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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nova

hQ1y95d.jpg


Intro

Some of you are familiar with my thread over on [H], but for those that aren't, this project started because I kept running into the RAM limits of Mini-ITX on my NCase M1 build. I like to have 20-30 tabs open in both Firefox and Chrome, Photoshop open, SketchUp open, a render running in the background, some other random apps open, and maybe a VM thrown in for good measure. So 16GB of RAM just wasn't cutting it anymore.

Until Skylake and 16GB DDR4 sticks are available, 32GB isn't possible on Mini-ITX though. So I started looking at going back to microATX (what I had before I switched to the M1) but after getting used to the M1's small size and minimalist looks none of the mATX cases on the market appealed to me. The SG09/10 is fairly small but too ugly and everything else was just too big. So I started playing around in SketchUp using the M1 layout as a starting point and eventually came up with Nova (this is skipping a lot of stuff, for all the details check out the HardForum thread).

The design is finalized and Protocase of Canada is building the prototype, I'm hoping to have the case in my hands by the end of next week (Dec 5).

Features

H x W x D: 300 x 170 x 333mm, 17.0L
20 gauge (1.016mm) steel for panels/frame, aluminum for handle, everything powder coated
microATX
5 expansion slots
120/140mm rad support on hinged side bracket
SFX/SFX-L PSU
2 x 2.5" drives
1 x 3.5" drive (if no card in 5th slot)
Removable carry handle
Fans everywhere

CAD model




Sketchfab link: https://skfb.ly/BTDr
If you're not familiar, Sketchfab lets you view interactive 3D models in your browser.



Size comparison with the M1 and Prodigy
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The Build

Part Choice

I'm going with a Haswell-E and SLI GTX 980s build. The original intention of the case was to just focus on the support for better CPUs and more RAM. That all changed when SilverStone released their 600W SFX PSU and rumors starting surfacing about the incredible efficiency of the new 900 series cards. I ended staying up until 2:00 in the morning to nab two reference model GTX 980s the minute they were available on Amazon (I felt kinda stupid afterward but I'm glad I did because they've gone up in price since). After extensive testing I verified that Haswell-E and SLI GTX 980s was possible off the 600W SFX (at least at stock clocks).

I originally hoped to be able to use the cheaper 5820K but the lane configuration seems hardwired. It can do x16 / x8 / x4 but x16 / x4 / x8 doesn't seem possible on any board. Luckily I found a local buyer for my chip and was able to upgrade to the 5930K. With the extra lanes I was able to move the second card to the bottom slot, leaving an empty slot between them for much better top card temps and fan RPMs.


Here's all the parts on a temporary test bench


I crammed everything inside some HP case to take to a LAN party last month

Components:

  • Case: Nova
  • CPU: Intel i7 5930K
  • Cooler: NZXT X41
  • Mobo: Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5
  • RAM: 32GB Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400 (4 x 8GB)
  • GPU: 2 x EVGA GTX 980 reference models in SLI
  • PSU: SilverStone SX600-G
  • SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB

Build Log:

12-17-2014 Production has started!

12-30-2014 Case has arrived, first pics!

01-01-2015 More pics and everything up and running

01-31-2015 Test fitting 240mm rad on bottom
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiSK View Post

Subbed, natch
thumb.gif
Hi WiSK! Glad to have you along for the ride, the SX500-LG should comfortably fit in the case now so I'll be giving it a good workout powering this rig once it's available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyminator View Post

subbed
Thanks!

My rep at Protocase said she'll try to take pics of the case during production so hopefully I'll have some cool photos to share next week.
 

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How did I miss this thread for two days...subbed
smile.gif

Personally I found the following info you mentioned on [H] useful to know as it gives us an idea of how sturdy the case will be (Antec Solo series were 1mm thick) and you might want to include it in the opening post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aibohphobia on [H] View Post

I had modeled the design with 0.95mm thick sheet but since most of the cuts will be done with a water jet they're going with Galvanneal. Galvanneal has a protective anti-corrosion coating so it is slightly thicker than standard steel, 20 gauge cold rolled steel is 0.914mm (0.036in) while Galvanneal is 1.016mm (0.040in) which has subtly thrown off some stuff like the IO cutout relation to the mobo standoffs.
 

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Fusion is Future
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Ye was checking your thread on H. Nice to see build log here
thumb.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by veryrarium View Post

How did I miss this thread for two days...subbed
smile.gif

Personally I found the following info you mentioned on [H] useful to know as it gives us an idea of how sturdy the case will be (Antec Solo series were 1mm thick) and you might want to include it in the opening post.
Thanks, I added a note in mm to make it more clear. I should of done that to start, the gauge system is a joke. Interestingly, I've been working primarily in metric but even though Protocase is in Canada, they seem to work primarily in Standard units
tongue.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by catbuster View Post

Ye was checking your thread on H. Nice to see build log here
thumb.gif
The [H] thread will still be my primary place to post stuff, it's already a meandering mess so I don't feel bad just posting whatever random stuff I want there. I'll try to keep this thread a little more organized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffinslaw View Post

I dig custom case builds! Will sub to this!

-Jeffinslaw
Thanks! Looking forward to how your Compact Splash build turns out.

Still have lots of work to do here but I plan to tackle a larger water cooling optimized case at some point:

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The production process is taking longer than I anticipated, it'll probably be sometime next week before I get the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VGM10000 View Post

Subbed. How big is that last case you posted?
The mockup is 34.4L but the final design would probably be more like 37-38L if the size creep of Nova is anything to go by.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's looking like I won't get the case until after Christmas, I did get the Gigabyte board today though and I'm liking it so far.

 
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