18L Project Nova Case Reintroduced as The Cerberus

We could post the news that the impressive Project Nova was nearing its end and turn into a full-fledged product a couple of days ago and now that time is upon us. Project Nova got its official name which is the Cerberus and the company behind is called Kimera Industries. We could also reveal that the case would make its appearance on a crowdfunding site before making it to the retail market and the campaign date for this has also been announced.

So let us dive right into it with the most important information: The fundraising campaign will be launched on March 1st via Indiegogo which is when we’ll find out about its pricing too.

The team behind the Cerberus mATX SFF enclosure made a few changes since the last test build, and these changes make the case even better in my opinion. The top handle has been removed and made an optional upgrade for those that would like that kind of feature and they also introduced a version capable of using AIO cooling solutions along with a full sized ATX power supply.

“After many design iterations, and following all of the enthusiast feedback we’ve received, we couldn’t be more excited to announce Cerberus — as well as the impending crowdfunding campaign we’ll be launching on March 1st, to support production” said Joshua Ramirez, cofounder and design lead of Kimera Industries. “With Cerberus, it’s possible to create almost any high-end system — from octa-core workstations, to dual-GPU powerhouses, to multi-radiator liquid-cooled rigs — in a desktop you’ll actually want to put on your desk.”

Another one of the new changes in design is the optional side panel with a plexiglass window at the bottom. This will allow you to show off your high-end graphics cards in this impressive little chassis. The entire Cerberus chassis started as a scratch-build project by modders so this was an update that was to be expected and it is great that it’s an optional upgrade. Not everyone wants to show what’s inside.

While SFX power supplies have come a long way, they’re still not close to the wattage that is possible with normal ATX sized PSUs. Although you can get SFX PSUs up to 600W these days, Kimera Industries also created a second version of the case that takes higher needs this into consideration. In the ATX-PSU version the power supply is mounted in the more default rear location which also frees up the front for the AIO cooling that doesn’t fit the mounting arm anymore.

Colour is another thing where the Cerberus comes in several options. It will be available in default Obsidian Black as well as Pearl White and Carmine Red versions to match the colour of your internal hardware. The red version will be a stretch goal for the fundraising campaign, but I have no doubt that the goal will be met quickly.

The Cerberus breaks with the norm in more places that we’ve already covered and the next is the way it’s put together. Most cases rely on screws or simple plastic clip-and-pin systems, but not so with this case. The Cerberus is built with industrial-grade clips and pins made entirely of steel and that allow the case to come with a convenient yet reliable mounting system.

Cerberus Features

  • Size: At just 18.2L, Cerberus is smaller than some of the most popular mITX cases on the market, from Fractal Design’s Node 304, or BitFenix’s Prodigy. When compared to most mATX cases, Cerberus typically bests the competition by 10L or more – a whopping 40%+ volume reduction.
  • Quality: Made entirely of powder coated steel, and assembled in the United States, Cerberus is built to last for the long haul, with thoughtful features such as user replaceable parts, durable metal hardware, and all-steel panel clips and pins.
  • Design: Cerberus embraces a minimalist, refined aesthetic, with a luxurious matte finish and industrial design that embraces clean edges and understated features over bright lights and garish plastic accents.
  • Customizability: With multiple colors on offer, additional colors available as stretch goals, and the option to add an optional metal handle and/or plexiglass window, Cerberus is engineered to be customized to enthusiasts’ exact preferences.
  • Flexibility: From SFX and ATX PSU support to the hinged side bracket, to the innovative Infinite Vent system, Cerberus retains some of the most diverse hardware support in the industry, and can comfortably contain systems as simple as HTPCs and as sophisticated as water-cooled, multi-GPU gaming powerhouses.
  • Craftsmanship: Through a unique partnership with Sliger Designs, every Cerberus is built by trained and talented engineers on Sliger’s production floor, located in Sparks, Nevada, USA. By manufacturing enclosures domestically, instead of through nondescript factories in China or Taiwan, Kimera Industries is able to maintain strict quality controls, communicate constantly with engineers on the floor, and greatly expedite production and shipment of units to backers – all while supporting local workers, businesses, and communities.

