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Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by ZombiPL, Apr 1, 2018.
We hope he'll make a follow up video with the results of his tests. We just have to wait.
I hope he does too. At the very least you have some videos on youtube with liquid cooling benchmarks which is good.
Sentry 2.0 Engineering Sample Review
I was lucky enough to be selected by ZombiPL and SaperPL to receive an engineering sample of Sentry 2.0 for review. Here I'm providing my honest review as well as a comparison of Sentry 2.0 to Sentry 1.1.
Spoiler: Hardware in my system
CPU: Intel i7-4790K
· 88W TDP
· Delidded with liquid metal (Conductonaut) under the IHS
· Undervolted by 0.045V
· All core turbo 4.4GHz.
CPU Cooler: Thermolab LP53
· Noctua NF-a9x14 fan
· 3D printed fan adapter from J-Hack
· Thermal paste: Thermal Grizzly Cryonaut
Motherboard: Gigabyte z97n-wifi
RAM: 2x 8GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical Low Profile
· CAS 10-10-10-32
Storage: 2x 2.5in SATA SSDs
· Crucial M500 500GB 2.5in (near CPU)
· Crucial MX200 1TB 2.5in (near PSU)
GPU: EVGA GTX 1080ti SC Black Edition
· Repasted with Thremal Grizzly Cryonaut
· GPU core +75mhz
· Memory +250mhz
· Custom fan curve (always on, no silent mode)
PSU: Corsair SF-600 Gold
· Cablemod custom cables
OS: Windows 10 Pro version 1709
Packaging and Unboxing
The DR Zaber team has overhauled and updated the packaging for Sentry 2.0. Some of the video reviews touched on this but I figured I'd include it anyway.
Here we have the box Sentry 2.0 arrived in next to my Sentry 1.1 system in my living room.
You can see it was wrapped tightly in plastic and then bound with heavy plastic straps. Nothing is getting in or out of this box.
Below is a comparison between the Sentry 2.0 box and Sentry 1.1 box.
As you can see the box for Sentry 2.0 is pretty large and robust with thick cardboard sidewalls.
The box had a nice little seal on it, reassuring you that nobody has opened it since it left Poland. Not sure if they'll do that on the final units for backers but it was a cool attention to detail.
Once inside you're greeted with heavy foam padding all around.
Beneath the top square of foam is Sentry 2.0, sheathed in a nice little bag.
Once the Sentry 2.0 case is removed, you find another foam panel, under which are all the accessories, PCIe riser, screws, vertical stand, and a handy screwdriver.
And here's a shot of everything spread out.
On to the build process.
Already having two Sentry 1.1 systems I had a good idea of what I was getting in to but, to provide proper feedback I followed the manual for Sentry 2.0 obtained from the Sentry website.
In the interest of not boring you all with a step by step build here's a few key things I noted during the build.
**There are fewer screws! and fewer types of screws! Seems like a small change but if you're like me and always messing around with your hardware, trying new thermal pastes, tweaking and modding things, you'll appreciate this. Not that Sentry 1.1 was a huge hassle but this change makes opening and closing Sentry that much easier, and quicker. **
The power button cable can be pretty tight in and around the PSU cables, especially if you have to run 2x PCIe cables and 2x SATA power cables like me.
It takes some planning but it's very manageable. (yes my PSU has fine filter mesh taped over it )
Next is cable management around the motherboard. If you've never built a small form factor PC, be patient, the payoff in the end is worth it. I ran my CPU power (luckily only a single 4 pin for CPU on my board) under the motherboard and out the other side by the connector (on the right side of the image below). Custom cables aren't totally necessary, but they help. You can see I left my 24 pin hanging. I did that so I could run the pass-through power cable (not pictured here) from the rear panel to the PSU underneath the 24 pin.
Also worth mentioning, the foam inserts from the Sentry 2.0 packaging make a nice soft surface to place Sentry on while building, won't scratch your table or the case. I can't guarantee it's static free but, it worked for me.
The old ribbon riser of Sentry 1.1 caused problems for a few backers, and the insertion and clamping of the riser was a common point of difficulty for some people building in Sentry. The riser is now a solid, two piece PCB solution. I think this is a really nice change. The clamping mechanism is, overall, better this time. Though the depiction in the manual could potentially be tweaked a bit more, it was in my opinion more straightforward than Sentry 1.1, and should be easier for a majority of builders. I believe either Kyle (Bitwit) or Paul's videos on Youtube actually clearly show the insertion and securing of the PCIe riser clamp very well, can't remember which one. Both worth watching.
