The next NCASE project: a Steam Machine-style case (indeterminate)

daavee

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
81
If all the features described so far is kept, it would probably be a good idea to keep the possibility of mesh on the CPU/PSU outlet side as well since some people seen interested in flipping the case up side down.

This. When the case is horizontal, or indeed as you point out Urelure 'upside down', and you have either slow running fans or semi-fanless/fanless PSU or CPU cooling then dust/dirt could again get in. It'd be nice to have peace of mind that the case could be used indefinitely with future components in any orientation without fear of dust getting in through large, unfiltered vents.
 

zalbard

n00b
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
26
It makes sense to have both CPU/PSU and GPU as intakes, so both sides would need dust filters, IMO.
Also, in vertical orientation, I wouldn't mind having the top dust filtered as well to protect it from dust while computer is not powered on.
 

Khraft

n00b
Joined
Sep 11, 2014
Messages
1
Would it be difficult to make a spot to put an internal wifi / bluetooth antenna? Just an idea I want to throw in as I'm sure you could just glue it nearly anywhere inside and it will still function fine.
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
Would it be difficult to make a spot to put an internal wifi / bluetooth antenna? Just an idea I want to throw in as I'm sure you could just glue it nearly anywhere inside and it will still function fine.
There'd be no point: the case is metal, which would block the signal.
 

Urelure

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
459
So where are we at this point? I imagine a lot of the comments here are being considered for implemnentation?
 

octagoncow

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
131
And it can't end soon enough. Necere, if you're reading this, I wouldn't mind an NCASE LRPC for Christmas.

It would be unlikely/impossible to get it out to consumers by Christmas since we need to first have a prototype manufactured and then the final version manufactured.
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
I've been a little busy with other things lately, so no real updates to share yet. Also, something's come up which might entail a significant change in direction for the design. I can't say more at this point though. And yes - the holidays are really far too soon to expect availability.
 

AFD

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
2,154
Also, something's come up which might entail a significant change in direction for the design. I can't say more at this point though.

So.. you're privy to some new and exciting piece of technology that's upcoming, but not willing to share, right? :p
 

1trueJ

n00b
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
14
Oh, the rumors we could start....:D

I'll go first. Necere is secretly an immortal god-being and has figured out how to use his powers over fitting powerful computer components into small places for world domination.
 
Last edited:

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
Unfortunately it's much less exciting than you might be thinking. It's more along the lines of trying to figure out how to make this viable in the market. Let's face it - if you had the choice of the LRPC as it stands for ~$200, or an essentially equivalent plastic and steel version released by another company for, say, $75, it becomes very difficult to justify for many people. The M1 is viable because it's still one of a kind, functionally, in the market. The LRPC would have been, too, but unfortunately for us that's not likely to be the situation in the the near future. So we have to look at ways that might allow us to produce a more competitive product. We can't realistically compete on price, but we may be able to make it less of a dealbreaker.
 

Aibohphobia

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
1,340
It's been almost a year since the Valve Steam Machine was revealed and none of the big case manufacturer's have come out with anything close yet.

It's a niche market for them too so I don't think we'll be seeing anything near the same level of quality or functionality as the LRPC from any of them unless the Steam box concept really takes off in the market.
 

1trueJ

n00b
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
14
Unfortunately it's much less exciting than you might be thinking. It's more along the lines of trying to figure out how to make this viable in the market. Let's face it - if you had the choice of the LRPC as it stands for ~$200, or an essentially equivalent plastic and steel version released by another company for, say, $75, it becomes very difficult to justify for many people. The M1 is viable because it's still one of a kind, functionally, in the market. The LRPC would have been, too, but unfortunately for us that's not likely to be the situation in the the near future. So we have to look at ways that might allow us to produce a more competitive product. We can't realistically compete on price, but we may be able to make it less of a dealbreaker.

I liked my answer better.
 

