6. FAN PLANNING PART 2: DEVIL IN THE DETAILS
Alright, I have some more detailed measurements made, and it's going to be a close shave in several places.
Let's start with the rear panel.
No issue here at all. There's plenty of room between the IO Ports and near side-panel. Let's move on to the front panel and bezel.
^^ Unfortunately, it's not quite a fit. There's about a 1/8" overlap.
^^ I can handle that by cutting a notch from the bottom 5.25" Drive Bay, which I was going to end up using as a control panel location anyway, so no big loss.
^^ That would put the top fan jutting into the 5.25" bay slightly, which reveals a second problem. There isn't any metal to screw the two top holes of that fan to. So I'm going to have to add some sheet steel to that location, preferably before I cut the hole.
Looks like it's going to be an adventure getting that part done. I should still be able to cut the bottom hole immediately.
So let's take a look at the top fan placement:
The issue here is clear. Any fan placed here has the potential to interfere with the board-edge cable connections, including front panel connectors and the bottom IDE slot. The bottom IDE slot I can probably lose, and the connectors tend to be small.
I could mitigate this by shifting the fan closer to the near side, but that would ruin the aesthetics.
So the verdict is:
Bottom vent: No problem at all.
Rear Exhaust: No problem at all.
Top Exhaust: Probably not, but may be a problem.
Front Lower Intake: No problem at all.
Front Upper Intake: More complicated.
And just for a bit of a mockup, here's a few ugly markups of what I think the finished front might look like:
Maybe I should draw it up in Google Sketchup instead... lol.