What case design do you want to see made?

updawg

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We have all these great case designers creating wonderful cases on this forum it would be nice to see what idea us average enthusiasts have.

Here is my thought on the matter:

I would like essentially a DAN case but cut in half. I would want an "itx" gpu and a hdplex 250 mounted underneath the motherboard. I would have no room for additional drives - only making use of m.2/msata drives. I would want side mounted usb and power buttons to leave the front of the case clean.

Here is my rough sketch of the layout.
m3oB6yv.png


Obviously I have no idea what the exact dimensions would be needed, if thermals would be sufficient, but if this design was viable it would be a day once purchase for me.
 

iFreilicht

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To answer the question in the title: My own, of course! :D

With your idea I'd strongly recommend to compare the HDMI port on the GPU to the one on the Mainboard. Your dimensions are way off.
 

updawg

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That was just a quick copy paste from google images so obviously nothing is to scale. Maybe if I get sometime I will try to learn sketchup and make a proper design. This was more of what type of case do you want to see made, like a matx receiver style case, an improved pc-v355, a thin itx with a single slot width gpu that is parallel to the board for a super slim case, etc.
 

Necere

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250W is a bit on the low side for something like a GTX 970 or R9 Nano plus 70-80W CPU. The HDplex might need some active cooling, so that's something to consider. I guess I can see the appeal of having a separate power brick that can go out of the way on the floor though, while minimizing the case's footprint on the desk.
 

updawg

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The case does not need to support a 970, a 960 would be sufficient for 1080p gaming. Also I expect a trend of more power efficient cards with Pascal on the horizon. Even HTPC enthusiasts would love this case because they could use dual slot passive cards.
 

Urelure

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Even HTPC enthusiasts would love this case because they could use dual slot passive cards.

Having the card up side down on the bottom like that would work very poorly for passive cards. There is no air circulation there and hot air would get trapped i think.
 

updawg

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Having the card up side down on the bottom like that would work very poorly for passive cards. There is no air circulation there and hot air would get trapped i think.

What you could do is have a dual mounting system for the power supply- one for the HDPLEX 250 and one for their 160w model. With the 160w model you'd be able to have room for a bottom mounted 80mm fan.

For the 250W model you could require a blower style cooler for the GPU and have the top half completely sealed from the bottom half that way it draws in air from the bottom and vents the heat for both the GPU and the the HDPLEX 250.
 
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cltang

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Personally, I would like (probably mentioned many times before) an extended NCASE M1 for Micro-ATX.
This appears to be not the direction that the current NCASE M-ATX design is heading for, but is what many would want, I guess.
 

Siba

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mATX
SFX PSU only
Support for 2x 180mm rad or 2x280mm rad watercooling
Window
Cool customizable front display like Bitfenix Pandora
No more than 1-2x 3.5" HDD or swap for 3x 2.5" HDD support
 
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iFreilicht

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Personally, I would like (probably mentioned many times before) an extended NCASE M1 for Micro-ATX.
This appears to be not the direction that the current NCASE M-ATX design is heading for, but is what many would want, I guess.

Isn't Project Nova just that?

mATX
SFX PSU only
Support for 2x 180mm rad or 2x280mm rad watercooling
Window
Cool customizable front display like Bitfenix Pandora
No more than 1-2x 3.5" HDD or swap for 3x 2.5" HDD support

I personally like the idea of the Pandoras ICON thingy, but right now you can only put still images on it, right? I'd like to see something that you can actually program through software to display fan speeds or music tracks or stuff like that.
 

cltang

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Isn't Project Nova just that?

