If channeling Insane Clown Posse in the title was not enough, how about a fully configurable chassis where the user can move everything to every location inside the chassis as they please? This is the principle behind a new prototype chassis designed by a company called Maverick, with Streacom serving as a manufacturing partner.

The two prototypes on display differed only in height and length, but work on the same principle: a magnetic backplane held vertically by a frame, and magnets designed to hold lots of weight attached at whatever point is necessary. This allows a system builder to enact whatever configuration needed, and adjust for airflow or aesthetics. Any computer component can be held in place by these magnets, including power supplies, graphics cards, and the heaviest SSDs.

The frame as shown is still a WIP, with Maverick trying to get feedback from journalists at the show. The magnetic backplane can be any size as required, and the magnets can be used on both sides. A potential future case could be mini-ITX sized but with multiple layers of magnetic boards, allowing for a stacked system, or even completely stacked machines for a dense implementation akin to a rack.


Magnets

Obviously the main worry is if the magnets fail at any point. We were told that the ones currently in use were Neodymium, and were typically good for a minimum of 5 years, although the magnets can regain their strength/alignment with a simple tool.

As always with prototypes like this, release and availability is TBD. Maverick are looking for feedback though.

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  • MajGenRelativity - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    This has to be asked, but are the magnets strong enough to cause any issues with data retention on SSDs or HDDs? Reply
  • The Chill Blueberry - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    I don't think Flash memory has problems with static magnets but HDDs surely have (Since the disk is spinning so fast). It's not the magnets that are problematic but moving magnetic fields that cause electrons to move around. Same applies if you move fast near a magnetic field, so I wouldn't recommend using this case with an HDD. Reply
  • Diji1 - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    Magnetic fields need to be massively powerful to affect hard disks. As in electromagnets not magnetic materials. Reply
  • MajGenRelativity - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    Can you provide proof of that please? Reply
  • SirMaster - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    Well HDDs themselves have strong magnets in them (stringer than this mounting system I would imagine). Have you ever stacked HDDs together? Even their strong magnets don't affect each other. Reply
  • MajGenRelativity - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    I do suppose you're right. I'd still probably test first Reply
  • woggs - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    Google search is a wonderful thing...
    https://www.kjmagnetics.com/blog.asp?p=hard-drive-...
    Reply
  • MajGenRelativity - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    Thank you! Reply
  • qlum - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    However this does not test the effect of long term use next to a magnet which may still be a problem especially of you are also writing to the disk. Reply
  • CaedenV - Friday, June 15, 2018 - link

    Having a magnet near by isn't such a big deal. As mentioned above, HDDs have EXTREMELY strong magnets inside of them which are unshielded (and make the best fridge magnets after your HDD dies!). Adding another magnet near by will not be much different.
    The much larger deal would be to have a changing magnetic field, repeatedly, and over time. This could '0' the drive, or cause data corruption. If you ever use a magnet to erace a floppy drive or a casette tape you would notice it is actually very difficult to do. More than anything you change the bias of the recorded signal, rather than removing data. But if you use a hand-held degausser (which is higher power, and switches polarity several times a second), it will literally erase the media. It is the change in field that really kills, not simply having a field present.
    Reply

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