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Cases Feedback regarding a new watercooling case

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by BHB Mods, 10 Sep 2020.

  1. BHB Mods

    BHB Mods Member

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    Hello fellow tech-nerds!

    We are CSFG Creative Solutions For Gamers AB.

    You are now looking at the world's most beautiful wall-mounted PC chassis that will soon be available for pre-order via Indiegogo. (At least it will be true if we get some good feedback from the community!)


    Tower of Doom - For watercooling
    [​IMG]


    The White Crow - For watercooling
    [​IMG]


    Whirlwind - For aircooling
    [​IMG]

    "We" on CSFG are four guys, I Björn “Deriveh” Höjing Burle who deals with modding under the name BHB Mods. I test and collect feedback from potential users like you guys! I also manage the community we’re trying to build.

    Then we have Tomasz Szafarcyk, our master of metals and CNC tools who created the first prototype. Tomasz has a workshop outside Krakow, Poland, where he and his employees usually work for the automotive industry in Germany. Tomasz is also an avid PC gamer and custom-loop nerd!

    Tomasz developed the first prototype together with his brother Maciej Szafarcyk and their friend Marek Pawlowicz. Maciej used to work with VR solutions, marketing and is also a PC gamer.

    Marek was early brought into the project, he is also a gamer, both on PC and consoles. Marek is a product designer in the automotive industry.

    I fell into this project by chance when Maciej contacted me through facebook. (My first thought? SCAM!) It didn’t take long before the first mistrust passed and now in August I flew down to Poland and got to meet my three partners, see the workshop and beautiful Krakow. The week before, one of the first prototypes landed at my door and is currently waiting to be slightly modded and test built.

    Two prototypes have been sent out to be modded, tested and built in. One of them is at my house, the other has also landed in Sweden with EGXI-Modified.

    We have many long-term plans for water cooling, but right now the focus is on our three variants of wall-mounted chassis and to try to make our product as good as possible before we start an Indiegogo campaign!

    You are of course also welcome to our Discord channel to discuss there with us. https://discord.gg/U6mtkrn

    Of course we want general feedback, but here are some specific points we are thinking about:

    1: Right now the entire chassis except the GPU holder is in aluminum, the holder is made out of laser cut and bent sheet metal. My thought was that it was the only part that didn’t give a "premium" feeling when I unpacked the prototype. What are your thoughts here? Abandon the sheetmetal completely? Provide alternatives in the form of e.g. powder-coated sheet metal or raw cnc-cut aluminum?

    2: Colors? We can basically make our chassis in all possible colors, but before the indiegogo campaign we probably have to limit ourselves a bit so as not to reach for too much. What colors do you believe in? Personally, I'm like the black, white, red and orange. (I would also enjoy a brushed or anodized model)

    3: Layout of the components? As you can see, the layout is different on Tower of Doom and White Crow. Should they be adjusted slightly? Which do you prefer?

    4: We are currently also looking at 4 different types of "covers". At White Crow you will see a simple cover of tempered glass. But we are also looking at a variant with 3 sides of tempered glass to keep out dust. Then we also examine a more "design" -like model that hides all components (Added a couple of renderings here for example)
    In addition, we look at a model that is Doom-inspired. It works like a gate that splits in the middle and slides to the sides. (See rendering below called “Doom-cover”)

    5: Price point - Our most difficult question… We are not looking to carve gold here. Our goal is to keep all production in Europe with good working conditions, fair wages and benefits, which means that we have a higher production cost than if we were to manufacture in e.g. China. Right now we are looking at a price point around ~ 280 EUR VAT excluded without any cover. Tempered glass cover would be ~55 EUR VAT excluded and the price point for the rest of the covers will be more expensive. We are currently working on the prototypes for the design cover and doom cover so we will have to get back to you about possible pricepoints for those further on.
    Is this a price point that is interesting? A wallmount with tempered glass just south of ~350 EUR VAT excluded?


    Simple renders of suggestions for Design covers
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Simple render of the Doom-cover
    [​IMG]

    We want to be honest and transparent here and hope to get brutally honest answers. Our goal is to build a premium high end chassi.

    Thank you so much for taking your time to read and hopefully give us some feedback!

    Last of, some finished builds in our chassi:

    1: Built by Mike from the US in the same layout as White Crow.
    [​IMG]

    2: Built by Tomasz from CSFG, our production manager in the Tower of Doom.
    [​IMG]

    3: Built by EGXI-Modified, it was just a quick picture from when he had mounted it. I bet he’ll be getting some better shots later on.
    [​IMG]

    4: Also EGXI-Modifieds build, for size reference next to his 49” monitor.
    [​IMG]


    CSFG Creative Solutions For Gamers AB
    Facebook sida
    Website
     
  2. Spraduke

    Spraduke Lurker

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    My main comment would be thinking about cable management for wall mounted pcs, in particular your last picture there seems to be a challenge in routing the USB cables, monitors etc. Maybe cutouts/guides on the back of the wall panel would alleviate this.
     
