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Old 04-13-2012, 07:52 AM   #1
Sparky
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Default Designing a computer case.

I've been considering a new LAN box this summer, but as I think about what I'm asking of the machine, and looking at the available cases, It's apparent I'll be building my own case. The arc mini comes closest, but I despise side intakes and have no need for that many drive bays. I think I can do better.

Requirements:
easy to carry, small, solid enough build that bumps and vibration while driving around won't break anything.
2 cores reserved for game, remaining cores must stream at 720p 2mbit,
preferably 1080p at 4mbit.
compatibility for long GPU w/ non-reference cooling.
Inaudible from 3m in no load situation.


prelim part list:
i5 3570k, i7 3770k or i7 3930k, depending on if ivy overclocks well enough to encode 1080p 30fps 4mbit on 2 cores in FMLE or XSplit. If livestreaming programs start leveraging quicksync I'll definitely go w/ ivy. If HotS leverages more than 2 cores I'll probably go w/ SB-E.

h100? Small water and air coolers would require loud fans, and big air coolers make me nervous about hitting a pothole on the way to a LAN and cracking mobo. If there's an air cooler under 500g that can cool a moderate overclock quietly, I'm certainly interested.

mATX mobo, maybe Asus ROG?
fast single GPU video card, maybe a 670 or 680. Non-reference cooler, maybe aftermarket.
120hz 1080p monitor
Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-550 550W 14 cm depth is main benefit. I haven't seen a good review of it, but Antec is usually reliable.

Case I've designed around the above components:




Current dimensions 20cm x 41.5cm x 34cm
Front intake fans are Thermalright TY-150
back exhaust 92mm
all fans on controller.
Yellow lines in mockup is hypothetical ducting, so all the air going into the case picks up heat from somewhere, and all the hot air exits the case without mixing back into the intake air. If it's quiet and cool without ducting I won't bother.

second image is a draft of the pattern that will cut all the bits. Planning on having it CNC laser cut out of 16 gauge stainless, which I will then TIG weld together, may change material to mild steel(which I'll then paint) or aluminum. I'm budgeting about $500 for the case, including everything but my own labor. Large meshes are frames for filter screens, small mesh is rear exhaust. I'd like critique and suggestions for changes.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:22 AM   #2
Gabriel Torres
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Wow, thanks for sharing. It is nice to hear from someone with a somewhat big project! Please keep us posted about it, it is a really interesting thread.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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Yeah, right now im trying to find someone that can print to scale on foamcore or maybe some cardboard for a mockup.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:07 AM   #4
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waw, very nice.
maybe take a lot of time and full of concentration doing that. ;-D
i think you are genius....
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:24 AM   #5
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Very cool project

Since you seem to know hot to use autocad, I think the best way to create a mockup is to create a layout with a custom size so you can go in a copy shop, print it on paper and cut carboard from that. To give you a price idea, I had to use this method for templates on aluminium construction, and I paid about 4€/linear meter in 90cm wide (which is pretty much the size of your second drawing).

On a more general idea, you could put handles on top if you plan to often move you rig.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubis02 View Post
Very cool project

Since you seem to know hot to use autocad, I think the best way to create a mockup is to create a layout with a custom size so you can go in a copy shop, print it on paper and cut carboard from that. To give you a price idea, I had to use this method for templates on aluminium construction, and I paid about 4€/linear meter in 90cm wide (which is pretty much the size of your second drawing).

On a more general idea, you could put handles on top if you plan to often move you rig.
I'm using draftsight and figuring it out as I go. Apparently Dassault and autocad got in a legal battle over DWG, and Dassault released draftsight for free as a big screw you. I'm thinking about using some cabinet handles with a similar finish to #4 stainless, but it shouldn't be hard to carry even without handles.

Last edited by Sparky; 04-16-2012 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:35 PM   #7
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Steel frame + aluminum siding might be better for transportation. If you really wanted to be creative, you could design a modifiable frame that you could attach different panels based on what you wanted to do with it.

For meshes, you might want to take note of what Corsair did with magnetic strips on the mesh for easy removal.
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