Imagine a tiny computer that could out-perform Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro and Microsoft's Xbox One S when it comes to playing 4K games. Imagine a desktop PC that you could carry around like it was a 17-inch laptop, but with the power and cooling of a high-end gaming rig.
This actually exists. Two years in the making, this console-sized PC case has already netted over $120,000 in preorders a few hours after launching on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
The Sentry PC case by Dr Zaber started its life in September 2014 in a post on the [H]ardOCP forum, with the guys behind it looking to design and manufacture in small volumes a case that could take the compact gaming fight to consoles.
Measuring under 7 litres in volume — by comparison, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 displace 6.5 litres, while a heavily 6.5-litre customised gaming machine like MSI's Vortex G65 costs upwards of $5000 — the Sentry has a layout that accommodates regular PC components that can be bought at any computer store, and has the space to fit high-end parts that output plenty of heat.
The two guys behind Dr Zaber in Poland are actually engineers, working in heavy-duty gear like wind turbines, but turned their attention to creating the Sentry after unsuccessfully searching for a small form factor PC case that could rival current gaming consoles — their benchmark in 2014 was the Xbox One — in size, but with all the power of a high-end gaming PC.
The internal space of the Sentry fits in a mini-ITX motherboard with a CPU cooler up to 47mm in height, a full-size graphics card up to 305mm in length — meaning something gutsy like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, a compact SFX-L internal power supply, and space for 2.5-inch internal hard drives.
With estimated shipping by April, nearly 500 cases have already been pre-ordered by fans and enthusiasts that have followed the case over the two and a half years of its development in the first 12 hours of the Indiegogo campaign going live, exceeding the inital goal by 500 per cent. With an entire month left to run, it looks almost certain that Dr Zaber will sell out of its initial production run long before then.