Today, engineers who design custom PC's and electronic devices understand that the more powerful a computer is, typically, the larger it will need to be in dimension due to the cooling requirements that are needed for the hardware components. Inside a standard computer case, it's usually the graphics card and CPU that are craving cold, fresh air, and this is compounded by the fact that in a typical design, the two are close together.
For Australian Lukasz Dyjakon, his personal custom PC enclosure project is designed to be as small as possible yet elegant and functional, and to allow the high powered components inside the PC to run at optimal temperatures. Then, to turn his ideas into reality, Lukasz went to Protocase for engineering services and professional-grade manufacturing.
Linus Tech Tips Reviews Project Orthrus 2.0
When the Protocase team first learned of Dyjakon's vision for Project Orthrus, his ultra-small PC enclosure, they immediately thought of tech guru Linus Sebastian, host of the immensely popular Linus Tech Tips YouTube channel.
After Protocase connected Sebastian and Dyjakon, the Linus Tech Tips host jumped at the chance to be the first person to get an exclusive up-close look at Project Orthrus, custom built at Protocase.
Engineering a Small Computer Case for High Powered Components
The case is designed so that the 2 hottest components in the case, the CPU and graphics cards (see technical specifications below), are separated and have access to fresh air directly from outside the case. As you can see from the photos below, the CPU is accessing fresh air from the left side of the case, and the dual graphics cards are accessing fresh air from the right side of the case.
Dyjakon was able to test the temperature and performance of the system and has indicated that "the results were excellent... The high end computer components I've put in the case behaved as if they weren't in the case at all, which is simply amazing." The way the case is designed, and with the orientation of the fans, this allows for the hardware components inside to take advantage of the cool air current that is being created.
Custom Finishing and the Importance of Aesthetics
By sending in some sketches of his PC components for specs and dimensions, Protocase's Engineering and Design Services team member John Lord was able to assist Dyjakon with a proper case design for the prototype enclosure based on his specific cooling requirements. Dyjakon was able to get his custom case ventilated with custom cutouts, and powder coated to give it a professional-grade look. Since high-end computer components today are also designed with looks in mind, Protocase also fabricated the acrylic panels that are in place to showcase the internals on both the left and right sides. These panels also include small custom ventilation cutouts to assist with the cooling of the case.
What's Next for the Project?
Lukasz's plan is to keep revising the design, tweaking to further improve not only the aesthetics of the case, but also the usability and ease of installation. This current design is prototype #1, and after his next prototype revision, he plans on approaching a number of high volume manufacturers to partner up and mass produce this design.
Full system specs:
CPU: Intel 6700k
Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i
CPU FAN: Scythe Kaze Jyu Slim 100mm
Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VIII Gene
RAM: 32GB (4 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200 MHz
GPU: 2 x nVidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
SSD1: M.2 SanDisk 950 Pro 256GB
SSD2: SATA SanDisk Ultra II 1 TB
Fans: 3 x Noctua NF-B9 PWM
Power Supply: Based on FSP 700 Watt Platinum with braided cables.
Other Cables: Custom Riser & SLI Cables
Front Panel I/O: 4 x USB 3.0 and HDMI pass through for VR headsets.