Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 22:18 UTC
Editorial Your computer is an important energy consumer in your home. Can you save energy when using it? This article offers a few tips.
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DIY cases
by transputer_guy on Wed 3rd Aug 2011 20:19 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

Some what off topic, I have recently gotten really sick of seeing the usual black PC cases all around my house, when in reality they were all mostly empty. They were all made from cheap upgrade parts though so the cases were just getting recycled as the insides got ever sparser. Mostly Sempron systems needing 60W or so. They all had noisy fixed speed PSU fans and stock CPU coolers and were dust bunny collectors.

At about 16" x 18" x 8" the volume is unsightly in regular rooms so I built my own wooden cases using spare floor laminate and some skilled use of the table saw. These are about 10" by 9.5" by 6" and are exactly 1/4 of the volume of the metal beasts. They are just big enough to throw in most cheap mobos with a stripped down PSU and a 2.5" HD. The stock coolers got replaced by $10 heap pipe tall stack coolers which allows for very slow quiet fans. A second fan cools the PSU, both fans are on a regulator set near minimum. They still need more detail work and I doubt the FCC would be pleased.

This still is not satisfactory because even these boxes are mostly empty although stuffed with excess PSU wiring. What I have in mind for the next phase is to mount the mobo directly on the back of the LCD panels with VESA mount bolts and use a miniBox type PSU switcher set into the 24pin connector. The tall heat pipe coolers that now sit on the CPU now stick out. It would make the LCD/PC look more like an old TV with the backwards pyramid.

What I wish for now is to find a way to retain the tall heat pipe stack technology but flatten it over the mobo surface so the whole thing can be packaged in a slim book like package of about 10" square and maybe 2" thick. I would like to make or buy a heatpipe cooler integrated with a flat plate ribbed heat sink. There are still the issues of video cables, can you even get a VGA/DVI cable of 1 foot. All of this is an effort to make the PCs disappear behind the display and also get rid of the wiring tangle.

Of course I could just buy all in one PCs or laptops or iPads but that wouldn't be any fun and those have serious other issues. All of those have displays that are way too small and use laptop technology.

Its just a hobby though, looking for more is less.

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