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esplin2966

!nverse Case Discussion Thread

Hey everyone, this is Ray from Rational Bananas, and I am one of the designers of the !nverse case project. The goal of this project is to design and mass-produce a PC case that is as small as possible while remaining as versatile as possible in its internal configurations. The result is a 10L computer case that can accommodate a full-length graphics card, a 240mm closed-loop liquid cooler, 3.5" and 2.5" hard drives, and a SFX power supply.

 

lV0ocNT.jpg?1

Its versatile internal layout accommodates hard-core gamers, enthusiasts enamored with water cooling, media hoarders looking to create their own home theater, and anyone in between. Its smooth yet eye-catching exterior will blend into and enhance any desktop or home theater setup.



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No exhaust holes on top for a smooth and unobtrusive look.
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All intake holes on the bottom.
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Patterned exhaust holes on the front and side gives a unique flair.
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Internal components are inverted to allow a smooth top panel.
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Monitors, speakers, and other desktop peripherals may be placed on top to created an integrated entertainment unit with minimal footprint.
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Available in black, white, and possibly other colors. Let me know what you like!
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Specifications:
Dimension: 464mm x 308.5mm x 72mm (10.31L)

Material: 2mm aluminum for the exterior, and 1.5mm steel for the interior skeleton.

Inverse is designed with 4 interior configurations in mind, though other configurations are possible.

1) Gaming with air cooling

 

i) Accommodates Mini-ITX motherboard.
ii) Accommodates SFX or SFX-L power supply.
iii) Accommodates one graphics card up to 12" (305mm) in length, 5.91" (150mm) in width, and 1.81" (46mm) in thickness.
iv) Accommodate air coolers up to 55mm in height.
v) Accommodate up to 3 x 3.5" drives and 4 x 2.5" drives.
vi) Accommodate up to 2 120mm x 15mm case fans over the graphics card for added cooling.

 

Interior, angled top view:
OWgDJMf.jpg
Internal components are mounted in an "inverted" fashion to allow for a smooth top.
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Bottom view, with and without cover frame attached:
EWBEG4w.jpg
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All fans intake from the bottom.
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Bottom view, without cover frame and case fans:
7pi4vE2.jpg
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Low-angle side view, without fans:
GVeYYms.jpg
Graphics card is separated from the rest of the components for focused cooling. A stabilizing bracket is provided for the graphics card to reduce sagging.
__________________________________________________________________________

2) Gaming with 120mm closed-loop liquid cooling

i) Accommodates Mini-ITX motherboard.
ii) Accommodates SFX or SFX-L power supply.
iii) Accommodates one graphics card up to 12" (305mm) in length, 5.91" (150mm) in width, and 1.81" (46mm) in thickness.
iv) Accommodate closed-loop liquid coolers with 120mm radiator and total thickness (including fan) of no more than 60mm.
v) Accommodate up to 1-3 x 3.5" drives and 2-4 x 2.5" drives, depending on the height of the water block.
vi) Accommodate up to 2 120mm x 15mm case fans over the graphics card for added cooling.

 

Bottom view, without cover frame attached:
9VqlDwb.jpg
120mm case fan with a radiator near the top.
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Low-angle side view:
DkCCpJO.jpg
3.5" drives and 2.5" drives mounted beside the 120mm radiator and over the motherboard.
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3) Gaming with 240mm closed-loop liquid cooling

i) Accommodates Mini-ITX motherboard.
ii) Accommodates SFX or SFX-L power supply.
iii) Accommodates one graphics card up to 12" (305mm) in length, 5.91" (150mm) in width, and 1.81" (46mm) in thickness.
iv) Accommodate closed-loop liquid coolers with 240mm radiator and total thickness (including fan) of no more than 60mm.
v) Accommodate up to 0-1 x 3.5" drives and 2-4 x 2.5" drives, depending on the height of the water block.
vi) Accommodate up to 2 120mm x 15mm case fans over the graphics card for added cooling.



Bottom view, without cover frame attached:
PHvXdcj.jpg
Two 120mm case fans with a 240mm radiator near the top.
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Low-angle side view:
ofsEpAk.jpg
One 3.5" drives and up to two 2.5" drives mounted over the motherboard, depending on the height of the water block.
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4) Media Storage

i) Accommodates Mini-ITX motherboard.
ii) Accommodates SFX or SFX-L power supply.
v) Accommodate up to 6 x 3.5" drives and 8 x 2.5" drives.