Phuncz

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
2,630
Necere, you seem to know of a manufacturer going to release a Steam Machine case soon. Plastic and steel SFF seems like Silverstone, but considering their products tend to lead half a year ahead of their announcements to make it through production, it might still be viable to start earlier.

Since at this stage it seems the Ncase LRPC seems to be on a low-burning flame, maybe put it back into high gear and start building the prototype ? To me it seems most designing work left is "nitpicking" anyway and the discussion to go with more hardware supported is not going to end unless you say it is. So you might reasonably have March as a target to start shipping, if all goes well with the prototype and don't halt development waiting for the community to agree on adding or subtracting features ?
 

dansergiu

n00b
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
10
Necere, you seem to know of a manufacturer going to release a Steam Machine case soon. Plastic and steel SFF seems like Silverstone, but considering their products tend to lead half a year ahead of their announcements to make it through production, it might still be viable to start earlier.

Apparently more like SYBER: http://www.techpowerup.com/205431/s...or-xtreme-gtx-980-powered-gaming-console.html

Although that's a full system (and it still looks bigger and it's plastic) so a NCASE variant still looks very tempting.
 
D

Deleted member 222586

Guest
Unfortunately it's much less exciting than you might be thinking. It's more along the lines of trying to figure out how to make this viable in the market. Let's face it - if you had the choice of the LRPC as it stands for ~$200, or an essentially equivalent plastic and steel version released by another company for, say, $75, it becomes very difficult to justify for many people. The M1 is viable because it's still one of a kind, functionally, in the market. The LRPC would have been, too, but unfortunately for us that's not likely to be the situation in the the near future. So we have to look at ways that might allow us to produce a more competitive product. We can't realistically compete on price, but we may be able to make it less of a dealbreaker.

As a business management student (should be graduating soon :D ), I couldn't agree less with you.

Lets face it: the M1 you launched (and I backed, and bought) had a plethora of competitors... if we refer to competitors as other cases that accept the same form factor in a lesser attractive design style with not as good build materials, and much bigger size. Also, lets put some drawbacks at the moment the funding started...
-you weren't known at all
-it was known that many crowdsourcing projects never deliver
-customs (yay, got nailed here too)
-we didn't even know when the thing would get home... if it ever did.

What you get is that, even with all those drawbacks, and with a "case" that was going to cost 2x or 3x cases that could do the same (but not the same way).... you successfully funded the project. And not only you did that (by you I mean wahahahahahahah and you. Sorry wahahahahahah, never remember how many letters there are, so I'd rather put some extra than left some behind :D:D:D:D:D ), you got peoples attention, and funded another run for the case (and I'm sure some people is still interested).

So, unless the market implodes, and suddenly all the case vendors in the market get 100% efficient and start using their higher parts of their body to think (implying they have been using their not-so-high parts before, yes. Hello super useless FT03, I salute you, and the engineers that designed you without even prototyping it decently. What a disaster of a case).... nothing is going to change.

Lets not forget you are aiming at a niche market, within a niche market. Case vendors can't touch that sector. First, because they are afraid of doing something with so many compromises. Second, because they lack the passion to do so (you didn't do this for business reason... you did this because you are a nerd :D like the rest of the people that spend time on this forum. Heck, I hope you at least made some money out of it, because I'm sure you had your fair share of headaches along the way), and third... there is no third. Big case companies don't release M1 like cases because... they lack the imagination to do so, and don't want to change their business-models. Too bad for them, and more power to us.

So, in the end, its obviously your choice. If you are afraid, I'd suggest you do the same you did with M1: make an "Interest check" in the form of a indiegogo funding. Ask people to pay some "symbolic" amount of money in order to show their interest in the mini-M, then run your numbers.

But, if anything...should you ever try to run LRPC the same way you did M1

a) We know you can deliver. Not only product-wise... but you stand by your word, and dealed with the problems flawlessly.
b) You know how the process works.
c) Everything can get done much quicker.

