I have been reading SPCR for over 10 years, but I have never posted in the forum. The reason for my post is my disgust in the current state of affairs in therms of innovation in the cooling of PC chases. It seems that after the P180 nothing much has happened. We have a number of newer cases that build upon the idea, including the humongous Fortress FT02, but we all are mostly stuck in the mud by the limitations set by the form factors of the motherboard and PCIe cards. It was delightful to see the new Mac Pro. This of course is a Mac, however, bringing its own problems, such as lack of modularity and openness to hardware vendors.
My goal is simple:
- small size mATX or ATX
- excellent air cooling to both CPU and GPU
- housing for one large GPU up 300mm long
- housing for one SSD drive
- housing for one HDD drive 3.5
- utilizing 120mm or 140mm fans (there is no reason for smaller, and larger fans have limited availability)
Recently I have been searching for cases that satisfy my criteria, but IMHO they all pose too many compromises to make them viable solutions. They are either too large, having 150 HDD bays plus 350 optical drive bays, or small enough but arranging the parts inside as far away from the optimum cooling as possible.
Below is a mockup I did using an image of Fractal Design Define Mini posted by sneaker here, viewtopic.php?f=15&t=61080&start=30
I have never build a custom case before, but I remember long time ago reading a few posts of people building custom cases made of wood/plywood, so I assume this might be the simplest way using parts from an old Antec Sonata 2. I'm open to any suggestions and opinions.
I calculated the bare minimum internal dimensions set by the size of the components, 244 x 244mm mATX, 86 x 150 x 180mm PSU, and standard 25 x 120/140mm fans. I then added some room between the components, and after a rough calculation it seems reasonable to have about 22L overall volume (30L using 1/2 plywood), plus allowing about 1" of floor clearance for the intake fans.