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

wahaha360

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I'm not arguing against, just trying to understand what's so different about this case that people will pay two or three times more than what's on the market.

You are looking at it from a business perspective, market opportunity, metrics and etc.

I can't speak for Necere, but personally, I consider it a hobby. So if there are enough people who want this case, we will build it, if not, we won't.



If we really cared about market opportunity that much, the LRPC project would have been scrapped a long time ago - I had inside information on which companies were going to release LRPC cases long before it was public. So the decision was never about market opportunities.

The M1 happened because I just wanted a better looking SG05. The LRPC *may happen because I got annoyed with my Valve Steam Box.

Long story short, I had the Valve Steam Machine and it had some quirks. Eventually I got fed up with it and sent it to Necere.

If I recall correctly, Necere was working on something else at that time. Effectively, I twisted Necere's arm to do this design (because I wanted one) and here we are today.



Don't get wrong, I hope to become a real business one day, but we are just so far away. Right now, it's just something I do for fun.

This is from the early days of the M1 and still true :)
I don't know what's going to happen in the future, I don't even know if we will get funded on Kickstarter. I just know the process is fun, and we'll keep moving forward :)
 
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SaperPL

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On the subject of size, after having torn down a Steam Machine prototype case and rebuilt it, it became apparent how much of a pain it is to have so little space to work with. If you don't install everything in exactly the right order, and run the cables exactly the right way, you practically have to unscrew everything and start over. Really, those systems were designed to be put together in a factory and not opened by the user after that, save for maybe a drive upgrade. They are that bad. That won't fly with a case that's intended for people build their own systems in, and I think having some extra room for cables etc. is something you can't really appreciate until you actually have to build it, but when you do you'll be glad it's there.

You are looking at it from a business perspective, market opportunity, metrics and etc.

I can't speak for Necere, but personally, I consider it a hobby. So if there are enough people who want this case, we will build it, if not, we won't.



If we really cared about market opportunity that much, the LRPC project would have been scrapped a long time ago - I had inside information on which companies were going to release LRPC cases long before it was public. So the decision was never about market opportunities.

The M1 happened because I just wanted a better looking SG05. The LRPC *may happen because I got annoyed with my Valve Steam Box.

Long story short, I had the Valve Steam Machine and it had some quirks. Eventually I got fed up with it and sent it to Necere.

If I recall correctly, Necere was working on something else at that time. Effectively, I twisted Necere's arm to do this design (because I wanted one) and here we are today.



Don't get wrong, I hope to become a real business one day, but we are just so far away. Right now, it's just something I do for fun.

This is from the early days of the M1 and still true :)

Now I get it - I've got totally different approach since I want the slick steam machine case to happen and mainstream it so I need this to be good for the market and from the business perspective. We're of course also starting at low production count but there shouldn't be huge problems to scale up with growing demand.

For me the start of the project was when a designer sitting across the room started talking about what he should buy next PC or so-called at the time "Next Gen" for his living room. At that time a year ago I still thought steam machine's going to happen somehow but then while chatting and looking through all those early "steam machine" tagged coming pc's we realised they were either standard itx cases, pc's with custom components or stuff that only tried to look slim with RVZ01. We had stuff to compare to the size on site since I've had both console devkit's for last generation sitting on my desk and the guys in other team had those early prototype devkits for next gens that were as big as the RVZ01. And I realised that the size is a problem for the console guys and I can't convert them to PC's that are going to get old quicker than a console because of custom components and they don't want something as big as RVZ01 in front of the tv.

So my approach from the start was to make the case as small as possible, maybe harder to build than tool-less design ones but use the space as efficient as possible. And we started off with Steam Machine prototype config because that's what people were like "shut up and take my money" about.

Even if was, as you said, hard to replace the components like tearing out whole pc I'd say it's worth it since it's supposed to be a console that's sitting in front of tv and you're most likely not going to open it up all the time replacing stuff. We, as computer tinkers on [H], are straightly biased about this since we're the ones doing the stuff all around the pc's and we'll be building and rebuilding those rigs over and over ourselves but the target end user for the mainstream case will only reconfigure when he's lacking performance or something broke.

While seeing your design (on page 6) I thought you were also going after something as small as possible but I was always concerned about those drives location out there. But I get your hobbyist approach now.

For the record - you don't have to tear out everything to replace stuff in our case :)
 

Notting

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W360 thinks maybe the alternate stand is too angled a bit too much, what do you guys think? It's currently at 3 degrees:


looks a bit like EVGA's Hadron Air - angled style :)
I had that case for a short while.. terrible idea :D that's when I went online and ordered a M1
 

ZombiPL

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I have a question about the internal power extension cable (IEC C13/C14). Are You going to use the same cable as in the M1?