 

Bottom view, without cover frame attached:
BrX3cR3.jpg
Four 3.5" drives and four 2.5" drives in the graphics card compartment. Two 3.5" drives and four 2.5" drives around the motherboard. The compartment divider and the graphics card stabilizer is removable.
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Low-angle side view, without fans:
BwaAR6N.jpg
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No ODD supported for any configuration. This is to maintain the smooth look of the exterior, as well as make room to accommodate a 240mm aio cooler.

Project Status:
1) The second prototype is now being tested!

2) Designing a case stand.

FAQ:
1)


Q: There are no exhaust holes on the top, only on the sides. Doesn't that go against "hot air rises"? How would that impact temperatures?

A: The effects of hot air rising are negligible compared to the forces produced by fans. Please read this article for reference.


2)

Q: You are drawing cold air in from the bottom only. How tall does the case feet have to be before heating becomes compromised?

A: I did a study on this, and it suggests that the case feet just has to be above 9 mm in height, which is pretty standard. I own the Silverstone ML07, and its feet measure 10 mm in height. Here is the link to the study I did.

 

 

Any feedback is welcome! It would be greatly helpful if anyone can point out any glaring flaws in the design, or make any suggestions.

Thanks for reading!

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Prototype Testing:

 

Looks like everyone wants to see tests with PWM, but also want fan speeds (in % maybe?) plotted with the temperature, so that's what I'll do.
 
Here is an updated test list. I've also added one more test for various PCIe riser cables.
 
1) CPU Temperature Tests - With Prime95

a. With outer panels off

i) Intel Stock Cooler

ii) Silverstone AR05
iii) CM 120V AIO Cooler

iv) CM 240M AIO Cooler

 

b. With outer panels on

i) Intel Stock Cooler

ii) Silverstone AR05
iii) CM 120V AIO Cooler

iv) CM 240M AIO Cooler

 

 

 
2) GPU Temperature Tests - With Unigine Valley

a) With outer panels off

i) With fans over GPU

ii) Without fans over GPU

 

b. With outer panels on

i) With fans over GPU

ii) Without fans over GPU

 

 

 
3) Structural Tests
Put my 50 inch TV on top of the case (including components in it) and look for buckling, bending, and other modes of physical failure.
 
4) Noise Tests - Measure noise in dBA with noise meter

a. Idle

i) With fans over GPU

ii) Without fans over GPU

 

b. Load

i) With fans over GPU

1. CPU with Prime95

2) GPU with Unigine Valley

 

ii) Without fans over GPU

1. CPU with Prime95

2. GPU with Unigine Valley

 

 

 

 
5) Special Noise Test - Measure noise in dBA with noise meter

a. With case inverted

b. With case upright

 

 
6) PCIe Riser Test - Compare Unigine Valley Benchmark Results

a. Shielded 3M PCIe riser cable

b. Unshielded PCIe riser cable

c. Unshielded PCIe riser cable with EMI shielding tape over it

 

Let me know if you guys think of anything else to test. Thanks!

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Interior Pictures of the Prototype:

 

Some pictures of the interior for you guys! I just started building in it, so cellphone pictures are all I have.
 
Once you remove the red top and bottom panels, the !nverse case decomposes into something that looks like a test rack, shown below:
 
jHmf1wJ.jpg?1
 
In my early interviews with builders, they all stated that one of their biggest frustrations with building in a mITX case is that there is almost no room to build in. That, along with the adage that you always want to build outside of the case first, gave birth to this design.
 
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This way, you can test individual components while building within the case, all with ample space for your hands to reach everywhere.
 
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Now you just attach all the wires, flip them over...
 
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...and then you have a completed PC block that the red top and bottom panels can attach to. Note that in this picture, I'm using a 120mm AIO cooler instead of the 240mm AIO cooler in previous pictures. This is because I found out after I took the first 3 pictures that my Cooler Master 240M is defective, so I had to switch it out. Hopefully I can get a replacement soon so I can show you guys how a 240mm AIO cooler fit in the case.

 

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Unboxing the Prototype:

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What's this?

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Is that an !nverse Prototype #2 I see?

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It's finally here!!!!!!!

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Some initial thoughts:

1) This thing is solid! I was worried that my design was too flimsy, but it definitely felt like I can throw a few 45 lb weights on it. Monitors and stuff should definitely be fine on top. I think I can actually reduce the thickness of the 2 exterior aluminum panels and it'll still be fine.

2) There are some parts that employ sliding mechanisms. Our manufacturer was concerned with how difficult they are to use, but they feel fine to me.

