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ZombiPL

SENTRY 2.0: Evolution of console-sized gaming PC case

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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 hours ago, DoggoLover said:

I've had computer components sitting in a box waiting for this moment for 3 months. So excited!

We are also very excited that this design comes to its fruition :

Everything moves forward. We will be sending packages on Monday, so probably after next few weeks we will see some first reviews and tests of this new project. We also talked with @LinusTech about it, and he will get his engineering samples like in the previous campaign, but we do not know if he will find time to give us some feedback about them. Time will tell :) Target date for the campaign is still end of March, so please be patient :)

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I want to ask where could i order one of your cases since i am really interested in it. also could it be shipped to Malaysia? and if possible what is the price since it concerns me quite a bit.

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This looks like a very interesting case. I've been looking for something like this to build my own kind of hobbyist home server that can be both powerfull and still very small. This looks very good!
I wonder about 1 thing: is it possible to mount a 240 or 280mm AIO water cooler in the GPU compartment if that is the only component in the 2nd compartment?

 

Also a suggestion for maybe the next version: If the top of the 2nd compartment is also perforated and the air pocked thing is removable, then such large 280mm cooler could push air all the way through the case from top to bottom. I think this configuration could get you better cooling performance than many full towers.

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1 hour ago, Stannieman said:

This looks like a very interesting case. I've been looking for something like this to build my own kind of hobbyist home server that can be both powerfull and still very small. This looks very good!
I wonder about 1 thing: is it possible to mount a 240 or 280mm AIO water cooler in the GPU compartment if that is the only component in the 2nd compartment?

 

Also a suggestion for maybe the next version: If the top of the 2nd compartment is also perforated and the air pocked thing is removable, then such large 280mm cooler could push air all the way through the case from top to bottom. I think this configuration could get you better cooling performance than many full towers.

Theoretically you might be able to fit 240 mm Tundra Slim in GPU compartment, but that would be mounted by the screws only on one side of the radiator where there's a slot for the 120 mm one. The question is whether you can bend the hoses to turn around and go under the hole under riser mount or not. Seems like it's doable but I haven't tested this physically to be honest, and it might have some issues with bending the tubes underneath the cover inlet.

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https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/sentry-2-0-evolution-of-console-sized-gaming-pc-case.7106/page-19#post-138872

 

Found a price post on SFFF. 230

Unfortunately, that's almost double what I would be willing to pay for a case (≤ 150€). I know it is an investment and, knowing myself, I might never use another case since this is as compact at it will get but not until I have money to spare (yes I understand this is limited and more like a useful premium collection item) but still it's amazingly practical and I would love to have it :/ Guess I will struggle another year searching for the best case on SFFF. Maybe there will one day be one with dust filters even :)

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On 2/21/2019 at 11:22 PM, ZombiPL said:

We are also very excited that this design comes to its fruition :

Everything moves forward. We will be sending packages on Monday, so probably after next few weeks we will see some first reviews and tests of this new project. We also talked with @LinusTech about it, and he will get his engineering samples like in the previous campaign, but we do not know if he will find time to give us some feedback about them. Time will tell :) Target date for the campaign is still end of March, so please be patient :)

Seeming as it may end up on indiegogo, any approximate date range on when first set of towers are to be shipped once its up?

 

Thanks

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Posted · Original PosterOP
20 hours ago, jindradev said:

https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/sentry-2-0-evolution-of-console-sized-gaming-pc-case.7106/page-19#post-138872

 

Found a price post on SFFF. 230

Unfortunately, that's almost double what I would be willing to pay for a case (≤ 150€). I know it is an investment and, knowing myself, I might never use another case since this is as compact at it will get but not until I have money to spare (yes I understand this is limited and more like a useful premium collection item) but still it's amazingly practical and I would love to have it :/ Guess I will struggle another year searching for the best case on SFFF. Maybe there will one day be one with dust filters even :)

We also would like to get to the point where Sentry will cost $150, but for the last 2 years we were fighting to keep the previously declared retail price (980PLN), and it was really hard. Right now (rough estimation)  1/3 of the price are the external costs (sub-manufacturers), 1/3 are our internal costs (cost of hiring workers, machines, warehouses, keeping the warranty, future improvements, profit) and the last 1/3 are taxes with indiegogo fee. At this moment it is not possible for us to get lower with the price, because we would need to invest in the mass production elements like molds, robots and automatic assembling machines, and with orders below 10 000 units it is hard to do that.