Actually, not for me.
Not enough 3.5" hard drive capacity (maybe reconsider if the 2x3.5" drive cage mentioned on the Nova thread sticky post was implemented).
Also, I sort of prefer more aluminum on the panels than steel :)
 

CknSalad

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I would like a more modular/ less restrictive, air-cooled version of QinX's PC case project.I'm interested to see if there could be a standard motherboard made that's for Zotac En970 or Alienware Alpha sized cases. Nvidia and AMD would have to make more custom cards to lower the heat output and power usage in such small PC cases. There's a lot of development in the SSD market and hopefully we can start seeing cheaper, >1TB 2.5 inch SSDs. M.2 PCI-E SSDs need to get standardized faster. >_<

I feel that this is the next step for the SFF PC market. So far there's really only Zotac and Alienware. Asus' GR8 is decent, but overpriced while the Gigabyte Brix 760 would still be much too loud even with a 35w Intel Skylake cpu w/ 970m or custom GTX 960 gpu. Of course, if one wants to have a powerful single gpu or dual-gpu build, then one should go for mini-itx or m-atx. Maybe Necere or any of the active custom SFF case forum users could get support for such Alpha-like motherboards. I know this is probably too much into the future or something that's just wishful thinking on my part. I'm curious how small a gaming PC case has to be for people in the Hardforum SFF community to be satisfied.
 
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andgo

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Actually, not for me.
Not enough 3.5" hard drive capacity (maybe reconsider if the 2x3.5" drive cage mentioned on the Nova thread sticky post was implemented).
Also, I sort of prefer more aluminum on the panels than steel :)

Get yourself a NAS, then you can get the Nova.
 

astheria

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Actually, not for me.
Not enough 3.5" hard drive capacity (maybe reconsider if the 2x3.5" drive cage mentioned on the Nova thread sticky post was implemented).
Also, I sort of prefer more aluminum on the panels than steel :)

I feel the same way, no offense, but I think the materials and appearance of the M1 are still a step above the Nova. I'm looking for very much the same thing as ctlang, the only way to get me to use something besides the M1 would be a equally good looking case that supports SLI as well as 1-2 SSD's + M.2. No need for optical, 3.5" drives or 5.25" drives.
 

Siba

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I personally like the idea of the Pandoras ICON thingy, but right now you can only put still images on it, right? I'd like to see something that you can actually program through software to display fan speeds or music tracks or stuff like that.

As far as I know, it's only still images. But I haven't researched heavily into it, I'm not in the market at the moment for a new computer where a new case would come into play, and the pandora doesn't seem highly available for some reason either
 

iFreilicht

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I kind of understand why you like aluminium better, but I don't know whether I would personally care so much if there was only a single case that ticked all the boxes except for the material used. Actually, I'm quite surprised.
Is there a reason apart from looks why you like aluminium better? Does anyone feel the other way around, i.e. likes steel better than aluminium? How important is the material to you?

Of course, if you need more storage and can't get it, you shouldn't bother anyway. I do think that there is a way to get two 3.5" drives into that case, though.

Get yourself a NAS, then you can get the Nova.

Bad argument if you want that storage to be mobile. With the Nova in particular, a few people will want to use it as a mobile CAD workstation for extremely large models where they can present a solution to a customer. An NAS is not the way to go there.
 

Necere

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Personally, I would like (probably mentioned many times before) an extended NCASE M1 for Micro-ATX.
This appears to be not the direction that the current NCASE M-ATX design is heading for, but is what many would want, I guess.
I've added a section to my design post on an "extended M1 for mATX" design, and why it doesn't make a whole lot of sense:

MicroATX version of M1 layout, 20-24L

I'm including this here for completeness, since so many people ask about "extending the M1 layout for microATX."

This is the M1's layout:



That makes for a case that's 240x160x328mm, or 12.8L, excluding the feet (10mm) and PCI retaining tab at the rear (also 10mm).

This is the M1's layout expanded for microATX, keeping everything else basically the same:



Based on the M1's dimensions, we get external measurements of about 300x405x160mm, or 19.4L, excluding feet/rear protrusions. Those dimensions make for a long, low case, with a somewhat large footprint for its volume. In general, I think height is less important than footprint if it's intended for desktop use.

The increased length affords more room for a side radiator, allowing for a 280 rad on the side, the same way the M1 supports a 240. However, since 140mm rads are wider, some additional height would be needed to make room between the GPUs and top of the case for angle fittings. Despite the length, it's not quite enough for a 360 rad due to the interior chassis clearance.

