While i wait, custom case??

I have my 50 inch plasma mounted to the wall. underneath I have a wooden desk that has 2 slide out drawers (side by side). Under the slide out drawers are open compartments with glass doors for my AV receiver, blu ray player, cable box etc.

I'm thinking about using one of the slide out drawers to mount my pc build. (Using ITX)

no visible case.
no need to worry about space since the drawer is big enough for the parts I'll start with, and has plenty of room for expansion.

no computer portability, since it'll be fixed to my entertainment center.
If I do decide to move it out to a case, that drawer will be useless!!!

Other thoughts???
interference from other devices; shielding? mounting electronics directly to wood?

Anyone suggestions/comments/concerns????
17 answers Last reply
More about while wait custom case
  1. You'll need to think of airflow. To maintain decet airflow you'll probably need drill larger holes. if you dont have rook for airflow on the sides of the drawers then you'll have to go to the back. Perhaps one side for intake and the other for exhaust.
    How much airflow you'll need depends on your plans. Gaming would require alot more than a simple htpc for example.
  2. One big concern - Airflow; You don't want your unit in an enclosed environment. You can obtain cabinet fans and cut into the drawer back but you would need an intake, and exhaust and channeling so the fresh air doesn't just get sucked right back out by the exhaust.
    I'm thinking it probably isn't a super practical idea (IMO). For some reason. I'm still trying to work it in my mind though...
  3. the nice thing is, rear of the drawer doesn't hit the back panel of the entertainment center. there's a good 2 or 3 inches of room... I'm thinking a few small exhaust fans in the rear should work out nicely.

    I need to find a clean way of installing fresh air circulation fans though. I really don't want them in the front if I can help it. I was thinking of putting them flush with the under side of the drawer pointed upward??

    @C12, if you think of any specific problems with practicality please let me know! I'm trying to think of any problems usage problems that may arise, but the only things I can think of so far are the ones I mentioned in my original post (not being able to transport it, and drawer becoming useless)

    Thanks for the feedback so far :)

    Also, if it helps: This is going to be a very basic build. Core i3 processor with intel HD graphics. RAM PSU MOBO HDD. thats it. no add on cards of any kind. no disc drives (except for initial install if I need). I'll add more HDD's as needed, but my entire house is wired with CAT6 so I can just as easily make a hidden home server somewhere else.
  4. There have been plenty of " computer desk " builds that I've seen but they usually involve arranging the components under a glass top utilizing all the space below the desktop and above the supporting cabinets like this http://churchm.ag/ultimate-pc-mod/ .... I have to agree with the priar comments that airflow will need to be addressed . That being said I'm sure you could strategicaly locate an intake and exhaust fan somewhere w/o too much difficulty ..
  5. You do not necessarily need an intake fan, as long as you get the hot air out (like in the back) and have some way to get air in (like in the front). Negative air pressure (pulling air out) works, too. How good depends on what components you want to use exactly, ofc.

    So which CPU and GPU are you aiming for?
  6. sorry probably should have included all that info.
    I'm getting the gigabyte H67N USB3 or the ASROCK H77 (ITX)
    CPU will be either Core i3 2100, or Core i3 2125
    onboard graphics
    2x 4gb ram (not sure of brand)
    200ish Watt PSU.
    90Gb Mushkin? SSD

    thats pretty much it... I MAY add a graphics card if I really must have it at a later date, but highly doubtful since this won't be used for any gaming (just streaming netflix, blu ray)
  7. If you ventilate the bottom of the drawer(Vent or drill holes near the front but on the bottom so it is out of site), you can use a fan at the back to remove air. The vents will pull air in. With the right alignment, you should be able to get away without too much noise.

    I would almost be interested in a pic of the current setup to get an idea of how it all is setup.
  8. I'd be inclined to remove the original drawer and store it for possible re-use in future and fabricate a new frame that slides into the runners.

