Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:49 pm

Latest MiniITX PC case made by Gremlin

Features:

MOTHERBOARD
Gigabyte GA-B75TN

CPU
Intel i5 3570k (supports LGA1155 Celeron/Pentium/i3/i5/i7)

GRAPHICS
Intel HD4000 (CPU Integrated)

RAM
Kingston DDR3 2GB (supports 2x4GB DDR3 1600MHz CL11)

NETWORK
Realtec 1Gb LAN
Intel WiFi b/g/n 300Mbps
Bluetooth 4.0

STORAGE
SAMSUNG SSD EVO 250GB (supports 1 mSATA SSD + 3 SATA drives up to 7mm thick, max capacity 4TB)

POWER
HP Adapter 19V 7.1A 135W

DIMENSIONS
Width - 184 mm
Length - 185 mm
Height - 50 mm

IDLE TEMPERATURE
Motherboard - 28C (82F)
CPU - 30C (86F)
CPU GT - 39C (102F)
PCH Diode - 43C (109F)
SSD - 34C (93F)

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amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:29 am

Any suggestions in case design?
What is good, what is bad, what can be better?

jamese
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Location: Canada
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Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by jamese » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:09 pm

That's awesome, great work! :)

I'd like to see it in coloured acrylic, or translucent black acrylic.

Do you have a link for that SATA power cable?

amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:30 pm

OFC, translucent color (blue/green) and black acrylic are in option.

I didn't quite understand question about SATA power cables?

On pictures there is one SATA power cable for one disk.
This cable has two wires, red is +5V and black is GND. 2.5" drive needs only 5v power supply.
If you need 2 more disks than you just attach 2 connectors (which i have) to same cable.
Notice that three SATA drives need to be up to 7mm thick because there is 21mm space available.
Another option is to attach 2 drives up to 10.5mm with bigger capacity.

FrankL
Posts: 72
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:28 am

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by FrankL » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:26 am

this case is awesome.

Is there any possibility of acquiring one of these? If yes, what's the price?
jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:08 am

FrankL wrote:this case is awesome.

Is there any possibility of acquiring one of these? If yes, what's the price?
I can make thousands but transportation is major problem.
So far only available in Serbia. Price is not exact, and it depends on components inside.
All i can say is that price of case only is 10-15 euros.

silentbobbo
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:45 am

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by silentbobbo » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:02 pm

amishware wrote:
FrankL wrote:this case is awesome.

Is there any possibility of acquiring one of these? If yes, what's the price?
I can make thousands but transportation is major problem.
So far only available in Serbia. Price is not exact, and it depends on components inside.
All i can say is that price of case only is 10-15 euros.
I really want to buy one of these!

MikeC
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by MikeC » Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:08 am

Good idea, in the context of low power CPUs and Thin Mini-ITX with built-in DC/DC converters.

Some thoughts about your implementation:

1) Why not just provide a standard (or thin) I/O plate cutout? Then no customization is needed for particular boards.
2) The top vent for the CPU looks restrictive. Bad for cooling, which is also bad for noise -- it will force the fan (if there is one) to speed up & make more noise. Make it more open. With a Thin MITX version, the CPU position is always the same -- again no need for customization.
3) Don't know if it's worthwhile to ship as flat pack kits, assuming it's simple enough to assemble. No glue, right? Perhaps it's small enough that the size difference will not matter for shipping. But it might.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:48 pm

MikeC wrote:Good idea, in the context of low power CPUs and Thin Mini-ITX with built-in DC/DC converters.

Some thoughts about your implementation:

1) Why not just provide a standard (or thin) I/O plate cutout? Then no customization is needed for particular boards.
2) The top vent for the CPU looks restrictive. Bad for cooling, which is also bad for noise -- it will force the fan (if there is one) to speed up & make more noise. Make it more open. With a Thin MITX version, the CPU position is always the same -- again no need for customization.
3) Don't know if it's worthwhile to ship as flat pack kits, assuming it's simple enough to assemble. No glue, right? Perhaps it's small enough that the size difference will not matter for shipping. But it might.
1) Standard I/O plate cutout is good because it supports all thin ITX motherboards, but increases case width by at least 1/2" and makes case more fragile at rear side. However it's only 2mm plexiglass on each side. On my market Gigabyte thinITX boards are only available, and almost all of them (both LGA1155 and LGA1150) have very same I/O layout which this case can accommodate.
2) This case supports CPU-s like i3, i5 and even i7 (which requires more cooling capacity). I havent tried i7 on board, but i5 3570k got much better cooling with Zalman CNPS2X (currently installed in the case) than intel's box cooler, despite it's size. Top vent is designed as cold air intake only, which is why more openings are not present. Othre reason is that more top openings will ruin case simplicity and minimalistic design. Side vents are for hot air exaust. This mechanism forces air blown by cpu cooler to pass through all components like PCH, SSD and DDR before leaving case at side openings. Zalman cooler is almost silent at idle (30C/86F) and very quiet at max load for i5 CPU, not to mention pentiums or celerons. As you already said, this case is good idea only in the context of low power CPUs. Who needs expensive i5/i7 CPU without matching external graphics card which this case and motherboard does not support?
3) Net dimensions for disassembled case is 18.5x18.5x1cm (7.3x7.3x0.4 inch). Glue is not needed. It constist of 6 plexiglass pieces (top, bottom and 4 sides), 8 metal spacers and 8 allen screws.


@silentbobbo
I'm not familiar with sending packages abroad. Sure there is the way but i must make some calls to find out.