Essentially once the PCB riser is in place, the clamp slots in from the GPU compartment, then rocks/swings up and you secure it with screws from above. Here you can see the PCIe riser slot with me holding the clamp in place before I screw it in. You can also see I ran a SATA power cable under the PCIe riser to the SSD by the CPU side.
Unfortunately on my motherboard the USB 3.0 header is directly beneath the 2.5in drive mount in Sentry 1.1 and 2.0 so I was unable to use the included USB 3.0 cable for front panel USB 3.0...maybe one day when I get around to updating my platform. ...
The 2.5in drive mounting is very similar to Sentry 1.1, a slightly revised bracket this time. Very simple.
GPU insertion is straightforward. Unlike some cases *ahem* Node 202
Here we have the completed build.
The revise lid ventilation means, for my system with the chipset between the PCIe slot and CPU (that is, CPU set farther away from the PCIe slot) that the CPU fan now has complete, unrestricted access to fresh air. Whereas Sentry 1.1 covered about 1/3 of the CPU fan.
Performance and comparison with Original Sentry
This is probably what many of you are interesting in, so here we go.
Spoiler: Performance test
· Idle (15 minutes) tried to kill as many background processes as possible
· Cinebench R15 (5 consecutive runs, ~5 seconds in between each)
· 3D Mark Firestrike Extreme (5 consecutive runs)
· Shadow of War 1080p ~120Hz (built in benchmark) for CPU + GPU load
· Shadow of War 4K ~60Hz (built in benchmark) for mainly heavy GPU load
Additional Testing info
Personally, I use Sentry in the living room 99% of the time, as such, it was tested in the horizontal configuration.
Ambient temp was 19C (66F) for all these tests.
Hardware temps were recorded with HWInfo64.
I'm reporting Max temp recorded and average temp recorded.
My Sentry 1.1 system was left as it has been configured for a while now. That means the CPU fan was "sealed" to the case lid with weather stripping, and I had a 40mm fan setup as exhaust on the CPU side. This is Sentry 1.1 in the "best possible scenario" against Sentry 2.0.
Oh and one more thing. Because I can't stop myself from modding everything, I tested Sentry 2.0 stock and then again with a shroud made of cardboard paper around the CPU fan. This is NOT NECESSARY...Here's what that looked like.
Spoiler: Sentry 2.0 w/ cpu shroud
I trimmed the excess down to fit under the case lid. In this configuration the CPU fan is prevented from recycling any hot air, and it creates a bit more positive pressure inside the case. It is NOT necessary, I just can't stop myself .
Max temps recorded
CPU temps are generally better in Sentry 2.0. Remember my Sentry 1.1 was already modded a bit, so the fact Sentry 2.0 unmodded achieves equal or better in most scenarios is great.
GPU temps are generally comparable. Firestrike is a bit unfair, it was 15 minutes of 100% GPU punishment. No major change with my particular GPU in actual gaming though. It's worth noting, on average my GPU fan was about 100rpm slower in Sentry 2.0 during most of these tests.
When you really push both the cpu and gpu things tend to get warm. but totally manageable.
The SSD near the PSU was generally cooler than the one near the CPU and that makes sense.
Average temps recorded
The average temps for CPU follow the same trend as the max temps.
The same goes for GPU temps. Under normal gaming loads the GPU temps are either the same or slightly better in Sentry 2.0 than Sentry 1.1
The SSDs follow the exact same trend for the average temp as they did for max temp.
Sentry 2.0 is a good evolution of Sentry 1.1. They got community feedback and addressed many important things. The main benefit to me is the ease of building. Fewer screws, fewer types of screws, and better riser and clamp mechanism. This really makes Sentry 2.0 feel more polished. Availability of 120mm AIO configuration is a bonus too, though I'm not personally interested in AIO coolers.