In terms of air cooling, note the bottom fans prevent the GPUs in SLI/CF from being spaced apart, which is the optimal configuration for air cooled dual card setups. A 120mm fan could conceivably be mounted at the front below the SFX PSU, but it could not be used with an ATX PSU.

In regards to overall system cooling, either air or water cooled, this layout doesn't have an ideal clean entry-exit airflow path. Air is drawn in the side and/or bottom, and escapes through the top, rear, and anywhere else it can by positive pressure, just like in the M1. The difference, though, is that we have potentially twice or more the heat to deal with, and this layout forces all that hot air throughout the case, baking the motherboard and drives.

Then we have the rest of the issues with the layout: open top and sides allow sound to escape; PSU is open to the top; dust filtration is difficult; large areas of punched ventilation holes on the panels can cause warping, necessitating extra corrective processing during production.

So given all that, what's really the argument for "an enlarged M1?" I would argue, for the same or smaller footprint, and a moderately larger volume, we can design a better performing case. It may not be as small or unique as the M1, but what value is that if the performance isn't there?


+280mm rad support
+Positive pressure
+Looks like the M1
-Non-optimal airflow
-Poor SLI cooling
-Side vents
-Top vents
-PSU vents open to top
-Panel warping concerns
-No window possible
-Mediocre dust filtration
-Long/large footprint for volume
-Not that much smaller than other options
 

Skhmt

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I want a case designed for a NUC mobo, one 2.5" drive, and an itx (950 or 960 itx) graphics card. I'd prefer an external psu.
 

SaperPL

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NUC motherboard is an overkill if you want to put ITX card next to it. The thin mini-ITX makes a lot more sense since it's got standardized cpu location and with pci-e x4 ribbon going under the motherboard you can get air inlets from the top and fit HD-PLEX psu and two 2.5" drives without any problems there.
 

Skhmt

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So looking at everything, if the design started at as SG13 and cut off the front and made it a bit shorter, then you put a HD-PLEX (or mayyybe SFX psu) up top, you could get a very compact system. and an i3 with a 950 could run off a 250w hdplex psu, although I'd be weary of anything more than that.
 

SaperPL

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So looking at everything, if the design started at as SG13 and cut off the front and made it a bit shorter, then you put a HD-PLEX (or mayyybe SFX psu) up top, you could get a very compact system. and an i3 with a 950 could run off a 250w hdplex psu, although I'd be weary of anything more than that.

You mean like this?



It would be a 6L cube with dimensions of 210 x 190 x 150 mm

@Quartz-1 - I think the problem with making such small case collides with the idea of putting huge fan and ATX psu. And even for those with SFX on the market they still are just too big of a cube.
 

iFreilicht

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I want a case designed for a NUC mobo, one 2.5" drive, and an itx (950 or 960 itx) graphics card. I'd prefer an external psu.

NUC motherboard is an overkill if you want to put ITX card next to it. The thin mini-ITX makes a lot more sense since it's got standardized cpu location and with pci-e x4 ribbon going under the motherboard you can get air inlets from the top and fit HD-PLEX psu and two 2.5" drives without any problems there.

Wouldn't be so sure about that. The nuc boards have lower wattage CPUs so they can be cooled in a smaller package. When you put an HD-PLEX 250 in front of the NUC, you're at about the same length as mITX, but a bit narrower. Sandwich the GPU above or below and you'll be a significant bit smaller than with thin mITX.

So looking at everything, if the design started at as SG13 and cut off the front and made it a bit shorter, then you put a HD-PLEX (or mayyybe SFX psu) up top, you could get a very compact system. and an i3 with a 950 could run off a 250w hdplex psu, although I'd be weary of anything more than that.

HG-Computers Osmi.

Actually, the OP's picture is an excellent basis for design. I'd like to see room for a full ATX PSU and triple-slot GPU below the motherboard, and room for a Nofan CR-95 above.

