SENTRY: Console-sized gaming PC case project

Necere

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Check out CorsairGeorge's post on manufacturing costs to get some idea of the economics behind it. It's an educational read. He mentions $250k for tooling something like the M1, and he'd know better than I, honestly.
 

SaperPL

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Yeah, that makes sense. Just there's no tooling cost as stated in the post which you said they're not doing for custom cases :)

Anyway I get that the idea is to try and make them run your idea of a case and not simply order manufacturing of your design.
 

ZombiPL

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Check out CorsairGeorge's post on manufacturing costs to get some idea of the economics behind it. It's an educational read. He mentions $250k for tooling something like the M1, and he'd know better than I, honestly.

Imo $250k for tooling for such case like M1 is way too high, but i understand that it depends where You are making it. I know a Polish market and If You would make moulds in Poland, it would cost something like $70k-$80k (just like You said in the previous post). If You would buy the tooling in f.ex. Germany, You would probably pay $170k-$180k, but You have to remember one thing. Nowadays many EU companies just takes the orders and go... to Poland to make it cheaper, with the same quality as in Germany, or sometimes even better. I predict the cost of the tooling can be a little bit cheaper in China than in Poland, but also i predict that $60k is a minimum what You should pay for the moulds, and probably not in such quality like the ones from Poland.

I don't know if You've noticed, but some moulds/tools can fit into many pc cases and some other tools can be "reorganized" to be, for example wider in one direction (the "free holes" are filled with metal parts according to Reynard serie). In my opinion at least some parts of the M1 are made with die press, but LianLi didn't have to tell You that (like that sheet which is holding side filters/vents... i won't believe it's made on an edge press).

In conclusion i have to say that, we won't be using die presses... at all. Companies we're working with don't have equipment and moulds for such things and we don't want to increase the final pc case price. Those at least $70k is still to high for some two guys who just want to do something for others. In the price of our case i don't know if we'll get 20% or at least 10% for future improvements, to make the 2nd version, 3rd one and so on. Our case must be as cheap as possible. Many people just wanted to carve xbox cases to put their pc components in it, but our case changed their minds, and we want to keep things that way. As You (Necere) said, the cost of moulds could kill such project, which is obviously from community for community.

Thank You for making some things clear about Your M1 project. Every information which makes our case cheaper is helpful.
 

iFreilicht

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Check out CorsairGeorge's post on manufacturing costs to get some idea of the economics behind it. It's an educational read. He mentions $250k for tooling something like the M1, and he'd know better than I, honestly.

Is that the thread they used to determine how the Bulldog should look like? Because it seems strange that nobody likes that case yet they had so many people contribute to it.
 

Necere

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Is that the thread they used to determine how the Bulldog should look like? Because it seems strange that nobody likes that case yet they had so many people contribute to it.
That's actually the thread they started before they released the 250D, which is supposed to reflect what the most popular poll options were. I actually don't think the poll was that well thought through; for example, the only two options for size being full size GPU and PSU, or HTPC without full GPU support. Given those two choices, I'd pick the former too. But they completely neglected to include an option for full GPU and compact PSU (either ~140mm ATX or SFX), which can save a ton of space over a full size 180mm+ ATX PSU.
 

Andorski

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That's actually the thread they started before they released the 250D, which is supposed to reflect what the most popular poll options were. I actually don't think the poll was that well thought through; for example, the only two options for size being full size GPU and PSU, or HTPC without full GPU support. Given those two choices, I'd pick the former too. But they completely neglected to include an option for full GPU and compact PSU (either ~140mm ATX or SFX), which can save a ton of space over a full size 180mm+ ATX PSU.

They probably didn't consider the choice of a SFX PSU due to Corsair not selling one themselves at the time. They have 140mm non-modular PSUs, but I imagine upper management not liking the idea of a case that doesn't fit a PSU from their entire line of power supplies unless it cut down the size of the case by a lot.

Now that Corsair has the SF600 though they might see making a case that utilizes a small SFX PSU in order to cut down the overall size of the case a product worthy of designing.
 

dondan

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There is only one reason why your case could be produced cheap with lasercutting: You have less and big venting holes if your case would have thousend holes like the A4 or M1 your production price would be tribled and more expensive as the cost of one A4 without a riser in production. Furthermore NCT has the advantage that the edges of the parts aren't sharp. So your hands are protected while wirking in the case. ;)
 

Nicholars

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From looking at that my first impression is that it will be full of dust in no time and that anything smaller than those holes will fall into it. Add a dust filter.
 

