prototypes and i know our test results after many hours of testing in different conditions. S4 case is even smaller and i know, that adding air filters will make a difference in temperatures, and even convection will matter.
     
  11. EdZ

    EdZ Gawd

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    Yes. A single fan in a closed box is sufficient to homogenise the air temperature within. This is a separate problem from exchanging that internal air with fresh cool external air.
    The convection force is minuscule. The volume of air involved is very low (tens of litres at most), the heatsinks are comparatively large compared to the fluid volume, and temperature differences are very low (tens of degrees at most).

    With your continued mention of filters, you appear to be confusing internal convection (mixing of air inside the chassis) with ventilation (mixing of internal and external air). The only time convection is a concern for ventilation is for a completely passively cooled machine.
     
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  12. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    NOPE - this will happen regardless of gpu cooling type because the back of the card is not actively cooled.

    In general the problem is that graphic cards are designed to be cooled by the airflow inside the case going from the front to the back etc. In normal situation the card has it's back facing the cpu cooler which is moving the air.

    That's not the case when you've got the gpu on a riser laying horizontally. That's exactly why RVZ01 and Node 202 have fan mounts under the gpu - if you push the air with bigger fans that will go not only directly into the gpu but also around it, then the problem's solved. You only need a tiny part of the air stream to go directly up to move the hot air under the cover.

    RVZ02 does this differently by putting a shield just above the gpu that will accumulate the heat so the cover is not dangerously hot but still the hard drives are distanced and mounted on plastic brackets from this hot surface.

    What NFC did wrong is that air above the gpu, in close vicinity of hard drives will be most likely static and heating up - convection and perforation will let it slowly dissipate but still there's no active cooling that will protect drives from overheating because of thermal radiation.
     
  13. ZombiPL

    ZombiPL Limp Gawd

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    Back of the graphic card isn't ventilated. It means, if You don't push the hot air out of the case, then what? There is no problem, because You have a fan on Your graphic card? Nope.
    In such case, if a back of the GPU won't have enought of a colder air, the GPU will start throttling, because it's internal temperature will rise. And it doesn't matter if you have a "mixing" fan in the system.

    Adding dust filters = slow down air flow = increasing an amount of hot air inside the case (which is mostly gathering at the top of it). In smaller pc cases it is more noticeable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  14. Aircoookie

    Aircoookie Limp Gawd

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    I really like this case and would love to order it, however it's pretty expensive overall. The $185 for the case seems fair but theres a $90 shipping fee to Germany (+ potential customs cost). Furthermore, the small DC-DC power supply is pricey because it's such a niche product. Nevertheless i really appreciate your work and hope it will be a success :)
     
  15. killerfromsky

    killerfromsky n00bie

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    Im with edz on this.. No such thing as convection with such a small case.. CPU and GPU fans alone will negotiate it.

    Sick looking case, but I dislike a power brick myself. Going with a jonsbo v3 for my next build.
     
  16. updawg

    updawg Gawd

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  17. jaboki

    jaboki Gawd

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    I think this case is a good alternative to the Intel NUC. I might get it to be my Plex Server. Good work OP.
     
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  18. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    FFS had a page long comment typed out and went back a page -.-

    TL;DR:
    - There'll be no stand for the case, I don't think it will tip over
    - Case is set in stone and already produced, nothing will be changed
    - Everything was tested on this, including thermals and EMI, vents were designed accordingly. Don't know whether GTX970 or R9 Nano was tested
    - Case was designed with SSDs in mind, more resistant to heat, vents help, too.
    - Put case on desk in a way that GPU is at the top. Convection "problem" soved.
    - Case is 4.47L large. Thought it was smaller.
    - Fuck coins, they ruin designs.
    - No problem with two mounting points for fan. Bracket has flanges on the side for stiffening.
    - Curious about tapped holes, too. Wrap-around bezel is 5mm thick, I believe.
    - Josh, resize those damn pics! :D
     
  19. Siba

    Siba Limp Gawd

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    Add a lowercase 'L' to the end of each url before the .jpg or whatever extension, it'll resize them to more appropriate sizes I believe
     
  20. NFC

    NFC Limp Gawd

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    :D Thanks bud. Yeah, I spent the whole day making a HARDFORUM Q&A VIDEO for all these questions...but you pretty much nailed it and I bet it took you 4 mins. ;)

    Thank you!!!!
     
