SENTRY: Console-sized gaming PC case project

SaperPL

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so no premium preorder? :D

Not sure yet :)

Is there anyway to get a brushed metal look? Like a gunmetal brushed look like on some ASUS laptops.

Can you give exact reference photos for this? We could ask the metal shop about this.

Anyway I think if that was possible it would be more expensive since I think it needs to be really brushed, directionally polarized or somehow precisely directionally sprayed. First one would need a lot more work and two others would need specialized equipment for this product.
 

ZombiPL

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Is there anyway to get a brushed metal look? Like a gunmetal brushed look like on some ASUS laptops.

I think it is possible, but just like Saper said, it will be more expensive.
First of all, for keeping brushed aluminium effect, we will need to change galvanized steel to a more expensive stainless steel, because we don't want to make it in a "rusty style", and brushing galvanized steel can damage zinc cover. After that, we will need a grinder/ brushing machine, which will make the surface look like brushed aluminium (or even like a mirror, when brushed many times). This operation will also be a little bit problematic: not because of money (I predict it shouldn't be very expensive), but because not many manufacturing companies have a machine for such purpose.
Our manufacturer doesn't have such machine, so to get this brushed aluminium effect, we will need to "break" our standard manufacturing process, take laser-cut sheets of metal to the company who has such grinding machine, and after that take those parts back to our manufacturer for bending, welding, and other processes.

Here You have a link how such stainless steel grinding/brushing process looks like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuw6oWLHnHw

There are also many other things which You should think about, when trying to make a steel case in such style (brushed aluminium/metal look). Our case compared to the aluminium cases is like tank to a car: It's of course heavier, but it is also tougher, stiffer and sturdier like all industrial cases should be. For example, we are using point welding which would be problematic with aluminium because of its high conductivity. But point welding, just like using standoffs leaves some marks on the surface, which are visible. In the actual design we are covering them with paint. If You would like to keep brushed steel surface and also cover those marks, then after finishing the case, You should do another brushing operation (which will also cost some money and i can't say how effective it would be).

Another thing You have to remember is that, there is no such thing like "no-rust" stainless steel. All types of steel surfaces "fights" with oxidation and stainless steel (like for example standard 0H13) is just a better "fighter" than construction steel like S235 (old St3S). It means, if You want to keep a brushed steel style with the stainless steel, then You will also have to clean it from time to time with some anti-rust fluid (unlike with painted surface).

To sum up:
I think there is a possibility to make our case in an unpainted, stainless steel design with brushed surfaces, but it could cost twice as much as the standard "Sentry" (we have to check our manufacturer capabilities in this matter). There also may be a possibility of making our case with the stainless steel but without brushing/grinding. In such situation, You will have to do the brushing on Your own with hand grinder to get the "ASUS laptops look", but the Sentry's cost may be similar to the painted version. If there will be more people who wants such version of our pc-case, than maybe we will add it as an option.
 

FiDDy

Weaksauce
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May 20, 2015
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Ok guys, I know I must have been at least mildly annoying.
So to explain where the Anger came from. I made my Gaming Dependent on your Case, I bought all the parts towards the end of last year and disassembled my old PC. I even sold some parts of said old PC. which in retrospect was really stupid ^^

So how far along are you, any prototypes sent ?
I have much free time this sunday, I guess I will assemble my PC in a cardbox till it can move to its new home :D
 

ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
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any news on your side?

We're still waiting. I think we'll get our prototype after next weekend, when our manufacturer will finish his last-year orders. With bigger orders like 100 pcs we won't have to wait so long, but when we are ordering 1 pcs of something as small as our sentry, then we'll be always at the end of the line.

Last two weeks were very busy for me and Saper at our daytime jobs, so we also didn't try to speed up our manufacturing company, because we didn't have time for it. Now i came back from my business trip so i think we'll get a little progress here.
Please be patient. (I'm sure You won't be :D)
 

flowsgrits

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Jan 6, 2016
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Hey guys,
I've been following this project since last summer. I think it's great idea and look forward to the final product. One question: Can you give the case's maximum height and width limitations for the GPU? I know the length won't be a problem, but I'm concerned my GPU might be too deep/broad for the Sentry. I'm running a MSI GeForce GTX 970 GAMING 4G.
 

SaperPL

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It looks to me like it won't fit because of the cooler size. We've talked about this and we'll most likely address the problem in the OP when we have final unit.

We're targeting the reference card dimensions but reference of the pci-e specs not the nvidia or amd.

Here's the slice through the case at the level of gpu pcb:

JpkMhZd.jpg

That red line between the pcb and outer wall in upper left corner has 19mm which means you can fit card that is oversized up to 19mm over reference pcb width but bear in mind that PEG connectors need place for themselves. While your card has reference pcb width it's heatpipes go more than 3cm outside the pcb.

We've made that decision simply because there's always going to be that card having a little bigger cooler and at the same time that means more heat to dissipate because of higher base clocks.

Our idea is to provide the case that you can buy off-shelf components for it but that doesn't mean it's going to fit everything there is on the shelf - that's the big manufacturer's approach which ends up with twice the size of what we're doing here.