SaperPL

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There is only one reason why your case could be produced cheap with lasercutting: You have less and big venting holes if your case would have thousend holes like the A4 or M1 your production price would be tribled and more expensive as the cost of one A4 without a riser in production. Furthermore NCT has the advantage that the edges of the parts aren't sharp. So your hands are protected while wirking in the case. ;)
Are you addressing us and our case or it's a follow up to the corsair case topic? I'm kind of lost here.

Anyway as for the sharp edges in our case - laser cutting partially blunts the edges and then after quality check lasting sharp edges are deburred. After that powder painting is supposedly additionally rounding the edges a bit.

From looking at that my first impression is that it will be full of dust in no time and that anything smaller than those holes will fall into it. Add a dust filter.

Dust problem depends a lot on the location/climate and type of place you're using your pc in. I personally didn't have any dust problems with my home computers while never using any filters. My pc would always get old before I would need to clean it up from the dust at home so I cleaned the chassis when rebuilding. At the same time all of our company pc's have the dust problem since people walk around a lot, go in and out of the office which ends up with dust covered interior. Also I think that pc's standing on the ground tend to get more dust than the ones on the desk (which is more like the target of our case).

We've got an option of having the holes punched thus making them a lot smaller and a lot more of them but it will cost more unless we order bigger amounts. Making holes smaller (as in small chassis holes) won't really change the fact that a lot of dust will come inside the case anyway so only filters can really solve dust problem. We know about it and we're thinking about solving it somehow.
 
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SaperPL

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Hi guys. Meanwhile you release the case I think I will make a home-made case. I need your opinion. This riser will work with my 970+H81? . Is the longest one I saw with a good price. I will need a flexible riser cable as long as Dondan case

We're not going to use such a long ribbon riser but so far we didn't have any problems with our test 19cm ribbon. I think you should follow dondan's thread on this problem anyway.
 

elshekar

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Thanks for the help. I only have PCI-E 2.0 (H81 chipset) then i'll search only 16x cables. I'm afraid the 1x gives me problems (because I have 2.0 not 3.0)

See ya!
 

SaperPL

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I don't get it - why would having pci-e 2.0 would give you any problem with one GTX 970? The pci-e scaling performance's been tested on techpowerup and there are no problems with such config

Why use x1 riser - was that a mistake in writing or were you seriously trying to use your card on single lane connection?
 

ZombiPL

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Thanks for the help. I only have PCI-E 2.0 (H81 chipset) then i'll search only 16x cables. I'm afraid the 1x gives me problems (because I have 2.0 not 3.0)

See ya!

According to this article: https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GTX_980_PCI-Express_Scaling/1.html, You shouldn't have problems with Your PCI-E, in the way You are describing it.
Maybe You have some physical problems with Your riser (broken wires or too long riser next to the power cable)??

If You have long distance between Your card and PCI-E slot or power cables next to it, maybe You should try riser with special coating like dondan did in his case?
 
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elshekar

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Is not a problem if I use my PCI-E 2.0 on a GTX 970 (I have the same performance as PCI-E 3.0)

But most of the riser cables are 1X to 16X. In Pci-E 3.0 gives the same performance the 1x to 16x and the 16x-16x. But I have PCI-E 2.0 and i'm afraid 1x to 16x gives me poor performance. I will pick a 16x-16x of 20-24cm in the end. I have to buy it from Chine, becouse in my country I only see 1X to 16X.

If you think that PCI-e 2.0 with 1X to 16X will have the same performance I will buy it too. I wish to start now, dont wanna wait one month :p
 

QinX

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Is not a problem if I use my PCI-E 2.0 on a GTX 970 (I have the same performance as PCI-E 3.0)

But most of the riser cables are 1X to 16X. In Pci-E 3.0 gives the same performance the 1x to 16x and the 16x-16x. But I have PCI-E 2.0 and i'm afraid 1x to 16x gives me poor performance. I will pick a 16x-16x of 20-24cm in the end. I have to buy it from Chine, becouse in my country I only see 1X to 16X.

