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PC desk case project!

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Old 07-07-2017, 12:22 PM   #1
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PC desk case project!

Hey guys!

I am currently in the early planning phase of my PC desk case project. As some of you guys would expect, I was inspired by Linus' PC desk case project some time back. However due to budget constraints it will be somewhat less spectacular. Well, PC components wise at least.

So I will be updating this post as my project goes on to keep you guys in the loop, and also to pick all your brains for advice/suggestions so I don't make stupid or fatal mistakes. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated!

Here's a link to Linus' PC desk case project from Linus Tech tips:
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:23 PM   #2
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Update 1: Found a cheap glass table for SGD$45! Dimensions of the glass is 142cm x 56cm. I just went ahead and bought it cos it was super cheap. I'll be heading down to my friends woodworking shop with the glass and we'll try out best to plan component layout.

I also bought a cheap PC case for SGD$30. My intention is to cut it up so it's just motherboard mounting tray, with rear IO ports and PCIe card openings. This was waaaay cheaper than buying a motherboard tray from case labs (http://www.caselabs-store.com/atx-mo...ricing-varies/), which btw in my mind is stupidly expensive. I intend to incorporate this into the table so I don't have to measure and drill screw holes directly into the wood.
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:30 PM   #3
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Hey guys,

Another update. I visited my friend at his workshop. This is the guy who's gonna build the table for me. Here's a couple of pics of his workshop:



Just a quick recap, I purchased a glass table for about SGD$45 without really checking if it's what I need cos it was really cheap. So last night My friend and I took a look at the glass and did a rough layout plan for the PC components. We've managed to make it work according to the design that I want. The table is going to be similar to Linus' PC desk case project as in it will be "U" shaped. It was difficult to get a good pic of the glass but here's some pics just to give s rough idea:



I bought a cheap PC case for about SGD$30. I intend to use the motherboard tray, as well as the back IO port hole and Card mounts and incorporate it to the table.



Lastly, I purchased 4 2.5" to 3.5" adaptors at about SGD$5 each. I intend screw or glue them down to the table, and mount the 3.5" on it. The reason for this is so that if I need to swap the HDDs out, I dont have to unscrew them from the table, ruining the screw hole. I would have to basically slice the mounts in half and lay them slightly apart so the HDD would fit. I'm not sure if this is my best solution so if anyone has any suggestions or alternatives for this I'm all ears
2.5 to 3.5 adaptor


Well that's all for now. Tonight I'm meeting another friend who's going to tech me how to use the 3D software Sketchup and hopefully I'll have a 3D render of my table soon.
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:36 PM   #4
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Hi there, really interested in what you are doing right now. For your swapping of Hdd, i would recommend forgoing the drive bay and use 3M's tape or some velcro for the mounting of yr HDD. Currently in my own modded casing, im using 3M double sided tape to tape my SSDs to the side of the enclosure as i didn wanna drill holes and permanently damage the casing.
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:51 PM   #5
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Hi there, really interested in what you are doing right now. For your swapping of Hdd, i would recommend forgoing the drive bay and use 3M's tape or some velcro for the mounting of yr HDD. Currently in my own modded casing, im using 3M double sided tape to tape my SSDs to the side of the enclosure as i didn wanna drill holes and permanently damage the casing.
Hi there! Thanks i'm really excited bout this project.. although I'm aiming to have these only completed by mid to end october as my friend would only start construction on September due to current overlapping projects. He's an amazing woodworker and has been featured on websites and newspapers quite a few times.. so he's quite sought after... perks of having famous friends..

The velcro idea is really good actually! One thing though, the bottomw of the HDD is not flat so where do u stick the velcro? I don't want to turn the HDD upside down and expose the bottom of it though.
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:15 PM   #6
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Hi there! Thanks i'm really excited bout this project.. although I'm aiming to have these only completed by mid to end october as my friend would only start construction on September due to current overlapping projects. He's an amazing woodworker and has been featured on websites and newspapers quite a few times.. so he's quite sought after... perks of having famous friends..

