Pc system manufacturers, like MSI and Gigabyte, have released some fantastic small form-factor gaming machines in the last couple of years, but they ALL have the same disadvantage: non-standard and in many cases non upgradable components. No. You have to leave it to the hardcore enthusiasts: pioneers like Lucas Diakon, to break free from what has become THE way to build a small form-factor gaming rig ITX motherboards with a single graphics card are out. mATX Motherboards with dual graphic cards are in.
Oh, and did I mention that this thing is liquid cooled and under 15 liters? Making it only slightly bigger than the Corsair One? So strap on my friends, cuz this is going to be good.
Synergy allows you to share your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers at once. Check it out now at the link in the video description. I feel like we should start with one small problem. Project Orthrus, named for the mythological greek two-headed dog is not for sale, yet. This one was actually built by our friends at Proto Case. They do great work.
The rackmount gaming case they built for me is still going strong, so it’s no surprise then that Lukas went to them with his incredible design and they got to work. Every component was laser-cut in-house, the front panel details and rear I/O, not to mention the badass front logo, were milled out. The radiator holder was routed out, the motherboard tray and SSD holder were bent. They pressed in all the rivets, standoffs and threaded nuts, routered the side panel and put the whole thing together with a beautiful coat of their Proto legacy black powder coating. A couple revisions of that and this is what landed on our doorstep. Still some assembly required though, am I right?
We actually needed two care packages to assemble our case. The one from Proto Case, that was unidentifiable as a case, other than the main chassis frame. And one from Lukas himself, that included, among other things, a server power supply with custom rerouted 12-volt rails to support our dual graphics cards and custom shorter cables. This thing is already way too cool.
We haven’t even assembled it yet. Yours would of course come in a much more finished state though, so we’re going to fast forward to system assembly. Front I/O was pretty straightforward. Dual USB 2 and dual USB 3 with HDMI pass-through for VR and a dope-ass capacitive power button are nice extras.
Then it was time to move on to core components. We chose an Intel Core i7 6900K, for maximum PCIe bandwidth for the 2 PCI Express 16x slots on our ASUS X99 MWS motherboard. And I’m pretty sure the WS stands for west side, because this thing is awesome.
We added a sprinkling of Corsair Vengeance RGB memory on the side for maximum FPS. And our 240 millimeter AIO goes in next. But due to width limitations, there is a mere 55 millimetres of height available for the CPU block. Which is why we ended up using an older generation Corsair H100I. Alright, we’re getting close now.
Let’s pop the graphics cards in. The design comes with brackets to fit a pair of 2.5 inch drives on the motherboard side and a 3.5 inch drive, plus another two and a half inch to piggyback on top in the second graphics card tray, if you’re not using it. But we are using it, for twin GTX 1080Ti Founders Editions, so there will be no junk in the backside for us.
These shielded PCI Express Risers go in now. Note that one of them is actually more narrow than the other in order for the SLI bridges to fit. Then we install the cards themselves.
It is a bit tricky as the bottom card needs to be installed first, then have its custom spliced and extended SLI bridges connected, wrapped behind the tray and then powered up. The extra length of the SLI cables actually enables them to be hidden behind the cards, so you can show them off in their full SLI glory. Now that the key components are together, it’s time to spruce the machine up with mucho RGB and tidy your cabling.
Yuck, looks like a fun task in such a tiny case. Let’s … summon the comrade! Oh! That looked pretty easy! Now let’s check her out all tidied up and in her maximum RGB glory. Ladies and gents, project Orthrus, Revision3.
So, from an idea, to a 3D model, to the lowest displacement chassis to be able to run GTX 1080Ti SLI. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for something this breathtakingly nerd-delicious. And the performance is shocking! It’s really not that far off having these components on an open test bench.
And is basically identical to having them in a full-size chassis. Infact for the card that would normally be suffocating in the top PCIe slot, it’s even better. There is still some more work to be done. Our aussie friends cannot hand-wire and paint every power supply for Orthrus buyers. And I think if we were to do another project with this case, we’d probably reverse the front fans to keep from recycling hot air and maybe make use of the included reservoir mount for a custom water loop, but… we’ll save that for another time.
For now, for all intents and purposes, mission accomplished. You could even say that… now that’s not a gaming rig. THAT’s a gaming rig!
So a huge shout out to Lukas and Proto Case for allowing us to be the first to make a video on this amazing case, and also for sending us another one when we lost the first one. You can follow this project’s future development at the link in the video description or on Twitter @LukeD_NC. Do you suffer from the incredibly first world problem of having far too many computers to keep track of which keyboard and mouse goes with which? Well actually I’m being facetious, because that can be a real problem if you have a development station and a gaming station or a PC and a Mac. Well, Synergy allows you to share one mouse and one keyboard between all of them. So you will no longer get confused and it all happens amazingly seamlessly.
They offer a basic and a pro option with a one-time payment for lifetime access and features include, aside from just being able to move the mouse across screens like you wouldn’t even believe, clipboard sharing, dragging and dropping files, the ability to set up hotkeys and more. Use our link in the video description to get 50% off of Synergy today. So thanks for watching guys if you dislike this video you can hit that button. But if you liked it, hit the like button, get subscribed, maybe consider checking out where to buy this. Well the internal components are available for purchase. Where to buy the stuff we’ve featured at the link in the video description.
Also down there is our merch store, which has cool shirts like this one and our community forum, which you should totally join.