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  3. BHB Mods

    BHB Mods Member

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    Yes, that is a good point. It was an issue for EGXI in particular. The motherboard has standsoffs that elevates it by 16mm + the regular 6mm standoffs, beneath there are cutouts for cables from the IO port and for the monitor. However EGXI uses every single port on his motherboard which made it very tight. In Mikes version there weren't room behind the GPU to route the monitor cable, but that has been corrected with a slight elevation of the GPU on our new bracket.

    But, we are looking closer at the cablemanagement as well. We are aiming for a very premium case and we want to make sure that there are very good options for cablemanagement. For example guides on the back is something which we are looking into.

    Thank you very much for the feedback, it's exactly things like this we're looking for!
     
  4. spolsh

    spolsh Active Member

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    pic 4 ) clean desk properly before taking photographs :)

    perhaps, a hinged cover (or clips whatever) to hide the busy end of the PSU but leave the fan cover exposed.

    Price, sounds a little on the high-side, but it's not mass production, so ... it's never going to be cheap.

    The first cover design looks very high end, the others good, but they don't scream "this wasn't cheap" like that first render.

    Full ATX gives you the numbers to market at assuming it takes pretty much any mainstream motherboard, have you considered an ITX version, perhaps people are more likely to put a slightly smaller machine on the wall.
     
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  5. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    In my opinion the cost is crippling. You're aiming yourself against some of the most premium cases on the market and delivering a lot less. I think that's going to be your biggest hurdle, what is your USP vs the top tier cases out there. I would look again at your manufacturing costs, as I do this kind of thing in the UK and I'd be paying far less than that, even more so if I was ordering in bulk. For 350 Eruos I'd want a case I can basically customise, if you offered that it'd be a funky USP. Design a web tool to allow people to configure it however they want and get something for 350 euro, sure that sound interesting. Otherwise I'm paying loads and not getting much case or features for my money. On top of that we're in a time where people are facing risky employment around the world, so a ultra expensive case will have a far smaller market.

    So to summarise:
    • Try to drop the price, at 350 euro its just too much
    • Make a more compelling USP.
    Good luck with it :)
     
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  6. BHB Mods

    BHB Mods Member

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    - Couldn't agree with you more here! Afraid I wasn't there to take them myself... :/

    - Good idea! We're looking at the busy end for the PSU currently and that was a good tip! Thank you!

    - Yes, the price is high. It could be a big difference if we do manage to get to massproduction. Then again, it's a 100% aluminum case. Every detail in it is in CNCed aluminum, so we'll see where we end up in the long run.

    - I'll take that with me, thank you. I do love the wooden part in the first one.

    - We are considering ITX cases for the future, once we succeed with our campaign that is. Right now it's focus on ATX cases.

    Thank you very much for your feedback, it's greatly appriciated!


    Thank you for the feedback. I'm glad you mentioned the customization through a webtool, that is something that we aim to do and is high up on our list of what we want to do. At this point though it's just out of our reach, we are considering to bring it into the campaign as a sidegoal as we wouldn't be able to build one that's good enough ourselves at this point.

    The timing and price... The timing is bad in terms of COVID-19 yes, but it is also one of the reasons to why we were able to do this. Switching the production of the workshop to something else.

    I must admit that it is slightly disheartening to hear that you think our UPS doesn't stack up against the price, there isn't an abundance of wallmounts on the market, especially preciscion bult ones in premium materials like aluminum. But with that said, we do want to make sure we can deliver on that premium promise and we're looking for feedback on what the cases currently lack, for example cablerouting, covering the busy end of the PSU etc. Perhaps the web-configurator is the "make it or brake it" and what we should try and focus on.

    The price might seem high, but we intend to deliver premium with our end-game product. We are looking for feedback on that as well, cablerouting, PSU cover etc. A 100% aluminum precision made case is by itself premium but we want to try and get everything right.

    Again, thank you for taking your time to give us this well written feedback, we appriciate it.
     
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  7. BeauchN

    BeauchN Active Member

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    It's an interesting concept. I'll be honest it's not for me - I'm a SFF kinda person and I'm not sure my walls are solid enough to hold that up. But, a couple of things struck me:

    I agree on the need for cable management and a PSU shroud. I'd also second an ITX version, people seem pretty happy to pay good money for boutique ITX cases (me included).