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3 hours ago, ZombiPL said:

We also would like to get to the point where Sentry will cost $150, but for the last 2 years we were fighting to keep the previously declared retail price (980PLN), and it was really hard. Right now (rough estimation)  1/3 of the price are the external costs (sub-manufacturers), 1/3 are our internal costs (cost of hiring workers, machines, warehouses, keeping the warranty, future improvements, profit) and the last 1/3 are taxes with indiegogo fee. At this moment it is not possible for us to get lower with the price, because we would need to invest in the mass production elements like molds, robots and automatic assembling machines, and with orders below 10 000 units it is hard to do that.

yeah, totally understandable, don't get me wrong :) R&D is important for brand growth. I wish you the best of luck and hope you will get funds for mass production - I believe there already is enough fans of SFF and Sentry in particular (though I am just a fan - don't give any value to my words :D
Also - the best competitors (Ghost S1 and
Streacom DA2) are at 230(220)€ too (yes different dimensions I know). S4 mini at 200usd also smallest but so full of holes and other compromises :D 

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On 3/13/2019 at 1:58 AM, ZombiPL said:

We also would like to get to the point where Sentry will cost $150, but for the last 2 years we were fighting to keep the previously declared retail price (980PLN), and it was really hard. Right now (rough estimation)  1/3 of the price are the external costs (sub-manufacturers), 1/3 are our internal costs (cost of hiring workers, machines, warehouses, keeping the warranty, future improvements, profit) and the last 1/3 are taxes with indiegogo fee. At this moment it is not possible for us to get lower with the price, because we would need to invest in the mass production elements like molds, robots and automatic assembling machines, and with orders below 10 000 units it is hard to do that.

any approximate date range on when first set of cases are to be shipped once its up on indiegogo?

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Out of curiosity what does the air pocket do? Like how does it benefit the cooling? Wouldn't not having it and gaining the extra space have been the better choice? 


-Undeniably Indie

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Posted · Original PosterOP
15 minutes ago, ActuallyMediocreOC said:

Out of curiosity what does the air pocket do? Like how does it benefit the cooling? Wouldn't not having it and gaining the extra space have been the better choice? 

 

When designing Sentry v1.1 we made multiple benchmarks. We tested many different configurations and we found out that the hot air which is gathering behind GPU's PCB can be the cause of lowering the GPU boost clocks from 50 to even up to 300MHz (depending on your gpu) or can be a reason why GPU can hit the target clock too fast during heavy load. What is more, next to the back of the GPU you have a surface of the Sentry's cover, which you are touching and it can get really hot.

 

Both of those problems were reduced thanks to this steel air pocket. 

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39 minutes ago, ZombiPL said:

 

When designing Sentry v1.1 we made multiple benchmarks. We tested many different configurations and we found out that the hot air which is gathering behind GPU's PCB can be the cause of lowering the GPU boost clocks from 50 to even up to 300MHz (depending on your gpu) or can be a reason why GPU can hit the target clock too fast during heavy load. What is more, next to the back of the GPU you have a surface of the Sentry's cover, which you are touching and it can get really hot.

 

Both of those problems were reduced thanks to this steel air pocket. 

Interesting, I guess it's a tad late now but would you have done something like this:

It looked like an SSD would be a tight squeeze and while you couldn't get the NVMe speeds if you used something like this or this that might be okay. I dunno the knowledge there's a unused panel of space is getting to me more than it should so I wanted to pick your brain on the design decisions (For context I'm looking into becoming a case design guy so this kinda thing interests me alot)

Edit: Maybe not that exact placement or number as the current SSD mount would restrict it

Sentry2Idea.jpg


-Undeniably Indie

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Posted · Original PosterOP
13 minutes ago, ActuallyMediocreOC said:

Interesting, I guess it's a tad late now but would you have done something like this:

It looked like an SSD would be a tight squeeze and while you couldn't get the NVMe speeds if you used something like this or this that might be okay. I dunno the knowledge there's a unused panel of space is getting to me more than it should so I wanted to pick your brain on the design decisions (For context I'm looking into becoming a case design guy so this kinda thing interests me alot)

 

Sentry2Idea.jpg

 

Necere from Ncase M1 project tested this spot for 2,5'' drives and those were getting really hot there.

