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Corsair Mini ITX? What do you want? - Page 128

Poll Results: Which features are most important to you in a Mini ITX case?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 7% of voters (92)
    Size - the smaller the better. I don't need a full GPU, I want a HTPC-style box.
  • 77% of voters (1009)
    Size - I want it to be small, but I want a full size GPU and full size PSU in there.
  • 11% of voters (154)
    Air cooling - I want lots of fan options, top, sides, back, front.
  • 31% of voters (411)
    Air cooling - I want it to perform well out of the box but we don't need to perforate every single panel.
  • 25% of voters (329)
    "Sleek, Modern" Design - The BitFenix Prodiigy, NZXT Phantom Series, Corsair 600T and other cases with unique designs are my favorite.
  • 49% of voters (646)
    "Refined, Aluminum" Design - Silverstone, Lian-Li, and Corsair Obsidian Series are more my speed.
  • 34% of voters (454)
    Quiet - I want this thing whisper quiet.
  • 45% of voters (596)
    Liquid Cooling - it'd be nice to be able to fit a 240mm radiator in this thing
  • 7% of voters (97)
    HDD Capacity - I want to make a RAID or NAS box, so I want at least four 3.5" drive bays
  • 36% of voters (477)
    HDD Capacity - I just plan on running an OS and a storage drive - two or three drive bays is fine as long as there's native SSD support.
  • 18% of voters (246)
    Portability - handles and whatnot are really important to me. So is overall weight and durability.
  • 19% of voters (255)
    Scent - I like all my computer products to be scratch and sniff. Please make this smell like Lilacs.
  • 2% of voters (32)
    Other - posted in thread.
1308 Total Votes  
post #1271 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by prava View Post

I had the FT03 and became really disappointed with it. From a usage point of view, it wasn't thought at all. Putting the computer together was a big pain in the a**. Cable routing? Non-existing. Easy to mount? Nope. Though the panels would come of with a breeze... seriously, it was even hard to get a hold of it because you were scared that a panel would go of and the case would fall to the floor :S

I like it cause it looks like a mini castle.....that's it lol.
post #1272 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by SortOfGrim View Post

So what is the max thickness of rad placement on the side (with 25mm fans)?
Also would it be possible to install a 200mm rad in the front?
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetfeather View Post

if a mitx spec case doesn't fit on your desk, you need to get a bigger desk lol

30mm for the rad with 25mm fans, i've seen this multiple places and also saw a few posts from George saying the same thing

i'd like to know how thick of a rad you could fit in the front with a 240 rad on the side and a 160mm psu
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post #1273 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by prava View Post

Also, what exactly are the "tooling costs" that many times show up when talking about cases?

Tooling is the custom tools/equipment required to manufacture a particular design (as opposed to the standard machines the shop already has). Since it has to be custom made/ordered for that particular production run it is an upfront cost that must be paid to start production.

Tooling can get very expensive (I believe Necere mentioned that the side panels on the M1 are only 1.6mm thick because the cost for Lian-Li to get the tooling for thicker panels could buy a Porsche) so a higher volume of orders helps to spread out the initial cost of tooling.
post #1274 of 1303
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prava View Post

I had the FT03 and became really disappointed with it. From a usage point of view, it wasn't thought at all. Putting the computer together was a big pain in the a**. Cable routing? Non-existing. Easy to mount? Nope. Though the panels would come of with a breeze... seriously, it was even hard to get a hold of it because you were scared that a panel would go of and the case would fall to the floor :S
My question wasn't related to whether a $200 case is expensive or not (undoubtedly, it is). What I tried to ask was this: how cheaper does a case become when you make 10 times more cases? I'm sure there must be big saving from 1000 to 10.000, and so on, right? Economies of scale must be important in this business, right? Also, what exactly are the "tooling costs" that many times show up when talking about cases?

Significantly. So when I talk about "tooling costs" what I'm talking about is something like this video from Chenbro, who makes computer cases:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu0RDtK5Q-M

Basically, in order to stamp out something like a side panel, they build a giant "tool" that is inserted into a metal press. Think of it like a cookie mold design. They take bare steel or aluminum, and stick it into this giant press machine, and the tooling inserts cut/bend/stamp the design into the piece of steel. Sometimes it's a multiple stage process, for example, if you had an deep draw "bulge" like on the back of the 400R/500R/C70, you'd stamp that, and then if you were cutting a hole in that side for a window, you might do a second machine to do the hole in the center of that bulge for the window to be inserted.

These tools are plentiful for the metal parts, usually stamping, cutting, bending tools. For plastic parts it's usually injection molded, which means you need to tool up the molds. The 600T, for example, has some very big plastic injection pieces that are injection molded, so the cost is significant just to build the tools.

The next part of the cost is the number of parts. Every part costs something, so if you have a case that has a huge number of parts (like the 900D) it adds significant cost compared to something with relatively few parts, like the 200R.

Paint and anodizing cost money, too. Want to paint the interior? Costs something. Want to anodize it? You can pay a lot for that since anodized aluminum is easily scratched during assembly and then must be scrapped.