Which equals = Everybody is far more comfortable with the choice. When I backed the M1 I was like... "ok. This case seems interesting. So interesting, in fact, that since the price they seem to ask is far lower than what I would pay if it were in a shope downstairs... lets drop some dollars and see what happens, if anything to show a finger to the whole industry". Today, and probably only to me, NCASE seems as plausible as a case producer and vendor as many others. There is no uncertainty, no fear (well, sending stuff from China always implies risks... but I'm talking other risks here), and thus business goes a lot smoothly.

Back to LRPC... I think there could be more interest for this case than for the M1. Why? There is NOTHING on the market, along with everybody else I said. And in my experience... vendors need AT LEAST a pair of generations to get the thing right (if they ever do).

PS: then again, plastic and steel? Pffffffffffffffff, not afraid at all. Silverstone does know how to make good SFF psu's, no doubt... but I'm sorry, their case department needs some love. Aesthetically... they are nice. But they don't have super functionality, sometimes. Or are plain ugly in the first place.

Necere, you seem to know of a manufacturer going to release a Steam Machine case soon. Plastic and steel SFF seems like Silverstone, but considering their products tend to lead half a year ahead of their announcements to make it through production, it might still be viable to start earlier.

Since at this stage it seems the Ncase LRPC seems to be on a low-burning flame, maybe put it back into high gear and start building the prototype ? To me it seems most designing work left is "nitpicking" anyway and the discussion to go with more hardware supported is not going to end unless you say it is. So you might reasonably have March as a target to start shipping, if all goes well with the prototype and don't halt development waiting for the community to agree on adding or subtracting features ?

To me its far more logical to copy the M1 than to try to mass-produce a similar version to the LRPC. Why? Well... small cases require either lots of thinking... or being sold to specialized people that know their stuff and don't care not knowing what will work and what won't. We, nerds, love uncertainty and challenges... normal people don't, which means that mass produced goods can't be aimed at that direction.

Sell an equivalent to the LRPC, mass produced... and you will hear the complains in Mars. Just imagine how many people IN THIS FORUM stated the M1 was too big, or should allow mATX or... and this forum is like the crown jewel of the enthusiast SFF market on the internet. Which is why the M1 worked here, and wouldn't have probably worked anywhere else. It was just the perfect environment for the cocoon to blossom. So, just imagine the sheer volume of complains. "You stated that 10" lenght was big enough, but my uber 9,5" but double wide card doesn't fit". "Not enough fans". "Not enough HDD's". "Can't run SLI". "Needs 700W for my GTX750 Ti, not buying this since no SFX psu can run it". etc etc etc. It would be madness.
 

Urelure

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
459
Unfortunately it's much less exciting than you might be thinking. It's more along the lines of trying to figure out how to make this viable in the market. Let's face it - if you had the choice of the LRPC as it stands for ~$200, or an essentially equivalent plastic and steel version released by another company for, say, $75, it becomes very difficult to justify for many people. The M1 is viable because it's still one of a kind, functionally, in the market. The LRPC would have been, too, but unfortunately for us that's not likely to be the situation in the the near future. So we have to look at ways that might allow us to produce a more competitive product. We can't realistically compete on price, but we may be able to make it less of a dealbreaker.

I am 100% sure that two years from now we still won't see a mass produced case with the level of design, this small AND with long GPU support. Maybe two of them, but not all three.

Contrary to what Prava is saying about compromises, i think it's the exact oposite. It's where you don't compromise that makes your selling point. No compromizes on size ans design, and let's make it work with at least a reasonable amount of high-end equipment.
 

Bobalias_LeShay

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
287
It's been almost a year since the Valve Steam Machine was revealed and none of the big case manufacturer's have come out with anything close yet.

It's a niche market for them too so I don't think we'll be seeing anything near the same level of quality or functionality as the LRPC from any of them unless the Steam box concept really takes off in the market.
I'd argue the Silverstone RVZ01 and ML07 are similar both to this case and the Steambox concepts. Although MUCH larger than the LRPC. I'm not sure what the volume of the Steambox prototype is.
 