M.2 drives can also get very hot by themselves, and if you combine this heat with the heat from the back of the gpu... you really can damage your drives and loose your data. For example, samsung's 850 EVO M.2 working temperature is 0-70 deg C. The target temperature of your GPU is something like 80-85 deg C. I'm sure you understand where I'm going with this analysis.

 

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Just now, ZombiPL said:

 

Necere from Ncase M1 project tested this spot for 2,5'' drives and those were getting really hot there.

M.2 drives can also get very hot by themselves, and if you combine this heat with the heat from the back of the gpu... you really can damage your drives and loose your data. For example, samsung's 850 EVO M.2 working temperature is 0-70 deg C. The target temperature of your GPU is something like 80-85 deg C. I'm sure you understand where I'm going with this analysis.

 

That's what I was thinking about too but I wasn't sure if it reached that level or not, had to poke to see if you guys had the same thought/tested it


-Undeniably Indie

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, ActuallyMediocreOC said:

That's what I was thinking about too but I wasn't sure if it reached that level or not, had to poke to see if you guys had the same thought/tested it

 

Necere tested it because he wanted to make a similar to Sentry project, with different aesthetics, and he looked for best spot for his drives. If I remember correctly, this was one of the reasons why his project died.

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Is there anywhere where the design process was documented for this case? I'd love to see the kinds of things that happen behind the scenes of designing a case, also wouldn't mind seeing Necere's side project


-Undeniably Indie

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, ActuallyMediocreOC said:

Is there anywhere where the design process was documented for this case? I'd love to see the kinds of things that happen behind the scenes of designing a case, also wouldn't mind seeing Necere's side project

 

Our topics:
 

Sentry 1.1
https://hardforum.com/threads/sentry-console-sized-gaming-pc-case-project.1832126/

https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/dr-zaber-sentry-console-sized-gaming-pc-case-project.1346/

 

Sentry 2.0

https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/sentry-2-0-evolution-of-console-sized-gaming-pc-case.7106/
https://hardforum.com/threads/sentry-2-0-evolution-of-console-sized-gaming-pc-case.1957662/

 

 

Necere's LRPC concept:
https://hardforum.com/threads/the-next-ncase-project-a-steam-machine-style-case-indeterminate.1831382/

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ZombiPL and SaperPL sent me a case to review as well. I'm not fancy enough to have a video, but I'll put my review below. 

 

Disclaimer:

 

I received this case to review for free, but the following review is my own opinion/thoughts and hasn’t been influenced by this. Since you aren’t able to buy V1.1 I’m going to keep comparisons between the two products to a minimum. I focus on low noise over low temperatures, so I’ve listed the fan speed associated with the temperature for benchmarks. Just because a temperature is high doesn’t mean that it isn’t being cooled well.

 

Packaging:

 

The packaging consists of a cardboard box which is lined with 20mm thick foam on all sides and is broken up into an upper and lower compartment. The upper level contains the body of the Sentry 2.0 case which is wrapped in a Sentry 2.0 plastic bag. The lower level, which is separated from the upper level with a foam insert, contains the stand, a magnetic torx screwdriver, power cable, anti-vandal power button, hard PCB riser, and accessories required for assembly. The packaging is really high quality and makes me confident that even if the package gets thrown around that the case won’t be damaged. This is by far the best computer case packaging I’ve ever encountered by a long shot.

 

My package arrived in great condition with only a few small marks on the cardboard. The thick foam on all sides of the packaging makes me feel that the case is well protected from accidental damage.

 

All included tools and accessories:

Vfdhw6q.jpg

 

Assembly:

 

I highly recommend that you read through the manual before assembling this case. A lot of the components need to be installed in the specific order listed in the manual. The instructions are similar to the V1.1, but some steps such as the new riser assembly have been changed and will require you to read through the installation steps.

