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

Screes

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
367
with all the little details i don't like about this case, i'll still buy one because NO ONE makes a case even close to this. Just order the prototype with what you have right now, and go with it. it will sell. stop second guessing yourself and just do it.
 

thelead

2[H]4U
Joined
May 28, 2005
Messages
2,227
Any thoughts on adding an IR receiver to the front panel? Everything else looks perfect.
 

AFD

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
2,154
So, its a moot point comparing the LRPC to other "plastic" cases out there.

+1. Not at all interested in some cheap-looking steel & plastic case/enclosure.


Silverstone or Lian-Li could downright rip your design note-for-note, and I guarantee you that many folks would still be wanting the higher quality LRPC.. even if it was double the price.

Cheap cases are fine, if that's what fits your needs. But I personally don't understand why anyone would want to stick several hundred dollars worth of gear into one. A good quality case that you enjoy looking at and working with will long outlast any of the components you put inside it.
 

daavee

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Messages
81
Thanks for all of the supportive and insightful comments. It does help to get some outside points of view.

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.

I really do hope so. I think that the LRPC is almost perfect as it is and it seems like most others on here do as well. For me NCASE is all about - No compromise on quality, thoughtful design with No square inch wasted and doing what No-one else is doing. Just like the M1 the LRPC epitomises these qualities. Echoing what other people have said - you're doing great work Necere; keep on keeping on.:D
 

thelead

2[H]4U
Joined
May 28, 2005
Messages
2,227
It has already been discussed and isn't an intended feature of this case.

Damn. I think that's a mistake. I would imagine a big draw to Steam Machine style cases is being able to put it in the living room and control it with all your other av gear. If it's not intended for living room use, why no get an M1 instead? Oh well, looks great otherwise.
 
Last edited:

AFD

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
2,154
I think an IR sensor would be a nice addition, but something that could probably be modded in by the buyer (either into the front of the case, or mounted externally just below it).

Could always go with a wi-fi or bluetooth remote instead. Those things exist, correct?
 

EdZ

Gawd
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
773
Damn. I think that's a mistake. I would imagine a big draw to Steam Machine style cases is being able to put it in the living room and control it with all your other av gear.
In which case, as it would be connected via HDMI for AV use, CEC would be the way to go.
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
Make people buy their own risers. I imagine that not everyone buying the lrpc is going to also buy a video card.
The problem with that is, whether we go with a riser card or flex riser, they may not be readily available. 1U risers don't work by themselves - they need a second short extender, or else the bracket from the expansion card intrudes into the motherboard rear I/O area. With flex risers, differences in mounting holes, slot orientation, cable length, and cable quality would make it a giant headache. The best way, if we wanted to make the riser optional, would just be to offer it ourselves.
 

SaperPL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
1,822
I'm also opting for making people buy flex riser themselves so the cost of riser goes out of case cost which will be smaller risk for a potential client(if crowdfunded) and the case will also seem cheaper
 

backfeed

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
480
Please don't do this. Risers, flexible or not, are a major pain in the crack. I'll gladly pay for an included riser, avoiding that potential nightmare altogether.
 

Aibohphobia

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
1,340
What about a dual-configuration like this:

2014-09-20_Expansion-Slots.png


That way the HTPC crowd can run a low-profile video card and a few hard drives. Just a thought.
 

SaperPL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
1,822
There's plenty low profile supporting cases to choose from and with slim LRPC design I'm not sure if LP card would fit in standard position
 

Bobalias_LeShay

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
287
That way the HTPC crowd can run a low-profile video card and a few hard drives. Just a thought.
I suspect the segment of the HTPC crowd that would buy a high end case like this has mostly graduated to NAS, not local storage. Plus it increases the size of the case substantially for something that benefits an extremely niche segment of potential users (people who use low profile video cards AND people who want an HTPC case AND people who use some local storage but not that much local storage)
 

backfeed

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
480
I suspect the segment of the HTPC crowd that would buy a high end case like this has mostly graduated to NAS, not local storage. Plus it increases the size of the case substantially for something that benefits an extremely niche segment of potential users (people who use low profile video cards AND people who want an HTPC case AND people who use some local storage but not that much local storage)

It doesn't change the size of the case at all, if I'm understanding it correctly?

