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building questions


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#1 millipede

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 06:00 PM

I still have not bought or built a pc yet.  Combine my procrastination, being poor(and cheap), and my EXTREME pickiness...  and decisions take forever.  :( 

(I SERIOUSLY have a difficult time with decisions... so, please be patient with me. )

Anyway...  I have a couple questions.  One of the things slowing me down is cases.  The looks and features, well this is where I'm just picky I guess. I've been wondering...

1.  Building my own case instead of purchasing(if I did that)...  would it cost any less?(or more)  I'd have to buy individual pieces... standoffs, etc etc... 

2.  I've been wondering if I could use something like a steel drum.  I can get one for a few bucks at a local little debbie store... I could cut it down to the height(or thickness) of a typical desktop and go from there.  LOTS of ideas there... How difficult would it be to make sure it's ventilated enough? 

3.  Would it be too difficult to build one in a guitar?  I've seen those online.  I have a spare guitar.  :)
Oh so many things to consider.

4.  If I stick with buying a case for less work...  back to the pickiness.  If I find a case I like all of except the side panel...  could I remove it and just put on a big piece of plexiglass instead?  I want a good window there but some that I like the looks of otherwise... either have no window or a TINY one.  (What's the point of the tiny windows anyway?)

 

If I did something like a guitar or steel drum, I'd mount it to the wall or something... and I could customize where fans, slots, psu, etc goes.  And the overall design look, I can be picky and customize how I want.  But need to figure if that would be worth the time and money involved.

 

Any thoughts?



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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 11:02 AM

Building a case, probably isn't the best way to save money.  I've seen pictures of machines built in a card board box, but that doesn't mean it is a good idea.  One of the things that a case provides it proper grounding.  Building inside a steel drum could lead to parts that shouldn't be grounded shorting out to the drum.  You can pick up a case cheap.  Plus, time is money, for the time you will spend getting everything to mount properly it would be cheaper to buy.

 

Wanting a window into the case is going to up the price.  This is the cheapest one that New Egg has and it is $60 on sale and the power supply is hidden from view.  This one can be viewed from top to bottom, but costs $100.



#3 Drillingmachine

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 11:25 AM

1. Unless you want to build your own case as a hobby (use money and time), forget it. You can save some money but if you count any value on time you use, you lose quite lot money.

 

2. As above, not recommended.

 

3. Possible but don't expect it to be easy or quick.

 

4. Replacing side panel with something else is generally very easy when comparing to build your own case -thing. After all main purpose for side panel is to keep dust off, components intact and act as radiation shield. Plexi glass does first and second, but not third one of those.



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 12:05 PM

I always liked the idea of putting a modern PC into an old Atari 800 case, or something like that.  Alas I don't have the skills...

 

I guess if you really know what you're doing with metal work, and can transform an old oil drum into an attractive, working, PC (and I don't mean standing a motherboard on/in it and calling it a PC!) you probably don't need to ask us about it.  From a saving money point of view, I doubt it's worth it. You'd presumably want to re-finish it or something, and that costs money.  You can get a windowed case at the moment for $25.  



#5 Kilroy

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 02:06 PM

Just another thought.  I used to buy the cheap cases until I bought a $200 Cooler Master case.  There is a huge difference in build quality.  On the cheap cases donating blood due to cutting yourself on the case was almost guaranteed.  The more expensive cases seem to have all of the sharp edges covered or finished in such a way that you're not constantly cutting yourself.  There is a definite quality feel about the Cooler Master cases.



#6 millipede

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 07:50 PM

Thanks for the replies so far.  You've convinced me to get back to looking at cases.  You have no idea how frustrating the whole process is for me.  weighing different options and none of them having ALL the ones I want.
Got a few current questions and I'll list some of my "needs."  And may come back when I get it narrowed down a bit more.  Had 32 tabs open the other day.  I think I have about 18 different cases up that I'm looking at now.  Some will be easy to rule out based on overall ratings and features... I'm getting there... ha

 

Drillingmachine mentioned that plexiglass doesn't act as a radiation shield.  I didn't realize that was something pc's dealt with.  Is it to keep radiation in or out?  And, seems so many side panels have vents in them and many are made of some cheap looking plastic...  do they do the job better than a piece of plexiglass would?  Asking because I know nothing about it.  :)

More on the side panel...  acrylic vs tempered glass.  Obviously, I assume anyway, glass would be more scratch resistant.  Advantages/disadvantages of either?  If tempered glass is better would acrylic necessarily be a deal breaker?

 

As I mentioned, I've got quite a few to keep looking at and rule out... 
an external bay for a dvd drive is a "need."  I listen to cd's and watch movies sometimes...  and, I may want to install software from a cd at some point. 

The more you can see in the window the better...  but, the ones with the sleeve/tunnel on the bottom for the psu are attractive too. 
Chances are I'll have this turned sideways by the wall so I get a good view of the side window.  The IO ports aren't exactly a limiting factor on placement but, I have preferences.  Based on how I PLAN on having the tower positioned...  I don't like the ports directly above the external bays as when I use headphones, I wonder if the wire will get in the way of the dvd drive.  Minor inconvenience.  I don't love them on the top of the tower but I think that will work fairly well given my plans...  I did find one machine(and a few others) I'm looking at now with the ports on the left front corner/side.  Perfect placement for my needs/wants. 
I'm looking at some that look like they'll have REALLY good placement of filters for cleaning.  That will be nice in my dusty house.

 

Anyway... more thoughts in my head somewhere I'm sure...  got a tv show starting soon... and games to play :)  But I'll continue to narrow down what I've got up now and hopefully make a decision of some sort sooner than later.

Thanks again.



#7 Drillingmachine

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 01:00 PM

Drillingmachine mentioned that plexiglass doesn't act as a radiation shield.  I didn't realize that was something pc's dealt with.  Is it to keep radiation in or out?  And, seems so many side panels have vents in them and many are made of some cheap looking plastic...  do they do the job better than a piece of plexiglass would?  Asking because I know nothing about it.  :)


To prevent radiation going out from case. Properly made plexiglass should be as good as side panels with window. Purpose of plexiglass is mostly offer good view into case interior.

More on the side panel...  acrylic vs tempered glass.  Obviously, I assume anyway, glass would be more scratch resistant.  Advantages/disadvantages of either?  If tempered glass is better would acrylic necessarily be a deal breaker?


More lighting you add to case, less scratches matter. I cannot see much advantages with tempered glass, it also makes case much heavier.




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