See this: http://www.fanlesstech.com/2015/09/the-most-compact-nofan-build.html

:D
 

SaperPL

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Yeah but HD-PLEX can be put on a side with standardized tm-ITX adding only a bit the the lenght or width of the case if at all. And the low tdp cpu can be picked.
 

cltang

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I've added a section to my design post on an "extended M1 for mATX" design, and why it doesn't make a whole lot of sense:

I saw that, didn't read it exhaustively, but largely understand what you're trying to design.
I fully respect the direction you're pursuing, but it doesn't really conflict with the general demand for an "extended M-ATX M1".

The design you've outlined seems to have one overarching premise:
the capability to house a system maxed out to highest that one can build using M-ATX boards.

But for those who are asking for an extended M1, that is not the kind of system we're building.
We're asking to put M-ATX inside an M1 simply because: ITX is too restricting, both in choice of motherboard, and future expandability.
(by expandability, I don't mean a second 30cm long GPU card for SLI; that's for a case like you've outlined in your spec. More likely it would be for example, a USB 3.1 card. That sort of stuff)

Have you seen the other threads with keywords like "Skylake" and "ITX" during the past weeks? :eek:
All the ups and downs and moans, the emotions with every ITX board reveal, reflecting how that new product happened to hit what you want (or didn't).

Once you can see from this "M-ATX as a compromise to ITX" perspective, an extended M-ATX M1 makes absolutely all the sense in the world.
 

Urelure

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I saw that, didn't read it exhaustively, but largely understand what you're trying to design.
I fully respect the direction you're pursuing, but it doesn't really conflict with the general demand for an "extended M-ATX M1".

The design you've outlined seems to have one overarching premise:
the capability to house a system maxed out to highest that one can build using M-ATX boards.

But for those who are asking for an extended M1, that is not the kind of system we're building.
We're asking to put M-ATX inside an M1 simply because: ITX is too restricting, both in choice of motherboard, and future expandability.
(by expandability, I don't mean a second 30cm long GPU card for SLI; that's for a case like you've outlined in your spec. More likely it would be for example, a USB 3.1 card. That sort of stuff)

Have you seen the other threads with keywords like "Skylake" and "ITX" during the past weeks? :eek:
All the ups and downs and moans, the emotions with every ITX board reveal, reflecting how that new product happened to hit what you want (or didn't).

Once you can see from this "M-ATX as a compromise to ITX" perspective, an extended M-ATX M1 makes absolutely all the sense in the world.

There might be something in the works some time in the future. ...Maybe. It's roughly 20,1L.
 

Skhmt

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You mean like this?



It would be a 6L cube with dimensions of 210 x 190 x 150 mm

@Quartz-1 - I think the problem with making such small case collides with the idea of putting huge fan and ATX psu. And even for those with SFX on the market they still are just too big of a cube.

Pretty much exactly. Did you just make that or is it available somewhere? Cause that's awesome.

If you made the psu a regular sfx instead of sfx-l, could a 2.5" tray fit up top between the front of the case and the psu?

Wouldn't be so sure about that. The nuc boards have lower wattage CPUs so they can be cooled in a smaller package. When you put an HD-PLEX 250 in front of the NUC, you're at about the same length as mITX, but a bit narrower. Sandwich the GPU above or below and you'll be a significant bit smaller than with thin mITX.
Actually the form factor I'd go for with a nuc and itx gpu would be side by side using a pcie riser ribbon cable.

I'd invert them so they draw air from below the computer and have a smooth top. The hdplex psu would be infront of the mobo and route to the back somewhere. The idea would be for a fairly thin computer with a small footprint that would be at home in a media rack below a tv.
 
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SaperPL

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I made it some time ago.

The guy with nickname theGryphon proposed such idea but he actually couldn't go through with the design properly IMO. The problem of this case is that you need to figure out manufacturing to be cheap and he probably dropped the idea because of that.

I did a quick research on this matter and the most problematic thing here is that there's simply going to be a cable hell and you need to figure this out. Custom modular cables might work but making those would cost around 50 bucks so there goes the idea of cheap manufacturing.

The external panels in this concept are badly designed though for something cheap unless it's going to be mass produced.
 

