SENTRY: Console-sized gaming PC case project

Phuncz

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I also had one of the first generation 1TB 2,5" drives, it is aso 12.5mm. It took me a while to find an external case that fits because most are 9.5mm (the "standard"). I would just keep it at 9.5mm which allows 99% of the laptop drives. The WD Velociraptor is also 12.5mm but it's not supposed to go into laptops because it generates heat like enterprise 2,5" disks. Also, any SSD, even the crappy 32-64GB ones, will give you a better experience than a Velociraptor. I have one in my test bench system because it's just obselete nowadays.
 

Necere

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There a handful of 15mm thick drives as well, but they're rare enough that I wouldn't worry too much about it.
 

ZombiPL

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Urelure

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That power cord issue seems like it could actually be a real problem.
This is just my point of view but:

If you look at what you set out to do in the original concept, it was a steam box case which is as affordable as possible and still able to support a sufficient amount of high end hardware. The SFX-L is giving you trouble both for hdd/ssd placement and the internal power cord. I would say screw SFX-L. Even though it might be quieter, there are still SFX PSUs both more and less powerful. You can cover any need for hardware support without supporting SFX-L. If it helps you to stay true to your original concept, i say dropping SFX-L is a small compromise. If you need to compromise on either cooler heigt, ot cooler size in the MB plane to have a "safe" place to put hdd/ssd, I think that's worth it too. These are all hard choices as all of them can potentially scare people away, but any good product has a clear philosophy behind it.
 

SaperPL

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At this moment we've made a rail for two drives that will have second drive attached by three points if you don't have the SFX-L so thats not the problem now.

Problem with plug is that we could use straight plug but we would need like 6 to 7cm from the side or some kind of short straight plug. 6 or 7cm is a lot of space to waste with hot air channel...
 

ZombiPL

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That power cord issue seems like it could actually be a real problem.
This is just my point of view but:

If you look at what you set out to do in the original concept, it was a steam box case which is as affordable as possible and still able to support a sufficient amount of high end hardware. The SFX-L is giving you trouble both for hdd/ssd placement and the internal power cord. I would say screw SFX-L. Even though it might be quieter, there are still SFX PSUs both more and less powerful. You can cover any need for hardware support without supporting SFX-L. If it helps you to stay true to your original concept, i say dropping SFX-L is a small compromise. If you need to compromise on either cooler heigt, ot cooler size in the MB plane to have a "safe" place to put hdd/ssd, I think that's worth it too. These are all hard choices as all of them can potentially scare people away, but any good product has a clear philosophy behind it.
We have a concept (or maybe 2) of solving the cord issue, but we have to check it. One is a lot better, but it could increase a price of whole case, and the 2nd one needs our mechanical interaction with the plug, before we will release it to You. What we are trying to do is to allow most types of SFX power supplies to work in our case. It means it doesn't matter where You will have Your power socket in Your SFX, or in which side it will be turned. We want to allow all of them in our case or maybe 99,9% of them (we won't allow some weirdos with the plug on the top of the SFX :) ).
 

niksus

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You can put some elongated power button (non-circular) on the opposite side of the USB connectors.
 

SaperPL

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You can put some elongated power button (non-circular) on the opposite side of the USB connectors.
Yeah that would be nice if only this wouldn't cost more and be more problematic to install.

Also the opposite of the USB would obstruct long cards installation.
 

Screes

Limp Gawd
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Official SFX-L support isn't crucial for me, i know i can make it work with an SFX-L PSU if i need to even if its not officially supported. I don't have a problem modding the case to fit my needs. Like moving the graphics card up 1 slot with a new riser card, or removing brackets to make a longer PSU fit.

Personally i doubt i'll ever use a 2.5 or 3.5 internal SSD or HDD ever again. M.2 drives for me from now on. Takes up no extra space, and doesn't need extra cables to work. If i need extra space i'll use external NAS drives. But i know i'm probably in the minority in this line of thinking.
 

ZombiPL

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Official SFX-L support isn't crucial for me, i know i can make it work with an SFX-L PSU if i need to even if its not officially supported. I don't have a problem modding the case to fit my needs. Like moving the graphics card up 1 slot with a new riser card, or removing brackets to make a longer PSU fit.