I should meson that while temps were not astonishingly better (you can only expect so much heat to dissipate inside 7L), during normal desktop use, my fan speeds were noticeably slower and quieter. Idle and light load temps were consistently better. Even during heavy loads that increased ventilation of 2.0 decreases the fan noise and you hear less of an intense "woosh" of air compared to 1.1. I don't have proper equipment to measure but the sound of the fans seems less intrusive now. The weight savings compared to 1.1 is also appreciated. It's not feather light, it is still steel, but any decrease in weight without sacrifice in strength is nice.
Overall this is an evolutionary update. If you already have Sentry 1.1 and you are happy then you probably don't need to worry about upgrading to 2.0. If you want the smallest case to use with an AIO, get Sentry 2.0. If you missed the campaign for Sentry 1.1, definitely get 2.0. This case will not disappoint. Sentry is one of the smallest cases around, and it's in my opinion the most durable, and most portable case available.
Maybe rather than a platform update you should get a low profile adapter for that 20-pin USB 3.0 cable?
Also I think you did not mention in which orientation you are using the case - is it horizontal? This matters for the performance comparison.
Haha good catch! I can't believe I forgot to include that. It was horizontal. The previous post has been updated.
I expected some improvement on 1080TI in vertical orientation, we should see at least some minor boost clock improvement if it's not hitting power limit (therefore not getting below target temp).
I use a pretty aggressive custom fan curve through MSI Afterburner, so temps never get very high no matter what. I can test in vertical orientation too.
I also plan to use my Lian Li machined aluminum feet again so I can test those too to see if the extra few mm makes a big difference. It just means removing the motherboard though
Yes! Level 1 techs does pretty good content. SaperPL, ZombiPL you guys got a lot of high quality YouTube coverage this time!
Well, there's a lot of pragmatism in sending cases for a such big amount of reviews from our side. The most common reproach from the people who got in touch with us after the campaign for Sentry 1.1 ended was that they did not know about the campaign at all.
And while this may sound like an excuse, remember that we had quite a lot of time between Linus' video and the campaign and know that a lot of people subscribing to our newsletter didn't dig up their confirmation e-mail to confirm the subscription, so they were removed from the newsletter list.
Btw it's funny to see a lot of people thinking we literally paid the youtubers to show our case. I thought at this point people would know the difference by the product placement mark in the video on youtube.
Doing such deal without disclosing that coverage is paid, would be a high risk for a youtube channel, considering such deal is on the table of multiple youtubers, and some 'righteous' youtuber would definitely spill the beans.
So in such case we would need truckload of money that would send their children to college to make them do it, and if we had that kind of money, we probably wouldn't be doing crowdfunding
Yeah it's definitely clear that the tech youtubers are taking you guys seriously this time. There's been a lot of failed crowd funding campaigns for pc enthusiasts, especially sff fans. I remember Linus' coverage of Sentry 1.0 he was skeptical the campaign would even be successful. I think now that you guys have proven you can deliver a solid product they're taking it seriously this time.
It looks like Paul did test his Sentry 2.0 with water cooling. I was getting worried that we wouldn't have anyone do a test with an AIO.
He did, but having a fan pull the air from the inside rather than cool the CPU with fresh air is, uhh, suboptimal? Also expecting to cool down OC'd 8700K with C7 alu which even had issues with proper mounting if you VRM components were too tall...
Yeah, it's great that someone finally did it, but on the other hand we saw how many things we should still improve in our manual, because he could get better performance than he did. For example, like Saper wrote, AIO's fan should be taking the air from outside of the case (page 13 of the manual), while in Paul's build it was cooling the radiator with the air from GPU section. Probably Paul made his video a lot earlier than we updated this page. Also this aluminium C7 fan might be problematic. As I remember, it had problems with proper connection with the surface of the CPU, because it layed on the nearby capacitors.
Nethertheless such reviews are also important because they make people to start asking questions, like: Why everyone could achieve better results in this and this situation, and why you couldn't repeat them. Some reviews are still to come, and maybe we will see some more AIO builds (I hope).
Yeah, I hadn't watched the video yet when I posted it. It does make me wonder why he thought using air from inside the case was the better orientation. I imagine he just didn't think about it. I'm also hoping for some more tests with an AIO to see some comparisons with the test you did and Paul's.
So when we'll be able to buy it?
On our website we have a timer showing time left to our indiegogo campaign. If I remember correctly, in this forum as designers/manufacturers we are not allowed to give you guys direct links to our "where-to-buy" websites. Because of that, the only thing I can write is the note, that all the needed information will be posted on our website.
