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Micro ATX Quiet Case Build


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#13 bp9801

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:35 PM

Solid looking frame so far. It does look to be a bit bigger than mATX cases, but that just means more room for gear inside and an easier time putting it all together.

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#14 jammin

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:47 PM

Yeah, it will be a bit larger than most mATX cases.

With the airflow sections top and bottom, along with the thick side panels, it should come out roughly the same size as my Antec SOLO (without those it would be noticeably smaller). So about the size of a compact ATX mid tower.

Still nowhere near as large as some full ATX designs though.
It'll be easier to judge the scale once you see some components to compare it to.

And yes, space to work in and hide cables etc. was a big consideration.

Edited by jammin, 16 May 2011 - 01:50 PM.

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#15 jammin

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 11:57 AM

Top and bottom sections completed today (barring maybe a little sanding).

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And with an old HDD for some sense of scale:

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If you are wondering why nuts and bolts for the joints instead of say, rivets, then there are a couple of reasons.

1) I'd need to be considerably more precise with rivets. Nuts and bolts give me a looser tolerance
2) I also need to be able to dismantle the frame again during several stages of the build process, to do test fitting and modifications.

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#16 jammin

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:34 AM

I haven't had much time today, so the frame is in the same state it was yesterday. Measuring, drilling and bolting everything together needs to be done precisely and patiently and I don't want to rush it. I may start on that this evening.

I did get chance mock up a very quick (and rough) test to show how the HDD mounting concept will work though.

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The brackets, which are simply a couple of pieces of sheet metal quickly bent in this test, will be much more refined for the real thing (though I may go for a similar material as it was quite easy to work with). Imagine the bends going round and back on themselves to form a shape for the bungee cord to clip into, so it's nice and snug.

Oh, and obviously it won't be a large wooden block for the real thing too. :D

I think that makes it a bit clearer. As you can see, there is a bit of room for drive movement, though I am happy with how secure it is.

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#17 DanTheGamer11

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:43 AM

maybe you could separate the hard drive bays into a different compartment and have 2 large fans on both sides(sideways) to cool em and they won't be affected by the graphics card or processor heat output?

How hard is it to but metal and stuff because I would like to make my own case also the right way... would I have to steal a tray from another case or buy a removable one from Ebay?

http://cgi.ebay.ie/A...e#ht_2815wt_905

would this be good, what grade should it be?

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Edited by Dan The Gamer, 18 May 2011 - 08:48 AM.

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#18 jammin

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:51 AM

I agree that the HDD area of the case is most likely to trap any warm air, but I'm not too concerned about it and I think they should get a little airflow from the bottom mounted fan.

Adding more fans = more noise, and in that case they would need to be mounted on the side panels, which just adds to that.

How hard is it to but metal? I'll assume you meant cut.

In terms of aluminium, it is a pretty easily workable material. Steel would be considerably harder (depending on the grade).
If you have a decent hacksaw, it isn't hard to cut aluminium angle.

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#19 jammin

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:16 AM

would I have to steal a tray from another case or buy a removable one from Ebay?

http://cgi.ebay.ie/A...e#ht_2815wt_905

would this be good, what grade should it be?


1) Either method should work. I went for the removable tray option with this build as it meant not having to source a mATX case to butcher, plus I found a tray that complemented the design well. Buying a tray certainly makes things a bit easier.

2) The sheet you linked to should be suitable for case building, though you need to bear in mind that it will be pretty flexible on it's own. Any design should include frames or bracing of some sort, particularly for larger designs.

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#20 IVIYTH0S

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:44 AM

Looks good buddy! Like the old IDE drive used as a guinea pig for your madness :lol:

The case looks similar to a Mac Power PC's design, not a bad thing of course.

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#21 jammin

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 01:01 PM

Looks good buddy! Like the old IDE drive used as a guinea pig for your madness :lol:


Madness? :P

But yes, I have another identical drive which I can use to test fit the system in the case itself.

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#22 DanTheGamer11

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:03 AM

1) Either method should work. I went for the removable tray option with this build as it meant not having to source a mATX case to butcher, plus I found a tray that complemented the design well. Buying a tray certainly makes things a bit easier.

2) The sheet you linked to should be suitable for case building, though you need to bear in mind that it will be pretty flexible on it's own. Any design should include frames or bracing of some sort, particularly for larger designs.


I was going to cut up my old M-ATX case but I'm not now as buying a removable tray will be much easier to prepare and install. Yeah I know, would it be hard to make a frame? Is it bad to steal stuff like the ODD holders and HDD brackets from an old case? The key is to use big fans!

you could always reinforce the side panel with a small bar of metal or rubber?

Edited by Dan The Gamer, 19 May 2011 - 10:04 AM.

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#23 jammin

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:31 AM

Perfectly fine to use brackets and anything else you might find useful from old cases. Fabricating things like that yourself certainly becomes more challenging when you don't have access to certain tools (such as a drill press). You can do it, but it just takes more care and time.

As for reinforcing side panels, that's exactly what I mean by bracing.

Is it hard to make a frame?
As long as you can plan, measure, cut and drill pretty accurately, then no it's not too hard.

Speaking of frames, I got mine basically completed today. That's the first major step in the build done.


After marking the remaining places on the pieces of aluminium angle that needed drilling, I used my (cheap) dremel style tool and a small drill bit to mark the holes.
That way the larger hand held drill I'm using would be less likely to slip out of place.

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Once that was done, it was just a question of bolting it all together.
Fortunately no problems while doing that, so I'm pretty happy.

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I can probably get away with not trimming down most of the bolts, though it would look tidier to do so.
I might just pick up some shorter ones instead of bothering with cutting them.

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I'm also happy with how rigid the frame is. Don't think I'm going to have any problems with it not being strong enough.
Next stage is going to be the internal panels I think, probably starting with the panel that sits behind the motherboard tray, that will include holes for routing cables.

Edited by jammin, 19 May 2011 - 11:47 AM.

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#24 bp9801

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:15 PM

Looking good so far. Seems to be plenty big enough for a hard drive to fit with all its necessary cables. Have you tried to fit the TRUE in the frame to see how much space you'll have between it and the side panel?

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