casefancasefancase.......

I used to work in a computer store building PCs all day. With every new case there are one or two 8cm case fans included. Most of the systems we built did not need any more cooling than was supplied by the CPU fan as most of our customers generally didn't go in for all this "overclocking malarky".

Looking around the stock room I discovered two large boxes of unused 8cm case fans.

Surfing through case mod sites, the most popular mod you see (besides Lexan windows) is some form of whizzy cooling device, be it fan or waterblock. People go to great lengths to keep their PCs cool.Home

Now... putting these two things together...


What you are looking at is a case made of case fans, Dexian (there's probably a trademark in there somewhere) shelving, nylon cable ties, terminal blocks, nylon motherboard mounts, backplane blanks, screws and wire. Oh, and PC hardware.

The hardware installed at the time the photo was taken:

MSI MS-6540 motherboard,
Intel P4 3GHz Prescott CPU,
512MB DDR400 RAM,
40GB ATA HDD,
and a crappy 36xCDROM I found lying around.

front2

This was as much an art project as it was a case mod -- I intended it to be indicative of the work I do, the things I see and work with every day, and also put an interesting spin on a common concern in the hardcore PC user community.

Or you could say that is all a load of bollocks and I just thought it would be a cool thing to do.

Perhaps a little from both columns...

Here is the back of the beast.
I thought it might be stupid, even for me, to cover the PSU fan with case fans as well.

Don't knock my wiring either. This whole thing is not the finished product by any stretch of the imagination. You may have noticed it lacks a power switch other than the one at the end of the blue and red cable dangling from the front of the case in the first photo.

There are 70 case fans in total, covering over 95% of the case AND THEY ALL WORK!

Air is drawn into the case by the fans on the top, front, back, and left sides, and is blown out by the fans on the right side and bottom.

I considered making it into a desktop instead of mini-tower form factor (and probably should have). Given the same number of fans with much higher RPM, I'm sure I could have made it hover...

All of the fans are cable-tied together, and each side is attached to the Dexian (there's sure to be a trademark there) frame with nylon motherboard mounts (or standoffs).

This was meant to be an action shot but the digital camera's "shutter speed" was too quick to capture the movement.

Although I was going for the grungy industrial look, my construction and finishing methods do leave a lot to be desired.

However, when you are building a computer case from scratch in your lunch hours and idle periods at work without the correct tools or the benefit of power tools other than a cordless drill, you've got to cut corners somewhere or you'll never finish.

The PSU, CDROM, and motherboard mount sit on brackets fashioned out of bent backplane blanks (try saying that three times fast).

slax

Just to prove the thing actually works here it is running Slax Linux in KDE GUI mode.

The company wouldn't let me keep the hardware without paying for it. Since I had hoped to spend as little money on this venture as possible, I gave it all back but kept the case.

According to the owner of the store the case costs around NZ$140 in fans alone!

Now I suppose you are wondering:
"Does it actually make a difference to the running temperature?"

Answer: Yes and no.

The main difference between the casefancasefancase and any normal case is the system or mainboard temperature. After prolonged use it remains pretty constant at about 23-24 degrees Centigrade.

The CPU temp is not as greatly affected, basically because I am using the standard fan/heatsink supplied with the CPU. If I was to shell out for something with big copper fins on it I'd probably notice a difference.



The case took about three weeks (lunch hours and breaks here and there) to build. It was pretty fun to do, and, given the right tools and time, I may have even completed it.

I intend to keep the exposed wiring and terminal blocks, but tidy up the molex plugs and keep them out of sight. I also need to find some way of hiding the CDROM, tidying up the I/O ports at the front, and throw in a couple of LEDs or Cold Cathodes for some interesting night shots.

A handle or two would be nice, also. The thing weighs a ton and is about as easily moved as a freshly-dead hippopotamus.

It's a little noisy, too.

Since posting it on a couple of case mod sites, such as Case Mod God and others, I've been slashdotted and even had the case featured in Future Publishing's PC Extreme magazine.

Home The case is still largely intact but shelved until I can get my hands on some half-decent hardware and have a bunch of time up my sleeve.