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scratch build help

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Trying hard to design a case but struggling with spacing for water cooled gpu and atx psu. My case will be a tight squeeze but I will increase it if it means I case use most gpu and psu?

How mush space HxWxL for atx psu? Every psu I look at has different measurements

How mush height do I need to leave in order to clear most water cool gpu blocks?

Like I said, I am really struggling with the math so any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
post #2 of 11
Hi mate! ATX PSUs measure 150x86 mm (HxW). Their lenght can vary depending on the power output of the unit (and its cooling needs), being typically between 140 and 200 mm. You could try to design your case to accomodate a big PSU, so your choices are not too limited.

GPU waterblock size is easy. The block covers the entire space of the circuit board , and it is thinner than the factory heatsink that comes with the GPU, thus making it one slot . The waterblock also features a piece that lets you connect the tubing that carries the cooling fluid. This piece can extend the block's height approximately an inch above the nominal full profile pci slot height.

I'll leave the corresponding Wikipedia links;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conventional_PCI#Physical_card_dimensions
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX#Physical_characteristics
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the helpful information. 200mm makes for a much bigger space than I can accommodate with my current idea. Might have to sacrifice when it comes to supporting all psu solutions. Thanks again.
post #4 of 11
Glad you find my post useful! I think that planning for a 160 mm PSU is a good idea, you should be able to get up to 750 W or thereabouts with that space. The 200 mm ones are the 1200 W units.

May I also ask, What form factor do you have in mind?
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thant is good advice but I found the the Corsair rm series were slightly bigger. I have mostly Seasonic in my builds now so I guess I will stick with what has always been my go to psu brand. Although I will say my Seasonic 750x crapped out after only a year. Now Seasonic replaced it will no argument so I can not fault the company as they stood by their product. Been 6 month on the replacement and still going.

Thanks again for the help
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry forgot to respond to the form factor question. It is kind of a weird form. It will be an open air design but I am trying hard to fit an all atx and full water cooling in the tight form. I want to keep it to a certain size but it is really making miy mind melt trying to cram a full custom water loop with the atx psu. The radiator or psu has to be scaled down. Maybe both. Every time I think I have it all solved I notice how I can not make one thing fit. If it was all square I would have been done building by now but I want a tilted motherboard and that kills the numbers in almost every way.
post #7 of 11
This sounds interesting. Do you have a draft of the case available to publish? What GPU and watercooling components are you trying to use? I think you should also check the small form factor build logs for some inspiration on alternative ways to place things. It may not be useful in your case, but here's one of my favorites http://www.overclock.net/t/1536159/build-log-h2o-micro-sub-3-liter-custom-watercooled-gaming-rig
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I do not really have a draft. I mean, I have made many and continue to make them but like I said it never seems to all come together. I am not good with digital programs but I did make a full scale model out of cardboard and that is when the realizations came to pass. Now I have been drawing on paper trying to work out the math with my (does not work) model as reference. Doing the conversions from mm to inches has made my mind numb.

I have all the metal/aluminum/acrylic and various case materials and parts I will need. I could build the case tomorrow if I could ever work out the math.

As far as components, this will be a high end Intel build. Not crazy high but enough to warrant water cooling. I just did an AMD recently so this will be Intel. I do not play favorites. I want both manufacturers to succeed. Competition breeds innovation. My AMD build was air cooled (should be in my profile) and this will be water. i also like to explore all the avenues of building.

I am a fan of open air/test bench type cases. I collect cases like women collect shoes. Most I build and give to friends or needing young adults. Just like building them. It is my hobby, like most here. I usually keep the test bench cases and my Danger Den Torture Rack is my one case that I will never give up. But it lacks one feature I want and that is a tilted motherboard. It also is made for many types of builds (being a test bench) and I want a case more designed for one particular build.

So that is my quest. To build an open air case smaller than my torture rack and with more of a distinct purpose. With help from kind people like yourself I will get there. I have all the stuff I need to build the case but can not proceed until the math works out. I even have all the powdercoat powder just waiting if I can ever get to welding.

Thanks for the link it was inspiring and I needed to be reminded that this was not impossible. Last night I almost threw in the towel at the drawing table convinced it just was not possible to do what I wanted.

If I ever figure it out and you are interested I will do a build log but I am not very good at that type of stuff. I really just build them for me but would be happy to contribute in any way I can to the community.

Thanks again for the help. Might seem small to you but it helped me with a hurdle in my journey for the dream.
post #9 of 11
I can see you're passionate about your case design. Don't give up your project, just take it easy and make a pause every now and then. Everything that makes one happy is worth the effort. Regarding the build log, I do like them, but I understand that the documenting process can be tedious sometimes.

I wish you the best of luck with your project! thumb.gif
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post #10 of 11
I find it works best if you stop thinking about it as a PC-case. But rather more of as an enclosure, a "box" to fit around the computer components

So, you go with the best/shortest way of doing the loop and packing all of it as close together as possible (do not be afraid of PCIE extenders to "flip" the GPU sideways)

Then, once that is done, design the enclosure around it

Since you have basically stepped outside the box, you were no longer held back with traditional thinking like "a fan goes here, a PSU goes here, etc"..... you'll find you'll end up with something which is either closer to a BTX -like design or closer to a Fortress FT5 smile.gif

What also helps is looking at everyday objects.. a laundry basket, a desk drawer, a suitcase, a lunchbox, a wheelhub, a bicycle shed, a henhouse, doghouse, outhouse ... .... and think "how would i go about turning this into a working PC if these were my limiting dimensions?" (dont worry about air in/out) smile.gif
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