Hi i searched the thread and internet but couldnt find the answers to my 2 questions.
Can the sentry 2.0 handle higher gpu's like the zotac mini itx cards (1070, 2070 and above) without modding the pci power connectors ? It was mentioned at the beginning of the thread but i cant find a proper conformation nor a resounding "no".
I think no because the gpu diagram is still the same in the 2.0 manual but i can hope right ?
Is the sentry 2.0 still the same sheet metal thickness as the 1.1 ?
Kind regards and thank you for the great product.
There's a full compatibility list, and the card that don't fit by default as stated as no compatibility.
Yes, the steel sheet is still 1 mm thick.
Everyone get on the HYPE train. It's happening!
Funny how right when I click on it (when clock hit 00) there was 110 people already pledged. I wonder who were they?
Also hype! I'm 143 in line. Exciting times!
The ones who could freeze time and read the whole campaign story on the first second after launch
You mean people found you before link replaced timer. Damn! : D Still I think this are your friends or something like that.
That said I would like to know more on serial numbers engraved on sentry case back plate. How do those start on Sentry 2? Also do you expect any issues with
manufacturing like those rare cases that sometimes happen.
Does anyone have a link to pictures or videos of the case in grey?
I didn’t know there was going to be an option other than black. Very exciting.
Quick question: Did you have a time change last weekend? We updated the clock after that (-1 hour), so if you didn't refresh our website on your computer, then you probably had an old date. We would never to such thing like to make some "secret links" for our friends. There are no individual batches in this campaign, so what's the point?
It's revision 2.0 (a new version), so we will start counting from 0001. Those numbers will be sent randomly, because connecting the exact number with exact backer will end in a big delay in shipping (slower packaging process, slower invoice issuing, slower filing of DHL courier documents, longer package labels printing and sticking). All of those things combined will make you get your case later... and I am not talking about days, but weeks. This is why we will be sending packages randomly, only checking who ordered which color.
We checked our repeatability, and everything is ok (both assembling speed and the quality). Only issues we can expect are probably connected with the delivery time from our subcontractors and paper work for customs services. At this moment we do not know how Brexit will influence our external orders, so I do not know if such delays will occur or not. We will do everything on our side to manufacture all units as soon as possible.
There is a gallery on our website with many photos of Navy Gray case:
There are also many other photos showing this colour in a typical living room. Just read through whole campaign page
Oh yeah that might be it I probably didn't refresh just so I could see time ticking down
Thanks for the serials explanation, sounds good. Also glad to hear we get to expect
Thank you so much! I read through the page but the colors are close enough I couldn’t tell which was which. That gallery only showed the white version, but I’ll look closely at the indiegogo again.
I wasn’t sure if any of the review videos had gotten the Navy Grey version.
Is there any hope for a white model coming in a possible future campaign?
Thanks a million!
I think there is not a single photo of white version in this campaign. Only Navy Gray. I do not know how close you were following our forum topics, but we wanted this color to be similar to the one used by Navy on their aircrafts and ships:
This is definitely not white!!!
There might be such possibility, but our subcontractor who is manufacturing steel elements for us and then painting them, should receive an order for 3000-5000 units from us. To paint cases properly in white with the quality we demand and without errors you will have to invest in robots who will be applying powder coating in the repeatable way. If our submanufacturer will see, that it will be profitable for him to invest in this automatic tooling, then we will offer again white colour. Right now it is a melody of future... who knows...
First campaign update!
We're closing in on the half of campaign goal and we didn't even pass the first week of campaign!
Just realised that hardware unboxed teased the grey colour a little:
Just for the record, there are two reference photos in the manual showing off how to manage hoses:
Looks like the custom, separate-sleeved cables may be hard to handle alongside AIO hoses.
Paul's Hardware has another video featuring the Sentry 2.0. It's not really focused on the case other than that he's building a system in each of the two colors. I just wanted to point it out since it has some more footage of the gray color. It doesn't have any benchmarks or anything in it; just some footage of him assembling a build in the two colors.
For unknown reason , I keep receiving Sentry 2.0 newsletter into the junk folder !!!
I hope you can figure out a way to avoid that,
awareness emails at this time are very important !