We tried to contact with the cable manufacturer of Your cable to get one for our case, but than i saw this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azFtK7TWAfo&feature=youtu.be&t=254 (4:14-4:17),
XAf32IL.png

and i realized that we have to make our own cable. I still can't believe that LianLi put so poor quality cable for such high-quality ~$200 pc case. Plastic buckle as the finish of the IEC C14 connector? Really? Please tell me that was only a production prototype, and in Your LRPC You'll have some better finish of this side of the internal PSU cable.
 

wahaha360

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I have a question about the internal power extension cable (IEC C13/C14). Are You going to use the same cable as in the M1?
...I still can't believe that LianLi put so poor quality cable for such high-quality ~$200 pc case. Plastic buckle as the finish of the IEC C14 connector? Really? Please tell me that was only a production prototype, and in Your LRPC You'll have some better finish of this side of the internal PSU cable.

I'm working on getting another cable.
 

ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
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I'm working on getting another cable.

Thanks for answer. We're trying to produce our own cable using standard cable with C13 plug + separate C14 connector + specially designed plastic cover for the back of the C14 connector which will have a better look and will be safer than finishing it in the way LianLi did with Your cable.

I was never arguing about the high quality or nice design of Your M1, but when i saw what is the real construction of Your cable i thought it must be a mistake...the only point saying this case isn't as high-quality as it tend to/ should be. M1 is marked with a CE mark, right?
 

jtd871

Weaksauce
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To my understanding, it's fairly difficult to bend a sheet 3 times into a square shape. I'm not sure about the full manufacturing capabilities of Lian Li though. Maybe they can do it.

Another possibility is using rectangular aluminum tube or maybe channels. It might be equally a pain to cut, deburr and affix (weld or long screws/bolts from the base to the chassis, though.
 

Necere

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I have a question about the internal power extension cable (IEC C13/C14). Are You going to use the same cable as in the M1?
That's the plan as of right now.

We tried to contact with the cable manufacturer of Your cable to get one for our case
The cable supplier I've linked elsewhere is not the supplier Lian Li is using for our case.

I still can't believe that LianLi put so poor quality cable for such high-quality ~$200 pc case. Plastic buckle as the finish of the IEC C14 connector? Really? Please tell me that was only a production prototype, and in Your LRPC You'll have some better finish of this side of the internal PSU cable.
That's the actual cable we've been using with the M1 from the beginning. You're the first person that's voiced any concern about the quality. We've had a handful of defective cables, but ironically it was the other end - the molded left angle C13 - that's been defective in those cases. We've had no issues caused by the C14 end, as far as I'm aware.
 

ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
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That's the plan as of right now.

The cable supplier I've linked elsewhere is not the supplier Lian Li is using for our case.

That's the actual cable we've been using with the M1 from the beginning. You're the first person that's voiced any concern about the quality. We've had a handful of defective cables, but ironically it was the other end - the molded left angle C13 - that's been defective in those cases. We've had no issues caused by the C14 end, as far as I'm aware.

I may have a little obsession about the high-quality, but it's because of my daytime job (wind and water turbines, heavy-duty machines for industry, etc.). If something isn't made properly, than someone can get killed. Here where i'm talking about the "high-quality" i mean a really good and safe stuff, not the "high-quality" as a marketing slogan. With such cable ending (like this C14 side with plastic buckle) we would have problems to give CE mark, because in such situation every cable needs separate test to prove that the plastic buckle holds properly with the same strength. What is more, such cable ending looks so cheap that i have no idea why they (LianLi's contractor) didn't use proper industrial glue designed for plastic and rubber + additional heating for this "heat-shrinkable cable". It would look a lot better. There is no problem with the cable if it's made for the prototype, but with mass production I think You shouldn't do such things. It just makes Your great pc case looks less great (+ those CE mark reasons).

... but as i said before, maybe it's just my "professional perversion" for making things like they should be made :)
 

ZombiPL

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http://www.silverstonetek.com/images/products/ml08/ml08-5.JPG
ML08 seems to have a cable with nice looking moulded c14 end.
Any chance to consider something like this instead of the current cable?

Yeah, maybe this is not the best photo but this side looks nice, exactly how the M1 C14 connector should look like. Similar cable is instaled in node 202. C13 plug is almost the same but C14 connector side is made in the proper, professional way.

http://4d663a369f9f03c3c61e-870e77779efd63f7bd6c2ee08d8cfae6.r2.cf1.rackcdn.com/images/V_gTU9heeL1j.878x0.Z-Z96KYq.jpg

http://media.bestofmicro.com/9/B/500591/gallery/Node-202_10_w_600.jpg

http://hexus.net/media/uploaded/2015/7/3231212f-393d-4a15-b192-0a2eeb9d4247.png

Anyone knows the manufacturer of this cable?
 

jtd871

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I still can't believe that LianLi put so poor quality cable for such high-quality ~$200 pc case. Plastic buckle as the finish of the IEC C14 connector? Really?