Check out the Amazing 17-Liter Project Nova Chassis

Some of the best ideas are born out of necessity because they are needed but don’t exist yet. The same goes for the 17-liter chassis currently known as Project NOVA. Aibohphobia wanted to add more RAM to his system built-in a Mini-ITX NCASE M1, but there wasn’t any room to add more. Disappointed with the available mATX cases, he set out to design his own and it looks amazing so far.

Project NOVA is designed to be as small as possible and still have a maximum of flexibility and space for high-end hardware. This easily goes beyond what has been seen before, at least when we don’t count specialized systems with specially designed hardware components. The Project NOVA can do all this with default hardware.

The NOVA is only 300 mm high, 170 mm wide, and 333 mm deep. It is built from 20 gauge steel panels and frame while the handle on the top is machined aluminium. It is however currently unknown if the handle will make it to the final version. In my opinion, it isn’t needed and the case would look better without it. It could also save some costs.

Speaking of costs and the actual reason for this post, the case that started out as a project for a single system will turn into a commercial product. We don’t have the final details yet as they won’t be revealed until the 11th February, so in three days. We do however already know that it will be launched as a crowdfunding campaign which I have no doubt will be successful. It looks amazing while the design has been finalized and the prototype stands, so all that is missing to get it off the ground is some funding.

So, how much can you actually fit into this tiny chassis? The answer is a lot. It comes with 5 expansion slots and room for an mATX motherboard. There is clearance for 113mm CPU cooler height when we assume it will use a 25mm thick fan and side bracket left in. The side bracket can hold a 120mm or 140mm AIO cooler support while the PSU area supports both normal SFX and the longer SFX-L PSUs.

The above specifications allow for the basic hardware parts such as motherboards and graphics cards, but there also needs to be space for all our files. The NOVA has a dual 2.5-inch drive tray and you can also place a 3.5-inch sized drive instead of using the 5th expansion slot. That coupled with the available M.2 storage these days should be more than enough for most users.

As previously mentioned, the NOVA allows for AIO cooling solutions to be mounted on the side bracket, but the rest of the system also needs some cooling. For this, you can mount a 92mm fan at the rear and a 120mm fan at the front. The bottom allows for either two 120mm fans or a 92mm fan when a 3.5-inch drive is mounted there. Every little bit of space has been used and optimized for the best possible hardware support.

The top mounted slim fan seen in the image below has since been removed as testing showed little to no difference whether it was mounted or not.

The finished product as seen here is built with an i7 5930K, two GTX 980 in SLI, Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5 motherboard, 32GB Crucial 2400MHz DDR4 memory, a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD, an NZXT X41 CPU cooler, and the SilverStone SX600-G PSU.

A system that can kick some serious butt and when you take the size into consideration, it’s mind-blowing. Here’s a comparison that shows just how small it is.

I’ve attached a few more images below, but I can also highly recommend the official build log that takes you on a trip from the start of the project and into its final stage, that is if you got a couple hours spare as you’ll quickly loose yourself in it. There is a lot to view and read.

BitFenix Nova Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


BitFenix is back again, this time with their lovely Nova chassis. The Nova is BitFenix’s latest effort from the budget-friendly end of the market, promising great features at a price that is sure to leave your wallet or your bank balance happy. If you’re not trying to cram huge amounts of hard drives, multiple radiators and more into your system, then it is unlikely that you need much more than what the Nova offers and we’re eager to see just how much you get for your money here.

