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Corsair Mini ITX? What do you want? - Page 31

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 #301 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonDa5 View Post

Perfect for people like me that want to water cool and stick in big powerful video cards and have crazy over clocks.

I think this is a sentiment that is reflective of the current situation. There are two camps when it comes to SFF/ITX building. The first group are the SFF people that are looking for small cases and designs that are about the size. The ability to squeeze it down and still get great performance.

The second group is the ATX crowd that wants to get out of their monster cases are not willing to give up a number of their monster features. The Prodigy is the poster child for this group. Lets be real the Prodigy is an ITX case only because they chose to put in an ITX board mount. The case with MINOR modding can easily fit a full ATX motherboard.

The choice before Corsair is which group do they market too. The ITX crowd does not want another Prodigy. The more I get involved in the IXT community the more I am amazed at how little respect the Prodigy case has. The people buying it are down sizing ATX geeks not ITX builders.

I think this, above even the design features, needs to be the first decision Corsair makes before entering this case market. Do you want to target the ITX community or the ATX downsizing?
post #302 of 1303
Yeah thats a really good point. The Prodigy is the best-selling ITX case on the market for a reason. A big part of it is that they were the first ones to market a BIG performance MITX case. As more mfgs get into it that may change but Corsair is smart to want to crack that code.

Like it or not it probably makes more sense for them to go after the downsizing-from-ATX market rather than die-hard SFF. Its like their Vengeance ram... most of OCN would buy something else, but its good enough and cheap enough (and reliable enough) for every first-time builder so they sell a ton of it. I personally see their case fitting that model (good, bad or indifferent as we may feel about it), unless they decide to release multiple SFF cases.
 
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post #303 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar63 View Post


I think this, above even the design features, needs to be the first decision Corsair makes before entering this case market. Do you want to target the ITX community or the ATX downsizing?

the problem is both simpler and deeper then that biggrin.gif it's simpler because prodigy offered liquid cooling to the ITX market. it's deeper because silverstone was very quick to answer with the SG09/SG10.

it's more of a convergence of opportunities that these things are happening. prior to the recent generation, ITX overclocking was practically none existent. the mobo's were not designed for enthusiast level performance. ITX was viewed as a "kiosk" platform with very limited market share. as chips become more powerful, (more specifically GPU's) the need for extra expansion slots diminished, and the practical/sensible way to build a new machine was to make it small enough so that it is not as imposing as past choices while still retaining top of the line performance.

"pre built" boxes like dell/gateway/etc.. have built on mATX platform for ages. even then, they rarely use more then 1 expansion slot. people have gotten used to seeing those pre built boxes as what a computer "should" look like. at least size wise... and furniture companies build around those dimensions rather then the dimensions of the imposing full tower cases like the old school beige boxes. what it comes down to is people really don't want large boxes if a smaller box can do the same job. why have a giant projection TV when a flat panel LED TV can do the same job if not better?

this is where prodigy scored a win. they came into the marketplace at precisely the right time to exploit the convergence of technology and offered a liquid cooling solution where previously there was little to no market for. however, it's pretty obvious that the existing market share held by silverstone in this arena is not going to just disappear since silverstone has a proven track record in creating well designed cases.

for corsair to exploit this situation, they must offer something different from the full on liquid cooling capability of prodigy and the size advantage of silverstone. in essence they must create a hybrid while looking at the direction where technology is going so they can catch the next convergence of opportunities. personally, I think it would be smart for corsair to emphasize on air cooling for CPU and liquid cooling for GPU. current trend of technology put GPU TDP at 3x the thermal demand of the CPU and there aren't THAT many games that are CPU bottle-necked. especially considering ITX has VERY limited multi GPU possibilities.

look at tomb raider, look at the vid for BF4. they are ALL GPU so it's unlikely that GPU will dip too far below the 300w limit anytime soon. CPU on the other hand has already dropped to 77w from 95w and will continue to drop from future die shrinks. the future battle ground for cooling is in the GPU not the CPU. think about it. if a hyper212 can cool down a 95w chip effectively... how hard would it be to cool down a 77w chip? the age of liquid cooling for CPU is limited. the proliferation for liquid cooling resides in the GPU and that is what corsair should consider when trying to exploit this market segment.
post #304 of 1303
Thread Starter 
Our strength at Corsair has always focused on layout and buildability. The 800D basically created the market for cases with rubber cable routing grommets and behind-the-motherboard tray cable routing, which was nowhere near common at the time, but is now found on every case launched from a major manufacturer.

