The G (A4 layout with water cooling and bifurcated riser, <15L)

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by Apathy_Enthusiast, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. Apathy_Enthusiast

    Apathy_Enthusiast n00bie

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    phlxlNe.jpg

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    Goals of this case:

    1. Look Good

    Grained anodized aluminum front panel, no visible hardware.

    Powder coated aluminum side panels with 5 optional colors (Black, White, Grey, Red, Beige - same as Kimera Cerberus colors)

    2. Stay Cool

    Tons of room for cooling, 120x240mm radiators, 120x120mm radiators, hybrid GPUs, etc.
    (need to add support for external reservoir, not in current render)

    3. User Build Flexibility

    Sides are retained with ballstuds, tops are also ballstuds but use PEM SKC-F's to keep panel gaps aligned.

    Lots of optional brackets for short GPU + 3.5" HDD, options for bulk storage up top or bottom for living room PC builds, ultra quiet low speed fan setups, etc.

    3.5 Optional PCIe 2x8x Bifurcation

    Bifurcation -> Splitting of 16x PCIe 3.0 into two PCIe 8x 3.0 slots.
    https://hardforum.com/threads/pcie-bifurcation.1870298/page-15#post-1043330625

    Ideal for SLI / Crossfire, streamer setups with GPU + 4K capture card, or GPU + PCIe NVME RAID cards like ASUS HyperX: https://www.asus.com/Motherboard-Accessory/HYPER-M-2-X16-CARD/

    Bifurcation does not affect GPU performance:
    https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/2488-pci-e-3-x8-vs-x16-performance-impact-on-gpus

    Supported by all new Z370, some Z270, few Z170, Q170, (one Z97 chipset,) and both ASROCK X99 and X299 ITX boards.

    I've been testing a 20cm flexible bifucated riser for ~2 years now from Amerirack on a X99EITX/ac, have not had any issues from either performance or reliability. Riser in question: https://i.imgur.com/Pw9Of8d.png
    4. Small Footprint (not the smallest by volume)

    Idea is to minimize the amount of space taken up on the desk, so this case is pretty tall. Height is necessary for GPU water blocks and being able to work with thicker radiators in either push, pull, or push+pull configurations.

    5. Inexpensive and in-stock


    Goal is <$300 for bifurcated version, and <$200 for single PCIe 16x version.

    Also, no 6 month wait lists. You buy it, you have it that week. Manufactured in the USA.

    Community Input

    Change I have under consideration is moving the whole inner tray up to allow more room on bottom for a second 120x240mm radiator on bottom, but it will make things up top pretty constrained or might make the chassis slightly taller.

    Size is currently 14.5L at 5.25"W x 13.13"D x 12.78"H - up for change.

    By no means an expert on water cooling, but I do understand I need to add ports and mounting on rear for external reservoir (and maybe DDC / D5 pump brackets).

    I do have a design for a window, but its design is shared with the Kimera Cerberus so I cannot post much till all is tested.

    All feedback is awesome, open to all changes and other considerations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  2. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    You are so very close to my dream case. My only compaint is that you support push pull at the top, were you could instead support twice the radiators... If you support a 240 at the bottom and a 240 at the top, you are then supporting dual AIOs, overall more cooling capacity, and a more balanced weight of the computer. 2x 240 radiators will out perform a single 240 any time, even if the single is running push pull and super thick, etc. And radiators with liquid get heavy having it all in the top in such a small footprint would be a concern of mine, not a big one, but still there...

    Also bifurcation in a super tiny case is my dream, I'm currently running a bifucation set up on my x370 rig, with dual RX480s. It's a strange scratch build...

    I'm very very interested to see this case come to fruition. Also if you don't want a ton of room at the bottom if you at least have 45mm for a 30mm radiator and 15mm slim fans that would be a huge improvement in my book. Ideally you just need 60mm at the top and 60mm at the bottom for a perfect system. If you do that, I would then buy this case hands down. 300 dollars no problem...

