I was just thinking that an upright mounted configuration might be more efficient in terms of space and cooling. Multiples can also be added very close to each other.
Rough idea: http://zoomer.imgur.com/upright_case
Only for single setups.
You generally want a hot / cold isle concept where the air is moving from a cold side to a hot side (where it is then sucked out of the room). Vertical installation gives you an airflow in the case that is 90% turned and thus inefficient.
I disagree. The hot and cold isle configuration works well in a data center where the entire room is engineered around the concept.. But even with the cases blowing front to back they still channel the cold air from the bottom and the hot air out the top and back into the air handlers.
With vertical aligned cases you have the hot air going where it wants to go.. up!
Looking at other people’s setups on the mining rigs thread it seems many people inadvertently end up with cards exhausting into the intakes for other cards and external fans pointed every which way. If the cards were all vertically aligned the airflow design would be greatly simplified.
The problem is, to increase density in most rooms (unless you have a weird space only a few feet tall), you would want to stack them. I agreed with your point when I was building my large case, but after you get 8 or so video cards pushing hot air up, you really cannot stack any more after that: If they are rack-style pulling cold air in the front and pushing it out the back, the entire back area can be hot, and will rise, but then you can stack more then 8 cards, because each card is getting reasonably cool air.
Of course, if you are not trying to do fairly high MH/sq ft, then this is way less important, and a top venting case is brilliant if you have the room to just set them all beside each other. That is why a lot of water options have a rad on the top, it just makes sense for a single or few-system config, it just does not scale well to, say, 10 systems.