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Can You Double Check My Acrylic Case Plans?

bas3onac1d

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#1
I'm about to order the acrylic to build a case from scratch. My goal was to have full ATX support and have the case be as small as possible so I can take it to the dorms next year. I also need it as quiet as possible so I'm trying to make the most efficient use of fans I can. I cut out the DVD drive as that would make the case much bigger and cause cable clutter and I never really use the thing. I'll use an eSATA connection if I really need it. Although, if I made the case just 1.63 inches taller I could put that drive right above the motherboard and hard drive, I'm not sure, what would you do?

Here is a picture I put together, everything is to scale so I have the dimensions (15.75*11.75*7.25) finalized. On the side where the motherboard mounts I'm gluing 10 clear cubes into place and drilling holes for the motherboard mount. It should help circulation if it's not resting against the panel as well. I have a fan (all are 120mm) on the bottom of the front panel giving my 4850 air and the PSU should exhaust that air. It's a Seasonic S12 so the fan is VERY slow, but I think it should get the job done. At the top of the case I have a fan behind the tower cpu heatsink exhausting that air and I might also put one on the front panel feeding it air, or just a vent, that's also another decision I have to make.



As for looks, I have one panel (the one you usually find windows on) will be red and transparent, the rest will all be black. The description for the black panels said they let light through but diffuse it so you can't see what's inside. On the front I'm carving a design out of the black and putting red LEDs behind it. It will be 6.75 wide and 240mm long to let in air to two fans. It will limit airflow a lot but I think this case will still have better cooling than most as it's so small and still has 3 120mm + the PSU 120mm.

So I really want to see if anyone here has experience with acrylic cases and can give me some advice. Or any suggestions on my design if I have issues that I haven't seen.
 
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bas3onac1d

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#4
Thanks, I've been reading the front page for a while and decided to join now that I have a problem, haha
 

MKmods

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#5
its quite simple the straighter and shorter the path of airflow the better it works.

Since video cards are so long (and getting longer) make airflow along their axis. Here is my first acrylic case


A coupe things to notice, PS, Hdds and DVD are below to keep wiring clutter and heat away from the mobo.
Next look how the fans blow the same way across the mobo, 1 for the GPUs and Chipset, and 1 more for the rad (which sucks air across the surface of the mobo and past the memory)

And welcome to TPU also :toast:

EDIT: are you planning on a tower design?
 
K

kyle2020

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#6
I'm about to order the acrylic to build a case from scratch. My goal was to have full ATX support and have the case be as small as possible so I can take it to the dorms next year. I also need it as quiet as possible so I'm trying to make the most efficient use of fans I can. I cut out the DVD drive as that would make the case much bigger and cause cable clutter and I never really use the thing. I'll use an eSATA connection if I really need it. Although, if I made the case just 1.63 inches taller I could put that drive right above the motherboard and hard drive, I'm not sure, what would you do?
Out of all of that i see only one problem - your descision to cut the cd drive out - im guessing when you say dorms you mean your off to university - surely installing new programs, ripping music and watching DVD's will be needed?
 

bas3onac1d

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#7
I'm starting to think I'll need it more and more, I'll find a way to draw it into the plans. I'll make the case 1.63 inches taller and slot that right above the hard drive in the same cage.

and MKMods, I was originally about to build it with a similar setup to yours, with the motherboard isolated and the psu and drives under, but it came out much bigger that way and I think I like the looks of a tower. I was also planning on doing a double wind-tunnel kind of thing, one for the GPU and one for the CPU and chipset, we must think alike...I just don't want to have too much airflow and create turbulence, I heard that could be a problem but I'm not so sure. So far I have the tower fan actually acting as an intake and then the exhaust. Then the psu and intake for the gpu section creating a tunnel of sorts.

Thanks for the help. I'll align that to the PCB, it should help. The 4850 is pretty damn long, it extends almost to the other side of my case.

I see you never made pci slot covers or anything like that, it works fine with just a hole right?
 

MKmods

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#8
PCI slot covers just block the airflow.

One other thing if you do a tower, put the PS on the top. By using it on the bottom the fan fights the airflow (if above the PS) and if its facing down (below) its just wastes the PSs fan.
 
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#9
You could always put in a slimline DVD drive
 

Pinchy

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#11
On my mini-ITX server comp thing I made my own acrylic / steel case.

What I have done is simply have the motherboard, a PCI gigabit card and hard drive - everything else is USB. (inc DVD drive).

All I did was get a normal motherboard tray...attach two pieces of steel (front and back) and then bend a piece of acrylic around the sides and top. Looks dodgy cus I bent the acrylic by hand (yes put it in the oven and bent it myself :p...dont kill me mark :rolleyes:), but other than that its fine :).
 

bas3onac1d

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#12
I never thought of a USB drive...

I can buy the slimline pretty easily as I build computers for a few offices in the area, I could just give them my drive and pay the difference. I thought of that and looked on newegg, the slim drives were all made for laptops and didn't use the same kind of power cable. USB it is.

So I'm moving the PSU to the top, hard drive goes to the bottom and the case should stay the same size overall. One more question, what should I use to bond everything? Everything should be glued but the red panel needs to be able to come off with screws or a hinge somehow. And when I insert the red LEDs on the front panel, what do I use to give them power?
 

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#13
I never thought of a USB drive...

I can buy the slimline pretty easily as I build computers for a few offices in the area, I could just give them my drive and pay the difference. I thought of that and looked on newegg, the slim drives were all made for laptops and didn't use the same kind of power cable. USB it is.
You can get the laptop slimline --> IDE converters, but why bother when there is USB lol.

So I'm moving the PSU to the top, hard drive goes to the bottom and the case should stay the same size overall. One more question, what should I use to bond everything? Everything should be glued but the red panel needs to be able to come off with screws or a hinge somehow. And when I insert the red LEDs on the front panel, what do I use to give them power?
I would say to use screws wherever you can, simply to allow you to pull it apart at anytime. Also if you can, a big positive will be a removable motherboard tray.

I assume you mean the RED LED's as in the HDD/Power LED activity lights? If so, you need to connect them to the F_Panel connectors.
 

bas3onac1d

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#14
No, I'm drilling 3mm holes in the acrylic (front only) and putting red LEDs inside it to light up the design I'm cutting out and match the side panel

So, I have bad taste, I just wanna make sure this looks good.

Front panel: see-through black with the cut out and red leds
Side panel: transparent red
everything else: opaque black, it won't let out any light.
 
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#15
you'll have to find a spare Molex somewhere. also it depends on how many LEDs you want lit up; you'll want a limiting resistor inline with the LEDs. check out www.ledcalc.com