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[Build Log] Steam Machine with a Dell Optiplex case - Page 2

post #11 of 36
Oh damn, bit more than a litre larger than my PC-Q12 and you'll be cramming an SFX PSU in there, I wish you the best of luck.
post #12 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFreilicht View Post

Oh damn, bit more than a litre larger than my PC-Q12 and you'll be cramming an SFX PSU in there, I wish you the best of luck.


Yep, it's turned out to be a tight fit so far.

Update with power supply!



This appears to be good orientation for it but if you look at the other side...



Modular cable clearance problems are found here.

I then tested how a Flex-ATX power supply would fit. The Seasonic 250W works great with it, aside from the fact that it won't handle most GPUs.



As you can see, I can use the hard drive and ODD tray with this setup.

The biggest disadvantages to using a Flex-ATX or other 1U power supply is finding one with proper wattage AND proper connections for all the devices while keeping the cable runs as short as possible.

Seasonic's 400W server PSU has only 1 4-pin cable for the CPU power and no PCIe power connectors (obviously as it's a server PSU). Molex adapters are needed, and that will clutter up the case quite a bit. Also, the cables are modular only in that you can detach them from the PSU. A bunch of necessary plugs are hooked up together to two different connectors on the power supply end, so you can't really get rid of them all. This means making custom sleeved cables becomes very hard.

If I stick with the SFX power supply, cabling becomes a lot easier but with the condition that I can find an optimal position for it. But it would be really good if I can use that one, then I don't have to go shopping for another 1U power supply that can handle the GTX 760. Finding another location to put the hard drive might also be tricky but I don't think it's impossible.
post #13 of 36
Why not mod the SFX PSU so you gain 2cm from not having the C13 plug in the way?

If you get a FlexATX or 1U, you'll have to resolder or at least re-crimp the cabling, there's no way around that.

One problem I could see with SFX is the exhaust, though. The way it sits in your picture will practically kill the airflow out the back of the PSU, and it would be even worse if you did the mod I proposed above.
post #14 of 36
That's why I'm kind of leaning towards the "wall computer" scenario.
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post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFreilicht View Post

Why not mod the SFX PSU so you gain 2cm from not having the C13 plug in the way?

If you get a FlexATX or 1U, you'll have to resolder or at least re-crimp the cabling, there's no way around that.

One problem I could see with SFX is the exhaust, though. The way it sits in your picture will practically kill the airflow out the back of the PSU, and it would be even worse if you did the mod I proposed above.

You mean do like what @WiSK did and put its guts in a smaller custom enclosure? Interesting idea but I'm not up to it yet. The C13 plug can probably stick out a fair distance out on the front of the chassis with the front bezel still fitting in place. I will just have to give up the default USB and audio inputs of the case because their enclosure is bulky (but using different USB cables isn't out of the question).

As for exhaust room for the back I will have to see how loud and hot it gets first. Valve's Steam Machine has the PSU set up a similar way but theirs is rotated 90 degrees so the exhaust shroud is pointed towards the top of the case.



My idea was to have the exhaust pointed towards the front of the case. It can vent the air through the grill of the front bezel.
post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
Forgot I had some build updates to share! Get ready for more pictures.

Yesterday I cut the bottom side of the back panel.




Also, two tabs were cut out from the wall where the original TFX power supply went (seen in the bottom side of the case). These prevented me from putting components flush with the wall and saving up space.



With the rear panel cut, I'll be install my own custom panel for the power plug and PCIe expansion bracket.

Here I test fit my now defunct GPU with the opening since my new one hasn't arrived yet.



The angled tab lines up with the bottom of the I/O plate area. This is NOT supposed to happen and it's too far up. If push comes to shove (literally) I'll have to trim the two protruding tabs on the other side to fit the card into place (same trick that was done with the original Steam Machine). It will also give it more clearance for PCIe power connectors.

More test fits with the PSU! The C13 end of the extension cable faces the front, and will run around the back and to the bottom. Obviously, a longer cable will have to be used.



Profile view shows it occupies 2 9/16" inches in height. That gives it about an inch of empty space for the PSU to intake air which should be good, given the tight space I'm working with.



Out of curiosity I wanted to see how much room was left with the ODD tray assembly there. Well, hat's gonna choke the PSU. Doesn't look like it will work here.



I connected the cables to see if it's possible to use the computer this way. It works but I did push the PSU about 1/8 of an inch away from the wall with some padding. Wish I did this before because the clean side with the logo engraving has scratches now frown.gif





I had a small scare here when I booted up the computer for the first time. I had a DRAM error for a moment and the monitor wouldn't show a picture. Propping up the PSU stopped this. I will probably put it in that position anyhow, because it also lines up the top side of the PSU with the bare metal tab you can barely see in the bottom of the last pic. This would be a good place to use another metal piece to screw in and hold the PSU in place.

