Note that the overwhelming majority of voters want an ATX PSU.
I vote to take some design cues from both NCASE
and SLE's Compact Splash
. Here's my contribution:
- Dual rad up top; vent the top
- Dual rad on left side near top (use bracket like NCASE); vent the side
- Top, rear, and bottom panels removable from frame for easier access to internals
- Removable motherboard tray, either separate or integrated with the rear panel (I like the integrated idea myself)
- Like on Compact Splash, vent the rear generously since there will not be room for a fan
- ATX PSU up FRONT, mounted as intake, oriented power left, modular plugs right; vent the left side panel appropriately
- Vertically-oriented motherboard, placing graphics card at the bottom of the case; vent the bottom of the case
- Definitely take the top-fill-port/bottom-drain-port idea from Compact Splash (SLE's a damn genius with that)
- Two 2.5" drive mounts on the reverse side of the motherboard
- Include rubber screw grommets to screw into to prevent hardmounting HDDs, and/or include 4 1x1" squares of 3M tape
- Add a shelf for a DDC pump/res combo on the right side case wall, approximately where it is on Compact Splash
- Also borrow Compact Splash's front IO setup, where you can add or remove it in very confined spaces
- Offer a windowed and non-windowed left side panel, but for the love of God still vent the windowed side panel where appropriate
- Use steel. Not aluminum, not plastic, steel. I don't like echo chambers.
From here, let's start making a few assumptions. An Alphacool 240 rad is 279mm long, one of the longer 240 rads. An ITX mobo (176mm) plus modern ATX PSU's height (86mm) plus a 20mm gap add up to 282mm. A GTX 690 is 11", or 279mm. We can live dangerously and call the internal case depth 285mm, but 300mm is probably safer. Because the front-mounted PSU is below the a top-mounted radiator, the two won't interfere. Because the PSU is only 150mm tall, this means you can squeeze a 135mm wide radiator above it to allow two 240 rads, neither of which competing for space with the PSU. Assume a 2mm thick steel bracket. We can estimate internal case depth to be about 295-300mm.
Onto height. If we assume a standard slim rad is about 35mm, add a 25mm thick fan, the 176mm motherboard (conservatively allowing 5mm overlap with top fan/rad), a dual slot GPU being about 30mm (conservatively 10mm overlap with mobo and going under the PSU), we end up with 256mm of used space. A top-mounted and side mounted dual rad would fight for space in the top-left corner, so the top rad has to go above the side rad, necessitating another 60mm of height to accommodate rad and fan thickness and totaling 311mm. Call the internal case height 315 (leaves some leeway for the side radiator mounting bracket) and be happy.
Width. Since we put the PSU on its side, many (most?) modern PSUs are 160mm on their longest edge (big 850W+ excepted). Looking at my Seasonic X650, the heatshrink ends about 30mm away from the PSU itself. It's easily bent at the 20-25mm area though, so we'll work with that. Add 5-10mm for a right-angle power plug that routes to the back and you have just about a 190-200mm internal case width. Checking other components and still assuming a slim rad and its mounting bracket, we'll see a 63mm-ish rad/fan/bracket thickness. If we leave a good inch (25mm) behind the mobo tray, assume the mobo tray is 5mm thick, give 5mm standoff between the tray and mobo, factor in another 5mm-ish from back of mobo to CPU, we get 40mm of space used from that side. Take 65mm of rad/fan thickness from the other side, and you're left with 85-95mm of space between the CPU and the side-mounted rad/fan. By the way, the Apogee Drive II pump/CPU block combo is only 61.5mm tall and fittings don't extend above that. I think the average CPU block without pump is < 38mm tall, so if you squeeze a pump elsewhere you can possibly push-pull the side mounted rad or even use a thicker one. Anyway, give 195mm internal case width and be happy.Overall internal dimensions:
300mm (D) x 315mm (H) x 195mm (W). Assume 3mm steel, add +6mm to each of those for external dimensions.
Now you've got an 18.4L case with a full ATX PSU, room for two 240 rads, that is literally half the volume
of the Prodigy (and I'm about positive that you can trim some of the overall height down). If you air cool, you have 155mm for a tower cooler. Cable management is pretty easy since the PSU cables are already pointed towards the mobo-tray side of the case and you've got a full 25mm back there to work with; it gets even easier with custom sleeved/sized cables. The power cable routed along the left side bottom corner makes it more or less invisible.
(And SLE said I couldn't add an ATX PSU while keeping the size small. Hah!
)Edited by BBEG - 2/20/13 at 8:12pm