And last but not least, material cost comes into it. How many pounds of steel or aluminum were used? How much had to be scrapped? How efficient is the tool? Do you scrap 20% of the inserted sheet or do you find a way to re-use it or optimize your dimensions to get two pieces out of one stamp process? What gauge steel are you using?

This is how mass production is done. So to give you an idea, the NCASE M1 is all aluminum, which increases its cost over steel and plastic and whatever else. It is also anodized, which has some scrap cost associated. The 250D has only a small amount of aluminum and mostly steel elsewhere. The material on the M1 is more expensive. The 250D is about twice the size, so the amount of material used is greater. The 250D comes with two fans, which cost a few bucks each. All in all, if we mass produced the M1 out of aluminum entirely, my guess is our cost would be around the same as our 250D, probably less, though the all aluminum cost does increase the material cost a lot, the decreased size and missing fans would probably make up for it. I think Corsair could sell a clone of the M1 for under $100 if we mass produced it.

But here's the problem - all that tooling for mass production costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. That gets amortized over the life of the product. How many products can we sell? Assume it costs $250,000 to tool up the M1 from scratch and mass produce it. Now assume we can sell 5,000 per month. If we amortize the tooling cost over two years (24 months x 5k/mo = 120k units), we're amortizing about $2 per case sold. That gets added to the base cost so we can recover our investment. So if bare purchase price is $70 or something, we'd make it $72 before we did margin and whatever else, at least. Not counting shipping or anything else we have to account for.

But now let's pretend it doesn't sell 5k/mo. Let's pretend it sells 500 a month. What happens then? 500/mo x 24mo = 12000 units, or about $20/per unit which means that our $70 base cost now jumps all the way to $90. Not counting shipping or anything else we have to account for.

So in short - the more people who buy something, the cheaper it gets, and vice versa. After that two years (or however many) is up, we can lower prices on the product or make more money on each one. Usually prices get lower since the product is older and not as exciting.
Quote:

I think that people that laugh at the price of things are those who don't value it enough... probably based on lack of culture. The 900D is an expensive case, no doubt, but it has many features many other cases don't have. IMO you were very brave when you launched the 900D because its price makes it very close to the price of some custom cases out there, but the price doesn't make it laughable. It would laughable if you launched an entry-level case at the price of a high-end one. But the 900D? I find it very elegant, yet not feature-lacking (something that Lian Li doesn't... they do nice cases but, when you try to use them, they aren't very friendly or well thought).

Thanks for the compliments. The 900D was a labor of love but even before we shipped it we were thinking of how the next version could be better. You always want to do better.
post #1275 of 1303
It's like getting custom die cuts for business cards, the cost of the first run is high because a custom die cut must be made. After that, each card get's cheaper and cheaper to produce, until the original cost for the die cut is dissolved. This was the case for my cards.

In referring to hardware companies, it's all R&D if I'm not mistaken. Cost of prototypes, engineering samples, testing, etc. A car doesn't magically appear after 1 meeting with the CEO's, lots and lots of planning has to go into each one built.

A car like the Zonda requires "special tooling" because every single part (aside from the benz engine) is bespoke and handmade, whereas Camry's are stamped out in bulk. Not many Zonda's get sold, and Camry's are one of the best selling vehicles in the world. Even though the "design" and "concept" cost may be the same, the actual production cost are on opposite sides of the spectrum.

Sorry, I'm a car guy.
post #1276 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsairGeorge View Post

Thanks for the compliments. The 900D was a labor of love but even before we shipped it we were thinking of how the next version could be better. You always want to do better.

Next 900D?
post #1277 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderscoreHero View Post

Next 900D?

I can dream it!

>1000D
>Variable Motherboard tray
>HPTX support
>11 PCI-E slots
>Fans, Fans everywhere
>Radiators, Radiators everywhere
>HDD cages, HDD cages everywhere

drool.gifdrool.gifdrool.gif
post #1278 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roaches View Post

I can dream it!

>1000D
>Variable Motherboard tray
>HPTX support
>11 PCI-E slots
>Fans, Fans everywhere
>Radiators, Radiators everywhere
>HDD cages, HDD cages everywhere

drool.gifdrool.gifdrool.gif

Oh my gosh if it came with a variable motherboard tray that would be INCREDIBLE.

1000D.... now with Double Pedestals! rolleyes.gif
post #1279 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aesthethc View Post

Oh my gosh if it came with a variable motherboard tray that would be INCREDIBLE.

1000D.... now with Double Pedestals! rolleyes.gif

is it possible to put a 3 x 120 or 360mm exhaust out the rear?
post #1280 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderscoreHero View Post

I like it cause it looks like a mini castle.....that's it lol.

Actually, it looks very, very nice. But when you go and use it... you realize how many flaws the thing has. Tool less design? For the outside panels, it is... on the inside? Every single thing goes screwed. And some panels won't go off so its terribly difficult to mount the thing inside.