If you think that PCI-e 2.0 with 1X to 16X will have the same performance I will buy it too. I wish to start now, dont wanna wait one month :p

PCIe 3.0 16x to 16x gives you between 100% and 100% performance
PCIe 2.0 16x to 16x gives you between 100% and 99% performance
PCIe 3.0 1x to 16x gives you between 88% and 72% performance
PCIe 3.0 1x is almost equal to having PCIe 1.1 4x
PCIe 2.0 1X to 16x would probably give you some where below 70% of the performance I wouldn't do it if at all possible.
https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GTX_980_PCI-Express_Scaling/21.html

You mentioned using a PCIe riser with an H81 motherboard, which motherboard are you going to use?
 

elshekar

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Asrock H81M-ITX. No problems with this case cause the socket is as far as possible from the PCI-e ;)

Thanks for the info QinX very interesting!
 

QinX

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Wow, they actually implemented on PCIe 2.0? So strange.
But if I where you I'd go with a 16x to 16x Riser.

Now back on topic ;)
 
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OMG! You don't understand how long I've been looking for a case like this... Its probably been like 3+ years that I've been searching for such a perfect slim case that I can take to lans/friends place. The overall aesthetics of the case are just sooo damn pleasing to the eyes! I really dig that minimal look and feel without having to add bulk just to make it function right like some other ITX case's when this design works just fine. I want to thank you guys so much on how much time was spent on the project to be real since I'd be ok paying 150-200 for such a great case, and hopefully that shows how happy I am for you guys to be making this prototype and getting it closer to the consumers. Ha-ha sooo how do I get to be on that A list to get it in the first wave?
 

ZombiPL

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OMG! You don't understand how long I've been looking for a case like this... Its probably been like 3+ years that I've been searching for such a perfect slim case that I can take to lans/friends place. The overall aesthetics of the case are just sooo damn pleasing to the eyes! I really dig that minimal look and feel without having to add bulk just to make it function right like some other ITX case's when this design works just fine. I want to thank you guys so much on how much time was spent on the project to be real since I'd be ok paying 150-200 for such a great case, and hopefully that shows how happy I am for you guys to be making this prototype and getting it closer to the consumers. Ha-ha sooo how do I get to be on that A list to get it in the first wave?

Thanks :)

I'll talk with Saper to make some update, because today i'm sending 4th prototype to the factory. This time with galvanized steel, point-welding and painting. We'll see how it goes.
 

SaperPL

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OMG! You don't understand how long I've been looking for a case like this... Its probably been like 3+ years that I've been searching for such a perfect slim case that I can take to lans/friends place. The overall aesthetics of the case are just sooo damn pleasing to the eyes! I really dig that minimal look and feel without having to add bulk just to make it function right like some other ITX case's when this design works just fine. I want to thank you guys so much on how much time was spent on the project to be real since I'd be ok paying 150-200 for such a great case, and hopefully that shows how happy I am for you guys to be making this prototype and getting it closer to the consumers. Ha-ha sooo how do I get to be on that A list to get it in the first wave?
Glad to hear that. That's essentially why we're doing that smallest possible config. As for the first wave - it'll probably be a small batch of 25 units to test repeatability and send some of them to the media for reviewing.


CURRENT STATE OF WORKS:


We'll be ordering the (most likely) final prototype for metal parts which will be laser cut, bent, welded together and powder coat painted. The only real difference from last prototype you've seen on photos is added clearance for powder coating and galvanized steel. Hopefully there's no much that can go wrong with it.

We're completing the supply list for required items. There's two more details left for case parts - so we're getting really close. We're also thinking about packaging already.


Changes made recently in design and notes from prototype:


Case cover will not be sliding from behind anymore and can be freely put from the top side of the case.

We're dropping the default mounting points for 3.5" drives in the bottom of VGA bay - the reasons for that are both heat of 3.5" and total mess made by 3.5" mounting points in bottom air inlet. You can still use the stacking bracket to pack up two 3.5" drives together and lay it on the bottom of the case in horizontal position. If the demand for those drives come to our attention later we'll be thinking of solving this problem.

Small single slotted cards might not be perfect for such type of case because of the distance from the outside wall and passively vented separate VGA bay. Such config will probably end up mixing the hot air inside the bay. I'd recommend some additional fan to induce the airflow if someone totally needs to use a single slotted card for gaming.

I think it'll be the same for all of such type cases since silverstone also noted something about passive venting in RVZ02 which has virtually the same VGA bay size:
Expansion card area is also passively vented so we recommend graphics cards with open air cooler for best cooling performance.