With such cable ending (like this C14 side with plastic buckle) we would have problems to give CE mark, because in such situation every cable needs separate test to prove that the plastic buckle holds properly with the same strength. What is more, such cable ending looks so cheap that i have no idea why they (LianLi's contractor) didn't use proper industrial glue designed for plastic and rubber + additional heating for this "heat-shrinkable cable".

I wouldn't think that the strength standard for the "plastic buckle" joint would necessarily be very high for the following reasoning: The end closest to the (admittedly unsightly) joint is secured to the case. The PSU is also secured to the case (presumably). Therefore, there should not be any significant sustained tension on the internal cable during normal use of the case unless the user intentionally and deliberately puts the cable in tension to accommodate components and/or placements that probably aren't the greatest idea in the first place.
 

ZombiPL

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I wouldn't think that the strength standard for the "plastic buckle" joint would necessarily be very high for the following reasoning: The end closest to the (admittedly unsightly) joint is secured to the case. The PSU is also secured to the case (presumably). Therefore, there should not be any significant sustained tension on the internal cable during normal use of the case unless the user intentionally and deliberately puts the cable in tension to accommodate components and/or placements that probably aren't the greatest idea in the first place.

I agree, but there are many situations that something isn't very probable, but the law says You must be sure (when such situation may happen) that Your product is safe for the user. I wouldn't give CE mark for such cable with plastic buckle, which would result in problems with selling this cable or full case in EU. Many companies went bankrupt just because lawsuits about such stupid and simple things. Fractal design and Silverstone could make such cable with their cases price <$90, so i think this time guys from Ncase can make it better. We're also looking for the solution how to produce a good-quality and safe cable for our case, and when we'll find one we'll show You in our thread. Right now our C14 ending has as poor quality as this one in M1, and we hope together we could find a solution.
 

Necere

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Fractal design and Silverstone could make such cable with their cases price <$90, so i think this time guys from Ncase can make it better.
You know full well (or you should) that that's not a fair comparison. Those companies spend $150k+ for tooling on their cases, with the expectation they can sell at least 25k units over several years. When we started, we didn't even know if we'd be able to meet Lian Li's 300 unit MOQ. A custom-length power cable with both ends molded is going to be at least a 1,000 unit MOQ, but could easily be 5,000+, which isn't feasible for the volume we do. I should mention that we also shortened the cable and changed from right to left-angled after the first production run, which is something we couldn't have done if we were invested in one cable design.

If you find a manufacturer that makes low-profile left-angled cables in custom lengths with both ends molded with a reasonably low MOQ, let us know.
 

Urelure

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Hi guys. Been off the Forum for quite a while and i was lesantly surprised to see the progress here. It is looking every bit as good as I thought it would.

Though i was initially really loving the original stand, seeing it now I think I actually prefer the new one. Unsure about the angle. It's not that i don't like it, but it's hard to imagine what it would look like on the desk, but the overall design of it is a winner in my book:)

I'll be getting one of these for sure.
 

octagoncow

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I'm liking the lower angle a lot more. I'm SO glad this project is getting more progress.

Edit: What made you decide to include front audio ports now? It's not even close to a deal breaker for me, but I liked it more when it didn't have them.
 

Optik

Limp Gawd
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yeah I think the lower angle also provides greater stability, which is the original purpose of the stand. But its kind of splitting hairs imo.


One thing that does raise some concern with me is the slotted top as the vent as opposed to mesh. People who will use the case upright might have to be careful because stuff might fall into the slots far more easily (e.g. a paper clip).
 

Necere

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Edit: What made you decide to include front audio ports now? It's not even close to a deal breaker for me, but I liked it more when it didn't have them.
I'm neutral towards them personally, but w360 wanted them.

yeah I think the lower angle also provides greater stability, which is the original purpose of the stand.
The difference between the 3 and 2 degree angled stand is too small to affect stability. That's actually something the original stand design has going for it though: because it's constructed from thicker aluminum, it's both sturdier and heavier, which provides for a more stable platform. That was actually my reason for going with that design when I first showed the LRPC project here, as the thinner 2mm angled design predates it. I won't really have a good idea if there's any stability or strength concerns until I have them in hand, though.
 

Optik

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I'm neutral towards them personally, but w360 wanted them.

The difference between the 3 and 2 degree angled stand is too small to affect stability. That's actually something the original stand design has going for it though: because it's constructed from thicker aluminum, it's both sturdier and heavier, which provides for a more stable platform. That was actually my reason for going with that design when I first showed the LRPC project here, as the thinner 2mm angled design predates it. I won't really have a good idea if there's any stability or strength concerns until I have them in hand, though.

Between the PSU and CPU heatsink, the center of gravity should still be towards the bottom of the base, right? It will be interesting to see how easy it actually is to tip it over. Also when there are cables attached, it should make it harder to get a full tip.


