A computer components & hardware forum. HardwareBanter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » HardwareBanter forum » General Hardware & Peripherals » Homebuilt PC's
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Thinking "out of the box" when building a PC



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old July 15th 05, 12:07 PM
Mxsmanic
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Thinking "out of the box" when building a PC

More and more, as I look at prefabricated cases for PCs, I ask myself:
what prevents someone from building a PC with no case? For example,
why couldn't you, say, build some sort of wooden mounting area into a
wall or a desk, then mount all the components to it, so that you have
something that blends into the furniture and/or something with plenty
of open space to ease maintenance and keep the machine cooler? Why
does everything always have to be in a cramped box? As long as you
respect things like cable lengths, are there other limitations?

Beyond cable lengths, it occurred to me that perhaps rotating parts
like CD and especially disk drives need to rotate in a horizontal
plane in order to have a symmetric load on the bearings. Is this
true? I've seen PCs in the past with disk drives mounted vertically,
and one of them was quite new (although it failed for other reasons
later on--it was pretty cheap). Do disk drives have to be mounted in
only certain orientations?

Another concern might be EMI, but if you had a metal mesh enclosure or
something around the machine that you could close and ground, wouldn't
that stop EMI? Does anyone really have much trouble with EMI, anyway?

Anyway, what I picture is a sort of vast PC with tons of room between
components, almost like a huge rack in the style of old mainframes
into which you could easily stick your arm if you had to replace
something. Current cases are so cramped that one must pay careful
attention not to break anything when removing or adding parts, and the
air circulation never seems to be anywhere close to ideal.

Maybe something that fits under a desktop (literally) would work.
You'd have a hinged door on the desktop, and when you lift it up, you
have your PC components all nicely mounted in a roomy enclosure with
plenty of space to maintain or upgrade them, and powerful silent fans
to keep the whole thing comfortably cool. It would be the opposite of
a laptop: instead of trying to squeeze everything into the smallest
possible space, you'd be spreading it out into a very large and
accessible place that could potentially give you years of easy and
trouble-free use--and could be discreet enough that people wouldn't
even know that you had a PC (out of sight, and out of sound).

I've seen companies that build special furniture to receive a PC, but
it's always just a spot into which a standard cabinet can be fitted.
I haven't found anyone who builds PCs directly into furniture, walls,
etc.

Maybe there's no much demand for easy access. I'm the type who would
like to see subfloors and false ceilings with open cable trays and
access
  #2  
Old July 15th 05, 12:16 PM
Al Dykes
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
Mxsmanic wrote:
More and more, as I look at prefabricated cases for PCs, I ask myself:
what prevents someone from building a PC with no case? For example,
why couldn't you, say, build some sort of wooden mounting area into a
wall or a desk, then mount all the components to it, so that you have
something that blends into the furniture and/or something with plenty
of open space to ease maintenance and keep the machine cooler? Why
does everything always have to be in a cramped box? As long as you
respect things like cable lengths, are there other limitations?

Beyond cable lengths, it occurred to me that perhaps rotating parts
like CD and especially disk drives need to rotate in a horizontal
plane in order to have a symmetric load on the bearings. Is this
true? I've seen PCs in the past with disk drives mounted vertically,
and one of them was quite new (although it failed for other reasons
later on--it was pretty cheap). Do disk drives have to be mounted in
only certain orientations?

Another concern might be EMI, but if you had a metal mesh enclosure or
something around the machine that you could close and ground, wouldn't
that stop EMI? Does anyone really have much trouble with EMI, anyway?

Anyway, what I picture is a sort of vast PC with tons of room between
components, almost like a huge rack in the style of old mainframes
into which you could easily stick your arm if you had to replace
something. Current cases are so cramped that one must pay careful
attention not to break anything when removing or adding parts, and the
air circulation never seems to be anywhere close to ideal.


Have a ball. I think FCC regs and even safety regulations (or at
least company lawyers worrying about lawsuits) limit cases to the
boring, as you have noted.

As for taste, nobody's going to make a PC in a way that only one
person likes.



--
a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  #3  
Old July 15th 05, 12:48 PM
Ed Medlin
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Mxsmanic" wrote in message
...
More and more, as I look at prefabricated cases for PCs, I ask myself:
what prevents someone from building a PC with no case? For example,
why couldn't you, say, build some sort of wooden mounting area into a
wall or a desk, then mount all the components to it, so that you have
something that blends into the furniture and/or something with plenty
of open space to ease maintenance and keep the machine cooler? Why
does everything always have to be in a cramped box? As long as you
respect things like cable lengths, are there other limitations?

