SENTRY: Console-sized gaming PC case project

darksable

Limp Gawd
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With all the interest in both this thread and the Dondan A4 thread in finding a CPU cooler that will fit our needs... (or even designing our own, if it comes down to that) I decided it was worth exploring a third option.

I looked at how many of us are getting our hands on these cases and looking for a cooling solution, and thought it might be worth reaching out to a company - especially one that understands how annoying it is when the only decent CPU coolers have awful acoustics.

So here goes, my message to Noctua:

Hey guys,

First of all, let me say that I'm a huge, huge fan of your work. Not only are noctua fans easily some of the best, most reliable fans out there, they're also made by a company with wonderful customer service - so thank you.

I've used Noctua products since I built my first computer. I wanted absolutely silent watercooling, and was not disappointed. Since then, my interest has shifted to small form factor PCs, and I use a modified NH-L12 with the 120mm fan on the bottom.

What's the point of this, you might ask? Well, two independently designed SFF cases have just been released: the Dondan A4, and the Dr. Zaber Sentry. Both of these are incredibly small cases that are designed to pack in a massive amount of computing power, including full-length GPUs and 95W CPUs. They also both happen to have a maximum cooler height of 48mm.

The trouble? There are very, very few coolers that fit within this height that are capable of giving enthusiast-class performance. The NH-L9i is a great little cooler, but is more suited for 65w chips. Other options, like the Cryorig C7, sound like a jet engine, because the fan is positioned directly next to the side panel vents.

As you may have noticed from the flood of requests for your fan clips the other day... There's a significant amount of demand for a cooler that would be ideal in these two cases.

What that cooler would look like is something like the NH-L12, but shortened. With a 20 or 15mm fan, you could create a cooler that was designed for use with mini ITX motherboards using very-low-profile ram that had the performance we're looking for without any of the noise issues.

There have been well over 1100 Sentry cases preordered, and over 1500 Dondan A4s are shipping to their owners right now. People are looking for a cooling solution - the forums for both cases have been dominated by discussions of cpu coolers, tests of different options (even going so far as modding LGA 2011 coolers), explorations of designing a run of custom heatsinks...

Here's my question for you guys. Would you be willing to consider making a cooler that fits our needs? How much interest would you have to have before it makes sense for you to build it? I'm betting we can figure something out.

Thanks for reading, and I can't wait to hear what you all think.

Edit: oh, but could you please use a mounting system that screws in from the back? I know I've got a mod to it which is causing the problem, but with the NH-L12, you have to try and balance the retention bracket while sticking a screwdriver between the fan blades to get down to the screw... Since this cooler would also have a large fan on the bottom, I just thought I'd point it out.

It makes me swear almost as reliably as a blue shell in mario kart. :p
 
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Rysen

Limp Gawd
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Jan 10, 2017
Messages
407
With all the interest in both this thread and the Dondan A4 thread in finding a CPU cooler that will fit our needs... (or even designing our own, if it comes down to that) I decided it was worth exploring a third option.

I looked at how many of us are getting our hands on these cases and looking for a cooling solution, and thought it might be worth reaching out to a company - especially one that understands how annoying it is when the only decent CPU coolers have awful acoustics.

So here goes, my message to Noctua:



Edit: oh, but could you please use a mounting system that screws in from the back? I know I've got a mod to it which is causing the problem, but with the NH-L12, you have to try and balance the retention bracket while sticking a screwdriver between the fan blades to get down to the screw... Since this cooler would also have a large fan on the bottom, I just thought I'd point it out.

It makes me swear almost as reliably as a blue shell in mario kart. :p
We should all contact Noctua to try to get them to make this product. Anyone who has a bit a free time can contact them through http://noctua.at/en/contact

EDIT: Here is my message to them (The message box is limited to 1000 characters)
Hello Noctua,

My colleagues at work, me, and many others have been looking for a standard solution for the new generation of Mini-ITX cases. Cases such as the Dondan A4s, The Sentry, RVZ02, ML08, Node 202, and many others are in very high demand. Owners of these cases are looking for a CPU cooler than can properly handle 95W (or better) CPU's at a height under 48mm. Unfortunately, even though the NH-L9i has been the only reasonable option for many owners of these cases, it’s not powerful enough to handle 95W CPUs. I ask that the Noctua team consider the possibility of building a much-needed CPU cooler that is 48mm or smaller since you are known for best fans and heat-sinks in the market.

Demand for this product will only grow as we enter the era of VR and portable cases. I personally require a small but powerful machine that I can take to events to showcase my work. Having a great CPU cooler is essential for me and my colleagues. Hopefully Noctua can help us with this.