  21. ZombiPL

    ZombiPL Limp Gawd

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    Great video. Now we all know what we are talking about and what You wanted to achieve. Sorry for those many questions from me and my brother, but we wanted to help and we thought there is still some time for changes. Now we know this is a final product and i'm glad we made it clear. Every PC case which is promoting customizable SFF (other than Valve's new ready-to-go steamboxes) will get our full support here. Good luck with Your selling campaign :)
     
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  22. auntjemima

    auntjemima 2[H]4U

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    I like the look of the case. As I get older I seem to be more interested in SFF cases. Something that can easily move around, like a laptop (as mentioned above).

    I do see a small issue though.. maybe I'm just being difficult.. but the video card opening in the back seems to be very tight in relation to the card. Kinda blocking part of the DP port and right against the DVI port.

    Maybe its the angle.. maybe its where the card manufacturer placed the spacing. I don't know.
     
  23. NFC

    NFC Limp Gawd

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    Don't be sorry for questions...I love them and super appreciate you guys! The cool thing about the SFF small run community is we all have unique strengths and can lean on each other. There are so many different awesome niche SFF cases that there is something for everyone.

    Wow, yeah it does look that way from the last image! The slots follow ATX guidelines 100% though so I'm sure its the angle. Pardon the cruddy cell-phone shot:

    [​IMG]
     
  24. craz0

    craz0 Limp Gawd

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    Congrats on the case, great video to answer all the questions.
    I love seeing all these new ITX case's being done buy the little guy showing the big company's how it's done and what a enthusiast is really after.
     
  25. Silentbob343

    Silentbob343 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Great looking case and I loved the way you answered the PL brothers.

    Currently using a lianli pc-q07 in my office with picopsu, might need to retire it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  26. ZombiPL

    ZombiPL Limp Gawd

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    I have one more question:
    Can You run OCCT (or some other benchmark) for Your GPU and check what are internal temperatures of Your hard drives?

    I noticed that You are always mentioning external temperatures (flir camera shots You showed us), but can You give us some information what it looks like from the device sensor side? Maybe some kind of chart for GPU and CPU in idle and under load, and for ssd/hdd max values would be enough.
    Necere (one of Ncase M1 designers) left his new project just because he placed his ssd's in the similar way like You did. His drives started do be noticeably hot, which maybe wouldn't kill the drives immediately, but it could shorten their "lifetime" (>50 deg C). You have good ventilating system, but Your drives are really close to the back of the GPU PCB which in some cards can get easily over 100 deg C and max temperatures for ssd usually are like 60 deg C.
     
  27. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    Nice Q&A video, however I can't agree with everything and you didn't get some of the things we mentioned here.

    R7 360X for 1080 topped settings gaming? Only small, indie titles, I think.

    I couldn't find a good 360X review with good test so i checked the R7 370 reviews:

    [​IMG]

    So that looks like 15~20 fps at max settings on 360X. I wouldn't say that's playable.

    Also I think that the heat from the back might be similar between GTX 750, R7 360X and 970 since most of the heat is dissipated by the cooler BUT that doesn't mean there is no heat coming from the back.

    I'd like to see the temperatures of components on prolonged loads instead of thermal imaging. 40 degrees of surface and area doesn't mean anything if gpu and hard drives are boiling inside.

    About the oversized GTX 970 PCB - it should be something around 16mm from the bracket instead of reference 4.5mm~5mm.

    [​IMG]

    I won't check the sketchup model since I can't import it to CAD. If you could export to some interchangeable CAD format like step/iges then I could check it out for fitting.

