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Airtight PC Case Build

Last response: in Systems
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October 12, 2012 2:25:15 AM

Long story short I'm allergic to heated plastic fumes. Not one to let a little thing like that get in the way of my extremely important computer use (*cough* gaming *cough*) in early 2010 I built myself my first airtight computer build, a mineral oil cooled PC. It was my first (and so far only) homebuilt PC and was a bit of a rough job, but I was proud of it.

However I've recently moved to Japan to live and a mineral oil cooled PC may be many things, but it's not portable. So I need to start over. For various reasons (most of which involved muttering "never again!" to myself whilst trying to dry horse laxative off a motherboard) I've decided to not do mineral oil this time.

I'll be the first to admit that I have no idea what I'm doing, I've got (very) basic hardware knowledge and that's about it, so I was hoping to get some advice on where I should go from here.

I've narrowed it down to two options:

Option 1: Vent Tubes
The favored option. Get a PC case, seal up any holes with aluminum bolted onto the case and run two pipes to the nearest window with a 180mm fan on the end of each, one to blow air in, one to suck air out. Fans are mounted in a block of wood to seal the window.
Downsides:
Limits location of PC to under window. Window cannot be open when computer is on. Noise (?).

Option 2: Water Cooling
Get a PC case, seal up any holes with aluminum bolted onto the case. Then water cooling running out to an external radiator with mounted fans.
Downsides:
Cost. Water + Electronics + Lack of skill and experience = ohgodno.

Components I'll be recycling:
Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 945
Sapphire Radeon HD5770 1GB Vapor-X
Corsair CMD4GX3M2A1600C8 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB WD1001FALS
Second hand aluminium/glass ventless Apple monitor. I know, I know, but the alternative was making my own non-plastic sealed monitor.

Other re-usable components:
Swiftech MCR420-QP Radiator
Scythe Himuro Hard Drive Cooler
Custom made perspex case

Questions:
1) How practical are options 1&2? Would they provide sufficient cooling on a Japanese summers day (30°C)?
2) Can you think of any downsides to either of these builds that I might not have thought of?
3) Any recommendations for a good case for me to start from? Ideally it would be a metal case with few vent holes that would need filling.
4) Any additional general advice for someone with extremely limited PC building experience?

More about : airtight case build

a b B Homebuilt system
October 12, 2012 3:05:54 AM

Option 2 is far more practical and portable, but option 1 is cheaper. If I were you I would go with option 2 if you can afford water cooling.
!