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Potentially looking into making a case for my current rig

post #1 of 10
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I'd like to make a case for my current rig so it could fit in my backpack and I can bring it with me. I dog sit from time to time so I find myself sitting in other peoples houses infront of their 50" flatscreens, WITH NOTHING TO DO! ohno-smiley.gif

I considered going and making a full itx build with a 7850k some fast ram and a pico psu, but I realized my bag I use is pretty big and would fit the dimensions below comfortably, and this would save me cash without sacrificing performance.

So far the I'm "guesstimating" dimensions would be roughly 16" x 12" x 6-7" to fit my ATX board,PSU,GPU and my current heatsink, and areas for fans (which I want need to replace anyway, especially for the summer:lachen:)

Right now its just in my head but I'd like to get a render or draw it out if choose to go this route.
I was just thinking an all acrylic box with corner brackets holding it together and one side having a door like opening with a tool box hatch.


But I have many questions about this, and I couldn't think of a better community to ask with all the creative members here. tongue.gif


What material should I use, if ____ then why?
I was personally thinking acrylic, but it also depends on price too and ease of modding, I'd honestly be using my neigbors tools because I have none, and I don't know all of what he has, but tongue.gif I also liked the idea of it being see-through I was going to maybe add some LED's and a design for kicks.

Where would I get said material? a good website, store?

Motherboard tray, would I be able to some way to put pacers on the back piece of the case, or do i need a whole seperate tray? I wasn't sure if it would matter as long as there was a little gap for air, and if the screw holes were in the correct positions.

What about grounding? I know most if not all cases I've seen have some type of it, but all of them have been metal. Would I have to do anything?

What would be a guess on price? I'm thinking the acrylic is going to hit me the hardest, or any tools I would need if I couldn't find another way without.
My budget is probably going to be 100, some things I can find and, I can probably get a majority of the smaller thing, but I want to get a new CPU cooler with or without this case so some of it has to go to that.

If this type of project is in my grasp with my budget, I think I'd make a build log about it, I'd call it the frankenbox, since I've felt like all my rigs were throw togethers in a way tongue.gif and maybe do some cool stuff with some lights/design. thumb.gif

This would be my first ever case to make so its all new ground to me, so I feel like I'm not asking all the questions I should be, which is why I need your help OCN!


Can you point me in the right direction?
     
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post #2 of 10
I'd put the graphics card onto a flexible riser so you can flip it on it's side and reduce a lot of the thickness. I would not recommend building a case for a portable system solely from acrylic. It looks nice, but it fractures if bumped hard enough. I'd look into a cheaper ATX case, and chop it up so it's the size you need, then cover that with acrylic. Find a good really low profile chip cooler.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Is Tap Plastics a good website for acrylic? at least going by their prices I should be able to make this work

2x 18" x 13"
2x 18" x 8"
2x 8" x 13"
will cost me about 60 dollars which I less then what I thought it would be for the acrylic haha, That leaves room for mounts, leds, and other small stuffs I need.

here is a rough layout on paint I did , potential fan placement, its no rendering or artsy drawing just a rough idea of what I'm looking at in my head haha. tongue.gif




now im not 100% about the fan above where the CPU sink would be, but if I can I'd like to try it, I have the fans for it. thumb.gif
But the 3 in and 2 out should be fine with the measurements.



Any input would be appreciated, Im honestly just going by what I can find on google at this point, I'm not the best with tool or any type of building/crafting so I really need some guidance with what to do an not to do.
     
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TLHarrell View Post

I'd put the graphics card onto a flexible riser so you can flip it on it's side and reduce a lot of the thickness. I would not recommend building a case for a portable system solely from acrylic. It looks nice, but it fractures if bumped hard enough. I'd look into a cheaper ATX case, and chop it up so it's the size you need, then cover that with acrylic. Find a good really low profile chip cooler.

I'll look into more cases, I looked at the some but every time I always found there to be wasted space and it being it being larger then it had to, or it just wouldn't fit and/or easy on the eyes. I'm not too sure about buying something to chop it apart though unless its cheap, but with that I have concerns about tools and how clean it would come out.
I also have been thinking about the acrylic and am looking at other materials as well and way to make it less prone to breaking.

Well the thickness has to be at least 5.5" because of the PSU, if I flip so it would be long ways, it would make the length to at least 18" which is cutting it close with my bag, that is about 19-20", that would also kill room for fans.
I thought about risers and flipping the GPU just for heat, its still rolling in my head but for trying to keep it simple but effective it may be something I do later.