Last edited:

JaccoW

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 1, 2014
Messages
100
Or even better, have some of the big name manufacturers join in on the group buy. :D
 

daavee

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
81
Well, just to chime in with my perspective. The idea of the M1 selling due to being "being one of a kind" functionally? Well yeah, one of a kind mainly from the point of view of water-cooling, but out of all the M1's sold how many people are actually using water-cooling?
I'd argue that it's main selling point and therefore the main reason that it sold is the design from an aesthetics point of view and it oozing style and high-end, premium product-ness as well as it's supremely competent functionality and it being able to house large, powerful components in a relatively small case. The LRPC in its current form? A similar story and still one of a kind. High-end, elegant, small and beautiful, able to house a full size and powerful GPU, aluminium construction for that premium look and feel, vertical or horizontal orientation, separate stand when vertical. Ain't gonna be nothing else like it but plain, dull boxes, gimmicky boxes or worse still ugly as hell neon-tinged boxes aimed at 'Gamerz' and high-end HTPC cases that are either too big or too small, the wrong shape, can't house a decent GPU, or one of numerous other drawbacks.

And the argument that a LRPC at $200 would be difficult for people to justify if there were an essentially equivalent plastic and steel one at $75 is moot because if you went ahead with the LRPC as it stands there would be no $75 version and no other case would be "essentially equivalent" unless someone out there has already completely copied your design. And even if someone has not copied it but 'been inspired by it' then it would be a) just as shit as all the one's that ripped off the M1's idea(s) and b) too dissimilar to be 'essentially equivalent'.

In short I believe that the LRPC would sell enough to make it viable as it is - a high-end aluminium Steambox with beautiful design and great functionality at a ~$200 price-point. You have the luxury of not being bound by traditional market forces by virtue of the fact that you aren't a for-profit organisation. You don't need to compete. You don't need to compromise. You just need enough interest to make the LRPC viable. Why not just finalise the design, test the prototype and then do another crowd-funding campaign to generate orders? If there are enough orders then it's viable. Given a little press exposure like last time and a few months of (online) word of mouth I'd bet money that there would be enough orders.
 
Last edited:

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
Thanks for all of the supportive and insightful comments. It does help to get some outside points of view.

Why not just finalise the design, test the prototype and then do another crowd-funding campaign to generate orders? If there are enough orders then it's viable. Given a little press exposure like last time and a few months of (online) word of mouth I'd bet money that there would be enough orders.
Yeah, that's probably what we'll do. Our model of using crowdfunding allows us to take chances on a product while incurring minimal risk. We either get enough orders to reach MOQ, or we don't. Worst thing that happens is that a bit of time/effort goes to waste.
 

SaperPL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
1,822
TL : DR whole topic, just few things

@Bobalias_LeShay
If i did the math ok steambox proto is 305x315x74mm which is 7.11L
PC-Q19 is 12.6L and it still is limited to mITX & 17cm cards while I think with its dimensions it could fit full ATX + SFX PSU + 250mm VGA and btw its wide as rack cases.

We're not gonna get decent priced and optimal console-form-factor-like cases from case producers until some indie team proves there's a market for this.

This works currently the same for multiple markets - big game developers either make another shooters or make high quality titles based on successful indie games. TV stations all over the world clone the shit that's popular in US.

I'm twice as all of you annoyed by the whole thing here that valve didn't release a reference spec design for steambox pc's including outer looks, dimensions and hardware specs. From the point of view of game developer current steamboxes change nothing - there's no reference hardware to optimize code for and casual client's ain't recognising those pc's as a new console. From end user point of view I just can't believe that all current cases imitating steambox prototype have ugly outer plastics and are twice as big as the original.

@Necere - you're doing good job, just keep at it.
 