I agree with your other points.
 

theGryphon

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 21, 2011
Messages
1,295
Necere, would it be feasible to have the GPU flipped the other way around so that all intakes are on the same side? It would require a longer PCIE riser but if done, it would be so beneficial for especially horizontal placement.
 

SaperPL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
Messages
1,822
Necere, would it be feasible to have the GPU flipped the other way around so that all intakes are on the same side? It would require a longer PCIE riser but if done, it would be so beneficial for especially horizontal placement.

Check out my topic on this, 3rd page should interest you
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1832126&page=3

I'm trying to acheive mATX support with this config and all intakes on one side.
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
What about a dual-configuration like this:

That way the HTPC crowd can run a low-profile video card and a few hard drives. Just a thought.
A low profile card won't quite fit in the current width - it would need to be increased to at least 84-85mm. It would also require a significant redesign of the chassis and I'm not sure the compartmentalized GPU concept could be retained.

Also, in regards to supporting a 3-slot GPU or moving the GPU away from the side (to allow room for fans, for example), is 1.) where to put the drives, and 2.) airflow and dust filtration.

Necere, would it be feasible to have the GPU flipped the other way around so that all intakes are on the same side? It would require a longer PCIE riser but if done, it would be so beneficial for especially horizontal placement.
This was previously asked and answered.
 

Optik

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
Messages
326
The problem with that is, whether we go with a riser card or flex riser, they may not be readily available. 1U risers don't work by themselves - they need a second short extender, or else the bracket from the expansion card intrudes into the motherboard rear I/O area. With flex risers, differences in mounting holes, slot orientation, cable length, and cable quality would make it a giant headache. The best way, if we wanted to make the riser optional, would just be to offer it ourselves.

I was not aware of these things with the risers, thanks for the info.
 

Aibohphobia

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
1,340
A low profile card won't quite fit in the current width - it would need to be increased to at least 84-85mm. It would also require a significant redesign of the chassis and I'm not sure the compartmentalized GPU concept could be retained.

Ok, wasn't sure how big a change to the internal layout it would be.

Also, in regards to supporting a 3-slot GPU or moving the GPU away from the side (to allow room for fans, for example), is 1.) where to put the drives, and 2.) airflow and dust filtration.

Oops, didn't mean to suggest adding a third slot to your case, I just took a quick screenshot of a project I abandoned to show the low-profile slot idea.
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
Oops, didn't mean to suggest adding a third slot to your case, I just took a quick screenshot of a project I abandoned to show the low-profile slot idea.
Yeah, I figured you probably weren't suggesting it. But it's something w360 and I have discussed in the past, and moving the GPU to allow for fans next to it was something suggested earlier in the thread.
 

bAMtan2

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 16, 2008
Messages
1,480
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.

There are those of us who have been talking about this case design for years. Finally there are some cases like this in existence. But none quite like yours. Release it. Release it early, and release it often. Have you seen the geekhack keyboard forums? People release $300 keyboard kits that sell out. $150 sets of keycaps that sell out. They're fricking keycaps.

Your case is plenty differentiated and interesting, and there's no better time to release it than SOONER THAN LATER!
 

1trueJ

n00b
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
14
Necere, as the Steam Machine prototype has been out for a long goddamn time now, and no one has released a similarly sized machine, unless you know something we don't, I'm sure that many people, myself included, would jump at the chance to own an LRPC.
 

Screes

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
367
There are those of us who have been talking about this case design for years. Finally there are some cases like this in existence. But none quite like yours. Release it. Release it early, and release it often. Have you seen the geekhack keyboard forums? People release $300 keyboard kits that sell out. $150 sets of keycaps that sell out. They're fricking keycaps.

Your case is plenty differentiated and interesting, and there's no better time to release it than SOONER THAN LATER!

I completely agree. Worst thing you could do is delay this thing further, because eventually SOMEONE will make this case the right way like this and more than likely it'll be someone that can keep it in stock at newegg and beat you on price. The one thing you have going for you right now is that NO ONE is doing it (yet).