Beyond cable lengths, it occurred to me that perhaps rotating parts
like CD and especially disk drives need to rotate in a horizontal
plane in order to have a symmetric load on the bearings. Is this
true? I've seen PCs in the past with disk drives mounted vertically,
and one of them was quite new (although it failed for other reasons
later on--it was pretty cheap). Do disk drives have to be mounted in
only certain orientations?

Another concern might be EMI, but if you had a metal mesh enclosure or
something around the machine that you could close and ground, wouldn't
that stop EMI? Does anyone really have much trouble with EMI, anyway?

Anyway, what I picture is a sort of vast PC with tons of room between
components, almost like a huge rack in the style of old mainframes
into which you could easily stick your arm if you had to replace
something. Current cases are so cramped that one must pay careful
attention not to break anything when removing or adding parts, and the
air circulation never seems to be anywhere close to ideal.

Maybe something that fits under a desktop (literally) would work.
You'd have a hinged door on the desktop, and when you lift it up, you
have your PC components all nicely mounted in a roomy enclosure with
plenty of space to maintain or upgrade them, and powerful silent fans
to keep the whole thing comfortably cool. It would be the opposite of
a laptop: instead of trying to squeeze everything into the smallest
possible space, you'd be spreading it out into a very large and
accessible place that could potentially give you years of easy and
trouble-free use--and could be discreet enough that people wouldn't
even know that you had a PC (out of sight, and out of sound).

I've seen companies that build special furniture to receive a PC, but
it's always just a spot into which a standard cabinet can be fitted.
I haven't found anyone who builds PCs directly into furniture, walls,
etc.

Maybe there's no much demand for easy access. I'm the type who would
like to see subfloors and false ceilings with open cable trays and
access


I built a case out of 1" stock (wood) with laminated plywood set in grooves
for side panels that just slide out from the front. I use it for testing
purposes at my work bench. It hangs by woodscrews under one end of my bench.
The main problem I had was the rear panel (scavenged from a case I had
setting around) and the on/off and reset switches which I also scavenged and
cut holes to match. Never thought much about EMI since I use a completely
open wooden board for testing MBs, PSUs interior components etc. I could
stain it and mount it pretty much anywhere if I wanted and it would not look
much like a PC. I use it for testing printers, USB devices and other
externals mainly. It has 802.11g so it is very functional and I have posted
here from it while working. It is an old FCPGA P3-700 @ 933 and stays nice
and cool running W2K. My workspace is small and bench room is at a premium,
but I guess I could have done the same thing with an old case I already had.
All the components are easy to get to and change since my bench is fairly
high and it is mounted with the left side panel to the front. I just have
two 80mm fans in the case and an old Golden Orb for CPU cooling. The main
drawback is that if your time is valuable, it would probably be more cost
effective to purchase a case...........:-). On the positive side, you can
build it the way you want and make things very easy to swap out.

Ed


  #4  
Old July 15th 05, 03:22 PM
Lord Gazwad of Grantham
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mxsmanic, , the pearl necklace-wearing, susurrant
festered sore, and keeper of the kitchen cupboard, whimpered:

More and more, as I look at prefabricated cases for PCs, I ask myself:
what prevents someone from building a PC with no case? For example,
why couldn't you, say, build some sort of wooden mounting area into a
wall or a desk, then mount all the components to it, so that you have
something that blends into the furniture and/or something with plenty
of open space to ease maintenance and keep the machine cooler? Why
does everything always have to be in a cramped box? As long as you
respect things like cable lengths, are there other limitations?

Beyond cable lengths, it occurred to me that perhaps rotating parts
like CD and especially disk drives need to rotate in a horizontal
plane in order to have a symmetric load on the bearings. Is this
true? I've seen PCs in the past with disk drives mounted vertically,
and one of them was quite new (although it failed for other reasons
later on--it was pretty cheap). Do disk drives have to be mounted in
only certain orientations?

Another concern might be EMI, but if you had a metal mesh enclosure or
something around the machine that you could close and ground, wouldn't
that stop EMI? Does anyone really have much trouble with EMI, anyway?

Anyway, what I picture is a sort of vast PC with tons of room between
components, almost like a huge rack in the style of old mainframes
into which you could easily stick your arm if you had to replace
something. Current cases are so cramped that one must pay careful
attention not to break anything when removing or adding parts, and the
air circulation never seems to be anywhere close to ideal.

