The SG10 is an ambitious product designed to push the boundaries of fanless technology and create a gaming case capable of cooling high-performance CPUs and GPUs without the use of fans. This project collaboration between Streacom and Calyos is also aimed at showcasing the application of loop heat pipe technology in PC cooling and represents the first step in creating a viable mainstream high-performance solid-state alternative to water cooling solutions.
The spiritual successor to the SG10 began life as a Kickstarter project launched by Calyos as the NSG S0, and whilst having extensive expertise in cooling, the additional challenges of consumer product manufacturing proved to be a stumbling block. A search ensued to find a partner with suitable experience to get the project back on track, and with experience in both case manufacturing and fanless cooling, Streacom was the natural fit. As can be understood just by glancing at the image, the SG10 represents a complete redesign of the NSG S0. Not a single asset or component was carried over from the original case. This includes the Evaporator that pumps the coolant around the loop and the Condenser that radiates the heat, both core components that make this performance possible. Everything has been entirely re-engineered and improved far beyond the original specification and performance.
Some have labelled this product as a “failed Kickstarter project”, but as Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. To us, the SG10 represents the spirit of determination and is a testament to the level of conviction required to create such a groundbreaking product. We would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all those in the Kickstarter community who, throughout the difficult development process and in spite of the unreasonable delays, continued to lend their support, placing their faith in our ability to bring this product to reality.
The Loop Heat Pipe
At the heart of the SG10 and what makes this level of cooling performance possible is the Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) system inside. Unlike traditional heat pipes, where the phase change of the working fluid happens in opposing directions within the tube, the LHP phase change cycle happens in a continuous flow around the loop.
The core technology that makes this possible is the Evaporator; it features a patented solid-state (no moving parts) capillary pump that creates a pressurised vapour flow into the condenser, where it cools back into a liquid and then flows to the evaporator, where the cycle repeats. This pressurised flow makes the LHP many times more efficient at moving heat away from the source and allows for a greater working area for convection/radiation. Additionally, because the tubes that form the loop do not require a wick, flexible lines can be used that make the positioning and fitting to hardware considerably more versatile.
In short, the LHP is better than standard heat pipes because of the increase in transport distance, the overall efficiency and the capability to absorb very high heat fluxes.
Another critical area of innovation was the design of the condenser, which is constructed from fins bonded directly to the copper tubes that form part of the loop. The challenge was finding the right balance between efficiency, size, weight, complexity, and aesthetics. These qualities would need to be blended into something that could be manufacturable at scale and form a structural part of the case. The final design represents a departure from our typical extruded heat sink and required extensive development to perfect but delivered a new, innovative and highly efficient condenser solution.
Designed Around Cooling
All Streacom fanless chassis follow the principle of “he case is the cooler”as this level of integration is critical to achieving the best cooling performance. With the SG10, this design philosophy was taken even further as the entire form and size of the case were defined by and built around the two condensers to achieve this high level of performance.
The chimney effect is a term often mentioned when discussing passive cooling. It’s an idea that typically leads to a vertical design, and whilst this does play a part, a more effective strategy is a horizontally orientated heat sink. This ensures that for a given surface area, a larger proportion of the heat sink receives fresh, cooler air instead of warmer air from lower down the structure. With the LHP, this horizontal orientation and the evaporators positioned below the condensers help with circulation, as gravity represents an additional motive force.
A key requirement for the SG10 was to ensure compatibility with a wide range of current and future hardware. Whilst this is fairly commonplace for CPU cooling, aftermarket GPU cooling is considerably more complex as there is very little, if any, standardisation for cooling solutions, with every brand and even model having a specific design.
Manufacturing a custom cold plate for every card on the market is far from practical, so we have broken down the cooling requirements into three zones: the GPU core, the DRAM and the VRM. Our solution is to cool the core directly with the Evaporator, the DRAM (that is always positioned near the core) with a custom cold plate that couples to the Evaporator, and the VRM is cooled using independent adjustable heat sinks that adapt to the layout of the card. This strategy means that only the DRAM cold plate needs to be customised for different cards, and in many cases, a single cold plate is compatible with multiple cards, even from different brands. This approach should make adding support for more GPUs considerably easier based on customer demand and viability.
Even with this modular approach, it’s important to appreciate that supporting every GPU on the market won’t be possible. Our approach to this problem will be based on customer feedback and demand. We will release an initial list of cards for which we have already added compatibility.
