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Inverse Case: 10 Liters of Custom Mini-ITX Goodness

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wifiburger

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what is this ? seriously the video doesn't make sense, mobo / power supply looks ok, everything else just sit floating in the case like wtf
 

lpedraja2002

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Are there special cables now that connect to the pci-ex slots? I remember the Falcon Tiki used and adapter to change the angle of the graphics card. I'm wondering how the gpu works sitting all the way over there.
 

why_wolf

Honorable
There's a second video on their page showing a real world build, makes more sense then the above video.

A neat idea but frankly I would like it more if they dropped the inverse thing and just loaded up the top with vent holes so people could have a straight top to bottom ventilation. As it is the system seems to be running kind of hot compared with other testers reports for his test CPU.
 
1 frontal USB3 connector... ONE FRONTAL USB CONNECTOR.

And ~$130 USD for it...

Nope.

These guys should have taken the Thermaltake SD200 as base and improved on top of it.

Cheers!
 

urbanj

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As Why_Wolf said, there's a second video, here's the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_xlfJj87hY

Personally I like the cleaner look without the holes on the top.
What I do think is missing is magnetic filters that could attach on the bottom, or would slide in on the sides, depending on direction of air flow.

Wish them the best, but if you don't have a major Brand Name attached, I think you need to have demo units in the hands of a LOT of review sites such as Toms, so that potential buyers know what they are getting.
 

nzalog

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Lol you're focus on it having one usb in the front?
I've got many questions about the case but really if this this is small who gives a shit how many front USB ports it has?

I see a lot of configurations where fans push or pull air from the top of the case, wondering where that air goes.
 

Lutfij

Titan
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I'm very curious to know if the tubing from the radiators will kink and then cause a burst AIO/custom loop. Speaking of which, it doesn't look like you can drop in a custom watercooling loop even with the lowest profile pump in the market.
 

TadashiTG

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I love this type of cases. I love the fact that a 240 AIO cooler fits in it. This might be the closest case to my "dream" case as it gets.
But I have few inputs on it, it's only nitpicking but since it's so close to perfect maybe it passes along to the maker and we could see it in a new version, hopefully.

1) Dust filters. There has to be dust filters on all of the inputs, basically the whole bottom side.

2) 240 rad exhaust. I love that the maker of this case has managed to cram a 24 rad in there, it's amazing. But the air that inters has no direct exit path. Having holes on the top side of the case would mean sacrificing on the cleanliness of the case, but it would sure help thermals on an OC'ed CPU. He appears to get 84c with 240 rad and Prime95 stress test, I wonder how much lower that would be with exhaust opening.

3) there are some images with a single USB 3.0 while others (the black case) with 2. I hope the shipping version would have. No case maker has yet made a USB 3.1 front I/O, but having that option now that motherboards are starting to come with it would be great. The Asus Strix Z270I comes to mind regarding that.

4) The ability to put 25mm depth 120mm fans. It seems to me that the case is limited to the slim type of fans only. The ability to have 25mm would mean a quieter build. I would personally take the extra case depth for that.

5) Power button location. I'm not sure how easy it is to press it while it's under the case. I don't really think having in on the front would hurt "cleanliness" but to each their taste. All I care about is that it can actually be pressed with no issues or frustration.
 

erendofe

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the thing in the video that struck me is the fan grills (build into the case) are of a macaroni strainer style. Most high end case abandoned this frill style because it is very restrictive to active air flow.
 

s4fun

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The biggest problem with this so called "mini" for mini-itx is that is actually quite large for a mini-itx build. If you are not loading up on storage, and water cooling, it is a lot of excess empty space and you end up with a rather large system.
 

rationalbananas_ray

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Jan 30, 2017
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Hey everyone, this is Ray, the creator of !nverse. I did not anticipate this article, so it seems that I'm a bit late to the party, but I'll try to answer everyone's questions. Thank you Niels for writing this article! I appreciate the coverage and it is clear that you took the time to understand exactly what !nverse offers and what it doesn't.



We recommend using AIO coolers with FEP tubings when building in !nverse. AIOs with regular tubings might work too, I just haven't tested it yet.

!nverse is not designed to accommodate custom water cooling. However, after many builders have brought up the possibility with me, I'm beginning to think that it can be done with some light modding (need to drill some holes or perhaps figure out an externally mounted reservoir).



Thank you for your support!

1) Every 120mmx120mm area on the bottom of the case (the intake holes) have 4 screw holes on each corner. This allows you to attach any dust filter (magnetic or plastic) you want to each intake hole. We're not bundling dust filters with !nverse per se, since people prefer different filters, but I would be happy to look into it if there is enough interest.