    My concern here is that this oversize area will collide with the DC connector while sliding the bracket into the slot and I don't know if you can install this DC connector after mounting the gpu.

    About the price of PSU, I think you didn't get what Zombi meant - you need the hdplex or other DC converter which already costs like 90$ AND you still need to buy power supply brick. Anyway that's what you pay for dropping the standard power supply.

    I think that this is really a niche in a niche product - nice rig for general computing and playing indie games, but if you want to put 970 or R9 Nano inside you'll be limited to mSata/M.2 drives.
     
  28. Necere

    Necere 2[H]4U

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    To be fair, I was testing with a 250W TDP card (GTX 780), which is significantly greater than what you could install in this case. We also had filtered intakes and less ventilation in the drive area, both of which have a significant impact on airflow and heat dissipation.
     
  29. ZombiPL

    ZombiPL Limp Gawd

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    True, i should mention that. Thanks.
    But this is a reason why I'm asking for such benchmark. In Your project (Necere) there was a similar hdd mounting position, so I think people would like to know what influence in S4 has GPU on hdd/ssd chip, not only on its cover.
     
  30. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Sketchup is using polygonal models and as far as I know, there's no way to export them to STEP or IGES. And I'm sure Josh doesn't want to share the real model he made in Inventor :D
     
  31. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah, I get it. It's just that with sketchup I don't think one can properly check that out.

    As for the cad model - its quite simple construction and if he's sharing sketchup model than it's enough to rip-off his know-how anyway. Even it's easy from the photos to be honest.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  32. NFC

    NFC Limp Gawd

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    THANK YOU for your help and questions. I really appreciate them!

    I would like to emphasize before we begin a couple things so people know where I am coming from.

    1. I have opinions, prejudices, and personal preferences. These are my own, and I will give them when asked. Opinions don't need to be defended, factual claims do.

    2. My minimalist philosophy is "just enough is enough."

    3. I operate under the assumption that everyone on this board is an expert system builder. Therefore, it is up to them individually to decide what hardware is appropriate for the S4 Mini.

    4. I love constructive criticism, I love philosophy, I love design, and I love learning from others. I can't learn if I don't open my mind to other's ideas. I respect you!

    Ok let's begin!

    1. Although you can install mechanical 2.5" HDDs, my vision for the S4 Mini is SSDs.

    2. I'm actually not concerned at all about drive heat. 2.5" form factor was designed for laptops, which in general probably don't offer near the ventilation as the S4 and often times have metal-to-metal contact with the rest of the hot laptop.

    3. I agree it would be interesting to be able to monitor flash memory temperatures on-chip during benchmarks, but laser thermometers and thermal imaging shouldn't be discounted. How are HDD temps normally measured? Probably in the same way...benchmarks + thermal imaging of drive at parttemp. None of my drives have internal heat sensors, but if you send me one I will test it! :D

    4. My testing methodology isn't bulletproof...I just did enough to satisfy my own curiosity. However the prime reason I am not concerned about drive heat (testing aside) is that I sold 60 S3 Minis to an industrial client (i7 build + a quad processor expansion board for encoding video at 15,000kbps.) These machines are in a poorly ventilated environment (outside of my recommendations) and some operate 24/7. The S3 Mini's provision for drive cooling is...non existent. The drives are RIGHT smack under the blistering hot expansion board (which radiates 70C constantly from the topside). These systems have been running solid for two years now and not a single instance of catastrophic hardware failure anywhere (or data loss from SSDs). This example is purely anecdotal, take it with a grain of salt--but from this experience alone I have a clear conscience in brushing off drive heat concerns for SSDs.

    I want to be truthful 100% of the time but again, my personal preferences bias me. I'm an enthusiastic person by nature, and if I said anywhere in past videos or posts that the 360X tops 1080p settings in ALL TITLES then I was wrong....but I didn't say that in this video, so you can disagree with me, but I would disagree with myself if I said that...haha xD I simply said that an i76700t + a 360X is a perfect combo for this chassis, in my opinion.