Also, a note on the fitment of AIO coolers within this case, I just received my cooler master AIO coolers with FEP tubing and I can confirm that they fit fine. AIO coolers without FEP tubings will most likely not be supported due to the larger bend radius of the tubing.


 

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Hey everyone, here are the results of the temperature tests for the !nverse case.

 

Test Configuration:

 

CPU: i5-4690K

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240M

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97N-WIFI

RAM: G.Skill Ares 2400MHz CL11 2 x 4Gb

Storage 1: Sandisk 120Gb SSD

Storage 2: Seagate 500Gb 7200RPM HDD

GPU: Gigabyte R9 390 Gaming

PSU: Silverstone SFX SX600-G

Case Fans: 2 x Silverstone FW121

 

The CPU is overclocked to 4.4GHz so that the system is sufficiently stressed in order to obtain decisive results.

 

Test Setup:

 

Due to suggestions from cowsgomoo, I decided to drill holes all over the case in order to allow the exhaust of the liquid cooler radiator to go directly out of the case, as well as make more exhaust holes for the GPU. This setup, with holes all over, is called "Porous". A sample image of the porous setup is shown below:

 

emTwD9Z.jpg?1

 

To capture the original exhaust hole configuration of the case, I tape the extra holes closed. In this setup, the exhaust of the liquid cooler radiator would have to flow past the motherboard and the PSU to eventually exhaust out the side. There are also less exhaust holes for the GPU. This setup is called "Air Tunnel". A sample image of the air tunnel setup is shown below:

 

xpYyAha.jpg?1

 

To obtain a baseline, optimal cooling scenario, I take apart the exterior panels and open up the inside of the case to the outside. In this setup, the airflow from the GPU and the liquid cooler radiator is completely uninhibited. This setup is called "Open Air". A sample image of the open air setup is shown below:

 

5LLybfL.jpg?1

 

Furthermore, I test whether raised the case higher up from the table helps with the cooling. A sample image of the raised setup is shown below:

 

EKblq7Q.jpg?1

 

I also compare the temperatures of the GPU when there are case fans over the GPU, air funnels over the GPU, and just bare GPU.

 

All in all, this comes to 18 possible setups:

 

CPU:


  •  


  • Open Air (OA)


  • Air Tunnel - Raised (ATR)


  • Air Tunnel - Unraised (ATU)


  • Porous - Raised (PR)


  • Porous - Unraised (PU)

 

 

GPU:


  •  


  • Open Air (OA)


  • Air Tunnel - Raised - Bare (ATR - bare)


  • Air Tunnel - Unraised - Bare (ATU - bare)


  • Porous - Raised - Bare (PR - bare)


  • Porous - Unraised - Bare (PU - bare)


  • Air Tunnel - Raised - with Fan (ATR - fan)


  • Air Tunnel - Unraised - with Fan (ATU - fan)


  • Porous - Raised - with Fan (PR - fan)


  • Porous - Unraised - with Fan (PU - fan)


  • Air Tunnel - Raised - with Funnel (ATR - funnel)


  • Air Tunnel - Unraised - with Funnel (ATU - funnel)


  • Porous - Raised - with Funnel (PR - funnel)


  • Porous - Unraised - with Funnel (PU - funnel)

 

 

Test Methodology:

 

To stress test the CPU, I run Prime95 Small FFTs for 10 minutes. To stress test the GPU, I run Unigine Valley Benchmark three times in a row. Aside from the CPU and GPU temperatures, I also measure the motherboard temperatures, hard drive temperatures, and fan speeds.

 

The ambient temperature is maintained at 22.8 C (73 F) for all tests.

 

Test Data:

 

CPU Test Data

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23RuAbC.png

 

Bare GPU Test Data

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0MZxBeo.png

 

 

GPU with Funnel Test Data

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CNNTn9G.png

 

 

GPU with Fan Test Data

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Test Result Summary:

 

pPQUhfU.png

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From the summary above, we can arrive at a few conclusions:

 


  •  


  • For all tests, the difference between the porous setup and the air tunnel setup is about 1-2 degrees.


  • For the CPU tests, raising the case makes the max single core and max averaged core temperatures about 3-4 degrees cooler. For the GPU tests, raising the case makes the max temperature about 8-10 degrees cooler, except for the bare GPU setups.


  • For the CPU tests, the best, non-open-air setup produces max single core and max averaged core temperature that is about 8 degrees hotter than the open air setup. For the GPU tests, the best, non-open-air setup setup produces max temperature that is about 5 degrees hotter than the open air setup.


  • For all tests, both hard drive temperatures do not exceed 45 C.