Regards
 
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klatox

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Feb 13, 2013
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125
I was thinking about the NH-L9a in case I end up going with one of the upcoming 65W AMD CPUs, but I noticed that it is not compatible with AM4, and their NM-AM4 mounting kit is also incompatible with the NH-L9a. Anyone know what the story is?

Edit: Looks like they'll be offering a compatible upgrade kit "later this year"
 
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Ozymandias

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I was thinking about the NH-L9a in case I end up going with one of the upcoming 65W AMD CPUs, but I noticed that it is not compatible with AM4, and their NM-AM4 mounting kit is also incompatible with the NH-L9a. Anyone know what the story is?

Edit: Looks like they'll be offering a compatible upgrade kit "later this year"

AM4 ITX boards aren't ready yet. Only Biostar has announced ITX models so far, but in contrast to the rest of their lineup, we don't have any images of them yet.
 

SaperPL

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AM4 ITX boards aren't ready yet. Only Biostar has announced ITX models so far, but in contrast to the rest of their lineup, we don't have any images of them yet.

Yeah, but considering the AM4 will probably launch somewhere around the end of this month and if you can wait for Sentry to arrive with your platform shopping then maybe we'll get the mITX boards for AM4 a month after launch or so and you'll be able to get them just in time for your build?

I hope biostar will deliver those mITX boards on launch date though. This could be a big move for them since they're small now and there would be no competition for them on mITX market for time being except for intel :p
 
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I'm only bummed out with AMD about Thunderbolt 3 not being available but if Vega is at the same level with Ryzen then ..whatever, Thunderbolt can bite it.
 

Ej24

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I'm only bummed out with AMD about Thunderbolt 3 not being available but if Vega is at the same level with Ryzen then ..whatever, Thunderbolt can bite it.

Technically I don't see any reason why AMD couldn't pay Intel for the use of their Alpine Ridge controller as an add in chip. You'd probably have to give up a few usb 3.0 and Sata ports to allocate extra chipset bandwidth towards it but it'd be worth it. Who really needs 8 usb 3.0 ports and 6 sata 3 ports anyway?

Would Intel agree to it? Who knows. AMD doesn't exactly have the liquid capital at the moment to strike such a deal anyway.
 

Thobjo

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DzsbtTl.jpg



Too long, didn't read: Replaced mobo caps to fit a new cooler bringing temps from 98C to 64C.

Link to imgur gallery: http://imgur.com/a/lSE8L

Loving this, already have the dynatron cooler ready.

Will fitment be an issue with all of the mITX 270 Motherboards?

I am not proficient at soldering and changing caps but really want this cooler to work.

Machining or even just grinding off a small amount off metal on the base to get the clearance around the socket should work aswell ?
 
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Bugster

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Im looking to build a work machine and am considering the following parts: an Asrock X99E, 6850k, HDplex 300, low powered video card, some CPU water cooler (smaller version), 1-2 m.2, 32gb ram.

Do you think this configuration would work, mainly the CPU/cooler, as far as fit goes?

PS: got in on the indiegogo campaign, really cant wait!
 

SaperPL

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Im looking to build a work machine and am considering the following parts: an Asrock X99E, 6850k, HDplex 300, low powered video card, some CPU water cooler (smaller version), 1-2 m.2, 32gb ram.

Do you think this configuration would work, mainly the CPU/cooler, as far as fit goes?

PS: got in on the indiegogo campaign, really cant wait!

Do you have these parts already? is 6850K stable on HDplex 300W?

Even if we won't have Ryzen mITX boards on launch day, we might see some price drops on intel CPUs following the launch.

Also the whole point of this case is to have an internal power supply so why go into HDplex?
 

Bugster

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I currently do not have the parts yet. I have the HDplex for another build, and am just really impressed by it. But yes, it is not a requirement for this case, i only thought that maybe i can save some space in order to cram in better CPU cooling for the 6850K. But theoretically, the hdp300 should be able to handle the 8500k...not tested though
 

RosaJ

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Loving this, already have the dynatron cooler ready.

Will fitment be an issue with all of the mITX 270 Motherboards?

I am not proficient at soldering and changing caps but really want this cooler to work.

Machining or even just grinding off a small amount off metal on the base to get the clearance around the socket should work aswell ?

I can't tell you that the R15 will work with all 270 mobos as they all have different designs and I'm sure different sized capacitors. The only thing you need to worry about it the height of the capacitors around the CPU socket. Anything over 6mm tall capicitors and the R15 will have issues touching the IHS of your CPU.

