Case design, some input would be nice :)

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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Case design, some input would be nice :)

Post by ScrooLoose » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:40 pm

I'm in the process of building my own case, well it's in the design stage atm :)
It's going to be made completely out of (thick'ish) wood and it's going to be 50cmx50cmx50cm, a nice cube shape :) (on 8cm legs)

Here's a quick and dirty sketch from the side (which is not completely to scale);


The air for cooling the components is pulled from under the case itself hoping to minimize fan related sounds as much as possible.
Inner sides are going to covered as much as possible in some sort of sound deadening material.
The fans will be running at either 5 or 7 volt and will have no grates or any kind of dust filters in front of them to minimize airflow obstruction and turbulence noise

It looks like the dvd player will block the airflow but thats not the case since the case is also 50cm wide so plenty of room for the air to move around it.
I see i forgot to include the power button and maybe a few USB ports in the front but they will go in the front somewhere :p

Hardware will be Dual core Athlon 5000+, 4GB ram and a few HD's and will be used for everyday tasks/usage and it will be my temporary HTPC till i make a dedicated HTPC, there will be no gaming on this pc.

Any kind of input/critique is much appreciated :D

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Post by Ch0z3n » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:29 pm

So you plan to have all of the hottest components right next to each other? If you're gonna build the case yourself you might as well do it more like a p182, get the hard drives and PSU in a separate chamber on the bottom with the motherboard above it. Why is it so wide? You could just move the DVD player to the top and make it a lot thinner since I don't think you are overly concerned about the dvd player heating up. On your current setup, I think the top 12cm exhaust would be very efficient because you are forcing twice as much air in as the exhaust is forcing out. It would work better with the intakes at 1/2 speed or even easier, just take the exhaust out.

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Post by KyonCoraeL » Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:22 pm

Looks like you have alot of fans, might get loud.

What type of material are you going to use for this case?

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:46 pm


I would put the intake underneath the front, and shorten and straighten the intake duct. You could try it with just the exhaust fans, or just with the "intake" fans.

Where will the optical drive(s) go?

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Post by Emyr » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:18 am

From that diagram, I guess you have the board flat? If so, make that compartment as shallow as possible so that your Graphics Card and CPU-HS almost touch the top; This way you'll get better thermal zoning and the airflow generated by fans will actually get to the heatsinks instead of just becoming a laminar flow over the top.

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Post by m0002a » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:34 am

From my reading of the OP, the case will be made out of fairly “thick’ish woodâ€

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Post by pcy » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:17 am

NeilBlanchard wrote:Hiya,

I would put the intake underneath the front, and shorten and straighten the intake duct. You could try it with just the exhaust fans, or just with the "intake" fans.

Where will the optical drive(s) go?
I agree on both counts:

The long air inlet path could actually create more noise by increasing the airflow resistance and (for the same airflow) forcing you to speed up the fans.

In general there is no point in having input and an output fans - provied there is enough space inside the case for air to flow freely, running two fan in series has no (significant) effect on airflow.

The reason lots of cases have an outlet fan as well as an input fan is quite different - it's to try to export the hot air coming off the CPU rather than allowing it to re-circulate. A better design is to arrange the CPU cooler so that it pushes the hot air straight out of the case in the first place - more effective and less noise.

I'd put the HDs underneath the Mobo etc, because the DVD will then move to the top of the case which will make the construction easier

I have never seen the point of the separate compartment for the HDs. They don't create much heat, so the air coming off them is quite cool, and you have already paid the price of the noise of the fan to cool them, so you might as well use that air to help keep the other components cool.

Where you show two 120mm fans you could fit three 140mm or four 120mm, and in either case you get the same aiflow for a signifcant noise reducion. I run 3 x 120mm fans in teh PaQ 4U case, at 5v wioth resistors in series.

The loudest noise will come out of the back - CPU or PSU fan - assuming there are no Mobo or Graphics cards fans. However, you have to be careful, because you can very easily force the hot air back into the case if you try to muffle the CPU or PSU output air, an dthe net result (for same coooing) is again an increase in noise.

In particular, given your overall design, I'd pay attention to the choice and airflow design for the CPU cooler.

You might find it helpful to download the User Manual and QuickStart Guid for my PaQ case available at:

to see how I did things.


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