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An LZ7 with a Full Length GPU?

ITX Case with Full Length GPU
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​YES PLEASE!!

The new RTX cards consume more power than their predecessors, which could mean we see fewer short (ITX) length cards this upcoming generation in the enthusiast category.  For this reason I wanted to explore the possibility of adding some extra panel options that will extend the case by 80mm, allowing compatibility with full length graphics cards including the upcoming NVidia RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition.

Extending the case has a number of other benefits, including opening up space in front of the motherboard for the SFX power supply to move into, which in turn opens up all the space above the motherboard for additional CPU cooling height.  The result is a 9.99 litre shoebox style case with extreme air cooling potential.  If this concept is to be taken forward then existing LZ7 cases can be upgraded with a set of 4 new panels (Top, Bottom and sides).

Here are some photos of the first prototype:

Lazer3D LZ7 XTD - A 10 Litre Mini ITX Gaming PC Case that can fit a full length GPU, 130mm tall CPU Tower Cooler, multiple case fans, 2 x 2.5" Storage Drives and an SFX power supply.

Cyclone fan vents make a return for this LZ7 XTD concept case

​The extra room in the motherboard area opens up the potential for some creative windowed builds, this prototype is a concept of how a windowed version could be done. I wanted to create a sort of “frosted ice” look which would go nice with some white custom cables and perhaps some blue ambient lighting.

The etched pattern hides the power supply cables in the front of the PC Case

[​IMG]

​Using clear material for the top and side panels really opens the build up and allows you to show off the full system, but all the cables from the power supply and front IO can look messy if you don’t have custom length sleeved cables. To hide these cables the front half of the window panels are completely etched that fades out with a hex pattern.

Layout of the LZ7 XTD ITX gaming Case


Full window panel to view all your PC hardware

140mm slim fan support for excellent airflow throughout the system

​The pattern and proportions need some tweaking but I am really pleased with the etching, it looks stunning in person and the frosted etch lights up very nicely from the Corsair RGB RAM being used in this build.

Laser Etching and RGB lighting glow

​We may also do a black version of this case concept using smoked window panels instead of clear, I’m not sure how etching onto smoked panels will turn out yet, but it could be really interesting.

Unfortunately I don’t currently have the right hardware to truly show off this concept, it would work much better with a large tower cooler and modern full lenght graphics card.  I will be trying to put together a better “showcase” build in the near future. 

What we do have is this MSI R9 285, a bit outdated but with it’s 250w TDP it should be a good test for the thermals.

Reference length GPU inside a 10 litre case

​As you can see the 360 degree GPU exhaust ventilation that worked so well for the LZ7 has been maintained in this design, when used in conjunction with a positive pressure setup this will really help to flush out exhaust heat keeping thermals under control to maintain high boost clocks and lower fan speeds during heavy gaming.

The graphcis card side of the case features 360 degree GPU exhaust ventilation for excellent thermal performance

The biggest point of contention with this concept will probably be the power supply cable, as you may have seen the power supply is facing down mounted to a bracket that is offset from the bottom panel, the power cable exits under the case.  It actually works better than it sounds though.

The power supply cable exits out the bottom of the case

​Figuring out how to mount the power supply in front of the motherboard has been the most difficult problem to solve.  Space is quite limited once you factor in the storage mount bracket against the front panel and the IO cables from the side panel.

SFX power supply sits in front of the ITX motherboard for an extremely compact layout

Here is a better look at the PSU mount bracket, it is made from a series of layers which are secured to the base panel using long screws (not shown in the photo as I actually glued them together for the purpose of this prototype).

[​IMG]

Anyways, I apologise for the long post and thank you for taking the time to read.  If you have any comments please let me know below!

65 Replies to “An LZ7 with a Full Length GPU?”

  1. roninnanaki

    Please make this. Love the LZ7.

  2. Anonymous

    Can’t wait for this so I can upgrade my Lz7. ETA?