There's mesh under the slots: http://i.imgur.com/qOYAEC3.jpg

ah didnt know that, nice feature
 

EdZ

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I'd prefer a level stand, but the smaller angle does look better than the more tilted stand.

On the power cable: the 'sleeve' over the connectors of the C14 socket in my M1 (v3) was loose enough to freely slide up and down the cable and expose the contacts. I added a little glue inside the sleeve to hold it in place.
 

ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
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On the power cable: the 'sleeve' over the connectors of the C14 socket in my M1 (v3) was loose enough to freely slide up and down the cable and expose the contacts. I added a little glue inside the sleeve to hold it in place.

This is what i meant when i was talking about problems with giving CE mark for this M1 cable.

Right now we're talking with some Polish manufacturers to make a special cable for us. We'll see how it goes.
 

octagoncow

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Necere and I have been discussing the product name internally.

We have narrowed the potential names down to 2.

I made a poll for people to vote on it.

http://www.poll-maker.com/poll383297x3B9b45Ce-15

Is there any meaning behind the letters? Such as 'S' standing for slim, or 'T' standing for tiny (I struggled to find something for 'T' to stand for)? I guess it doesn't really matter, but I was surprised to see 'T1' as an option. I thought the two options were going to be S1 or LRPC.
 

wahaha360

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Is there any meaning behind the letters? Such as 'S' standing for slim, or 'T' standing for tiny (I struggled to find something for 'T' to stand for)? I guess it doesn't really matter, but I was surprised to see 'T1' as an option. I thought the two options were going to be S1 or LRPC.

The "S" has to do with being *smaller and *slimmer compare to the M1.

The "T" has to do with being a *tower and *taller compare to the M1.

Having the S1 moniker in addition to the M1 makes it close to clothing sizes - S/M/L, not sure if that's a good thing.

I added "LRX' to the poll because that was another moniker we discussed about, it's just shorter than "LRPC", works better for our SKU system too.
 

Necere

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Is there any meaning behind the letters? Such as 'S' standing for slim, or 'T' standing for tiny (I struggled to find something for 'T' to stand for)? I guess it doesn't really matter, but I was surprised to see 'T1' as an option.
T1 is w360's preference. I said the same thing about the lack of meaning. With S1 you can at least infer that it could stand for "slim," or even "Steam."

The "T" has to do with being a *tower and *taller compare to the M1.
Don't forget that it's intended to also allow for horizontal placement, where "tower" and "tall" wouldn't apply.

Having the S1 moniker in addition to the M1 makes it close to clothing sizes - S/M/L, not sure if that's a good thing.
That's not something I'd ever thought of, and honestly I don't think anyone else would, either :p

I added "LRX' to the poll because that was another moniker we discussed about, it's just shorter than "LRPC", works better for our SKU system too.
LRX is an alternative name I came up with, but it will have issues fitting on the model ID plate on the rear, so I don't really favor it at this point.
 

Qrash

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I thought "S" was for Steam and "T" was for Theatre.

I know, it was repeatedly stated that the LRPC was not meant to be an HTPC, but it will be used for gaming, streaming video, even web browsing. These are all forms of entertainment which makes me think of a home theatre.
 
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Optik

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since you guys have decided that further revisions denote v1, v2 etc

It makes most sense to me to call this the "m2"
 

Necere

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since you guys have decided that further revisions denote v1, v2 etc

It makes most sense to me to call this the "m2"
I think of the LRPC as part of a (hypothetical) product line distinct from the M1, separated both in terms of function and aesthetics. To me, an "M2" would be something clearly related to the M1 (e.g., similar front panel design), but larger with a different internal layout for better airflow and watercooling support, and maybe a window. Basically similar to what car manufacturers do, (e.g., Audi A4, A6, A8, S4, etc).

Just no... This type of model name does not indicate chronology. If anything, the model name should indicate size/form or the intended use.
Right.
 

vipz

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S for Slim is the only one that makes sense to me.

What does the M in M1 stand for again?
 

Necere

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S for Slim is the only one that makes sense to me.

What does the M in M1 stand for again?
The M doesn't stand for anything. Which I suppose contradicts the notion that the "S" should have some meaning, but for me at least it's more of an intuitive feel about how a certain name or letter/number designation suits a certain design. You could say that the letter M has a certain angularity to it that is reflected in the exterior design of the M1. You could also make associations to various "cool" or powerful things - the M1 Abrams, M1 Garand, BMW M1.
 

Phuncz

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Why not confuse the hell out of everyone and call this the "Ncase M1 (model 2016)" ? Trololol !
I actually don't remember what I voted, I'd rather just hibernate until it's released :p
 

The_Oasis

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I agree with the idea that the 'm' series is all going to be based off the original case design, and I think S fits this one the best.
 
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