Description

I built this little PC as a proof of concept. I have been wanting to build in a Louqe Ghost S1 but was having a hard time finding one in silver. In the end, I decided to build my own PC case. At first, I was planning on a sandwich style layout with dimensions similar to a Dan case. I wanted to be able to use a more robust air cooling solution or the stock Ryzen cooler so I went with this layout for more clearance.

I decided to try a Ryzen build since the 3rd gen chips came out. When I was at micro center looking for a 3700 or 3800X, I came across this bundled package sale with a 2700x processor, Gigabyte B450i and 16 GB of DDR$-3000 for $299. That is a deal I could not turn down. The ram it came with was blue. Not the color scheme I was going for, but I went with it. I wanted to use a Dark Rock TF for the cooler, but it only allowed for a single mounting orientation with the ends of the heat pipes over the ram. I eventually went with a Noctua C14s so I could have the heat pipes facing up and it gave me room for exhaust fans. I basically mocked up the parts, took measurements and then built a case around it.

The case frame is made out of 1 cm square aluminum T-slot beams from Maker Beam. The rear panel and mother board tray are made from solid carbon fiber plate from Arris. All the other panels are made from carbon fiber plates with wire mesh laminated between 2 plates. The carbon fiber plates are from Composite Envision. Cut the beams to size, tap the ends for screws and used corner cubes to put it together. As far as side panels, you can use aluminum, acrylic, wood or what ever you want. Dimensions are 6in wide, 8.5 in tall and 11.5 in long. The dimensions of the case was really determined by the GPU. In my quest to make this as small as I could, I kind of overlooked some important things. One was a spot to put the PSU plug receptacle and the other was clearance for the PCE-I power cables for the GPU. For the plug, I had to go with a pig tale. For the GPU, I had to get creative with the connectors. I chambered the GPU to separate it from the rest of the case so that the hot air does not dump into the rest of the case. The GPU pulls cool air from the top and blows it out the sides. I also installed 2 GELID silent 7 70mm fans for exhaust. They perform well and are extremely quiet.

I replaced the Noctua fan for a 140mm Silverstone FW 142 RGB fan on the cooler. Performance not as good as noctua but a pretty good performer and really quiet. I had to have some sort of RGB in there :). I ran test with both fans and they were within 2 degrees of each other. I also tried running the fan with pulling air in thru the cooler and pushing air up and out the cooler with the rear fans as intake. Pulling air in and rear fans as exhaust proved to be the better cooling solution. The GPU stock under load runs at 61C and idles at 32C. The 2700x stock with XMP enabled runs at 64C under full load and 33C idle. Not sure if this is a Ryzen thing, but I was pretty impressed with these numbers in a 9.6 liter case. I have always built with intel and running AIDA 64 cpu and fpu test would normally get pretty toasty on air.

As far as cable management, I made my own cables and sleeved them with paracord. I wanted them to be neat and clean even though you will not be able to see them when the side panels are on. In this really small form factor builds, space gets pretty tight pretty quick. When I was making and routing the 24 pin, I was beginning to regret my decision. But I got it to work and I think it looks pretty good. The cables for the GPU proved a little challenging due the clearance. They look a little odd, but it works.

So this is my second scratch build and my first Ryzen build. My other scratch build was a HTPC made from aluminum, wood, acrylic and glass. It was much more complicated. This one was pretty easy. Did not require any specialty tools and probably would have came in under $60 if I had used aluminum instead of carbon fiber. The carbon fiber brought it up to almost $200. About as much as I would have spent on a Ghost S1. But, you are not gonna get a Noctua C14s in one either. As far as use for this thing, It is a good all a round PC. Not really needed for gaming. I have a 9900k with a 2080ti for that. I think my older 6700k with a 1080 is faster in games. I will have to play with overclocking some later. All in all, it was a very fun build and easy to do. A PC case made specifically for the components inside it. A great DIY project to take on. I hope all of you like it.

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Love it, glad I came upon this!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. I am happy that I get to share it.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Literally smh right now because you replaced a Noctua fan... Anyways, this does deserve a feature, I have not come upon a person who has built their own case. You sir, are very skilled.

But overall, very cool and unique build!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. Yeah, I figured I would catch some flak for replacing the noctua. I did find it a good home in my NAS that runs 24/7. It is perfect for that.

  • 3 months ago
  • 0 points

I mean, whatever floats your boat

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Someone told me once that the tech isn't art. Well, in her face now with this expose. To put all that stuff into this magnificently small package goes beyond art and bordering witchcraft. Gr8 build man! We salute you!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, I really appreciate that. I agree, some of these dual custom loops on here are truly works of art.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Talk about a custom build! It looks like you only stopped short of soldering your own circuits on the motherboard. The case looks great, and the inside looks very clean, especially for a SFF build. And that cable routing... oh man, that $h1t is dam near orgasmic!

Ah hem, uhhh, anyways... good job! +1

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for your kind words. Building the case in this method is actually pretty easy. Just plan out your layout and frame around it. I did get a little over ambitious with the cable management.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Well deserving of a feature! Takes a ton of brainpower and creativity to pull something like this off. Most features I see on this site take the brainpower of a 6 year old (look, I color matched 6 grand worth of parts! lolderp).

Did you cut the carbon fiber yourself or did you custom order it?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you so very much. I used a table saw and router table to cut the carbon fiber. I have a really good dust collection system in my garage but still used a full face respirator and filtered shop vac. Carbon fiber dust can be pretty nasty.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Have you thought about trying a finer mesh for the inlets to control dust better?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Since the wire mesh is made from steel, I actually have magnetic dust filters that I cut to fit the openings perfectly. The mesh is actually cut out of an office wall mounted file holder I had laying around. Great air flow and no air turbulence noise compared to the aluminum perforated mesh I have used in the past. I want steel mesh specifically for the purpose of the magnetic filters.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Brilliant, thanks for the reply

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent work! Bonus points for building your own case and additional bonus points for using carbon fiber. It looks great. Is there any way you could have countersunk the bolt holes so that the bolt heads and collars didn't stick up so much or was that the aesthetic that you were aiming for? Is the carbon fiber too thin to countersink into?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I had a bag of these blue anodized collars and wanted to use them so yes, this was kinda of the look I was going for. The carbon fiber is thick enough to counter sink the holes. (2.4 mm thick). I like the collars because it allowed me to oversize the holes and gave me so wiggle room to align the panels. Making all of this by hand and trying to get everything square can prove a little challenging when trying to get a little M3 screw hole to line up perfectly.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

This is pure truth. I hated trying to line up all the screw holes in my custom case. Hard as HECK. I might try this approach in my next attempt. Thanks.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Curious, what size beam are you using, and where did you buy them and the corner pieces you are using to connect them? I've been tempted to build a case like this but haven't found parts that fit my sizing preference. Awesome build, I love the blue anodized bolts and carbon fiber!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. I used the 10mmx10mm beams and components from MakerBeam. Got everything I needed from amazon. You can order directly from MakerBeam but amazon carries everything they make.