2) Regarding the thermals, I should note that first of all, in my tests the i5 is overclocked to as far as it'll go (I lost the silicon lottery). Secondly, prime95 is a very unrealistically stressful test. Thirdly, in my tests I actually drilled holes on the top of the case to simulate the case you mentioned, and found that it performed negligibly better (1-2 deg c), which is why I stuck with the clean look. Lastly, in my tests i found that 84 deg c is only about 8 deg higher than the open air setup (no case walls to inhibit airflow at all), which I personally think is acceptable. Of course, your opinion may differ on that.

3) Unfortunately, our manufacturer does not do USB 3.1 :( I wish we could offer it too. Also, to clarify, the production model will have 2 x front USB 3.0.

4) I totally get where you're coming from, but what my team is trying to do is push the boundaries of SFF cases. It is imperative for us to be able to create a case this small while being so versatile. If the case were bigger, we would simply be making a cheaper NCase M1, which is not what we want. Hope you understand.

5) With the provided case feet of 15mm, I find the power button to be very easy to press, and I have fat fingers too :)



I don't have the equipment to do an objective, data-based noise test. I do happen to have the expertise to analyze the data (it's related to what I study in school), just no equipment. That being said, by my subjective "ear test" while running tests with the !nverse case, I don't find it to be any noisier than other aluminum/steel cases.



Check out our temperature test on one of the prototypes. Hopefully this will alleviate your concerns about the air hole size. I should note that we are working with an i5 overclocked as far as it can go and a Gigabyte R9 390 (probably the hottest card in recent years). We don't try to make ourselves look better by doing nicer tests, what you see is literally the worst case scenario. I also drilled a bunch of extra air holes to test different hole configurations, while allowed the test results to inform our current set of air hole locations (we moved the front airholes from the left to the right).



I would say that !nverse is large compared to single-function enthusiast cases like Dan A4 and Sentry, but is smaller (volume-wise) than everything else on the market that's not severely limited in supported configurations.
 

rationalbananas_ray

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Jan 30, 2017
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Yes, a shielded PCIe extender cable is provided with the !nverse case. The cable is produced by LiHeat, a reputable maker in the SFF community. We have also personally tested their product and can vouch that they work flawlessly.



For your reference, here is the thermal test write-up I did for one the prototypes.

I should note that first of all, in my tests the i5 is overclocked to as far as it'll go. Secondly, I used prime95, which is a very unrealistically stressful test. Thirdly, in my tests I actually drilled holes on the top of the case to simulate the case you mentioned, and found that it performed negligibly better (1-2 deg c), which is why I stuck with the clean look. Lastly, in my tests i found that 84 deg c is only about 8 deg higher than the open air setup (no case walls to inhibit airflow at all), which I personally think is acceptable. Of course, your opinion may differ on that.



For every 120mm x 120mm intake hole area on the bottom of the case, there are 4 screw holes in each corner, allowing you to attach any dust filter you want (magnetic or plastic). Currently, we are not bundling dust filters with !nverse, but I can look into it if there is enough interest.

The !nverse prototype is currently en-route to silentpcreview, which will provide an objective look at the case. IMO SPCR is pretty tough in their assessments, which is good for the buyer. If the folks at Tom's hardware is interested, we would love to send a sample their way for review :)



The way !nverse is setup, all holes on the bottom intakes cool air, and then the positive pressure pushes the hot exhaust out the 4 sizes (not the top). Don't hesitate to ask any other questions!
 
Yes, the obvious one that I had. Why a single frontal USB? You said this is the ultimate SFF case, but that omission is highly ironic. Specially considering in this day and age all the USB peripherals you have and *want* to connect to your case. Particularly, I have the SD200 that I mentioned, and while not being perfect, it's one grade above the rest in terms of being a small "power house" for SFF cases. I does allow me to customize it with a full sized 5 1/8 bay and floppy bay (that I used for more USBs and microSD reader).

Is that something you will look at re-considering in posterior designs?

I do like the concept and I hope you do well, but it doesn't click for me and my, most probably, weird particular needs. Just to illustrate: my friends come with their own XBox controllers and we have microphones for Karaoke. 4 people, 4 mics. That is 6 USB ports used at the least (some have wireless XBox controllers and I have 2 wired ones).

Also, thanks for being brave and coming here to answer doubts directly.

Cheers!
 

ubercake

Splendid
Moderator
It's good to see another case geared toward mini-ITX from someone other than a major brand.

As someone has mentioned, the dust filters in the bottom would be a good addition. You want to keep as much dust from entering the case as possible.
 

bloodroses

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Jan 27, 2013
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Can the rubber feet on the case be placed on the other side of the case? This way all the ventilation holes would be at the top. How much of a temperature difference is there going that route?

