Now that FreeNAS Box v2 is up and running, let’s do a size comparison to see how things have changed. The width dimension was a regression: v2 is wider by 3 centimeters. The real space requirement increased even more than that, because the v2 air intakes are on the sides. So it needs additional room to the left and right of it in order to avoid blocking those intakes. In contrast, v1 with its bottom intake would be OK sitting flush against objects to its left and right.
Looking at the final results in reality, I think I can rearrange a few things to reduce the width by 1 cm. Something to consider for a potential FreeNAS Box v3.
The greatest improvement is in the height which has been reduced by 7 cm thanks to the elimination of the lower air intake cavity. The advantage is somewhat reduced when in use, because the power cable now sticks straight up and adds a bit to the required height. If this becomes a serious problem, though, I could always switch to an power cable with a right-angle plug. This will allow the box to fit in a shelf only 28 cm high, leaving barely enough for proper heat exhaust. Looking over the results, I think I can safely reduce the bottom of the case by 1 cm and everything will still fit, another change for the potential v3.
And finally, the depth is reduced by 3.5 cm. Real world improvement is even more, because now the back of the box can sit flush against the wall in a way that v1 could not.
The reduced height and depth has more than compensated for the increase in width, v2 is overall a more compact space-efficient package than the v1 design.