Mini ITX has some unique challenges, specifically PSU and optical drive placement. These are big, rectangular objects and they're basically necessary for the average Mini ITX buyer. Even if they don't use the optical drive, the bay itself is useful for bay reservoirs, fan controllers, card readers, etc. It's a useful front expansion location. Where these get located in relation to a very small motherboard is somewhat problematic.

In my opinion the Prodigy did very well because of a few reasons:

1) It was a very unique aesthetic design. It stands out in a see of tiny square shoeboxes. It's so interesting, in fact, that some retailers have told me that some people come in and see the case on the shelf and then decide to build a system with it right away. They buy the motherboard and all other components to fit the case - this is phenomenal.

2) It was the first Mini ITX design to have a relatively straightforward interior. Aside from a few major drawbacks, the internal design is the easiest-to-build and most full-featured Mini ITX out there. Fits a large video card and a standard CPU heatpipe cooler easily, with the added bonus of H100 compatibility.

3) It was affordable - sub $100.

I don't think it's perfect, far from it, and I do think it's a bit too big, but my guess is that the Prodigy has a HUGE chunk of the Mini ITX market, and has grown the Mini ITX motherboard market just by its existence. I will hand it to them - they have really set the bar higher for Mini ITX cases.


Now I'm not telling you exactly what Corsair's working on, but we'd be idiots to ignore the success of the Prodigy or to say "Feh, they already have one like that, let's just go a completely different direction".

I think there are some nice Mini ITX cases out there. The Silverstone and Lian-Li cases have some good designs externally, but a lot of drawbacks for builders. The Prodigy is bigger inside and easier to build, but also huge outside and has some questionable design choices.

I think Corsair can fix these problems and create a case (or maybe more than one) that can address this market as it grows. Haswell Mini ITX motherboards are going to be plentiful and powerful, it's a really interesting time to be looking at Mini ITX.

My personal priorities include:

1) Is it fun/easy to put together?
2) Is it functional and does it have the right features?
3) Can it cool what it's supposed to cool?
4) Does it offer the builder options to do things the way he wants to?
5) Why is it better than ?

There are a lot of other things that go into the process, but these 5 questions are on my short list, and I ask myself those questions every day about some product or another.
post #305 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

the problem is both simpler and deeper then that biggrin.gif it's simpler because prodigy offered liquid cooling to the ITX market. it's deeper because silverstone was very quick to answer with the SG09/SG10.
........snip
I am tempted to write TLDR, biggrin.gif,but I did read the whole post and you make some interesting points and mostly agree with you.

Corsair is trying to expand its market , have a chance at every dollar, so it makes sense to go after the people that are buying the Prodigy. But why is the Prodigy selling exactly? I agree that we are moving towards small and powerful, when before people would choose one or the other. I think Prodigy made it *easier* to make a smaller (more sociably acceptable/higher WAF) and yet powerful PC. If you wanted in the past to go small and powerful you were going to have to mod a Lian Li or a silverstone. Now just buy a Prodigy and you can add a pretty good selection of watercooling/air cooling gear. But I think its a cheap trick, however effective, to just make a "big" small case.

So all Corsair has to do is figure how to build a case that makes it *easy* to watercool in the smallest case they can produce. I know its not that simple but I think it boils down to that. Lots of good ideas floating around and I can't wait to see what makes it to market. I am also curious what direction Lian Li and Silverstone will take.....
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post #306 of 1303
First George, thank you for being here and being open with us. It is great to see a company actually talk to the consumers and not make assumptions.

Concerning the looks of the Prodigy, I agree that the fact it has a look that was different from many of the other ITX solutions was a definite selling point. However at the same time as I talk to people about cases to buy I see more of them moving from the "geeky" design to the simpler look. Lian Li has a solid built quality no doubt but the simple elegance of their cases is often a reason people buy, even over cases with better prices and features. Fractal Design has come from seemingly out of nowhere and the largest contributing factor I think is the simplicity of their designs. Even the Corsair lineup is made of cases that play on that simple elegant look. The truest indicator that it is the way of the consumers right now is to look at Thermaltake, a company known for "aggressive" design and their new Urban lineup that goes the simple elegant route.