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Thanks for the comments! We are currently gauging interest on whether to take this concept forward, so far it’s been mostly positive. If we do decide to go ahead it will likely be a couple of months as our top priorities right now are catching up on LZ7 stock levels and launching the HT5.

      1. Anonymous

        if you need help testing i am a lz7 owner im also on the SFF forum very willing to test things.

  3. Anonymous

    but will this replace the old lz7?

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      The intention is for this compliment alongside the LZ7. New customers will be able to buy a full case with optional XTD panels, and existing LZ7 owners should be able to buy a set of 4 new panels to upgrade their existing case.

  4. ViG

    Hi. I like the design alot. The power button and the usb s can be on the other side ? I think it is better if contrary to the cables.

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Thanks! Do you mean move the IO onto the front panel? Or do you mean move it over to the GPU side of the case?

      1. ViG

        Move to the front panel. I hope soon I can have one of it!

      2. Kish B

        I think what ViG is asking is whether the IO can be moved to the other square panel (which is currently blank) so it is 180° from the motherboard IO. As you have it they are 90° which would be awkward if the unit is placed on the right of a computer desk.

        Where do we check for updates on this project?

        1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

          It would be possible yes, but there would be quite a bit of development work involved in changing the corner pieces mainly, you would also lose compatibility with one of the 2.5″ storage drives.

        2. Kish B

          With m.2/nvme drives becoming ever more commonplace it may not be an issue

  5. Anonymous

    Please make this, want to upgrade my case but the LZ7 can’t fit my Zotac 1070 Ti mini…

  6. Anonymous

    what will the difference be in size and volume?

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      The XTD is 80mm longer than the standard LZ7, the volume also increases from 7.07 Litres to 10.0 Litres.

  7. Paul G

    This feels like the next logical step to complement an already excellent product. Being limited to a handful of mini-itx format Gfx cards is the only negative mark against the current LZ7 case imho. I hope this goes ahead soon and I wish you the best of luck.

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Thank you very much 🙂

  8. Anonymous

    i’m definitely in

  9. Philip Øen

    I am currently on the hunt for a new case and this prototype would fulfill my needs entirely! Would purchase this in a heartbeat.

  10. Majestic

    I want this now. Can’t wait for this to be available. However, I really do wish there was another merchant to purchase the product from for US besides Overclockers since the shipping cost is pretty painful.

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Thanks for the feedback. How much is the shipping to the US with Overclockers?

      1. Majestic

        From my LZ7 order in March the invoice says it was 33 pounds. That was $46 at the time according to the historic exchange rate calc from x-rates. $46 is a lot to me since the LZ7 has a (well deserved) premium SFF case price tag on it.

        1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

          Totally understandable yes, however £33 is a good rate for a fast tracked shipping service from the UK to the US. Shipping overseas can be expensive,
          but I completely understand you feeling that it makes an already expensive product even more so.

  11. The Potsticker Prophet

    I love this concept. The LZ7 is, hands down, my favorite case, and this XTD version sacrifices nothing in the way of aesthetics while adding enough space to accommodate a full size reference card. This will be the perfect case for my carry-on PC build; please make it a reality!

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Thanks for the comments, we will do our best to get this launched before the end of the year

    2. BioClue

      I agree that this will be the perfect case, I will be the first to pre-order.

  12. Kish B

    Please, please, please make this happen! The only additional thing that would make it more perfect would be a USB type-C connector on the front I/O panel – shouldn’t be too hard as all you would have to do is update the module which would also be compatible with the smaller LZ7 case. For some reason case manufacturers are really slow to take this up even though laptops and Intel’s Skull Canyon NUCs have 2-4 ports.

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Thanks! USB Type-C is quite difficult to add, the main reason being there are very few motherboards that have a Type-C headers.

      1. Kish B

        How so? I know of at least two Z390 mini-ITX boards that have front panel USB Type-C headers: Gigabyte Z390 I Aorus Pro & AsRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-ITX/ac plus there are a few non-Z390 boards which include these. Please consider it, having it before most other case manufacturers would give you an edge as an added advantage, and perhaps encourage existing LZ7 owners to buy the updated module.