CPU, motherboard and PSU's are cool and quiet on stock intel cooler.
 
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iFreilicht

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The thing about the RVZ02 is that the GPU has a seperate compartment so the hot air can only go outside, not towards the CPU and HDDs. I don't know whether you've mode something like that, so it could be that blowers perform better in your case.

Oh and there is currently only a single single-slot GPU for gaming on the market, no concerns there.
 

SaperPL

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The thing about the RVZ02 is that the GPU has a seperate compartment so the hot air can only go outside, not towards the CPU and HDDs. I don't know whether you've mode something like that, so it could be that blowers perform better in your case.

We've got the same situation with separate compartment for GPU. With this size there's not much you can really do about routing the air from the cpu to the gpu area since the riser, power cables and other parts will block the flow between compartments anyway.

Oh and there is currently only a single single-slot GPU for gaming on the market, no concerns there.

I think you meant the dual slot here, yes?

Most of the cards are dual slot but if you wanted to put inside something like my single slotted GTX 750 or HD7750 it might go really hot without some additional help in pushing hot air outside.

For all other properly cooled cards it should be fine if silverstone went with same thing in RVZ02
 

iFreilicht

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We've got the same situation with separate compartment for GPU. With this size there's not much you can really do about routing the air from the cpu to the gpu area since the riser, power cables and other parts will block the flow between compartments anyway.


I think you meant the dual slot here, yes?

Most of the cards are dual slot but if you wanted to put inside something like my single slotted GTX 750 or HD7750 it might go really hot without some additional help in pushing hot air outside.

For all other properly cooled cards it should be fine if silverstone went with same thing in RVZ02

Ok, good to hear.

I meant that there aren't many single-slot cards available, so it is very unlikely that a user would try to use one in this case.
 
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Though I do have a question about if my Asus mini GTX 970 will work since I was reading that the PCI power connector may not fit with the PCB sticking out a bit from the top. Kinda not wanting to replace it, but if the power cable needs to be modded in order for it to work then so be it!
 
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SaperPL

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Though I do have a question about if my Asus mini GTX 970 will work since I was reading that the PCI power connector may not fit with the PCB sticking out a bit from the top. Kinda not wanting to replace it, but if the power cable needs to be modded in order for it to work then so be it!

We have the Asus 970 Direct CU Mini model in our assembly and as I said before - it looks like it will might barely fit inside its PEG plug with cords sticking out through one of side air outlets. I'm not 100% sure though because it's a tight fit, but that's an option for running it on day one and ordering peg extender to mod it when you know what you really need.
 

SaperPL

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Cool just found this PCI connector to make it work with my asus.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Sleeved...r-extender-w-low-profileALL-BLK-/251823947872

Cool - thanks for the tip. I'll look around to find out if maybe someone makes this thing in china. It could let us officially support those 970's with extended pcb if we could buy batches of those as cheap as P4 extenders. ~$8 is too much to add to the cost if that's not something everyone will use.

If someone knows if there's a manufacturer or reseller other than ebay It would help.
 

SaperPL

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I have made renders for the current version and updated the OP.

Also here they are:




I've added tiny clearance between the front and the cover so you can see how they come together.
 

iFreilicht

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Ah I understand how that works now! Very nice way of keeping the front symmetric while not attaching the top panel to the front. Good location for the badge as well, and I see you've made a dedicated piece of metal to hold the PCIe brackets in place, that looks like a good solution, too.


Something that I'm wondering about, though: Isn't the C14 connector a bit low down (as seen in picture 4)? Wouldn't it collide with the keep-out area of the mITX standard in that location?
 

Mackan

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SaperPL

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Something that I'm wondering about, though: Isn't the C14 connector a bit low down (as seen in picture 4)? Wouldn't it collide with the keep-out area of the mITX standard in that location?

Theoretically you're right - we're breaking the mITX specification which puts the whole edge together as one area B with 16mm clearance.

n7rGnxb.jpg


But in practice you need to take into account PCI-E specification which lets the card break the clearance in this spot by going as close as 6.8mm and by 12.5mm from the edge of the motherboard:



At the same timy we're going as close as 9mm and by 5mm from the edge of the motherboard with our C14 connector so it shouldn't violate the clearance any more than PCI-E card.