In meantime i made another miniITX case which is few cm higher in order to accommodate intel box cooler, with abbility to be mounted on VESA compliant monitors. It saves space on computer desk and 20-30euros for custom zalman cooler (depends on country), where cooling performance difference is negligible for use on low power CPUs.
Pics and additional info will be posted very soon.

amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:14 am

Specs and pics for new miniITX acrylic case can be found at:
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=68211

Sharkky
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:50 am

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by Sharkky » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:16 pm

Nice project!

Is there a chance that you can send me the design so i can cut it on a CNC router?
How are the side panels mounted in position? I understand that is fixed only with 8 screws, no glue ...

Best regards!

amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:28 pm

Only if you show us your case when you build it.
Project is in *.cdr file version 12.
Top and bottom are made from 3mm plexiglass and four sides are 2mm thick.
As far as i know, only Gigabyte thin miniITX motherborads can fit in because of port layout.
But you can easily adjust it for any other thin mini ITX motherboard.
Just give me e-mail where i can send it.

Sharkky
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:50 am

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by Sharkky » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:39 am

I will show the case, of course!
I have a Gigabyte GA-H61N-USB3 motherboard that's used in my car.
I think that i will integrate the I/O shield in the back, if there's a problem with the actual port layout.
Is it ok if i will make some modifications for the length? I will integrate a M4-ATX 250W power supply inside the case ...
My email address is: razvan dot florin2007 at gmail dot com

Thank you very much!

[Mod edited email]

amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:13 pm

With this motherboard you will have to modify IO port panel because it is not thin miniITX MoBo.
I do not know exact dimensions for power supply, it might fit and if not just enlarge case.
If you wish to integrate IO shield, you should certainly enlarge case a little bit.
I already sent you *.cdr files (CorelDraw v12 or later).

Finish it soon and good luck. :)

Sharkky
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:50 am

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by Sharkky » Thu May 07, 2015 3:39 am

As i promised, here are some pictures with the case ...
Inside, i have made some room for the SSD and the M4-ATX power supply.
The back of the case will be made on the router again because i added some plugs and switches.
In the last picture is a comparison with the old case ...

Once again, thank you very much for the help!
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amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:24 am

New full passive miniITX case:
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=69745

Check it out!

bmkvits
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:10 am

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by bmkvits » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:40 am

amishware wrote:With this motherboard you will have to modify IO port panel because it is not thin miniITX MoBo.
I do not know exact dimensions for power supply, it might fit and if not just enlarge case.
If you wish to integrate IO shield, you should certainly enlarge case a little bit.
I already sent you *.cdr files (CorelDraw v12 or later).

Finish it soon and good luck. :)
Very interesting case design for a slimline case. I have made a home made Mini-ITX motherboard case using 3mm acrylic but hand cut and drilled. I used brass motherboard spacers to hold the top and bottom covers and glued the sides to the spacers and it does not have a cutout for the I/O plate. I used a wood saw drill for the fan cut outs.

Mine is not very professional compared to your design but would love to improve on it. Any chance I could also have the drawing file and advice on what sort of equipment is needed to make a case like your one.

Look forward to hearing from you.
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amishware
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Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:56 pm

Hi bmkvits,

Sure i will send you *.cdr files, but you will have to find someone with cnc laser cutter for acrylic material.
Just send me your email in PM.

bmkvits
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:10 am

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by bmkvits » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:52 pm

Hello amishware,
Thank you for your reply. I will PM you my email to obtain the drawing file. Greatly appreciated!

I think first I will have to learn how to modify the drawing to suit it to fit the motherboard component spacing for things like the FAN cut outs etc.

Yes, I will have to find a local machining shop, who has a CNC or Lazer cutter for acrylic. Just curious to know what make and model do you use to produce your case?

Am I right I will also need to get a digital calipers to get the size and spacing right for adding things like a cut out of the I/O plate etc?

How many samples do you have to make before you get everything perfect?

Many thanks!

amishware
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:24 pm

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by amishware » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:25 pm

Hi bmkvits,

First I bought Thin MiniITX motherboard and then i started designing the case. I had two cases so far. First is made in smallest possible format to fit custom active cooling without original motherboard backplate. Second (black) is made to fit passive cooling with original motherboard backplate. Motherboard fits perfectly after I made first case, but I had to do a lots of measuring before final cut. At the moment I am using this machine as home media server. You can see this here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=69745

bmkvits
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:10 am

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by bmkvits » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:51 am

Hi amishware,

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, I have seen the passive cooled system - the case is very impressive but simple in its design and I noticed you have got the I/O plate cut out.

Btw - the motherboard(s) you are using in both designs, I take it they are not standard Mini-ITX? The I/O Plate in your second (Passive H/S) design looks quite smaller than the standard I/O plate of a Mini-ITX case.

In my design, I have fitted 2 x 2.5 inch drives under the motherboard so I have to design the I/O cutout by increasing the height of the side panels.

Thanks!

bmkvits
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:10 am

Re: Smallest MiniITX PC acrylic case

Post by bmkvits » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:52 am

Hi amishware,

Was taking a close look at the way you have mounted the motherboard to the base. And how the top cover is held in with some sort of flush mounted screws.

I noticed, but could not see clearly in the pics how you have used some special hex screws and mounting spacers. Are you able to provide me with a nice close up of how the motherboard is mounted on the base. I was planning to just have 15mm plastic spacers at on the base panel but wasn't sure if all the 6 panels interlock together forming a tight fit thereby not needing to have the 4 screws to secure the top cover?

Thanks!

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