A Console-Size Mini-ITX Option
Examining the lower limits of enclosure volume has become something of a cottage industry in the last few years, with crowdfunded projects such as the NCASE M1 and the DAN Cases A4-SFX providing backers with custom designs that attempt to reduce the mini-ITX computer case concept to its absolute minimum size. The Sentry 2.0 differs in a few ways from those previous efforts, most obviously in that it is not a “shoebox” design, opting instead for a narrow game console-style layout. It is also a steel enclosure rather than the all-aluminum designs from DAN Cases and NCASE (both produced by Lian Li), making it quite a bit heavier while promising a more rugged construction.
“Sentry is the world's first truly console-sized gaming PC chassis. It houses powerful components within a volume below 7 litres, which over the decades has been considered the optimal size for all media appliances residing in front of a TV. Sentry 2.0 is an evolution of Sentry, bringing more features and more performance in the same sub-7 litre package.”
The Sentry 2.0 is the follow up to the crowdfunded original Sentry case, both of which are game console-sized mini-ITX enclosures that are designed to house standard components within the limits of a 6.9-liter total volume. Unusually we are reviewing this case during its crowdfunding campaign - though it has actually been fully funded at this point and you can check out the page on Indigogo here. Pricing is similar to what we have seen from other crowdfunded cases, and while $260 might seem high (especially for a steel case rather than aluminum) there has been quite a bit of thought packed into the Sentry 2.0 design.
In addition to supporting mini-ITX motherboards the Sentry 2.0 makes use of SFX form-factor power supplies and can support a full-length graphics card if you are air-cooling the CPU (the extra space beyond an ITX-sized GPU could then support a 120mm radiator and slim fan). It’s a pretty straightforward internal layout, so without further preamble let’s check out the design and then move on to the build I came up with for this pre-production Sentry 2.0, which DR ZĄBER was kind enough to send to us.
First, however, a look at the specifications:
- Main body dimensions (WxDxH): 340 x 310 x 66mm, 6.9L
- Motherboard format: Mini-ITX
- Power supply support: SFX 100mm (SFX-L not supported)
- Expansion slots: 2, full height, ATX reference PCB width
- Main drive installation mounts:
- 1 x 2.5" partially above motherboard
- 1 x 2.5" next to SFX power supply
- Secondary drive installation mounts:
- 2 x 3.5" inside VGA bay
- Memory Compatibility:
- Standard profile DIMM modules
- Max 31.4mm tall pcb/34mm with heatspreaders
- Tall modules will obstruct 2.5" drive bracket
- VGA Card Compatibility:
- Full Length GPU for use without AIO Liquid Cooling or 3.5" HDDs
- ITX-sized GPU for use with AIO Liquid Cooling or single 3.5" HDD
- CPU cooler support:
- CPU Socket far from PCI-E Slot:
- Max height of 47mm (standard intel box cooler height)
- 120mm All-In-One Liquid Cooler, radiator + fan max height of 50mm
- CPU Socket near the PCI-E Slot:
- Max height of 47mm and primary 2.5" mount obstructed
- Max height of 37mm and primary 2.5" mount available
- CPU Socket far from PCI-E Slot:
- Front ports: 2 x USB 3.0
- PCI-E 16X Riser: high-quality shielded 50mm ribbon
- Material: 1mm galvanized steel with structural powder coating
- Security: Kensington slot
Pricing and Availability: $260, Indigogo campaign
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 3, 2019 - 08:38 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form factor, SFF, sentry, enclosure, DR ZĄBER, crowdfunding, case
DR ZĄBER launched the crowdfunding campaign for the Sentry 2.0 on April 1, and the campaign on indigogo is well under way. Version 1.1 of the Sentry was successfully funded in 2017, and three days into this Sentry 2.0 campaign over a third of the $260,000 goal has already been reached.
What exactly is this new case from the Małopolska, Poland-based company?
"Sentry 2.0 is an evolution of Sentry, a 7L console-sized PC chassis that was crowdfunded in 2017, quickly reaching over 1000% of its campaign goal. Sentry 2.0 brings many improvements based on feedback from backers and sff enthusiasts community over original Sentry delivered in 2017.
Sentry 2.0 is a PC case highly anticipated by the small form factor PC enthusiasts, developed and improved upon original Sentry with community support, and was covered by leading PC hardware youtube channels such as LinusTechTips, Bitwit or Paul's Hardware.”
We are happy to report that a Sentry 2.0 has found its way to our secret enclosure testing facility, and a review is coming soon here at PC Perspective.