    I'd second @Bloody_Pete comment that this would have to be an ultra niche product. 350EUR + VAT is knocking on £400. That's not a huge amount in comparison to the cost of the components and water-cooling gear, but why spend £400 if you can get a nice case for half that price or less? I don't want to put you off, but what I'm trying to get my head around is whether there is a market for a case like this. Thermaltake and Lian Li wall mount cases were less than half the cost of this (though don't make them any more - did they not sell?). Modders who want something like this will just make their own case to their own spec/design. People that want something unique and are happy to pay for it will... want something unique, and won't bat an eyelid at paying a lot more than this to get it. If there is a market, then quality of machining, fit and finish will have to be absolutely top end on every one that goes out. Given low volumes, you'll only need one bad one to break your reputation before you've made it.

    My other thought was on the covers. Do you need to offer anything other than a glass cover? If the idea is to show off your components then why put them behind a solid cover like the ones you've rendered? That seems to be to be defeating the purpose.
     
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  8. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    This is basically is. Cheaper users won't ever touch you. TT and Lian Li showed there's a market for thi style of case, but for the £100-£150 price point. At £400 you're going after the market that want all of the bells and whistles, a premium experience and uniqueness. You offer 1 of those things, as a premium experience, it does look really well made. But it has really limited features currently, dust will be a massive issue for one. If you can find a way to make each case unique for £400 I think you may get enough people to bite. I'm talking custom component locations, wiring covers, illumination zones, fan controllers. A 'Build it your way' design philosophy. Otherwise you're just selling a thick sheet of powder coated Alu, 4 milled standoffs and a sheet of glass for £400, not a compelling sell...

    Remember, the reason the PC-011 exploded in sales is it did something different and pretty for £100... And like it or not thats the kind of thing you're selling against...
     
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  9. mszafarczyk

    mszafarczyk New Member

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    Hello guys, Maciek here, part of CSFG team.

    First off - thanks for your feedback, I see that both of you gents - BeauchN and Bloody_Pete - are experienced users of this forum with years of experience under your belt. You've most probably seen a lot of projects come and go.

    In regards to our prices vs Lian Li or Thermaltake: the price of Lian Li 07S is actually higher. Yeah they've got a riser and a usb slot. But you know what?

    They also have different working conditions. I will redirect you to this link: (this is a tour from the Lian Li production facility).

    I can elaborate more explicitly, tell you how the sausage is done or why Santa doesn't exist but I think you can guess yourselves what might be the reason for the price difference. And no, I don't mean a huge machinery park (but it's also important).

    Unfortunately I have to question the statement about production costs being lower in the UK - I simply don't believe it.

    The price of a ready product consists of: laser cutting, CNC milling, powder coating and packaging production processes + investments in R&D dept., design dept. and marketing dept. This is a price of a product. We are not 160 mln EUR big Thermaltake. We're investing our personal funds. Sure, you might argue that a regular consoomer (two o's intended, it's a meme) wouldn't give two numbers two about it but we are not aiming at these folks, the so called late majority, at least not right now.

    We're more of an indie company with a focus for growing together with the community. Right now we have what we have.

    Except for the chassis we are also offering dedicated watercooling elements and covers.

    Sure you might want to expose your PC components but not everybody will want to do that. We're constructing something that's between a piece of furniture and a chassis. If you wanna go full chassis - you can pick the glass cover. If you wanna hang it in your living room so, for example, your partner also digs it - you can pick a non-gaming cover.

    What I agree is that P5 could be more versatile, it's a mainstream product tho. We'll reach that stage of maturity eventually.

    I look forward to continuing the discussion.

    Cheers,
    M
     
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  10. BeauchN

    BeauchN Active Member

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    Hi Maciek,

    Of course, there are vast economies of scale that companies that Lian Li and Thermaltake can exploit to keep their costs lower than a small manufacturer. I don't think that anyone doubts that and I'm not sure that either of us suggested manufacturing in the UK would be cheaper, on the contrary, I am pretty sure it would be more expensive.

    I am also not criticising your approach, what you've produced so far, or why you are doing it. So apologies if it came across that way. I was only asking if there is a market for what you want to sell. For all I know you've done a ton of market research and have buyers lining up around the block to pick up one of these. If so, that's great. If you're doing it for the love of the craftsmanship and the PC/modding community, then that's also great and it doesn't matter if you sell two or two million, or any. If you want to sell it as a 'halo product' to increase interest in other things you produce/sell then again it doesn't really matter how many you sell, its existence is enough.

    There clearly is a market for high end PC cases. The most expensive case on Overclockers is £5,000. Scan's is a relative bargain at £880 (ignoring server stuff). But, there are not a large number of cases in the £400+ bracket. That is because most people working within a fixed budget (even a decent sized one) are going to put their money into the components rather than the case - even if the case is likely to far out-last the components.

    As a thought, if you're offering the water-cooling components as well, are these proprietary or interchangeable with other brands? Some people might want particular radiators, blocks or reservoirs. If you can incorporate different options into the ordering stage you're moving into that bespoke arena that people will be willing to pay more for.
     