The velcro idea is really good actually! One thing though, the bottomw of the HDD is not flat so where do u stick the velcro? I don't want to turn the HDD upside down and expose the bottom of it though.
Mine is SSDs so i dont face this kind of problem, but i did use the tape on the 4 feets of the HDD to secure it in a upright position, i mean im not gonna paste it on the underside of my top cover or anything crazy nor am i gonna move my casing around alot so it has been working well enough. If u wanna do it in some crazy position eg. attaching it to the sides, then u might wanna consider other solutions
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:30 PM   #7
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Mine is SSDs so i dont face this kind of problem, but i did use the tape on the 4 feets of the HDD to secure it in a upright position, i mean im not gonna paste it on the underside of my top cover or anything crazy nor am i gonna move my casing around alot so it has been working well enough. If u wanna do it in some crazy position eg. attaching it to the sides, then u might wanna consider other solutions
aah.. I see.. thanks for the tip! I'll definitely consider it. I actually have 2 SSDs that I intend to mount apart from the 4x 3.5" HDD that is mainly to act as network storage
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:06 AM   #8
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Hey guys!

OK just to update, I've managed to do up a 3D render of what my table would look like. I used a 3D design software similar called Sketchup, which is absolutely brilliant! Special thanks to my friend Nathaniel, who gave me a crash course on how to use the software and helping me make the 3D model of my desk!

The 3D render is dimensions accurate, as in every panel was made to correct dimensions.

As for the PC components 3D renders, they were imported from a website called 3D warehouse. It's a website where people can upload and share 3D renders they created in Sketchup of just about anything. I was surprised to see the number of PC components people have created!

Do take note that the layout of the PC components are not finalised. Also, I will be using water cooling and I did not make water cooling pipes in my render as I didn't think it was necessary right now, important thing is finalising my layout of the components. Besides, I do have some concerns regarding my first draft of layouts so any and all suggestions to improve my layout would be greatly appreciated.

Anyways, here are screenshots of my PC desk table.

Overview:


Front:


Rear:


*Do take note for the rear, I did not cut out the whole for IO ports and PSU.

Ride Side:


Top View without glass:


Like I mentioned before, I do have some concerns:
1) My HDDs are on the other side of the table, meaning my SATA cables would have to be super long. I'm guessing even if I could find SATA cables that long, it will definitely effect data transmission speeds drastically?

2) As you can tell, the PSU is upside down. I have done this on purpose as I intend to cut out a hole at the bottom for it so it gets proper circulation. Is this a problem?

3) the radiator and pump for my water cooling system I've only put there cos I have no idea where else to put it. I'm leaning towards using soft piping since this is my first time doing this so I think soft piping might be the safer option. Is there a maximum length soft pipes can be before they start to be weighted down to the base of my table?

4) I have 2 intake fans and 2 exhaust fans on either side of my table. Is this enough?

This is probably my most pressing concern. I intend to get the MSI GTX 1080 ti Sea Hawk EK X graphics Card. It's the one that comes together with the waterblock already installed. Problem is according to online dimensions, the height is about 17cm, EXACTLY the height of the recess in my table where the components are installed. Coupled with the fact that it's going to be slotted in to a motherboard that already screwed on standoffs, it's easily going to reach 20-25cm in height, which screws up my entire project.

The alternative is to use a PCIe riser and lay the card down flat like what Linus did. The reservations I have with this are:

1) I definitely want it to be connected to the first PCIe slot on my motherboard. If I used a PCIe riser, is there one long enough to run all the way to the side of the motherboard?

2) Even if there was, how bad is the degradation in performance? I know Jaztwocents just did a video on it and he showed that there was no noticeable difference in performance, and proved that with benchmark tests, but I don't know if that shows the full picture.

3) If I do lay it flat, doesn't that just eliminate the option to SLI a 2nd card in the future?

Once again, any and all suggestions and advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:06 PM   #9
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Nice progress Im not very experienced myself but heres my 2cents. Any laojiao feel free to correct me if im wrong.

Like I mentioned before, I do have some concerns:
1) My HDDs are on the other side of the table, meaning my SATA cables would have to be super long. I'm guessing even if I could find SATA cables that long, it will definitely effect data transmission speeds drastically?

Im not too sure at what length will the signal be affected. But i feel that you should prioritize items like HDDs and SSDs or other crucial sensitive components closer to the mobo. This is because other items like radiator, the pumps etc could be connected over a longer distance without affecting functionality.

2) As you can tell, the PSU is upside down. I have done this on purpose as I intend to cut out a hole at the bottom for it so it gets proper circulation. Is this a problem?

Shouldn't be a problem IMO

3) the radiator and pump for my water cooling system I've only put there cos I have no idea where else to put it. I'm leaning towards using soft piping since this is my first time doing this so I think soft piping might be the safer option. Is there a maximum length soft pipes can be before they start to be weighted down to the base of my table?

