Originally Posted by Earthmonger
Seriously? You want to know my desires for ITX? Okay...
Throw air cooling out the window; who cares about air cooling? Just because I want an ITX system, doesn't mean I don't want genuine water cooling for the whole thing. CPU and GPU both have to be water cooled.
Give me a case that is 21cm wide, 24 cm high, and 40cm deep.
- Lay the mainboard horizontal at the rear of the case. Centered. Mount it on a 3cm riser tray. 2 PCI slots.
- Give me one 200mm fan in the roof, center.
- Give me one 200mm fan at the front.
- Give me space above it for a slim, slot in optical drive, completely stealth.
- Give me a front, floor-mounted PSU, about eight centimeters back from the actual front of the case.
- Give me one HDD rack right behind it, capable of holding four drives (2SSD, 2HDD).
Have you tried working this out in a CAD program at all? Thought I'd test the feasibility of your specifications, so... here's my attempt in Sketchup, going by your description:
I'm not sure if this is the power supply orientation you intended, but it was only one of two ways it fits 8cm from the front with the HDDs behind it.
1.) HDDs significantly overhang the motherboard, possibly conflicting w/CPU cooler. Also might conflict w/top radiator.
2.) HDDs in this orientation have very little room for SATA plugs, limited to right angled only (if that).
3.) PSU in this orientation limited to 140mm long at most
(really no room for cables at the ends)
Second PSU orientation according to your specs:
This orientation allows more space for the PSU (160mm shown) + cables, but blocks more airflow. Might also conflict with a top-mounted radiator. Issues #1 and #2 with the HDDs still exist here.
Alternate PSU orientation (PSU fan facing up or down); distance from front is less than your spec and HDDs are above rather than behind the PSU:
This configuration alleviates the HDD overhang and allows more space for SATA plugs, but we have the PSU length problem again.
I'm not sure what you had in mind for watercooling, but this is what it looks like with a Phobya 200mm rad on the top fan:
Moved the SSDs to side-by-side here to allow the HDDs to drop down to give enough room for the rad. Note a 200mm rad won't fit in front; the Phobya is 5mm taller than the entire case height.
Opposite side view, showing a full coverage GPU block:
As you can see, the space between the ports and the rad is pretty tight; some blocks may have problems fitting.
Overhead view showing the PSU length issue:
Clearly, there is very little space at either end for the necessary cables. The SG07 is 222mm wide - 12mm wider than your spec, which may be about the minimum for a 140mm long PSU.
Overhead view with the PSU turned:
This gives us a bit more space for cables and perhaps
a longer PSU. Note the most powerful 140mm long PSUs are 700-750W (notwithstanding the discontinued, likely over-rated 1KW Thermaltake in the model).
I'm guessing you were hoping for more power supply length options than this allows for. Curious if you had any ideas about that?
Usually this stuff works out better in your head than it does in reality... doing mockups in Sketchup or similar can really help ironing it out.
As to the original question posed in this thread, personally I'm a bit tired of the "shoebox" style. There are already quite a few of those on the market and their footprint isn't really that small. I wouldn't mind seeing more miniature tower-style cases. Watercooling seems a bit impractical, both for space considerations and the fact that ITX rigs are more likely to be used in e.g. LAN gaming situations or otherwise moved more frequently, and therefore be more subjected to jostling and vibration which WC systems may be more susceptible to. I would except sealed WC units (Corsair Hydro series etc.) from that however, which can definitely be employed for optimal cooling while maintaining a small form factor. IMO there's not much point going ITX if it's as large a MATX build.