 

 

Next Steps:

 

Right now, the case feet is about 8mm tall. I want to figure out exactly how tall the case feet needs to be to achieve the same level of cooling as the raised setups.

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That is a lot of data to go through, but it appears as though the added ventilation doesn't do much for the component temperatures, but what was the impact on the internal temperature of the case (non-component specific)?

Based on those numbers, I'd probably skip the extra ventilation personally, and just figure out an acceptable foot height. 

 

Good stuff, thanks for sharing

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That is a lot of data to go through, but it appears as though the added ventilation doesn't do much for the component temperatures, but what was the impact on the internal temperature of the case (non-component specific)?

Based on those numbers, I'd probably skip the extra ventilation personally, and just figure out an acceptable foot height. 

 

Good stuff, thanks for sharing

 

Thank you for the feedback, and nice to meet you! Sorry for the info dump :(

 

Usually I do spoilers so the page isn't cluttered and people can get to the point, but I have yet to figure out how to do spoilers on here.

 

I agree that with the minimal gain from punching the holes, I would want to keep the top and front hole-free to preserve the aesthetics of the case. I'll be doing case feet testing tonight!

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Yeah, it's a little weird here, it's under the little button that looks like an eraser in the editor.  Otherwise it's the standard tags as well.

 [spoiler] [/spoiler] 

Good luck with the feet!

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Yeah, it's a little weird here, it's under the little button that looks like an eraser in the editor.  Otherwise it's the standard tags as well.

 [spoiler] [/spoiler] 
Good luck with the feet!

It's not working :S

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Update 10/13/2015:

 

Put a 50" TV overtop the !nverse Prototype. Here are some photos:

 

Sj4abp8.jpg?1

gCsar97.jpg?1

 

As can be seen, the case holds the TV over it with no problem.

 

Also finished the fitment tests. Here are some photos:

 

Air Cooling Configuration:

 

yB7TjXE.jpg?1

ECwQgUp.jpg?1

 

If using SFX PSU or SFX-L PSU, this configuration fits 3 x 3.5" hard drive and 2 x 2.5" hard drive.

 

120mm AIO Cooling Configuration:

 

Y4suutJ.jpg?2

zMP0jdu.jpg?1

 

If using SFX PSU, this configuration fits 2 x 3.5" hard drive and 2 x 2.5" hard drive. If using SFX-L PSU, this configuration fits 1 x 3.5" hard drive and 2 x 2.5" hard drive.

 

240mm AIO Cooling Configuration:

 

fr9SCrZ.jpg?1

km3xwcC.jpg?1

 

If using either SFX or SFX-L PSU, this configuration fits 2 x 2.5" hard drive.

 

Media Storage Configuration:

 

mZwjtfQ.jpg?1

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0PKA2Ow.jpg?1

 

If using SFX PSU, this configuration fits 8 x 3.5" hard drive and 4 x 2.5" hard drive. if using SFX-L PSU, this configuration fits 7 x 3.5" hard drive and 4 x 2.5" hard drive.

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Update 10/17/2015:

 

Hey everyone, a quick update from me. I have done the PCIe riser test with 5 different risers:

 

1) 300mm unshielded PCIe riser cable.

 

2) 300mm unshielded PCIe riser cable wrapped in aluminum foil.

 

3) 300mm unshielded PCIe riser cable wrapped in EMI shielding tape.

 

4) 300mm LiHead Type B PCIe riser cable.

 

5) 500mm 3M PCIe riser cable.

 

Basically, using each of these cables, I run Unigine Valley Benchmark and compare the scores attained. Here are my results:

 

1) System does not boot.

 

2) System does not boot.

 

3) System boots, but graphics crashes when running Unigine Valley.

 

4) System boots, and runs Unigine Valley Benchmark fine. Average FPS is about 89.

 

5) System boots, and runs Unigine Valley Benchmark fine. Average FPS is about 91.

 

From this test, it is clear that DIY solutions to shielding the PCIe riser cable does not work. The LiHeat cable performs slightly worse than the 3M cable, but at less than half the price. Therefore, I think the LiHeat cables are what we'll be bundling with the !nverse case. Now we need to see what kind of bulk discount we can get.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Plus, the added 200mm for the 3M you would think would be more of a headache to deal with than the 2fps difference is worth, in my opinion, anyway.

 

Thanks for sharing the results, I've had the LiHeat risers on the radar for a while, wondering how well they work. 

 

There's a few places (like 1-2) that you can find the Lian-Li risers, that they used in their wall-pc chassis, but they're also not very cheap, around $50 I think

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