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Kickstarter Update #12

Hello Everyone!

Sorry about the delay with this update. We ran into some website issues when trying to host the manual. I had to correct them before this update could go live. Today, we'll go into the Winter One user manual, and then talk about Winter One v12's airflow in detail for those of you who are interested.

Quick Updates

  • Manufacturing is proceeding as planned

  • Packaging Suppliers are making progress

  • 1201 of 3077 parts have been received and passed their third round of QC

  • Error rates for parts are hovering between 2-5% - better than expected!

Winter One Manual - Rev 6

This is the sixth revision of the User Manual, since the first one was created and sent to our beta testers. We developed the manual before our build that we filmed the other week, used it during the build, then made further changes. While this isn't the final version of the manual (some links are not ready, a few pages need to be added, etc.) this is quite close to the final product.

Some Notable Features:

  • The page ratio is 2:1, and the text is large and clear. From the outset, we wanted to make viewing on a smarpthone easy, and painless

  • The airflow and cooling guide in the manual quickly highlights the best fan configurations, and which ones should be avoided. There is also a suggested fan curve for air cooling

  • As requested, we listed fastener specifications clearly, making replacements easy to find

  • Winter One is designed to be built with one tool: a nice Philips No.1 screwdriver is all you need

  • If you would like to print out the manual, set the printer to print 3 manual pages / regular page. Everything should size nicely to a regular sheet of A4 or 8.5"x11" paper

  • Check out the Winter One Manual and let us know what you think in the comments below! :)

If you have questions about the build, ask away. We'll be doing a user Q&A with next week's update (alongside the build video)

Airflow in Winter One v12 - Achieving Breakthrough Thermal Performance

Everything you've seen about Winter One's airflow up until now had most of the detail pulled out of it. This was intentional, as I didn't want to give too much away about what makes Winter One so special.

Today, I'm going to pull back the curtain a bit, to show you how how Winter One achieves breakthrough thermal performance. The following are small slices of the full simulations we ran in Winter One. Drink in the detail, then I'll walk you through each one.

You may remember how in v11 we had moved the central spine along the bottom edge of the GPU, and the shifted it up in v12. This was due to the plume of fast-moving air exiting the GPU, that was getting blocked by the Central Spine in its old position.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Winter One has no issues with flow-through GPU cooler designs, regardless of your airflow configuration. Had this been a case with an all-exhaust setup, the lower plume would have been pulled downward and exhausted out of the case, just like the top plume of air behaves in the plot above.

M.2 Cooling

You may also remember from last week's update, that I showed great rear M.2 Drive temperatures during intensive reads and writes. This is how we achieved it. The central spine is shaped in such a way that it directs a jet of air at high velocity (about 75 cm/s) between the Motherboard and GPU backplate. (in the all-exhaust setup, air is instead spiraled through this area, but achieves the same thing). This gives additional cooling to M.2 drives with or without a heatsink. It also assists with GPU memory that might be coupled to the backplate via thermal pads, and VRMs that are cooled by the motherboard backplate.

Drive Cage and GPU Cooling

Pass-Through GPU cooling with a Dive Cage. Bottom -> Top Airflow, Top Fan Only.

Attaching a drive cage does not affect GPU cooling at all! Notice how there is zero recirculation of hot air coming out of the GPU. This is the ideal situation for GPU thermal performance. So even if you add 32TB of extra storage to Winter One (4 x 8TB QVO SSDs), your GPU thermals will not be affected.

This is also a great time to talk about how we pull hot air out from between the power supply and GPU. Air coming out of the back of the GPU is bounced against the power supply, and then uses the geometry of the central spine, and the low pressure zone near the GPU fan hub, to accelerate up and out of the gap.

In instances where there are perforated panels, and top + bottom exhaust, this plume is split between following the same path, and flowing downward, to be exhausted by the lower fan.

Eliminating Backflow

Top of a Liquid Cooled Winter One, with perforated side panels

In this simulation slice, you can clearly see dark blue zones on the outside edges of the case, blocking the pathway of the warm exhaust from looping back around to the side panel intake. If you zoom in, you'll see the spirals formed at near the outer corners of the case. These are the exterior eddies that help separate inlet/outlet flow.

But we didn't stop there. We tuned the interior geometry to stop backflow inside the case as well. This is especially helpful for those of you planning to use 240mm radiators or AIO coolers. You can see there is a blue zone touching the sides of the radiator body. This serves to limiting warm air from looping back to the inlet side of the radiator. If you zoom in, you can even see that fast air leaving the fan that gets deflected back into the case, is actually turned back around rather than continuing to the radiator inlet.

Another thing you can see is how little the direction of the air passing through the perforated panels is affected, both on the side and top panels. The holes were carefully designed to induce very little drag, cutting down on turbulence and noise.

Bottom Exhaust, no recirculation

Look at how well the exterior flow separation zones (in blue) are maintained, despite how different this flow situation is, from the one above. This includes feet, and a table surface. Despite that, inlet and outlet flow remains separated, and the warm air is jetted to the sides at considerable speed, thanks to the carefully tuned height of the feet. Notice how velocity doesn't wildly fluctuate during this process, keeping turbulence (and therefore noise) to a minimum.

Inside the panel, you see a worst-case scenario unfold. This exhaust is near the washers and case feet, which cover the outermost holes in the bottom panel. This causes a weakening of the interior airflow barrier that prevents backflow into 240mm radiators (the dark blue zones). Becuase it's only a partial breakdown, it has little effect on radiator performance.

Every Cubic Centimeter was Considered

I hope this little peek behind the scenes gave everyone a better look at just how carefully we evaluate the flow of air inside Winter One. These are just a handful of slices from various simluations. What I didn't mention could easily have filled a book. These pictures above are actually medium medium detail. The next image shows you just how detailed simulations actually get.

You can actually see the air disruption caused at the leading edge of the fan blade!!!!

This is the level at which I typically worked to craft airflow in Winter One. Each surface inside and outside the case was carefully optimized to bring you a cool and compact design.

Next Week's Update

If you have questions about the manual, case airflow, or other things, feel free to ask them in the comments! We'll be doing another round of Q&A with next week's update, to publish alongside the build video.

I hope you all enjoyed this week's post. Until next time!

To see all images from this post, visit the Kickstarter.

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