        1. Anonymous

          Are you sure? I think the only usb c is on the back of the motherboard asrock z390. The IO pins are just regular usbs I am afraid.

        2. KishB

          I just double checked and the Gigabyte Aorus has both internal and external USB-C headers
          https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/Z390-I-AORUS-PRO-WIFI-rev-10#sp

  13. venemo

    What is the maximum length of the graphics card with these new panel options?

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      The maximum GPU length will be 270mm

  14. Anonymous

    I’m looking for something like this, I currently have Dan case A4 SFX, but the problem of that case is the cooling for CPU, this case will be a amazing solution for that.

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Thank you for the comments! This layout will be around 3 litres larger than the A4 SFX, but that extra volume is used to provide allot more CPU cooling headroom that can be put towards silencing the system or overclocking potential.

      1. Anonymous

        3 liters would be totally worth it for extra cooling.

  15. King_kong

    I just ordered my LZ7 case and cannot wait for this already. The design and functionality of this would be something I would totally recommend to a couple of my pc-building buddies. I’d love to get this for future-proofing my gpu. I felt forced to get the 1080 gtx (which is amazing) when I really wanted to get the 1080 ti from the get-go for that extra punch on a 1440p 144hz. Nonetheless, I’m a fan and will be spreading the news 😀 Thank you and keep up the hard work–I’ve got my eyes set on your future work.

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Thank you for the great comment! Keep your eye on our website / social channels, we hope to have some more announcements / news on this over the next couple of months.

  16. Anonymous

    Cpu cooler clearance (mm)?

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      CPU cooler height clearance in the XTD will be 135mm, suitable for tower coolers such as the Noctua NH-U9S

      1. Kish B

        Asking what may be an obvious question here, Noctua just announced black chromax versions of their coolers and it seems the only one that will fit is the low profile NH-L9i (37mm height). The other 2 – NH-U12s (158mm height) & NH-D15 (165mm) are too tall for the case right? https://noctua.at/en/noctua-introduces-chromax-black-cpu-coolers

        1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

          That is correct. If you have money to burn though you could get the U9S and then get some black fans separately and swap out the Noctua brown fans if internal case aesthetics are your priority, like this: https://imgur.com/WSEGSrK

        2. Venemo
        3. Kish B

          Thanks @venemo I see one of the commenters on that thread heard from Noctua via their Instagram that 90mm black chromax fans are on the way. Hey maybe they will arrive the same time the XTD case arrives lol!

  17. Steven

    Hi,

    Really excited and patiently waiting.
    Any update on possible ETA for release?

    Thanks!

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Hi Steven, thanks for your interest! There is no specific ETA at the moment, but I hope for it to launch somewhere in Q2 2019. You can checkout the forum development thread to follow the project progression here: https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/lazer3d-lz-xtd-alternative-designs.766/

  18. venemo

    I’d be really interested to see this realized, as it’s a good compromise between size and graphics card compatibility. Do you maybe have an estimate on when we can get it? I found this product page: https://lazer3d.com/product/lz7-xtd/ I hope the £833.33 price tag is just a joke. 🙂

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Ha ha, yes that price is not accurate! You can expect the XTD to be around 10% higher than the standard LZ7. We are currently working on the launch and I expect it to be available somewhere in the next 6 – 10 weeks.

      We are currently constructing the configurator page and the system won’t less us test it unless we input a price.

      1. venemo

        Nice, thanks! Can’t wait to get one. Just checked out the configurator page, it looks awesome too.
        One more question: will the new RX 5700 XT reference card fit? Its size is 272x111x36 mm according to the specs, which is 2 mm longer than the 270 mm you previously mentioned.

        1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

          Yes that card should fit, we have increased the GPU clearance to 278mm for the production version.