    Lastly and this is not a request just an example of what I would do. If the case supported 60mm at the top and bottom, I would have a bifucation set up, watercooled (CPU and dual GPUs), with a hardwarelabs GTS 240 at both top and bottom with probably black Noctuas or Corsair RGB fans. I would modify the front panel and mount the Pump/reservoir recessed into the front panel. Also I would modify the side panels so that I had windows on both sides (no need for side ventilation when you can have airflow top to bottom. THAT is my dream case.
     
  3. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    The OP clearly outlines the desire for the chassis to accommodate dual 240 radiators...

    If you look at the posting regarding the same chassis over at SFFN, you will see a bit more about dual radiators...
     
  4. Apathy_Enthusiast

    Apathy_Enthusiast n00bie

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    Will have a new set of screen shots up hopefully today or tomorrow, did some checking on push pull vs two radiators - two is the better option.

    Only concern I have is where to put the pump - do you have a pump you'd recommend for a compact space? I can buy one and model it, but if someone has a model that would be way easier.

    Other changes:

    Changing middle bracket so the power supply can be flipped either up or down, or rotated on Y axis to draw air from side pane or from behind GPU.

    Adding support for carry handle (same handle off Kimera Cerberus)
     
  5. Philfreeze

    Philfreeze [H]Lite

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    Some more front IO would be nice (SD card reader anyone?) in a case this size.
     
  6. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    In a case this size...? The chassis is less than 15 liters in volume, not really a large case...

    Look around at all of the boutique cases here, you will be hard pressed to find more than power / USB / audio on the front panel, most times just power...
     
  7. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    The only space I could see for a pump or reservoir or pump / res combo would be on the GPU side, assuming one is using ITX length GPUs...

    But even then, there is the width of the GPU side to consider, most D5 pumps / combos are around 85mm to 95mm in diameter at the pump bracket (EK Revo D5) and the DDC pumps are about 60mm square, so the GPU area is too shallow for standard pumps out there...

    And ITX length GPUs are also an issue, as no one really makes full cover water blocks for shorty cards anymore...

    The above is why I see this chassis as perfect for a pair of 240 radiator sized AIOs from EK, once they get their shit together and get their Modular Liquid Cooling line out (the successor to the EK Predator AIO lineup)...

    The MLC radiator units will place the reservoir & DDC pump directly onto the end of the radiator, so pumps & reservoirs located out off the way without interfering with any other components or requiring any compromises to GPU selection or anything...

    One would still need to take apart some of the MLC AIO radiator kit, pulling the fittings / hoses / QDCs and re-plumbing for best fit & for non-EK parts...

    With the above, I am thinking of an ASRock X299E-ITX/ac motherboard fitted with the Bitspower monoblock, but plumbed to the 240 MLC radiator unit with some EK ZMT tubing & EK barbed fittings...

    GPU would be similar, 240 MLC radiator re-plumbed to an EK full cover water block, but with the angled terminal to give a better path for the tubing from the GPU to the radiator...

    Windowed side panels are nice, but not necessary...

    Towards PSU orientation, current pics show facing side panel, but with no openings for air from same...?

    So, as is, a restricted airflow of interior air; rotated to face GPU, more airflow, but still heated interior air; and either orientation still has the PSU exhausting heated air into the chassis...

    This could be okay with a high efficiency PSU (say, Platinum rated), but will cause temps in the chassis to be a few degrees higher than normal otherwise...?

    All in all, if configured for dual 240 radiators (top & bottom) of the EK MLC variety; this would, indeed, be my prefect chassis...!!!
     
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  8. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    He talked about possibly, I'm emphasizing that it's a much better designed and the lack of it would be a deal breaker for me.