I bought mine when It launched out of sheer love for the design... but sold it when I had thermal problems with my GTX480 SOC. It made the side panels very, very hot... and because all the drives are passive cooled by the side panels, I was simply cooking all my drives (+60ºC). It was a no go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsairGeorge View Post

Significantly. So when I talk about "tooling costs" what I'm talking about is something like this video from Chenbro, who makes computer cases:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu0RDtK5Q-M

Basically, in order to stamp out something like a side panel, they build a giant "tool" that is inserted into a metal press. Think of it like a cookie mold design. They take bare steel or aluminum, and stick it into this giant press machine, and the tooling inserts cut/bend/stamp the design into the piece of steel. Sometimes it's a multiple stage process, for example, if you had an deep draw "bulge" like on the back of the 400R/500R/C70, you'd stamp that, and then if you were cutting a hole in that side for a window, you might do a second machine to do the hole in the center of that bulge for the window to be inserted.

These tools are plentiful for the metal parts, usually stamping, cutting, bending tools. For plastic parts it's usually injection molded, which means you need to tool up the molds. The 600T, for example, has some very big plastic injection pieces that are injection molded, so the cost is significant just to build the tools.

The next part of the cost is the number of parts. Every part costs something, so if you have a case that has a huge number of parts (like the 900D) it adds significant cost compared to something with relatively few parts, like the 200R.

Paint and anodizing cost money, too. Want to paint the interior? Costs something. Want to anodize it? You can pay a lot for that since anodized aluminum is easily scratched during assembly and then must be scrapped.

And last but not least, material cost comes into it. How many pounds of steel or aluminum were used? How much had to be scrapped? How efficient is the tool? Do you scrap 20% of the inserted sheet or do you find a way to re-use it or optimize your dimensions to get two pieces out of one stamp process? What gauge steel are you using?

Thanks for all the detailed information thumb.gif

Quote:
This is how mass production is done. So to give you an idea, the NCASE M1 is all aluminum, which increases its cost over steel and plastic and whatever else. It is also anodized, which has some scrap cost associated. The 250D has only a small amount of aluminum and mostly steel elsewhere. The material on the M1 is more expensive. The 250D is about twice the size, so the amount of material used is greater. The 250D comes with two fans, which cost a few bucks each. All in all, if we mass produced the M1 out of aluminum entirely, my guess is our cost would be around the same as our 250D, probably less, though the all aluminum cost does increase the material cost a lot, the decreased size and missing fans would probably make up for it. I think Corsair could sell a clone of the M1 for under $100 if we mass produced it.

Interesting. Do you fab yourselves or you hire some company to do it? If you do it yourselves, do you happen to OEM products? I mean, if a crowdfunded project approached you to fab a case for them, would you?
Quote:
But here's the problem - all that tooling for mass production costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. That gets amortized over the life of the product. How many products can we sell? Assume it costs $250,000 to tool up the M1 from scratch and mass produce it. Now assume we can sell 5,000 per month. If we amortize the tooling cost over two years (24 months x 5k/mo = 120k units), we're amortizing about $2 per case sold. That gets added to the base cost so we can recover our investment. So if bare purchase price is $70 or something, we'd make it $72 before we did margin and whatever else, at least. Not counting shipping or anything else we have to account for.

But now let's pretend it doesn't sell 5k/mo. Let's pretend it sells 500 a month. What happens then? 500/mo x 24mo = 12000 units, or about $20/per unit which means that our $70 base cost now jumps all the way to $90. Not counting shipping or anything else we have to account for.

So in short - the more people who buy something, the cheaper it gets, and vice versa. After that two years (or however many) is up, we can lower prices on the product or make more money on each one. Usually prices get lower since the product is older and not as exciting.
Thanks for the compliments. The 900D was a labor of love but even before we shipped it we were thinking of how the next version could be better. You always want to do better.

Yup, you better sell a lot if you want to amortize the thing. With economies of scale, the more you sell, the cheaper it is to fab, and the cheaper you can sell it. The cheaper you sell it, the more you sell, the more you fab... its like a giant wheel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderscoreHero View Post

It's like getting custom die cuts for business cards, the cost of the first run is high because a custom die cut must be made. After that, each card get's cheaper and cheaper to produce, until the original cost for the die cut is dissolved. This was the case for my cards.

In referring to hardware companies, it's all R&D if I'm not mistaken. Cost of prototypes, engineering samples, testing, etc. A car doesn't magically appear after 1 meeting with the CEO's, lots and lots of planning has to go into each one built.

A car like the Zonda requires "special tooling" because every single part (aside from the benz engine) is bespoke and handmade, whereas Camry's are stamped out in bulk. Not many Zonda's get sold, and Camry's are one of the best selling vehicles in the world. Even though the "design" and "concept" cost may be the same, the actual production cost are on opposite sides of the spectrum.

Sorry, I'm a car guy.

A car like Zonda can't be compared to this by a ton of reasons. Super luxury stuff doesn't follow the demand rules (aka, demand increases as price decreases) and, thus, its not built using the same thought. Your goal isn't to mass produce it because there are basically no economies of scale... let alone the fact that a high price drives demand ("Giffen goods").
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