I understand looking at the Prodigy market and trying to grab a piece of the pie but I think you might find the pie is shrinking, pun intended. A lot of people I talk to after building in a Prodigy wish they had not gotten it. Oh they love the smaller size but they realize they could go smaller. I am building in a Prodigy right now, mostly because I am working through a few cases. But I can tell you after building in a Node and a Q25 I feel like the Prodigy, to quote Weird Al, is a "big fat sobering pic" by comparison.

Look at the M1 which is coming up by the end of this year, they hope. It is able to offer the option of a 240mm radiator in a small package, almost as small as a Q25. The Node allows some very solid cooling in a package smaller than the Prodigy as well.

Now I do agree that Corsair should not build another case for the ultra small but at the same time I think they should come in under the Prodigy in size. I think a case that gives a lot of options will be great. However making a case that can do everything because it is big enough is not about options, it is just making a brute that has the size. Options, to me, is about letting me chose what matters and what does not and being able to take out what does not matter and thus have more options for what does.

No matter what I am however looking forward to seeing what Corsair brings to this game.
post #307 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsairGeorge View Post

If we wanted to launch it during Haswell we'd need to have the design finalized and tooling started at the end of 2012.

I eagerly await Corsair's ITX case smile.gif

Just need a good ITX mobo. A85X-ITX (FM2) , p8z77-i deluxe (z77) or Z77E-ITX (z77) I guess... AM3+ is out of the question (no ITX boards)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsairGeorge View Post

My personal priorities include:

1) Is it fun/easy to put together?
2) Is it functional and does it have the right features?
3) Can it cool what it's supposed to cool?
4) Does it offer the builder options to do things the way he wants to?
5) Why is it better than ?

There are a lot of other things that go into the process, but these 5 questions are on my short list, and I ask myself those questions every day about some product or another.

If Corsair can address these issues (minimal space use but cooling without compromise), you would have a outstanding product
Edited by AlphaC - 4/3/13 at 12:04pm
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post #308 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar63 View Post

Look at the M1 which is coming up by the end of this year, they hope. It is able to offer the option of a 240mm radiator in a small package, almost as small as a Q25. The Node allows some very solid cooling in a package smaller than the Prodigy as well.
Smaller actually, by a fair margin:

PC-Q25: 199 x 280 x 366mmm = 20.4L
NCASE M1: 160 x 240 x 328mm = 12.6L
post #309 of 1303
I sincerely hope corsair works with Seasonic with this one and comes out with a 520w response to silverstones modular 450w gold PSU. All the talk in the world is great when you're talking about shrinking the case, but the 2nd largest problem after a graphics in almost any computer build is the power supply. Fitting a 160mm full ATX power supply in with a motherboard which is nearly identical in length and width severely limits the orientation of many parts for the case design. Give me a long rectangular power supply capable of 520w quiet and efficient and you can find many more places to put that in a small case.
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post #310 of 1303
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsairGeorge View Post

1) Is it fun/easy to put together?
2) Is it functional and does it have the right features?
3) Can it cool what it's supposed to cool?
4) Does it offer the builder options to do things the way he wants to?
5) Why is it better than ?

Honestly, I think you're overthinking an ITX case. If you build a solid design that can fit and cool a 580 and first-gen i7 and keep the footprint 20L or less, you'll have a winner. Building in ITX cases sucks; we know this, and SFF builders acknowledge this going in. Reducing the suck is always nice and that's what features are for: removable motherboard trays, side/top/rear/front panels, obvious cable management routing, etc. If Corsair can do these things then they'll have the new poster child for enthusiast ITX cases.

The biggest dilemas facing you guys that I can see: inclusion of space for an ODD, and size of the PSU. I've voiced my opinions enough on the PSU and the need for an alternative to the Silverstone unit. Seasonic and Superflower/Kingwin are solid options if you do decide to build one and not make it in-house. The ODD one is a gamble in either direction. You're gambling on people wanting/needing an ODD and greatly increasing case size, or you gamble on them not wanting/needing and greatly reduce case size. I'm in favor of omitting, personally, or offering space for a slim ODD only. Enthusiast builders are following HTPC builders of late and starting to use external ODDs more and more.
    
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