Compact Splash

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Pros: handmade from 12 gauge steel, durable powdercoat, integrated pump mount, 3x120 rads, fits long gpu, full plexi window, countersunk screws

Cons: expensive, sold out :p

There are now plenty of SFF cases that are suited to water cooling. The smaller cases might have space for a single H60, maybe even a AIO with 2x120. No chance to fit a full loop; even if you can cram in the rads and tubing, where is the pump and reservoir going to go? Some manufacturers do offer better support for watercooling, but then the case ends up being mATX size. They always want to provide a rack of drive bays, and space for a full ATX PSU. The logic goes that manufacturers need to sell 1000 cases a week, so it needs to appeal to a broader market. So they make compromises and the users end up with a choice of several similar case types. No place for innovation, majority rules.

Now enter OCN user SheLovedE. He was thinking about a new build to use for folding@home. It needed to run cool, but small to fit on his desk. Seeing the market had nothing to offer him, he started on his own. It would need to fit enough radiators to cool a heavily overclocked i7-3770K, and also his GTX570. He got to work in SketchUp and within a few months later had a 15 litre scratch build. It won Mod of the Month and people started asking - can I get one too?! Long story short, eventually 105 were fabricated, and despite the high price for bespoke craftsmanship, they were all sold.

What makes this case unique apart from the tiny size and the ample radiator space? For a start, most cases are either aluminium which is light and looks lovely when brushed, or thin cold rolled steel. Both types of case need lots of folded metal to provide structure and strength. Some parts of these cases can't be made from sheet metal, so plastic is often used for the complex bits, and also to keep tooling costs down. All this can add unnecessarily to size of case, or detract from the aesthetics. SheLovedE wanted something solid and simple, with no extraneous flaps or struts or girders. To get the strength he used 12 gauge cold rolled steel, very tough to bend by hand.

There's no compromise either to allow a massive array of hard drives, or oversized PSUs. It's not ideal for air cooling either - and why should it be? There are plenty of cases of this size where air is your only option. Yet being a dedicated water cooling enclosure, it does have a designated mounting bracket for a pump/res combo. Fillport cut-out was also an option for the case.

SheLovedE based the look on the original 1950s Jeep. The result is unlike any other case. Perhaps a little industrial for some tastes, and while it can hardly be described as beautiful, it has an elegance in its simplicity and effectiveness. Cheap anodising wouldn't look right, so the paint is thick and durable.

You might then think that all rigs using this case would then look the same, which such little room for variation. Yet the owners have been exemplary in finding creative solutions, individualising their builds to suit their own personal visions.
Compact Splash
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Description:

Compact Splash was designed from the ground up to fit not only the best computing gear into the smallest desktop chassis possible, but also to pack in enough water-cooling gear to keep everything performing optimally. Full size features, bespoke build quality ■Mini-ITX tower chassis designed specifically for watercooling ■Impressive standard features including front USB 3.0 and HD audio ports and integrated air filters ■Sturdy structure that can take a beating: laser-cut, 14-gauge steel case panels and black anodized fasteners ■Built-to-order means you get the case you want, without the stuff you don't: Choose or spec your own paint color, side panel and name plate inscription Built to work with cutting edge components so you can build your ultimate machine ■Compatible with Mini-ITX motherboards ■Room for single or two-slot video cards up to 10.5 inches (267mm) long in standard configuration, or up to 11.75 inches (300mm) long with I/O delete ■Houses a rear-mounted SFX power supply ■Standard mounts for two 2.5-inch (laptop) hard drives Max your O.C. while keeping your expensive components cool ■Fits standard 120 and 240mm radiators paired with three 120mm fans ■Works with DDC pumps and reservoirs, or the latest closed-loop cooler or CPU pump/block combo ■Built-in accomodations for fill and drain ports

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