You're never going to make everyone happy, and this case is so small there isn't a whole lot you can really do different with it if you want to retain the current configuration (no ODD, no IR, HDD's behind graphics card, PSU in front). Everything else is cosmetic. Go with the riser that's cheapest, as long as both types (flexible and rigid) works properly, is what i'd do. Then just order the prototype and test it and make sure everything fits and works properly.
 

backfeed

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
480
I completely agree. Worst thing you could do is delay this thing further, because eventually SOMEONE will make this case the right way like this and more than likely it'll be someone that can keep it in stock at newegg and beat you on price. The one thing you have going for you right now is that NO ONE is doing it (yet).

You're never going to make everyone happy, and this case is so small there isn't a whole lot you can really do different with it if you want to retain the current configuration (no ODD, no IR, HDD's behind graphics card, PSU in front). Everything else is cosmetic. Go with the riser that's cheapest, as long as both types (flexible and rigid) works properly, is what i'd do. Then just order the prototype and test it and make sure everything fits and works properly.

Agreed!

Except for one thing: if possible, please don't skimp on the riser; I want one that is PCI-E 3.0 certified and works without a hitch. :)
 

Aibohphobia

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
1,340
I got some 5cm flexible PCIe risers from these guys that they claim are good for PCIe 3.0 and compatible with cards like the 780ti and 290X.

I bought them for my abandoned Steambox project and never got around to testing them.

I'll do a run of Unigine Valley on a GTX 980 with and without the riser and post the results.

Edit:

2014-09-21_SLI-Testbed-PCIe-Riser.jpg
2014-09-21_SLI-Testbed-PCIe-Riser-BIOS.jpg


BIOS recognizes as PCIe 3.0 x16

Unigine Valley Extreme HD benchmark

normal setup

65.2 FPS

2729 score


with riser

65.6 FPS

2746 score

Looks like it works :)
 
Last edited:

Aibohphobia

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
1,340
I've been looking for such a riser for quite a while, but my searching skills are obviously inferior since the only one I had found at Ameri-Rack was this 2.0 bugger. :)

Price?

$38/ea :eek:

I have a few each of the 5cm and 3cm versions I have no use for anymore though. PM me if you live in the US and you're interested in them.
 

a1684901

n00b
Joined
Sep 21, 2014
Messages
1
Maybe you can refer to my test

I got some 20cm flexible PCIe risers

[Test System]

CPU︰I5-3470 。

MB︰JW B75-ITX。

GPU︰ PowerColor R9-270X 。

SSD︰DATA SP900 128G。

D-RAM︰Kingston 2G X2 。

Case︰Li Heat Industries Limited. ITX 12 cubic liters 。

Power︰TFX-450W。

OS: Windows 8.1

LL

LL

LL


Test without PCIe riser cable card
LL

LL


PCI-E Technical logic:
Because PCI-E signal is Ghz, not Mhz, I put the anti-ferromagnetic metal into the sandwich, and then use enon-woven conductive fabric wrapped up, so the physical characteristics of Cable's, there are three major changes:
(1) Solution contains a radio, etc., a variety of wave resonance effect, and the problem of leakage (SATA the same and so the USB Cable, can not be used by PCI-E)!
(2) eliminate the signal line and the power line interaction working together; (so the majority of high-speed Cable, has this had marked),
(3) maintain the synchronization signal; (like using USB Cable, in order to (1) + (2) factors, packets isolate the wire, it is not used to transmit signals PCI-E),
 

backfeed

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
480
$38/ea :eek:

I have a few each of the 5cm and 3cm versions I have no use for anymore though. PM me if you live in the US and you're interested in them.

I live in Sweden but don't need one right now anyway, but was curious about the price (and I think $38 is cheap, I've seen far worse, e.g. a PCI-E 1.0 for $70 here in Sweden). :)
 

caycep

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
87
Somehow it's not as visually interesting as the M1...it needs some curves :D Rounded Rectangles!
 

Urelure

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
459
Somehow it's not as visually interesting as the M1...it needs some curves :D Rounded Rectangles!

If its details you want, how about this?

xxAFgw0.jpg


:D

Edit: On a more serious note rounded rectangles has been done so many times by so many different manufacturers on the htpc market.
 