Over a distance = hard tubing. Soft tubing will simply drape down and hit the table base

4) I have 2 intake fans and 2 exhaust fans on either side of my table. Is this enough?

Depends on how much static pressure and air yr fan can push thru. But if i were you, i would get at least 4 on each side so there is room for expansion and for the looks


Once again, any and all suggestions and advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:23 PM   #10
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Nice progress Im not very experienced myself but heres my 2cents. Any laojiao feel free to correct me if im wrong.
Hey thanks so much for your input! I think you've made really good points. I"ll probably rearrange the components... maybe put the motherboard dead centre so its closer to the HDDs and might actually look cooler once you see the cable spread out from the centre. Thanks man!

As for the fans, 4 fans?? haha... you're right that it would look cool... but it would be crazy loud wouldn't it? I know there are really quiet fans like the noctua fans but aesthetically they're not great...
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:30 AM   #11
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Yea 4 fans would be relatively louder but 4 fans are able to push more fans which allows me to clock them at a lower RPM. Lower RPM = less loud. Just take note that only 4pin pwm fans allow adjusting fan speeds through the cpu fan header.
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:06 PM   #12
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Yea 4 fans would be relatively louder but 4 fans are able to push more fans which allows me to clock them at a lower RPM. Lower RPM = less loud. Just take note that only 4pin pwm fans allow adjusting fan speeds through the cpu fan header.
Thanks again for your fantastic input! Yeah I didn't think about the fact that if I had more fans, i could lower the RPM.

However, my CPU and GPU will be watercooled so I"m assuming 2 fans is still enough? I was actually thinking that if I watercooled my CPU and GPU, I can even lower the fan RPM. Or is 4 fans still the better option?
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:09 PM   #13
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Thanks again for your fantastic input! Yeah I didn't think about the fact that if I had more fans, i could lower the RPM.

However, my CPU and GPU will be watercooled so I"m assuming 2 fans is still enough? I was actually thinking that if I watercooled my CPU and GPU, I can even lower the fan RPM. Or is 4 fans still the better option?
No problem, just helping out a fellow modder.

The heat has to go somewhere, be it air cooled or water cooled. The only difference is that for air cooling u would have to remove heat from the heatsink while for watercooling, you would have to remove heat from the radiator. Both method would require good air flow in your table/casing to remove the heat away unless your radiator is placed outside the enclosed space, in which it would be a entirely different matter.

If you are really concerned about the number of fans, i would suggest that you cut out more fan holes and do something similar like a removable lid to cover the fan holes if u dont require so many. I mean since u are designing and constructing your own table design anyways so why not. I believe your woodworking friend would be able to help u out in designing a secure screwless removable lid.
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Last edited by dataworld111; 12-07-2017 at 04:13 PM..
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Old 13-07-2017, 11:10 AM   #14
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No problem, just helping out a fellow modder.

The heat has to go somewhere, be it air cooled or water cooled. The only difference is that for air cooling u would have to remove heat from the heatsink while for watercooling, you would have to remove heat from the radiator. Both method would require good air flow in your table/casing to remove the heat away unless your radiator is placed outside the enclosed space, in which it would be a entirely different matter.

If you are really concerned about the number of fans, i would suggest that you cut out more fan holes and do something similar like a removable lid to cover the fan holes if u dont require so many. I mean since u are designing and constructing your own table design anyways so why not. I believe your woodworking friend would be able to help u out in designing a secure screwless removable lid.
Well yeah, you're definitely right about the heat. So far I have 6 fans. 2 for intake, 2 for exhaust, and 2 on the watercooling radiator. As you can see from the 3D renders, the Radiators and laid flat, with the fans on top. There will be a whole underneath the radiator for the radiator fan to blow the hot air down to below the table.
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Old 13-07-2017, 04:56 PM   #15
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Well yeah, you're definitely right about the heat. So far I have 6 fans. 2 for intake, 2 for exhaust, and 2 on the watercooling radiator. As you can see from the 3D renders, the Radiators and laid flat, with the fans on top. There will be a whole underneath the radiator for the radiator fan to blow the hot air down to below the table.
ah, since yr radiator is not enclosed, it would be a entirely different thing liao. In this case, one thing to take note is that i do believe if yr intake fans is not powerful enough, u might starve yr exhaust fans of fresh air, affecting the ability to move heat away from the radiator and the enclosed area. Im not a expert on this so i cant advise whether if your set-up is good enough. Guess you would have to trial and error from this point onwards i believe the youtuber, jay2cents, had a video on this topic. You can check out his youtube video for more information
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