Last edited:

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
If i did the math ok steambox proto is 285x295x63mm which is 5,3L
Not sure where you got those from, but the true dimensions are 305x315x74mm (~7.1L; source), which I just confirmed on the one I have sitting here :p

It should be obvious it would have to be more than 63mm tall - an SFX PSU is 63.5mm by itself.
 

SaperPL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
1,822
Yeah, that right - thanks, I must've made some mess in my case stats sheet.
 

Urelure

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
459
@Necere. Keep at it:)

if the LRPC ends up being more expensive than the M1 due to riser cables etc, let's say 220$, and someone offers a alu look plastic and steel thing which looks good for 75$. Thats a price difference of 145$.

A 2400$ build with 220$ ncase and 2255$ with 75$ case is reasonable for top end equipment. Thats 6% difference in price. (hope i didn't screw that up) For proper alu case which will be better in probably every way. And, it's the only part you actually see.

For the mass market the 75$ one would probably sell more, but there are enough of us who are willing to pay premium for premium. Within reason of course, which i think this will be.
 
D

Deleted member 222586

Guest
@Necere. Keep at it:)

if the LRPC ends up being more expensive than the M1 due to riser cables etc, let's say 220$, and someone offers a alu look plastic and steel thing which looks good for 75$. Thats a price difference of 145$.

A 2400$ build with 220$ ncase and 2255$ with 75$ case is reasonable for top end equipment. Thats 6% difference in price. (hope i didn't screw that up) For proper alu case which will be better in probably every way. And, it's the only part you actually see.

For the mass market the 75$ one would probably sell more, but there are enough of us who are willing to pay premium for premium. Within reason of course, which i think this will be.

I, and others, simply refuse to put some piece of s*** on my desktop. Not because I don't like stuff that is cheap... but because I like well designed, well built components for my computer that do the job, and are durable.

I'd rather not say how much was the max amount of money I was decided to cash out for the M1 if needed (and I'm not rich nor anything, I simply value goods that offer more than others). Lets just say, accounting for shipping and customs (which, of course, I had to pay :rolleyes: :rolleyes: ), that I consider the M1 as "cheap". Before the M1, I had an itch to change the case every now and then, with every case that was released afterwards, because they all introduced something: as it is, I don't think you can improve the design of the M1, not if you want to keep it "as it is".

So, its a moot point comparing the LRPC to other "plastic" cases out there. For all I care the LRPC could be steel (really: its so small weight difference will be minimal... so long as you can give it a decent finish): I'll gladly pay the premium for it, so long as it keeps the NCASE spirit. Reasons being... it will be second to none regarding size to functionality... will be a perfectly round product... and will be showing again my middle finger to the industry.

Its a triple-win scenario, for me.

$250 for a case? Heck, my keyboard with keycaps is more expensive...and I'd rather not talk about headphones.

@Urelure: I never really put the example of the value of the case in context... because context is relative. My peripherals cost far more than the contents of the case itself (as I have a simple build: i5 2500k, Asrock Z77-e itx, GTX760, 1 x 256GB SSD...). So, I don't analyse how expensive my built will be, then find the right case... nope, I do it sideways: I select the case, first, then adapt everything to it. Even If I planned to go with IGP I would have gotten the M1 just the same.
 

Urelure

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
459
I'd rather not say how much was the max amount of money I was decided to cash out for the M1 if needed (and I'm not rich nor anything, I simply value goods that offer more than others). Lets just say, accounting for shipping and customs (which, of course, I had to pay :rolleyes: :rolleyes: ), that I consider the M1 as "cheap". Before the M1, I had an itch to change the case every now and then, with every case that was released afterwards, because they all introduced something: as it is, I don't think you can improve the design of the M1, not if you want to keep it "as it is".