    I stand by that opinion.

    The problem here is that "playable" and "enjoyable" mean different things to different people.

    Benchmarks are incredibly important in comparing hardware and making purchasing decisions, but they don't answer the questions of "playable" and "enjoyable."

    The 260X has been a real workhorse for my business and an awesome fit for the S3 Mini. I have two incredibly close friends who help me do testing and run benchmarks. We all have 260x S3 Minis and play most of our games on this system. In some titles, AA needs to be disabled, which for TV use is more than acceptable to us. In others, there might be a particular setting that needs to be bumped down one level. Some games might run on average at 55FPS, then drop to 20FPS in some areas. Some games need just a couple things tweaked. Overall, this card (and its successor) are excellent choices for the S4 Mini and a real winner in terms of heat output, power consumption, cable neatness, noise, and cost. Overall, it renders games at 1080p to an enjoyable degree for us.

    As far as the Witcher III goes, we found that with Nvidia Hairworks off, and shadows at medium but everything else mostly on High that the game ran quite well and was a smooth experience. Technically looking for frame stuttering and pixel peeping I truly believe is different an opposed to simply letting yourself be immersed by the game...one of my friends had AA disabled for a peformance bump, the other had it at 2x. I'm not sure on the draw distance...but I'm not doing a performance review here. I'm simply stating anecdotally that there is a reason PC games usually have graphics options and you can have a great looking gameplay experience on the 260X at 1080p (and therefore the 360 should too).

    Heat does come from the back. I included pictures of that. We agree!

    These pictures are in reference to skeptics questions about radiated heat. So they do mean something--it means that the radiated heat under load was not enough in my tests to cause concern about harming the SSDs.

    I agree with you that internal temperatures are important too!

    I don't have pictures, but I recall that the room was in the mid 80s(F), and the system was benchmarking for over an hour. The i7 CPU in the reverse vertical (hottest recommended orientation) was 55C, and the GPU was in the high 70s(C).

    Keep in mind that the thermal images display the recorded, hottest temperature. If the hottest component was the GPU heatsink at 39C, and the internal chip is 100C, then I think the concerns should be addressed to the manufacturer of the heatsink.

    Hotter GPUs will run hotter--those images are are of the system with recommended TDP (<120WTDP GPU, <66WTDP CPU).

    THANK YOU!!!!! This is incredibly helpful. If that is an accurate number, then the ASUS GTX 970, which I have always had fitment concerns about, would be classified as an extremely tight fit and not recommended for easy/compatible install.

    You are absolutely right to be concerned here...I share the same concerns. If it does fit the connector might not be able to be pre-installed. It would be a challenge to install it after the fact, but it doesn't look impossible either. That being said, I have never recommended this card! Why is it the benchmark! It is an out-side spec card!!!! xD

    ...At the same time I love "cram-modding" and I am sure some other people here do too! :D

    I understood him, I just disagree... :)

    My recommended PSU, for my recommended configuration (i7 6700t, 2 SSDs, and a R7 360), is the Pico 160 XT.

    Which is $79 for the kit.

    The alternative option for experienced users who want to stuff as much power in the box as possible is the HDPLEX + ($50 for a power brick of your choice...I'm currently testing the voodoo one).

    This is combo costs about $135

    I stated several times that I know this is expensive, but I think its not apples to apples. For example, a quality ATX powersupply for a decent system is the same price as the Pico kit!

    The apples to apples comparison for the HDPLEX, which enables you to stuff as much power into the box as you can before you cap on heat and space, would be the ATX alternative for stuffing as much as you can into an ATX case. In this regard, it is a comparable expense and one that is outside the scope of the chassis.

    You need to buy a power supply for your system whether your chassis is the S4 Mini or the Temjin Tj07.