Siba

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The idea would be for a fairly thin computer with a small footprint that would be at home in a media rack below a tv.

Don't they already make a ton of these? AKA HTPCs and Steam machines case designs?
 

updawg

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Don't they already make a ton of these? AKA HTPCs and Steam machines case designs?

Wesena Streamcom Relean are the only ones worth buying. There is definitely room in the market for more variety/premium small footprint htpc case.
 

SaperPL

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Don't they already make a ton of these? AKA HTPCs and Steam machines case designs?

But there's no ultra-thin standard parts based steam machine design coming. We're doing the slim one with full sized gpu, sfx-l psu and itx board but it can be done slimmer with approach mentioned earlier.

If it was possible to buy an ultra slim unit with gtx 960 and a T version of i3-i7 processor in tm-ITX then it would be an awesome choice for media rack gaming steam machine
 

Necere

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I saw that, didn't read it exhaustively, but largely understand what you're trying to design.
I fully respect the direction you're pursuing, but it doesn't really conflict with the general demand for an "extended M-ATX M1".

The design you've outlined seems to have one overarching premise:
the capability to house a system maxed out to highest that one can build using M-ATX boards.

But for those who are asking for an extended M1, that is not the kind of system we're building.
We're asking to put M-ATX inside an M1 simply because: ITX is too restricting, both in choice of motherboard, and future expandability.
(by expandability, I don't mean a second 30cm long GPU card for SLI; that's for a case like you've outlined in your spec. More likely it would be for example, a USB 3.1 card. That sort of stuff)

Have you seen the other threads with keywords like "Skylake" and "ITX" during the past weeks? :eek:
All the ups and downs and moans, the emotions with every ITX board reveal, reflecting how that new product happened to hit what you want (or didn't).

Once you can see from this "M-ATX as a compromise to ITX" perspective, an extended M-ATX M1 makes absolutely all the sense in the world.
I don't expect you to read the entire design post, but I was directing you specifically to the small section in the spoilered quote, which addresses a literal "M1 expanded to mATX." It is literally what you're asking for; everything about is identical to the M1, except made just enough larger to accommodate an mATX board. Please read that small section and let me know if it makes sense to you.
 

Skhmt

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Don't they already make a ton of these? AKA HTPCs and Steam machines case designs?

As others mentioned, its the lack of standard parts. Most if not all use laptop components. Those that don't use nuc components with a laptop gpu. I'm proposing a step up, desktop itx gpu. Although thinking about it now, I heard about a mxm full gtx 980 coming out. But in any case, theres something to be said about modularity and more or less off the shelf components.

Price is also interesting to consider. A zotac en970 definitely has power, size, and features in its corner, but because of the laptop components you pay like $1000 and don't even get ram, storage, nor an os. A small case design at even $150 could get you a system of comparable power for less. And it would be upgradeable.

I made it some time ago.

The guy with nickname theGryphon proposed such idea but he actually couldn't go through with the design properly IMO. The problem of this case is that you need to figure out manufacturing to be cheap and he probably dropped the idea because of that.

I did a quick research on this matter and the most problematic thing here is that there's simply going to be a cable hell and you need to figure this out. Custom modular cables might work but making those would cost around 50 bucks so there goes the idea of cheap manufacturing.

The external panels in this concept are badly designed though for something cheap unless it's going to be mass produced.
I think a stamped steel frame and floor would work. Make the walls out of magnetic dust filters for all I care.

As for cables, yeah I was considering that too. Maybe the system should come with pre-sized short cables.

But anyway, honestly more interested in a thin itx case.
 
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SaperPL

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For the thin mini-ITX i'd like to see something like this:

Gfh1Maf.jpg


You could put a card up to 200mm inside with two 2.5" drives in slim 5cm thick case, 4.5L of volume.

I can see now that going for pico-ITX aka NUC board would've shrink the case even more to something around 3L.
 

Skhmt

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For the thin mini-ITX i'd like to see something like this:

Gfh1Maf.jpg


You could put a card up to 200mm inside with two 2.5" drives in slim 5cm thick case, 4.5L of volume.