“Bitfenix Nova delivers style, performance, and silence at an incredibly competitive price. Whether you plan to build a basic office, home or gaming system, Novas simplistic design, aluminum badge, color options and optional window side panel mean it will blend in perfectly. Long air vents running along the sides of its front, hidden behind sleek mesh strips, provide plenty of airflow to cool the system. And as a result allowed us to keep Novas Top and Front panel completely closed to block fan-noise from escaping the enclosure, and dust from building up inside.”

Equipped with room for mini-ITX to ATX motherboards, room for a good size CPU cooler, large graphics cards, an ATX PSU and a decent amount of hard drives, the Nova is certainly a capable chassis. There’s also room for a couple of 120mm fans in the front and a 120mm in the back, although on the rear 120mm fan comes pre-installed.

The side panel features a huge window that runs almost the full height of the chassis, giving you a perfect view to show off your new build. Don’t like windows on your chassis? There’s a solid panel version available too. The black paint job is pretty standard stuff, but blends well with the plastics of the front panel and if black isn’t your thing, there’s also a white version available.

The right side has a blank panel and just like the left, it’s held in place by two thumb screws. The sides of the front panel have a strip of ventilation, allowing for indirect airflow that should help reduce noise from the front fans.

The front panel is plastic but is very nicely finished. There’s a single 5.25″ drive bay cover at the top and a small BitFenix logo; overall it looks smart enough to be placed in a home or office.

At the top of the chassis, you’ll find all the usual power controls, as well as two LED indicators and a pair of USB ports; one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0.

Around the back, there’s a single pre-installed 120mm fan, as well as seven expansion slots. As with many budget chassis, the expansion slot covers are a snap-off design, apart from the top one which is reusable.

Four sturdy feet with rubber grips give the chassis good ground clearance, and there’s also a small slide-out and washable dust filter for the power supply area.

Bitfenix Released the Stylish New Nova Chassis

Bitfenix has shown us some beautiful PC chassis in the past and as it looks, they are far from done. Their newest chassis is the Nova that delivers style, performance, and silence at a competitive price point. Whether you want it black or white and with or without a window in the side panel, Bitfenix has you covered.

One of the first things that we notice on the Nova is the lack of air vents, or so it seems with the completely covered front and top covers. But thanks to a clever design with air vents hidden on the side of the front panel. behind a mesh filter, the Nova can draw plenty of fresh air while it keeps the pesky fan noises inside the chassis itself. This design should also decrease the amount of dust that will settle inside the chassis.

The difference between the two models, with and without a side panel window, is clear from the photos above and below. The large window allows you to show off your valuable components such as motherboard and add-in cards as well as the PSU. The last thing might be a deal breaker for some while it’s a win for others, the visible PSU. I personally prefer to hide mine as good as possible while others prefer to proudly present that very expensive and vital part of the system.

Bitfenix chose to angle the top of the front panel where the power button, reset button, USB connections, and audio jacks are located. This tiny detail can make a huge difference as it allows for better placement options. Whether the system is placed on the floor or next to you on your desktop, you’ll be able to easily reach them all.

The PSU area is covered with a removable dust filter to keep that part as dust free as possible, a very important factor for a chassis when it is placed on the floor.

The Bitfenix Nova has room for a full-sized ATX motherboard and comes with seven expansion ports. The wide chassis allows for graphics cards with a height of up to 140mm and length of up to 320mm, eliminating pretty much any compatibility issues from oversized cards. The power supply can be up to 220mm long and the CPU cooler can stand 160mm tall.

The Bitfenix Nova has three 5.25-inch drive bays, but only one of them is accessible from the front. That one also has tool-less fasteners for easy mounting of the drive. You can further mount up to four 3.5-inch drives and two 2.5-inch drives in the Nova.

The case supports two 120mm fans in the front and one 120mm at the rear. The rear exhaust fan can also be used for an AIO CPU cooler.

Bitfenix is releasing this beautiful chassis as an option that shouldn’t blow your budget but sadly didn’t announce any price yet. I’m sure that will follow shortly. Could this be your next chassis?