Log Non portable, almost non laptop build

mbrown278

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jun 20, 2018
103
92
Hi all,

I'm building a new PC case and thought I'd just put it on here should anyone have any ideas for improvement that I might have missed. I'm finding venting pattern quite difficult to match the look. It will be made in mild steel and welded together from the inside so minimal welds once closed.

I had seen a production laptop case on aliexpress/taobao or something similar so I have tried to match the dimensions. The one I saw wasn't clear about what it could fit but it looked like it was only single slot gpu.

Total dimensions of mine is: 410.2mm x 312mm x 88.15mm high. (11.281 Litres)
Compatible with:
Mini Itx motherboards
CPU clearance: Approx 50mm
GPU max dimensions: 49.6mm high (or 67mm with the keyboard shelf either fully or just the left half of it removed) x 146mm (even with the 60x25mm case fans in place) x 276mm. It would be a struggle to get a 276mm card in place due to the pcie bracket, so it would probably be more around 270mm long. The GPU picture in the case is a 2080 FE.
All of the panels above the motherboard, psu, gpu etc can just lift out but are secure by an inner frame which they slot into when in place, and they are secured when carrying it/moving it by the side profiles of the lid when closed.
Storage - at present just M.2 on the MB.
Case fans: Eight 60mm x 25mm fans. One 140/120mm fan slim (only fits if the gpu height is under 49.6mm). Then I would have the CPU cooler as close to the vents to draw in more fresh air. The GPU takes fresh air in from underneath. The PSU gets fresh air from underneath. The motherboard will have some vents underneath to allow air to be pulled in/pushed out by negative/positive pressure to allow cooling to any M.2 storage on the back of the board.
Screen: Can fit most 15.6" screens upto dimensions of 393mm x 248.5mm x 12.5mm thick. Note though that it would need to be a usb c charged cable and the connector (90 degree) would take up some of the width/length. I am looking to put vesa mount holes on the lid for the monitor, but there aren't many that have these, so I may have to add some other was to hold it in place. The cables connecting to the GPU are recessed so they can be routed at 90 degrees straight into the case with no need for external cable/power.
Small Keyboard size: 317.8mm x 106.5mm x 14.5mm - I have even found a small bluetooth keyboard with a track pad that would fit, but I am likely to use a mouse most of the time so I might not need the track pad.
PSU - Flex ATX with power connector extension to mount on the rear panel (need to add this still). I had a 500w flex atx unit which I sold and the most powerful I have seen so far is a 600w. The fans can be noisy, however I have left space around the PSU and I will be putting in 1-2mm thick sound insulation, which will also stop vibration. This will make it slightly hotter however the 60mm fans will add to the cooling so I'm not concerned. If more power is needed it probably would fit a Pico psu as well, and probably an internal power brick if some fans were removed and as long as you are around 120mm height for the gpu. The pico psu could then serve the motherboard whilst Flex just does the GPU - a ATX connector/adapter would be needed to allow both PSU's to start up at the same time.

I still need to add a power button and complete the vents underneath.

When in use it just needs the one power/kettle lead, no external brick.

Any thoughts welcome :)
 
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mbrown278

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jun 20, 2018
103
92
Brilliant thank you, that's the kind of thing I'm after. It's good that it's 1080p as not all are, I still think vesa will be the easiest way to mount it. I'll keep looking until I have the case built in case there are others cheaper with good reviews etc which meet the same spec
 

jmarin

Airflow Optimizer
Mar 8, 2018
258
177
Now I can see them! lol This will be an interesting build for sure, can't wait to see progress
 

mbrown278

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jun 20, 2018
103
92
Now I can see them! lol This will be an interesting build for sure, can't wait to see progress
Thanks - hopefully I'm not too far from the end of the design, so could be getting the parts cut in the coming weeks

A very interesting case indeed! Will there be some sort of latch to keep the top lid shut?
The lid will rotate around 2 bolts which will make the hinge, and will be done up tight enough with lock nuts to hopefully prevent unintentional movement. When open, the lid will rest against a part of the case and with the tightness of the bolt it should be stable when open. As for when it is closed, again I am hoping it will not unintentionally open but am considering a way to ensure this if needed
 

mbrown278

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jun 20, 2018
103
92
Since my initial thread I have redesigned the whole case again with a view to make it in aluminium and not to weld.

