Whoa, this got longer than I thought.
I used to have a fast computer that was absolutely silent. Then it got boring.
There was nothing else to do with it so I started to plan my next computer.
It had to be M-ITX with picopsu and C2D processor and I wanted to do the case myself.
Why M-ITX? Because that way I wouldn't need a lot of material to the case.
I didn't have a huge workshop or a lot of materials and tools.
This had to be done cheaply because I'm a cheapskate. I only used some excess materials from my apartment renovation and some scrap parts I found lying around in my parents ' garage. The main structure is made of wood and the sides and top are blocks of laminate flooring. Aluminum on the edges.
I actually did make plans for the case but they went out of the window when I got an old motherboard tray from my friend. The height of it was perfect. I could fit a 120mm fan next to it so I decided to modify my plans.
In the end, I just made it based on the current situation and it turned out pretty good. Even though I didn't have any parts when doing this, the motherboard and other parts still fit nicely.
Motherboard: Intel DG45FC (new)
Processor: Intel e8500 (used)
Memory: Kingston 4GB low profile 800MHz Cl5 (new)
CPU cooler: Noctua NH-C12P
Case fan: Silverstone FN121 @5v ~500rpm
PSU: Picopsu 120W 12-25V wide input (used) with 120W brick (free and used, from an old laptop)
HDD: Seagate Momentus 5400.2 (free and used, from an old laptop)
Graphics card: Nvidia Quadro NVS 290 (got it for free but had to buy the DMS-59 -cable)
Total cost slightly over 400â‚¬
Here's some pics:
No direct openings on any sides.
The top is easy to open. There's a block of aluminum attached to the cooler with aluminum tape just to force the air to go through the fins and not over them.
Here's the top part from inside. I put a 4mm thick bitumen sheet to it.
The bottom. I covered it with duct tape because I was bored. Looks better this way, too. You can see the two intake holes there covered with dust filters. I had to make another air intake next to the graphics card because it ran far too hot. I'm glad it was just wood and easy to modify.
Here's the fan, HDD and Picopsu. I put some of the bitumen to the HDD and case floor too.
My ingenious HDD dampening. Some hollow soft rubber thingies and soft foam under it.
Now for the parts:
The motherboard has some annoying chips on the backside so that normal backplates don't fit. I had to customize the mounting system.
The Noctua cooler package lacked the springs needed to secure the cooler so I used the included plastic thick red washers. Later on I got the springs but they actually made the temps go up a bit so I changed it back.
I used some screws with washers to secure it from the back.
Those big blocky steel nuts are from the mounting kit of my old Thermalrigth HR-01. I put an aluminum cooler to the ICH later on too.
I sleeved the PicoPsu just for fun. I used the sleevings from an old broken PSU so they were also free. Later on I also sleeved the remaining power wires and swapped the molex to a black one. I also changed the floppy power connector to two fan connectors. 12V and 5V.
I almost forgot. Where's the power button?
Here it is. It's the lower right hex socket screw. The other screws actually secure the front panel and it can be removed.
And here's my whole 3m wide desk and all the necessary peripherals. The CRT TV is not in use...
I have made the desk (excluding the drawer) and the speaker stands myself, too.
The computer draws about 48W idle and ~80W with 3Dmark06 running.
71W with Furmark and 81W when both Furmark and Everest stability test are running.
3Dmark06 ~900 points with Intel IGP and 1400 points with the Quadro.
I installed Windows 7 RC1 and it has worked well. The only problem I had was with the HECI driver. I couldn't see the temperatures without it. After I found a working driver, everything was ok. (occasionally I have some problems with the graphics driver)
Temperatures: idle-load (GPU load with Furmark, others with Everest stability test)
The only fan is constantly running @5V and about 500rpm.
It's quiet but not as quiet as I would like. I used to have the Noctua P12 fan there as a case fan but it didn't seem to move a lot of air and the noise was annoying. I had this Silverstone fan from my old TJ-09 case so I put it there as a replacement. It's better than the Noctua, but I still have to find a better one.
The HDD is surprisingly quiet. Without the fan I can't hear it at all.
I probably forgot something but I can always add things later.
Edit: Tested power consumption and temperatures more accurately. They are now corrected.