Personally i doubt i'll ever use a 2.5 or 3.5 internal SSD or HDD ever again. M.2 drives for me from now on. Takes up no extra space, and doesn't need extra cables to work. If i need extra space i'll use external NAS drives. But i know i'm probably in the minority in this line of thinking.
As You've noticed, You are in minority with such thinking. To be honest, this is a good way, but not for now. Your thinking is showing a way of global progress, but it will take a lot of time, until people will start using M.2 forms in standard PC's. The same happened with 3.5'' format and it took time until people switched to 2.5'' (and many of them are still using 3.5'')

And about SFX-L: We will stay with supporting it.
 
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Screes

Limp Gawd
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how much space would this case give for a cpu cooler? Would it fit a Scythe Big Shuriken with slim fan, or the thermalright AXP-100 with slim fan? I think they need right around 60mm.
 

Aibohphobia

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ZombiPL, I take it you're associated with SaperPL? Just curious.

New renders are looking good, how exactly is the panel attached to the case? Does it just slide on with some screws on the back flange to hold it in place?
 

ZombiPL

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how much space would this case give for a cpu cooler? Would it fit a Scythe Big Shuriken with slim fan, or the thermalright AXP-100 with slim fan? I think they need right around 60mm.
Depends on how high will be the cpu socket, we will have 49-50mm for the radiator with the fan. It's not a big cooler, but remember the whole case will be below 66mm high.
 

ZombiPL

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ZombiPL, I take it you're associated with SaperPL? Just curious.

New renders are looking good, how exactly is the panel attached to the case? Does it just slide on with some screws on the back flange to hold it in place?
SaperPL is my little, talkative brother :)

And about the top panel (i assume You asked about this one): We still didn't decided if it will be only 2 top screws and 4 in the back, or maybe 4 more additional on the curved surfaces on the bottom.
 
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How about moving the power button to the rear of the case for an ultra-clean front? Putting this button to the right of the motherboard (along with the IEC receptacle on the left) will give a simple, effective internal layout. Should also work as reaching around the small case shouldn't be an issue, in addition to simplifying the front panel's construction.

As for the HDD mount, how about a drop-in panel over the GPU that steps down enough to mount the 2x2.5" (or even 1x3.5") HDDs?. Give the panel a nice 90 deg bend to mount the PCI bracket as well, which also have the benefit of airflow isolation to keep the GPU's heat from affecting the motherboard chamber. This should yield 4 main steel pieces (case top/bottom, PSU bracket, GPU/HDD panel), plus whatever the faceplate is.

Additionally, make sure the design properly clears a stock Intel reference cooler. This should be an absolute design requirement.
 
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SaperPL

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How about moving the power button to the rear of the case for an ultra-clean front? Putting this button to the right of the motherboard (along with the IEC receptacle on the left) will give a simple, effective internal layout. Should also work as reaching around the small case shouldn't be an issue, in addition to simplifying the front panel's construction.
We won't have ultra-clean front with USB receptacles either. Moving power button to the back is weird and no go. Also there's no place for it to the back so case would need to grow another inch.

As for the HDD mount, how about a drop-in panel over the GPU that steps down enough to mount the 2x2.5" (or even 1x3.5") HDDs?. Give the panel a nice 90 deg bend to mount the PCI bracket as well, which also have the benefit of airflow isolation to keep the GPU's heat from affecting the motherboard chamber. This should yield 4 main steel pieces (case top/bottom, PSU bracket, GPU/HDD panel), plus whatever the faceplate is.
We're not going to mount hard drives over the GPU. Also moving down GPU would make problems with its installation.

Additionally, make sure the design properly clears a stock Intel reference cooler. This should be an absolute design requirement.
Which reference cooler are you refering to? There's no such thing as one reference cooler, there is 30mm one, 46mm and like 60mm I think so the last one won't go for sure and also there's no cooler dimensions in cpu specs on ark.intel. Its a low profile case, it'll have limited amount of low profile cpu coolers you'll be able to install. Intel reference requires 82mm clearance from the motherboard surface to the outer wall.

Anyway we should fit 46mm cooler which I think is shipped with the low power LGA1150 processors like pentium and celeron.
 
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Urelure

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Power button in the back will be a huge concern for those planning to put tis in a media rack, as you cant easily reach behind it. I know this isn't an HTPC, but the form factor makes it such an obvious possibility that it should be taken into account.
 

SaperPL

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Power button in the back will be a huge concern for those planning to put tis in a media rack, as you cant easily reach behind it. I know this isn't an HTPC, but the form factor makes it such an obvious possibility that it should be taken into account.
Yeah, thats right. We're also considering configurations where you put two 3.5" drives in place of VGA for HTPC or NAS
 

backfeed

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It looks really good, well done!