AFD

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
2,154
If its details you want, how about this?

Lol. That Lian-Li case is the dumbest thing in the world. But I still think it's awesome (that and their Spyder, Conch, and desk cases).

Just saw their new PC-Q19 ITX case with VGA support. Not sure about size comparison, but it looks awfully similar to the LRPC..

dAud1yO.png




The Q19 is all aluminum, in black or silver w/opt. vertical stand. GPU up to 8.6" via riser, SFX PSU, 3x 2.5" + 1x 3.5" drive support. $149.


So how does the LRPC differ from the the Q19? I'm assuming the Q19 is huge in comparison. Specs says it's 1ft³.. so 28L??
 

1trueJ

n00b
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
14
Lol. That Lian-Li case is the dumbest thing in the world. But I still think it's awesome (that and their Spyder, Conch, and desk cases).

Just saw their new PC-Q19 ITX case with VGA support. Not sure about size comparison, but it looks awfully similar to the LRPC..

dAud1yO.png




The Q19 is all aluminum, in black or silver w/opt. vertical stand. GPU up to 8.6" via riser, SFX PSU, 3x 2.5" + 1x 3.5" drive support. $149.


So how does the LRPC differ from the the Q19? I'm assuming the Q19 is huge in comparison. Specs says it's 1ft³.. so 28L??

8.6" GPU compared to 12/10.6" GPU in the LRPC, 28L vs 9L, Admittedly more storage, but more than three times the size, so...
 

Necere

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
2,783
Are you guys really too lazy to multiply three numbers together to find the volume? :p

The PC-Q19 is 12.6L, excluding the stand. Even the package is only 23L, so the 1 cubic foot is probably either there for shipping calculation purposes, or just a mistake.

Anyway, the obvious differences between it and the LRPC are the shape (the Q19 being more rectangular vs. the square shape of the LRPC), and longer GPU support and drive count, as mentioned. Other than that, it's down to the details of each design and how they are constructed and manage airflow.
 

AFD

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
2,154
Are you guys really too lazy to multiply three numbers together to find the volume? :p

No, not too lazy.. was just pretty sure I'd screw up the math :eek:


OK, so 12.6L vs 9L.. not as big as I thought it was. And longer GPU vs drive space.

Slightly different, but should be a very close competitor to the LRPC for Steam/HTPC (*disclaimer to Phuncz, I know it's not explicitly a HTPC case :p).. at least a hell of a lot more so than whatever plastic/steel abomination you were originally concerned about ;)
 

backfeed

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 22, 2010
Messages
480
I don't think the Q19 is a close competitor. I consider it a foul-looking waste of space that can't even take full length graphics cards. I'd go as far as calling it a fail. :p
 

AFD

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
2,154
I don't think the Q19 is a close competitor. I consider it a foul-looking waste of space that can't even take full length graphics cards. I'd go as far as calling it a fail. :p

I partially agree, but only because I think they should keep the 8.6" GPU limitation and shrink the case further by ditching some of the hard drive space. There really should be one case for full-size GPU cards, and a smaller one that only supports short cards. Or, if Necere's design can make use of the empty space left over by using a short GPU (for drive space), I think that's a happy medium.

I do think the Q19 looks pretty attractive, though.


I think my ideal small Steam/HTPC would be as tiny as possible, and allow for only a short 6.7" ITX GPU, 1x 2.5" drive (for up to 2TB storage, M.2/mSATA SSD on mobo), ITX mobo, SFX PSU, and up to 40mm tall coolers. Maybe something the size of an M1 sliced in half. Though, I'm sure something like this would be a niche sub-set of an already niche market.
 

Screes

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
367
I don't mind the layout of the Q19, though I personally would have put the PSU on the motherboard side instead of the GPU side. My biggest problem with it is the same problem the silver stone ML07 has, it's excessively large. It's about an inch thicker, three inches deeper and an inch wider than it has to be. Why choose an ITX form factor and then make it the size of an mATX case?

It's the one flaw every new ITX case now a days from a major company seems to share. They are all too big. There's a reason why half a decade later the SG05 is still the gold standard.
 
Last edited:
Top