I hope that explains it well enough.
 

flowsgrits

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Yeah, that explains it perfectly. Thanks you!
No worries about the card not fitting. I bought the card and everything else for my current PC before I heard about the Sentry. If I had known about your project then, I would've been more careful about my component choices because the Sentry was exactly what I was looking for.
Still, I will eventually replace the card, so I'll look in on you guys again.
Again, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. And best of luck on the Sentry.
 

SaperPL

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Any updates on the final prototype ?

Sorry for constant delays, we've still got bad luck with our timing.

We were supposed to have the pre-final unit (the black one) early this week according to the phone conversation with metal shop representative but they pushed us again for the next week.

I didn't had too much time recently due to launch of my new studio and sprinting with first project so I wasn't pushing the case subject as well.

On the bright side though I should have some more pocket money to spare on the project and I'll probably buy some additional stuff like maybe better cpu and Cryorig C7 for testing, better photographic equipment etc. If there's something new worth checking out that we didn't notice yet please tell us what it is.

I've also noticed recently that while we were pushing the idea of supporting multiple 2.5" drives, the market changed a bit and there's already multitude of options for mSATA/M.2 drives to pick from when building a new rig, so a 2.5" SSD + 2.5" HDD might not be a primary target configuration anymore. It doesn't mean we're going to redesign anything but I think we'll be recommending those small card formats ssd for use with single 2.5" hdd in our case.
 

iFreilicht

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I've also noticed recently that while we were pushing the idea of supporting multiple 2.5" drives, the market changed a bit and there's already multitude of options for mSATA/M.2 drives to pick from when building a new rig, so a 2.5" SSD + 2.5" HDD might not be a primary target configuration anymore. It doesn't mean we're going to redesign anything but I think we'll be recommending those small card formats ssd for use with single 2.5" hdd in our case.

That's probably going to be the main configuration, apart from just a single HDD when doing a budget build. There's not really any reason to buy a 2.5" SSD for an ITX rig any more, most mainboards have a slot for mSATA or M.2 SSDs by now, even mATX is adapting them.
Except you want one of those extra-fancy U.2 Intel SSDs, of course.

It's good that you support more drives, though, no need to cut users options.
 

FiDDy

Weaksauce
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Sorry for constant delays, we've still got bad luck with our timing.

We were supposed to have the pre-final unit (the black one) early this week according to the phone conversation with metal shop representative but they pushed us again for the next week.

I didn't had too much time recently due to launch of my new studio and sprinting with first project so I wasn't pushing the case subject as well.

On the bright side though I should have some more pocket money to spare on the project and I'll probably buy some additional stuff like maybe better cpu and Cryorig C7 for testing, better photographic equipment etc. If there's something new worth checking out that we didn't notice yet please tell us what it is.

I understand. Except whats left to test, I thought the design stage was over. But I guess to much testing never hurt anybody ^^
 
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Do you think ill have one in my hands before June? I only ask because I'll be going on vacation close to the end of July and I want to make sure it all works good before taking this 1500+ pc with me lol.
 

SaperPL

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I understand. Except whats left to test, I thought the design stage was over. But I guess to much testing never hurt anybody ^^

There's always room for slight fixes like for example if there was a popular/mayor component that would fit with small cutout etc. Other than that we want to test stuff out to let you know what you're getting into and make an well informed choice.

Do you think ill have one in my hands before June? I only ask because I'll be going on vacation close to the end of July and I want to make sure it all works good before taking this 1500+ pc with me lol.

I hope so. At this point I know we 'd have to burst through crowdfunding stage asap after checking out final prototypes to be able to start shipping in may. How it really goes - I don't know. I know that we can't order components for the production now because of the chinese new year so it pushes production to march. We know that it'll take up to month to get a batch of metal parts done. Then there's quality check and packaging plus of course shipping time.

So it seems possible.
 

Criko

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I don't expect you to give any considerable thought to this, but if I wanted to mod the case myself, would a slim blu ray drive, 12.7mm (H) x 128mm (W) x 129mm (D), fit next to a short gpu card? For example an R9 nano which is 152mm long.
 

SaperPL

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There is a space for that on the bottom of vga bay if you'd want to mod it but I'm not sure if you'll be able to make cuts through two layers of 1mm steel without making it look bad. I'll check this out more in the evening.
 

Criko

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I guess that will all depend on what tools I have access to. �� Thank you for the quick response!
 

ZombiPL

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*Little update*

Yesterday i went to our manufacturer and.... we have it !!! :D

At this point we think we will use a structural paint with bigger graininess, than we got with this case, but it looks awesome. This one is black and after the weekend we'll order the white version, which will be sent to Linus for the first pre-production "control check".

I'm not posting any new photos, because we've promised we won't be making any of them with potato phones. On Saturday i'm coming home and we'll make some better quality photos with our new DSLR, so maybe on Monday we'll give You one, or two of them... ok maybe three :D
 

Criko

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So does this mean the punched holes are the design you are settling on since it looks so good? :D
 

ZombiPL

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So does this mean the punched holes are the design you are settling on since it looks so good? :D

As You know, everything depends on individual taste. I prefered laser-cut holes, but those were problematic when thinking about coins or other small objects and were just about 10-15% cheaper then new punched ones. Now when i see how the 5th prototype looks like i'm sure we've made the right decision. During this weekend we will have to make several tests to check if everything is also ok from the functional and thermal point of view. If there won't be any major problems, then after the weekend we'll order the truly first production version of Sentry, which will hopefully be our last "prototype" before bigger production.
 