When customers order the SG10, we will request they include a choice of 2 cards they plan to use. The first is their preferred card, the second is a backup choice. Once any card reaches a threshold of customers’ requests and the card itself does not have any practical limitation for comparability, we will design and manufacture a cold plate to support it.
X-Frame Modular Bracket
Modular brackets have been a standard feature on many Streacom cases for some time. They give unrivalled component placement flexibility and allow for custom layouts. The SG10 takes this flexibility to the next level with the ability to fully adjust the X & Y position of the motherboard and GPU with complete freedom. This level of adjustment combined with the flexible LHP tubes means that compatibility far exceeds what is possible with previous heat pipe cooling. A great example of this flexibility is the ability to install two Mini-ITX motherboards (and two PSUs) if a discreet GPU is not required, creating a dual-system fanless PC.
Another unique feature of this case is the diagonal orientation of the hardware. Beyond simply the aesthetic appeal of the hardware being presented in such a novel way, this approach serves several functions, including increasing the vertical space available for components and providing structural cross-bracing.
Fan Friendly Fanless
We appreciate that this image will be triggering for some, but there is a good reason behind it. Whilst the SG10 can handle a combined TDP of 600 W without using ANY fans, even with this groundbreaking performance, there will be limits on what high end components can be used due to their higher cooling requirements. Rather than create an all-or-nothing scenario, including an option to use fans means the max TDP limit can be pushed whilst still allowing for near-silent operation. For this reason, the SG10 was designed to natively accommodate 120 m fans that attach directly to the rails under each condenser, giving a 15-20% increase in cooling performance. Larger fans can also be attached diagonally across the rails (with two mounting points) or using the rail brackets that provide additional flexibility to the mounting area.
Modular Movable IO
Apart from showcasing the internals and providing excellent airflow, the slatted front and rear design creates another unique SG10 feature: the ability to position the I/O panel anywhere on the front of the case. As the IO module secures between the gaps, it can be positioned anywhere along them vertically or moved horizontally between any two, giving complete freedom to the placement. The orientation of the I/O module can also be flipped 180 degrees, giving additional choices for button/port positioning.
This modular approach also opens up even more possibilities, specifically creating extra modules for the rear panel to add connectivity for LAN, HDMI or any other frequently accessed port via short internal patch cables, eliminating the need to remove the side panel to access them. The exact number and configuration of ports are still under consideration, but based on user feedback, will be made available post-launch.
These additional modules would not be limited to the back and could just as easily be fitted to the front of the case for ease of access, supplementing the existing ports. Multiple modules could easily be combined to create a fully inclusive set of ports.
The default supplied front I/O module will include the illuminated glass power button, 2x Type-A USB ports and 1x Type-C USB port, terminated with the 19PIN and Type-E connectors, respectively.
It would not be fitting if we didn’t commemorate this achievement and reward the Kickstarter community in some way for their sacrifice. It goes without saying that the first production batch has been allocated to them, but more importantly, it will comprise entirely of the special limited version of the SG10 that features a full copper condenser. Every project backer has first refusal on these, with unwanted ones then being made available to the general public. This copper edition is more challenging to manufacture, which is why only 500 will ever be made, but this does ensure the level of exclusivity that we feel the community deserves while providing a platform for Calyos to reimburse backers who cannot afford the new price point or would prefer the return of their pledge.
All 500 units of the Copper Edition have been pre-allocated to backers of the original NSG S0 Kickstarter project. However, not all backers plan to take the offer and instead will be getting a full refund on their pledge. These unwanted cases will be made available for purchase to the general public, but in order to comply with the refund requirements, purchasing them will be a two-step process. Customers must first purchase a “Kickstarter Pledge Voucher” from Calyos, which will then entitle them to place an order for the SG10 directly with Streacom that includes a discount to the value of the voucher.
Only customers with this voucher can order the SG10 Copper Edition. The number of vouchers available for purchase to the general public will be limited to how many Kickstarter backers request a refund instead of the SG10. Vouchers will be available for purchase at sg10.calyos.com.
Price & Availability
The SG10 Copper Edition will be available for pre-order shortly, with an estimated shipping date of May 2024. This extended time frame allows for the assembly and integration process that will take place in Belgium and, more critically, to complete the collection of GPU choice data from customers and the subsequent fabrication of these cold plates accordingly. The price of the Copper Edition is 1200EUR.
The SG10 (not Copper Edition) will be available in Black and Silver variants and is expected to go into the product after the Copper Edition is complete; the exact ETA is TBD. This version features Aluminium fins on the condenser and is priced at 1000EUR. Full specification and more details can be found on the SG10 Product Page.