    That is a hard one to solve and probably the biggest problems with SFF cases right now for watercooling. (Well obviously radiators space is too). The general rule of thumb for watercooling is buy a D5 and if that doesn't fit (it's way too large for this case), get a DDC. For the sake of most common DDC, I would model up the EK version/housing. That still doesn't solve the problem of where to put it though. My idea would be to modify the front, essentially make the front also be the reservoir and house the pump. But this isn't ideal and definitely not recommended...

    For ease of use this would be ideal, but since the product hasn't even been announced... We just can't count on it. In case design what I would recommend is that the radiator mounts are rails allowing the radiators to be mounted as far forward or back as desired. Also since 240 radiators are on average 11 inches long with the case supporting gpus longer than that, we should have room for a radiator/pump combo (I hope).


    It's hard to know exactly what you could do for pump and res. But if this were my project I would see about custom making something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/-/222571847967 His youtube is here:

    Having the acrylic reservoir literally replacing the front panel with a DDC that sits near the bottom of the case on the inside. If you like the idea, I would consider reaching out to Radikult, he would probably design you one and work with you from what I hear. It would probably add an inch to the front of the case, or take up an inch of the internals for the whole front. But would look amazing and solve the problem.
     
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  9. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    If using an ITX length GPU, I wonder to the viability of using this EK pump / res combo would work...?

    The unit would need tipped on its side though...

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    That's a great idea. I don't think it would need to be tilted on it's side (aside from when filling). As long was the water level is above the pump you are fine. That said, I'm not 100% familiar with the internals of that pump/res combo.

    Edit: realized you meant the pump/res not the case, but ya, that's probably the easiest idea assuming someone is ok with using a short-ish gpu.
     
  11. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    Apathy_Enthusiast TheArkratos

    Looks like EKWB has launched their MLC lineup...!
    [​IMG]
    One of these up top & one down below, perfect cooling for CPU & GPU, dual pump redundancy (if one is having both components in the same loop) & no need to make compromises in regards to pump / reservoir placement in the chassis...!

    Technical specifications:

    - Dimensions: 295 x 133 x 68mm (L x W x H)
    - Fan type: EK-Vardar EVO 120ER 2200 RPM (+/- 10%)
    - Pump type: EK-SPC 60A 12V DC PWM Pump
    - Tube length: 250mm
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  12. Apathy_Enthusiast

    Apathy_Enthusiast n00bie

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    Emailed EKWB and asked if they can get me models, not having a reservoir will do wonders for keeping this case compact and hopefully the tubing on the GPU blocks fit into the bifurcated riser area.

    Update on this case design to come in next few hours.
     
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  13. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think EK thought it out a bit more with this second-gen of 'AIO' gear...

    The GPU blocks have 90 degree fittings with the ability to swivel, so they come off of the top of the terminal, rather than off either side like in past...
    [​IMG]
    Looking forward to the update...!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  14. Apathy_Enthusiast

    Apathy_Enthusiast n00bie

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    [​IMG]

    Change to AIO heights (60mm + some minor gap) and the handle mounting, waiting on models from EKWB or possibly ordering parts to see how the GPU swivles will fit.

    Also completely changed the main rib bracket from the above shown, had standoffs for mounting 3.5" HDD etc. but that needs to be its own bracket for all those options.

    Working on ideas for rear vents and front panel sub-vents as airflow for this box is in-top and in-bottom for ideal temps. (don't blow heat from system through radiator)

    Will have a pair of prototypes of shown version by end of week!
     
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  15. Silentbob343

    Silentbob343 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Very interesting, look forward to seeing the prototypes.
     
  16. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    60mm + some minor gap...?

    The EK MLC units are 68mm, NOT including the fittings / tubing bend...

    [​IMG]

    If you are going for intakes on both radiators, will there be an provision for fitting dust filters...?

    Not a lot of room for venting on the backside, venting on the front might come at the expense of the 2.5" drive locations...?

    If given a choice (assuming two EK MLC units could fit above & below) I would think a pair of 120mm (25mm thick would be awesome) fans set to exhaust up front would be very helpful...?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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  17. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    I like where this is going! 68mm for a rad+fans is THICK, but hey if allows the rad+pump combo, then easy mode cooling is never a bad thing.