Here are some initial renders-still lots of bits to do but I'm getting there.


 

Desertf0x9

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 13, 2018
101
49

Check out this keyboard. Might be perfect for this build.
 
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mbrown278

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jun 20, 2018
103
92

Check out this keyboard. Might be perfect for this build.

Thanks, it's given me a further idea, I can make the keyboard space deeper if I have a thinner dual slot gpu- this would be perfect!
 

mbrown278

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jun 20, 2018
103
92
So, the new GPU's from nvidia has made me redesign the whole case. I prefer the look of the old one, however I have now pushed the keyboard further back and turned the gpu/motherboard to allow for a longer gpu. It can still fit GPU's up to 60mm thick.

Although I found an 850w Flex Atx unit, I have managed to squeeze in an SFX PSU whilst keeping the height at 84mm so it's thinner than the previous design. Unfortunately whilst doing the renders I noticed the brightness was off, then the program crashed and I lost some unsaved work. So it was finished, but now I am back to re-doing a number of bits before I get a quote for cutting/bending etc. Also the renders aren't great but ah well.

The motherboard and GPU can be moved 12.5mm to the right of the case which then allows 4 x 60mm fans pulling from underneath. If I leave it where it is in the renders, I can fit 2 x 60mm fans and have more space at the IO end for cables/plugging in etc - not exactly sure how much I'll need but the case is flexible now between 5cm and 3.5 cm. The PSU gets air from underneath and exhausts out of the left hand side, and the gpu draws air from underneath. When the lid opens, some feet lower at the back to raise the rear of the case by about 3cm to assist air flow.




 
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mbrown278

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jun 20, 2018
103
92
Since my original post, this hasn't gone very far. I have however built some initial structures in wood, which made me realise, with the height which is unavoidable, the width and depth are just too much. It turns into a system which is too big to sit on a tray on your lap, or to comfortably fit in a laptop case.

I have therefore shrunk the design. Also due to some of the quotes coming back, I have simplified it a lot. I won't share at this point what it looks like, but I am farely close to getting the basic creation made.

I will however show my external power brick I have made. It is 400w with a peak of 500. This, by the website for the internals, allow a 95w cpu and power a 1080ti, which I then take to mean it could power up to around a 250w GPU. It can sustain a 400w load. This is how I have managed to reduce the size. So the laptop/portable desktop could have the following specs:

95w CPU
250w ish GPU, dual slot, upto 137mm height (including the power connector) so reallistically 127mm height maximum, and up to around 280mm long.
Mini itx motherboard.
Designed for 2 different DC-ATX psu's. Which could be combined to give 200w ish for the motherboard + components, and 400w ish for the GPU.
Cooling - designed for two 92mm fans. GPU also to draw additional air in.
The laptop/case is 56mm + the thickness of the screen (and 1.5mm for the screen support), so around 65mm thick. 290mm deep, and 390mm wide. Case is therefore 6.3 litres on its own, or 7.35 litres with the screen.
Case is designed for screens up to 15.6 inches and would be mounted via 75 or 100mm vesa mount (which not all portable usb c monitors have)

So the external brick is quite big, 255mm x 70mm x 49mm. So there is an additional .85 litres of size which is not being included in the case. Which when compared to the Dell 330w brick (at 223 x 155 x 76mm) which is 2.6 litres, and only 330w instead of 400w with 500w peak, is I think pretty good.

I still need to mount the AC-DC unit inside the case, and make some rear venting holes, and I am waiting for a cable from the company which is a 6 pin to barrel which I will use from the brick to the laptop/portable desktop.

I have also considered that there are some portable power banks which could be utilised to power this when doing simple admin tasks - some of which can power up to around 100w for an hour or so and do charging/passthrough power.

Next the pictures, the case for it I purchased and am then adapting. Hopefully many people on here will be able to identify the AC-DC unit :)



 
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mbrown278

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Jun 20, 2018
103
92
First attempt at making the case, along with the 400-500w external brick - will build in it asap and update with further pics



 
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