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  11. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Maybe I've misunderstood then. What would I be getting for my £400? :)

    As an aside, TT just announced the DistroCase 350P for 720 euro, comes with a D5 and a loads of RGB, so maybe there is a bigger market for this kind of thing than we realise...
     
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  12. BHB Mods

    BHB Mods Member

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    Thanks for filling in @mszafarczyk ;), but perhaps we should stick to discussing our case instead of the welbeing of Lian Li workers? Haha

    I'd like to add that the Lian Li wallmounted chassi is still selling, for ~370 EUR ex vat. @Bloody_Pete I think @mszafarczyk means that we can't compete with big manufactorers that produce in asia when we produce under fair conditions in europe. (Perhaps not the right place to discuss, however interesting I personally find it)

    Anyway, we asked for feedback regarding the price and we got it. So, back to the question what we're lacking to fill out that big shirt then. Configurability, that is something we are looking closely at what we can do and what we cannot do within our current production cost.

    As were mentioned before about a configurator, we had put that on the backburner to fokus on the case itself but after the comments here we've lifted it up higher on the agenda to see if/how we could pull that off.

    We also have a few customers lined up to buy this product but that's another discussion. :)

    @Bloody_Pete interesting with the DistroCase 350P, I have missed those news! We also have Singularity Computers with their Wraith (699 EUR) and Spectre (1399 EUR).
     
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  13. BHB Mods

    BHB Mods Member

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    Our long-term goal is to be able to bring an full-line of custom-loop products. For now we'll bring pump-tops and distros to the campaign as an addon. Our distro-plates can be used with other cases, but I'd say that some modding would needed to be done in most cases as they're custom made for each of our models.

    Regarding the price, perhaps we should have aimed even higher? Added even more features and upped the price to the next price-category?

    Thank you guys for being engaged!
     
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  14. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    Yeah, there's just something about them. Maybe we've just had so many options for cases we've got used to it. It is a massively over populated market after all.

    Those Singularity Computers cases are insanely expensive, I'd love to see their sales data!
     
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  15. mszafarczyk

    mszafarczyk New Member

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    I'm gonna be blunt here - economies of scale - that's just a phrase from a neoliberal dictionary that covers a process happening underneath the ideological smokescreen; it's called labor exploitation. Although, as Bjorn suggested, there's no point in discussing it here further though. It's a PC modding forum after all!

    Well Pete suggested that "I would look again at your manufacturing costs, as I do this kind of thing in the UK and I'd be paying far less than that, even more so if I was ordering in bulk". That's why I said what I said in regards to UK costs.

    Actually you are criticizing what is being written here - but that's good, that's the point of this forum; I hold no grudge. Critique is good!

    As for us doing market research - we've been scouting various FB groups and forums. Talked to some people from a big case distribution company (Bjorn's contacts, can't disclose it). We've been working on it since October 2019 - so it's not a lot of time but not a temporary thing either. There is some interest in what we are doing - otherwise we'd have dropped it. It's not gonna be a mass-market success though. That's not the plan.

    BTW: I'd love to make the case as configurable as possible but it's god damned hard to gear up the production to be operating in a so called mass-customization way. We're looking into it though!

    Tell you what, we'll keep upgrading what we have and come back to you with more materials.
     
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  16. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I mean more bulk because once tooling is setup its just materials cost as the labour cost per unit drops fast :)
     
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  17. BeauchN

    BeauchN Active Member

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    Guys,

    Another thing I was thinking about, design this time rather than commercial, was the airflow and cooling.

    I’m sure you’ve tested this, but on your images it looks like air flows through the rads and exhausts behind the case. If the case is mounted on a wall, does that cause any issues with warm air getting trapped behind the case and heating up the backplate and components, or being re-circulated back into the rads through cutouts or because of a cover? Similarly, does having a cover on cause an issue to airflow into the rads?

    Admittedly, with the rad coverage you have there it may not make a difference.
     
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  18. BHB Mods

    BHB Mods Member

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    I just finished the CPU-loop on The White Crow, got a 10700k runing there at 5,0Ghz with vcore at insane 1,425V (bad chip, or motherboard). I'm measuring the following temps after 2 hours of cinebench r20:
    CPU: 80 degrees
    Watertemp: 38 degrees C
    Air-exhaust from radiators: 35 degrees C
    Ambient temp backside behind motherboard: 30 degrees C
    Room ambient temp: 24.5 degrees C

    So, there's no real heat-build-up but it all vents out through the top (and some through the bottom) that's open.

    I don't have the GPU-loop up and running yet, I'm waiting for a RTX 3080 with block to arrive. (Can't share any pics yet a the motherboard I'm testing for Sweclockers is under NDA still)
     

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