    Last thing, if the case becomes longer (front to back) to accomidate the EK-MLC can we get a 3.5in harddrive mount on the inside on the front of case? I still tend to have one bulk HDD in most my builds. :p

    Edit: 3.5mm HDDs don't exist... woops
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  18. phazeshifta

    phazeshifta n00bie

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    This is 100% the case I've been looking for. Dual 240+ radiator support, tons of room for good radiator fans, awesome layout. I love the carrying handle on top

    It would be cool to have front panel options to mount HDD's, reservoirs or fans there. Maybe some options for acrylic/glass side panels, too. If there's a way to notch the front panel to slide a 15 or 25mm fan onto that front panel while still maintaining room for an SSD there, that would be amazing.

    Anyways, looks great and if you can get this case to production, this is a must buy for me. In fact, if you're looking for beta testers, I have several watercooled ITX builds I can throw in this for testing purposes.
     
  19. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    Potentially silly question: Does the case offer 3 PCI slots worth of space or 2? With the bifurcated riser, is there space for a single slot card + dual slot GPU?
     
  20. Apathy_Enthusiast

    Apathy_Enthusiast n00bie

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    Just 2 slots with a bit of space, I have a version drawn up with 3 slots but I want to test 2 slot version first, 3 made it pretty wide - almost size of Kimera Cerberus with way less compatibility.

    It has an optional bracket for 3.5" HDD on the bottom fan hole, or if using short GPU/other card there's another bracket for mounting 3.5" HDD there, can get 3x 3.5"HDD if using both options.

    Window side panel is coming, but there's a lot of change I keep thinking of and I need to constrict this case somewhat on options at least initially to hit my price target of <$200 (and ideally <$150).

    Updates coming soon!
     
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  21. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    I understand, that width is not something I personally want so I'm fine with that, I was just thinking that for the majority of users bifurcation is more appealing if they don't have to single slot their cards. So they could do something like a sound card + GPU, but the case is meant for watercooling so asking them to single slot the card isn't THAT big of a deal. I'll take the narrower case, good choice!

    Ok, if I understand correctly then I think that works. Thanks for the foresight to do that! I'm excited to see more renders and a physical product. Keep up the good work!
     
  22. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    Any word on the update?
     
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  23. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    Any news on the update...?
     
  24. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    Still interested...
     
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  25. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    Is this project dead?
     
  26. galletabah

    galletabah Limp Gawd

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  27. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    Apparently this project isn't dead, as confirmed on reddit:


    Hype train commence!
     
  28. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    I am going to go ahead and build an acrylic and wood version of what I had envisioned for this case. Apathy_Enthusiast, we can use it to troubleshoot issues with your design.

    But I apparently have an addiction to scratch building cases....

    I have figured out motherboard, powersupply, the riser cable (I think), radiators/fans, SSD mounting, exterior dimensions, and pump/reservoir. I will admit, this is a tough case to design, I completely sympathize with Sliger for how long and difficult this design process is. I am still working on details and will have to get 1 level of prototype done before I can make a final version for myself.

    For those interested, I'm planning to replace the front panel with a distro plate, and mount two DC-LT pumps directly to the distro plate, this will increase the front panel from it's normal thickness up to about an inch. but solves the pump reservoir issues.

    My dimensions for the case with using 1/4 inch acrylic/wood should be right around 12 inches tall (although will need feet making it taller), 13 ish inches long (depends on distro plate thickness), by 7.5 inches wide. This should allow for 3 slots of physical PCIe with the 2 slot bifurcation riser, 2 240mm radiators (up to 30mm thick) with normal fans, 2 2.5" drives, and a SFX-L PSU.

    I have most of a rough design worked out, but would like to build an internal frame so I can make the top and sides out of one piece of bent wood.
     
