Front Panel IO idea and questions


Caliper Novice
Original poster
Feb 11, 2017
A certain Dell tower pc catched my eye a few months ago, not because of it's specs or it's price, but because of it's front panel IO (weird, I know). Anyways, I promised myself I would take upon the challenge of laying out the groundwork for a custom front panel like this and include it in whatever case project I come up with. Problem is... well, there are many problems. But, for now, let me explain what I want to achieve. Sorry if this seems slightly unoriginal, I believe it is and apologize in advance, but it's something that would incredibly satisfy my needs and is just aesthetically wholesome to look at, for me.

The aforementioned Dell's front IO that inspired me
Dell XPS something something
Audio Jacks
SD/SDXC/SDHX Card Reader
4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A ports
Roughly 160mm by 20mm available cutout area

Pretty much what I would like to make of this
Audio Jacks
SD/SDXC/SDHX Card Reader
2 x USB 2.0 Type A ports
2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A ports
1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A port 1 x Type-C port

Notes, questions, stuff I need to consider, stuff would like to get help with, etc:
  • Might be impossible, but I'm trying to keep it all of these components under 180mm of width, which is the original spec of the Dell case
  • No idea about clearance for cable management until I can find everything I need.
  • Need help finding the actual components I need to make this happen (I haven't pinpointed all of them, yet).
  • Also need help with the layout (dimensions, position for every cutout, specs, etc).
  • Can a 3.1 Cen2 header actually support 1 Type A and 1 Type C port?
  • How or what exactly do I need to get my hands on a SD card reader pcb to go with this and how do I go about connecting it to the motherboard?
  • Haven't found individual front panel audio ports or ports that go with my layout, sadly. Any ideas?

Sorry if this a very greedy project and do excuse my lack of overall knowledge on the matter... Been trying to slowly get into this kind of stuff, but I am so incredibly lost about everything overall...