As for the cables, yeah it's a mess tongue.gif From my experience with my last build, those cables, although space saving, are pretty stiff and it's difficult to bend them along the cable width (especially the motherboard cable). It would actually be easier to use super short cables that aren't in a ribbon shape, even if they were sleeved.
post #17 of 36
Nice work, do you plan on doing some paintjob?
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post #18 of 36
I see, didn't know the PSU could exhaust at the front.

Why not turn the PSU upside down and drill intake holes on the underside? That way you can put it up right against the ODD.

And how did propping up the PSU solve the DRAM issue?
post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luisxd View Post

Nice work, do you plan on doing some paintjob?

Thanks, and I was gonna keep the paint a surprise until later but I guess I have to say it right now biggrin.gif The inside of the case will be painted a matte black to make it look more clean. That'll be done much later, after I figure out how all the parts will fit and have all the major mods done, to make it easier to paint the inside.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iFreilicht View Post

I see, didn't know the PSU could exhaust at the front.

Why not turn the PSU upside down and drill intake holes on the underside? That way you can put it up right against the ODD.

I decided to ditch the ODD and did another test fit with the PSU exhaust facing inside (so the cables face the front).
Quote:
And how did propping up the PSU solve the DRAM issue?

It is weird but I think the cables pushing down against the motherboard were putting too much pressure on the ram. When I moved the cables and PSU away from it, the system would POST again.

Here was the original layout with the power and and exhaust facing the front.




I had to run part of the power cord on the top, and push all the PSU cables in one tight spot. This wasn't working well.

So I decided to turn the PSU around so that the cables are connected through the front.



This worked pretty well. I can make full use of the slim cable sets again. I could also run some cables through the other side of the opening if I wish.

The 24-pin and 8-pin cables run neatly around to the motherboard. There's more room to bundle them near the top.



Now with the power cord plugged in, it may look crowded, but it's just high enough to allow the motherboard cable to flex and move out of the way. No interference with low-profile RAM either.




Since the PSU is still free-standing I need to make some sort of metal bracket to hold it into place. Until then, I cannot use the case in vertical position.
Edited by ccRicers - 9/28/15 at 10:06am
post #20 of 36
Hmmm this should get mighty interesting! subbed!
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lmao rig
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lmao laptop
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el servidor
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
[AMD] Ryzen 5 1600X [Biostar] X370GT3 [Gigabyte] GTX 1080 windforce oc [G.Skill] Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 ... 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
[Samsung] 960 evo m.2 250GB [Mushkin] eco2 512GB SSD [Mushkin] enhanced reactor 500GB SSD [Corsairl] h100i v2 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
[Noctua] nf-S12a pwm 120mm fan x 5 [M$] Winblows 10 pro fortified and telemetry free [AOC] i2367f 23" IPS [AOC] i2367f 23" IPS 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
[Dell] e2311h [Qisan] White Magicforce 68 w/ MX greens [Cougar] CMX 1000 [Fractal Design] Define C mini 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
[Logitech] g900 chaos spectrum [GGing] black extended mousepad [Onkyo] TX-SR313 receiver [KLH] Center and rear speakers 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
[Realistic] MC-1000 front speakers [Insignia] Rocketboost subwoofer Audio-Technica] QuietPoint ath-anc7b [Zalman] clip mic 
OtherOtherOtherOther
[Keycool] KC21 keypad w/ Gateron greens [Orico] USB 3.0 HDD dock bay [Orico] 7-port powered USB 3.0 Hub [Rosewill] 10-port powered USB 2.0 Hub 
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[Belkin] 7-port powered USB 2.0 Hub [Phanteks] Cable extensions white 
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[Intel] i7 6700HQ [Lenovo] ideapad y [Intel] HD 530 [AMD] Radeon R9 M375 4GB 
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[Samsung] 8GB DDR4 2133 [G.Skill] Ripjaws 8GB DDR4 2133 [Adata] Premier SP550 240GB SATA III M.2 SSD [Sandisk] X400 512GB SSD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
[Asus] slim external DVD RW stock [M$] Winblows 10 fortified and telemetry free [Lenovo] 14" 1080p monitor 
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[Lenovo] integrated [Lenovo] y700 shell [Lenovo] touchpad integrated 
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[Vortex] Poker II keyboard w/ MX Blacks [logitech] g303 daedalus apex mouse [WASD] v2 TKL w/ MX Clears (for work) [Dell] OEM optical mouse (for work) 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
[Intel] Xeon e5645 x 2 [Dell] Poweredge r710 OEM [Mushkin] 64GB (16x4GB) DDR3 ECC [Sandisk] Cruzer 2.0 16GB  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
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[Dell] OEM low-prof DVD RW [Dell] Poweredge r710 stock [VMWare] ESXi 6.5 [Dell] 870W Switching PSU x 2 
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