I do not recommended grinding or machining the bottom of the R15 as the base of the cooler is a "chamber". Meaning if you were to take some of that copper off the bottom you could puncture it and render the cooler useless.

As SaperPL suggested you could use a copper shim as a spacer between your IhS and the bottom of the R15. There's plenty of copper ones on Amazon of various thickness.

If you get a mobo and it has capacitors that are to tall you can either:
1. Replace them with 6mm versions of the same specs as your current capacitors (they're around .60 cents a piece at DigiKey)
2. Add a copper shim that will allow the R15 to be installed without touching your capacitors (probably a 2mm copper shim will be fine)
3. Forgo the R15 all together for something else.

This cooler is not made for LGA115x boards, period. Ymmv depending on the mobo you have. If you decide to install it to the mobo you get please share, I'm really happy with my R15 and would love to hear from others who've installed one as well. Especially if they go the copper shim route, as I did not, to see results. Best of luck to your decision Thobjo!
 

Soularax

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Do you have these parts already? is 6850K stable on HDplex 300W?

Even if we won't have Ryzen mITX boards on launch day, we might see some price drops on intel CPUs following the launch.

Also the whole point of this case is to have an internal power supply so why go into HDplex?

From my understanding, these PSU's can output way more wattage than it is advertised but can get hot and may generate coil whine.
The only real limitation is the power brick you connect to it. I do also plan to put an HDplex in my sentry because it saves a lot of space and I also plan to do something interesting with the saved space.
 

Ej24

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From my understanding, these PSU's can output way more wattage than it is advertised but can get hot and may generate coil whine.
The only real limitation is the power brick you connect to it. I do also plan to put an HDplex in my sentry because it saves a lot of space and I also plan to do something interesting with the saved space.

With a 1080 at 180w and i7 HEDT/Xeon e5 at 140w and aio cooler you will be pushing the HD plex to its max very very quickly. Even a 1070 at 150w is still a lot with the other components. The largest single power bricks are 330W iirc. That's why the 1080sli behemoth laptops have two 300W psu bricks. I think there's regulations preventing passively cooled power bricks of any wattage greater than ~330w. That's why monsters like this exist. But even with this possible beast of an external psu, the limiting factor is still the HD plex. The only way it'd work reliably is if you got a low power gpu like a gtx 1050/1060 or rx 460/470.

If you must use a high end gpu it will work but probably be unreliable. Maybe if they release a 400w HD plex you'd be able to do it without worry. But with the 300 I'd say buy two or three and expect to swap them out occasionally as they burn out. The HD plex 300 will handle spikes of 350 maybe 400w but the setup you've shown interest in will draw roughly that sustained. Or go with a more traditional desktop itx platform rather than x99. With ryzen imminent I'd wait and see how efficient their 6 and 8 core cpu's are.

Also, I've also read really really mixed reviews on the asrock itx x99 board. I've come close to buying it numerous times but the reviews all suggest its just not reliable. Resoldering bios chips is apparently common.
 

Bugster

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Here's what I am talking about: Sentry with liquid cooling and full sized GPU

UHsGfC9.png


Nice, that's the idea i had in mind. The drawing helps! I would likely just need a 1060 at most, since i dont game...or will only game 5hrs out of the year
 

Soularax

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With a 1080 at 180w and i7 HEDT/Xeon e5 at 140w and aio cooler you will be pushing the HD plex to its max very very quickly. Even a 1070 at 150w is still a lot with the other components. The largest single power bricks are 330W iirc. That's why the 1080sli behemoth laptops have two 300W psu bricks. I think there's regulations preventing passively cooled power bricks of any wattage greater than ~330w. That's why monsters like this exist. But even with this possible beast of an external psu, the limiting factor is still the HD plex. The only way it'd work reliably is if you got a low power gpu like a gtx 1050/1060 or rx 460/470.

If you must use a high end gpu it will work but probably be unreliable. Maybe if they release a 400w HD plex you'd be able to do it without worry. But with the 300 I'd say buy two or three and expect to swap them out occasionally as they burn out. The HD plex 300 will handle spikes of 350 maybe 400w but the setup you've shown interest in will draw roughly that sustained. Or go with a more traditional desktop itx platform rather than x99. With ryzen imminent I'd wait and see how efficient their 6 and 8 core cpu's are.

Also, I've also read really really mixed reviews on the asrock itx x99 board. I've come close to buying it numerous times but the reviews all suggest its just not reliable. Resoldering bios chips is apparently common.