    Do you want the front to look in keeping with the rest of the unit or is some mesh-style fascia a possibility?
    this would also allow air into the build and could be made to look tidy if done right
    if mounting fans on the bottom as intake the mobo could then be mounted upside down in the top part of the frame so airflow wouldn't be obstructed in there, and a couple of 120's to the rear can handle exhaust duties,
    I'd think a fancontroller on the front would be nice too, handy to keep the noise down when watching movies or crank up for gaming,
    I've not checked any of the links in the thread yet, just throwing my ideas into the hat at this point,
    Oh, and some pics would help me massively if you could :)
  9. hmm bottom ventilation/intake fans sounds like a great idea, never really considered that. I'm on my way to work for a LONG day. I'll post pictures of the entertainment center/tv and the drawer when i return at night :)
  10. sorry guys, really tired and didnt get a chance to take pictures yet. darn camera battery is dead lol

    anyway, I did manage to find the exact case online if it helps. notice the 3 slide out drawers. I can use any of those three, or if you have a different suggestion feel free!!!


    any thoughts on materials for a new frame? I'm not much of a handyman but I'm thinking a rectangle'ish shape should be easy enough lol. I don't mind straying from the original look as long as it looks "clean"
  11. Depending on the runners in there I would suggest making up a fake drawer from wood then working with that to mount the hardware in,
    a metal frame would also work but requires more tooling ability/ workshop,
    You may not be the best guy with a saw or bench drill but don't be afraid to approach friends or relatives who are knowledgable and may have the tools/facilities,
    I like the desk though, its a good size and airflow should be easy to manage in there,
    So, lets set out some hard objectives here to get going,
    the frontispiece, find a matching piece of wood and one of those rails and we will keep the original look of the desk as best we can and you can put the drawer somewhere safe in case the wife tells you to put it all back to rights later on :)
    or the best option in my mind, contact the manufacturer and see about a spare replacement drawer, that will save lots of time and work and make this a lot easier on you

    Charge up that camera and get some pictures of the inside of the drawer, we need to see what style of runners are in there if its going to be a self made solution
    Any preferences to which drawer is being used? I'd prefer one of the side ones tbh, whichever works for your house
    and measurements of the inside of the drawer itself, not the hole the drawer goes in, the actual drawers inside dimensions, that way we know what space we have to work with,
  12. Checking for an extra(spare drawer) is a great idea(Motopsychojdn)! This allows you to play without risk of breaking it beyond repair :) .

    With that style, I still have a guess that some kind of bottom intake(vent at the front) with a rear exhaust(fan on the back as long as you can get that air a clear path out) may be perfect to avoid changing the look it it. If you DO have a glass panel above a drawer, that would be cool if you can use it to your advantage.
  13. hi guys sorry got side tracked with work stuff and havent managed to work on any of this yet, and still no pictures as i'm out of town currently :(

    I have a bit of bad news though. the slide out drawers have an additional wood board under them as part of the main frame, and i really dont want to poke holes in that because i can't replace it without taking the whole thing apart.... so bottom ventilation is out of the question.

    In light of this, i've come up with another, much simpler plan.

    Instead of using the slide out drawers, I'll be using the right center shelf area. It's a square board that is vertically adjustable. I should be able to find the same size board at any local hardware store, and then simply stain it.

    Being able to adjust the board position, and simply lift it away from the entertainment center will make it much simpler for future use and in house portability. If I need to "hide" the computer parts I can simply separate the back half with a vertically positioned wood board or any other material, and then install case fans to that.

    what do you think??

    if it helps you visualize, in the link i posted above: the area i intend to use is the center right board where the DVDs/Books are located. that board rests on rubber coated pins that I can re-position to change the height of the board :)
  14. Thats very doable and in fact preferable to hacking a drawer up :)
  15. I want pics of this mod as it happens :)
  16. haha i swear i'll post pics, but it'll have to wait a bit. I'm trying to build a hackintosh, so I need to buy fairly specific parts... I'm also hoping the new Ivy bridge core i3's get released soon (rumor has it, very sooon!)... sooo i'll probably hold off a couple of weeks before I buy anything and get started :)

    really hope gigabyte announces an h77 itx board soon too!!
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