ZombiPL

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Another little update:

This weekend we made those photos i promised. We've made several benchmarks and at this moment everything looks great.

Maybe tomorrow we'll make a similar gallery like last time, but for now here You have a little teaser.
We hope You'll like it :D

 

Criko

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I love it and seeing it so close to a final production unit makes me feel very impatient. I keep looking longingly at the empty spot in my entertainment center where a Sentry case will sit.
 

octagoncow

Limp Gawd
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Aug 31, 2014
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You mean I have to destroy my F5 key tomorrow too?! Man that picture looks good! I seriously can't wait for this case to come out. I'm sure my browser history makes me look like a crazy person since I visit it every few hours.
 

goldenhk

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Feb 9, 2016
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Hi, I am very keen to order this case, just got one question.

If I use a mini version of display card, eg: 750/960/970, can I use a 3.5 harddisk in the free-up space?
 

ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
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While waiting for a new gallery, i have something more for You:



Atm we're uploading new photos for our gallery. In few minutes/hours You'll get everything. :D
 

SaperPL

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Hi, I am very keen to order this case, just got one question.

If I use a mini version of display card, eg: 750/960/970, can I use a 3.5 harddisk in the free-up space?

Sadly no, unless you want to use single slot gpu which actually doesn't really make too much sense for this case. The gpu compartment is 306mm long and the itx gpu would take 170mm and the 3.5" drive is 146mm long so it would be 316mm - 10mm over the space we have.

We thought about supporting two 3.5" drives + four stacked 2.5" instead of gpu to work as a NAS server but it doesn't look like people are interested in this config at all and it only made things more complicated for the gpu inlet layout.

I get the problem with 3.5" but the current layout doesn't favour this type of drives really. I hope that we can get more proper 2TB and bigger 2.5" hdd's soon because at this moment the options are quite limited.
 

octagoncow

Limp Gawd
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The new gallery looks awesome! I can't wait to buy this case. One question though: it looks like there's a bump or something on the side panel near where the gpu is located. Is that to help the strength of the panel? Or is it an optical illusion or for something entirely different.
 

SaperPL

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it looks like there's a bump or something on the side panel near where the gpu is located. Is that to help the strength of the panel? Or is it an optical illusion or for something entirely different.

Can you explain more or show us what bump are you talking about? Which photo is it?
 

octagoncow

Limp Gawd
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Can you explain more or show us what bump are you talking about? Which photo is it?

Second to last photo. I'd post the picture, but I'm on my phone at the moment. It looks like the metal is raised on the right side of the panel (the horizontal side, not one of the vertical sides)

Edit: the fourth to last picture shows it really well too.
Edit #2 now that I'm at a computer. These are the photos I was referencing for anyone who was wondering.
DSC_0921.JPG

DSC_0922.JPG
 
Last edited:

SaperPL

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It's an internal piece that partitions the space above the gpu. It takes the heat on itself so the cover is safe to touch and hot spots are really small where it's weld to the cover. Shrinking the space above the gpu to the minimum makes it hard for hot air from the gpu gather there so its additional gain for the thermals.
 

CknSalad

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May 27, 2014
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I am really liking the new renders of the fifth prototype. Both you and Dondan have really done an amazing job on your respective cases and I wish both of you the best of luck. I have been doing my best to spread the word on both your cases on popular YouTube channels such as LinusTechTips, JayzTwoCents, Tek Syndicate, HardwareCanucks, etc.
 

goldenhk

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Sadly no, unless you want to use single slot gpu which actually doesn't really make too much sense for this case. The gpu compartment is 306mm long and the itx gpu would take 170mm and the 3.5" drive is 146mm long so it would be 316mm - 10mm over the space we have.

We thought about supporting two 3.5" drives + four stacked 2.5" instead of gpu to work as a NAS server but it doesn't look like people are interested in this config at all and it only made things more complicated for the gpu inlet layout.

I get the problem with 3.5" but the current layout doesn't favour this type of drives really. I hope that we can get more proper 2TB and bigger 2.5" hdd's soon because at this moment the options are quite limited.

I see. Though there must be enough space for, let's say three to four, 2.5 hhds at the same spot right?

Would there be any screw holes/frames to hold them up?
 

SaperPL

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With the brackets visible on the lower left of last photo in the gallery you can stack up to 4 2.5" drives in front of the ITX gpu. You'll have to use the short screws for the bottom drive though since the bracket is quite simple and uses threads of the drive itself - both vertical all horizontal.
 

ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
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I am really liking the new renders of the fifth prototype.

Thanks, but those are not renders but actual photos :) But i understand. My gf also thought those images were rendered. We promised no more potato-images, so a little proof here:

9nVpmC6.jpg
 
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