In the beginning, we had a fanatical desire to make a chassis that is high capacity, modular, and can be used in home, office, and rack mount settings. As we discovered, this was a very tall order.
The GS Cube is our 5th major design iteration. It was created using agile design methodologies where quick iterations and testing are essential to creating a great product.
We started with an open air aluminum frame that could fit in a 19" rack. This frame allowed us to test chassis sizing, GPU and fan placement, and the resulting thermals. As we enclosed the bench prototype we tried several variations of fan placement while maintaing the standard features you find in workstations and rack mount servers. Over many iterations this structure was un-enclosed, re-enclosed, and re-tested as we refined our design.
This allowed us to quickly prove or disprove our design theories. For example, our testing showed we should keep approximately 1" clear space between cards to allow for proper air draw and flow. Once we converged on the optimal fan sizing, placement, and card spacing our card temperatures dropped over 10C each v.s. open air designs.
This process took several months. It included intensive burn-in testing and monitoring to ensure long term thermal stability.
The resulting structure was placed in a solid model as the design was being refined. This enabled us to go to manufactures as soon as our testing was complete.
Once we had a winning design prototype we turned to local telecommunications equipment manufacturers to determine how to best implement the design. We decided that we would rather make a quality product than try to find the absolute cheapest way to manufacture it. We favored design features like modularity and ease of use even if they added minor costs. The fact that the chassis is made in the USA by a state of the art, precision manufacturer who has extensive experience building telecommunications chassis guarantees our quality.
All this hard work paid off. Our first prototypes arrived in Late May, 2014 and were assembled and tested within days. Fit and finish is superb and the thermals are exactly as expected.
Here are some early prototype pictures.
Our first prototype unit as seen from the front with rack ears is below. The power button is missing and the fans are not finalized.
The same unit seen from the back, without rack ears. In production thumb screws will be used on the top panel,
See our Prototype Build gallery for the complete build.