The horizontal position of the power button looks a bit unbalanced I think, but I realize it's for a reason (space issue).

Is there any efficient and silent cpu cooler that will fit?

Any thoughts on a very simple stand (that wouldn't have to be mounted, but just padded with something soft-ish on the inside, holding the case in place by friction only), making it possible to position the case vertically (with the gpu at the bottom, cpu at the top)?
 

SaperPL

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There are a few coolers that should do good like the Noctua NH L9 which is 37mm. There are also some cheap ones for around 35$ from silverstone which are 29mm but they will probalby be louder than the NH L9.

Yeah, there is of course a plan for some stand for the case.
 

ZombiPL

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Many of You ask to add or to move something, and to do that we should change dimensions in some directions and we wouldn't get what we wanted. Our case should be a size of a DVD or old VHS player, and shouldn't be lot bigger than 4th generation consoles.

Here is an image showing what we want to achieve and why we don't want to increase the size of the case.

 

SaperPL

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Woah, you nearly gave me a heart attack xD thanks for the tip though.

Its not this class of a hardware. You'll get max 250W out of external PSU I think and even if you get enough power, this case would fry the gaming gpu's.
 

Phuncz

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But a GTX 750Ti isn't really high-end. Also, no PCIe riser and an external PSU. There is no valid comparison here.
 

Screes

Limp Gawd
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Yea you'd definitely have to cut a 120mm hole in the bottom of it to get enough air for the video card, but it's do-able if you don't mind using external power bricks.

Also you CAN use a second power brick for the vga card. So power isn't really the limitation here, just the depth of the case for vga card size restrictions.
 

dondan

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This is wrong. The original steam machine also supporting the gpu with fresh air only over the sides and not over the buttom.
 

Phuncz

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Two external power bricks ? Why not just mount the GPU externally and have an external watercooling setup ? That way you could use the box your motherboard came in. It's the worst kind of cheating in SFF in my opinion.
 

ZombiPL

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Two external power bricks ? Why not just mount the GPU externally and have an external watercooling setup ? That way you could use the box your motherboard came in. It's the worst kind of cheating in SFF in my opinion.
We are not considering putting PSU outside the case. We're making it as for ourselves. We want high-end cpu's and gpu's inside with the simple cables as the only thing outside the box, so there is no place for an external power supplies. In other words: Internal PSU is a MUST in our philosophy. We hope most of You will agree with that.
 

rawrr

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I wasn't suggesting that the MC600 was similar. It is certainly a different kind of case, being smaller and lower power.

Also it does use a riser (I saw someones 750 ti build with it)
 

Phuncz

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We are not considering putting PSU outside the case.
I wasn't saying you would, it was a response to the people who find external PSU's a valid design choice for SFF, which I think is plain wrong. Having two external PSU's is just insane for that matter. Opinions are opinions ofcourse, this is my opinion :)

I wasn't suggesting that the MC600 was similar. It is certainly a different kind of case, being smaller and lower power.

Also it does use a riser (I saw someones 750 ti build with it)
The riser isn't included with the price what I can tell. But I'm not seeing much similarities beyond the obvious like desktop mITX case with 2-slot "GPU" support. It's not that hard finding compact cases that don't support high-end hardware but this Steam Machine setup is a big step further. Certainly with an internal PSU and support for long GPU's with adequate cooling. I also like the brushed aluminium a lot better than the industrial designed steel case.
 

backfeed

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There are a few coolers that should do good like the Noctua NH L9 which is 37mm. There are also some cheap ones for around 35$ from silverstone which are 29mm but they will probalby be louder than the NH L9.
What's the maximum cooler height limit (or maybe this hsn't been decided yet)?

Yeah, there is of course a plan for some stand for the case.
Nice.

Oh, and the MC600 is not comparable. Low-end case for low-end hardware.
 

SaperPL

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It looks like we'll have the space for 48mm height coolers with 120mm max diameter in configurations with motherboards which have the cpu socket closer to the edge rather than to the pci-e like this:



If you get something like this:



You will get to fit your cooler within the IO shield height because the hard drive is above the motherboard by 3cm. This configuration is very simillar to what you can see inside the steambox prototype. Its better this way rather than mounting hard drives above GPU.

Still you'll fit some good low profile coolers like NH L9 in the second configuration.
 

SaperPL

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As for the stand we have two options, both are only concepts:

1) Free unattached stand



2) Stand attached to the case with screws



The first one will have to be bigger to grab the case from the sides, the second one will probably obstruct case opening.
 
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