The largest power brick I have seen is 350w HP OMEN. However you can buy an industrial 1000w AC-DC adapter for around 300 USD. There is no need to buy that overpriced "monster" if you want really high wattage output.
 

Soularax

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One more thing: See a video of Josh from NFC pull a whopping 273w from a pico psu which is rated at 160w and 200w peak.



You can see my point that DC-DC power supply can output a lot more power than it is rated so you limitation is not the DC-DC power supply like this or the HD-plex 300w.

However, if you pull more power than the power brick can handle, the system will shutdown. That's your limitation.
 

Soularax

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Nice, that's the idea i had in mind. The drawing helps! I would likely just need a 1060 at most, since i dont game...or will only game 5hrs out of the year

Glad you like it. Now we only need confirmation from DR ZABER team or test it ourselves if this work.
 

Rysen

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Noctua replied!!!!

thank you for contacting Noctua!

We're currently evaluating the possibility of a "bigger" NH-L9 cooler. Do not expect a miracle though. We're only expecting a minor temperature decrease compared to the NH-L9i

Sadly I'm not able to tell you more about this topic.

We may publish more information about this topic in the near future.

Kind regards, Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Dawid Sopata
Noctua support team

***************
Noctua - geräuschoptimierte Premium Komponenten
Noctua - sound-optimised premium components
E: support@noctua.at
W: http://www.noctua.at
***************
 

pendragon1

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that doesn't have the small one shown. and maybe that proves that those pics weren't renders, just shitty cell phone "spy" pics.
 

octagoncow

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If people would prefer for the topic of Dan's custom heatsink to not leak into this thread I understand and won't post any more information; but, he just released some renders. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Either way it's a nice distraction while I impatiently wait for my Sentry :)
The last two evenings i worked on the new heatsink.

The current heatsink with have the project name HSLP-48. It based on the AXP-100, but it is bigger and has nearly the same size as the Nexus. Currently I plan to work together with Thermalrigt so I can bundle it with the TY-100 FAN. The fan will be mounted with anti vibration rubbers so you can mount the fan in that position you need it. The heatsink will support normal RAM height. Here are some renderings. I will open a new thread in the next days.

untitled.22u0ujm.jpg

untitled.23g6uw2.jpg

untitled.24q7ump.jpg


Kickstarter-Update: 550 cases will be shiped tomorrow and the next 200 on Friday. My toner is empty so I have to wait for a new one to make the last 70 cases ready.
 

Rysen

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If people would prefer for the topic of Dan's custom heatsink to not leak into this thread I understand and won't post any more information; but, he just released some renders. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Either way it's a nice distraction while I impatiently wait for my Sentry :)
By all means post all this stuff, it's crucial to having a decent sentry build. I was waiting for that thread myself.
that doesn't have the small one shown. and maybe that proves that those pics weren't renders, just shitty cell phone "spy" pics.
They were obviously renders. I do a lot of rendering myself and I can assure you those images were renders.
 

Veritas187

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If people would prefer for the topic of Dan's custom heatsink to not leak into this thread I understand and won't post any more information; but, he just released some renders. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Either way it's a nice distraction while I impatiently wait for my Sentry :)
The cooler is based off the 100 and bigger? The previous one is to big to fit in sentry how does this one help??
 
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Anyone have any pictures of how the Noctua Fan was mounted to the LP53? Also does the LP53 interfere with the CPU capacitors? Thanks in advance!
 

pendragon1

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Anyone have any pictures of how the Noctua Fan was mounted to the LP53? Also does the LP53 interfere with the CPU capacitors? Thanks in advance!
yup there are pics, all over the place. use that search function at the top of the page...
 

Ej24

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Anyone have any pictures of how the Noctua Fan was mounted to the LP53? Also does the LP53 interfere with the CPU capacitors? Thanks in advance!

Here
As for capacitors that will be specific to each motherboard. Hard to say. As for fan mounting, it's unorthodox, just get creative
 

kingtron

Limp Gawd
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Anyone have any pictures of how the Noctua Fan was mounted to the LP53? Also does the LP53 interfere with the CPU capacitors? Thanks in advance!

Here you go
mounted using a clip wire from the "NH-L9x65", Noctua does not sell the clip alone, the "NH-L9x65" has the "NF-A9x14" fan already.
P.S don't try to email Noctua about the clip, they used to provide it, but not anymore, because of the huge amount of requests thanks to this mod !
IMG_7583.JPG IMG_7584.JPG IMG_7585.JPG IMG_7586.JPG
 
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