  19. Kyle

    Curious, it appears you opted to have the PSU intake pointed internally in the case, rather than create more vents on the front panel to accommodate the air intake for the PSU?

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Thats correct yes, we have stress tested a high end system (i7-8700k and GTX 1080Ti) under full load with a Corsair SF450 PSU without any issue.

      1. Kyle

        Excellent! To push my curiosity a bit further, how do you think the new AMD high end CPUs, as well as GPUs, like the 2080Ti, will do?
        By the way I actually built the LZ7 case for a former client, it was my first try at SFF, and I guess I was bitten by the SFF bug because I would like to do it again. The system I built was only an I5 9600 with a low end GPU as he does not game, but he and I really liked the case. Therefore I am now looking at your extended LZ7 case and thus why I am asking the questions.

        1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

          It’s a difficult question to answer as there are so many possible hardware variations, for instance the CPU cooler you pick and the GPU brand/style will play an important role in thermal performance. The XTD is more than capable of cooling high end components, so if you spec a good CPU cooler such as the Noctua U9S then you will have no issues. GPU thermal performance is one of the LZ7’s strongest features thanks to its 360 degree exhaust ventilation, basically if the card fits in the case then it will run optimally.

  20. Kyle

    My apologies for being vague about the hardware, but I appreciate your answering my question. I will probably be obtaining either another LZ7 or the Extended LZ7 case in the future, just waiting for my funds to build up. If I may ask just a couple more curious questions, and yes I am now pushing the old cliche curiosity kills the cat. 🙂

    1. Concerning the location of the PSU, in the LZ7, did you experiment with having the PSU below the motherboard and possibly use a PCI extender cable to mount the GPU to the side? The thought is with having the PSU under the motherboard, the CPU would then be free of obstruction from the PSU cables.

    2. I also noticed the colors for the corner pieces of the LZ7, or the extended version, do not contain the color gray, like the side panels do?

    1. Kyle

      Update: I should have been more thorough in my research before asking my questions. After taking more time to re-read the SFF Network forum, concerning the history of the LZ7 & LZ7 XTD, I have a better understanding of the challenges faced when designing this case. They are both great cases.

  21. Kish B

    Hey Kevin
    Do you know if the XTD case will fit a “Mini-DTX” motherboard like the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Impact, or is it limited to Mini-ITX motherboards? I think the dimension difference is 33mm(1.3in) more width
    https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-Crosshair-VIII-Impact/

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Hi Kish, the XTD is wide enough for an ITX motherboard with a dual slot GPU, it only has a few mm spare after that. Unfortunately I don’t think a DTX board will fit as they usually require 3 slot cases.

      1. Venemo

        I thought that mini DTX was meant to fit mini ITX cases that have room for a dual slot GPU.

        1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

          I think DTX is about 30mm wider than ITX, and therefore just slightly larger than a third slot.

        2. venemo

          I took a quick look at my ITX board which has an RX 5700 XT here: https://i.imgur.com/nJaj1up.jpg (sorry for the bad photo, it’s made with my phone) ― it looks like the dual-slot graphics card adds 29mm to the width of the ITX board. Compared to this, the DTX would be only an extra 4mm. Which is why I thought there may be a chance for it to fit. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  22. Kish B

    Hey peeps, it appears I have caught a glimpse of the unicorn case!? At 10:06 of Tek Everything’s YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxZpkI2hiP8 . He promised to release a build video with it in the coming days so we may get a more detailed view. Kevin if this is premature my apologies but we’re getting antsy waiting for this case to happen!

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      You have a keen eye ha, yes he will be releasing 1 or 2 more videos of that case near to the launch. I am sorry that the launch is starting to drag out, we are working as fast as possible to get everything done, thank you for your patience!

  23. edo

    Are the walnut, oak, and cherry main panel options going to be available at the time of release?

    1. Kevin Dolan[ Post Author ]

      Hi, yes they will be available as customisation options in the same way as they are for the current LZ7

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