I usually look at all investments in a bang for bucks perspective, and considering hours spent on a computer, it isn't really expensive anyway, unless yo always adapt to the cutting edge every year. And if you are right and the M1 is a case you hang on to for a long while, you might have t ocompare it to the cost of 2 or even 3 cases. Though, if these guys keep making cases...
I am still waiting for my M1, and i AM getting this one too. I have no real need for one, i just want it. And that, in my opinion, is where a mass market case can not compete.

@Urelure: I never really put the example of the value of the case in context... because context is relative. My peripherals cost far more than the contents of the case itself (as I have a simple build: i5 2500k, Asrock Z77-e itx, GTX760, 1 x 256GB SSD...). So, I don't analyse how expensive my built will be, then find the right case... nope, I do it sideways: I select the case, first, then adapt everything to it. Even If I planned to go with IGP I would have gotten the M1 just the same.

Well in this case, yes. M1 first, then components. And now it's LRPC too, so all of a sudden it's components for M1 that can fit this too. So, assuming this gets made, its actually two cases, then adapting the build:D
 
D

Deleted member 222586

Guest
I usually look at all investments in a bang for bucks perspective, and considering hours spent on a computer, it isn't really expensive anyway, unless yo always adapt to the cutting edge every year. And if you are right and the M1 is a case you hang on to for a long while, you might have t ocompare it to the cost of 2 or even 3 cases. Though, if these guys keep making cases...
I am still waiting for my M1, and i AM getting this one too. I have no real need for one, i just want it. And that, in my opinion, is where a mass market case can not compete.



Well in this case, yes. M1 first, then components. And now it's LRPC too, so all of a sudden it's components for M1 that can fit this too. So, assuming this gets made, its actually two cases, then adapting the build:D

Im sorta in the same boat then. Got an M1 first batch... and I will get an LRPC. Although not sure where it will go, I'll find out once the thingy is ready. By that time... I might have my own apartment, and I will figure it out, who knows!!!!! :D:D

PS: well, considering they take their time and do things well... we will only collect a few dozens throughout a lifetime. Not that many :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
 

zalbard

n00b
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
26
Unfortunately it's much less exciting than you might be thinking. It's more along the lines of trying to figure out how to make this viable in the market. Let's face it - if you had the choice of the LRPC as it stands for ~$200, or an essentially equivalent plastic and steel version released by another company for, say, $75, it becomes very difficult to justify for many people. The M1 is viable because it's still one of a kind, functionally, in the market. The LRPC would have been, too, but unfortunately for us that's not likely to be the situation in the the near future. So we have to look at ways that might allow us to produce a more competitive product. We can't realistically compete on price, but we may be able to make it less of a dealbreaker.
While you may be unable to compete with mainstream cases for your average consumer, I believe you are rather targeting enthusiasts, and among them (us) design and features are typically prioritized above price. Competing on chassis market these days often means sacrificing quality, which makes a lot of people sad (me included). There will always be demand for quality products, assuming prices are mostly based on reason and not greed. Look at how well Case Labs are doing.

Just my 2c.
 

Optik

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
326
Make people buy their own risers. I imagine that not everyone buying the lrpc is going to also buy a video card.
 

Rorschach

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Messages
194
Yes, i also agree.
True quality in my opinion is very rare this days in all areas.
We live in an age of speed and consumerism and i don't like that.
For me, if the product has maximum quality and the only sacrifice/compromise is price within reasonable ratios (like someone above said, spend over 2000 $ on a whole system and then a case like this makes perfect sense - a case like this is an investment it will last you many upgrades) , then i'm happy with that and gladly pay the price.

Pride of ownership is another aspect.
So yeah, don't give up Necere, make it at maximum.
 

octagoncow

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
131
I too think that the appeal of the case comes from how premium it is with so few compromises. If you start to make too many compromises it starts to lose its appeal. I don't care if I have to pay $250 for this case, I don't care if I have to buy my own riser for this case, I don't care if I have to tell the other team that I suck, and that I'm a girl, and I like ribbons in my hair, and that I want to kiss all the boys.

I just want this case!
 
Top