Maybe something that fits under a desktop (literally) would work.
You'd have a hinged door on the desktop, and when you lift it up, you
have your PC components all nicely mounted in a roomy enclosure with
plenty of space to maintain or upgrade them, and powerful silent fans
to keep the whole thing comfortably cool. It would be the opposite of
a laptop: instead of trying to squeeze everything into the smallest
possible space, you'd be spreading it out into a very large and
accessible place that could potentially give you years of easy and
trouble-free use--and could be discreet enough that people wouldn't
even know that you had a PC (out of sight, and out of sound).

I've seen companies that build special furniture to receive a PC, but
it's always just a spot into which a standard cabinet can be fitted.
I haven't found anyone who builds PCs directly into furniture, walls,
etc.

Maybe there's no much demand for easy access. I'm the type who would
like to see subfloors and false ceilings with open cable trays and
access


Why not use a refrigerator as your case, it has a handy light when you open
the door. Your components would be as cool as you wanted and you could keep
your beers in there too.

--
For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down
in words with even more distinctness than that with which I conceived
it. There is, however, a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy which
are not thoughts, and to which as yet I have found it absolutely
impossible to adapt to language. These fancies arise in the soul, alas
how rarely. Only at epochs of most intense tranquillity, when the
bodily and mental health are in perfection. And at those weird points
of time, where the confines of the waking world blend with the world of
dreams. And so I captured this fancy, where all that we see, or seem,
is but a dream within a dream.





  #5  
Old July 15th 05, 03:40 PM
Matt
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mxsmanic wrote:
More and more, as I look at prefabricated cases for PCs, I ask myself:
what prevents someone from building a PC with no case?


That is unwholesome thinking.

Find a case that is easy to open and that supports easy changing of
components.

On the other hand I wouldn't want you to repress your need for
self-expression.
  #6  
Old July 15th 05, 04:05 PM
Mxsmanic
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Matt writes:

Find a case that is easy to open and that supports easy changing of
components.


Does anyone make such cases? Most of them seem to be designed for
looks or compact size rather than maintenance or cooling.
  #7  
Old July 15th 05, 04:55 PM
spodosaurus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mxsmanic wrote:
More and more, as I look at prefabricated cases for PCs, I ask myself:
what prevents someone from building a PC with no case? For example,
why couldn't you, say, build some sort of wooden mounting area into a
wall or a desk, then mount all the components to it, so that you have
something that blends into the furniture and/or something with plenty
of open space to ease maintenance and keep the machine cooler? Why
does everything always have to be in a cramped box? As long as you
respect things like cable lengths, are there other limitations?

Beyond cable lengths, it occurred to me that perhaps rotating parts
like CD and especially disk drives need to rotate in a horizontal
plane in order to have a symmetric load on the bearings. Is this
true? I've seen PCs in the past with disk drives mounted vertically,
and one of them was quite new (although it failed for other reasons
later on--it was pretty cheap). Do disk drives have to be mounted in
only certain orientations?

Another concern might be EMI, but if you had a metal mesh enclosure or
something around the machine that you could close and ground, wouldn't
that stop EMI? Does anyone really have much trouble with EMI, anyway?

Anyway, what I picture is a sort of vast PC with tons of room between
components, almost like a huge rack in the style of old mainframes
into which you could easily stick your arm if you had to replace
something. Current cases are so cramped that one must pay careful
attention not to break anything when removing or adding parts, and the
air circulation never seems to be anywhere close to ideal.

Maybe something that fits under a desktop (literally) would work.
You'd have a hinged door on the desktop, and when you lift it up, you
have your PC components all nicely mounted in a roomy enclosure with
plenty of space to maintain or upgrade them, and powerful silent fans
to keep the whole thing comfortably cool. It would be the opposite of
a laptop: instead of trying to squeeze everything into the smallest
possible space, you'd be spreading it out into a very large and
accessible place that could potentially give you years of easy and
trouble-free use--and could be discreet enough that people wouldn't
even know that you had a PC (out of sight, and out of sound).

I've seen companies that build special furniture to receive a PC, but
it's always just a spot into which a standard cabinet can be fitted.
I haven't found anyone who builds PCs directly into furniture, walls,
etc.

Maybe there's no much demand for easy access. I'm the type who would
like to see subfloors and false ceilings with open cable trays and
access


Have you taken the time to explore case mod websites? Do a google search
for "case mod" and go from there. Some of the competitions and how-to
guides that can be found are very impressive!