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  29. AP2

    AP2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Like this case a lot! Hope to see it goto production. I’d buy it now if it was available.
     
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  30. Apathy_Enthusiast

    Apathy_Enthusiast n00bie

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    Confirming this is not dead.

    I have some prototypes right now that fixed all the problems with the first design, added USB C, made a bit bigger for better water cooling/taller CPU pumps, etc.

    Planning to make this available in production quantities before Black Friday / Thanksgiving weekend.

    I owe Arkratos a case too for following this so diligently and patiently. =p

    Will launch along with 5 other new cases on our site, A4 type layout (SM550 on other forum), a kinda-unique Sentry/Node 202 style console case with bifurcation, a tiny cube case, a vertical A4 layout with hidden cables, and a new <17L ATX/EATX case.

    Lots to come! Sorry I'm so spotty on updates.
     
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  31. Esso

    Esso Limp Gawd

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    Lurking intensifies



    Here's wishing for smoked glass & anything that promote positive airflow, very excited to see whatever you have though, it sounds like it will be very nice!
     
  32. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    So happy to see your post!

    You don't owe me anything, I just really want to see this case come to market so I can get one. Would love to help any way I can!
     
  33. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, if TheArkratos doesn't want a free chassis, I will bite the bullet and graciously accept one...! ;^p
     
  34. kageiit

    kageiit n00bie

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    Does a 2.5 slot gpu fit without any issues? Really digging the look of this case. Can't wait to get one if it comes out before Thanksgiving weekend as other cases in similar category (c4 sfx) have no new update on status
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  35. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    Ha ha ha, if anything I'll take a prototype, offer feedback, and then purchase one. I am really looking forward to this case and I really hope it meets or exceeds my expectations/needs.
     
  36. Apathy_Enthusiast

    Apathy_Enthusiast n00bie

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    Yep! The dual slot version will go up to 2.75 slot GPUs like the new EVGA 2080TI and ASUS ROG 2080TI.
    Will also fit 2x 120mm radiator which is something Dan I think is dropping support for in his C4.

    We revived Cerberus around this time last year and had it launched by Thanksgiving weekend, should be easier to repeat that feat this time.
     
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  37. TheArkratos

    TheArkratos n00bie

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    Does it support bifurcation, with a single slot card + dual slot card?
     
  38. kageiit

    kageiit n00bie

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    Is the dual slot version smaller than the 3 slot? I plan to have at most one 240mm AIO on top and bottom 2X120mm fans for cooling. Would be great if there was not much wasted space after that. Windowed side panels would also make this a must buy given the cooling setup (cool in bottom, hot out top) should be good enough to not need additional ventilation from the sides.
     
  39. Apathy_Enthusiast

    Apathy_Enthusiast n00bie

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    I have not found a single slot 1070 to test with. I was able to run two Quadro P4000 on the bifurcation.

    Just barely smaller than 3 slots. Designed exactly for that layout you have imagined, and windows on the side are a yes!

    Only concern I have is that maybe the radiator needs to be in bottom, for cold air in bottom through rad, hot out top.
     
  40. kageiit

    kageiit n00bie

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    Thats great to hear. It should be ok to have the radiator at the bottom since thats how I imagined the layout before in a cerberus case but it was a bit too big for an mITX build. I was debating between this case and the sm 550 (on the small form factor forum). The cooler clearance for the sm550 was just 53mm (even though it fits a 2.5 slot gpu) and could potentially cause thermal issues when used with a I9 9900k. I think the lp53 might be able to handle it, but Im planning to use an Asus z390-I motherboard and that cooler had issues with the previous Z370-I version where it could be mounted only perpendicular to the ram slot making thermals worse.

    I feel with The G, I dont have to worry about fitting or thermal issues (wtih AIO) and the size (although quite a bit larger than SM550) is more comfortable to build in, since it will be my first SFF build. Cant wait to grab one of the first few available :)

    Also, thanks for the timely updates!