I currently have a Silverstone RVZ01b and I don't like the fact that ventilation is on both sides of the case; where I either give up motherboard or GPU/power supply airflow. I end up with heat issues one way or a another as a result when laying it horizontally. With your design, at least all ventilation is on one side. :)


I also have another question. Will there be other colors available besides just black and silver? I'm thinking arctic white (which it looks like in some of the pictures, but no option in the backing options) would be very sharp as well for use in entertainment systems.
 

rmszaphod

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Well that's nice. But I wouldn't run that many hard drives with such a tiny cpu and little ventilation. (I mean whats the point of all those hard drives if they're not generating IOPS). As far as for gaming...well I kinda prefer 4k so I don't think I'm going to find an 850plus gold/platinum PSU for it. So that leaves it a KODI/Netflix/TV Browser box. Sure...fine. But i3 Cubies are only $100 more than that case. So why bother?
 

bit_user

Splendid
Ambassador
He answered this, above, and said it'll have 2.

You can't just plug it in, when needed?

Um... USB hub? IMO, 6 USBs on this would only cater to a tiny fraction of users, and potentially start to look pretty ugly.

One nice thing about a hub is that I often find I need to touch a console-sized box with another hand, when plugging/unpplugging. Otherwise, it tends to slide around. With so much plugging/unplugging, your case would get a lot of touching. However, if you used a hub, then you'd have a smaller thing to wipe down and might even be able to screw it into your A/V furniture.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Ambassador
Most NAS boxes seem to have Atom CPUs (or AMD equivalent). You don't need an i7.

And home users typically use > 2 HDDs for two reasons: capacity and redundancy. If you're running some kind of database server, where you really care about IOPS, then I'd agree this probably isn't the best case for the job.
 

rationalbananas_ray

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As bit_user had mentioned, the production model will have 2 x front USB 3.0 ports. As for SD card reader module compatibility, it's just too big to make room for in this case. I have been considering a larger case with that compatibility for my next project, but I'm focusing on getting !nverse funded for now.



Thanks, right now there are screw holes for the builder to install any dust filter they want, but I am considering bundling some with the !nverse case.



Yes, it is no problem to place the rubber feets on the top of the case (side with no air holes) and have the !nverse case be !nverted :pt1cable:. You might see a few deg of improved cooling doing it like this.

Actually, white is an impossible color to do with anodized aluminum. The reason is that the atomic particles of white pigment is too large to squeeze in between the aluminum particles. This is why you never see anything that is anodized white, only silver. As for other colors, I can ask our manufacturer what the MOQ for them is, but unfortunately it's going to take some time since it's Chinese New Years right now and everyone is shut down.



There are many places for case fans within !nverse, so there shouldn't be an issue with ventilation even with lots of hard drives. What do you mean by a Tiny CPU? !nverse is compatible with any CPU that works on a mITX motherboard. Are you specifically looking for like 12-core CPUs, for which there are no mITX motherboards?

With 4K gaming, You can get a GTX 1080 or a Titan X in !nverse. Are you specifically looking to SLI? If so, no SFF case (mITX board) will satisfy your needs and I would say that SFF in general is not for you.
 


Why not 4? It is a challenge, but why not? That's the whole point of making it "the ultimate design choice", isn't it? Make look nice and practical. The SD200 gets close to that, I'm not even being sarcastic. The additional stuff you put does not hinders the "looks" of it that much, which is actually nice. It's a modest tradeoff that you can totally live with... As long as you buy stuff in the same color, obviously.



Ah, the thingy with USBs came with it, so I started using it. At first I didn't think I'd be using it, but it's surprisingly useful xD



The problem with USB hubs and USB2 headers in particular, is they share power and bandwidth, so they add latency when multiplexing (or however it's called)... And that is if they actually give enough power to the devices. We used to do that before and it was a pain to set up when power wasn't enough.

I haven't tried USB3 hubs though. Any experiences with those? They should have enough power and latency should be better hidden since it has more bandwidth.

I got a picture of what I'm talking about that I can share with you. The Karaoke mics come with their own lil' hub (Sony singstar ones, not XBox rockband ones) and they can be very messy, so adding a hub to that mess will be painful XD

EDIT:


Thanks for the direct response, but I still consider 2 is not enough for the front when you have more devices. I haven't even counted the G27 that I have also attached to the HTPC!

I haven't explored the Hub option with USB3, so I can't comment on that, but I don't think it's a massive challenge to add more front USB ports into your design and making it horrible or less nice looking.

The SD card reading thingy is from this: http://www.thermaltake.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00001923
The case (SD200) that I'm talking about is this one: http://www.thermaltake.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00001372

Cheers!

PS: I didn't notice how un-popular my take to HTPCs is, lol.
 
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