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Thread: Arcade computer case

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  1. #1

    Arcade computer case

    Hey guys,

    I just started working on my very first home made computer case, to hold my very first costum build rig.

    After about 2 weeks looking at boring, square, bulky black boxes, I decided I wanted a different computer case, with something else to it, rather than a plain rectangular sided box.

    The idea was to make something compact and, like I said, not square.

    After another week of planning and thinking, I finally decided on the design. I was going to make my home made case look like an arcade machine !

    I started working on Monday, and since I'm on vacation, I spent my entire days on it (which my back did not appreciate)

    So, this is what it has looked like so far:
    (and Yes, I was working on a bathroom, guest room's bathroom)

    Concept


    SolidWorks CAD


    Getting on with the drawing


    The first cut piece


    More pieces


    Assembling..



    Looking good...

    Some electronic components arrive


    Meet Mr and Mrs HDD support


    Backside, made of spare wood, cause I had enough of runs to the hardware store


    Acrylic windows, side (inside), front and top




    Front fan hole


    Gluing the side pannels


    And after some sanding


    After some more fine sanding, and a grid on, this is how it looks right now,great, is it not?
    (the back slides in)





    BUT, I didn't come here to brag only, I got a few questions for you-
    The way it is designed, this case is all arround compact, having little to none spare space, and that brings me some concerns, regarding cooling and air flow, that I had not considered at first.
    The graphics card sits on the top end of the case, barely fitting on the advanced section on the front side, with the fans facing upwards, sucking air in, and out of the case. The PSU has it's own isolated vent system, air enters from below, and exits through the back, without affecting the rest of the case. The standard intel CPU heatsink fan will sit roughly on the center of the case, sucking air in and out in every direction. With two intake fans (80 and 92mm) on the bottom front end of the case, I'm worried that the air flow isn't tidy enough, specially due to HDD position. Other ideas I had regarding air flow consist of giving up either the top or the front acrylic windows, for more fan holes.

    So my questions are:

    1) Is the airflow going to be has bad as I think it will
    2) Should I move the HDD supports?
    3) What else can I do to improve the overall air flow on the case

    Any other useful answer or comment is welcome, thanks
    Last edited by Pedro Ferreira; 09-12-2013 at 09:07 PM. Reason: Redundancy

  2. #2
    An answer on the next 8 hours would be great, since I'm planning to paint it tomorrow

  3. #3
    This is roughly how I expect the air flow to be like on the case:





    The area I think is the most troublesome is the one with the red ring, I think that the space is so tight that the GPU fans will have to work too hard to get the air in the graphics card

  4. #4
    Going to move the HDD supports, this is what it should look like


    I think this improves the air flow by a lot

    The change makes the front window kind of useless, but it is needed.
    Maybe when I upgrade to an SSD it won't look so bad
    Last edited by Pedro Ferreira; 09-14-2013 at 12:26 PM. Reason: something sounded wrong

  5. #5
    Transplant successful!


  6. #6
    Update: Been doing some painting, it honestly does not look as good as I'd like, but hey, for a first time, It's not to bad

    Covering some holes


    After grey-ish primer and blue coats


    Masking for the incoming black


    After a couple of black coats


    As you can see on the last pic, the texture on some pannels is very ugly, I think that is a common problem when doing this sort of stuff with wood

  7. #7
    The Main Man Dewayne's Avatar
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    Will there be any fans on the backside to draw the air out?

    Are you going to make up some stickers that will cover the sides? This will help cover the not-so-pretty side panels.
    Cut it, Paint it, Mod it. Void Your Warranty #moddersinc @moddersinc
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Americanfreak View Post
    Will there be any fans on the backside to draw the air out?

    Are you going to make up some stickers that will cover the sides? This will help cover the not-so-pretty side panels.
    After fitting everything in, I'll see if there's a need for an exhaust fan, but probably yes. Myabe a 80 or 50mm one, in front of the back plate's grid.
    About the stickers, I have considered it, but it's the front pannels that look the worst, not the side ones


    Today I'm gona spray a coat of varnish and then I'll put up some detail pics
    After that, it's just a waiting game untill the components arrive
    Last edited by Pedro Ferreira; 09-15-2013 at 04:54 AM.

  9. #9
    wow, it's been a long time since the last update.
    At first it was because I was waiting for parts to arrive, but then I got run over by college, and didn't have much time to post anything
    I have all the parts now, and the computer stands completed, only missing a working OS, I'll get that soon(maybe tomorrow)
    In case you're wondering, the specs are as follow:

    MOBO: Asus p8h77-i (mini-itx)
    CPU: Intel i5 3570
    GPU: Sapphire Tech's radeon hd 7870 GHz OC edition
    RAM: Patriot Viper 3 2x4Gb 1600
    HDD: Seagate barracuda 500Gb 7200rpm
    PSU: Corsair cx500 80+ bronze


    Brace yourselves for the upcoming pictures' avalanche


    The mailman brought me some goodies... oh the excitment.



    Unboxing






    My new 1080 x 1920 LED screen (wow this pic is blurry)


    Setting it up outside the case


    Ran into some misterious no post issue, after trying all the basics, I had to come up with a speaker for troubleshooting, my GBA sp took the hit (don't worry, he's fine now)


    After hours (literally, about 5hours) trying to sort out the problem, it suddently disappeared and everything was now running smooth.
    Time to fit it all on the case

    No step by step pics here because I got too excited with it all

    Some disappointedly weak LEDs fitted in

    By the way, something I have not mentioned before, the on/off switch on the front controls these LEDs

    My setup, has it stands right now


    And the views from the case's windows

    The bottom here (side window) is kind of messy, with all the cables, wires and connectors (no, the earphones are not inside the case, it's just a reflection), I'll get that sorted along with some other improvements, later on


    Will also be painting the baby blue strip on the graphics' card to match the case

    No picture of front window, because it was reflecting the light too bad and all you could see were my hands and the cellphone. I can tell you, though, that it looks kind of wrong, because you see the underside of the HDD and the wires running up in front of the HDD


    And that's it for the avalanche, what do you think?


    When I have the time, most likely in the christmas holidays, like mentioned before, I'll be doing doing some improvements, this include:

    *Cover the black front and side pannels with black vinyl (I think formica laminate is just some special kind of vinyl, not sure)

    *Re-paint every blue strip, and the graphics' card strip, for a better, more even colour

    *Re-paint the inside of the case (because I had to do some filing to fit the PSU in, and glue some wooden pieces to support the MOBO (my calculations were off, somehow))

    *Paint all non-black cables (either black or blue, yet to decide)

    *Switch the LEDs for some more powerfull ones (will probably get them from a x-mas tree light set, since those are pretty good, and damn cheap, have used them before)

    *Find some kind of sticker to cover the front acrilyc window


    Anything else you think deserves to be improved, just leave a comment.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Ferreira View Post
    After fitting everything in, I'll see if there's a need for an exhaust fan, but probably yes. Myabe a 80 or 50mm one, in front of the back plate's grid.
    About the stickers, I have considered it, but it's the front pannels that look the worst, not the side ones


    Today I'm gona spray a coat of varnish and then I'll put up some detail pics
    After that, it's just a waiting game untill the components arrive
    Now that I have installed all the components inside, and un-officially tested the airflow, I can say that an exhaust fan is not necessary, it looks like the air is flowing exactly as expected (post #4)
    I'll be doing some more concluding air flow tests today

  10. #10
    Have sprayed on the varnish coat in the morning, I am currently putting everything I have in place, before some cool detail shots

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