Also we're using this connector which has 45 degree cut there:

R7769131-01.jpg


So considering that any components will have at least 1mm distance from the edge of motherboard there's 10mm clearance out there.



If I'm not wrong the capacitors that usually end up there in that space between the screw and pci-e slot are 10mm tall.

PLGAH97NWIFI-2.png


Would be good if people with such motherboards could send us info on how tall are their capacitors out there.

IF that's gonna be a problem, then we still have 6mm space to move the connector up for the production run.

Really like how this case looks. :) Is there any picture of the internals of the case yet? Any idea of the available colors for the case?

As for case ventilation cut outs, have you looked at for example:

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Effects-of-Grill-Patterns-on-Fan-Performance-Noise-107/

With fans being real close to such patterns, as with this case, it could be something to think about. I am not sure how many care about this, but I find it interesting.

No internal photo's/renders yet except for one photo that zombi did to show how much space is there for PEG connectors in VGA bay.

We've been talking about vent looks an cost and we did end up with this pattern as something optimal.
 
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SaperPL

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Because of that extra space that will be above the the GPU think ill be able to fit a 120mm rad?

I've said that before - In theory it could fit if we made a bigger cut-out for it between PSU and VGA compartments but we're not doing this since its going to obstruct power button and SFX-L sized psu's anyway. Additionally I'm not sure how would the airflow work since top of the VGA bay is not vented.

And that's an overkill for a case which should have great cooling performance on cpu with standard coolers since there are vents all around it and I wouldn't take the fan from cpu because it woud totally stop the airflow over whole motherboard.
 

SaperPL

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So does anyone else think an unpainted version actually looks kind of sexy?

It may look like it and with galvanized steel it might be possible to ship some units without a paint if you really want it but there's the thing about edges being a bit sharper without powder coating so we wouldn't want to sell it as a finished product but rather as kit letting you paint the case yourself as you wish.

There's also another thing - the photo's were taken of the unit that wasn't welded. With final version you'll end up with welding spots visible from the outside so that would break the looks of clean steel.

There could be an option to introduce another color like metallic but we would need a lot of orders of the such config.

For single order it would mean additional cost in paint and burden for us if someone would want refund (EU policy for returns without cause) and we were left with a case in custom colour that nobody wants.
 

QinX

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It may look like it and with galvanized steel it might be possible to ship some units without a paint if you really want it but there's the thing about edges being a bit sharper without powder coating so we wouldn't want to sell it as a finished product but rather as kit letting you paint the case yourself as you wish.

There's also another thing - the photo's were taken of the unit that wasn't welded. With final version you'll end up with welding spots visible from the outside so that would break the looks of clean steel.

There could be an option to introduce another color like metallic but we would need a lot of orders of the such config.

For single order it would mean additional cost in paint and burden for us if someone would want refund (EU policy for returns without cause) and we were left with a case in custom colour that nobody wants.

The EU does well in terms of buyers protection but I believe that if you have something custom made, ie custom colour, that the right to return without cause is void. Not 100% sure though. I believe that is the case here in the Netherlands at least.
 

SaperPL

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Yeah I know but I have no idea how it would work with pre-order items - Technically buyer didn't get the product yet but it was already ordered from the metal works subcontractor. We'd had to make a mess calling them to NOT paint this custom one we've added especially for one person when ordering the current batch and hope they didn't start painting it yet.
 

ZombiPL

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The EU does well in terms of buyers protection but I believe that if you have something custom made, ie custom colour, that the right to return without cause is void. Not 100% sure though. I believe that is the case here in the Netherlands at least.

Netherlands and Poland are in EU, and EU law is more important than the separate country law, so You can be right. I think there was something like You said, that the custom-made stuff can't be refunded. As Saper said, we have to check how it comes out in production process.
 
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iFreilicht

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The EU does well in terms of buyers protection but I believe that if you have something custom made, ie custom colour, that the right to return without cause is void. Not 100% sure though. I believe that is the case here in the Netherlands at least.

Yes that is correct. There is no inherent right to return custom made items, as opposed to regular items which have a 14-day no questions asked return period. Of course a business is allowed to accept returns for custom made items, but they aren't legally required to do so.

I'm quite sure that warranty is not affected by this, though. Which can be a problem. If you send a case with a custom paint-job to a customer and it has some flaw that you didn't spot in QC, you'll still have to replace it and that can be costly.
 
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