--
spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
http://www.abmdr.org.au/
http://www.marrow.org/
  #8  
Old July 15th 05, 04:56 PM
spodosaurus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mxsmanic wrote:
Matt writes:


Find a case that is easy to open and that supports easy changing of
components.



Does anyone make such cases? Most of them seem to be designed for
looks or compact size rather than maintenance or cooling.


You can hire someone to make just about anything...

--
spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

I'm going to die rather sooner than I'd like. I tried to protect my
neighbours from crime, and became the victim of it. Complications in
hospital following this resulted in a serious illness. I now need a bone
marrow transplant. Many people around the world are waiting for a marrow
transplant, too. Please volunteer to be a marrow donor:
http://www.abmdr.org.au/
http://www.marrow.org/
  #9  
Old July 15th 05, 06:09 PM
Chris
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


More and more, as I look at prefabricated cases for PCs, I ask myself:
what prevents someone from building a PC with no case? For example,
why couldn't you, say, build some sort of wooden mounting area into a
wall or a desk, then mount all the components to it, so that you have
something that blends into the furniture and/or something with plenty
of open space to ease maintenance and keep the machine cooler? Why
does everything always have to be in a cramped box? As long as you
respect things like cable lengths, are there other limitations?


http://www.mini-itx.com/projects.asp


  #10  
Old July 15th 05, 06:11 PM
Clyde
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Mxsmanic wrote:
More and more, as I look at prefabricated cases for PCs, I ask myself:
what prevents someone from building a PC with no case? For example,
why couldn't you, say, build some sort of wooden mounting area into a
wall or a desk, then mount all the components to it, so that you have
something that blends into the furniture and/or something with plenty
of open space to ease maintenance and keep the machine cooler? Why
does everything always have to be in a cramped box? As long as you
respect things like cable lengths, are there other limitations?

Beyond cable lengths, it occurred to me that perhaps rotating parts
like CD and especially disk drives need to rotate in a horizontal
plane in order to have a symmetric load on the bearings. Is this
true? I've seen PCs in the past with disk drives mounted vertically,
and one of them was quite new (although it failed for other reasons
later on--it was pretty cheap). Do disk drives have to be mounted in
only certain orientations?

Another concern might be EMI, but if you had a metal mesh enclosure or
something around the machine that you could close and ground, wouldn't
that stop EMI? Does anyone really have much trouble with EMI, anyway?

Anyway, what I picture is a sort of vast PC with tons of room between
components, almost like a huge rack in the style of old mainframes
into which you could easily stick your arm if you had to replace
something. Current cases are so cramped that one must pay careful
attention not to break anything when removing or adding parts, and the
air circulation never seems to be anywhere close to ideal.

Maybe something that fits under a desktop (literally) would work.
You'd have a hinged door on the desktop, and when you lift it up, you
have your PC components all nicely mounted in a roomy enclosure with
plenty of space to maintain or upgrade them, and powerful silent fans
to keep the whole thing comfortably cool. It would be the opposite of
a laptop: instead of trying to squeeze everything into the smallest
possible space, you'd be spreading it out into a very large and
accessible place that could potentially give you years of easy and
trouble-free use--and could be discreet enough that people wouldn't
even know that you had a PC (out of sight, and out of sound).

I've seen companies that build special furniture to receive a PC, but
it's always just a spot into which a standard cabinet can be fitted.
I haven't found anyone who builds PCs directly into furniture, walls,
etc.

Maybe there's no much demand for easy access. I'm the type who would
like to see subfloors and false ceilings with open cable trays and
access


Once in "Maximum PC" I saw pictures and descriptions about a guy who
build his PC in a desk. All the parts were in different drawers. Yes,
there were mods to the desk and wiring considerations. He had to make it
to get air in there for cooling, but found that separating all the hot
parts kept things pretty cool anyway.

I thought that was pretty cool.

Hey, look around on the Web. There are a lot of people that have done
some creative and/or crazy things.

Clyde
 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Building new system, asking for input (& have some questions) Daniel Homebuilt PC's 0 February 22nd 05 08:40 PM
building an htpc - what do you wish you had known? Waz Homebuilt PC's 1 February 6th 05 10:49 PM
Opnion about buying vs building desktop system Joseph General 3 August 29th 03 02:45 AM
Building your Own PC? GC \(BuildYourOwn\) General 0 August 2nd 03 05:14 PM
Building an IBM-PC compatible laptop. xby Homebuilt PC's 1 July 1st 03 08:00 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2022 HardwareBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.