I can see now that going for pico-ITX aka NUC board would've shrink the case even more to something around 3L.

Yeah it was that extra space taken up by the PSU, of which a NUC board can give a little. The limiting factor is the length of an ITX GPU as it can't be shrunken any smaller, but a NUC board can :D

The thing with a nuc board is that it has its own power delivery system. The psu would be entirely for the gpu, so you'd have two power cables coming out of the system.
 
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SaperPL

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No, that's not the problem with power. Check out the thin mini ITX standard. it has DC power connector and can be chained to another internal psu to use one brick. QinX did that in his build.

look at the upright corner of the board:

Gigabyte-Release-Thin-Mini-ITX-Motherboard-for-LGA-1155-CPUs-2.jpg


My problem with going for NUC is that its cooling will be loud when gaming, you'll have only one sata port and you'll need to use from m.2 to pci-e x4 meaning only one sata drive.

I'd opt in for a bit bigger unit that can house a bit longer cards up to 220mm and have proper cooling installed.
 

Skhmt

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No, that's not the problem with power. Check out the thin mini ITX standard. it has DC power connector and can be chained to another internal psu to use one brick. QinX did that in his build.

look at the upright corner of the board:

Gigabyte-Release-Thin-Mini-ITX-Motherboard-for-LGA-1155-CPUs-2.jpg


My problem with going for NUC is that its cooling will be loud when gaming, you'll have only one sata port and you'll need to use from m.2 to pci-e x4 meaning only one sata drive.

I'd opt in for a bit bigger unit that can house a bit longer cards up to 220mm and have proper cooling installed.

Ive read that modern nucs don't get loud when under load, and thats using integrated graphics as well as the cpu. With a discrete gpu, the cpu area should be cooler. And the gpu has its own cooling of course.

The one sata port as its only storage is something I considered, but with a 2tb 850 evo existing, it's not a huge bottle neck vs one sata and one m.2. It has usb3 if you need rotating discs for cheap storage :)
 

iFreilicht

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For the thin mini-ITX i'd like to see something like this:

Gfh1Maf.jpg


You could put a card up to 200mm inside with two 2.5" drives in slim 5cm thick case, 4.5L of volume.

I can see now that going for pico-ITX aka NUC board would've shrink the case even more to something around 3L.

That's actually similar to an alternative design I've got for the Brevis S. Same volume, about 45mm thick and with a custom FlexATX PSU inside, but only for a single HDD. The reason I didn't go for that was power delivery.
Either you use an external brick, which is hard to get if you want to power both the CPU and GPU (think about an R9 Nano), or you'd use an internal one, which means you need custom circuitry for turning the PC on and are limited to Gigabytes thin mITX boards. Maybe it could work as a barebone, though, and upgradability wouldn't be hurt as we now know that Gigabyte will have 12-19V wide input range on their Skylake thin mITX boards as well.
 

SaperPL

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I actually don't get the problem with voltage on tm-ITX vs HD-Plex. tm-ITX need 19V and HD-PLEX can have anything in range of 16-24V. So where's the problem with that?

I get that there's a problem with chaining HD-PLEX to anything other than gigabyte tmITX though.
 

iFreilicht

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You don't understand, there's no problem with voltage, but with current.

The problem with external PSUs is that you need a power brick strong enough to support both a 65W Processor (thin mITX limit, I think) and a 200W GPU because that's what now fits into ITX length. So, you'd need a 300W power brick, maybe 350W, something that's not readily available. You can get them, but it's hard, so not viable unless you want to manufacture your own. Or you'd need two external bricks, which is more than inconvenient.

The problem with an internal PSU (where you wouldn't need an HD-Plex DCDC) is that you'd either have to run the PSU all the time or turn it on with seperate circuitry (refer to my experiment for the latter issue).
If you were to run it all the time, it would constantly power the GPU, which would up the "standby" power consumption of your PC way over what is allowed in the EU and would maybe even make the system unable to boot in the first place as GPU and Mainboard aren't turned on at the same time.
 
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