What cooler would you suggest to fit that would fit in the dimensions? I was looking to spend around 50$ for a cooler that would be better then my coolmaster Tx-3 I have now. I was looking at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835709014 but I worry about the few reviews that say it rattled, but there is only a handful as did the 85$ noctuna that was the same design.


depending on cooler and how the mobo is mounted, is fine 7", I'm not too worried about the width, it just cant go past 8", but even so the tx3 I have would fit in this. tongue.gif
     
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post #5 of 10
Are you set on using an ATX board? Using an ITX board would save loads of space.

Looks like a good idea to me, I think metal would be better than acrylic as the material because, as TLHarrell said, if you give it a bash then you'll get all those spider web cracks in the plastic.
I would swap the top exaust to be an intake and position it over the CPU, that way you can hit two birds with one stone!

As for Mother Board spacers: I'd use a bolt sticking through the bottom of the tray, add a nut to fix it in place, add a second nut with the air gap you want and then add the MB and some more nuts ontop to keep everything in place.
 
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceB View Post

Are you set on using an ATX board? Using an ITX board would save loads of space.

Looks like a good idea to me, I think metal would be better than acrylic as the material because, as TLHarrell said, if you give it a bash then you'll get all those spider web cracks in the plastic.
I would swap the top exaust to be an intake and position it over the CPU, that way you can hit two birds with one stone!

As for Mother Board spacers: I'd use a bolt sticking through the bottom of the tray, add a nut to fix it in place, add a second nut with the air gap you want and then add the MB and some more nuts ontop to keep everything in place.

Yea I was thinking of getting an itx mobo but I cannot find any, only mAtx for am3+, it surely would cut an inch or maybe two on the height and I don't use the extra pci-e/pci slots, but the only way I could do that is if I sold/traded my motherboard I currently use.
My budget is about 150 for case + cooler, so I was trying to use what what I have.

and with a quick glance at mATX boards, I'm not really willing to sac the vrms/sinks/ and quality or the hassle of selling my board for a new, just for the few inchs, with the rough dimensions it'll still fit in my bag, and if I want to.

For material, I thought of metal but I'm not sure how I'd be able to modify and not have it look like something from a scrap yard tongue.gif, I will look more into it but I'm still considering having the one side as the see through for a design/led,
     
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadmoto View Post

Yea I was thinking of getting an itx mobo but I cannot find any, only mAtx for am3+, it surely would cut an inch or maybe two on the height and I don't use the extra pci-e/pci slots, but the only way I could do that is if I sold/traded my motherboard I currently use.
My budget is about 150 for case + cooler, so I was trying to use what what I have.

and with a quick glance at mATX boards, I'm not really willing to sac the vrms/sinks/ and quality or the hassle of selling my board for a new, just for the few inchs, with the rough dimensions it'll still fit in my bag, and if I want to.

For material, I thought of metal but I'm not sure how I'd be able to modify and not have it look like something from a scrap yard tongue.gif, I will look more into it but I'm still considering having the one side as the see through for a design/led,

Yeah, I can understand that, for a project on a budget it's not worth the hassle/money.

Have you thought about making it a '2 storey' case (like the Bit Pheonix prodigy) with the PSU & HDDs under (or over) the MB? Then you could reduce the footprint quite nicely, but that only works if you've got space above to spare... headscratch.gif

As for how to work with metal, I would echo TLHarrell here and say get yourself an old case or two (many schools/unis/offices throw out old PCs, ask if you can take one or two!!) and a good pair of tin snips (metal scissors) and a rivet gun (my local hardware shop has these for about 20EUR total) and then make your panels from the donor cases.
Edited by BruceB - 4/7/14 at 3:45pm
 
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceB View Post

Yeah, I can understand that, for a project on a budget it's not worth the hassle/money.

Have you thought about making it a '2 storey' case (like the Bit Pheonix prodigy) with the PSU & HDDs under (or over) the MB? Then you could reduce the footprint quite nicely, but that only works if you've got space above to spare... headscratch.gif

Yea I thought about a 2story case like most of the cube shaped that are for itx builds, but it would be too deep and wouldnt fit in my bag

but I was thinking of trying to find a way to mount the PSU just over the extra slots a little closer the the GPU but at the same time wonder if its worth restricting the airflow to my GPU.
I could probably do the HDD though.
     
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadmoto View Post

Yea I thought about a 2story case like most of the cube shaped that are for itx builds, but it would be too deep and wouldnt fit in my bag

but I was thinking of trying to find a way to mount the PSU just over the extra slots a little closer the the GPU but at the same time wonder if its worth restricting the airflow to my GPU.
I could probably do the HDD though.

In that case I think the setup you've drawn above is the best you can get out of that space. I wouldn't want to restrict airflow to the GPU, especially if your GPU has a temperature-limited boost function!
 
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post #10 of 10
If you're going air cooled, I'd make sure the GPU can draw in outside air. Give it it's own intake.
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