 

The case arrived completely disassembled, meaning that the power button and power cord have to be installed by the user. Having to install these parts doesn’t bother me since I always found that the power cord got in the way while building. I intentionally left fastening the socket of the power cable to the outside of the case for last as it kept getting in my way when installing the motherboard and riser. The number of screws has been reduced from 8 screws to attach the outer panel to just 4 which is a minor but much appreciated improvement. I wasn’t ever bothered with the old screw count, but having less screws does help make the case look a little cleaner. I don’t feel as though the reduction in the screw count has impacted the stability of the case; my V2.0 case feels just a rock solid as my V1.1 case.

 

The rest of the installation went fairly well. I had an issue with the power switch interfering with one of the plug locations on my modular PSU, but I was able to attach all of my required cables. I believe that I could have bent the power switch wiring out of the way for my power supply cable, but I feel like this risks damaging the cabling. The power switch location is a trade-off to support an AIO liquid cooler so I understand why it's is located where it is. The only time that I really had to sit down and closely read over the manual was with the new riser bracket. The new bracket attaches like a hinge and must be inserted at a low angle before being lifted into place. The manual does a better job of explaining the steps than I can. Despite my initial confusion, I think that the bracket change is an improvement since it, in theory, should reduce the chance of damaging the riser even if you don’t read the manual. The build quality is still top notch with the case having a nice compact and weighty feel. All of the pieces come together to make this thing feel like a tank.

 

Power Button Interference:

For the record I plugged in the PSU cables all the way after taking this picture. I'm also aware that I don't have the o-ring for the power switch in the right location.

h00ZBLy.jpg

 

Final result after some cable managing:

3W653yi.jpg

 

I don’t have any 2.5” drives or AIO coolers so I can’t comment on how well those mounting mechanisms work but they seem well designed.

 

Benchmarks:

I said this in the disclaimer but I’ll say it again for good measure: I focus on low noise, not low temperatures. I’ve included the fan speed % along with temperatures since all temperatures will be on the high side. I never experienced any throttling during these benchmarks. Also, sorry for not owning many recent games. I tried to get a good mix of CPU and CPU loads for my tests.

 

Relevant specs:

CPU: delidded 6700K with a slight undervolt and a Cooltek LP53 cooler with a Cryorig C7 fan

GPU: EVGA 1070 SC with an additional +100MHz memory overclock.
 

Idle:

CPU: 50c at 10% fan speed

GPU: 45-50c at 0-10% fan speed
 

Batman: Arkham Knight

CPU: 60-65C at 36% fan speed. CPU usage was around 45%

GPU: 85C at 63% fan speed Between 95-100% usage. 100% fan speed saw 73C

 

Beat Saber

CPU : 65c at 24% fan speed. CPU usage was around 35%

GPU: 60-70C at 57% fan speed between 70-80% usage. 100% fan speed saw 68c
 

Guild Wars 2:

CPU: 65-70C at 46% fan speed . CPU usage was around 50-55%

GPU: 68C at 40% fan speed at 50% usage

 

My overall impressions:

 

V2.0 is a solid increment on the Sentry V1.1 design. It’s not wildly different from V1.1, but that’s not a bad thing if you appreciate the design decisions in V1.1. V2.0 shows that ZombiPL and SaperPL took customer’s suggestions to heart by making installation quicker by using less screws, increasing ventilation which improved my temperatures by about 5C coming from my V1.1 case, and adding liquid cooling support (along with other small tweaks).
 

The new hard PCI riser is a welcomed addition since it should be more durable than a flexible one (not that I ever had an issue with mine). I’m a little concerned that people will struggle with this step or just install it incorrectly like Linus did during his livestream. Other than having the user read the manual carefully, the only other suggestions I can think of would be to create a youtube video of the entire assembly process of the case (like what was done for the V1.1 case) or to attach a note to the riser bracket saying that it is inserted at a low angle and then swings into place like a hinge. I think the new bracket works well, but I just can’t help but feel that people won’t bother to read the manual and screw up installing it.

 

My only real criticism of the case comes from the trade-off of allowing liquid cooling by moving the placement of the power button. I never felt the need to use a liquid cooler in my V1.1 case since I prefer full sized GPUs but I liked the option for SFX-L power supplies in case the size factor ever gained more traction. Since SFX-L isn’t very popular right now and there was a desire for liquid cooling I agree with the decision to remove SFX-L compatibility and add liquid cooling compatibility, but I’m still a little disappointed to see SFX-L compatibility removed.

 

If anyone has any questions I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

 

edit: removed spoilers for better post visibility

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