For the complete worklog check out: http://picasaweb.google.com/woundedbadgers/Siezure
The thought was a desk custom made for gaming. It had to look like a piece of mission oak furniture at the same time support â€˜the newâ€™.
To start, my wifeâ€™s design parameters dictated that it needed â€˜blend inâ€™ when it was off. Turns out that was a tall order for anything 8 foot cubed. What I ended up with was big, very big. Big enough for three 30â€ LCD monitors.
There was space for everything but the problem was it was too spread out. I wanted the DVD-RW under the center monitor. As the cords go, that is a good 6 feet from where the computer case could beâ€¦ Then it hit. Dump the computer case all together.
The top was made entirely out of oak. The base started with a Â¼â€ pegboard and a handful of LEDs. The two 2â€™ square panels consumed 1,012 LEDs, a dozen sticks of hot glue, 100â€™ of Cat-5 cable, and who knows how much solder. I hid them behind a piece of Â¼â€™ stained glass I got from a local glass shop.
I put a USB hub on the right when it could easily connect to the keyboard and mouse (I am right handed).
All things said, as I built the top I integrated a motherboard box into the design. Taking it one step further, I built the box with cooling in mind.
When building in oak, 120mm (5â€) is relatively small amount of space in the grand scheme of things. This made it real easy to place 120mm fans. Three fans when it was all said. There are a lot of fan filters available but when using three 120mm fans, a household furnace filter seemed most appropriate. The air box and filter now take up a large part of the deskâ€™s lower left half.
In the mother board box there are 14 sets of blue and white LEDâ€™s, each flashing briefly every few seconds. Behind the tinted glass they really make a lightshow. The desk has hidden lighting all over the desk using LEDâ€™s encased in oak trim. All controls are accessed through 16 LED tipped low voltage switches to control, well, just about everything. By doing it this way I could control everything including the fridge. Yes, this thing has a small 6 can fridge on the lower right side. Because of all this 12 v activity and over 1,200 LEDâ€™s I thought it would be responsible to monitor the 12v subsystem hence the three meters on the right hand side. They keep an eye on the key voltages and amperages.
the Major component list includes three 22â€ Acer LCD displays, three Asus ATI 3850 graphics cards, 4gb DDR2 1033mhz RAM, Maxtor 500Gb hard drive (although I seriously considered buying an additional 16GB SSD to improve the shock and aw performance.
Also included was the Logitech z-5500 with optical connectivity which was linked to an Asus M3A32MVP Deluxe motherboard via a 10â€™ optical cable and of course the Phenom 9850 CPU and a copy of windows Vista 64bit to complete the order. The components almost donâ€™t really matter at this point. They can be upgraded anytime. Iâ€™m already watching the prices on the 30â€ HP monitorsâ€¦ tomorrow always brings better goodies.
Now that the machine is nearly complete, other ideas to use the extra space are coming up. An oxygen tank for better gaming performance. A toilet instead of a chair for increased on game activityâ€¦ ok maybe going too far . . . .but the cup holder will be installed this weekend. Another thought is a proximity warning system to let you know if anyone is sneaking up on you while you are playing a heated game of Crysis; which is outstanding on three screens by the way.
So, here it is, my best shot at creating an environment that optimizes the experience of the game. Obsessive compulsive? I hope so. Anyway, itâ€™s a long way from Pong and PacMan and my little Commodore64.