    A FAIR critcism (in my opinion) would be the cost of the S4 Mini is too high, and that you need a ribbon cable that you could forgo in a normal chassis. But that is a decision left up to the customer who wants an ultra-small, high-quality, mini-itx chassis that fits in a backpack sleeve.

    [​IMG]


    Great! I 1000% respect your opinion and what is more, as I stated before, it is your choice as an expert system builder to make that decision for yourself. I'm not making it for you.

    Personally
    I hate 2.5" drives in general and always opt for mini-sata or mPCIE because it reduces clutter, offers similar performance, and is easier to install. I included the bracket for people who want more drive options.

    :|









    xD





    Again, I totally appreciate the questions, concerns, comments, and constructive criticism. I am thankful for them, and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

    I will be posting a video before the ship date of a build I am doing with the S4 Mini, and I think it will make the installation process much more clear.

    THANK YOU!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  33. updawg

    updawg Gawd

    Messages:
    608
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    I would like to offer up an analogy. A case like this could be viewed as a car. You don't buy a Porsche to go off roading and therefore you don't have to take those extremes into design considerations.

    What people put under the hood of these cases has to conform to the constraints of their environment, power utilization, and component size. That is why, just like Dan's A4 case, you come up with a list of recommended components for realistic use. If enthusiasts want to push it to the extreme that is up to them. I also think this relates directly to the success of the Ncase. Everyone here is buying Ncase M1's because it doesn't conform to the requirements of an "average" consumer. It maximizes the little space it has without catering to extremes. If you buy Ncase M1 and buy a 14" card you can't blame Necere for designing a bad case.

    In my opinion this case is near perfect for what it offers: Size to Power ratio. You can argue the affordability and the additional volume of the adapter, but it is ahead of the general trend of current cases, especially with HBM cards starting to mainstream. We have Nvidia releasing HBM Pascal cards in 2016. We also have AMD expanding into its 2nd generation of HBM cards AND the release of their ZEN cpu which will make APU's really tempting. With the ability to water cool a powerful APU in this case it will make for an amazing HTPC.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  34. superblockio

    superblockio [H]Lite

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Yeah, I'm really excited to see what Pascal means for ITX-sized graphics cards. If we can get something with the performance of like the 980 TI inside a case like this without using a ton of power... that would be incredible. Might just be wishful thinking though. :p
     
  35. Siba

    Siba Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    341
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    How long will this be in production/purchasable for? I don't have any plans in the foreseeable future for a new machine, but this looks great
     
  36. NFC

    NFC Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Hopefully a while!
     
  37. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,635
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    There's one thing I'm curious about - How do you detach that thick rounded external piece when you want to install longer gpu.

    It looks to me that the screw(visible on the closeup with fan) is pressed in to this piece and therefore it prevents you from sliding it down and you can't just take it out straight to the front because that piece is also bent at the back near the DC connector.

    Is there a slotted hole for this screw letting you slide it down a bit or do you need to spring that piece a bit to let it come out?
     
  38. NFC

    NFC Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    They are threaded posts (expensive, but worth.) Sometimes they are tight, but they do thread out. Then you can take the front off...but you really only need to do this for modding or painting because GPUs under 7.5" can be put in without removing any brackets.

    The maximum card length is 8" INCLUDING a connector...so 7.5" is all you really could stick in if your connector is on the end.

    If people want longer GPUs, I direct them to other chassis, like yours. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  39. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,635
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Not sure if you got what I was talking about. This photo:

    [​IMG]

    I'm talking about the thread with a nut on it visible in the right corner here. If the internal piece have simple round hole then to take it off you'd need to bend/spring the bend corner at the back next to DC connector location.

    That doesn't look like a threaded post to me :)
     
  40. Stevo_

    Stevo_ Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    285
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Zombi and Saper you may try to come off like you're helping but you come off more like a couple of real assholes spamming someone else's case thread while selling your own book as the saying goes. Based on your behaviour in this and other case threads I don't think I'd ever buy one of you cases.

    The NFC S4 is in production, he's selling them, get over it!